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My Top 3 Learnings from the First 3 Months of Building Bachata Library

I recently quit my job to start Bachata Library - a course to transform people into amazing Bachata dancers. Here are the top 3 things that I've learned over my first 3 months.

Tam Pham
Tam Pham
8 min read
My Top 3 Learnings from the First 3 Months of Building Bachata Library

I recently quit my job to start Bachata Library - a course to transform people into amazing Bachata dancers.

Here are the top 3 things that I've learned over my first 3 months:

#1 – Going from 0 -> 1 is the most difficult part

I felt like I was sprinting every day to bring this project to life.

At a glance:

  • I talked to hundreds of Bachata dancers about their frustrations with their learning journey.
  • I redesigned the Bachata Library curriculum and created a course outline for 13 full modules.
  • I hired and coordinated with a dozen teachers, assistants, editors, and designers.
  • I shot and edited over 100 Bachata tutorials at 6 different locations.
  • I organized, coached, and filmed dance choreography shoots for promotion.
  • I grew a small audience on Instagram and I’m now starting YouTube / TikTok
  • I created a 10-day email marketing sequence with four free training videos (see it here).
  • I wrote my first-ever long-form sales page (holy cow, that was difficult)
  • I set up all the tech stuff to make the learning/marketing/user experience run smoothly

All before I made a single dollar.

(Technically, I've already validated the idea and made money through my previous two iterations. But for this revamp, I didn't launch it until 3 months later)

I've never done more than half of these things before. And for some of the stuff I've done before, I felt so rusty.

But I had to figure things out. There's no one to rely on when you're a solo founder.

It's up to me to create a privacy policy page. Or set up a virtual mailbox. Or coach our ladies styling group. Or edit 100+ videos. Or test out every nook of the customer experience.

This made me realize why talented dancers or artists don't start their own businesses.

There's so much work that doesn't relate to the craft itself! 😩

It was at this moment that I really appreciated being a scrappy generalist. My rare blend of mediocre skills is tailored for projects exactly like this.

#2 – Get ready to eat 💩 for 5 years

I love this tweet from former consultant turned independent writer, Paul Millerd.

This is a graph of his annual salary pre-tax after leaving his job to pursue making his own company of one.

He made ~$20k profit each year for the first three years. ~$40k profit each year in years 4 and 5. Then finally hit 6 figures in years 6 and 7.

Everyone wants the Year 6 and Year 7 results without realizing the first 5 years of struggle.


Would I be ok earning $20k for the next 3 years? With no guarantee of six-figure success in Year 6 or 7?

Would you?

The majority of people would say no. $20k/year is not a liveable wage anywhere in the US.

Obviously, you can get side hustles to fund your main hustle. But most people don't want to hustle in the first place.

Honestly, I get it. I'd rather not be working too. 😂

I also understand that starting anything new is difficult and slow, especially in the beginning.

You're figuring out how to find customers, build something people want, and keep yourself sane in the process.

But just like how going to the gym makes your life easier, grinding on your work every day will make your business easier.

In year 7, Paul admitted he made the most amount of money while working the least.

I trust that my efforts will compound. It just takes time.

All I have to do is stay on the bus. 🚌

#3 – It takes a village

It would have been impossible to start Bachata Library without the help of my community.

Below are all the beautiful humans who’ve contributed to this project. 🙌

Huge shout out to Casey (@caseyward_) for leading SO MUCH of the new curriculum that includes:

  • Intermediate Partnerwork Volume III
  • Advanced Partnerwork Volume II
  • Ladies Styling: Arms, Hips, Legs with a Beginner Shines Tutorial
  • Conditioning and Stretch class
  • A TON of full Bachata classes that will be released on YouTube

Casey matches my energy perfectly and brings her own unique chaos and flavor into everything she does.

Plus her Ladies Styling module is FIRE. 🔥

I am honored to teach with Daniela (@daniloug12). She was one of my main teachers during my Bachata sabbatical.

Daniela's a kind, old soul who was so patient and non-judgmental as I navigated my dance journey.

She was the first teacher who emphasized how dance is more than just steps. Rather, through technique, you can express yourself and show the world who you are.

God dam, that's beautiful. ✨

Daniela leads our two most important modules inside Bachata Library.

  • Bachata Foundations
  • Essential Body Movements

With over 10 years of teaching dance, there's no one I trust more than Daniela to guide the next generation of Bachata dancers. 🙌

Hannah (@hannahcbaugh) has been with me since the first iteration of Bachata Library in April 2023 and the second iteration in October 2023.

Now that I've completely overhauled the product, I had to call her again for shoot #3. 😎

Hannah co-teaches the majority of the Partnerwork modules which include:

  • Beginner Partnerwork Volumes I and II
  • Intermediate Partnerwork Volumes I, II, and III
  • Advanced Partnerwork Volume I

We plan to do more once I'm back in CDMX so stay tuned for that!

Even though Becky (@beckydeeve) wasn't in Mexico, I had to bring in my favorite teacher in the world.

Becky has been the most helpful teacher in fixing all of my mistakes and reteaching me the fundamentals in a way that I actually understood. I'm honored to have her teach

  • Musicality
  • Connection
  • Advanced Ladies Styling

Speaking of styling, Carlos (@carlos.minguela) is one of my favorite dancers for men's styling. He teaches two full tutorials for intermediate and advanced shines inside Bachata Library.

Every shoot day had so many moving parts. Luckily I had friends to lean on. Thank you to my lovely amigas:

  1. Maria (@mariadelosangelesb) for doing my hair and makeup, recording beauty shots and BTS photos, and directing the talent!
  2. Belinda (@belindaling) for shooting the best BTS videos and photos with A+ commentary. Also for the good vibes. 😎
  3. Leslie (@leslesliliz) for assisting on two back-to-back shoots, and making sure we had everything we needed for a successful day.

Thank you to ALL the students who've gone through the beta programs and left testimonials. This means the world to me...

Seriously, thank you. 😭

Thank you to Leslie again for her AMAZING design work.

Leslie created the logo, video animation intro, module designs, and thumbnail ideas for YouTube and Instagram.

I have no experience with design, so she took my jumbled words and added her personal touch.

Everything looks SO amazing and SO professional. I'm so happy.

Check out Leslie's work here and hire her. 🎨

Big shout out to my Spanish teacher and marketing guru, Nate!

Nate was a HUGE help in giving me specific feedback on how to make my message clearer and more effective. If you want honest feedback about how you communicate online, Nate is your guy.

Also big thank you Dexter so much for letting a poor boy like me borrow your camera setup to shoot Bachata Library.

I did not have the funds to buy all the equipment so your generosity was SUPER clutch. If you're a nomad looking to up your money game (like me), Dexter created Money Abroad just for you.

Finally, thank you to everyone who has liked and shared my work. I can't thank everyone personally but I see and notice all the love.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you. I am blessed. 🥹

Telling people I'm an entrepreneur sounds cool. But building a business is not glamorous.

Even though I'm doing the founder thing now, I truly believe most people would be happier working a decent job and enjoying their hobbies on the side.

What do you think? LMK.

Bachata LibraryWorkEntrepreneurCareer

Tam Pham Twitter

I'm a writer and bachata dancer currently bouncing around Latin America. Trying to make the most out of my one wild and precious life.

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