Are you afraid to raise your fees?
Like I said in my 16th Facebook Live video, there is so much fear around the topic of raising your fees.
Let me say this first before anything else, unless you deal with your underlying fear, and feelings of not being good enough, no matter how much you charge…it will never be enough. It is this underbelly that you must deal with to ever achieve success.
If you want to know how to get powerful results in your life now, and how you can get the help you need to grow you and your business, read on. Remember however, this is not the path for the faint of heart. Are you ready to roll up your sleeves?
Christina Wocinte Unsplash
Asking the Hard Questions
The overall mission of this blog and website is to bring you content that will make you pause for a moment and think about your life as it is, your career, your relationships, where you would like to be in a week, a year, three years, five years, 10 years and beyond.
Consider where you are right now, on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. Think about the areas of your life that work, and those that don’t.
What areas of your career can use some tune up? Does it feel like you can sustain where you are, what you are doing for the rest of your career? Or, have you thought of doing something else with your life, because your body hurts, or you are tired, or you are unable to pay your bills? Are you content in your relationships inside the salon and outside?
Do you vacation? Do you make the money you need to live and save? Are you having enough fun, or too much fun and not enough planning?
These are hard questions to answer honestly. However, unless we are willing to tell the truth to ourselves, how can we ever change our situation?
More Than Just Passion
You got to love us hairstylists, we are so passionate about what we do, that we can overlook the details of life, the nitty gritty stuff that we would rather have someone else handle; like finances, health appointments, or exercise, etc.
That is– if you are passionate!
What if you’ve lost the passion, and you are not paying attention to these issues? So much of what we do as hairstylists is show work, and we get accolades all the time for what we do, so the mundane, is just that– MUNDANE. You keep pushing it away.
Does any of this sound familiar? If so, then stay with me here.
Dream and Do
With this community, and in this work, we are throwing all these issues in the mix, and creating articles that will help you in these areas. We offer up ideas, techniques, ways in which you can make changes in your life. The kind of hairdressing skills most of us were not taught in beauty school, and the kind of changes that can make your life work, should you choose.
The process of uncovering your life goals and dreams requires a bit of surrendering. It takes trust, it takes doing the work, and following suggestions. One tiny change at a time can start moving you in the direction of the dream you have for your life.
Some of you were not taught, or allowed to dream, nor get help when you needed it. But look around you, look at the industry and you will see a lot of people struggling to make their business thrive. Don’t be deceived by their looks. How are you supposed to do it all by yourself?
Maybe you’ve lost your way around depending on each other, and in fact you’re becoming hyper competitive, doubting yourselves, a bitterness grows inside, isolation sounds better than dealing with the demons in your life.
If you can’t dream it, it won’t happen. Dream larger than life, beyond where you thought you might ever be. Unless you can allow yourself to imagine it, it will not happen. You can learn to dream, but you must deal with what is in the way.
You Don’t Have To Walk Alone
I’ve dedicated my life to the hairdressing industry for over 30 years, and absolutely love it. Did I always? The answer is no. The path led me away from the beauty industry and back again towards a few times.
About 15 years into it, I discovered my passion for the craft, and an utmost respect for those who came before me. Sometimes it’s necessary to leave what is comfortable in order to become more of who you are.
Each of you need to find your own way, research mentors, find those who are willing to help. Hire a coach, it is a business and personal necessity, and let us be clear, coaching is not therapy. It is a process in which a coach listens to what you are saying and helps you dig deeper into the areas where you are stuck. Makes sense, right?
The aware hairstylist is a superb listener, and so she needs to be heard as well, but it’s not whining.
I got to where I am because I recognized the need for support at different points in my life. “Anyone who has ever had a good coach will tell you that the role is indispensable”, says Brittany Hodak in a Forbes article.
I opened my studio ShineForth Salon in 2014 and am well into my sixth year, to finally serve clients in a way that respected myself, and offered them the kind of experience I knew I had to deliver.
I hired coaches every chance I could along the way, from the beginning of my career.
Now that I’m settled in my studio, the 3rd chapter of my career is obvious– to reach out and show other hairstylists, barbers, salon owners and all beauty industry professionals, all over the world the secrets to success
I hire coaches for my own development in business and in life..
By setting goals and achieving them, by dealing with what is in the way, and constantly reviewing are steps along the way of how you can get powerful results in your life now. Ask for help. Follow through.
Sohail Khan (CEO & Founder of The Joint Venture Group) says in Entrepreneur,
“Business coaching is proven to work when these two factors are present: the client is willing to grow, and there is a gap between where they are now, and where they want to be.”
You can read more about the “Six Benefits of Working With a Business Coach” here.
I am on a mission to help other hairstylists live their lives by design, to find or rediscover their mission. My approach is holistic guidance– I want you to live a healthy, fulfilling, deeply meaningful, and fun life.
Here’s a piece of advice from me. Develop the skills to make your life work, and that of a master. Make money, save money. Build relationships that sustain you. Each time you set a new goal and achieve it, your mission becomes clearer.
With supporting hairstylists in mind, I’ve created this hub for those who seek a better way of doing things, a more sustainable, meaningful, and impactful career, and life.
This hub is also for you if you desire community, and need support in growing your life. Take your job of getting clients in the chair and out into a vocation, where lasting happiness and peace of mind can grow, and ultimately make you more money.
Look around this site, and see what is there waiting for you. I invite you to be part of this community of hairdressers that are committed to personal growth, and ready to elevate not only themselves, but the profession, and the people around them.
This is the place for you, if you are willing to roll up your sleeves and grow and you are hungry for support.
I can’t wait to get to know you. Learn from my expertise through my newsletters, email me your questions. Book a powerful coaching session today. Let’s look at how you can get powerful results in your life now, receiving help is the first step.
This site will change now and again as I deepen my own work. My next big dream is to add a weekly podcast, once a month live guest webinars, and a library of suggested reading. Stay tuned. Please let me know what topics you would like to hear discussed, and what you need help working through.
I look forward to hearing about your dreams.
Make a list right now, of the issues you want to deal with and if you would like to end the isolation.
Watch this awesome TedTalk on vulnerability here.
If you would like to gain clarity, get the support that you need to succeed in your career and life, let’s talk. You can book a call with me here.
How Is Your Salon Management Style?
Salon ownership can be as exhilarating as your 21st birthday, it can also be as daunting as getting your teeth pulled.
Adam Winger Unsplash
Think of the process as something like slow cooking. The sauce lacks flavor and depth when it is instant, or poured out of a jar. But when you take time to include quality ingredients and simmer on low, the product is one to remember and enjoy.
Your mission and vision statements, your values, are some of the secret ingredients, revising as you go. They will be helpful in guiding you along your journey.
We all have been in salons where toxicity permeates the space. Don’t let it happen to yours. You, as a leader (owner or manager, or both), can create the dream team of all time, or you can quickly bring the salon to a toxic place that no one wants to work in. This happens when you’re only looking at the bottom line, or are too much in a hurry to fill your chair.
Choose wisely, take your time. Adding too much vinegar to the sauce could create an unsavory sour flavor.
Sometimes, we are the problem. Maybe we are too overzealous and want to please everybody, and in so doing, we lose sight of the slow cooking involved. Or maybe, we just don’t step in enough, and have a hands off approach. Neither work. You end with no real sauce you can serve. Let me be clear, your staff is a mirror for you to reflect in.
When you resort to complaining to your staff about what isn’t working all the time, the joy can be drained right out of the salon. Be as clear as you can about what the expectations are for your staff. Create a handbook for your own clarity for, and the staff. Ensure that all employees and renters read it.
Though remember, you can have all the procedures and protocols down, but if the owner, and/or, the manager don’t follow through, or do what is expected of the staff, you lose the trust of your stylists. The more you erode that trust, the more chaos will follow.
7 Key Components in the Sauce
1. Non Defensive Communication
You are well served to consider clean, clear communication when you are leading a group of hairstylists. Whether you are a salon owner or manager, or both, how you communicate is just as important as what you say. Check yourself out first. Read others’ body language.
Non defensive communication is the art of offering direction, listening to the feedback, responding without taking the situation personally, inquiring so as to learn, try to put yourself in their shoes to understand their position, say what is true for you with “I” statements, and talk about the issue at hand objectively. You can acknowledge the emotion in a situation, but not be run by it.
Setting this example of communication can really help diffuse hot topics, and move things along productively. If someone is unable to get past the emotion, then maybe setting a date for future conversation would be helpful. If so, let them know you’d like to discuss further. This gives you time to disengage.
Active listening is one of those things we hear all the time in psychology books and articles. But it truly is a great way for people to be heard and understood. When situations come up in the salon, often listening can diffuse a situation rather quickly.
If there are two people involved, it may take separating them and hearing from them both individually first. Dealing with issues immediately, rather than letting them stew, is critical to keeping the salon space non toxic.
Here are some tips to help when mediating an issue:
- Create the space for them to share without interruptions.
- Ask questions, listen to what they say.
- See how committed they are to a solution.
- Ask them how they would solve it.
- What is in their way to solving the situation.
- Ask what it is they think you can do about it.
- Let them know you would like to take a bit of time to consider the situation and what they’ve said.
When people are heard, they don’t necessarily need a solution right then and there. But if you are hearing similar complaints from your employees, it’s very much worth your while to investigate and take seriously. You don’t want to lose any of those ingredients.
3. Set the Example
Do as you expect your employees to do. If you are not abiding by your own rules, you don’t deserve to be the manager or owner. I’m sorry. This is where you either need coaching or stepping down.
Leading by example shows your staff that you are willing to get your hands dirty. And that you are in the trenches with them. This will grow their confidence that you know what you are doing.
You don’t have to know everything, you can make mistakes, you may even have to throw out batches of that sauce, but you do need to be the adult in the room.
4. Build a Great Team
You build a great team by holding your bar high enough that you want your stylists to do better. But not so high that you leave people hanging out to dry because they don’t fit in a mold.
You also build a team, by not relying solely on what salon they came from. Getting to the why of someone leaving their last salon is important information for you.
Reference checks are also important. If someone is not meeting the benchmarks that you’ve agreed on, you need to have a frank conversation.
Of course, grooming them from the beginning is ideal. But, just like parenting, you can’t expect them to hang around if there is no place to grow to.
5. Managers Should Be Skilled
Literally, some salon owners seem to be in business for the cache of saying they own a salon, instead of really leading people. So they appoint someone who has less skill set, or even the salon experience to handle the responsibility. But managing is not babysitting.
Managers take the time to really know the ins and outs of their stylists. They get to know their strengths and their unique gaps.
Managing isn’t about being punitive, it’s about bringing out the best in people and coaching them to get to where they want to be in their career.
Great managers get great coaching, because they understand it is getting yourself out of the way in order to listen and lead.
6. Be Clear on Expectations
Being clear about your expectations of what you want your business to be and to provide are critical to the success of your salon. Communicate your brand identity, values and work ethics clearly.
You want to make sure that people you on-board are on the same page as you. Aligning your staff with your team or brand values sets your business to a good start. When they fully understand your identity as a team or brandit will be much easier to identify what you deem acceptable or not.
Clarity on what your expectations are of people that you hire, the better.
You also need to hear what your employees’ expectations are, preferably when they are hired. This will ensure there is little misunderstanding in what their job is and isn’t. By hearing their expectations, you can check if they fully understand your identity and goals as a team right off the bat.
7. Think Apple
You will hear successful salons are driven by numbers. Sadly, this philosophy can burn out so many hairstylists. Yes, knowing your numbers is important. But if you are an owner that is only driven to have your stylists sell more product, you are missing the point.
Many years ago, I transferred over to Apple products. I could never go back to a PC. I’ve tried, and it is not only boring, but truly not intuitive for me. Call me a snob.
What I soon discovered with Apple is, THEY DON’T TRY TO SELL ME SOMETHING. They simply display their products on shelves, and teach you how to use them.
I like to think of salons as learning and listening spaces, not me preaching about three products I think they should have. And I don’t like going into a space, where all I see are products everywhere.
Yes, you can train your stylists to educate. This is worth your time, effort and money. Coach your people, people. And get coached yourself.
As you can see, there is more to leading than just saying, “I want to open a salon!” “WHY”, is what I would ask first.
How Are You Creating Balance in the Midst of a Pandemic?
With so much unpredictability, it is understandable that our balance in life and work may feel off kilter. Creating life-work balance in the midst of a pandemic may seem like a tale from the Disney Channel or something.
We may feel edgier, snapping at our loved ones or short with cautious clients. But the truth is, we really have no control over the situation as a whole. Our best attempts at keeping calm may completely disappear at times, especially if you feel your bottom line continues to be affected by this pandemic.
A Taste of Balance
Some of what keeps us moving forward, is reaching for balance; because it really is the natural order of things. Life got real simple during the shelter in place orders. With reduced schedules, you may have more time on your hands.
This was a radical change for most of us. You may have found your natural rhythm again. Maybe more cooking instead of fast food, more time with your families and/or pets, and walks or yoga. We got a taste of what it felt like to not have work be the focus of our lives, and to live more simply. We got more of our life back.It’s not to say that this was easy. Au contraire. It was stressful, hard, scary, and humbling. How we emerge from this time is very powerful. Can we retain some of the feeling of wrapping our work around our life, instead of the other way around?
Your Sphere of Control
Due to circumstances out of our control– cut hours, no double booking, etc., we can only focus on what we do have control over. That is– our actions and our words.Your actions, how you hold this precarious situation, and how you speak about it. These are the pathways to discovering balance.Yes, words matter. There is power in words. How do you speak about things? Listen to yourself. Do you like what you are saying? This is not the time to throw caution to the wind, and it is also not a time to be so constricted, that joy has little room to blossom.
Two Foundational Truths
So how do we create balance? I talk about life-work balance with so much passion because I believe it is more than essential. Over 3 decades as a salon professional, I found it to be the main ingredient in keeping you from going over the edge or getting totally burned out. Here are 2 foundational truths in achieving balance, keep you grounded and thrive in our demanding industry.
1. Setting Boundaries Around Your Talent and Gift
No kidding. It took me a long time to figure out that saying YES to every date, client, friend or family was not the quickest way to achieving some level of stability in my life. About ten years in, I realized I didn’t want to cut hair at every family gathering. So, I stopped bringing my scissors home every trip.
Yes, it feels good to offer a gift of a haircut when you haven’t seen people for a while. You want to do something to keep yourself busy when Uncle Billy starts drinking too much, or your brother and you start talking politics. Having something to do can keep you out of trouble, in other words.
However, if you find now that it is expected every time you visit, and resentment is building up, perhaps it’s time to leave the scissors behind, and begin saying no.
2. Remembering Your “WHY”
Although you may be passionate about cutting hair, it’s important to schedule time to explore other parts of your life.
Remembering WHY you cut hair, beyond the money, beyond recognition, allows you to go deeper. Is it to provide for your family? To afford a certain lifestyle? Is it to employ others, and enable them to make a living? Is the “Why” about sharing your creativity?
All these questions invite you to go deeper. Allow this underlying through line in your career to give you balance, nothing to prove, just quietly going about your business.
What about the different aspects of your life that offer other ways that are needed to feed your emotional and spiritual life?
Saying NO to the last client so that you may take that violin lesson, watch your kids’ soccer game, learn a language, or a date with your companion, husband or wife.
This is balance– getting to a place that you can wrap your work around your priorities and the vision for your life. Maybe it means you do with a little less of a paycheck to do so. These are the moments we will remember.
At the end of the day, our job as salon professionals is an exchange for money. No more, no less.
If you are passionate about your hairstyling career, you are lucky. Passion is awesome, but it doesn’t mean you have to work 24/7. That’s old school. Trust this passion and have work wrap around your life. Not the other way around.
I know for myself, I find that I am reluctant to go back full on in my studio, I sometimes go in a little later, and end a little earlier. This is what I find works for my family life.
I mark spaces out in my calendar ahead of time to create some cushion. I can always fill the slot with a client. I like knowing that I have these windows of time available. I am protecting my time with more awareness.
How about you? How do you maintain your balance?
Are You Ready to Adapt in Salons Post SIP Orders?
The beauty industry has been hit hard by Covid-19 and the shelter in place (SIP) orders. This actually translates to a whopping $57.9 billion estimated drop in the industry this year.
We have all witnessed the effects of the pandemic in varying degrees in our respective practice as salon professionals.
Your independent stylist practice or the salon you work in may feel and look different. You may be noticing a slow down in business. Some clients are not returning yet, others clients are still afraid to step inside businesses. Of course, we understand and expect that, but it may be freaking tough out internally.
You may not be working at full capacity, not able to double-book like you used to. Or you may not be able to see as many clients in a day, working less hours. It’s crazy, right? We never thought there would be external influences like this on our ability to work.
But the beauty industry has always been resilient in the past. We can always find ways to bounce back.
The question now is…
How do we adapt when we don’t even know if we’ve landed on any firm ground yet?
I suggest a three-pronged approach which we will cover over the next three weeks. We will discuss measures that you can take in the areas of Business and Money, Life Work Balance, and Self-care.
Let’s tackle Business and Money this week. Here are the 3 simple but effective action steps you can take right now to adjust to the new normal:
1. Track Finances
Figure out your cash flow for the next six months. Staying on top of your finances will help you adjust your spending accordingly and will help you see any income gaps.
Do you need to make an extra $500 to buy that new salon equipment that might go on sale this Black Friday? Then you can make saving plans with the help of a simple cash flow chart.
Keeping track of my income and expenses monthly and forecasting six months out helped me get out of debt, and SAVE. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic, it’s that we need to SAVE more. You can’t see what you don’t track. Remember, cash is king. Save it!
You can check out my sample Cash Flow Chart here. So you can start tracking right away!
2. Show Client Appreciation
Reach out to every client that has referred a new client to you in the last six months and write them a thank you note.
Our existing clients are gold. They already know us. And if they referred us to others, it means we have delivered. Going the extra mile by showing that we appreciate their recommendations ensures that we stay “top of mind” as a stylist.
I’ve even called clients and they so appreciate it. Think about it, those people who are timid of coming out get a call from their stylist? They love it, not only do they feel appreciated, but we cannot underestimate the power of our voices. You will enjoy hearing theirs as well. Even if they don’t come back, you are putting energy and good will out into the world. This goodness will come back to you.
The clients I’ve called, whom I served for years and haven’t returned yet are still sending checks for their services. This is the power of maintaining some continuity in your communication with your clients and saying “thank you”.
3. Innovate Ways to Connect
Use technology available to make your client feel confident about your services in these uncertain times.
That’s right, for those clients who haven’t returned yet, they might be anxious. They need to see what the process is like walking into the salon, post SIP orders.
So create a welcome video right from your phone and include it in an email. Or a quick salon video tour showing them exactly what will happen when they walk in. They will value the insight and ensure you are taking protocol seriously.
Assuring your clients that you are looking out for their safety and going out of your way to connect with them means a lot. These simple actions show that you are competent and you truly care for their safety.
Our connection with clients needs nurturing in order to to make lasting relationships. If we delight our clients by building true friendships that go beyond the stylist and customer relationship, we are making an indelible mark in their lives.
As we prepare our businesses and careers during the new normal, we don’t just talk of business as mere numbers or money. Success in our industry involves building relationships and nurturing our clientele. We could be the only people listening to our clients’ challenges, concerns or worries from behind the chair.
During these uncertain times, it is these tried and true business strategies that work. The steps I’ve shared with you are simple and easily actionable. Implement them and let me know how it goes for you.
Make sure to watch for tips on how to maintain Life-Work balance as a salon professional in these unprecedented times.
There are lots of technical details that play into going solo, and there are a lot of things that you need to get straightened out before you start. But in the end, it’s all about your character. How much do you know about operating a business, and how hard will you work to get there? Even if you have a killer business plan and a phenomenal customer base, your venture will ultimately fail if you’re not willing to work. With that in mind, here are the top four signs that you’re ready to become an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneur hairstylist cutting hair in his salon.
You’re ready to work hard. Entrepreneurs don’t become successful overnight! It takes months, and sometimes years, of work to build up a steady customer flow and make a decent living from your own business. Are you willing to stick it out for the long run?
You know your personal brand and how to sell it. Entrepreneurship is all about selling yourself first and your products second. Why should a potential customer select you? Having an “elevator speech” is the best way to know if you’re ready to take the plunge.
You’re financially responsible in your personal life. If you aren’t responsible for your own resources, it’s foolish to invest in purchasing equipment and products for a start-up business. Business finances are much harder than personal expenses, which is why fiscal responsibility is an essential character trait for entrepreneurs.
[tweetthis]”You need to understand yourself before you leap into entrepreneurship.” REBECCA BEARDSLEY[/tweetthis]
You have a clearly defined end goal. This doesn’t have to be in the form of a business plan or official document; the most important part of being an entrepreneur is keeping up your motivation, no matter how you do it. Whether it’s providing for your kids, paying for your marriage, or eliminating debt, you won’t be ready to start your own business until you have a reason why.
These four character traits are essential before going into business by yourself. If you’re considering starting your own salon, make sure that you have these qualities before you invest your time and money into a business venture! If you lack a few on this list, it’s perfectly OK–all you need is time to develop them. And for that process, working in a pre-existing salon might be just what you need.