The Beauty of Creating Life-Work Balance

The Beauty of Creating Life-Work Balance

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.

 


 

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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.

 

True Balance

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?

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3 Proven Strategies to Embrace the New Normal in Your Salon

3 Proven Strategies to Embrace the New Normal in Your Salon

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.

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