I have always had a (not so secret) desire to start my own business. From my lemonade stands to my own start-up agency, I have managed to do what I love and actually create that life I dreamt of. This is not to say that it wasn’t a lot of work (a whole lot of work). It was in building The Business of Balayage that allowed me to work with like-minded individuals to help them create a platform to empower and arm stylists with knowledge, that I found my passion. Through the years of working with some of the best (and a few of the worst) in the game, I have recognized a few traits that most successful stylists have in common:
1. You Live Fearlessly
Most people would rather play it safe, as entrepreneurs, hairstylists are the ones who see potential where there is risk. You are the ultimate optimist of the world because you always have that belief that no matter how risky something looks, your passions and creativity will turn into huge long term profits. While others might see the grass as greener on the other side, you’re the one with your green spray paint, painting the town in the drought. (yes, people have actually done this.)
Aside from that evil little voice that is doubt, that ruminates in all of us from time to time, we all have one almost intangible fear in common- the fear of finding out what would happen if we didn’t take the risk.
2. You Know That In Order To Play Hard Later, You’re Going To Have To Work Harder Now
Most people give up if they don’t do something right the first or even second time, for our breed- we fall down and pick ourselves back up until we get it right. The drive and passion of a creative stylist are what keeps them going long after the others give up. You know that in order to get the long-term payoff you have to put the time into the foundation first.
“Win as if you were used to it, lose as if you enjoyed it for a change”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
3. You See Potential, Where Others See A Dead-End
As a boss-lady, you are always looking for ways to make the world more beautiful, confident, and unique. What many outside the industry don’t understand is that you don’t see the worst in the world, rather you see the world for what it could be! The most profitable businesses are created not just from good ideas, but from finding potential where others see something simply as broken.
5. You’re Passionate (To The Fullest Extent Of The Meaning)
Passion seems to run in the bloodstream of stylists around the world. Whether it’s a business or a personal endeavor we will do just about anything possible to turn our vision into a reality, all with the hopes of leaving this world a better and more beautiful place. We have a firm belief that changing the world starts with one person at a time, why not start the landslide?
6. You’re Independent
Most of the time, the hairstylists start their empires solo. They are ambitious and driven problem solvers. If they can’t find the answer, formula or fix to their problem, they don’t stop trying to find it. But the best stylists know when to ask for help. A friendly reminder, just because you can do it all on your own, doesn’t mean you have to. I have enjoyed my business success far more when I was in the company of the people I built it with. Find your people, rely on them, build with them and support one another!
7. You Feel A Deep Desire To Help People
The desire to help people enhance their lives can keep you up at night or it can keep you going during the highs and lows of building your mane empire. It’s usually a big reason that you chose this profession in the first place because you saw the opportunity to impact others and heard it as your call. The most honest and effective business come from a genuine desire to make a difference in people's lives, this is where long term, successful stylists and the “get-rich-quick” insta-famous stylists find the fork in the road.
8. You Want To Make A Name For Yourself
I’m not talking about becoming the next Kardashian, if that’s what you’re into- right on- they’ve made quite the business from being famous for being famous, but I’m talking about the real game-changers. Some of the most successful stylists in the business realized that they wanted something more from life. My business partners, Amber O’Hara & Lindsay Ryffel saw the product soaked education drowning the quality of our industry so they created a platform to change education – all in the name of leaving the industry in a better state than when they came. If you feel that way, too, and have the willingness to do it, you’ll never know how high you can go until you try.
9. You Possess An Incredible Work Ethic
This is your most invaluable tool. You know when you have to push hard. You know that a few months or years of putting the pedal to the metal will pay off and you wake up ready to do what it takes. This is not something that can truly be taught, it comes ingrained in a select few who know that their only limits are the ones they place on themselves.
10. You Know That Creativity Is Not A Hobby But A Business Tactic
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, you are constantly thinking of new ways to create something new for your clients. You are constantly working on growing yourself and your brand as a company. And you know first hand that the best way to grow is to see normal things with a creative and new perspective. You live outside the box you’re so damn creative and your clients are the ones who sing the praises of your constant search for growth
Bonus: You’re The Ultimate Multitasker
These are the women and men who redefine multitasking. You are the ones who can handle the kids, the spouse, the chores, and you still have a desire for more! You want something of your own, something that keeps your fire burning. Of all of the entrepreneurs that I have had the privilege of working with, stylists- with too much on their plate are the ones that I will put my money on, 90% of the time. They work hard to play harder and they gain their autonomy and self-satisfaction from the energy that they put into everything that they do. For most of you, failure is simply not an option.
American Salon is pleased to welcome the Business of Balayage, a collective of brilliant independent educators, as they launch their first of a series of business building blogs on americansalon.com. For more information, visit www.thebusinessofbalayage.com