Do you need a dose of Brutal Reality…like THIS?

If you’ve ever felt down about your salon business, if you’ve reached the end of your tether, on the brink of failure, the bailiff knocking at the door, the bills piling up so high you can’t see over them….

You need to read this.

If you’re in up to your ears, like this WSM member, you’ll probably find it uncomfortable. I make no apology for that. Sometimes, I’m regarded as a bit of an ogre. I make no apology for that either.

“Woe is me…”

Last week, the following pathetic email arrived in my in-box, from a long-term Inner Circle member. I won’t identify her (I’m not that cruel) but she’ll recognize this story. In fact, she gave me permission to publish it. I’ve edited the letter for clarity.

“Hi Greg,

I am in dire straits. I owe the taxman money, suppliers, super, rent and many more.

I have even picked up a 2nd job to start helping me pay back debt.

I now work all day in the salon, get home at around 6pm or later make dinner for my little girl and then leave the house to get to my second job at 8.30pm to start at 9pm and finish at 2am, then get home sleep for about 2hours and then up again to start all over again, just going through the motion as a zombie.

I no longer see my 4 year old, have no zest for life due to being so exhausted day in day out. So I guess this email is a cry for help.

I want to have a successful business. I want to be a successful woman so I can have my daughter look up to me and say, ‘wow my mummy is such a successful person.’ Not to say ‘my mother lives day by day or even worse, has become ill from exhaustion.

I am even considering selling the business to try and cut the debt, but I have two young girls who work for me and depend on me, and I love my salon (even though its in need of a face-lift). I love being a member of the community. I love my work; it’s the only thing I can do well.

I even bought tickets to come to the (Salon Profit Secrets) seminar in Sydney, but my mother got ill and I was then unable to attend.

So I guess I am asking, what steps I should take in my marketing to become the business/role model woman I want to be.

Please, I am so dedicated to change my life. I just need you to be my light.

I have been a member of your (Inner Circle) program for around 2 years. The tool kit has sat on the shelf collecting dust, and I have forgotten about it.

Kind regards, Mary…”

After I regained my breath, and retrieved my dropped jaw from the floor, I wrote back to her. I could have written some molly-coddling crap, soothed her troubled brow and told her everything would be okay. But frankly, I was too bloody annoyed.

“Good grief.
You admit
‘the tool kit has sat on the shelf collecting dust, and I have forgotten about it‘….

What??? If all you did was get off your backside, take the thing off the shelf and USE IT, you wouldn’t be in the situation you are now in.

If you won’t take action to help yourself, with the tools you ALREADY HAVE, then what on earth do you expect us to do? Drag you kicking and screaming to the success trough? Show me you are prepared to do something, then do it, and then I’ll help.

Take the Toolkit down, start using it. Get onto the members site, start using what’s in there. But don’t just expect somebody to wave a magic wand and ‘fix everything’ for you, without you lifting a finger!”

Now, I fully expected this member to immediately collapse in a flood of tears, instantly resign her membership of the Inner Circle program and flounce off into a self-righteous cloud of failure, forever more blaming everyone and everything but herself.

But no. She thought about it for a couple of days, and wrote back thus:

“Hi Greg,

I want to thank you for your quick response back to my email, I know you are a very busy man.
All I can say is that you hit the nail on the head with your comments about me.
I have spent the last couple of days reading the emails WSM has sent and using the members site and taking marketing ideas from the site and other salon owners.
Your email back has made me think of my past actions and also I took a step back and thought ‘what can I lose if I work the program, seeing you have made many people successful (they have also wanted it too).
So I have turned a new leaf so to speak. I have designed up a newsletter to send out to my guests with my  ideas, and also ideas I got from the Members Only site.

Your response was truthful, which made the tears flow. I am now taking control of my life, business and family, and so want very hard to succeed to be a role model in the industry and for my daughter.

And I have not only taken the Toolkit off the shelf and dusted it down, I’ve opened it and used templates for future marketing.

Fingers crossed for me, and hopefully I will be one of your guest speakers one day, that came out of financial despair to running a chain of salons. I thank you again….”

It could have gone either way. Mary could have just as easily rolled over and curled up in a corner, hoping the world would go away. It took bravery to do what she did.

Too many business owners go under because they fail to take control, and therefore responsibility. The two are inextricably linked.

To quote Dan Kennedy, ‘being broke is just a temporary circumstance. Being poor is a state of mind’.

Are you a poor salon owner, or merely broke? If you’re poor, there’s not much I or anybody else can do for you. If you’re merely broke – like Mary – then you know what to do. Get off your butt, and take action.

And one day, soon, I expect we’ll hear more from Mary. She’ll be on this website, proudly telling the story of how she dragged herself from the depths of depression, resignation, despair….to success. I’ll be the first to applaud.

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About The Author

Greg Milner

Greg Milner, CEO & Founder, Worldwide Salon Marketing. Greg is a writer, marketing consultant, direct response advertising expert and former TV producer. Since founding WSM in 2004, he's coached and guided more than 4,000 salons & spas all over the world in all aspects of marketing, both online and offline. The tools and templates he and his team have developed are used by salons & spas on every continent. He is the author of the industry-standard direct response marketing manual, Simple Salon Marketing, and the e-book Rich Salon Owner.