Part of being a business owner is understanding that you need to earn your clients' trust.
Yup. It's pretty much a given. If you don't trust me, there is no way you would let me anywhere near your hair, within a mile of your energy field, or inviting me into the vulnerable space of music making. What I quickly learned was that it was just as important for me to trust you.
When I first decided to go from a salon employee to an independent stylist, it was because I was offered a job that I felt so deep in my gut I couldn't breathe. It was one of those "dream come true" jobs. I knew that if I was going to maintain the hair and music business I built, it would have to be on my own terms, in my own space, by my own rules. You know when they say that the decisions worth making are the ones that terrify you? Well this one trumped my fear of public speaking, death, and leaving the bathroom on prom night with toilet paper stuck to your heel, ten times over. So, I launched my private salon and took a leap into the world of project based education.
Cue the soundtrack to the wild wild west. Before I knew it, my career ratio had shifted to a full time educator position, a part time salon suite, and a small reiki corner. My office doubled as a music studio and the salon consisted of a small vertical mirror, a shiny new styling chair, and a portable shampoo station. The craziest part of it all, was that you trusted me! You... my clients, my friends, and my colleagues followed me to the first page of the first book of the new phase of my career without flinching!
There were certainly growing pains. It took me time to figure out how to navigate my new water system, while maintaining the perfect water temperature for shampoo and conditioning services, without flooding the place. I tested out several salon chairs before deciding on one that I would soon replace. I struggled to build a comfortable and professional space for Reiki treatments, and even put the service on hold for a bit. Music classes were running very well, but it was a challenge to find a balanced schedule. Through all of that, you were the ones who would remind me, week after week, that this was meant to be, it was all ok, and that you knew I would grow to have a successful studio. THAT was the moment I learned to trust you. I knew you were right, and you gave me permission to lean on your words of encouragement as I worked through quarterly tax payments, registering as an LLC, purchasing liability insurance, workshops and CEU training, and inventory lists. You gave me the support as I built my independent business puzzle piece by crazy-sized puzzle piece.
Recently, I bumped my daily gratitude list from 3 items to 5 items (Thanks Karen)! During that process I noticed that my clientele has made that list 4 out of the 5 days of my workweek. I reflected on the fact that 85% of my client list is made up of referrals. Students and clients have shared my services with their friends, families, and acquaintances over the years. To me, that is not only VERY important in staying afloat, but it touches my heart at a deeper level than the Grand Canyon! My gosh you guys! I know November is gratitude month, but SERIOUSLY.... I am so grateful. I love that you have trusted me to be of service in your lives. I love that you have taken time to lift ME up at times. I love that you give me a space to practice my art. Being an entrepreneur is one of the scariest, craziest, and most beautiful things I have ever done. Here's to continuing to grow our studio families and helping people feel a little more beautiful and understood. Thank you.