Business Management

The Coaching Chronicles: Installment #1, Rebuilding a Business

Heather, meet Adrienne, a mother of two who just moved with her husband to North Carolina, where she must rebuild her nail business from scratch. Adrienne, meet Heather, a certified salon success coach whose job is to help you succeed.

NAILS is launching a new blog this month, available at, where you’ll be able to follow along with Adrienne Schodtler, a nail tech at Hair, Body & Sole Salon in Apex, N.C., and Heather Goodwin, a certified success coach, as the two work to rebuild Adrienne’s business in a new city. Read on as our newest bloggers introduce themselves and discuss their goals for the year, then log onto their blog to leave comments, ask questions, and read their latest updates.

MEET THE TECH: Adrienne Schodtler, Hair, Body & Sole Salon, Apex, N.C.

I met my future salon coach as I was about to throw in the towel on my nail career. I was frustrated with my first job as a tech, due to my limited technical skills as a newbie and a challenging salon location, but somehow convinced myself to go to Premier Orlando, an industry tradeshow. It was there that I was standing next to a woman who was getting her nails done, and we started to chat. It turned out she worked at a salon five minutes from my house, and they needed nail techs. Her name was Heather Goodwin.

I accepted the job at Rare Accents Salon & Day Spa in Palm Harbor Fla., and Heather and I briefly worked together. At the time, she was being coached. At first I couldn’t understand why anyone would pay to have someone else tell them how to run their business, but then I noticed how Heather’s changed approach made her more money! She suggested I check out Inspiring Champions, a salon and spa coaching firm, and pretty soon a few of us in the salon decided to attend some of their seminars. That helped tremendously, but I took out of it what I wanted, and let go of what I felt did not apply.

But now, as I write this, my business has been turned upside down. In February 2007, we moved our family to Raleigh, N.C. (My husband had hit a wall with his job in Florida and recognized more opportunity in the Raleigh area.) With all the growth in Raleigh, I felt I could rebuild easily. But there was a slight glitch — I was seven months pregnant when we moved. My second daughter was born in April 2007, and all of us settled into our new home in August. (We’d been staying with my sister in Graham, N.C., in the interim.)

In the midst of all of this chaos, I was looking for somewhere to rebuild my business. I didn’t like what was in the area close to home. I put an ad on Craigslist and about seven people responded who were looking for nail techs. But most wanted a booth renter, and I felt I was going to drive myself into debt trying to build something that may or may not be profitable. The one salon that was looking for an employee wanted to control my every move and that wasn’t what I wanted either.

Then, by accident, I found Hair, Body & Sole Salon (HBS) and Spa in Apex, N.C. I was looking for information from the Chamber of Commerce, and the woman who responded let me know HBS needed someone in its nail department. The salon is in an old Victorian home, right around the corner from a quaint downtown area. I felt the location was perfect and met with the owner, Cheri Kinney, to discuss what she was looking for. The set up is exactly what I wanted (private nail room, lots of open space). The problem is she has only been in business since January 2007, and her business model has changed a number of times. Cheri and I talked and compromised, trying to come up with a solution to benefit us both. I have helped her by making suggestions from my salon experiences. One of those suggestions has been Inspiring Champions. Cheri and her husband, Jeff, will be attending a bootcamp for owners in early 2008.

I’ve been working at the salon since Sept. 18, and I’m feeling overwhelmed. One evening, I called Heather with all of my problems, mainly to see if she could suggest further classes. She told me I needed guidance and someone to be accountable to; that, she said, is where coaches come into play. She explained coaches aren’t just there to tell you the next step to take; they’re there to make sure you actually take that step and to help you overcome any hurdles.

It sounded promising to have a coach personalize a plan geared toward my specific goals. Plus, as queen of procrastination, having them follow up with me is exactly what I need to make sure I get things done in a timely matter. I thought back to how Heather became more balanced in business and her home life when she was working with her coach and decided I should give it a try. I’m determined to have the great business that I envision. At this point, I have nothing to lose!

MEET THE COACH: Heather Goodwin, Inspiring Champions, Palm Harbor, Fla.

Three years ago, I became a certified Inspiring Champions coach. Since then, I’ve helped thousands of salon owners, nail techs, and hair designers achieve their dreams and turn their goals into reality! It’s very rewarding to coach salon professionals and to see how so many of us have such similar wants and needs.

I’m not someone who just talks the talk; I actually walked the walk myself. My transformation started when I hired Debra Hanson, an Inspiring Champions coach, to help me with my nail career. At the time (on the outside) it looked like I had it all — a great business, more than $75,000 in services annually, and working at arguably the number-one nail salon in town. But Debra saw right through me. On the inside, she recognized that I was burned out, stressed out, and ready to get out! We started applying some new, exciting strategies to running my business that would get me to where I really wanted to be, which was in balance with family life and work life.

I know firsthand that reinventing yourself in front of an existing clientele is terrifying. Yet, in my first year of working with Debra I cut two full days out of my book and grossed an additional $30,000! We were really getting somewhere.

It was during this time that I met a wonderful woman at Premiere Orlando. Her name was Adrienne Schodtler. We hit it off right away. You can imagine my surprise when I found out that not only did she live five minutes from me, she also needed a job.

Adrienne fit right in at Rare Accents. She has a wonderful attitude and is always so eager to learn and grow. She was never afraid to ask questions and built a client base pretty quickly. As I grew in my coaching and became more successful, Adrienne became interested in Inspiring Champions and what they had to offer. She saw how my business and my life balance had changed.

By the time Adrienne’s family relocated to Raleigh, I was already a certified coach. As former coworkers and friends, Adrienne and I, of course, kept in touch. Now that she has joined a new salon in North Carolina, the process for her begins again. During a phone conversation it became clear that in order for Adrienne to achieve results in developing an entirely new clientele, in a city where she knows no one, she would benefit tremendously from hiring a coach. Since we already had a great working relationship, she felt very confident in me to not only provide some guidance, but also to hold her accountable to her goals and to make the dream of a full clientele a reality much faster.

I’m confident that coaching will help Adrienne become clear on her path, just as I became clear on mine. I’ve since left Rare Accents to start my own small, but mighty, salon, and I’m going to help Adrienne reach her goals as well. Whether building a clientele, raising your prices, starting over, opening a new salon, hiring a new team, cutting hours, or any other professional challenge, coaching can be an ideal way to reach your goals. If you want results, if you want to make a change, this story’s for you. Check out our blog, — dive in, ask questions, get the educational support you need and make 2008 your year to shine!

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