"When I was your age, I was working two jobs and going to school." "I washed all your diapers by hand." "I walked five miles each way in the snow to go to school."

It seems like our parents had a heck of a time just to graduate from high school, raise kids, and earn a decent living. They paid their dues.

So have veteran nail technicians. Recently, I heard the story of two nail technicians discussing how they had achieved a full book. It took many years of sitting hopefully at the station, passing out business cards in shopping malls, and skipping lunch to service walk-ins. They marvel at the way new nail technicians expect instant clients and leave the profession if it doesn't happen. "They expect to have a full book simply fall into their lap," one of them complained. "Don't they understand that it takes patience and hard work?"

Do younger nail technicians really lack the drive, or are they facing challenges that require an extra dose of determination? Veterans need to remember that competition for clients has never been so fierce. A young graduate might panic when every hour that passes brings no business. Product costs have risen, while service prices have remained flat. An apathetic attitude could really be masking a huge sense of discouragement.

So, what can be done? First of all, accept that the nail industry has, and always will have, turnover. Second, take a minute to talk to that disgruntled new technician. What is she afraid of? What are her dreams? Help her map out a six-month plan for success; even something as simple as "I will call 10 prospective clients per week" is powerful when it's committed to paper. Third, think of yourself as a teacher. For many students who pass through you doors, the one or two who make themselves into a success story is all you need to know that the industry does, indeed, have a bright future.

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