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Building While Flying

Oct 14, 2021

When Stacy Tuschl started teaching dance classes in her parents’ backyard at age 18, she wasn't planning on starting a business. Within three years, she had 100 students, and the Academy of Performing Arts was born. It’s now grown to hundreds of students, two locations, an entire team, a consulting business, and a 2019 Wisconsin Small Business Person of the Year award. 

Stacy’s small business journey is anything but ordinary. In her conversation with Mickey, Stacy tells how her businesses got started and shares some challenges of experiencing early hyper-growth and forcing herself to slow down. After successfully navigating the 2008 recession, she thought she could handle anything. The 2020 pandemic brought more challenges than she imagined—like losing 25% of her business’s income—but in the end, she said the pandemic was “the best thing” that could have happened for her. 

In-flight topics:

  • Experiencing early growth (3:05 - 6:55)
  • Navigating the 2008 recession vs. the 2020 pandemic (7:05 - 9:00)
  • Pandemic pivots that worked (9:15 - 12:50)
  • Transitioning out of the brick-and-mortar business (15:45 - 17:10)
  • Building a consulting business (17:18 - 20:30) 
  • Stacey’s “in-flight checklist” (22:48 - 24:08)
  • ...and more!

Relevant Links:

APA Website: 

APA Insta: 

Stacy’s website: