We had the good fortune of connecting with Corniesha Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Corniesha, how do you think about risk?
I had to look up the definition of the word risk. I looked up the definition because I knew and know my perspective has shifted multiple times during my life about taking risks. Everything I thought was a risk ended up being a risk that I am happy I’ve taken. I believe staying in your comfort zone is a risk. Whenever I have tried to stay in my so-called comfort zone I am reminded by my dreams that overstaying my welcome in my comfort zone is evicting a portion of my purposes and destiny.
Taking risks is not always detrimental to your health or wellbeing sometimes taking a risk is the catalyst to you taking action and building your confidence. What one can deem as a risk I can think of as an opportunity. The reason being is because I’m thinking of the bigger picture and all of the possibilities on the other side of fear. It is always important to weigh out both the pros and cons of a situation. In my decision making if the risk is not in alignment with me or my ultimate goal then it’s a no for me.
Everything in my life typically prepares me for the next risk. So much so that I make a conscious effort to understand the lesson in the challenges that I face. Every setback has been a setup and a step up in my life. I remember the moment I decided to take the risk of becoming a full-time entrepreneur. I was sitting in my enlarged cubical. There were no windows in the office and I felt like a caged bird. I would dance outside or in my cubicle on my lunch breaks. When I could I attended Zumba classes after work. The pan epidemic was a wake-up call for a lot of us. It awakened what I had been trying to put to sleep. My calling to dance and to teach Zumba got louder. I had to have a very serious conversation with my heart. I had already taken a risk that I had chosen for years. Yes, risk can last for several years. I knew what I wanted to do, but was in fear of the unforeseen risks. But there I was in a risk that I no longer wanted to take. Once I realized that the pan epidemic was hurting the business financially I knew it was time to leave.
Although I decided I would teach Zumba I applied to several different types of jobs and nothing panned out. I had to turn up my job search a few notches. It was time to become a content creator for different companies. It was time to teach Zumba. It was time to motivate and coach others. I took the middle man out of my risk and start making my own money. I would have never thought in a million years that I would be teaching Zumba in two behavioral hospitals. I smile at the fact that I now teach in a studio as well and travel to teach Zumba. I went from being afraid to teach Zumba to teach well over 200 classes to children, adults, and teenagers! I took the risk that makes me feel alive. I rather take risks that make positive changes in other people’s lives including my own. If I would have stayed in a cubical I wouldn’t be living out my purpose of sharing my love for dance. If I would have not taken a risk Duolingo would have not reached out to me to do a film on my journey of learning Spanish and teaching Zumba. If I did not take the risk to pave my way I would not be able to inspire over 5,000 people on my IG page (thesavvynailchic). The risks have not outweighed the rewards. The rewards are outweighing the risks. The risks less traveled are balancing everything out. I say the risks less traveled because I have had to figure everything out as I go. In the beginning, I sought out a lot of help. I stepped into new territory and thought I needed help moving in. But I had to create the foundation for my businesses on my own.
Creating a business from the ground up and watching it blossom is a privilege. I had to bet on myself. It wasn’t a risk to believe in myself. I had no doubts about being able to get the job done. I did not tell the entire world what I was doing because I did not want to be discouraged. My creativity and intellect were up for the challenge of creating my masterpiece. When you are in flow you don’t want anyone to turn your masterpiece into pieces. Taking risks is a fabric of my DNA. To grow and to become my definition of success I’ve taken 4 hour Zumba jam classes regularly. I’ve attended and taught 7 Zumba classes in one week on several occasions. I teach 4 Zumba classes back to back on Fridays. That is just Zumba alone. I wake up early to create content for social media, drive for Uber Eats 8-12 hours per day, and teach Zumba at R&I Dance Studio. These are just a few of the responsibilities that I have. I am living my life with NO regrets. I am a risk-taker that is a giver. I give others what I have learned from the risks that I take.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It’s very easy to believe and think that the industry you are interested in is oversaturated. I tell people that the particular industry they’re interested in is not over saturated with them. I am not just a Zumba instructor. My experience as a social work major graduate along with being a certified mediator continues to help me understand how to communicate effectively with my clients/students. Learning Spanish has been the icing on the cake and builds a bridge with people that don’t expect me to understand them.
I didn’t expect becoming and entrepreneur to be easy or difficult. I thought along the lines of having a positive experience. Ease and difficulty have coincided in my journey. Being creative comes naturally to me. Creating dance videos, social media content, and choreography for Zumba has not been difficult. What has been difficult is when I have tried to force my creativity. I had to learn how to take breaks and not overthink a project. The results have been successful.
My brand is constantly and consistently evolving. People that I inspire and teach are attracted to my authenticity. I help people that have struggled all of their lives see a brighter picture. I teach students that have never danced before and end up loving to dance and loving Zumba because of the positive atmosphere I create.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I had a friend visit Houston and I was exhausted after she left. I had an activity planned or a place to visit every day! We visited the Space Center for a tour. On another day we went to iFly for indoor skydiving. We had dinner at Salt Grass Steak House as well. We saw a movie at an older movie theater called Landmark’s River Oaks Theatre. My friend is a chocolate lover so we visited Arya Artisan Chocolate Shop.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
R & I Dance Studio-Thank you Raye and Irene for wanting me to succeed.
Goza Studio (Nelly)- Where I got my Zumba start.