Jennifer Greenberg found business success by following her passion. Read how she did it and discover insights from her journey that can help your business thrive.
Since the age of 9, Jennifer Greenberg knew that the performing arts was her calling. She grew up as a performer and worked professionally in New York City before becoming a teacher and sharing her experience with others. Her decision to open Moment to Moment Creative Collaborative—a performing arts company located in Ocean County, New Jersey—in February 2021 was based on a simple business philosophy: “You can’t build a business based solely on income … build your business on passion.”
It hasn’t always been easy, but today, Moment to Moment is thriving. Jennifer works with students across the country and offers instruction across a range of artistic disciplines, including acting, singing, and songwriting. In short, she has successfully built a company around her passion—her creative identity.
In this article, Jennifer shares the insights and strategies that have allowed her to persevere through obstacles and find success as she turns her passion into her business.
Stay True to Your Values
Jennifer identifies her personal values as the driving force behind her professional success and the continued growth of Moment to Moment. A performer at heart, she strives to place creativity and originality at the forefront of everything that she does. Throughout her career, she has sacrificed financial and professional stability to live out these values in practice.
After her daughter was born, Jennifer left her acting career in New York and took a job as a performing arts teacher and the Director of Dramatics for a local school district. The position offered a steady salary and a level of stability that was attractive at that stage of her life, but the environment’s rigid structure didn’t fit with her creative character. “I didn’t like the box that it put me in. It felt very confining.” She didn’t want to compromise on what was important to her and decided to leave her position to pursue her dreams.
Jennifer went on to work in many different positions before obtaining a job at a private performing arts academy. While the job paid well and allowed her to work more freely, it still wasn’t the right fit. Jennifer aspired to interact more genuinely with her students and was looking for an environment where she could convey the true scope of her creative experience. She also wanted to ensure that she was helping her students navigate the business side of the performing arts and providing the industry connections they needed to achieve their creative and professional goals. She realized it was time to go out on her own.
Jennifer believes now that her strong desire to stay true to her personal values and her refusal to trade in her long-time vision for short-term stability has enabled her to provide the type of performing arts education that benefits students and contributes to the growth of the loyal client base that is the core of Moment to Moment.
Don’t be Afraid to Take Risks
Jennifer’s dedication to keeping her values at the center of her business reveals another key insight from her journey—believe in yourself and don’t shy away from calculated risks. Over the course of her career, Jennifer has been willing to take the leap and embrace uncertainty to achieve her business dreams.
Staying committed to her vision at the expense of financial security was not always easy; making the decision to leave a stable job is a big risk, especially with a new child at home. Looking back on her career, here’s how she explains it: “I had to work multiple jobs, I had to be okay with not knowing where my next job would come from. I had to take out a business loan while also thinking about how I was going to put my daughter through school.”
Through all this uncertainty, Jennifer remained grounded because she was confident in her own ability and knew that all the experience she had gained from the decades she spent in the performing arts industry and the deep connections she had forged with industry professionals prepared her to build her business and set her clients up for success. “I don’t gamble,” Jennifer explains, “but I am willing to bet on myself.”
Risks are a part of business, whether you’re starting up, planning for new growth, or even mapping out your eventual transition out of your company. Jennifer’s experience shows that believing in yourself and taking the leap when the right opportunity presents itself can be an important step in realizing the full potential of your business.
Always Be Ready to Adapt
Jennifer learned one of her most important lessons after establishing her new business—always be ready to adapt.
She first “opened” her doors in challenging times: the middle of the pandemic in early 2021. Despite having no experience with remote instruction, she launched her business virtually. Though the performing arts industry traditionally relies on in-person instruction, she quickly adapted to the new model.
In the months that followed, her business flourished. Virtual instruction brought in new clients that she would not have reached otherwise and allowed her to expand her business across the U.S. When in-person instruction returned, Jennifer integrated these two formats into a successful hybrid learning model, continuing her online program while also offering in-studio events where students could connect with talent managers and agents. She is unsure where virtual learning fits into her long-term plans, but she recognizes that her ability to adjust and adopt an unfamiliar strategy for her business allowed her to succeed in the face of adversity.
A Bright Future
Moving forward, Jennifer has big plans for her business. She hopes to expand Moment to Moment’s creative offerings to include writing, yoga, and meditation and is always looking for opportunities to expand her curriculum to reach new students.
As she plans for the future, Jennifer keeps the lessons she’s learned close at hand. Looking back on her journey, she hopes that other business leaders can learn from her experience:
- Leverage your values
- Have a strong belief in yourself
- Be willing to adapt when the need warrants it
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