How do YOU define success? Where do YOU want to be in three years? What kind of guests do YOU want to attract?
These are all questions I had to realize that I needed to be asking myself. This industry is FULL of false assumptions and temporary glitz and glamour, we all have to find our inner foundation that brings US happiness. One thing I’ve learned in these fifteen years is that you can’t compare yourself to others, nor can you try and do what they did to get to their success and think that it happens like that for everyone…because it doesn’t. Your guests are attracted to YOU as a person and value YOUR experience and expertise so lets give them that!
Tip 1: Be consistent!
Nothing is worse than a mediocre business man/woman. The beauty industry is 99% pure Hustle. Whats the other 1%?? I have yet to figure that out! I mean honestly, the fact that we have to be on social media for our jobs EVERYDAY is unbelievable to me! I literally tried to hire someone to manage my accounts and was investing SO much money monthly and it was just not what I thought it would be. The captions didn’t sound like me, the posts weren’t looking how I liked and ultimately I just wasn’t in control of my content and I didn’t like that. But hey! to each his own right?
Not to say that social media is the only aspect of the hustle but it’s a major part of it in this new decade. If you miss a day and forget to post or interact, you’ve lost three followers, your pictures get moved to the bottom of the algorithm and people just forget all about you..after one missed day…WTH. So, I’ve learned that posting daily is a must, interacting with people is a must, following folks back is a must and oh! do not forget to check those ‘message requests’ because messages get hidden there for MONTHS. Oops… Another aspect of mandatory consistency is your customer service! More than the service you provide (which should be the best you can give) the way in which you provide it is MOST important; how do you speak to your guest? Do you take their coat every time? Do you offer them beverages? Is your shampoo experience AMAZING each appointment? Can they tell when your having a bad day? Here’s a secret, they shouldn’t be able to tell! Do you walk them to the front and offer the product you recommend and close the sale?
The last bit of advice when it comes to consistency that I can offer is, be consistently BETTER than you were yesterday!
Tip 2: Never get stagnant!
How easy is it to get use to the day-to-day routine and not even realize that’s what we’re doing? Getting comfortable in what feels normal and easy is most definitely a goal in some careers but shouldn’t be in ours. Growth is the fuel to our success, but how do we make sure we are always growing? What has helped me is to always have a project or goal that you want to achieve. Whether its learning a new skill, attending a class, starting a blog, or even increasing the speed of your services, keeping a goal in your view is KEY to growth.
Since I became a stylist on the floor, my prices have increased every year, my speed has gotten better, and my clientele has grown and solidified. Not to boast at all, I’m always humbled by every guest that sits in my chair! I owe much of my growth to the fact that I never want to feel stuck and while my ambition is sometimes a curse, it has helped me so much in the growth of my career. While I am not even close to where I want to be, I’m definitely not where I was when I began.
I believe the best part of this industry is the fact that there is NO ceiling! There is no limit to what you can achieve or become! There is always something new and better, there are SO many ways to ‘skin a cat’, and there is never a moment that people DON’T want to enhance their beauty!
Tip 3: Look the part!
Nothing grinds my gears more than the days I decide to wear my baseball cap and tennis shoes to work because I have a day of ‘regulars’ and I end up getting three walk-in color consultations. Come on y’all, you know that the first place people look when coming into the salon is at the stylists hair! Then they scale their eyes to your ensemble and summarize the quality of your work in five seconds. Occasionally, they tell me I look cute in my cap, but for the most part I have to work EXTRA hard to win them over and prove that I actually CAN do hair despite the fact that I look like Trash.
It’s a shame that as human beings we judge people based on how they look, but hey, us looking raggedy at work is not going to prove anything besides the fact that we look raggedy at work!
TIP 4: Always have a mentor who pushes you!
From day one I’ve always had so many people who encouraged me, but two of them were and are my biggest fans and I still look up to them to this day. A mentor to me is someone who you can glean from, someone who pushes you to be better than they ever were, and someone who you know you can fall on when you’ve run out of strength. My advice would be to figure out the answers to the questions in the subtitle, and find a mentor that is already there. Never stop asking questions, come in on your days off to watch them and assist, and show them your serious! Most of the industry veterans know ALL of the ins-and-outs of the game and can spot a serious vs. non-serious protege right out the gate! Don’t think that they will bend over backwards and force knowledge down your throat, this is YOUR career and YOU have to fight for what YOU want.
TIP 5: Salon environment is VITAL!..choose wisely
How many times have you heard that salons are full of cattiness and competition? Well honestly, this is true in some cases but not all! Definitely not in the Salon I work in, Jovance environment and owner’s are the absolute best! My best advice is to begin in a thriving salon, one in which management is balanced and present. Typically this creates for an amazing group of women because they can filter through and weed out any unfitting element. The salon you choose should encourage your growth and development as well as make you feel comfortable and happy. We got into this career because we love what we do, so we should also love WHERE we do it!
If you’ve made it this far, Thank you so much for reading! Be sure to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts!
~Molly K. Carter