Sam Villa ArTeam Member Anna Peters, owner of re:TREAT Color + Hair Design, pens this insightful blog about stepping back, addressing her burnout and restructuring her salon business by taking a calulated look at time, value and risk.
It didn’t look like it from the outside, but I was drowning and in a state of suffering. I couldn’t figure out why, I had it all and was doing it all “successfully” by our industry standards.
A full busy booth rental salon, a book of clients double to quadruple booked at least 8 weeks out, part of a wonderful education team as ArTeam Member for Sam Villa, and an amazing family with a supportive husband and three little girls.
While I truly loved all I was doing, every part of me was giving energy to others. I was on a hamster wheel, and I didn’t know how to slow down or jump off for fear of crashing and burning out. It wasn’t sustainable. I started listening to my body…chest pains, anxiety, shortness of breath, all symptoms I never felt before. I was useless to my family after work, exhausted, depleted and on edge. I knew a big change had to happen, either I was going to take control, or it was going to control me.
I love learning and teaching with hairstylists across the globe and in my community with all my heart. So, I started tuning into how others were feeling and making changes to the way they worked as salon owners and hairstylists. Burnout was everywhere…time-based pricing, new modern commission structures, not working Saturdays, all started popping up on my radar, I had to dig deeper!
It made complete sense that after our world changed so much in just the last couple of years, let alone decade, that our business structure could use some major changes as well. I reached out for help from a coach to help me change my mindset on how I think I “should” work, and ask “Why?”
Why do we do what we do if it is creating so many problems? Such as: overbooking, overworking, putting our own health and wellbeing aside to accommodate our clients, not knowing our numbers or charging accordingly, not having a lunch break or even time to pee, emotionally discounting, working every Saturday, missing important moments to be there for our client’s, afraid to charge our worth, not having clear boundaries, controlling stylists and clients and who they “belong” to, the list can go on and on.
It opened my eyes when my answer to the “whys” were mostly because of a feeling I had or because it was what the stylist or salon owner before me did, and the person before them, and the person before them. A literal rinse and repeat of how we worked as hairstylist in this industry. Our industry is full of extremely passionate, caring and creative individuals who have let their passion, feelings and love for what they do run their business, instead it being the why behind their business. Could we be following a dated business model that holds us back from living our lives with any chance of a healthy work/life balance?
In four months, lots of “whys” later, digging deep within myself and the support of my coach, I was able to completely restructure my booth rental salon from losing all four of my booth rental stylists and standing in an empty salon with tears in my eyes to peace in my heart, ready to rebuild and lead stylists in a new way of working towards a sustainable successful career.
I gained six, amazing, new commissioned stylists who have freedom and endless growth ahead, I am so happy to see them building their careers and living a healthy work and life with balance. They know their numbers and the value of their time. I restructured how I was working from double to quadruple booking 10-hour days, to working with one client at a time, 8-hour days, no Saturdays and I am making my “best day income” every day now behind the chair.
My salon and stylists are more successful than ever before. Having more time with my family, better health, not worrying about losing income and growing my salon has been my greatest success! I want this success and freedom for every stylist/salon owner who is struggling or who feels like burnout is one blow-out away.
Changing my mindset on these three things was crucial for this success to happen and I want to share them with you.
Know the value of your time. Time is the one thing we can’t get back. I can refund your money, but I cannot refund your time. This is one of our most precious resources and one that must be protected and respected. If we don’t respect and value our client’s time, how can we expect them to value ours?
Working with time-based pricing has raised the respect level of time in our salon, it has kept my days behind the chair at a consistent income with room for growth. It has no gender, it has created and supported clear boundaries, and has transparent prices for clients so they can trust and budget.
Learn to create what you can for clients in the time they can afford, by knowing and honoring the value of your time. Stop giving away your time, think about it in terms of supply and demand and charge accordingly for it.
We all value different things, knowing and respecting what you value is crucial to your happiness.
Protect your energy and health with boundaries built around your values. By doing this you build a clientele that values you. Y
ou are the magic, the special sauce, that’s why clients come to you, so capitalize on that! It’s not how much your partial highlight cost, but how you’re going to transform a person’s look, how you treat them and make them feel that makes you valuable! You set the price, not the stylist next door to you.
Taking a risk or making any big change can not only be terrifying, but immobilizing, leaving you stuck in the same place unhappy and wanting more.
If we don’t take risks to protect what we value most we can lose it all. By staying small and safe we have no room to grow into what we dream to be or the life we dream to live. Sometimes we have to start all over to get to where we want to be.
Taking a huge risk like restructuring my business and what I believed was the only way to be successful in our industry, was the scariest and hardest thing I’ve gone through, because I worked so hard to get there. My family depends on me, I didn’t want them to suffer, to lose it all or offend anyone. I have so much respect for my team and clients that there were many times I thought I couldn’t take the risk. But in hopes for a sustainable successful career, true happiness, deeper relationships and peace with my work and life and all that I value, I couldn’t not take the risk.
The other side of that risk is where I stand today. I stand in amazement and gratitude every day for what I went through, the growth that came from it, the people who stayed by my side, the stylists who took the risk and joined me in something new, and for my coach for having my back through it all and didn’t let me go back to safety in suffering. Change is possible, change is inevitable, you just have to be willing to take the risk!
If you want to know more about the changes I made, the coach I used or have questions, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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