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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Just Keep Dancing

I used to be really bothered by criticism because I took it so personal.  If someone didn’t like a class I taught or didn’t like the way I ran my business I was really hurt.  However,  I have learned that criticism was sometimes accurate and it reminded me to look at my business from another perspective and make changes.  At other times it was obvious the critic was someone who just didn’t “get” what we were all about. While studying for a class I found that Business blogger Scott Ginsberg had the perfect thoughts on this subject:

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music” Nietzsche
Wow!  Talk about a powerful quote. It reminded me that you can’t please everyone. Especially if you have new ideas and are trying to stand for something.  Because undoubtedly,  about 90% of the people you encounter are going to agree with your ideas,  your personality,  your philosophies and your work. And the remaining 10% are going to think you suck.  The challenge for most of us is that we get so hung up on the 10% that we forget all about the 90.  BIG mistake.  

PERFECT EXAMPLE: I used to be so bothered when competitors weren’t friendly towards us.  They didn’t like the way we were trying to change things.  I was friendly towards them,  why weren’t they friendly back.  It drove me crazy.  Then I realized it didn’t matter.  All you can do is the best you can.  Nothing else matters.  You can’t let minor negatives overshadow major positives.  You’re stronger than that.  You’re better than that.  Forget about the 10 and focus on the 90.  This is about life.  This is about having the courage to say “You know what?  If you don’t like me,  that’s cool,  but don’t expect me to waste my time on trying to change your mind.  Just keep dancing,  if they can’t hear the music it’s their loss.

-Larry Curtis
President of Taylor Andrews Academy
Taylor Andrews Website

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mission Possible - An Incredible Career in 52 weeks (Week 8)

Mission 8 Ask a lot of People to Buy

 It doesn’t matter how talented you are if no one knows it. It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you! There are some simple things that you should always do. First, you should always carry business cards with you and always be talking about what you do for a living. Opportunities are everywhere. I have earned new clients just by striking up a conversation about my profession at Little League games, at the supermarket, on an airplane and in restaurants.  Just complimenting people about their hair or skin (depending upon your career focus) can get the conversation started. It is amazing how often they will ask if you are a hairstylist. (Or Esthetician) Once they ask, you are off and running. Just share what is remarkable about you.
 We miss 100 percent of the sales we don’t ask for.  Zig Ziglar

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Salon Coordinator

I just found out that our receptionist was leaving our company so she could focus on college. She has been with us for nearly three years and has truly been fantastic. As I contemplated replacing her it made me really think about how important your front desk staff is. If your receptionist interacts with 100 people a day, that is over 20,000 people in year. It's easy to fall into the trap of looking for the least expensive person you can find, until you think of 20,000 interactions. Your receptionist may be the most important person in your business. They are often the first contact that a client has with you. It's time to quit looking for the cheapest person available and start looking for the one who can assist you in providing an incredible client experience.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mission Possible - An Incredible Career in 52 weeks (Week 7)

Mission 7 Think Win,  Win.
 National statistics show that the average salon only makes a 6% profit and that a large percentage of independent salons are likely to fail. On average only 2 in 5 stylists will still be doing hair in 3 years. Some of the statistics can be pretty sobering. However it doesn’t have to be that way. There is no reason why both salons and stylists can’t be very successful if they work together. There must be an attitude of cooperation in which every situation is win-win. Any relationship which is one sided will fail. Stylists and Salon Owners must work together to become more business oriented to survive. So where do you start? First we have to understand each other. Stylists need to realize that owners probably aren’t getting rich off of them and that owner, who has probably borrowed against everything they own just to start the salon, must make a reasonable profit. For owners they need to understand that it is human nature for all of us to want to make as much money as possible and to have the opportunity for continued growth. Successful salons are very team oriented. If you want to be successful, get out and find a place where both you and the salon can be successful together

 “Talent is always conscious of it’s own abundance and does not object to sharing.” Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Mission Possible - An Incredible Career in 52 weeks (Week 6)

Mission 6 Take Action!

 When all is said and done more is said than done. That's because we have all bought into the biggest lie out there,  that knowledge is power.  You see knowledge is not power,  it is the application and implementation of knowledge that is power. What you know doesn’t mean a thing, but what you do with what you know can change the world. But, it takes action.
 So what keeps us from taking action? Perhaps we are waiting until there is an absence of risk, or until we are more confident or for the right mentor to come along, or until we can do it perfectly.  It is often fear of failure that keeps us from moving forward, but failure isn’t the worst possible result. Not trying is. If you try, you have the possibility of success. If you don’t try you have already failed. The key is you don’t have to be good to start, but you have to start to be good. Failure only comes when you don’t take action. Donn Matlack says:  “You’re either on the winning team or the learning team”. We will not always win, -but we can always learn. If you take five steps towards your goal and one of them is a misstep, big deal. You’re still four steps closer to your goal than you were before. Persistence is probably the single most common quality of high achievers. They simply refuse to give up. The longer you hang in there, the greater the chance that something will work for you.
 The problem is we’ve become a nation of watchers. We watch reality T.V., we watch others do the dating, we watch others having the adventures. The few do and many watch, and usually those who watch just complain about those who do and the way they do it. If you want to be successful you have to take action. Everyone is good at starting. It is that persistence and finishing that will make you successful. Success is about follow through. Don’t wait another day. Start taking action towards your goals and dreams now.
 “If you would go everyday to a large tree, and take 5 swings at it with a very sharp axe, eventually no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.” Ron Scolastico 

Mission Possible - An Incredible Career in 52 weeks (Week 5)

Mission 5 Have More Fun

Lighten up and have more fun. 
I think there are a lot of companies in this world who have made the mistake of not understanding that having a good time is a good solid business principle.  When people enjoy what they do and have a good time doing it,  -they will figure out all on their own how to be excellent at it.  People who hate what they do will never be any good at their job.  You must enjoy what you do.  In fact,  you need to get into it or get out of it.  If you can’t work with passion at your career then you need to change jobs because you’ll never be successful at it.  However,  there are times when our dream job just isn’t available yet. In that case,  if you can’t get out of it, then get into it.  Make the most of your situation until your dream job comes along.  You are responsible for the quality of your own experience.

“When love and skill work together,  expect a masterpiece.” John Ruskin

Mission Possible - An Incredible Career in 52 weeks (Week 4)

Mission 4  Control your attitude
 Successful people understand how critical the skill of having a good attitude is.  I won’t tell you that having a good attitude is going to keep things from happening to you,  or make your life perfect.  We all have challenges;  however,  having a good attitude will help you deal with the things that happen to you.  And really that’s what we need,  the ability to deal with the things that happen to us.  We all have challenges to face,  but it is how we deal with those challenges that will determine our success.  If you were traveling in a car and got a flat tire,  -you wouldn’t give up on your trip,  you’d fix the tire and continue on toward your destination.  The same is true for any challenge we face.  Successful people learn from the problem and then leave it behind in their rearview mirror.

 “We cannot choose the things that will happen to us.  But we can choose the attitude we will take toward anything that happens.  Success or failure depends on your attitude.”  Alfred A. Montepert

Mission Possible - An Incredible Career in 52 weeks (Week 3)

Mission 3  Learn to be Flexible

Your third mission is this: You need to learn to be more flexible.  Flexibility is the key to dealing with just about everything.   If there is one thing I can guarantee you,  it is that your life and career will not go the way you expect it to. We may not be responsible for everything that happens to us,  however,  we are responsible for the way that we react.  You’ve got to be flexible because one thing is for sure, things will change.  There will challenges,  roadblocks and potholes.  Some of the greatest experiences of my life have come because of challenges that I originally thought of as roadblocks.  I have often been led down a better path than the one I originally set out on.
For the most part,  successful people are those who keep on working toward the goal despite any roadblocks,  stay alert for unexpected opportunities and make the best of whatever happens along the way. 
 “The willow which bends to the tempest often escapes better than the oak which resists it. “
Walter Scott

Mission Possible - An Incredible Career in 52 weeks (week 2)

Mission 2 Promise Yourself

Adopt this famous poem by Christian D. Larson as your creed:
Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.  To talk health, happiness,  and prosperity to every person that you meet.  To make all of your friends feel that there is something special in them.  To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. To think only of the best,  to work only for the best and to expect only the best.  To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.  To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.  To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature that you meet a smile.  To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.  To be too large for worry,  too noble for anger,  too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

-Larry Curtis
President of Taylor Andrews Academy

Mission Possible - An Incredible Career in 52 weeks (Week 1)

My friend Eric Fisher (One of the country's most successful salon owners)  and I have put together a years worth of ideas,  tips and tricks for a great career from our forthcoming book: Mission Possible - An Incredible Career in 52 weeks.  I'll share one idea per week here on my blog.  I hope these simple but effective ideas benefit you as much as they have me.

Mission 1 Take Personal Responsibility For Your Success

The first mission is this:  You have to learn to take personal responsibility. Are you ready to follow your dreams?  Because if you are,   you have to realize that everything you have in your life is the result of the decisions you have made up to this point. 
Your success is not up to your husband or wife,  -your mom or dad;  it’s not up to your boss.  Your success isn’t based upon how good or bad the economy is,   your success is up to one person and one person only -- you.  You’re in the driver’s seat.  You’re the one who determines the direction you will travel  -and how fast you’ll get there.  I’m just hoping to help you steer clear of some of the hazards.  You must take personal responsibility for your success.

-Larry Curtis
President of Taylor Andrews Academy

You can not change the circumstances,  the seasons,  or the wind,  but you can change yourself.Jim Rohn