#1- Stop Competing
There are a ton of hair stylists in the world, and so many are successful.
This industry is one revolved around artistic expression, no one can ever truly copy another’s work. In the world of painting, a one of a kind piece of art can be replicated… but still an expertly trained eye can spot the differences in brush strokes or style. There are people who’s only job is to authenticate artifacts, sculptures and other works of art. My point being, your work as an artist is a unique reflection of YOU. The only thing you should be competing with, is your previous work. If a client chooses not to reschedule with you, or does not seem to be happy at the conclusion of each appointment… It may be, that you two are just not a good fit, and that’s okay. Competing for buinsness and being upset when clients go a different direction or a friend doesn’t have their hair done by you, is not going to bring you success.
#2- Drink more coffee!!
Jk… Find your medium and sell that.
To build upon my previous statements… stop competing for clients and begin to sell your art. If you’re a cosmetologist in the state of Idaho, you can work on hair, nails, or skin, and with hair alone, you can color, cut, perm, dread, extend, braid, style, etc… But what are you really good at? Being a jack of all trades is what you do when you’re starting in the industry and still discovering your talents. Just as you slowly cut back hours at the coffee job, or restaraunt gig to work only in the salon… you should be eliminating services from your menu, that you only offer because you can, and it helps make ends meet. Are you still doing pedicures to make a few extra bucks, when really you hate doing them and hair is your true calling? Are you still doing highlights when you really don’t enjoy applying color, and cuts are your true artistry? Are you offering brow waxing as an add on service for convenience alone?
Take some time to go through your service menu, consider what offerings you have no desire to master, and then make room on your schedule to take clients that are looking for something that only YOU CAN offer. Obviously this is going to take some careful consideration and it will need to be done gracefully; so that in the future, if you’re competing with anything, it may just be the car payment or property taxes coming up.
#3- Know Your Worth
What is your purpose?
I personally pour my heart into creating a stress-free environment for clients to find comfort in; a place where they can transform, heal, and just feel better. I have taken risks with my business and made changes to policy and the environment in order to create an experience for the women I work with. I read a post from @passionsquared a few years ago that said something along the lines of, “Are you offering a $500 experience for $5? Or a $5 experience for $500?” Figure out the exchange of cost for experience and adjust things accordingly. People will pay for what they feel is fair, and you will do your best work when you feel you are fairly compensated. It’s good to be aware of what kind of exchange is taking place, are you being respected and compensated for the experience you are creating?
#4- Set Boundaries
There is nothing that burns energy faster than frustration.
As a business owner and entrepreneur, it is within your power to narrow down and resolve the frustrating or energy draining elements of your career. Whether it is instating policies for your clients about rescheduling or lateness, or asking them not to call your personal line after a certain hour… these are things you do have control over. By stating and enforcing healthy boundaries within your professional relationships, you are able to create an environment to thrive within, and a clientele of people who respect your business and the work you are doing. Setting boundaries not only helps to protect your livelihood, but it also insures the client has the best possible experience of you.
#5- Take Care Of You
You cannot pour from an empty cup.
To elaborate on my previous point, sometimes the best boundaries are the ones you enforce on yourself. The take-care-of-you-sometimes boundary, means developing self care rituals, an exercise routine, eating and sleeping properly, carving time out of your day to be away from your phone, to get a massage, putting work out of your mind… these are all important aspects to feeling your best overall and performing optimally as a stylist. When you take time to check in with yourself and your health, it refocuses your intentions and sets your mind on track towards success.
All in all, my message is that you are the master designer to your business, your brand, and your success. If there is something in your work that does not bring you joy and satisfaction, there is always a way to change it. Look to the brighter side of the future and keep your sights set on one ultimate goal. That is where you will continue to rediscover your passion.