Do you ever feel like you’re in a professional slump and you don’t know what to do to push yourself forward? Maybe you’re even thinking like this industry is not for you, that you don’t know if you’re cut out for this? Maybe you’ve fallen out of love with the industry and want a career change?
You don’t actually want a career change; you’re either bored or overwhelmed. That’s why today I want to talk about one of my favorite topics: the four-part, entrepreneur cycle that causes boredom and overwhelm as a hair stylist.
I personally went through it before and it wasn’t until the second time that I recognized the pattern and how to conquer it. I am going to give you all the same set of skills you will need to conquer it.
Phase 1 – Inspiration
This is the phase where all you see is a world of possibilities. Your vision is actually pretty clear on what you want; maybe you don’t have all the baby steps to get there yet, but you know where you want to go. In Phase 1, you don’t mind doing the work because you feel like you’re going to get somewhere with it and it’s totally worth it. If it’s going to get you to the big goal, you’re all in.
You’ll cycle back through inspiration over and over throughout the year, and it’s generally when we perceive our professional life to be the happiest. We dream our big picture visions, improve our guest experience, open a salon, become an educator.
Generally, we find inspiration through social media channels, taking advanced education classes, books, connecting with industry mentors, or going through magazines.
If you ever feel low on inspiration, tapping into those resources is really going to help.
Phase 2 - Education
Once you catch the inspiration and have an idea of what’s next, we have to learn how to do it. It’s generally something we aren’t doing or haven’t done before, so we have to educate ourselves to learn how to do that.
Sometimes we take the long road and self-educate and sometimes we take a formal class or training. We find education in live classes, hair shows, independent educators, or educators through brands. If you want to do your own research, look for books, magazines, podcasts, or one-on-one coaching. I feel like we are so fortunate because there is no shortage of education in this industry, so the challenge for us is to decide where to invest our time and money where it’s most worth it.
Whatever you invest in is what you’re going to get out. I want to challenge some of you to linger in education a bit longer or invest a bit deeper to make sure you truly understand the topic and you have a plan to get the result you’re looking for.
Phase 3 – Action
Education is nothing without the application, right? We start doing something in hopes to get closer to our goal. Sometimes it goes smoothly; sometimes it’s off to a rocky start, but either way, we’re applying the skills we’ve learned in hopes that we’ll get an incredible outcome.
Some places you might take action today is social media marketing, website development, local marketing, retail sales, service upgrades, attempting to become an educator, creating an employee handbook, training, and assistance, in-salon marketing.
We stay in Phase 3 for a bit of time. Sometimes its weeks, months, or even the better part of a year, depending on how big the project is we’re working on. But inevitably, a fork in the road will always show up. The fork is what I call Phase 4.
Phase 4 – Overwhelm or Boredom
No matter what action you were taking or how much effort you were putting in, this fork will always be there and you’ll be given the choice of one of two paths.
Overwhelm - Overwhelm happens when we don’t spend enough time in Phase 2 to know what we were doing and you feel terrible about your efforts because they didn’t give you the results you wanted. You’ll feel like that hamster on the wheel, trying to act, but your vision never comes to fruition. You end up frustrated, confused, and become overwhelmed and the negative thoughts creep in.
Boredom - Sometimes you achieve success, but now what? Conquered that, checked it off the list, and now you’re bored. Nobody wants to be bored in their career; we want to feel inspired all the time.
How to Conquer the Cycle
Every time you hit that fork and you can feel the boredom creeping in or the self-doubt coming along, you have to start the cycle over again and get back to inspiration as quickly as possible.
It will always and forever be the secret sauce.
Creating a life where you’re receiving weekly inspiration is crucial because as soon as that zest is dimmed, we slip back into doomsday again. Focus on finding some time every single week to just live life with eyes wide open. For some of you, it’ll be sitting down and doing five minutes of journaling. Or sitting in the car and doing a lot of self-reflection to get in tune with what phase you’re in so you can correct and get back to where you’re going.
Find whatever source of inspiration that is going to light you up over and over. Whatever fills that inspiration tank. Finding ways to fill that Phase 1 as often as you can is really important.
When you hit those phases in your business when you feel like you don’t know what you’re doing anymore, you don’t know what direction you’re headed in, and your tank is empty, I challenge you to go back to Phase 1 and work through these cycles in order, and I promise it will get you where you need to go.
TO HEAR MORE ON THIS TOPIC TUNE INTO THE THRIVING STYLIST PODCAST EPISODE 4. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN NOW.
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