Business Management

On My Mind: Invest in Yourself

Hannah Lee's letter from the editor.

I got a call from our 2008 Salon of the Year winner Maisie Dunbar last week. She just got back from the Professional Beauty Association’s (PBA) TSA Symposium and was raving about the program. Events like these (Your Business Network, Strategies, and the larger trade shows like America’s Beauty Show in Chicago and Premiere Orlando often have similar business forums) are focused more on business and less about your technical skills. They are designed to motivate you and engage you in thinking about your business, and they often offer plenty of networking events for attendees to share stories with like-minded colleagues. So what’s wrong with this picture? There’s a lack of nail technicians and nail salon owners in attendance at many of these business-focused events. Maisie said she was one of only a few nail techs who went to the event.

I’ve heard from some that it’s cost-prohibitive to attend business forums (and even tradeshows and manufacturer classes). But the benefits of furthering your education and expanding your mind are great and I think it’s worth the investment. Why? Because by going to classes and events, you are investing in yourself, your business, and your future.

Everyone needs a little recharge every now and then. If you’re a salon owner, investing in yourself might mean attending business events to get you thinking outside of the box on how you can take your business to the next level. It might also mean investing in your staff by sending them to classes or shows. (They are, after all, an extension of yourself since they represent your salon.)

But I also think it’s important to point out, as Maisie did to me, that even if you’re not an owner, but a working technician who doesn’t have the support of your owner for these types of things, it’s still important to invest in yourself. Don’t sit around and wait for someone else to pay for you to attend a tradeshow or a class. Figure out how to get yourself there. Plan ahead. Maisie told me when she was starting out, she saved her tips to pay for classes and shows. As an owner now, she pays for staff members to go to shows and classes with her.

I believe in taking matters into your own hands, putting yourself in control of your own situation. You’re taking the first step by reading NAILS, logging on to our website or other industry websites. If you want to continue learning new techniques and become a more knowledgeable person in the industry, it’s up to you — and you alone — to reach out and grab every opportunity possible. I challenge each and every one of you to find something that interests you, make it a goal, and make it happen. And after you’ve done it, send me an e-mail. I’d love to hear how you are investing in yourself!

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