I’m hearing more and more concerns being voiced about the many challenges facing hairdressers and salon owners today. Many of these challenges affecting our profession have actually been with us for many years. Lack of an apprenticeship program, booth rental issues, high staff turnover, price and commission wars, lack of business management skills on the part of salon owner, staff pirating… and the list goes on and on, are just just some of the challenges we face everyday.
Without a doubt, compounding these challenges even further is our current recession. Virtually every industry and every profession – especially those of us in sales and service-oriented fields – has been affected, in some cases quite drastically. These indeed are challenging and troubling times. That’s the bad news.
Now here’s the good news: Despite the unique challenges these difficult times may bring, I see windows of tremendous opportunities for salon owners and hairdressers who are well informed, committed to their business, and willing to go the extra mile to seek a better life for themselves and their families. Remember, when the going gets tough the tough get going.
Overcoming the Doom and Gloom Crowd
Have you noticed that everywhere you turn these days all you hear is doom and gloom? The media headlines veritably scream the dismal news on a daily basis: “Unemployment Rises to Unprecedented Levels”, “Foreclosures at a Record High”, “Consumer Confidence Plummets as Spending Decreases for 4th Straight Quarter”…. These are actual headlines I’ve heard or read just in the last couple days alone. It’s enough to make you want to cancel your newspaper subscription and throw your television out the window!
It’s no wonder that most people fall into this gloomy mainstream mindset, which in turn leads to a negative attitude when it comes to everything else in your life, including your job.
While we may not be able to change the overall state of the economy, you can control one very important thing – your attitude. You can either follow the doom and gloom crowd looking for excuses to fail, or you can view these challenges as money making opportunities. I can tell you with absolute certainty after 43 years in this business, that attitude really is everything. Your attitude in the face of adversity will determine your own success or failure in your business.
In other words, if you believe you will fail, you probably will. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you are right.” That’s a powerful statement to keep in mind when it comes to how you choose to approach each day!
Everything is cyclical, including our economy. In my four plus decades as a working hairdresser and salon owner, I have seen my share of tough markets. Not only was I able to overcome these difficult times, I was actually able to prosper, improve profits, and expand! How did I do it? I’ve been asked that question at least a thousand times during my career and now as a professional speaker in our industry, and I always have the same answer: ATTITUDE.
This is more than just thinking positively. It really has several elements. The biggest factor in dealing with adversity is probably your competitive spirit, your willingness to commit 100%, and even make sacrifices when necessary. If you take full responsibility for your own success or failure, you will take control of your own destiny.
Keeping a positive outlook will also allow you to see things differently from the doom and gloom crowd. Suddenly you will see ways to turn adversity into fantastic money making opportunities. Have you ever noticed the most successful real estate moguls and sales professionals are the ones out there expanding, trying bold new marketing tactics or buying as much as they can right when the market is at its weakest? The same kind of mentality works in our profession.
I’m not saying you should go out there and bet the farm during these troubling times. But keeping an open mind and proactively seeking out knowledge that will help you make informed decisions about your business or hairdressing career is critical in difficult markets. Many people will argue that education is expensive; I say, try ignorance!
Far too many of our colleagues will follow the doom and gloom crowd, refusing to take full responsibility for their own success or failure. This will ultimately eliminate many marginal salons or hairdressers not willing or able to view adversity as an opportunity. This may be bad news for many in our profession, but it presents a fantastic opportunity for those of us with the initiative and passion to succeed. And with less competition will come more customers and more prosperity. When the market starts to improve again (remember, everything is cyclical), you’ll be so far ahead of the game it’ll be difficult for those doom and gloomers to ever catch up!
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Adversity will separate winners from losers. Remember, you and you alone hold the key to your own success or failure.
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