MODERN Publisher Steve Reiss with two people who obviously love what they do—Nicholas French and Gina Khan, at the Intercoiffure Atelier in NYC. On the radio one morning, I heard a 65-year-old man being interviewed about his small service business. It had been a challenging past few years due to the soft economy. When asked if he was planning to retire soon, he just laughed. For him, it was business as usual. He was doing what he loved, so what would be the point of retiring? After all, isn’t doing what you love what retirement is supposed to be all about? I never really understood the concept of retirement. How does someone slow down so quickly, so abruptly and so permanently? If you retire to do what you want, does that mean you weren’t doing what you wanted the bulk of your life? I’m not sure where the quote originated, but “do what you like and like what you do” comes to mind, especially as more of us are working harder than ever. It’s pretty clear that doing something you don’t love—i.e. you don’t really have a choice—is going to wear you down a lot faster than doing something you do love.
THE GREATEST THING ABOUT THE BEAUTY INDUSTRY is there are so many career options and opportunities to do what you love: working as a stylist, owning a salon, being a platform artist, working in fashion, educating students, working for a manufacturer. All take advantage of special experience. Most beauty professionals and associates didn’t get into this business because our guidance counselors told us it was a good career choice. In fact, most probably got into this business in spite of our guidance counselor. Most beauty industry people got into this business to pursue something we love: being around people, connecting with and helping people, expressing an inner creativity. A difficult economy is a speed bump, but it’s not a stop sign. As we all head into a new year, it’s a good time to take stock and make sure you are bringing your passion to work. If you’re not, consider and pursue some of the other options the beauty industry offers—they may be right in front of you. That way, like our 65-year-old small-business owner, you’ll never have to worry about retirement.