This transcript has been edited for length and clarity.
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.
I wanted to talk today about mouthing off on social media. Recently I came across a situation that I just feel like wasn't handled that well. And I find that this happens quite a bit. I've had people call me out on stuff on social media without ever actually talking to me personally. And, you know, with our cell phones now these days, we're very tempted to just immediately as soon as we get something, you know, something's bothering us, we immediately go on social media and just start completely going crazy and writing all kinds of emotional stuff.
I want to use the word garbage, but my husband tells me that I need to work on my word choice. Some people appreciate my word choice, some people don't, some people think I talk a little bit harshly, but really it is emotional garbage. I mean, you're entitled to your opinion, but no one else needs to really know it and that's just the truth of the matter. And I know people are gonna disagree with me, and they're gonna say, "But Liz, I have a real gripe with something and I feel it's only fair that my voice is heard." Well, I can understand that. I can understand how someone would want their voice to be heard. But at the end of the day, it's just your opinion. And nine times out of 10, we don't have the full story. And let's say for the sake of argument that you do have every right to complain about something. Let's say you were wronged and somebody did something really bad to you and you feel like you need to tell the world about it because it's not fair that this person did this thing to you. Well, at the end of the day, how does it make you look? Do you get seen by your peers as, "Gosh, she posts a lot of negative stuff," or, "Gosh, she's always complaining about stuff"?
Be Aware of How You’re Perceived
The thing you really need to think about is even if you feel like you have every right to complain about something, how is that going to be perceived? Not only by your peers, your colleagues, but what about people who might potentially give you the opportunity to collaborate with them? What about future potential jobs, or opportunities? Maybe you want to become an educator and the company that you want to educate for immediately goes on your social media and sees that you literally do nothing but complain about stuff. In this industry, we have to be very careful about what we say because there is an element of politics to everything that we do. It doesn't matter if you're in the nail industry, if you're in daycare, if you're in high tech, there's politics in everything. And we need to actually be cognizant of that.
The bunny's mom in Bambi says to Thumper, "Hey, you know, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," and that still rings true many decades later because it is true. Whether or not you feel like it's right to say something negative or to spout off on social media is one thing, but you're gonna be perceived in a very specific way.
I always say there are consequences to everything. So if you're willing to accept every consequence of what that means to put out into the universe this drastic statement about something that you may not have all the information about, that could be perceived as overly negative, that could be something that tarnishes your potential reputation or tarnishes your ability to get opportunities in the future, if you're willing to accept all of those consequences for the sake of spouting off about something on your phone, more power to you.
But I think in most cases if you were to sit back and actually take a 24-hour breather before you actually write something and, you know, think about what you're writing and rewrite it and rewrite it again and have someone else read it and then rewrite it again, by the time you actually do all those edits and you actually thought about what the heck it is that you want to write, I think you're going to see that what you want to write really isn't that important and maybe it's not worth writing anyway.
Think Before You Speak
It used to be if you wanted to have to complain about something, you had to pick up the phone and you had to talk to someone about it. You actually had to tell someone else about how you felt. And I feel like that act of actually having to tell another human being sometimes makes you question, "Is this actually worthy of me telling that person? Or is it embarrassing, or am I gonna make myself look like a fool if I tell someone else all of these things that are making me so emotional?"
I get so tempted to just immediately go on and start typing away and just blah, blah, blah, and start freaking out of my phone. But then I sit back and go, "Okay, what would my podcast listeners think if they saw me just completely ripping someone to shreds? What would they think? And is it warranted, right? And how would I feel if I was on the receiving end of that?”
Most times I'm like, you know what? I don't have all the details and I don't feel confident in writing this because I don't know the full story. So that makes me take a second and step back. Or I immediately think about how is this going to potentially hurt opportunities for me in the future? You know, NAILS Magazine, who powers my podcast, what are the people at NAILS Magazine going to think if I start spouting off about something, right? And whether or not it's true, it doesn't matter. Because guess what? I am now involved in lots of different things and what I say and do has an effect on my colleagues, has an effect on my peers, has an effect on my business, has an effect on my relationships with the people that I collaborate with.
There's so much that you need to think about when you're getting to that level where your job is no longer a job, it's a career. And I think the biggest problem with us as nail technicians is that we don't think of ourselves as business people, we think of ourselves as little individuals that just love to do nails. Well, guess what? You are a business and everything you do has a consequence. And so you need to think about that before you just start rattling stuff off.
Responding to Reviews
I've talked in past episodes about how to respond to Yelp reviews. Don't just jump on and start typing away when you get a negative Yelp review. Take a second and have a glass of wine, or drink a soda or whatever. Take a second to think about it. First of all, you have to write on Yelp. Thank God, you know, because you actually have to take the time to write it out. You can't just spout something quickly on your phone. You actually need to type something up and take time to think about it.
Take the time to analyze the situation from all angles. Be factual, so that by the time you've responded to your Yelp review, you have calmed down, you're not throwing in emotional stuff, you're not throwing in slurs, you're not throwing in all kinds of emotionally driven stuff. You're actually thinking about, "Okay, what is the issue? How is this issue caused? How could it have been prevented? What's the information that isn't being included in this review and how can I really bring to light my side of the story?" And again, the beautiful thing about Yelp is that it's two sided. I mean, most of us think Yelp is so one-sided; it's all about the customer. I mean, it is kind of about the customer because they're the ones that are using Yelp. Business owners have yet to get up to speed on that in most cases.
But really, you do have the opportunity to have both sides because someone posts something and then someone posts a response. But I would say that in the business sense, it's a little bit more organized and there's nothing more...I mean, think of it as, you go on Yelp and you look at a business that you want to go visit. Maybe it's a restaurant, right? And immediately you're gonna go and you're gonna look at the negative reviews. And it's almost like you start laughing, right? Because you're like, "Oh, my gosh, like this person is so crazy. Like the stuff they're writing is just absolutely insane. Who would ever write something like this?" Well, think about that reaction that you have to other people's reviews before you actually write something yourself on social media.
I really encourage you guys to think about the consequences of your actions. I think that sometimes, as business owners, as nail techs--whether you're a man or a woman--I feel like we tend to get a little crazy with what we say and do and we don't necessarily think of ourselves in more of a professional light all the time. And because we lose sight of that professionalism, that is the thing that starts to create all of these problems, okay?
The other thing that I wanted to bring up is that we always complain about how we're not seen as professional, we're not seen on the same par as other businesses or other industries, and this is also part of it. The more unprofessional behavior and the more short-sightedness that lives inside of our industry, the more that those stereotypes are supported.
I don't think it's the only reason why we're seen differently in this industry, but I do think it's part of the reason why we're seen differently in this industry. And it even comes down to the simplest things like how my fellow nail techs don't always do their hair and makeup when they show up to places, or they don't always dress professionally, or they don't always say the right thing, or they cuss and, do all kinds of unprofessional things in front of other business owners, or in front of colleagues.
And I know that we should be able to like kick back and have fun because that's what this job is all about. And we get to do really fun things in this industry. But at the end of the day, you have to put your professional self forward. And in every capacity, you really need to be doing that because you are your business. And so the more that people see negative stuff about you, the more people are also going to associate negativity with your business. And you are a business. I know you may not want that responsibility, but you have to own up to it and realize that you, as a nail technician, are a business.
In business, the black and white part of it is... it is about money. So you can disagree with business’s decisions to make money, but you have to realize that you spouting off about it doesn't necessarily incite change. It actually just makes you look like the one who's complaining. And it just creates a barrier of negativity around you.
Be Positive and Incite Change
If you really want to incite change, I would encourage you to incite change in a positive manner. Instead of complaining, come up with solutions and encourage people to do it. Instead of controlling, create incentives to actually get people to follow you, right? Leadership is not about wrapping a lasso around people and dragging them with you. Leadership is about inspiring people to follow you. And that also happens on social media. So if you want to inspire and incite change and you want to see something that you think is negative change to a positive, then instead of bitching and complaining about it, come up with a positive, potential solution for it and create that type of environment that provides that solution for that specific problem.
And that's really the reason why certain people in our industry are revered and some people in our industry are feared or looked down upon. Because some people create positive incentives, and support, and ideas, and some people are fear mongering, and controlling, and bashing, and complaining. How do you want to be seen? It is absolutely 100% your decision, but you need to decide how you want to be seen by everyone. Not just your friends, not just the people that agree with you but everyone. If some amazing dream job person, your potential opportunity that you've been wanting for your whole life came across this post, and that's the only post they ever saw and that's all they knew about you know, would they want to hire you, or would they want to collaborate with you, or would they be proud to work alongside of you?
One of the issues I have with social media and the fact that we no longer make phone calls is that in this day and age, you know, everything you write is almost like a time capsule. I mean, everything can get screenshotted and even if you take it down, even if you delete something on social media that you regret posting, I guarantee you there's at least one or two people that have already screenshotted it. So it does exist and it does stick with you. And so that's why I recommend you really seriously consider what you're going to say before you say it. And if you don't have anything nice to say, sometimes saying nothing is better.
So hopefully you guys understand where I'm coming from. I am not an angel in this situation whatsoever, so don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to say that I'm perfect and you guys aren't. I absolutely falter in this arena and I absolutely say things I should not. But we need to be more conscious of this. And if we make an effort, if we make a concerted effort, I think you'll see that you run into these situations a lot less. And your stuff is going to be more insightful, it's going to be more positive, it's going to be incite amazing positive change more than it's going to just drum up negativity and become this negative spiral.
Just the act of being positive, or trying to find the positive spin on things, or trying to find the opportunity, really is something that also is going to affect you personally. Because people who focus on positivity are positive people. They are amazing people, they have the best energy. And I am a little bit of a cynic. I am kind of, you know, worst case scenario, Doomsday Prepper type of personality. I'm just naturally geared that way. And I often admire, you know, I often meet people that I admire so much because I'm like, "Wow, gosh, you're like such a positive person. Like just being around you feels good." And I often look at those people and I go, "I wanna be one of those people. I wanna be one of those people that when people come around me, they feel good. They feel better being with me than they feel being without me. And not because they need something from me but that I'm just a positive influence in their life." And so I would really encourage you guys to think about that as well.
Do you want to be a positive influence in someone's life? And even if you think no one listens to anything you say, maybe you have like three followers on Instagram, and you just started in this industry and you're like, "Oh, it doesn't matter because only like my friends, you know, who understand me on my social media," again, it's not just your little circle. Social media gets out. And this industry is a very, very tight circle and things get passed around more often than you think they do.
Remember the people behind the screen
So my only recommendation is just think before you act, take a breather, drink a glass of wine before you respond, maybe take a bubble bath if you don't drink. Whatever it is, take a few hours, calm down. And then if you want to write something after all of that and you realize that yes, I do want to say something about this, try and come up with a solution. Or maybe privately message the person rather than spouting off publicly on a public forum. Maybe give someone the benefit of the doubt and ask them first, "Hey, you did this and I don't appreciate it." Or "I don't agree." Or "This made me really angry. I would like your response on this to understand better why you did that," or whatever it is, right? And so give people the benefit of the doubt. That goes for companies as well.
Companies are just groups of people working together, it's not like they're robots. I mean, there are people who have put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into businesses. I think it's important to just think about that impact and realize that if you take a breather, sometimes you either find out that you don't need to write it or maybe you decide, "Hey, I'm gonna write them a personal message first to give them the benefit of the doubt."
And if someone really has wronged you and you do want to legitimately write something, make sure it's factual. Make sure it's concise, it's clear, it's understood. But at the end of the day, are they really gonna change anyway? Probably not. So it's better just to realize that, "Hey, that's not for me, I decide not to be involved with that going forward." But no one really else needs to know about that and that's just a personal decision. So that's my two cents on the matter.
I'm very excited because I have a surprise coming from one of my good friends in the industry who gave me a very special birthday present. So as soon as that is ready...she's very, very busy. You guys all know who she is, I'll tell you when it comes. But I'll definitely be showing you guys a very special gift that I got for my birthday once it's done.
We've got a new studio that I've been working on and this will allow me to really create some very professional content as I have been talking about. My focus for 2018 is just to create content. I'm gonna be stepping away from traveling quite a bit. So if you guys don't see me all the time, that is why. I really feel like I can be best used providing amazing informational resources for people, helping other businesses, helping promote other people.
So I'm gonna be focusing on my consulting business and also the content, I wanna get back to doing weekly podcasts, that's my goal. I feel like a lot of you guys missed me doing weekly podcasts. And, you know, I've said this a million times but honestly, I get the nicest emails from people about my podcast. And I have to say it really like touches me. So I really appreciate all that feedback.
But more exciting news... I went to Rhode Island last week. And I am so excited because we are now partnering--not just me and the Nail Hub, but there's a whole group of us--there's a whole group of educators that are part of the Crystal Culture original team. And this was headed up by my colleague, Gina Sylvestro. She started a company called Crystal Culture about three years ago. And I wanted to share this because it's a testament of hard work and professionalism and what those two combined can really do for you. Gina started this whole thing called Crystal Culture. She loves using frosty crystals in nail art, but she started to realize that not a lot of nail techs know how to use frosty crystals properly. So she decided to create a team of educators to go out and teach nail techs how to use frosty crystals. And she also came up with her own custom designs for people that struggled with understanding how to put crystals together to make a beautiful design on a nail. So that has been around for the last three years. And I believe there are close to like 80 educators, like somewhere between 75 and 80 educators now with that particular team.
So that team incited a positive change in our industry because Swarovski, the actual big giant Swarovski Company, has decided that for their professional side of their business, they’ve said you know what? I think there's something to this whole nail tech and Swarovski Crystal thing. So there's a new team that just got formed called the Crystal Beauty Academy. And I am very grateful to be one of the first educators out of 22 people that were chosen. I’m really excited about it because essentially, what it's going to do is allow us as educators to go out and certify nail tags as Swarovski certified nail artists, which is super cool. So that means that we get really cool backing from Swarovski, we get Swarovski Crystals, we get Swarovski products, we get a lot of amazing things. And you can also put on your wall in your salon that you are a Swarovski certified nail artist. How freaking cool is that? It even comes with like a little badge, which is awesome, and all these different things.
So I'm really excited because what better high-quality company to get involved in our industry, to really boost our industry and to make us look even more amazing and professional than Swarovski. So I am really pumped. Everything is still in the works, so don't you know jump on me and say, "Oh my gosh, I have to know when your next class is." Literally, they are still finalizing the details. I just went last week, but I wanted to share it because I think it's so exciting. So what I would recommend is if you are not already on my email list, please make sure you are. If you go to my website, thenailhub.com, a little pop up will show up and you can subscribe to my email list there. That way you'll be informed when I do start teaching these classes.
Also, there will be a new website coming out, which I will be sharing via email as well, that will have the actual Crystal Beauty Academy information. And for those of you that are potentially thinking of, you know, you'd like to be not just a nail artist with this program but you would like to potentially be an educator, they are gonna be opening it up to two applicants for this, probably starting I would say late December, early January, because they're still finalizing a lot of things with the whole entire program.
Best Lil Nail Show Vegas
Best Lil Nail Show Vegas is coming out in two weeks, I am very excited for that. I will be teaching at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday. So if you're interested in signing up for my business class, I'm gonna be doing some really, really helpful stuff to make sure that you guys are profitable. Because one of the biggest issues in our industry is that most nail techs aren't turning a profit in their business. So you guys think you're fully-booked, you think you're making money. But at the end of every month you're having your spouse pay for your supplies, or you have a negative balance in your bank account, or you have zero dollars in your bank account. Why is that? Well, it's because you guys aren't set up properly from the get-go. And so my class on Saturday at 9:00 a.m. is gonna be focusing all on that. How do you make sure that you're actually getting the right amount of money out of every single service so that you actually are making a profit at the end of every month, and you actually are a profitable business at the end of every year, okay?
You go to Best Lil Nail Show Vegas and on there, you will be able to click here for event tickets. And when you register with your tickets, it will take you to Eventbrite and then you can buy a student ticket, a pro ticket, you can bring a friend, and they have a masquerade thing. And if you scroll about halfway down down, you'll see Elizabeth Morris, Knowing Your Numbers, okay? And you guys can register for my class. So it's $50 plus a small Event Brite fee, $50 to take my class on Saturday the 28th of October, 9:00 a.m, I will be teaching at the M Resort and Casino for the Best Lil Nail Show Vegas. I think it's gonna be a great show. It's a two-day event, it's in Vegas, it's in a beautiful venue. It's being sponsored by amazing sponsors. Athena Elliott from Nail Talk radio has put together a really amazing event, and Jim and Linda Nordstrom from Famous Names are helping her with this particular one.
So this is gonna be a really cool event. I'm teaching, there's gonna be two trade show days, there's a lot of other educators teaching as well. There will be more nail classes on Monday. So you guys should definitely take this as an advantage. If you live in the west coast, come to Vegas. It'll be awesome. That's probably my biggest initiative for next year is making sure that each nail tech has the information they need to be profitable. Because if you guys aren't profitable then we don't have an industry. And that's just really sad. So I wanna make sure you guys are, you know, kicking on all cylinders and you guys are doing really well. And also for your own confidence, and your own success level, and for you to be able to support your family with your job and for you to actually feel like what you're doing matters and for you to actually make money as a nail technician. And I know, it's all about the money. It is all about the money. We're in business to make money. So we're very lucky to be able to do what we love for our job, but we need to also make money doing it. Otherwise, we're not gonna be doing it very long. So that's my whole point with that.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.