Industry News

Stoking the Fire in Your Belly

Carlos Valenzuela | October 15, 2014 | 10:27 AM

In a couple of weeks, I will be sixty-nine years old and celebrate forty years in the beauty industry. Don’t worry, I am not about to tell you I don’t look or feel my age. I do think the beauty industry can keep anyone young forever.

We might share one thing in common: stepping out of the box when we signed up for beauty school. Beauty school was considered a mindless career when I enrolled.  I bet you can look back and list the many times you continue to color outside the lines. Weren’t you the one with the cool hair? Who befriended the wallflower? The one the pretty boy came to and secretly shared he was gay? Who rejected bullying way before it was fashionable? You don’t do any of this to be cool--this is just how you roll. Here’s the big plus: you are weird, and this is what keeps you young.


Recently, I judged a most awesome student competition at Battle of the Strands in Las Vegas. Battle is chock-full of people who step outside the box. Yes, it was exhausting---but, I couldn’t stop, I couldn’t resist not being everywhere at all times. When it was over, I was so energized that I didn’t think I needed an airplane to fly home. Creativity, the essence of vitality, runs in our veins and bonds our community, and the reason I still go to most shows-- for a fix and to see what you are up to. 

Maybe I belong in a rocking chair having decaffeinated tea---not before a crowd who could easily be my great grandchildren. But who can resist their appreciation and respect, and the elbowing to take a photo with an old man?

Staying young is about stoking the fire in your belly with things like:  

  1. Keep on stepping outside the box with good intentions. You only change the world with actions. Not opinions.  
  2. It’s not about acting or dressing younger--you’ll look silly. But, never act your age.
  3. Respect yourself and others.  It’s the cranky and judgmental that look old. Show up for life with the highest respect for yourself. This is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others.
  4. Adjust your expectations--get there and look for the new lesson in every situation.
  5. Do it drama free. Do what you said you would, on time, the right way and leave the drama out of it. Get it done and move on.
  6. Work hard or go home—sitting around bored and grumpy is old news.  Bored? Look for someone in need and help them out.
  7. Be nice--come on—deep down you know nothing can really hurt you. Honor that feeling.

There’s no stopping us, is there? In a few years, you might see an old man in a wheel chair at a hair show---that would be me. Come over and tell me the reason for the fire in your belly.



Carlos Valenzuela: is a consultant, speaker, stylist, bilingual trainer, and author of i-Fabulous Salon Success, a guide for new salon professionals. 
For booking information and topics visit:
Follow: @ifabskills 



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