I screwed up. I can freely admit when I make mistakes and this was a BIG one. So, with that said, I thought I'd share...
For the past seven years, RED 7 SALON had been included in the SALON TODAY 200! We'd been featured in numerous categories each time and had been honored to be recognized by this prestigious industry publication. Over the years, we'd hung plaques on our walls, shared the news on our social media pages, and even included the info as part of our marketing campaigns (Does "Don't YOU Want Award-Winning Hair?" ring a bell?).
BUT, this year...I forgot to apply! Yup...Jason Hall, Co-Owner/Managing Director of RED 7 SALON, forgot.
We have had such a great relationship with SALON TODAY/MODERN SALON/Vance Publishing over the years, that I immediately contacted the Editor-in-Chief, Stacey Soble, when I realized (many months later) that I had forgotten to apply. I profusely apologized for being a completely irresponsible idiot. Stacey, of course, listened, empathized, and then we both chuckled about it. I suggested to Stacey that I document my error for all salon owners/managers to see (like YOU) and, more importantly, for me to review next year as a gentle reminder to get ON it! She thought that was a great idea. So, here we are.
The most obvious question was...WHY did I forget?
Honestly, because this was an AMAZING year for RED 7 SALON. That...and I had too much focus on what was happening internally within our company walls to really notice beyond that. I had tunnel vision and was living in a bubble. It's funny because I was 100 percent guilty of doing what I recommend to other business owners to NOT do during my consultation sessions with them. I usually stress to other owners to look beyond your box to the world around you! Why? It gives you a break. It gives you an appreciation for what you've accomplished. It gives you ideas/inspiration. I failed to follow my own advice (it happens, people) and I was too obsessed/engulfed in our own development as a company to see beyond.
Is that an excuse? Well, NO, but we did see impressive growth (by more than 22% in revenues) and maturity this year with many of our client building/retention programs, marketing initiatives, retail sales (up 13%) & community recognition. Things were good. Really good. In fact, we would've made the SALON TODAY 200 for Growth--I'm 100% sure of it. BUT, then again, one will never know now.
Bottomline: I had lost my footing by being sucked into the twinkle of success. The experience taught me a number of lessons (like setting calendar reminders for myself), but the most important one was to continually stay connected to OUR community (via trade organizations/groups/magazines/shows)...the salon industry community/family. Doing so will always explain the WHY behind what we do what we do, as well as give an opportunity to reflect.
It's easy to have tunnel vision and charge quickly ahead. It's much more difficult to see the entire forest in front of you, not get overwhelmed by the individual trees, and reflect on which path to take systematically. That's what an industry community is for - to take your hand when you do get overwhelmed, as well as provide a sounding board/map toward the very best path for you.
Lesson learned. Bubble Burst. Success Redefined.
Stacey/Vance Publishing/Salon Today - expect an outstanding application next year!