I Quit My Salon Career So You Don’t Have To

In October of 2014, after about six months of preparation, I gave my two-week notice and left.

Never showed up again.

I was fed up.

I had enough.

I love this industry way too much and needed things to go a my way if I’m going to continue living in it.

I want to add value to the hair industry, and it’s an utter waste for me to just be spending my time in the environment I was in.

In fact, I left my salon job so that I may have the free time to start a venture that will create lifetime value for me as well as for other hairstylists.

I started putting the wheels in motion about six months before I left the salon environment.

It’s a huge decision not to be taken lightly.

But the one thing that exists that never did before, is the internet.

The internet leveled the playing field for all of us — not just me.

I hope that if you read this, you too will decide to start your online presence and be consistent with it.

When you do, please tell me about it. I love to hear start-up stories.

We, as hair professionals, have a unique skill that has been formed out of talent and creativity.

We have the ability to use real human beings as canvases to create art.

Don’t sell yourself short any longer.

Put yourself out there more.

Your art walks out those salon doors every single time they get up from your chair.

Your art canvas posts pictures on Instagram because they want other art paintings to notice them i.e. their friends.

You know this already.

The internet just made it that much easier for you to showcase your art, your creativity and show your different side.

But it also made it possible, with the right strategies and systems in place, to attract new clients and retain the current ones that much better.

It’s called “top-of-the-mind” awareness — it’s a marketing move.

Remember Coca Cola with the Christmas truck commercials???

That’s top of the mind awareness.

It reminded you that the holidays are near and you should consider buying Coca Cola for the festivities.

You see you are already using and tapping into the opportunity, however, JUST posting Instagram pictures as I said in my first post, isn’t enough.

You have to educate yourself further if you want to become good at generating leads online in your local area, you must become the go-to person for whatever it is that you specialize in.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again ; stop listening to your boss, the stylist in the chair next to you, the loud colorist across the room and even your friends, the ones you drink your weekend nights away with.

Just stop.

The moment you stop is the moment you feel a sense of relief.

That’s what self-empowerment is, at least the beginning stages of it.

When I decided to stop listening to the salon owner who doesn’t even know how to use his booking computer system accurately, or who doesn’t create and maintain an e-mail database of customers, then tells me to stand out in the corner to hand out business cards and discount cards.

My life took a turn for the better.

I empowered myself in a major way.

When I decided I was going to sit in the back room, and over all the chatter and noise and bullshit conversation going on, I listened to audio books and took notes and started reading how others quit working for others and built their own thing.

I empowered myself.

You see where I’m getting with this?

So how do you start to do it?

Simple.

You already know the internet made everything fair for everyone — maybe you’re already on social.

Here’s what you do:

1. ACCEPT that only YOU have control over YOU.

I know it sounds cliche, but it’s a cliche because it’s true.

Take the next two weeks after reading this blog post and, while you’re at the salon, just observe.

Keep your colleagues, watch your salon owner and then see how you feel about them.

Understand that they’re not you.

If you’re happy at your current salon…great.

If you’re wanting to create more than just working behind a chair, you’re going to have to put in a little mental work — observe!

2. START COMPARING YOURSELF WITH THEM.

Start asking yourself if this is the environment and the work you want to do for the next 5–10–20 years.

If you’re reading this and you’re in your 20s or 30s, you’ve got a good 30 years of employment time you have to go through.

Look around and really ask yourself if the environment is the kind where you’ll enjoy working for a long time.

If it isn’t, leave.

3. EDUCATE YOURSELF MORE

I remember how great it felt when the salon owners and colleagues who were taunting my note taking and audiobook-listening before, kept their mouths shut after realizing I was dead serious about changing.

Education is the way out for everybody, everywhere, all over the world.

In this case, it means learning and applying things you’d never see yourself doing.

Five years ago, I would have laughed at you if you told me you met the 5 year older version of me and she was working with technology , social media and people online.

I’m happy I grew up out of that phase where I thought education was no longer necessary due to the fact that i had somehow “made it”.

It was when I realized I hadn’t made it the way I wanted to, that I started educating myself.

Do so everyday.

The opposite of too much knowledge is ignorance and ignorance sucks.

Learn, learn learn.

Melissa.