I’ve just heard on the news that unemployment levels are at a 15 year high at 2.5 million, 16-25 year old’s are the worst hit with 12.5% out of work and the economic recovery set to start late 2010 will be long and slow. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Cheers pal, you’ve really cheered me up with that!” But let’s think about what that means to most stylists: A: If you’re reading this that means you’re not one of the 2.5 million out of work. B: If you fit in the 16-25 age brackets, you’re extremely lucky to have a job (hint: now’s a great time to tell your boss how much you appreciate your position within the salon), and C: while the country’s economic recovery may be long and slow, yours doesn’t have to be (we’ll come on to that later).
So you see, it’s very easy for us to focus on all of the negative around us but what we should really focus on is how lucky we are to be in what many call a “recession proof” industry and also how we can stop asking for that pay raise and, instead, give it to ourselves. So let’s look at what we can do to speed our own economic recovery.
Stop asking for pocket money
When I was a child, like most children, my parents gave me “pocket money” or rather I EARNED “pocket money”. If I wanted my pocket money, I had to tidy my room, do the dishes etc and generally behave myself. If I wanted more pocket money I had to do more such as mow the lawn or wash the car and if I wanted a raise in my pocket money I had to get better grades at school. This taught me a valuable “life lesson” from a very young age. It taught me that if you want something you have to work for it and the more you do the more you get. So why do so many stylists still go to their boss and “ask” for a raise? Why do so many stylists who, when you think about it, work in one of the very few industries where YOU control how much you earn, still complain about the lack of money/business/clients etc when A: stylists have MULTIPLE options to earn more money, B: everyone KNOWS what those options are and C: none of those options are beyond the capabilities of the most basic stylist? The answer’s simple (but some won’t like it); IT TAKES WORK. Or I should say it takes work + thought + dedication. If we want more money the first thing we need to do is stop expecting it to be “given” to us and, instead, look for ways to “earn” it. Sorry, but that’s just how it is.
“Never stand begging for what you have the power to earn.” Miguel de Cervantes.
Mind your own business
Once we’ve decided to stop “asking” for more and start looking for ways we can “earn” more we need to take ownership of our business. Your boss may “employ” you, but you have to treat your column and your clientele as YOUR BUSINESS. Your boss can not be expected to manage your column, book or rebook your appointments, retail your clients and call your no-shows for you. How your client base is managed, retained and GROWN is YOUR business. You need to see it as a “business within a business”. These monthly articles, among other things, take many hours of MY personal time to conceive and produce. Do I get paid for them? No. Does it help grow my business? You bet! Because I’m the only one doing it! So, when people want to see what’s out there, who do you think they call?
“It is not the employer who pays the wages – he only handles the money. It is the product that pays the wages.” Henry Ford.
S.W.O.T’s up duck?
Once you’ve taken ownership of your business the next step is to conduct what’s known as a S.W.O.T test (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). Put yourself and your business under the spotlight and ask yourself “what are my…”
STRENGTHS: You may be well known in the area for the quality of your work and your great people skills. These are both great strengths to have.
WEAKNESSES: While your work may be “quality” is it “current”? Or has your work become a tad “traditional”? Trends constantly evolve. Do you? Do your clients love you because you simply give them EXACTLY what they always have?
OPPORTUNITIES: Do you have a quiet period coming up? Now could be a good time to invest in a course and learn some new skills. Learn more to earn more. Bring back some new ideas and start giving your clients something to get excited about. Everyone loves a restyle now and then!
THREATS: Are YOU the biggest threat to your business? Do you WANT to earn more but just the thought of doing something extra or new puts you off? Has a new salon opened down the road? Could your clients be tempted to try it? Are there younger team members using techniques that you don’t know?
Take a look at your business as a whole. What are your strengths? Where could you do better? Where are the opportunities to grow? What are the threats to your business?
“It is said that sheep may get lost simply by nibbling away at the grass and never looking up. That can be true for any of us. We can focus so much on what is immediately before us that we fail to see life in larger perspective.” Donald Bitsberger.
Find a role model (or become one)
One of the best ways to become more successful is to find a role model, someone who is as successful as you’d like to be, and spend as much time as you can with them. Study them and their work practices. Ask their advice (successful people love giving advice) and have them become your “mentor” (although you may want to ask them first!). Can’t find a role model? Then lead by example and BECOME ONE. Find out as much as you can about a successful stylist and how they got where they are (Trevor Sorbie or Beverly C for example) and try to incorporate as much of what they did into what you do. Follow their path to success.
“Successful people are successful because they do what successful people do.” Adam Broomfield-Strawn.
Be “positively” charged.
So you’ve decided to stop “asking” and start “earning”, you’ve taken ownership of your business and put it under the spotlight. You’ve found a role model (or decided to become one). So what’s next? Possibly the hardest part. You now need to get “positively” charged and do all that you can to stay that way! Once you’ve decided to take action and make some changes, you will be bombarded with “negative” energy. You may hear such things as “what’s the point?” “we don’t have that type of clientele” or “why are you doing that? It’s not your job.” Negative people (who, not surprisingly, are rarely successful) will drain you of your “positive” energy. They try to hold you back and drag you down like a lead weight until you give up and remain just like them. Why? Because negative, unsuccessful people don’t like to see others succeed because it reminds them of how unsuccessful they are. Try to stay away from the “negatives” and spend as much time with your “mentor” and other “positive” sources as possible. People who will push you on saying “go for it!” “Good for you!” and “Prove them all wrong!”
“Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream” Malcolm Muggeridge.
Only 2 things control your success. Your attitude and your actions. Your boss can’t stop you, your co-workers can’t stop you and the economy can’t stop you. Only YOU can stop you.What are YOU doing?