Most of the women who’ve been successful in the nail industry credit their success, at least in part, to the steady guidance and encouragement from someone special-usually an employer, teacher, or spouse. Sometimes, though, good people give bad advice; even trusted friends can lead you astray. NAILS asked a handful of industry movers and shakers to share with us the worst career advice they’ve ever received.

Elizabeth Anthony, airbrushing educator and president, Progressive Nails Concepts: “I’ve made my biggest mistakes when people said, “Trust me” and I did. I’ve found people don’t always have the same moral character you do, so you have to let time tell and not rely on people’s word.

Adrea Nairne, president, Acu-Systems: “When I bought the company in 1993. everyone urged me to expand quickly and to borrow money to do it. But I made a deliberate decision not to explode with growth. We’re still here while lots of companies have fallen by the wayside. You have to find your own niche and remain loyal to your distributors, not try to knock out the competition.

Dixie Eklund, VP marketing/education Amoresse: “When I was a nail technician working in a salon, the owner strongly recommended that I not become an educator because she never found it profitable. But I did, and that led me to the career I have now by building my confidence, and giving me an entrée into the manufacturing side of the industry.

Cyndy Drummey, publisher, NAILS Magazine: I had a boss a while back whose favorite saying was, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I hate that saying!” I believe you have to be constantly evaluating how you’re doing things and trying to improve.

Myriam Clifford, president, Orly International: Someone once told me you can’t be a sales manager and travel if you have children, which is what I did for 10 years.”

Lin Halpern, director new product development, NSI: Midway through my 18 years of salon ownership and working for different manufacturers, I was asked to give up my salon table and work full-time for one manufacturer.”

Not taking that advice has led me to where I am today. Staying in the salon allows me to keep my finger on the pulse of the industry and to be aware of everyday problems facing technicians Trying to fix these problems has led me to create many innovative nail products.

Tammy Taylor, owner, Tammy Taylor Nails: I don’t remember. I never listened to anyone.”

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