THEM: You're not working through the whole weekend again, are you?
Being that you’re a hair stylist, I’m sure you can relate.
It’s 3:00 pm on a Saturday afternoon and not only are your feet killing you but your brain is also fried from people-pleasing all week long. UGH!
You’re trying so hard to focus and pay close attention to what your client is telling you but your mind keeps going to your kid’s game that you’re missing…again. Or maybe you’re bummed that you couldn’t go to the lake with your friends.
I don’t know what your story is but I know you have one.
There’s A Better Way
What if I told you that you can make a killer income and it’s not by working more hours behind the chair. In fact, it’s actually by working less than you’re working now.
Let me take a step further.
What if I told you that you could take weekends and evenings off and still be able to maintain your income and even increase your income?
Do you want that?
When I was 24-years-old, I found myself standing in the parking lot of the most dreadful apartment complex in my entire town. With my infant son in one arm, I was holding the hand of my other son, who was almost 2, and the reality that this was our new home was like a huge punch in the gut.
You see, I had just become a single mom, and this was the only place I could afford.
I had been working as a hairstylist for about six years by then but (I’m being completely honest here) I was not the best by any means. I had clients and all, but up to this point, I was cruising along doing just what it took to keep my chair full enough.
It was on that day, in that precise moment, that I realized I had to make a change in my life.
I knew that I had to up my game as a hairstylist to be able to provide the kind of life I wanted for my boys. I couldn’t risk losing them.
The First Step That Made All The Difference
What was the first thing I did to change the course of my career and life forever?
I set a goal.
Wait, what? That’s all? You’re probably thinking that sounds too easy, right?
But it’s not. I don’t know about you but I’m one of those people who has lots of dreams but who has a hard time sticking to the plan to actually achieve them. Or at least that was me until this point.
The thought of raising my boys in poverty conditions or worse - losing them - was MY TURNING POINT.
I realized I had to be intentional about my plan to change my circumstances. No one else was going to do it for me. We didn’t have Google back then to help me learn what to do so I just let my Why (the reason I set this goal) keep me focused and on point every day.
In case you’re curious, my goal, which actually contained two parts, was:
a. to raise my income to a level that I could comfortably pay my rent and expenses (short term goal)
b. to become a top hair stylist in my area so I could raise my prices and spend less time working and more time with my boys (long term goal).
Within six months, I was paying my bills and within two years, I tripled the cost of my services and was working a four-day workweek all while living in a much nicer home in a much safer neighborhood!
You want to know what was the most important thing I did to achieve this goal?
I changed my mindset.
Rather than resist the hard work and exhaustion, I embraced it because I knew this was the only way I was going to improve my circumstances. It was empowering and a little scary if I’m being honest. But I didn’t let my fears or my excuses get in the way.
I was on a mama bear on a mission, and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me.
How I Implemented My Two-Part Goal
First, I sat down and asked myself two very important questions – one for each part of my goal:
a. How much money do I need to make per day to pay for my living expenses and to afford a nice home for my children? (short term goal)
As I worked on the numbers, it became clear how much money I needed to make each day to fulfill this part of my goal. So I wrote that number down.
Then I wrote down the date when I wanted to accomplish my goal. In my case, it was six months.
And last, I wrote down all the action steps I needed to make to meet my goal in the timeframe I set.
Then I wrote out my plan. The clearer my action steps were, the easier it was for me stay on point.
Pro Tip: Make a dream board with pictures of what your goals look like and be sure to include pictures of your Why ~ the motivation behind your goal.
Example, my dream board had pictures of nice homes where I would feel proud to live and pictures of my Why ~ my awesome boys. I included the dollar amount I wanted to earn as well as the date I wanted to earn it by.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. It can be any size. You can use any sort of material from paper to poster board to a cork board. In fact, you could even make a Pinterest dream board. Just make sure you put it where you’ll see it every day. Use it as a visual reminder of your goals to keep you on point.
The question I asked myself about the second part of my goal was:
a. What changes do I have to make to be a top stylist?
Pro Tip: I had to be brutally honest with myself so that I could identify the areas that needed improvement. Only then could I focus on strengthening those areas through continuing education and practice, practice, practice!
Prioritizing My Action Steps
After setting my goal and breaking my plan down into actionable steps, I realized the top two changes I had to make were:
1. Find a new salon to work in that would allow me the opportunity to grow
2. Assist a top stylist on the days I wasn’t working behind my own chair so I could learn
Was it a sacrifice?
ABSOLUTELY! Short term pain for long term gain. And it was worth every hard-working day.
You already know I fulfilled both goals and went on to do so much more throughout my career than I ever imagined. When I was looking at that horrible apartment through tear-filled eyes all those years ago, I had no idea that it would become my career defining moment.
Sometimes moving through difficulties and struggles in life means that you learn. And you grow. And you get better. And what waits for you on the other side is so much better that you ever dreamed possible!
What goals are you working on?
On Point Hair Academy and my Own Your Chair program were created for stylists like you who need just a little help (or a lot of help) in different areas of their hairstyling business. You don’t have to take this hairstyling journey alone.
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Remember, your work is not about you. Your work is about how you make your clients feel.