Three time international pole champion Deb Roach was born with a congenital limb difference. Today, she is single-handedly spinning circles around outdated and unhelpful stereotypes. Deb owns Stargazer Pole Studio in Blacktown – the home of pole for all bodies. She is the treasurer of the Australian Pole Sports Federation and toured the world with the Extraordinary Bodies Circus throughout 2015 and 2016. In addition to pole, which Deb has taught across the globe for a decade, Deb teaches yoga, pilates and barre. Her best friend in the whole world is Trevor, her miniature dachshund.
Thank you for joining us here at The Corporate Escapists. Please introduce yourself to our reader. They love to know about you, your passion, and how you came to find and follow your passion.
My name is Deb. I’m a 40 year old woman. I have lived my entire life without my left arm. I used to be a Cisco network engineer and ITIL Practitioner in Telecommunications. I had experienced so much rejection and exclusion from sports as a child, it wasn’t until my friends encouraged me to try pole that I realised that I had been living in my head, disconnected from my body. Once I started exploring what my body was capable of, my entire perception of myself changed. I experienced transformative growth and empowerment through this sport and made it my mission to share that with other women. I want everyone to find their fearless goddess within.
Bob Proctor once quoted ‘To believe in the things you can see and touch is no belief at all. But to believe in the unseen is both a triumph and a blessing”. How important is it to you to have the belief within one’s self?
Being able to achieve incredible things takes a well-nourished sense of self belief and the ability to face one’s self-doubt with the evidence that it has no right to continue bothering us. Develop a bank of those things you have achieved, those qualities in yourself that you celebrate, the attributes that make you strong and resilient. Know the circumstances that are testament to your inner power. These tools help us face our doubt without fear. Self belief is not an endless font of inflated confidence or bravado. It is our capacity to be brave when needed, and repeatedly choosing to put ourselves in situations that will test us. Being challenged by choice is how to build an unwavering will and unbreakable spirit.
Tell us what the word “Entrepreneur” means to you?
I believe that Entrepreneurs are leaders who walk bravely into the arena of creating their own opportunities. The entrepreneur doesn’t do business – the entrepreneur *makes* business happen. Entrepreneurs have an unquenchable thirst for success and understand that failure is a likely and important teacher on their path.
What has been one of the biggest business ideas you have had and how did you have the trust and hope within yourself to implement it?
In March 2021 I chose to rebrand. I invested in brand analysis: a deep dive into who we were and how to communicate that to the market. Once that was clear, I went to the absolute best logo designer I could find to establish our new identity for a successful future. There was a new name, website, booking and client management system PLUS I re-created the mobile app that underpins our unique self-paced learning system. It was a difficult project to manage, with everything going live at once on March 15 – but I did it! My why was incredibly strong and I worked tirelessly with the vision and outcome at front of mind. I have never looked back.
Running your own business can be scary. Success requires moments of trust and hope to push through to the next level. Tell us one of the moments you have had to push through to take your business to the next level?
When lockdown forced my studio to close in March 2020, I truly felt as though my world was ending. I sat with my grief and worry, then set about looking for a solution. It was Zoom. I held an emergency meeting with my staff and we created an online timetable of classes to deliver from home. I had to make quick decisions about pricing and get the opt-in message out to my community fast. I had to shout loudly that we would do things differently and refuse to allow distance to come between us. We pivoted successfully. I was able to cover our costs during lockdown and return to the studio without debt. I know so many business owners who were not so fortunate.
What is your favourite quote about inspiration?
I much prefer creating our own intrinsic inspiration rather than seeking extrinsic sources, however I love the optimism of Thomas Edison: “If we all did the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves”
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business?
Go ahead and bite off more that you can chew – but make sure you have time to rest and digest.