Let’s talk about something a little bit controversial: finding your boss babe or your inner CEO. I'm calling it the boss babe generation, the entrepreneur generation, the self-made generation. It has arrived.
Ten years ago, it was not cool to be your own boss. When you said you're opening a business, people were like, “Oh my gosh, that's so cute” or “Oh my gosh, what a nightmare.” Nobody found that to be something impressive. Well, gone are those days!
We're living in this amazing digital marketing era where literally anything is possible. Before social media, becoming an entrepreneur or an influencer was impossible. Now you can truly be self-made, and a lot of us have caught the bug. We want to be a boss babe, a girl boss, an influencer, a CEO, an entrepreneur, whatever; the calling is there, and we are rising to the occasion to fulfill it.
That comes with its own set of challenges, though. A lot of people know what they want to be, don’t know how to make that dream a reality, or even what the dream is.
As humans, we are designed always to want more. It's the survival instinct in us back from the caveman days. We're never just settled as content. We're always looking for what’s next, which is how we evolve. So how do you know what you should be the boss of and how do you make that dream a reality?
Not everybody is meant to be a CEO
I want to start by sharing a harsh reality: not everybody is meant to be CEO.
I was just listening to Gary Vaynerchuk’s podcast where he said that this entrepreneur generation is actually creating long-term problems for us as a society because not everybody can be the boss and not everybody should be. That this quest to be number one is literally destroying people's careers. People who could be incredible employees number 2, 6, or twenty-five are now barely scraping by and literally losing their life's fortune or setting themselves up for long term failure because they're not chasing the right dream.
Some people are meant to be visionaries and leaders and thank goodness for them because they've shaped where we are today. Not everybody is supposed to be that.
Ask yourself why you feel like you need to be the influencer. Really question what is it that you're trying to fulfill in choosing to go that direction. If you’re in the salon and looking for your what's next, there might be more available to you in the building you're already in. My guess is that most salons would kill to have somebody who was a social media or inventory manager on the team or somebody who takes on education.
There can be incredible roles within the walls that you're already in without you having to take on the pressure to get 10,000 social media followers or put in the hours to open a new business. Really take a look at the opportunities that might already exist around you.
Start with what you’re already good at
Now that I've given you that disclaimer let's consider the fact that maybe you are meant to be a CEO. Maybe that is totally your destiny, and you are supposed to be a huge influencer in this industry or beyond, and you're meant to change lives on a big scale.
The only way to successfully do that is to start with what you're already good at.
I think what a lot of people who want to be a boss babe do is see what somebody else is doing and try to emulate them. Somebody would see Rachel Hollis and decide they want to be the next Rachel. So they create a new Instagram similar to hers, and talk the way she does, or write a book like hers.
That's not necessarily what you should be doing. That's what she should be doing. The reason she got to that place is because she looked at what she was good at and then shaped something around that.
The question that you have to ask yourself is what am I better at than 99.9% of the population?
For some of you, your immediate response was nothing. That's not true. We were all put on this planet for a reason. The odds of you even being born is slim to none. The fact that you're here means you're here to do something awesome.
For others, the answer was to connect with your clients in your local community and make them feel like the confident, empowered women that they've never felt like before. That is truly the gift that you are meant to give, and you can be wildly successful doing that.
Maybe your answer is to empower other young men and women to become cosmetologists and build beautiful careers for themselves. Both of those things would be tremendous gifts that you wouldn't need to have 100 million Instagram followers for.
And the reality is that skill set might not even be something within the industry. It might be something totally different. Think about what sets you apart, what lights you up and what you can do that is different than what everybody else is doing. What are people turning to you for advice on? Allow that to be a stepping stone because that's where you're going to find your success.
It starts off small and then it grows bigger. Start by finding what you're naturally good at, playing that for a little bit, and see where that can evolve to.
See the opportunities that present themselves
When I was pregnant and still at my job as the salon director, I wanted to be a mommy blogger. People were texting me, calling the owner of my salon trying to get some consultation time with me to learn what I was doing. Meanwhile, I'm ignoring that message and typing out my mommy blogs. But when I started listening to what those people were asking for, the opportunities already presenting themselves, all the pieces started falling into place.
Listen to what people are asking you for. If they want you to come and coach in their salon, talk to their team, or meet them for coffee or a little one-on-one personal time, don’t create an online course. You're not giving people what they're asking for. Listen to what your selected audience wants and serve it up to them. It's not necessarily about what sounds fun or interests us the most. If you want to be successful in your “what’s next,” you have to look at what your audience truly wants and give it to them.
Realize you might already have it all
Do you remember the day that you became a hairstylist? How about the day that you first walked into cosmetology school, so excited to one day be a stylist? The dream was to be wildly successful, working behind the chair making men and women feel beautiful, going home to our kids at night, loving what we did, and while making a ton of money for ourselves.
That was called living the dream. So why is it now that we've attained the dream, it’s not good enough anymore? Why can't it be?
It's OK for a kick-ass hairstylist to be wildly successful, not have to travel for work, makes her own schedule, not work evenings or weekends, and still make six figures. Why can't that be enough? And if you don't think there are thousands of hairstylists out there living their lives like that, there are. In small towns and big cities, working a Tuesday through Friday schedule, home by six o'clock every night, making six figures and living a beautifully balanced life.
For some of you who aren’t done behind the chair yet, that's what you should be working. Even if your book is full, there is totally a next level to your business. Take a step back, assess what you have going on, think about what you are truly best at, and how you can create a “what's next” around that. Consider how you can better the world, and there may be a girl boss, an inner CEO, or an entrepreneur move waiting for you in that.