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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Nelson

My Why- Mentoring the Cosmetology Graduate.

I am launching this passion project in hopes that my personal story--my feast AND famine journey--to becoming the successful business owner and stylist I am today will provide helpful information, encouragement, and guidance to the newly licensed stylist faced with making critical business decisions very soon

It is my hope that by being transparent and brutally honest about the decisions I have made throughout the course of my career (good and bad!) and the factors that led to both my success and failures, I will help you avoid making some of the same mistakes as I did and save you from years of undue stress and the potential delay to your happiness.

If anything about my story inspires you to rethink your current plan to conduct more research, seek advice from mentors, or compare your options…then I will feel that I accomplished what I set out to do.

Because if your current career plan is truly solid, it will withstand the challenges ahead!

There were countless times I called out to God, asking him, "Why am I drowning?” and, “Why am I still broke?"

I looked to my friends in the industry who were thriving and building the business that I dreamed of.

Looking back, all that comparison was getting me nowhere. It certainly wasn't helping my situation or my mindset.

But here I was…driving that struggle bus.

But there is a silver lining to this story.

God heard my cries and placed loving mentors in my life who guided me with wise counsel and encouraged me as I navigated my way out of a dark place, eventually relocating and completely revamping my business as well as my mindset.

I changed the way I treated my clients, and I changed the way I viewed myself.

Realizing that I was carrying around some elements of guilt or even shame that I needed to let go of, I now have a renewed sense of pride and appreciation for what I do and value all of my skills and the services I provide.

I am proud of how far I've come and am confident that my days as a broke hairstylist were all a part of His plan.

So that I could call out to my Lord, and He could lift me up and allow me to share my living testimony and give Him all the glory.

To FINALLY get to experience (enjoy!) the fruits of my labor after all the blood, sweat, tears…wine, and sheer dogged determination, I am overwhelmed with pride.

Not the kind that boasts or brags.

The kind that comes from recognizing that out of all the obstacles you conquered, the one that mattered most was your own self-doubt.

I have never been one to sugarcoat things; at times, it may sound as if I am discouraging anyone from ever choosing this profession.

So let me explain upfront that my delivery may come across as “raw” or “direct” at times, but my intent is never to scare hopeful stylists from considering this career path.

Instead, I am trying to prepare you for the realities of this entrepreneurial, customer-driven, unpredictable career that you may not be aware of or have ever considered.

If you are willing to invest the time, energy, and resilience that this profession requires, the payoff personally, professionally, and financially can be generous and deeply rewarding.

Beauty and the Beast of Business:

While cosmetology schools generally do a great job in preparing students to pass their state board licensing exams, these institutions provide very little—if any—information or coursework about the business management side of the industry.

Most new stylists do not realize that they are now officially entrepreneurs once they become board-licensed cosmetologists.

Below are examples of the range of business questions that will need to be considered:

  • What type of salon would you like to work in?

  • Do you want to start work as an assistant?

  • Would you rather work for hourly pay or at a commission-based salon?

  • Do you want to specialize in a particular skill?

  • How much should you charge per service?

As independent contractors, sole proprietors, or business owners, stylists are responsible for figuring out how they will manage the following on their own:

  • legal liabilities, contractual agreements

  • profits, business expenses, taxes, savings, retirement

  • securing your health insurance

  • marketing campaigns, attracting clients

  • retaining clients

  • continuing education expenses

  • booth or building lease/purchase expenses

All the things! AAHHHHHHH! Can you feel the anxiety building?

I suppose one assumption is that a Master stylist will teach the new stylist business basics that he/she works under as an apprentice.

But what if that stylist doesn't choose that path?

While there are clear advantages to learning the business from the ground up as an apprentice, the reality is that by choosing that route, you can only legally be paid minimum wage plus tips.

Oftentimes, that is simply not feasible… Think of single parents, for example, who will need to bring home more than the average $10 an hour to feed their children and fund basic living expenses.

So, without the advantages that an apprentice receives learning the ropes from a Master stylist, many end up in this unfortunate space where they don't know what they don't know… this industry has another side that can make or break you.

The business, marketing, and customer relations side.

And the truth is every stylist needs to be taught these things.

I wish somebody would've taught me.

This brings me back to my “why” I am doing this now.

I want to help every stylist who is saying to themselves … “So, I have a cosmetology license …now what?”

Be sure to grab your FREE copy of my ebook, "5 Unique Ways to Get New Clients" by clicking here!


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