Take the leap to success!  (photo credit: Patrick McIvor) Patrick McIvor
Take the leap to success! (photo credit: Patrick McIvor)Patrick McIvor

I've had a lot of great things happening lately and I've also been speaking at many beauty schools plus working with a lot of new stylists. One question that often comes up is, "How do you become successful?"

Aside from the obvious answers like, “Be early to work,” “Look Great,” “Do Great Work,” “Keep Educating Yourself” and “Work Hard,” I am often surprised when I ask questions to new stylists such as, “What are you booking now? Or how many guests do you have a week currently?”

I hear: “I don't know or not a lot.” The challenge with that is if you don't know where you are, how can you get to where you want to be?

A second challenge often arises when I ask, “What is your goal?

I'm given answers like, “I want to be busy, or successful or I want to have a lot of guests.” The challenge here is what is a lot? How many is busy? Heck, if you work slowly, one guest could keep you busy all day, and that's not going to create success. What we need are goals that are quantifiable and measurable not just words, we need numbers.

Goals are important, and what I love even more are goals that are progressive or "trigger points". The problem with traditional goals can be twofold:

  1. Once they are met, many times the efforts stop. Have you ever known someone who met their goal losing weight only to regain all their weight after they met their goal?
  2. Or worse, how many goals (like a New Year’s resolution) are never even met because the goal was too big or too long term to succeed?

I like progressive goals or trigger points which are more short-term and achievable allowing for more celebrations along the way, too. Think about groups like Alcoholics Anonymous, the goal is to get through today, and then tomorrow, the goal is to get through that day, and so on. It also allows for the individual to celebrate the successes of everyday and celebrate the cumulative totals too.

So, for young stylists, I always recommend first setting a daily or weekly goal but always making sure we keep track everyday of things like, “how many new guests”, “how many repeat guests”, “how many guests pre-booked” and “how many pieces of retail guests purchased.”

At the end of each week, quantify those numbers by adding up the daily totals and have a monthly goal. As my good friend Nuala from ARROJO in New York City says, “It’s OK to have a bad week, but not a bad month.”

Then, I like to set quarterly goals that get celebrated. Once I have three months of my numbers, my goal is to double that every quarter until I'm booked solid with guests waiting to get in. The key here is, don't say “No” to new guests until you can't say “Yes” anymore.

Now here's where I think goals need to work for everyone, you need to celebrate your goals when you hit them and this is why I like trigger or progressive goals.

If you hit your weekly goal, celebrate small but do something, buy a special coffee or lunch (no more than $10). When you hit your monthly goal, maybe it's a fun dinner on the 4th week instead of the coffee or lunch (about $20).

When you hit your quarterly goal, how about $50 towards a massage? Or go shopping?

When you hit your yearly goal, that needs to be something special like a great pair of shoes, jewelry or a watch—something that every time you put it on you know it's because you worked hard and achieved your goal.

Every year that I have been a hairdresser, I have set goals for myself and I break them down to monthly goals and quantify them quarterly too. And, every year I have a reward for myself, many times holding off buying something that I want that I could buy right now if I wanted to, but because it feels so much better when I buy it because I hit my goal!

So what is your goal? Let's start with today. And most importantly, how are you going to celebrate when you get there?