"Perhaps the mastery of your skills to work smarter, not harder."

"Perhaps the mastery of your skills to work smarter, not harder."

Photo: Carlos Valenzuela

If you bring home the bacon, you work hard for your money. We salon pros are survivors. The public gets only our creative side, but behind the gift that keeps on giving are hours of standing on your feet, skipped meals, no bathroom breaks, and family gatherings we are too fried to attend. Inspiring client confidence requires lots of inner strength and hard work. Keep it up, and soon others will begin to see you as someone who will figure anything out. “Ask Carlos. I bet he knows how….” 

It can be a lonely moment when you look around and find no easy solutions to the grind. You realize you rarely get constructive suggestions tips, or told where the rocks are because you act so confident. Clients don’t rock the boat—they want their hair to turn out perfect. It’s all up to you to parent yourself, independent, self-motivated, and show up on time you. 

And it’s all hard. Working commission is hard, and so is booth rental. Being out of shape is hard, but so is going to the gym. Owing money is hard, and sticking to a budget is deadly. Being single is hard, but so is being partnered. If it’s all hard, what is a hard-working hairdresser to do? I got you.

If it’s all hard anyway, don’t be a martyr. Think carefully and choose the hard that rewards you the most. Pick the grind, big or small that promises a happy ending. Let your chosen hard seamlessly lead to something fabulous—perhaps the mastery of your skills to work smarter, not harder? Initially, you might live with a little less, but that’s okay. You focused and came out swinging during Covid and won. Repeat to yourself, “This is s band-aid. It’s not forever.”

Delaying small rewards for a better tomorrow spills over many areas in your life. You will become a consummate professional with an enviable clientele and lifestyle, delivering high-quality work, charging top dollar, and working fewer hours. You turn into the unnamed leader of the salon tribe. Your actions remind others that your client’s needs never interfere with your private life. When I got to this point, I realized I didn’t need all that much to be happy. I really never needed thirty-one flavors—vanilla is pretty good.

About the Author

Carlos Valenzuela is a bilingual inspirational writer and a past global beauty educator with a master’s in international business. He writes about positivism and success for Modern Salon and is the author of the multi-award-winning novella Letters to Young Carlos and its sequel, Camaleón, The Lost Years Living in the Closet.

Visit him at carlos-valenzuela.com

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