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Sharpening the Saw

Patrick McIvor | October 3, 2016 | 9:32 AM
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My dad has an expression that, "You can't plan a good bank robbery when you are too busy robbing gas stations."

Now, my dad is not a bank robber nor has he ever robbed a gas station, he actually owned an advertising agency and prior to that was communications director at Johnson & Johnson. But like Stephen Covey's book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and the habit of "sharpening the saw,” both, offer the same wisdom with their ideas. You need to take time to prepare, plan and strategize to be effective and have the outcomes you want.

This year I have been doing just that, taking time. I have stayed active on social media, continued to write a handful of blogs, and I have even been to a few shows and events. This year has been an awesome gift of time to prepare for some even better things, and so far the outcomes have been amazing.

Time for the Salon

As many of you know, I opened a new salon last year in a building my wife and I had purchased for our family to live upstairs and for me to have a salon and creative center downstairs. But with all my travel it was very hard to care for guests, especially new ones that didn't understand I could be gone 20+ days a month. This year, I increased my days with ARROJO, spending 1 week a month (60 days a year) in New York City working with Nick Arrojo and his team and reduced my travel to only about 12 events this year. This extra time has given me the opportunity to network with other businesses in town and create some fun marketing campaigns. The result? I am almost fully booked and looking to expand our team with one new stylist and an associate.

Time to Create

This year with time in my schedule, I was able to create new education experiences and our education center offered five classes including classes that shared haircolor techniques, color correction, social media, branding and artist/educator development, all which sold out. Time has also allowed me to develop new products and find the right partners to bring the ideas to market. For 2017, my goal is to make even more time to create more classes at our education center, more color tools and hopefully even the book that has been patiently waiting for the time it needs to get written.

Time for Life

Someone said to me once, "You know what the difference between a man and a machine is? Machines break." In our world, today is so fast it's hard to just live in the present. For most of us if we have a moment, we are looking at our phones, which means we are living in the past and if we are stressed or worried, it is probably about something in the future! But either way for many of us today, unless there are shears or a color tool in our hands, our minds are either living in the past, or the future and never actually the now. This year I have made the time to be present, not on the phone, multitasking, checking emails and Facebook while having conversations or making dinner. Instead, I'm taking walks with my wife holding hands as we walk through the town with our dogs and sometimes kids too. One day, I even watered the lawn, by hand with a hose, and just listened to the birds, wind and my breathing.

I think as hairdressers we are naturally caring for and thinking about others, and when we are not thinking about what we are doing for someone else, many times we are thinking about the next thing we need to do for someone else or how soon that is.  But life not lived in the present is a life that is not fully lived. Trust me, life goes by fast, and the faster you are going, the faster it goes by. The truth is we only take in a very small amount of what is going on around us at any moment in time. From missing things as obvious as who the people are around us or the color of the car that just passed feet from us going 50 miles an hour in the opposite direction on the drive home from work, life happens without us noticing a lot. And that's a lot of both real oblivious things and real subtle things too, like the beat of our heart or someone we love or our breath. But those are the things that really matter because without them there is no life.

So this year I am taking that time to be more present and sharpen the saw. My family thus far likes it, the guests like it and I'm having a ton of fun, while also using the time to learn new skills and do new things professionally. 

There's a saying, "Yesterday is the past, tomorrow is the future, today is a gift, that’s why they call it the present."

What are you doing with your present? Are you taking time to sharpen your saw? And do you take the time to live in your present?

Let me know, leave your comments below and I’ll be back next month with more ideas, have a great month.  

-p

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