This week I want to focus on a topic that is unfortunately so taboo in our industry - TIME OFF.
Let me start by saying this.
I am a recovering workaholic.
I say recovering because for so many years of my life, I thought that the single most important thing was to work hard.
I want to share a story with you today:
My parents came to the US from Kuwait in their mid 30’s, about 5 or 6 years before I was born.
They came to California with a few thousand dollars and very little understand of the English language.
My father was a workaholic and wanted to make sure that he made something of himself. He went on to become an international business man importing and exporting car parts. My mother went on to own a small business video shop (back when people would rent videos).
I grew up watching my father use an airplane as a taxi service, he was ALWAYS traveling, ALWAYS working, ALWAYS gone.
In 1994 my mother passed away unexpectedly, and my father literally drowned himself with his business.
I would see him very seldom, and when I did, all he would talk about was work.
This is what I grew up seeing as normal so its no wonder that I, too, became a workaholic.
It was my junior year, I would go to high school from zero period to lunch, beauty school from 1230-430, and I worked at a car dealership as a receptionist from 5-9.
I was 17.
Once I became licensed, I assisted, rented a chair twice a week and worked at a clothing store part time.
As I “grew up” in the industry, I went full time behind the chair and got involved in education and traveling and teaching for various manufacturers.
It was NORMAL.
A day off? What was that?!
And then one day, I got a phone call from my dads wife, FRANTIC “YOUR FATHER, SOMETHINGS WRONG, PARAMEDICS ARE COMING, you need to come NOW”
My whole world stopped. I remember the fear and panic rushing through my body, my hands shaking, my head pounding as I raced to my dads apartment,
He was having a stroke.
A major stroke. Paralysis and all.
The paramedics rushed him to the hospital, and he was in ICU for over a month.
As time went on, the initial paralysis went away and he regained all of his strength.
By the grace of God, he made a full recovery.
But he was placed on permanent disability.
No more traveling, no more working, no more being on the go 24/7.
His body just gave out and forced him to rest.
I share this story because as my father was in the hospital healing, I would visit often and have in-depth conversations with him about life, and business.
I was always so proud to be such a hard worker. I claimed I had the “3rd world grind” mentality. (Usually people who immigrate to the US from a 3rd world country tend to have a tenacious work ethic, a relentless pursuit for success). I was a proud member of that club, until…I wasn’t.
In the ICU conversations I had with my father, the value and importance or rest became more and more apparent.
As I look around in our industry today, I see so many of us who over do it. 10-12 hour days, working with 2 assistants. Churning and burning clients. Ending the night with a cocktail or 3. Just to wake up and do it all over again. And again. And again.
We don’t set healthy boundaries with our clients, take clients when we should be off and so on.
We are so focused on building our business that everything else slips and falls through the cracks.
Does the idea of taking a vacation seem impossible for you?
Does this sound familiar? Is this you?
Let me clarify here:
When I say vacation, I mean, a time for you to hit PAUSE.
No clients, no texting clients, no social media (hopefully you have this automated), no guilt, no worrying about finances, a true time to just pause.
If you’ve read this far and you’re thinking “yeah yeah, sounds great but its not going to happen for me”, I challenge you to read on.
I want to highlight some of the benefits of taking some time off, maybe some you had not considered:
1. Your business will be better
Think about your typical work week. Your working behind the chair maybe 5 or 6 days a week. When you’re not in the salon, your on social media, your doing your accounting, you’re checking your inventory and running to the supply store, along with a million other things.
You are IN it.
You’re so deep into your work flow that you wouldn’t even be able to see where there are some gaps. You can’t tell where you’re falling short. What’s working, what’s not. You literally cannot see it if you’re ON 24/7.
Only when you give yourself and your mind SPACE can you come up with solutions to grow and scale your business.
Business doesn’t grow by chance, it grows by choice.
How can you make a choice and shift your business if you don’t even have the space to take a birds eye view? In order to strategize and see the blindspots, you need to step back.
2. Your body physically needs it.
Think about the people in your life who are so overworked and one day their body says NOPE.
Hell, even in our industry. How many stylists do you know that have carpel tunnel? Foot and Anke issues? Back issues?
Think about it. What we do is incredibly strenuous on our bodies and our bodies are not meant to do balayages and blow outs 24/7.
If you don’t take care of your body, if will fail you at some point.
So take the time and make the space for your body to rest.
3. Your family needs you.
I know so many stylists, SO many of you, who don’t realize the price your family is paying by you overworking yourself.
How many times can you justify being late to family parties?
How many missed soccer games? Missed birthday parties?
Your family will (if they aren’t already) get sick of you working all of the time.
They will be tired of you always being late.
Ask anyone when they are approaching retirement, they’ll tell you they wish they had spent more time with their families.
You need to show up for your clients, yes, but your family is more important.
4. Clients will be happier and you’ll love work again.
We are not human doings, we are human beings.
When you work 10-12 hours a day, 5-6 days a week, do you really feel like you’re giving your clients 100%? I bet not.
You can very easily become burned out and that excitement for your business dwindles because you’re ready to go home.
Think about a time you did take some time off. Maybe a week long vacation to Mexico?
How excited were you to get back to work?
How happy were you seeing your clients again?
You gave yourself SPACE to MISS your work, and you probably had an extra pep in your step coming back. Did you dress up extra cute? Im sure you did.
It felt NEW again.
And this is why its so important to take the time away, create some space for your body to relax, your mind to wander and get creative, and fall in love with your business again.
I promise, its SO worth it.
You, my dear, are worth it.
Until next time,
Happy Hair Coloring