Marketing & Promotions

The Nail Hub Podcast Transcription: Advancement

Elizabeth Morris asks "Are we proud of what we've achieved? Is what we're doing driving us forward? Is our industry becoming oversimplified in a way that is detrimental to our advancement?"

Welcome to The Nail Hub Podcast powered by "NAILS Magazine," where you'll find all the business advice, motivation, and nail industry information you need to be a successful nail professional. I'm Elizabeth Morris, and thank you for joining me today.  

So last time I talked about this new thing, well, it's really not new, it's been around for a couple of years, but I feel like it's gotten a lot more publicity recently, which is the cornstarch nail movement. And I also just saw someone post about using flour instead of cornstarch. And if you haven't listened to my last podcast episode I definitely recommend doing it. Because a lot of you, after I posted it on YouTube, you know, I post my podcast primarily on iTunes, and Google Play, and different places where audio podcast are more common, but also I feel like YouTube is a great place to post it because then people can comment. And I'm actually looking into some other platforms as well that allow for commenting below the podcast because I really like to get your guys' feedback on my episodes. So last time I talked about cornstarch nails and there was just a lot of good responses to it. So if you cruise over to my Nail Hub YouTube channel, you'll see underneath my cornstarch nail episode, you'll see some awesome commentary from different nail techs, and even some do it yourselfers commented on it, which is another great thing about YouTube, is we kind of get opinions from all different sides of the industry. So cornstarch, I am going to vote no on cornstarch. I understand that for many it's a cheap option, it's an easy option, but at the end of the day you're using something that is not intended for nail use. I mean, even back in the day when they used to make nails out of porcelain and things like that, I mean, at least it was something that was non, you know, at least non or semi porous, you know, wasn't going to be absorbing water or other different things and allowing for gross stuff to grow on your nail plate.    And at the end of day, I'm not a big believer in the whole glue movement either. I mean, cyanoacrylate, it does dry fast, it is strong, but at the end of the day it's very brittle. It's got some heavy duty chemicals in there. I mean, the fumes alone of cyanoacrylate can melt your contact lenses if you're staring over it. And anyone who's ever used nail glue, if you get too close while you're using nail glue, I mean, it burns the heck out of your eyes. And anything that has that type of effect on me or the people I'm working on, I just stay away from. Cyanoacrylate to me, which is the common super glue, nail glue, crazy glue, cyanoacrylate is the main ingredient in all of those types of glues. 

I mean, at the end of the day that's what dip system is. I mean, the thing that's holding it all together is glue, and then you've got the activator which essentially is kind of like what we do with monomer. So the whole dip system thing I just, I'm not a huge fan. And the cornstarch thing kind of got me thinking about it because, you know, I see a lot of people that got on the dip system bandwagon and I get it. Like, I totally get it. It's easy, it's quick, it's inexpensive, it's something that's kind of like a win-win for nail techs and clients because the clients are, you know, especially clients who are afraid of artificial nails because they've had bad experiences with E-files or they're afraid of UV lamps because they've watched the lovely Dr. Oz too many times and they're convinced that UV lamps are evil. Whatever the reason might be, dip systems definitely came on the scene.

And I actually had a really interesting conversation with some colleagues in the nail industry on Friday. We got to talking about, you know, all the different types of products that basically are trying to make things easier for nail techs. Now, I'm a big fan of things being efficient for me and for things being easy for me, but I don't like products that take away the skill, and the need to improve, and learn, and work toward something. Because if it's something that is just so simple and so easy for anyone to do, that's great, and maybe that's a great starting point for people. But I also see a lot of like really skilled nail techs who are opting to do dip system because they're thinking like, "Oh well, my clients are asking for it." And I'm like, "Yeah, but since when do clients know what they actually want?" I mean, every time I've ever had a client come to me and say, "This is what I want," I start to ask them questions, "Well, why do you want that? I mean, what's kind of your thought behind that or what's your reasoning?" And as soon as they start to explain what their thoughts are behind it, it's usually because they have a fear of something or because they had a bad experience with something that was, you know, inappropriately used, or ill-applied. And as soon as we start to discuss it, you know, then I start to say, "Hey, look, I completely understand you've had bad experiences with E-files, or with acrylic, or with, you know, UV lamps or that you've seen some propaganda that swayed your mind one way or the other, I totally get it." But I am of the mindset where me as a nail tech, I have worked very hard to get to the point where my skill set is where it is today, and I continuously work on it to become even better than I am.

I prefer gel, so gel is where I live and I love sculpting with hard gel. That's like my fave, and then I love hand painting with soak-off gels, with art gels. Love it, love it, love it.    That's what speaks to me. And if I had a client come to me and go, "I want regular nail polish or I want dip system," you know, I would try. I would try to have that conversation with them and say, "Hey, let me know, you know, where your head is at, what do you like about it? What, you know, what's been your experience with it and what's kind of your thought process behind why you're asking me to do that?" But then, I always respond with, "Well, I can appreciate that that's what you're looking for, but that's not what I work with. That's not what I specialize in, and I don't feel comfortable giving you something that I don't specialize in because that's not what I do. I can't be proud of that work, I can't put something on you that, you know, oh, yeah, on a whim, I'm gonna dip your fingers, you know, in acrylic powder and slap some glue on there."  To me that's just such a slap in my face. You know, me doing it to myself, which is not even respecting the time and effort I've put into becoming good at what I do. But also I feel like it's not authentic to the client or to the clients that are gonna come in contact with that client. And I've said this many times, but again, you know, there's a lot of facets to this, which is number one, you're not being true to what you love to do. Number two, you're saying yes just because the client is asking you, and the client, at the end of the day I mean, there are some savvy clients, but in most situations the client doesn't really understand what they're asking for. They have some type of bias. So they have some fear factor or some idea that's been put in their head and that's what they think. And then again, if you do that service, so let's say I do dip system on someone that I don't generally do any dip system, that person's gonna leave my salon and guess what? It's gonna be Murphy's law that that person walks around and goes, "Oh my gosh." And especially because, you know, I have worked on my skills and I am very knowledgeable about what I do, of course, even if I dumb it down and I do dip system, the dip system nails are probably gonna be ultra clean, cuticles clean, everything looks awesome, shape looks awesome, and they're gonna go, "Oh my god, it's the dip system. That's why my nails look so beautiful."   

Because clients just do that, they immediately associate like dip system is what magically made their nails perfectly clean and well-shaped. It's like no. But okay, they're gonna walk around and they're gonna tell all their friends and family they're going to meet. You know, anyone who compliments their nails they're gonna go, "Oh my gosh, you have to go see Liz. She does the most amazing dip system nails, and blah, blah, blah." And then here you go, now you've got people calling you for dip system when you never, ever wanted to touch it in the first place, but you did it because a client asked you and you felt bad about it, or you wanted to make the money or whatever it is and now you've dug yourself a hole. 

There's a difference between being kind of short-sighted, right, and like having horse blinders on and going, "No, no, no, no, no, I'm never gonna look at anything other than gel." Because even me, it's important for me as someone who belongs in this industry and who really, you know, works hard in this industry is to understand what all these different products are, right? So I have, I've tried dip system, I've tried, you know, nail polish, gel polish, hard gel. I've tried like every brand of everything that there is. I've tried acrylic as well. I've even tried the dual forms, you know, where you're like not even sculpting. You're just, you know, putting product on the inside of a plastic form and slapping it on your finger and creating a perfect extension. I've tried tips, I've tried silk wraps, I've tried...what else?  But if you were to ask me what speaks to me and what I naturally feel like is my favorite product and what I love doing on people is gel. I love gel and specifically, sculpting with hard gel. I love sculpting, I hate nail glue, I hate plastic tips, I hate the way that they make everyone's fingers look like bird talons, where the tip's always curved down unnaturally and then trying to file the plastic tip into whatever shape you want, it just takes days. I mean, to me part of sculpting makes me proud because it makes me realize like, hey, I got to the point where I can do this. You know, when I first started as a nail tech, I was horrible at nails. Oh my gosh, my first sculptured nails were disgusting and I used to glue on tips because I didn't know how to do anything else. But as I started to see other nail techs and the beauty of the work that they did I was like, you know what? It's fine that I started here and it's fine that I do this, but I wanna work toward something that requires more skill. I wanna work toward something that I can say, "Hey, not everyone can do this."   

And now, I am one of those people who's more advanced, I am one of those people that can do things on, you know, kind of a higher level. And I'm not trying to bash people who like putting on tips and laying down acrylic, that's not what I'm talking about, but for me personally, that's how I feel about it. And so when I see it, you know, whether it's the cornstarch thing, right, which is taking it to a complete extreme, but also just the general focus of our industry on dumbing things down, it makes me kind of sad because it makes me realize like, in a way, and this is kind of the conversation that I had with some of my colleagues on Friday, in a way it's nothing more than manufacturers trying to address the fact that nail techs, when they come out of school or when they start out in this industry, don't have a lot of skill, right? And I actually...I'm gonna be talking about licensing in a later episode. I've been trying to really organize my thoughts on it because I don't want to just randomly go into the whole house school doesn't teach us anything type of thing without really having some concrete examples and opinions. But anyway, I think we can all agree that most people, 99.999% of nail technicians who start out in this industry, especially the ones that come straight out of the U.S. beauty school know nothing. They know absolutely nothing. And that skill set is difficult to improve because a lot of times people have already spent all the money they had on beauty school, or they, you know, invested all their money in product, or they're trying to start their own salon and they don't have the time, or the energy, or the money to go and do continue education. And I get it because when I first started continuing education seemed like something that you couldn't even get access to. It was like, how does everyone know what these classes are? How does everyone know what's going on? Like, I felt like I was a complete outsider, even though I was a working nail technician. And then eventually, I started getting invited to things and I started seeing where things were, but I do get it. I get how we have a lot of nail technicians who either start out with no education and then don't know how to get education. Or maybe they just don't want education or a lot of them, you know, and a lot of the girls that I used to work with, a lot of them like they didn't really have a passion for nails. They just chose nails because they didn't wanna do something else. They were like, "Well, I don't wanna be a hotel maid, so I'm gonna do nails." And I'm like, "Well, that's not really how I would look at it." But I get it, I get how we're here. I get how we have a lot of people that are doing cornstarch nails because it seems easy and cheap. 

I get how we've got a lot of people that are ill-educated because our system here, especially in the U.S., is not supporting continuing education. It's not really driving anything forward. If anything, it's restricting it further, and further, and further, and hopes that we're somehow going to make it safe, and clean, and wonderful. And yet what we've got is just a big group of new nail techs and even some that have been working for a while that just their skill set is not improving. And so, you know, that's a whole other conversation, which is, how do we fix that? But my conversation I had on Friday was like, "Okay, so I get that. I totally get it and I don't agree with it. I want people to be better. I want people to have the opportunity to improve upon their skill set. But what's the incentive for them when manufacturers keep coming out with these dumb down things? Like, dip system, and dual forms, and, you know, here slap on a tip with glue and lay some product on it and call it a day." And it's like okay. And so it's kind of this vicious cycle where we keep trying to make things easy so that we can include people, so that we can, you know, kind of put things out there in an effort to help the people at the, you know, the beginning stages of their career. But then we're not really incentivizing anyone to improve. We're not really saying like, "Hey, guys, at the end of the day dip system isn't some magical thing. It's actually just acrylic powder and cyanoacrylate glue that's ridiculously hard to remove, and also doesn't give you access to the nail play every two weeks where you can see it and make sure that, you know, there's nothing going on down there." You know, it's like all these gimmicks where it's like, "Hey, this is so easy, simple, blah, blah, blah." You know, and it's like great, but I mean, where are we going, right? Are we just gonna keep dumbing it down? Are we just gonna keep making it so simple that at the end of the day we're back to leave press on nails, and that's what nail techs are gonna be doing?" It's just, "Oh, let me put some, you know, self-adhesive tape on the inside of this plastic full coverage tip and just stick it on my client and charge them $45." It's like at the end of the day, I don't know where we're going with this. And so we had this conversation and it makes me sad because cornstarch nails is one part of it, but just seeing all of the things that are coming up in the industry right now, even like the poly gel, poly gel has been around for a long time. You know, DIYers were making gum gel out of mixing gel and acrylic powder together and they were coming up with their own kind of easy to use gel system. And again, I understand because when I first started with gel, for example, and I didn't have access to a lot of professional products and I didn't know where to get professional products, I remember ordering weird generic gel off of eBay. Like when I first started as a nail tech and even before I went to nail school I was interested in nails, and so I was like, "Well, I can't, you know, buy professional stuff. So I'm gonna go on eBay and I'm gonna try and find something that is builder gel." First of all it's like the worst gel on the planet, but I didn't know that at the time. Super thin and runny, burns like crazy, you know, it's bad all around, right? But I remember this and I remember thinking like, "Oh my gosh, gel is so hard to use." Like, I saw all these amazing people using it and I'm like, "Oh my gosh, this stuff is so hard to use, it runs all over the place." I would like paint in layers and then I'd get this like really lumpy gross nail. And I'd be like, "Now, what do I do with this thing?" You know. So I totally get how we get there because in the beginning it's just everything is new, you don't understand how to get your hands on anything, there's really no guidance after you graduated from school. Nobody tells you like, "Oh hey, you know, here's like a great place to get to continuing education," or, "Here's a great place to get products," or, "Here's a great place to get information about your business." I mean, schools are just like, "Okay, go take your state exam and, you know, you hopefully will pass and if you don't you can retake it. And oh, and we're going to give you a loan for this and blah, blah."   And you're like, "Okay, but now what?"

And so with gel, for example, I think a lot of nail techs start out thinking gel is really difficult to use, because they've only had an experience with like a one-step system where it's supposed to be, you know, base builder and topcoat and one in the formulas really thin and it's really difficult to use, and it runs all over the place. And so then, you know, especially a lot of DIYers and stuff, they start, they're like, "Hey, I've seen, you know, some salons mix gel and acrylic powder together, that must make it easier because it's gonna make it more like a paste." Well, okay. So fastforward to today now, we've got poly gel, right? And now, we as a slip solution to pat down poly gel. So if acrylic is too hard where you can't get your bead ratio consistent and gel is too hard because it's running all over the place and you don't wanna have to use a UV lamp or whatever, you know, your litany of reasons might be, well, poly gel is, you know, in the middle because it's basically essentially a mix between the two. It's essentially like mixing acrylic powder with gel. And so now, we do have gel powder, which we all fight that all the time with clients saying, "Oh, you know, gel powder nails or powder gel nails." So now, we have again, this super easy application that's supposed to solve all of our problems and then, you know, now we have dip system and that's supposed to solve all of our problems. Now, we've got dual forms for people that do wanna use gel or poly gel, but even can't sculpt with that. Or now, we've got it where you don't even have to use tips or forms, now you can use dual forms to actually create the extension and then create the apex with it with these reverse nail molds.

And so my personal opinion, and again, you know, I started this podcast a few years ago now, and it's been a lot of my opinion, right? So you have to take what I say with a grain of salt. So if you disagree with me I get it, you can totally disagree with me. But I think that we're not doing ourselves any favors by not creating an environment where, yes, you can start out as a beginner and you can use simple techniques when you're trying to learn, but I think we also need to have something to work towards. I think we also need to give, being able to sculpt beautiful and enhancements and being able to hand paint, and being able to properly work on skin and nail play, and you know, shaping and all of that stuff.    I think we need to give that more weight than we're giving it. I find this shift happening where we're giving simple, easy dumb down the weight in our industry instead of realizing that that's okay, it's a great starting point, and that we do need to give people kind of stepping stones to work with as they build their skill set. But at the end of the day we need to be promoting those high-end skill sets as something that should be achievable and should be attained. It's something desirable, it's something that...that is the ultimate, is to be able to get to the point when you can do sculpted nails like Kostka Bojana. If you haven't checked out Kostka Bojana, she does the most amazing sculptured nails I've ever seen. And even me I can't sculpt nails that well. I mean, I could probably if I spend 12 hours doing it on 1 finger. But I mean, I look at people like that and I'm like, "Gosh, I wanna be like that someday. I wanna work until I make nails like Kostka Bojana."  I don't look at the industry and go, "Oh, you know what? Working with gel is really difficult, I think I'm gonna go to do something easier and cheaper. And I'm just gonna slap glue on someone's finger and dip it in acrylic powder and call it a day." I mean, like, where do we go with that? And I actually said this in one of my previous podcasts and someone actually quoted it and said, "I love that you said this, is that I don't want clients coming to me because they can do what I do, they just don't want to. I want clients coming to me because they can't do what I do." I want to have a skill set so advanced that I am a true master of my trade and clients come to me because I am a master of my trade, because I am a trade expert, because I'm an expert in nail care. That's why I want people coming to me. I don't want people coming to me because I have a paper license that hangs on my wall and they can't get one because they have to go and do 400, or 600, or 1,200 hours of training and they have to pay X amount of dollars to be able to do it. I don't want people coming to me because they can't buy products to use on themselves because only professionals have access. I don't want people not being able to come to me because, you know, it takes, you know, whatever. Like, you know, because they had issues with cornstarch on their nails and, you know, I want people to come to me because they see me as an actual expert. I want people to come to me because they understand that I can do nails better than they can, that I can do nails better than even other nail salons. I want people to value me for that work, and the only way that I can get that value and the only way I can get that respect is never dumbing down what I do., never allowing a client to tell me I'm too expensive or, you know, why don't I do this, or why don't I do dip system, or why don't I do nail polish, or why don't I do whatever because that's not me, that's not who I am as a professional, that's not who I am as a nail technician, and I'm okay with saying no to people. I'm okay with being on the hunt for the people that get it. I only want clients who get it. I don't need the rest of them. There's plenty of salons on the planet that will address whatever, you know, people want, just like there's a gazillion restaurants and clothing stores, and we've got Forever 21, and we've got Chanel, and we've got, you know, McDonald's, and we've got Morton's Steakhouse. I mean, there's a whole bunch of stuff even in between. I don't want to become the Forever 21 of nail salons just because some client comes to me and goes, "You're expensive," or, "I want this." I'm sorry, I'm not willing to do it.  

And this is a big problem that I see in the nail industry is just, again, this push to be inclusive, which I love. I'm not saying we need to be exclusive to the point where someone can't sculpt a nail that you're somehow lower than everyone else, that's not the point. The point is that it's very important to remember that we all start out as beginners, we all start out with no skill set. I mean, even when we were kids, we couldn't walk, we couldn't talk. You know, I couldn't speak Spanish five years ago. I couldn't, you know, do all kinds of things five years ago. But I like learning and I like actually working towards the goal of getting better at something, and the goal of anything should be to become an expert. The goal of anything should be that when you put in those, you know, "10,000 hours" into something, that you are an expert, that your skill set reflects the amount of time that you've invested in it, and that should be the goal. It shouldn't be the goal that, "Oh, you know, we wanna be quicker, faster, cheaper, simpler, you know, and then we're just gonna now make our whole industry dumbed down to the point where it's nothing more than glue and powder." I mean, what's the point of that?

I wanna be in an industry where it's about C-curves, and apexes, and angles, and hand painting, and, you know, precision, and cuticle care, and filing, and shaping, and product knowledge. I wanna be in an industry where all of those things are important. I wanna be in an industry that keeps those things at the forefront. And the only way our industry is gonna survive and continue to prosper is if we do value those things and if we do value skill set over simplicity. And I want you guys to really think about if you are sacrificing what you want by saying yes to clients or even by feeling pressured to dumb things down. You know, maybe you feel pressured because your business isn't set up properly and so you're not charging the prices you should be charging, you have no idea what's going on with your business. And so all you know is that you don't have the money to spend on premium products and so you're trying to find cheaper, faster, simpler ways so that you can cram more clients into your day and charge, you know, a little bit less than what you wanna charge so you can get more people in your chair and keep those products cheap so you can afford to buy them. I know a lot of people in our industry are in that position, but that's ultimately the illness that's happening inside of our industry, is the fact that people aren't aware of what's going on. They're not actually paying attention to their own businesses and they're not actually making strategic, conscious decisions about what is right for them and what is best for their business. They're just kind of flying by the seat of their pants and then they wake up one day and go, "Oh, my gosh, you know, this isn't working for me and now, how do I get myself out of this situation?"

And on that note, you know, as we're talking about some of this stuff, I think this is also some of the...you know, and you can again disagree with me, but I also think that over simplifying and going the cheap and easy route also has a huge effect on the confidence level of the nail techs who work in this industry. And again, I see this so much, people post all the time about... like, for example, I just saw someone post a text message that they had gone back and forth with a client about their pricing and the client was basically saying like, "You're way too expensive. Oh, my gosh, you're so expensive. I can't believe you charge these prices. This is ridiculous, blah, blah, blah." And sure enough, instead of the nail tech going, "Okay, this is obviously just someone who doesn't value good nail work or doesn't understand what my MO is, forget it, moving on," they legit gave this person weight and said, "Oh my gosh, should I lower my prices?" And I'm thinking, if you actually knew what made up your price, if you actually knew the amount of money that you wanted to make or had to make to cover your expenses and to make some money for yourself and be able to be successful, if you actually had a handle on your finances and the inner workings of your business, you wouldn't even give it a second thought when someone said that because at the end of the day that's not your customer. At the end of the day each business is looking for a specific type of customer. Each business is strategically set up to go after a specific customer, with a specific price point, in a specific market, and provide a specific service or product. And all of those things are very important to us as business owners. Your clients aren't the same as my clients. Yes, we both do nails, but we probably don't provide the same thing, and we probably don't live in the same place, and we probably aren't interested in working on the same types of people.

I think it's very important that we get a handle on our businesses and we stop just being consumers in the worst sense of that word. We start really being strategic business owners and understanding that every decision we make has an impact on our business. And that if we actually had a handle on it, like I said, if we actually had a handle on our businesses and we knew in the back of our mind how much that full set of gel nails would cost us to do and how long it would take, and we had confidence in the fact that we could do it and that we knew we were going to do a good job and we were providing value to the customer, then we wouldn't care if a customer said, "You're expensive." We'd say, "Oh, okay, well, you know obviously I'm not the salon for you," no big deal, moving on. I'm gonna find a customer who is the right customer for me. And I don't see myself as, you know, other people. Like, I would never ask another nail technician what they charge for something because I'm not them. I don't run their business and they don't run mine. And I'm certainly not gonna charge the same amount of money as someone who doesn't have as good of a skill set as me just because they tend, you know, they happen to do nails. Just because we all happen to do nails doesn't mean that we're all the same or that our businesses should operate the same. And so that also is a huge piece, which is, the more we dumb things down the more we are ignorant about what's going on inside of our businesses, the more that we just float on the surface instead of really digging deep and understanding how our business should operate and how it is operating, the less confidence we have in everything that we do, the more susceptible we are to being fickle. The more we fleet around and can't make an actual conscious decision, the more that we tend to hop around and, you know, jump from salon to salon, or we can't keep ends together for more than six months at a time. And we, you know, we get tired, we get worn out, we tend to go cheaper faster, simpler. And the more that we tend to do that the more that we feel insecure about what we're doing and we have no backbone when it comes to telling a client, "That's not what I do." This is all interrelated.  And I just see it as this thing that it seems kind of superficial at this point. It seems like, you know, everything's kind of just...all these simpler techniques are coming out and everyone's like, "Oh, cool, that's like a faster, easier way of doing something." And I get it, but I still think that it doesn't really speak to what we should be doing as nail technicians.

And you can disagree with me absolutely and I would love to hear your thoughts about this, because the cornstarch conversation that we had in the last episode I really think was an important thing to talk about when it comes to just completely unprofessional products, period. But there's also a lot of "professional" products that I feel like, really, if you look at them aren't really that professional. And I'm not trying to bash anyone, I'm not trying to bash the companies who make these things. I think they're in a position where they're trying to answer this problem of...they're trying to find a product or a solution for nail techs who aren't advancing. They're trying to find a solution on how to include people in their customer base that can't actually do sculpted nails, that can't actually do good work without some kind of quick work around. And again, that's fine as a starting point. And I started there, every nail tech I know started at that point where the first set of nails I did were just horrendous. I'm talking fugly. And, you know, I remember not even having a clue about what anything was. I remember even after I went to school I had no clue, and it took me so long to get a handle on it. But I did and I worked towards it, and I put one foot in front of the other until I've gotten to where I am five years later. And my skill set has grown and improved by leaps and bounds, and that's something that makes me so proud. And I don't know what I would do if I didn't have that. I don't know how I would feel if I had sold out and actually just said, "Oh, you know what, Liz? You're never gonna learn how to do that, you're never gonna improve, so just keep it simple and, you know, just dumb things down and just, you know, don't charge more." You know, let my clients tell me how much I'm worth, and just try and find cheap, easy, fast products to make that work for me. If I had done that over the last five years, I definitely wouldn't feel as confident as I do now. I definitely wouldn't feel confident like, "Hey, I can do nails just as good as anyone else. You put me next to anyone and I will show you what I am good at." I am great at nails, I have a very specific thing that I like doing, and I could find clients tomorrow if I wanted to find clients. And having that confidence level is so great for me as a nail technician because it gives me empowerment. And I think that empowerment is lacking because we're not actually achieving. We're not actually, you know, saying, "Hey, I did that. I didn't do that five years ago or I didn't do that two years ago, but I do that today because I learned how to do it. I overcame that obstacle and now I have a skill set I never had before. And hey, I didn't know how to do my business finances two years ago, but now, I do and I have a handle on my business and I've achieved that and that makes me feel more confident and it empowers me to run my business at a much higher level."

So all of those things I would like to hear your feedback on because I wanna hear if it makes a difference to you. Do you think that all the simpler techniques are, you know, eating away at our industry? Do you feel confident in your current position? Or what do you wish you knew how to do? You know, where are you today and where do you want to be?   Or have you even given it any thought? Maybe you're just working yourself to the bone and you haven't even really sat back and go, "Where do I wanna be next year? What do I want 2018 to bring me? What skill set do I want to learn in 2018?" And maybe it's not even nail related, you know, maybe it's like a completely different thing. Like, this year I wanted to learn how to be better at content creation, you know. And, you know, even like I said, like learning another language, or learning how to paint, or whatever it might be, what is that goal for you? Especially now that we're getting close to New Year and we're talking about New Year's resolutions, which, of course, are always very cliche, and tend to fizzle quickly. But I really want you guys to think about where are you today? Where were you 2, 3, 5, 10 years ago? Where do you want to be in 2, 3, 5, 10 years from now? And do you think that these oversimplified techniques are going to get you there? Do you think that you're actually putting your best foot forward with that? What's your opinion on these oversimplified techniques and these oversimplified products? I mean, how do they make you feel? And do you think that there, you know, there is the focus on continuing education that there should be or do you think that we're oversimplifying things and we're really not giving it the way that it deserves? So I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.   I just think it's such an interesting topic, and, again, you know, I can't say this enough because I definitely do not want people to think that I'm somehow criticizing or, you know, putting down people that use these simple techniques. Like, if you're the queen of dip powder, I mean, that's all you. I mean, that's definitely your choice and I don't criticize you at all, but I want to at least have the conversation of, is dip system really getting us anywhere? You know what I mean? Like you may be making a ton of money hand over fist with it, but like, what is it really? I mean, does it really require that much skill? I mean, does it really, you know, advance our industry? I say no, and maybe you disagree, but either way, whether you agree with me or disagree with me, I want to hear what your opinion is.

So, as always, I'm going to upload my podcast on iTunes, Google Play. It's also my website, thenailhub.com. If you guys want to check it out there, I've got a podcast section on my website that you can just listen to it on the website. And also I'm gonna post it on YouTube so that you guys can comment on my YouTube and, you know, get into some great dialogue. And in my last episode, the cornstarch mails, we got some really good commentary going and some really good dialogue going between nail technicians, and I just love seeing what your guys' opinion is. So please, you know, definitely share your opinion and let me know how you feel about all this stuff because I think that 2018, we really need to refocus as an industry and think about how we can actually be service providers, how we can actually be innovators, how we can actually be masters of our trade. I want 2018 to be nail techs becoming absolute, true, authentic masters of their trade, rather than being slappers, gluers. You know, I want people to actually think about where we're headed next year and all the years to come. And I welcome all of your input. 

 I wish you guys, we've got Christmas and New Year's coming up, I will be offline for the next couple weeks. I'm gonna be going out of town and spending time with family over the next couple of weeks. So this will be my last podcast until the new year. I leave you with a very heated topic for the rest of the year, but I wish you a very Merry Christmas. Whatever holiday you celebrate I wish you a very happy one and I also want to wish you a very Happy New Year. I hope you guys get some much needed rest and relaxation after working yourselves to the bone on clients this whole entire month. And I hope that you guys have had a very prosperous 2017. I hope we have an even more prosperous 2018. And my whole goal with the podcast has always been to break down barriers, open up conversation lines, help you guys with whatever I can help you with, and I've got some awesome stuff planned for next year.   So I hope you guys will join me and help me create some dialogue on these episodes. But again, I wish you a very happy holiday season. I hope you guys are very safe and get to have a lot of lovely time with family and loved ones. Eat some awesome food, over-indulge on sugar, and everything in between. So Merry Christmas, Happy New Years to all of you guys, and I will be back in touch with you in January, and in the meantime if you wanna hit me up please do so. Check out all the episodes that I've posted on YouTube. You can comment below any of the episodes and give me your opinion. You can also write me an email at [email protected] and you can also hit me up on social media at The Nail Hub. So I hope you guys will get in contact with me and let me know how things are going for you because I wanna hear what's, you know, what's your opinion and how this podcast can help you even further in 2018, all right? Bye, guys.  

This is Elizabeth Morris, signing off from The Nail Hub. This podcast is sponsored by "NAILS Magazine," the professional nail industry's leading publication. Have a suggestion, question, or concern? Send me an email at [email protected] And don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at The Nail Hub, and check out The Nail Hub YouTube channel for more episodes and tutorials. Want customized business consulting, access to classes, amazing products, and more? Visit thenailhub.com and check out all the wonderful things we provide. Our goal is to help you reach your ultimate potential. Thanks for listening and I'll catch you in the next episode.

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