My First Year: First-Time Customer Jitters

Editor's Note: Kelly Wilson approached NAILS Magazine saying she’d love to read a blog from someone who is just starting out in the industry. We liked the idea, so we offered Wilson this space to write about the ups and downs of a first year nail tech. Tune in each week to hear more from Kelly, and feel free to leave your comments below the post.

The big moment has finally arrived! You have hoped, prayed, and waited patiently. And now it's finally happened! Your first client! Take that, empty chair blues!  

You speak with your client to see what she has in mind. You carefully look at the condition of her nails; you smile and strike up a conversation. Suddenly, you become the professional! What an amazing feeling! All those hours studying, practicing, and mentally prepping are finally coming together. 

Then that damn little nagging voice starts and you'd think by now it would learn to shut up. "You are going to screw up, there is no one to help you, she will never come back to you, she'll tell all her friends how awful you are!" At this point you are considering your options. Maybe you ought to move out of the country to a remote island where no one knows you and change your name to Selina Kyle. 

You can feel the self-doubts rising in you more and more. But you take a deep breath and look around at your surroundings. Who was the one that the client came to see? YOU! Who is the one behind the chair? YOU! Who is the person who can tell this client which service would benefit her in the long run? YOU! So shake those doubts away! Because you know deep down, you got this. 

I believe self-doubt is sort of like your ugly cousin. The one who keeps putting you down and not wanting you to succeed. And yet they wonder why we only see them on holidays. It's time to tell that ugly cousin off!  Because even with their nagging voice, you still don't know how this service will end, until it does end. And it’s never going to be as bad as you think.

What really matters is seeing a client’s face light up when their service is done. Whether it's a polish change or a pedicure, the smile and the appreciation from that client makes the little nagging voices fade away until one day they are totally mute. This doesn't mean we won't make mistakes or have a bad day, but we will learn that a mistake is just that, a mistake. It doesn't make us any less professional and it doesn't mean we aren't good at what we do.  

So, I am going to raise a toast to my fellow nail techs and to their first clients! May all your ugly cousins put a sock in it!

 You May Also Like: My First Year: Empty Chair Blues

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