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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Nelson

Mentors in the Beauty Industry. A How-To Guide on Finding a Mentor as a Cosmetology Graduate.

In my last post, I talked about my past mistakes and how I would advise a new stylist to possibly avoid making those mistakes.

Some mistakes, you simply cannot see coming, and you cannot avoid them, but others can see them coming a mile away.

One piece of advice I would give to any new entrepreneur would be to find themselves a mentor.

Some of the most successful people in the world have had a mentor in their lives at one time or another.

The good Lord dropped a mentor into my life, and we are still friends to this day.

Mentors for Cosmetologists

Let's talk about what a mentor is and why you would benefit from acquiring one.

A mentor is someone who is a trusted advisor and has experience in your field.

This person has already achieved the success that you would want to duplicate in your life or career.

You admire this person's career path and technical abilities and want to model your career after theirs because, in your opinion, they are successful.

Maybe you want to become an extension specialist who only takes a specific type of client, or maybe you want to become a salon owner, or possibly, you may want to develop your own product line.

All of these ideas could come to fruition much faster and without as many hiccups if you had a mentor who has experience with this.

You want to find someone who has already been through these situations and can teach you what steps to take and how to avoid mistakes so that you find success faster.

A mentor can help you in several different areas, such as skills & technique, business, pricing, or mindset, to name a few.

A mentor could even guide you in making important decisions inside your business, decisions that could be costly in the long run.

Decisions that require planning and research so you make the best choice possible.

Some of those decisions could be if you need to move salon homes, are ready for a price increase, or can afford to go out on your own and be a booth renter where you are an independent hairstylist.

If these decisions are not properly researched and executed, then you might be in for a rude awakening.

For instance, let's say you want a price increase because the stylist 2 chairs down from you raised her prices.

Well, is her business set up the same way as yours? Is your demand high enough that where if you increase your prices by 10%, can you afford to lose some clients?

Are you seeing 5-10 new requests a month for a spot in your chair?

These are all important factors that require a mature perspective in order to see the full picture.

It is not because you are not worthy of a price increase; it is because if not done properly, you could hurt your business instead of growing it.

Can you make these decisions on your own?

Of course, but what does it hurt to have another person give their feedback and possibly bring factors to the table that you have not considered yet?

This is where a good supportive mentor, who has years of experience to back up their honest opinion, will guide you into becoming the best stylist that you can be.

They understand you and your goals and cheer for you when you hit those goals.

Who does not want their own cheerleader?

I have had several mentors throughout my career, and all have helped me in different areas.

I've had a mentor for technical skills, a mentor for business building and marketing, a mentor for strict pricing, and another for extensions.

Some mentors have been 3 chairs down from me in the salon, while others were across the country.

I have only seen some on a screen, while some I talked to face to face on a daily basis.

You might even outgrow your mentor when you feel that you have grown beyond their abilities and you need another level of mentorship.

I have definitely felt that way in my career, where I needed a different mentor because of the path that I wanted to take in my business.

That certain mentor could no longer offer me what they had in the past, and that is okay.

The relationship will remain intact as long as there is mutual respect for one another.

Then there are times when the mentor has done their job so well that their 'student' graduates, spreads their wings, and flies!

You can find mentors in several ways, and let me be the 1st to tell you, do not let their location stop you from building a relationship with them or asking them questions.

You can find a mentor organically in the situation where they work in the same salon as you.

They can be the owner of the salon or a seasoned stylist who wants to teach and guide you because they see potential in you.

I want you to make sure that this person wants to take on the task of advising you in your craft.

A simple way to test this would be to ask specific questions on how they achieved the hair color used on a client or ask them about the highlighting technique that you admired.

These are easy conversation starters that are not too pushy and can be taken as a compliment to this stylist; flattery goes a long way!

If the stylist starts giving you the information you seek, then great!

You have learned a couple of things, 1, the technical answer to your question, and 2, the stylist is willing to share their knowledge.

I would nurture this new relationship and see where it goes.

If the opposite happens and the stylist is resistant to sharing, then it is obvious they either do not want to share their knowledge or they are not comfortable sharing.

Try not to feel rejected by this; most of the time, this behavior is simply a form of insecurity on the other stylist's part.

Honestly, I have only seen the latter happen one time.

The only way this hair stylist would reveal the hair color formula they created was for a small fee... Excuse me?! Give me a break!

Another way you can find a mentor is by seeking one out, and by that I mean to find them on social media.

There are thousands of talented stylists all over Instagram, and many of them have their own private education memberships too.

I am a die-hard fan of Carly, whose Instagram handle is @the.blonde.chronicles.

She has a private education page where she shares over 100 videos of her Smart Blonding technique, among many other videos on different techniques, color theory, business tips, extensions... etc.

She is a great teacher and always answers my questions in her DMs.

I have also found plenty of beauty industry professionals who have podcasts (which are free), where I gained an abundance of useful knowledge about our industry.

I listen to at least 5 salon business coaches on Apple Podcasts, and I absorb enormous amounts of priceless information that has helped me in my career.

I have a 30-45 min commute to work, so I play the latest episode of Britt Seva's 'The Thriving Stylist Podcast' every morning and afternoon.

This podcast changed my life and saved my career.

Britt inspired me to make changes in my business that helped strengthen my relationships with my clients, increase trust with them, and improve my overall credibility.

I learned to position myself as the expert, and over time, potential new clients learned to trust my information without even knowing who I was.

If you do not have trust in a relationship, then you have nothing.

Britt helped me develop my professional brand, how to market myself locally, and how to build a beautiful website that attracts my target market clients.

Britt founded Thriver's Society, where she and her team teach stylists how to build their businesses and market themselves, as I described.

This exclusive community of like-minded individuals continuously supports each other, learns from each other's successes and setbacks, and sets themselves apart.

Having been in Thriver's Society since October 2019, I can tell who is a 'Thriver,' as we tend to stand out!

I think everyone should join Thriver's Society and unlock their potential to build a beautiful life for themselves. I

f you are not happy with where your career is headed, if you are feeling stuck with your income, or know you need help with everything in the beauty business, then I highly suggest you research Britt Seva.

This type of coaching from Britt was not free, her membership came with a price, and I was willing to invest in myself and my business.

I found the price point was affordable for my budget however, there are some coaches where the price tag is steep.

You need to find one that fits your budget, lifestyle, and personality.

Coaches are not one size fits all, you may not like a coach's vibe or the way they do things, and that's ok.

You will find one that meets all your needs, and it may take some time, but it will be worth it in the end.

I want to explain that you do not have to pay for coaching or mentorship, but it is an option.

If you can afford it and see the value in what the coach offers, then you should invest in yourself.

Investing in yourself or your career is always a good idea, and it is never wasted time or money.

You can always learn the smallest thing in any class.

If anyone questions why you are spending your money on classes, coaching, or marketing for your business, you should ask them why they are NOT doing the same thing.

Chances are, this person has insecurities, and that is on them, not you.

I want to touch on some qualities to look out for when searching for a mentor.

Not every stylist is a good candidate for this position, and let me explain why.

First, you want to find someone who does not benefit from your success or failure, and by that, I mean the mentor should have a biased position when it comes to your progress.

They should want you to achieve the highest levels of success and possibly teach them a thing or two and, at the same time, not feel intimidated by your skill level, ambition, youth, or income potential.

Secondly, you want to find someone with experience in the area where you seek guidance.

Obviously, you do not want to seek out advice from a stylist who has never owned a salon if that is where you want your career path to go.

Preferably, you would want this person to have had a successful business as a salon owner and not someone who well, went bankrupt.

I think my point is made.

I get asked this question all the time by people who have a family member or friend in Cosmetology School, "What advice would you give ______? They are in beauty school."

My immediate response is this, find a great mentor.

I may sound like a broken record, and you may even hate this post and that is fine, at least you read it!

Even the most successful business professionals have mentors who support, inspire, and push them to become more than they ever thought was possible.

Just think about where you could go in your career if you had a cheerleader or a whole team of them chatting your name and a simple phrase,

"You got this!"

Be sure to grab your FREE copy of my ebook "5 Unique Ways to Get New Clients"

by clicking here!


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