Should owning and marketing a Salon Business be plain HARD WORK? By – Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Should owning and marketing a Salon Business be plain HARD WORK? By - Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

My dad as a TV news cameraman in 1960
Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Should owning and marketing a Salon Business be plain HARD WORK? By – Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

For Salon Marketing that WORKS, try the Lite program!

My dad Keith ‘Digby’ Milner was a newspaper photographer, then a TV news cameraman. In the news business, he was highly-regarded. He was the first Australian TV newsman to file reports from an overseas Olympic games, at Rome in 1960.

Back home in November that year, he was killed while filming a shipwreck when the pilot flew too low and the little plane’s wing clipped the water and cartwheeled, breaking apart.  They found his body in the water 3 days later. He was only 27. I was five years old. The pilot survived. There were more than 600 at dad’s funeral, including the state’s Premier and Governor.

Mum remarried a couple of years later. My stepfather was an engineer. In April they celebrated fifty good years of marriage. But for many of those early years, he was barely there. With a fledgling consulting business, a young wife, three stepchildren and soon, my two half-brothers to provide for, he worked. And worked. And worked.

From 5 o’clock every morning, he’d be sitting at the kitchen table poring over drawings, cigarette smoke curling blue up into the light, before leaving for the office at 7. He’d rarely get home before 7 at night. Weekends were often the same. That went on for a decade, maybe 15 years before he really eased off much. We kids have never begrudged the absence. Back then, it’s what parents did.

Kip retired, aged 48, having worked, saved, invested thoughtfully and conservatively. He was never what I would call an entrepreneur, which by definition is a risk taker.  But he was persistent, focussed, professionally talented, modest to a fault, and took opportunities when they presented themselves.

I relate this story because a recent question from a WSM member prompted me to reflect on where I get my work ethic from. And the obvious answer is – the same place almost everybody gets their work ethic from; the people they grew up with, hang around with, choose to model themselves on. (And it IS a choice.)
The question came from a new WSM member. Like so many owners of small businesses the world over, she’s feeling overwhelmed by the sheer size of the task.

“At first it was about cutting hair, learning new hairstyles and training, that’s it  …. Now (since joining WSM) I understand it’s actually about working on the business, marketing , planning in advance , training staff .. (well, I have yet to accomplish the staff things …)

But I wanted a small favour from you .. As I am a little lazy and unorganized ..I am finding it difficult to do all this .. I have stopped going out with friends  as I feel my only duty is to think and do marketing, do hair, etc. I feel guilty when I socialize. I am not a person who can multi-task.

So I  would like to know you schedule your working day. How do you do so many things .. Website upgrades, seeing everything is on time, Monthly Newsletter, CD of the Month, conducting seminars , Boot camps, webinars, yet enjoy your weekends, take vacations…

Or rather, in the initial days of setting up WSM, did you face similar challenges? Should I just do no Play and only Work ….?? Am I going the right way? What should I do?”

What should I do? Simple question, to which there is no simple answer. This member has already quadrupled her sales since joining WSM only six months ago, so whatever she’s doing, it’s working. But that isn’t the answer she’s looking for.

There is insufficient space here to answer in full. But in short, when I launched what was to become WSM, in February 2004, it was just me and a part-timer. (Eventually I gave her a share of the business, and bought her out of that share three years ago.) Holed up in a crummy spare room in my house, we did everything. I wrote almost the entire Essential Salon Owner’s Marketing Toolkit, working from 5am till late at night, for six solid months.

Except when interrupted or distracted by other equally-pressing tasks. Building websites. Creating an email list and attracting names to it. Writing and designing direct mail pieces. Organising seminars. Figuring out how to use software programs. Setting up a company. Dealing with suppliers like printers and packaging people. And if I couldn’t work out how to do something, I found somebody who did, and got it done.
All this while meeting with private marketing clients, writing their ads, direct mail and other marketing pieces for them, keeping the cash coming in – cash which was almost all soaked up by WSM.

Should owning and marketing a Salon Business be plain HARD WORK? By - Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Gene Simmons of KISS fame –
rock and roll is his business.
Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327

Launching any new business, there IS no time off. Even when I wasn’t physically working in the business, or on the business, there were zero waking hours when I wasn’t thinking about it, and precious few sleeping hours either. That’s just how it is. Gene Simmons is known as the frontman of rock band KISS. He’s less well-known as entrepreneur and businessman (for that’s what KISS is, a business)

It was Simmons who famously said ‘anyone under 30 and not yet rich who’s even thinking about taking a holiday should be shot’. (I truly wish I’d read that quote before I turned 30.)

These days, I have staff to do most of the non-marketing, non-selling tasks of the business. That is as it should be.  But I still work long hours. Most mornings (Saturdays and Sundays included), I’m up at 5am or before; writing, making phone calls (at 5am my time, somebody that I need to talk to, somewhere in the world, is in middle of their day), reading reports, watching instructional videos, poring over the newspapers, educating myself. This at an age (57) when most people are gazing hungrily at retirement.

Not everything I do ‘works’. I shudder to think of the money I’ve wasted – half a million dollars would be a conservative number – over the years, chasing bright shiny objects, attempting things that under the harsh glare of reality would not have been given the green light, hiring people who proved unworthy of the task, investing in systems, software or projects too quickly discarded, or not discarded quickly enough. But there isn’t a business person on the planet who isn’t guilty of that. (And ALL governments are guilty of it.)

Too many just-beginning business owners look longingly at those perceived as successful and merely wish it were them, wish they had their ‘luck’, jealous of their security, their standing, their big houses and expensive indulgences. But too many people lust for rewards without personal responsibility. Whatever the reasons for the losers’ lack of ‘sticktoitiveness’, the winners’ reality is refusal to be deterred or distracted from their objectives and aggressive pursuit of them. But lack of persistence is just one of the reasons people fail. Equally, people fail because they fail to start. And, if they do start, because they’re easily distracted.

Mark Zuckerberg did not build Facebook by working Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Richard Branson’s holidays on Necker Island weren’t really holidays at all. They were promotional events.
All successful people – people who build things – are obsessed with their mission. But they don’t just dream and wish for it, they do stuff. Yoda from Star Wars was right; “There is only do, or don’t. There is no ‘try’ “.

Consider the word ‘can’t’. People use it casually, inaccurately. As in, I just can’t seem to lose weight. Actually, barring a genuine medical disorder- the odds against somewhere in the order of 25,000 to 1 – anybody can in fact, lose weight. There’s no mystery to it. Eat less crap food, and exercise. The TV show Biggest Loser is testament to this fact.
The accurate word here should be choose. As in, I choose to remain fat, unattractive, unhealthy.

It’s about making decisions.

Every day, I make choices. I don’t have to come to the office for 8 or 9 hours a day. I don’t have to sit up late at night, reading, educating myself. I don’t have to wake early. But I choose to do so. I also choose to broaden myself by not educating myself only about business. I am interested in, and read a lot, about military history. Particularly the Great War, because it was the only time Australian soldiers – some of my ancestors among them – fought and won decisive battles, in the main theatre, against the main enemy. (It was the Australians, the Canadians and the New Zealanders who spearheaded the Allied victory in 1918. American troops were too green, and too timidly – led, to have had major impact.)
I read military history – and history in general – because history gives you perspective, the kind of perspective you can’t get by watching reality TV, or listening to mindless pop music.

Being focused

It might sound from all of this that I am laser-focused every minute of every day. Of course, I am not. I too must fight the urge to goof off, the willingness to be distracted. I tend to work in short, sharp, furious bursts. This piece, for example, has taken me an hour to write, so far. I closed my office door, put the phone on ‘do not disturb’, and refused to be diverted. But my attempts to avoid distraction aren’t always successful. Success itself isn’t some neatly-packaged, smooth-edged box you carefully pack at the end of each day.
It’s messy. It IS disorganised. If you take two steps forward and only one step back, you’re doing very well. A good friend of mine is in his mid-forties, a multi-millionaire self-made guy. He’s just ordered a new $9 million yacht. At dinner last weekend, he said “some days, I get to the end of the day and I have no idea how I got there. It was all a blur.”
But back to Gene Simmons:
“Before I ever knew what the word Entrepreneur was, I realized in America and in the Western part of the world in general, you are given the opportunity to be whatever you want to be. And that is all anyone should ever expect from the Capitalist system. The rest is up to you.

It’s up to you to educate yourself. It’s up to you to learn speaking skills and people skills. It’s up to you to try (and usually fail, but to try again) all sorts of ventures.

The rest is a combination of hard work, being at the right place…at the right time…with the right thing…oh yes…and more (never ending) hard work.”
So, to finally answer this Member’s question, ‘should I do no Play, and just Work?’ Of course not. You must have some time away from ‘work’. But if you’re serious about building something worthwhile, building equity, something you might one day want to sell…then even when you’re not physically working, you simply cannot avoid thinking about it.
That, dear business owner, is the price of success.

Should owning and marketing a Salon Business be plain HARD WORK? – Call Us Now On 618 9443 9327