Posts in Inspiration
How to Get the Feedback You Really Want

Everyone needs feedback in order to learn and grow, both personally and professionally, but sometimes it can be hard to ask for feedback. Perhaps it’s that we’re not asking the right questions. Maybe it’s that we’re really not as open to receiving feedback as we make ourselves out to be. 

There are so many factors at play when it comes to getting the feedback that you’re looking for, or maybe the problem is that you’re not actually looking. 

Whatever the case may be, it can be difficult to pinpoint what’s standing in the way. Business Coach and Keynote Speaker Jay Williams is here today to share his favorite tips and tricks for getting the feedback that you deserve. 

If you aren’t already familiar, Jay is the author of the book, Leave Your Mark, which focuses on leadership and influence in the salon industry. Jay works directly with salon owners and beauty industry professionals to help them see the connection between emotional intelligence and the technical skills needed in order for them to thrive in their field.

Jay is passionate about the power of feedback, both positive and constructive, and today he shares his advice for both giving and getting the feedback you’ve been waiting for.

Why Is Getting Solid Feedback Such a Struggle?

While there could be many things standing in the way of your growth, getting the right feedback is crucial to your success. It’s called constructive criticism for a reason--it’s supposed to push you to be better, not keep you from chasing your dreams. 

So, why is getting the right feedback so tricky? Jay shares the top three things keeping us from asking for and embracing the feedback that we so desperately need to succeed. 

Receiving Feedback Can Be Scary

The first reason some people struggle to get solid feedback is that they’re afraid of what they might hear. This fear stems from anxiety around whether or not the feedback will be positive. Of course, we always hope it will be, but we also know that we have certain areas of improvement--are we ready to talk about them?

Sometimes We Don’t Think We Need It

The second reason people aren’t seeking out solid feedback is because they don’t think they need it. 

It can be difficult for some people to see past their own parameters and find room to grow. We are inherently narcissistic and we often have a hard time coming to terms with the fact that we might actually benefit from a little constructive criticism once in a while.

Other Times, It Simply Doesn’t Cross Our Minds

The third reason someone might not be getting the feedback they really want is because they simply don’t know what they’re looking for. 

Sometimes we can chalk it up to the fact that the need for feedback hasn’t exactly crossed our minds. We don’t know what we don’t know, and so we haven’t thought to ask.

How Often Should You Be Offering Feedback?

As salon owners and managers, we often schedule out the times and dates we plan to deliver feedback to our teams--yes, I’m talking about reviews. But is this the only time we should be offering advice or praising our people?

It’s human nature to want to know where you stand at all times. That basic need feeds into emotional intelligence and the need to feel grounded. So, essentially, you should be sharing feedback every time the opportunity presents itself.

If we go back to those reviews, whether you choose to sit down with your team weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually, the review should ultimately be a confirmation of what you’ve been sharing with your team all year long.

Jay says that if you’re able to share feedback with your team members on a daily basis, whether that be positive, negative, or constructive, nothing is going to come as a surprise come review day and thus there’s nothing to be anxious about. That’s how you tackle that initial fear.

It’s also important to remember that while “reviews” are often tied to monetary goals or incremental values, feedback can take many forms and shouldn’t always be tied directly to profit performance. Instead, “feedback” should simply be a part of your daily communication. Keep it constructive and don’t forget to sprinkle in a little positive affirmation once in a while. 

As Leaders, What Should We Be Giving Feedback On?

Do we only want to be offering advice specific to the technical aspects of things? Should we take our feedback beyond the technique

According to Jay, there are opportunities in both areas. The biggest benefit to giving feedback more frequently, whether it be related to those technical components or more in line with your general business values, is that it allows for real-time course correction. 

You can solicit feedback without following a specific format, but remember that the goal is always to improve performance. So, it’s important that no matter the tone of your feedback or the subject of your solicitation, you always make your intentions known. Not only does this help build trust between both parties, but it also eases the tension around accepting feedback in the first place.

What Are the Most Basic Dos and Don’ts of Soliciting Feedback?

Do say: “I want you to be successful.”

Don’t say: “You’re not meeting my expectations.”

Do say: “I want to give you some constructive feedback.” 

Don’t say: “Let me tell you what you’re doing wrong.”

Do say: “I want to help you.”

Don’t say: “Don’t be defensive.”

Giving feedback is a skill, and much like cutting or coloring hair, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. Ultimately, if you want to improve someone’s performance, you’ve got to improve their thinking. 

And remember, when you praise, do it publicly. When you go about perfecting your communication and the experience with your people, do so in private. 

If you’d like to learn more about giving and getting feedback, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 182. Want to learn more about emotional intelligence? Check out our blog on why our EQ matters more than our IQ

Are you ready to leave your mark on the industry? It’s time to grab Jay’s book and get down to business!

Less is Definitely More

We have convinced ourselves that the only way to get where we want to be is by working twelve hours a day, six days a week, but do we really need to sacrifice our work-life balance for the sake of financial freedom? 

Salon Owner and renown Hair Dresser, Ashley Toliver-Williams, will tell you no. Volume is no-longer the only marker of our success in this industry. Ashley is the owner of Fringe Salon and Color Bar in Houston, Texas and the National Chairman of the business team at Eufora International. Ashley is determined to inspire change and increased professionalism in the beauty industry.

When you get down to the basics of simple business behaviors, Ashley believes that there are so many opportunities to maximize our efforts with the clients we already have coming to us over the course of say, only three or four days a week, while still making great money. She devotes her time and energy to helping others in the industry create both the career and the life they want and today, she’s spilling all of her “less is more” lifestyle secrets. 

We’re More Than Just Hairdressers

In this industry, stylists do so much more than just hair. They’re skilled in chemistry, geometry, and biology. They know how to mix color formula, they can map out each and every different head shape, and they know to use products that will enhance the natural hair texture or relieve even the most sensitive of skin types.  

Today, stylists are the experts, they educate their clients on what haircut will look best with their face shape, what hair color will best compliment their skin tone, and what products they need to maintain their looks at home. They can fix a client’s dry scalp, offer solutions for their thinning hair, or recommend products that will bring the life back to their client’s dry, kinky curls.

So, why aren’t they living the luxurious lives that the experts in other industries are? Why aren’t they living like the doctors, the surgeons, or the accountants? Whether a stylist is simply looking to spend less time behind the chair or make even more money per client at each appointment, it’s time for the stylist to get back in control of their own career.  

Be Transparent With Your Guests

Over the years we’ve convinced our stylists that the only way they’ll make big bucks behind the chair is by opening up their schedules on Saturdays and working until 9:00pm every night.

We’ve also engrained in our clients that it’s acceptable to purchase shampoo and conditioner from the drug store or their local grocer.

Ashley acknowledges that it can be a challenge to change the relationship after establishing a routine with a client, especially for those that you’ve been seeing for a long time, but it’s so worth it. If your stylists are looking to up their financial freedom or take some of their time back, they had better maximize the time they do spend behind the chair and take control of the relationships they have with their clients.

Whether it’s a conversation about pre-booking or purchasing product, Ashley says you simply have to be transparent and forthcoming with your guests.

You might explain that you’re reducing your hours to spend more time with your kids and mention that your schedule is starting to book out further as you continue to take new clients. A simple segue into pre-booking, you might even be able to take a look at your schedule together while you have them in the chair. Then you could ask about your client’s at-home color maintenance routine and recommend some products that will help them prolong their highlight until that next appointment.  

In Turn, This Newfound Freedom Heightens Commitment

Providing your stylists with the roadmap to their own financial freedom along with the tools necessary to take control of their careers is the greatest gift you can give your team. And in return, they’ll be that much more committed to the work that they do because it’s all a part of their future growth.  

If you’d like to learn more about Ashley and her “less is more” mindset, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 177. And don’t forget to check out her incredible Fringe Salon in Houston, where she raises her team to reach for the stars.

Climbing the Ladder of Success With Adam Broderick

Here at Beyond The Technique we love to highlight the success stories of the many influencers in our industry because they’re all so unique, and Adam Broderick’s is no exception. Although many of us stumbled our way into the beauty industry after admittedly struggling in school, how many of us can say that we started our haircutting careers by practicing on poodles?

From working as an animal groomer to opening up an award-winning salon, Adam has done it all. Adam shares his steps to success starting from the very beginning—you’re not going to want to miss this! 

Adam is the owner of the renown Adam Broderick Salon and Spa with two locations in Connecticut. Amongst other things, Adam is also a motivational speaker and business consultant to other salon owners. He is quite the entrepreneur and he’s one of the industry’s most respected figures.  

Adam walks us through how he started his own pet grooming business before the age of twenty, how this incredibly unique career choice ultimately led him to the beauty industry, and how he eventually opened his own salon and built up his business in order to become one of the great successes of our time.                                                                                                               

Taking the Not-So-Traditional Route

Adam is the self-proclaimed poster-child for extreme attention deficit disorder, but despite being labeled as lazy or having a lack of focus, Adam decided to find his own way by following his passion for animals. While at the time he wanted to be a veterinarian, he knew that the level of schooling required wasn’t really in the cards for him.

He got his first job working at a pet store, and he enjoyed it so much that he decided to enroll in dog-grooming school at the age of sixteen. After he graduated he started his own grooming business which he ran until he turned twenty and decided to look for something a little less tedious.  

At the same time, the hair industry began to grow. Adam remembers Sassoon coming to town and thinking how cool it was to be a hairdresser. Shortly afterwards, Adam decided to sell his business and enroll in beauty school.

You’ll Never Get What You Don’t Ask For

There’s something to be said for putting yourself out there, and Adam was never afraid to ask for what he felt he deserved. Adam fondly reflects on his first job at Sassoon, which he earned after shamelessly offering his services up for free.  

Nailing a job at a big-name salon was a bit of a leap for a kid fresh out of beauty school, and of course they couldn’t legally allow Adam to work at Sassoon for free, but ultimately it was his energy and enthusiasm that won Adam the job.

How to Know When It’s Time to Open Your Own Studio

Although Adam had been in business before, opening his own salon wasn’t really on his radar. Yet after spending some time working in the city, he decided he was looking for something different.

With plans to move to California, Adam packed his bags and headed to Connecticut to visit his sister before his travels out west. Of course, as the tale goes, this is where Adam met his partner Pete and as Adam likes to joke, it seems California is carrying on just fine without him.

Although there were a handful of salons in Warrern, Connecticut, where the pair decided to settle down, none of them were operating at quite the same caliber as those in the city and Adam was craving that familiar and exciting environment. So, he decided to open his own small color studio, and because he specialized in color, so began his hunt for cutting specialists to collaborate with.

Creating a Solid Culture Through Collaboration

Because Adam built his business around his need for a cutting specialist who could compliment his skills as a colorist, the business itself was less owner-centric, fueled on mutual respect for each other’s craft. To this day, Adam truly believes that it was that initial collaboration that set the tone for his incredibly successful business model.

After thirty-two years, Adam’s business model has certainly evolved but his carefully crafted salon culture has remained strong. Adam believes that the secret to success starts with humility. He always says that, as a leader, it’s less about being the star of the show and more about how you can shine a light on the success of your stylists.  

If you’d like to learn more about Adam and his incredible journey in the beauty industry including how he has managed to grow his salon, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 169. And don’t forget to check out his salon website to follow his movement on his own industry blog, Insights from Adam.

The Key to Nailing the Consultation Is Open Communication

The consultation is the single most important step in securing a potential client. This introduction sets the stage for all future interactions between your client, their stylist, and ultimately, your salon. And the key to nailing the consultation? Open communication and conversation.  

Bespoke Beauty Bar Owners, Alicia and Christian Blazevich, know exactly what it takes to seal the deal during the consultation. In fact, their knack for client communication is what makes them a Salon Today Top 200 Salon. After putting in their time at a four-year college, Alicia and Christian found themselves longing for something different, so they decided to switch courses and that’s how Bespoke beauty bar was born.

Ironically, both Alicia and Christian grew up with a soft spot for the salon environment. As a child, Alicia spent most weekends at the salon with her grandmother perfecting her perm, and Christian fondly remembers visits to the barbershop with his grandfather. The Blazevich’s both grew up with a deep appreciation for the community atmosphere that salons provide, which played a significant role in their beauty bar for their own salon.

Alicia and Christian opened Bespoke Beauty Bar with the intentions of highlighting each client’s individuality. They knew that the same old cookie cutter formulas simply wouldn’t cut it in their studio, which is why they put an extra emphasis on the consultation. By getting to know each of their clients and their own intimate relationship with their hair, the Blazevich’s and their team are able to tailor their services to meet each client’s unique needs. Alicia and Christian ask all of the right questions during the consultation—and you can too!

Put it in Writing

Contrary to popular belief, the Blazevich’s know that doing everything digitally doesn’t always mean it’s going to be done better.  Alicia emphasizes the impact of using a hand-written client intake form during the consultation. While a digital form might speed up the process, there’s a level of thoughtfulness that comes with writing something down by hand.

I mean seriously, how often are we asked to jot down our thoughts and feelings anymore? Alicia encourages salon owners to hand their clients a pen and paper during their first visit in order to prompt them to really process the questions and fill out the form authentically.

Make it Positively Personal

While the consultation should still ultimately be about the technical services your client is seeking, it’s important to include some personal questions when getting to know them and their individual needs. Not only does this help you match each client with their perfect stylist, but it also shows that you care about the person underneath each head of hair.

Alicia and Christian also suggest spinning the consultation in a positive light. During the first visit, we often focus on what the client is looking to change, what they don’t like about their hair. Alicia emphasizes how impactful it can be to shift the focus to what they do like, what about their hair makes them feel good.

Of course, we’re still there to tend to that unwanted outgrowth or make those color corrections, but by asking these questions and getting to the bottom of their wants and needs you’re letting each client know that they’re valued, and that you care about their feelings.  

Alicia also suggests that you ask each client about what they look forward to when coming to the salon. Make yourself aware of their favorite part of the salon experience and linger there during their service. For some, coming to the salon is a chore in and of itself, so don’t add the extra frills. For others, they might say they love the shampoo or simply being pampered, so give them an extra rinse or add some essential oils to amplify the experience.

Ask the Tough Questions

It can be tempting to wrap up the consultation after the more enjoyable “get-to-know-you” questions, but it can’t end there. The most important questions are the ones regarding maintenance and budget.

As a salon owner or stylist, the goal is always to send clients off with a new wave of confidence and incredible hair, but the key to keeping your clients is giving them the ability to recreate that same look and feeling at home. Alicia and Christian know that hair maintenance looks a little bit different for every client, which is why they take the time to ask the tough questions.

At Bespoke, they really break it down to understand each client’s level of ability when it comes to maintaining their color, their biggest challenges when it comes to styling, and their current product regimen. Alicia suggests that you start with the basics and work your way up. Ask your clients, “How much time do you spend on your hair in the morning?” And go from there.

Break Down the Budget

Finally, it’s time to talk about the budget. At Bespoke, the last page of their client intake form is the personalized Bespoke Beauty Plan, where they cover the cost down to the dollar.

Again, Alicia says it’s important to break the cost down by service. Does your color require an additional glaze or bonding treatment? How many times will you need to process? While this level of disclosure might sound daunting at first, Alicia and Christian argue that this kind of transparency helps build trust with your clients. Not to mention, it’s tremendous for bridging the gap between the client’s expectations and what’s actually realistic for their budget and level of ability. 

To learn more about Bespoke Beauty Bar and the Blazevich’s knack for client communication, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 162. If you’re interested in more step-by-step advice on perfecting the consultation conversation, read our previous blog post on the Six Steps to a Winning Consultation.


Insider Tips on Big Time Blogging

Blogging has grown substantially over the years—and although blogs are no longer the hot new form of communication per say, they have picked up some serious speed with the rise of social media. 

If you haven’t already launched a blog for your business, it’s time to get started! Blogs are one of the most valuable tools business owners have in their toolbox. A blog essentially acts a publishing platform for your business, and it creates the perfect avenue to market directly to your prospective clients at little to no cost. 

If you still need convincing, you’re in luck because digital marketing expert Joey Donovan Guido is here to sell you on the concept of blogging and to offer his best tips and tricks for taking your business blog and running with it big time. 

We introduced you to Joey on our Beyond The Technique podcast, but if you missed his previous interviews we’ll give you a quick recap: Joey owns his own online marketing business, Cuppa SEO, in which he helps businesses improve their searchability and master all aspects of digital marketing. 

Before this major business venture, Joey dipped his toes into the world of blogging and was the writer behind “Daddy Brain,” a blog that gave its readers a peak into the thoughts, feelings and struggles of being a modern-day dad. Although he has retired his popular “dad blog,” he’s still very active in the blogging scene. He publishes content under his business name, Cuppa SEO, and works to help other businesses get their blogs up and running as well. With his expert industry insight, Joey spills his best blogging secrets to get you excited about creating content for your business.

Blogging: Good for Business in More Ways Than One

There is much to be said for publishing a blog under your business name because, regardless of what your business is, does, or sells, a blog is a great way to build a network of customers before they even walk through your door. 

Joey reminds us that blogging is not for the purpose of selling or pushing a specific product onto our readers, instead, a business blog should be used to build relationships with your clients. For salon owners, blogs can be the perfect way to preview some of your services for new clients, and to continue that candid conversation long after their time in your chair. 


Google Loves a Good Business Blog

On the marketing side of things, what a blog does for your business is absolutely invaluable. It’s a way to connect with clients. It’s a useful tool in helping them find your business and it could wind up being the cherry on top that really seals the deal in their decision to seek out your services.

This is where SEO comes into play. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is Joey’s jam. It’s exactly what it sounds like, it is the science behind enhancing or optimizing your searchability—or essentially an attempt to get the big dogs, like Google, to notice you. 

SEO is so important to your business because in today’s digital world everyone turns to Google for recommendations, and if you provide the services that a potential client is searching for, you want to ensure that your business is listed among those top hits. 

Well, we have good news—Google loves a good business blog. If you’re pushing out content, even just once per week, Google takes notice. After a few weeks, you start to build up some credibility and suddenly your blog alone has bumped you up from the third page of hits to the first recommendation.


Boasting About Your Business? Put It in Writing

A lot of the fear around publishing a blog comes from business owners who are afraid of the writing component. Joey encourages his clients to change their thinking—don’t view blogging as a writing assignment, think of it as another platform for communicating about your business.

At the end of the day, you know more about your business and your industry than anyone else. If you’re a salon owner, you likely can’t help but get excited about the services you specialize in and you could gush about your team or your best clients all day long. Take that same energy and put it down into words—it’s as simple as that. 

You don’t have to be an amazing writer to produce a popular blog, you just have to be pushing out content that you’re passionate about, and the writing will come naturally as a result. 


Get Crafty with Content Creation

When it comes to writing a blog for your beauty business, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. There are so many beauty blogs out there, you could easily look to other savvy salon blogs for some ideas and find fun ways to spin them to fit your salon. 

Gentle reminder: no one is expecting you to produce Pulitzer prize-winning blog posts. Your efforts should simply be put toward adding value for your readers. Focus in on a few topics that you know are relevant to your client base and run with them. 

Quick Tip: Sometimes the best blog posts are the ones that focus in on just one micro-topic. This could be a piece on your salon’s specific technique for cutting curly hair or a product review of your new beard oil, and just really cover that topic in full. These posts are super easy for your readers to digest and they’re just short enough to leave them wanting more!


When It Comes to Blog Titles: Clarity Over Creativity

Perhaps the most important element to each blog post is the title. You could be publishing some incredible must-read content, but if that title doesn’t scream “click on me!” your readers won’t think twice before scrolling on until something else catches their eye.

Titles are your attention grabbers, they are the primary vehicles driving traffic to your blog posts, but at the end of the day—clarity always trumps creativity when it comes to titling your published pieces. 

Again, this has everything to do with SEO. If you want your blog post to pop up on Google during a relevant search, Joey says you had better throw the dog a bone and insert a few keywords into the title to increase your chances of being found. Think about the content of your blog post and dig deep to determine the main topic. Once you’re able to pinpoint the true premise of your blog post, you can begin to build off of that theme in order to brainstorm a more creative title.  

The best thing you can do when launching a blog is to simply put yourself in your reader’s shoes. Think about your target audience, all of your clients, past and potential, in order to determine what kind of content will be the most relevant to them. As long as you include your clients in the conversation and have a little fun with it, you’re going to benefit from publishing a blog under your business.     

For more insider tips on starting your business blog, listen to the podcast that inspired this blog, episode 158. Be sure to also check out Cuppa SEO’s website and business blog for more expert advice on all things digital marketing.

Getting Down to Business at Serious Business® 2019

Serious Business® is the beauty industry’s networking event of the year. The conference, put on by Neill Corporation, can be chalked up to a wonderful weekend gathering of like-minded individuals and industry leaders dedicated to personal development and bettering their business practices.

According to Neill, the purpose of Serious Business® is to expose, evoke, and evolve the thinking of its attendees in order to encourage business owners and all of their employees to reach their full potential. This year’s theme, “Get Out of Your Own Way,” well—it pretty much speaks for itself.

Here at Beyond The Technique, our team had the pleasure of attending the many educational and inspirational talks given by this year’s amazing keynote speakers and we were so proud to support our own incredible host and CEO, Kati Whitledge, along with the other 2019 breakout speakers during this year’s breakout sessions.  

After spending an incredible weekend in New Orleans networking with and learning from some of the best in the business, we compiled a list of the top 12 takeaways from the event. Salon owners—listen up!

A Change is A-Coming

Seth Mattison, author of The War at Work, opens our eyes to the massive change we’re experiencing in the workforce today. We’re slowly and steadily shifting from the age of the hierarchy to the age of the network—which promises to change the way we work.  

Ultimately, this shift will lead toward more freedom for stylists, and in return less security for salon owners—but this is a good thing. Seth encourages salon owners and managers to welcome this change, it’s a chance to prove your loyalty to your tribe by propelling your team forward.

If you work to provide your team of stylists with ample opportunities to develop their skills and educate their peers, in return you’ll begin to build an even stronger relationship, one based on mutual trust and respect instead of unstable top-down leadership.

Personal Growth is Professional Growth

Advancing in your career can’t happen without a little personal growth and development. If you’re looking to level up in your professional life, you should start by looking for those areas in your personal life that could use some improvement.  

The pioneers of Emergent Wisdom, Alexi Panos and Preston Smiles, stand by the idea that breaking down those personal barriers is what will ultimately lead to developing your best business practices.

As founders of the groundbreaking Bridge Method, Panos and Smiles encourage all of us to get outside of ourselves in order to leverage our potential both in and outside of our profession. They recently co-authored the trailblazing book, Now or Never, which fits in perfectly with this year’s Serious Business theme—if you don’t dig deep now in order to determine which of your own personal tendencies are holding you back today, you won’t be better tomorrow—the time is now.

Get Social With It

There’s something to be said for social media marketing, and Shama Hyder is here to give you the low down on the importance of having a digital presence in today’s technological world. Hyder is the CEO of the award-winning agency, Zen Media, and the best-selling author of two books, The Zen of Social Media Marketing and Momentum.

As a keynote speaker with vast knowledge of the world of marketing, Hyder encourages salon owners to really think about the benefits surrounding social media marketing. She says the best way to gain a following across any of the various platforms available today is to find your niche in the marketplace and milk it.

Hyder shares the three principles for gaining momentum on social media.

It’s About What We Can Do for You

It’s not about what your brand says about you or your business, it’s about what it says about the people who believe in it—your clients are your brand ambassadors.

Agility Is Based in Analytics

Numbers are your friend—use your data and analytics to tell a better story.  

The People Are Vying for Video

Video has three times more reach than any other content, heed Hyder’s advice and make 2019 the year your brand focuses on video content.

Business Is About Building Relationships

The quality of your relationships determines the quality of your life—or, in this case—your business. Psychotherapist, Esther Perel, recognizes the unique advantage that stylists have when it comes to building real relationships with their clients and customers. 

In addition to the generous amount of time stylists are able to spend with their clients in the chair, the salon is one of the few havens where human touch is actually encouraged, and that alone lends itself to a great deal of trust between the two parties involved. Capitalize on this opportunity—make it a point to really connect with your clients.  

Communicate With Your Clients

It might sound simple, but the key to keeping your clients is solid communication. Joey Coleman, author of Never Lose a Customer Again, argues that most businesses lose that connection with their clients after the purchase. So, he’s challenging salon owners and stylists to keep that connection and communication alive well beyond the point of sale.

If you want to keep your clients coming back, let them know! In order to improve the client experience, you have to carry on the conversation long after your clients leave the salon. Get personal—show your clients you’re thinking about them, spread love—and you’ll never lose another client again.

Know Your Worth

As president of the Gene Juarez Salon and Spa group in Seattle, Washington, Scott Missad is all too familiar with the stress that comes with pricing your own services. He encourages stylists and salon owners to remember the difference between value and price.   

Your clients aren’t just paying for their cut and color, they’re paying for the time spent in your chair—the full salon experience. As a salon owner or stylist, it’s important to that you give yourself credit where credit is due. Understand your worth and promote yourself with confidence. In return, your prices will always reflect the value of the services you provide.


Surround Yourself With Success

As the owner of Be Inspired Salon in Madison, Wisconsin, Kati Whitledge knows how important it is to build a strong team of stylists. For many, the recruiting process is exhausting and can feel like a vicious cycle, but Kati encourages salon owners and stylists alike to get exciting about on-boarding by viewing it as an opportunity.  

Kati shares the three steps she always takes when it comes to recruiting.

You Must Master Thy Self

You can’t expect to successfully lead others without first conquering your own faults and flaws. Once you learn who you are, where you might fall short and where you often succeed, then you can begin to build your team with people who compliment you in those areas.

Be Tenacious When it Comes to Recruiting

You have to be relentless in the recruiting process. In fact, you should always be on the lookout for those people with potential, because regardless of whether or not you’re looking to add to your team in that moment, those personalities can be hard to come by and if you know they’re going to be a great fit, you can always find room.  

The Truth Is in the Technique: How Do You Hire?

Finally, it all comes down to the nuts and bolts of hiring. At the end of the day, your salon’s culture comes first. If you find that person with the strong personality who still needs time to develop their technical skills—hire them. Skills can be taught, but attitudes can’t always be changed.

Be Better Than the Best

Bad-Ass Business Coach, Lyn Christian, works with professionals in every industry in order to encourage them to take control of their lives and ultimately take charge of their careers.

Whether you’re looking to reinvent your career or you simply need help taking your business to that next level, Lyn believes the best way to close the gap between who you are today and who you want to be tomorrow is to find a fresh point of reference. Take the time periodically to sit down, look at your current situation and write down your goals. You might be surprised at how your objectives shift as you continue to develop your career.  

Be Nice, or Else!

The founder and dean of Paul Mitchell’s educational division, Winn Claybaugh, is here with one simple snippet of advice—be nice, or else. Being kind to others is the one behavioral practice that is guaranteed to guide you toward a life of love and leadership. Not to mention, it’s unbelievably easy and the rewards are immeasurable.

If you can create, train and sustain a “be nice” community in your workplace, potential hires will be dying to work with you, clients and customers will be determined to do business with you, and your team will thank you. 

Double Down on Your Salon Culture

As the owner of the Nutur Salon and Spa group in Columbus, Ohio, Patrick Thompson is all too familiar with the importance of forming a solid salon culture. Your culture should never be overlooked, it’s the energy that fuels the relationships that your business relies on.  

The two most important assets to any salon business are your teammates and your clients—and the one tried and true way to preserve those relationships is to provide an environment that both parties want to be a part of.  

Find Partners With Potential

As the Founder and CEO of Qnity and the 2 to 10 Project with a background in salon ownership, Tom Kuhn is uniquely qualified to see all angles that go into successful partnering. He believes that the secret to forming these relationships and ultimately finding a partner with potential is to keep competition out of the conversation.

Whether you’re looking to leverage your business or you’re hoping to hand over some of your responsibilities, building relationships through partnerships can be a great way to add value to your business while also providing a potential exit strategy for salon owners who are ready for their next career move. Partnerships are all about possibility—so, keep your eyes peeled for that next promising opportunity.   

Put Yourself First

Health and Wellness Expert, Ben Greenfield, reminds us that our professional performance relies on our personal health and longevity. Life is a delicate balance, and as busy industry professionals, many of us forget to take care of ourselves at that most basic level.

We all aspire to some level of health, wealth and happiness, but it’s important to keep up the effort in each of these categories. At the end of the day, a lavish life has little meaning without people to share it with. Take time for yourself, put energy toward maintaining your relationships, both personal and professional, and relish in the little things.

How to Schedule Millennials Behind the Chair

A lot of salon owners struggle to book millennials behind the chair.  Are you in a salon with a similar challenge?

I’m technically the oldest age of a millennial. And being that I’m at the cut-off in regard to age, sometimes it can be difficult to relate to millennials because we simply have different ideas about “work”. But, every single one of our team members at my salon is a millennial so it has been imperative for me to learn how to effectively schedule them behind the chair. Sometimes as leaders we expect others to follow in our footsteps because we did it this way and we know it works. Well, that’s a mindset that may become a challenge for you. If you are the type that has worked the typical forty hours a week or more and you want to hit the grind all day everyday, your mindset and work ethic may not be the same as this newer generation. It is important to understand what your millennial employees need in order to have successful internal retention rates. The ultimate goal is to create a win win for everyone!

Setting Boundaries

I believe millennials appreciate boundaries; deep down they don’t want a free for all. In fact, my staff meets every single Monday for a team meeting. That level of commitment shocks a lot of salon owners. What I believe that they are looking for is flexibility.

Our approach to booking our stylists behind the chair is laying out the needs of the salon. For example, I let them know we really need coverage during specific time frames and we need them to fulfill 30-35 hours a week behind the chair. The reason we book them less than 40 hours is we understand they need time to prepare for the start of their day and often times they’ll stay late. Who can relate? Keep in mind my stylists are commissioned employees, not independent contractors. I want to create a plan where everyone wins. And of course I want to retain them, so it’s important for us to communicate regularly about their schedule and workload.

Creating a Win-Win Situation Through Compromise

To create a win-win situation, we bring their options to the table and they have the ability to choose within set boundaries what works best for them. The key to success: compromise. The best leaders are the ones willing to sit down and meet in the middle with employees to create a win-win for both parties. Keep in mind that we don’t expect you to roll over and do whatever everyone wants. Boundaries are healthy and necessary. At the end of the day you are running a business.

It is important to know your employees’ lifestyle, family, and leisurely commitments outside of work. We have to understand that the millennial generation has so many things that they like to be a part of and maybe they just want that extra time to decompress. It may be different than your lifestyle, but different is okay. We find that when they are at work they take 100% ownership in their careers. So, sitting down and saying this is the playground we get to play inside of and asking where they see themselves within these boundaries, that is where the conversation begins.

Creating Positive Change for your Business

I want to encourage you that if losing younger staff members is a reoccurring theme for your business then it is time for you to look at what can be done differently. Let’s say that you have fresh talent come in and they are with you for a couple of years and then they tend to go off on their own and become independent contractors. It is important to think about what you could have done differently to gain their loyalty. It starts with simply having an open conversation with them. They want to be treated with the same respect as master stylists. Not only do they want to be treated with as high of a regard, they also want your acknowledgment, and your time. We have this attitude that they need to earn their keep, and they definitely do! This is why there are probably additional perks that only lead or master stylists have. But, when it comes to communication they want as much of your attention, leadership, and time as everyone else.

Empowering your Millennial Stylists

While you may need to be willing to create an open dialogue with millennial stylists, there is always a silver lining. You have the ability to use your leadership to inspire young stylists to get to those upper levels. And let’s just put it out there, when they charge more because they’re at a higher level, you earn more and so do they. Another win win.

This generation wants something now; instant gratification is what they’ve grown up with. Waiting or working towards more is somewhat challenging for this generation. So keep encouraging and keep the lines of communication open.

Is it time to begin the dialogue with the stylists at your salon? We do this on a regular basis. Change is constant at my salon, and everybody is used to that. Is that the same at your salon? Maybe it is time for a change. But all for the better, wouldn’t you agree?

This effort is to make things better for everyone so there is longevity, loyalty, fun and an environment where everyone can thrive financially. Instead of wanting your stylists to feel that they have a great job, make them feel like they have a great life. After all, this is our career, not a hobby. This is how we make a living, and we want that living to be extraordinary for everyone.

If you have ideas that you’d like to bounce off of other salon owners throughout the US, you may be eligible to join our Beyond The Technique mastermind group!

Apply Here!


The Formula for Change

How many of us are excited for what 2017 will bring? I suspect like many, you’re setting goals and planning on bigger and better things for your career and your personal life as well. Today I want to share the formula for change! I cannot take credit for this formula. I learned this from my ActionCOACH mentors.

ActionCOACH is a global business coaching franchise. They help you go from here to there. It’s all about growth and development, but action is necessary to get the results you want. I hope that gets you as fired up as it gets me! If you don’t have a mentor and/or accountability in your life, specifically for your business, I would highly encourage you to consider hiring one. My mentor has dramatically changed my life for the better, with an emphasis on my career. And to shamelessly plug Beyond The Technique, you know we do offer this service! And it’s custom to our industry. Bonus!  Check out our services page to learn all of our options.

I learned the change formula from them and today I want to share it with you. I think that when you finally understand what it takes to change and you acknowledge what it means to have all of these tools for change, you can finally implement change into your life. But are you ready for change? I think that in today’s society, the easier you can adapt to change the quicker you can find the success you’re looking for. Your willingness to change will be transformative for your future successes.

If you are someone who really likes a methodical pace to life, this might be a very big challenge for you. To progress in your career and have great success, I think it’s incredibly beneficial to be adaptable to change, because there is no constant in life. We’ve all heard the saying, “The only constant is change.” So, I want to know, are you ready to change in a positive direction?

The Formula 

The formula of change is this, [D x V] + F > R

What does that mean? 

‘D’ stands for dissatisfaction, the ‘V’ is your vision. ‘F’ are your first steps and ‘R’ stands for your resistance.

What this means is your dissatisfaction times your vision, plus your first steps has to be greater than your resistance if you want to change.

Here’s my personal example: Many of you already know that I’ve struggled with weight my entire life. I’m entering into an adult phase of my life where it’s new to me to have such a healthy lifestyle. With this challenge and change, my level of dissatisfaction had to be greater than my resistance. However, I also had to have a vision. I had to believe that change was possible, that I actually could live differently, and that I actually could get to a certain point. The vision had to be there. I had to believe and see what the future could bring.

I also had to have some first steps prepared, and for a while I had no idea where to begin. Eventually, I decided that my first steps would be to join a support group for people who struggle with food and to create a fitness plan. Those elements had to be greater than my resistance for change. When we get in that hamster wheel, it’s easy to stay there because eventually we become very comfortable with the same old thing. We accept the way we are.

But the moments when we become dissatisfied and say, “What am I doing? I don’t want this.” are so important. Those moments have to be greater than your resistance. You need to have a vision and decide on your first steps.

Do you need to have the fifteenth step planned out from the very beginning? No. Those future steps can be flexible because they may change as you do. Really, the first steps determine the third, fourth and fifth steps, so don’t overthink it! You don’t have to know the end game to begin. You don’t play basketball knowing you’re going to win the game. You believe it, you have the vision, but you have to start by taking the first step. You just have to start playing the game.

Your level of dissatisfaction needs to be high-- you have to be dissatisfied with where you are. And then you have to add that vision, add the first steps and you’re on your way to change.

Is your dissatisfaction level high?

The following is a professional example.

I have stylists that are extremely loyal to my salon. They love working, they’re hard workers, and they go out of their way to put in extra effort. We have weekly team meetings. We have bi-monthly advanced education on top of our weekly team meetings. We serve more brides in our community than any other salon, so many in fact, that we’ve been able to charge more than double the price of competitors in our area.

Long story short, my team is phenomenal and incredibly talented. But at some point I realized that I was not willing to change my structure for them to have time off or to work less. I had fear, which we’ve identified in previous talks as being false expectations appearing real. My fear was if I let them work less they may not treat this like their career. My fear was they’d look at it as more of a hobby and take their careers less serious. I was afraid that they wouldn’t care as much anymore and they would only participate part-time. They wouldn’t have any real accountability to their careers.

For years that fear kept me from changing my full-time protocol. It was like, “you’re all in or you’re out.” And this is such a reflection on me as a person, because as leaders we tend to implement what we think is best for us, and I’m definitely that person. I’m all in or I’m all out.

But I realized that I wanted to grow bigger at a second and third location. So I needed to decide if it was feasible for me to have professionals who were full-time or if it was more realistic to be accommodating and flexible. Eventually I decided I needed to change my outlook on this part-time option for them.

Previously, I’ve lost some really great employees and team players because they also thought the policy was “all or nothing” because that’s what their leader put out there to them. There wasn’t any animosity in their leaving; we still care deeply for each other. But, I lost employees that I was very sad to say goodbye to. I did lose these great people because I was just so rigid and stuck in my ways.

Finally, after losing two top performers because I didn’t have any other option for them, my dissatisfaction level was at an all-time high. So I had to take a firm look and decide what I would rather have. Do I need to have everyone be full-time? Or can I be more flexible?

I revised my vision. It now works for people who do have families and want to work part-time :)

First Steps and Moving Forward 

The first step for me was to sit down and create an action plan of what the outcome would look like and how I’d get there. After that I met with the managers of our hair salon--these are the leaders that help to implement all changes. We met, discussed our outcomes, and realized how great the change was. We now have options for both full-time and part-time and it doesn’t feel like those options are prohibiting anyone from being their best when they’re involved. You can work part-time and you can still participate; it’s a real, full-time career even though you’re here for a minimum of three days.

We offered this to the team and told them about what an amazing opportunity it was, and they were so happy to have more options. It was a win for everyone.

The underlying message here is that as a leader, you have to look within. If things aren’t working out your way, maybe you’re being too resistant to change. If you’re not getting what you want or need, ask yourself what you can do to change. That way you can ultimately have the life you desire.

Share with me on social what changes you’ll be making this year! And if you haven’t already, please join our private Beyond The Technique Group page! This is a safe place to share ideas, questions, and challenges with other professionals across the US. Cheers to a great year ahead!

You Were Born for This

Acknowledging and Accepting Your Challenges

I know that I’m speaking to the salon owners, and hair and beauty professionals out there. And I get that we wake up many days wondering what we were thinking! Sometimes our profession can seem like a thankless job. But it could also be the same with parenting, or any role we’re in. Some days we may just wonder what the heck made us decide to put ourselves in this position.

But I believe that you were born for this. I first heard this saying when my husband and I went on a “Love like you mean it” cruise. It’s a marriage cruise put on by an organization called Family Life. Their mission was not only to have couples walk side by side with one another, but also to have them grow closer to the Lord. This cruise was an amazing opportunity for us, and I can’t say enough about how great it was for our relationship with each other, and for our walk with Jesus. I’m very thankful for that opportunity. While there, I heard one of the Pastors onstage say, “Marriage is a mission you were born for. When you become married, you’re taking on a role with your partner, and you were born for that role.”

Think about it like being a fireman. Would a fireman resent having to put out fires? Sometimes we do resent the obstacles we need to go through. But we still jump over, climb under, get through that obstacle and emerge better, stronger, wiser, and more resilient.

Persevere to Find Greatness

Nothing, in my opinion, is not meant to be. And I know that it’s challenging when you have these obstacles and you wonder if it could get any worse. But I promise that if you persevere, you’ll realize (and maybe not anytime soon, but eventually!) that you needed to experience that hurt, pain, or trial, so that you would be prepared for future challenges.

So stay positive in the midst of the struggle. Keep your eye on the greater prize and the greater vision. Remember why you began this adventure in the first place. When you remember why you started on this path for your life, you can endure any challenge.

In this line of work, it’s never because we have to. It’s because we get to. All storms eventually die down, and the sun comes back up.

You were born for this. Try to remind yourself of that regularly. There is a bigger, greater, deeper purpose, and you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. And if you persevere and endure, you will be successful. You may not see glimmers of hope for six months, or a year. You may not see how this will work or might not believe that it’s true. But just don’t give up.

I can even get a little biblical with this topic. I believe the devil tries to bring us down. And there are also a lot of naysayers and negativity out there. “See? You couldn’t do it, I knew you couldn’t do it.”

And even in our own minds, there can be plenty of negative self-talk. But think about it this way…You choose a role, just like a fireman does. You have to show up for hard, scary tasks sometimes.  But you’re prepared to put out the fire, because that’s your role. You were born for this. Don’t give up.