For all the hair stylists, nail techs, beauty therapists and massage therapists reading this – something to think about.

How long did it take you to become good at your trade? How many years did you spend studying, on-the-job training, attending professional development seminars, doing exams, going to demonstrations?

In Australia, for example, a hairdressing apprenticeship is three years. That’s just to become a competent technician.

And yet every year, all over the world, as if by magic, tens of thousands of hair stylists and beauty therapists suddenly wake up, find a shop somewhere, hang out their shingle – and overnight, they’re in business.

Exactly how so many expect their transition from highly-trained technician to zero-training business owner to be somehow painless remains an enduring mystery to me.

After many years supplying marketing and sales tools and training to thousands of salon and spa owners all over the world, it still makes me shake my head when I ask a salon owner what self-education in business she’s put herself through, how many marketing seminars she’s attended, what business books she’s read, and so many reply,

“Er…well, nothing really. I just opened my business and hoped everything would sort itself out.”

Of course, this remarkable disconnect is in no way peculiar to the hair & beauty industry.

At the height of the Global Financial Crisis, a TV documentary chronicled the breathtaking collapse of Iceland’s entire banking industry.

Iceland had been a collection of fishing villages for centuries, the skills of seamanship and fishing taught to sons by fathers for generation after generation.

As the world drowned in cheap money in the salad days just before the GFC, Iceland’s fishermen walked off their boats and re-invented themselves as bankers.

Questioned on this glaringly-obvious disconnect, one of these fishermen-turned-financiers paused tellingly, and answered

“Mmmm….yes, I see your point.”

Perhaps you’ve just started your hair or beauty business. Maybe you’re just about to. Or, like so many salon & spa owners who finally make a decision to educate themselves with systems like Worldwide Salon Marketing’s My Social Salon marketing & mentoring program, you’ve been in business for years, making the same mistakes over and over again.

If you fit into any of these categories, take a moment to ask yourself some questions:

It takes years of study and training to become a competent technician. How can it NOT take years to become a competent marketer, an accomplished hirer, trainer and motivator of staff, a sensible financial manager???

And did you become a good stylist or therapist all by yourself? Of course not. You had teachers, mentors, trainers to guide you along the way. Expecting that knowledge of how to market and run a profitable business will somehow fall out of the sky like a Fairy Godmother is almost a definition of insanity.

There are many, many stories among Worldwide Salon Marketing’s member salons around the world of how a change in the way they think about their business turned their salons – and their lives – around completely.

Marnie sold her salon business for a big payout

Marnie Kallmeyer is just one of them. Five years ago, Marnie was on the brink of bankruptcy. She lost her house, her marriage was shaky, you could fire a cannon through her salon without fear of hitting anybody. Fast forward to 2013:

“Oh gosh…how things have changed,” she says. “My business has tripled, just in the past year. In fact, a hand injury back in January forced me ‘off the tools’ completely – and yet the business is making more money now than ever before. It’s fantastic, it’s emotional, it’s just so wonderful, and I can’t express my gratitude enough for what being part of Worldwide Salon Marketing has meant to me, my family and my life!

“And yet, it might never have happened if I hadn’t bitten the bullet, and actually picked up the tools that WSM had given me, and put them into practice.”

In fact the change has been so dramatic, Marnie took a cue from those popular ads on TV…and bought a Jeep!

For how long do you wish to remain a willing inmate of the Insane Asylum?