If anybody knows about being resistant to change I do. I spent the first 10 years of my career being more resistant than you would believe. Like most people I am at least a little uncomfortable with change I don’t know is coming or change I am not ready for. Even though I know change is necessary, still today I can be a bit hesitant to embrace this part of life. Due to technology, we live in a time when all industries are changing at a rapid pace. If you are scared to make changes, you will not make it. I remember and yes, I miss the times when options were a lot simpler—the times before Internet marketing, smart phones and automated phone service become so prominent in the way people do business and communicate. Although change can be frightening, I’m so glad that I got out of my own way at the right time. Had I not been flexible about my industry and doing hair, I don’t think I would have made it this far in my career. Looking back at the rapid changes in my industry, there were times I didn’t think I could keep up. That change impacted my personal life as not only was change important from a business standpoint, it is even more important to make changes in my personal life as required. So, don’t be afraid to change. It is a very important part of your life and your personal growth.
I can remember a time when kitchen cosmetology wasn’t a bad thing; in fact, if you could do hair, no one cared about where you did it. My first hairstylist lived in the projects. She did finger waves that would make you seasick, right out of her project apartment for $10 a head. Her clientele was through the roof. Her phone would ring all day and evening with people wanting to get in her chair. This was not uncommon 30 years ago. I can remember my own personal experiences starting out with doing hair when word of mouth was the best form of advertisement. It was a time when all you had to do was show up to the salon, and soon the people would come. They didn’t look you up on the Internet to find out about your qualifications, they didn’t see how many followers you had, and they didn’t base it on who you knew; it was strictly based on what you did once they sat in your chair. Now we are in a time where people look up all these things via Internet before they even connect with you to make an appointment. If you don’t have any followers or an Internet presence, I suggest you incorporate that strategy if you plan on making the hair industry part of your career. If you have no social media platforms, reviews or pictures online, that’s a recipe for disaster—it is almost like you don’t exist. I know this is sad for some who still are resistant to change, nevertheless, it is true.
Every single stylist who wishes to have a successful career in the hair business needs to be open to technology and the ever-changing industry. Sometimes when we are in our creative space, all we want to do is create. Even if you hire someone to manage the things you don’t feel comfortable with, you still must be involved if you want to maintain your unique, personal authentic touch. You need to take advantage of the great things technology offers the hair industry. It is imperative that when people search for you, they can find you, see your work, and read your client reviews.
I remember when smartphones had become popular for capturing pictures, and everyone was snapping selfies and capturing moments right from their smartphones. I thought that was the most ridiculous thing, and I did not want any part of it. I wondered why should I take pictures with my phone when phones are for talking? To me everyone else was being absurd; I like to keep things separate and organized. I couldn’t wrap my head around a phone being used to take and store my precious moments of capturing hairstyles. No matter what rationale they would present for why it made more sense to take the picture with my phone instead of my trusted camera, I used my old reliable Canon camera that needed a roll of film developed to have pictures of my work. It wasn’t an old or outdated camera, but, it was an old way of thinking and operating. At that time, I just would not accept the need for change. Looking back, it was quite silly, and truthfully, it should have not been that difficult for me to accept that kind of change–but it was!
I hate clutter. I’m always looking for ways to downsize and save space so storing my pictures into the clouds of cyberspace, instead of having a thousand individual pictures and photo albums stacked up, is way more ideal for me. In my mind I was stuck on phones are for talking and cameras are for pictures. The problem with staying stuck on old processes and old technology is that it blocks you from improving your operation. If you know anything about my work, you know I take tons of pictures. If you follow my social media platforms, you will see pictures that date back very far, so you could just imagine what I have accumulated over the past 25 years! However, there are also wonderful hairstyles that would have been very good for my advertisement and marketing purposes over the years that did not get captured or developed because of my resistance to change. Some pictures just became old, warped and lost.
This is the same resistance I had for technology as a whole. I simple did not want to have a Facebook account. I didn’t want to be on the World Wide Web, and I didn’t want to ask my clients to post a review about my services. My job was to do hair, and since I loved it, I felt that was enough. Well today I will tell you that all those platforms not only helped me to thrive, they saved my career. I cannot imagine where I would have been if I had not gotten on board. It not only saved my career, it multiplied my income and people have been able to reach out to me from all over the world as a trusted resource for all things hair. I have been able to have a “number one” searched website for hair, weaves, and extension services for years. Because of the many clicks and searches to my site, the amount of business I conducted over the last 15 years was a direct result of stepping out of my comfort zone and embracing CHANGE! Over 60% of my clientele have come directly from Internet searches. My only regret is that I didn’t start many years sooner.
Change is a beautiful thing; embrace it because it is NOT going anywhere.