The High Price of DIY

“If you think a professional is expensive, wait ’til you try an amateur.”

Red Adair



(image via Google)

Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening.

Beauty professionals have incredible pride in being masters of their passion. And I love that. Graduating beauty school is still to this day one of my most awesome accomplishments.

Most likely you studied and practiced for years to obtain a license, certification, or some type of advanced knowledge. You have invested several thousand dollars to train with the best and are passionately committed to daily improvement to the tune of thousands more dollars and time in advanced education and tools.

What baffles me is how did that experience make you believe that you also can design marketing plans and strategies, design logos and websites and create brands? Last time I checked, beauty school curriculum did not include graphic design, strategy, branding or business development.

I’m sure the graphic designer or web programmer feels the same way you feel when they see your DIY graphics and websites, like when you see DIY cuts and colors. #ugh If I had a dollar for every time hairdressers freaked out about home hair color, and YouTube stars teaching at home beauty, I would be a gazllionaire.

Developing a website (and a business or brand for that matter) is way more than the colors and fonts. There is a strategy behind each word, each page, and each click. Same with logos. You think if it was that easy there would be a degree for graphic design? Creating a business, a brand, a logo, a website and a strategy is both an art and a science. Sound familiar?

By all means DIY, but please know that nine times out of ten it will show, in both your sales and profits.

In the world I work & play in, I cannot tell you how many times people have asked for help then quickly said, “I can’t afford it.” My question back is “Then how can you afford to build a business?” I have seen entrepreneurs waste thousands of dollars (including myself, not thousands but hundreds) and insane amounts of time on DIY, in the end, being frustrated and mad and nothing to show for it. I have also seen people do it the right way, invest time and money up front, and get what they need to create awesome.

You don’t need a million dollar budget to create. But you do need someone with experience and expertise to help guide you. You can do it right the first time, or you can do it wrong the first time, second time and third time until you realize it’s just not working.

When you choose to move way outside your experience and expertise, don’t be surprised when things don’t work out as you wished they would.

Once you engage a pro and set objectives, create a plan, logo, and brand identity, there are some great DIY (kinda) platforms for small businesses to use. But again, use with caution, and if you do not understand it, engage someone who does.

Here are some DIY and (kinda) DIY resources I use often for my business:


For my website, shopping cart, workshop materials and program logos, I engage a professional designer and web programmer, always. I pay $50-$75/hr. for these services and they are based on referrals from people I trust and content I love. For strategy, planning and marketing, I have quite a bit of experience in that area, so for me it’s DIY, after almost 30 years in the business of education, sales, leadership and marketing.

I also invest a significant time and money to feed my brain. Whether it’s through books, webinars, workshops, or coaches. This month alone I have invested over $500 in my education and well being. How much have you invested?

There are exceptions to every rule. If you are a bad ass hairdresser, graphic designer, web programmer, marketer, and strategist, I want to meet you and give you a big hug.

Love + Awesomeness-

Want to work with someone who can help guide you on the path to awesomeness in your biz + life? Click here and lets chat. If we are not a good fit and I can’t help you, I most certainly will point you in a good solid direction to help you grow. But beware, you will get 100% honesty from me. Because I care. So be ready.




Posted in GROW on September 15th, 2014

A Cool Logo Does Not Make You A Brand

“Design is essential but design is not brand.”

Seth Godin




One of the Passion Squared logos. Awesome? I think so. Does it make me a brand? No.

Here is the audio version of the post. Thank you so much for listening.

For the last few years, I have had the privilege and honor of engaging, listening, and coaching small businesses in the beauty and wellness worlds. It truly is my purpose, and I am grateful every second I get the honor to empower those I love.

However, there is a trend I see happening that must be stopped, and that is the belief that if you make a cool logo, secure a domain name and throw up a website, you are a brand. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the truth must be shared. That does not make you a brand, it makes you a logo, domain and website owner. There is a big difference.

So, what makes a brand? While there are a gazillion elements, I will focus on a few that in my experience are the most important and powerful. No matter if you are a 1 person team or a 1000 person team, online or off, these principles apply…

1. Purpose + Promise
Having clarity around the purpose + promise of your business and the ability to communicate it through storytelling creates value + meaning, which in turn, create a brand.

2. Culture
How you communicate, the dialogue & systems you use, your team, how train your team,  your negotiables, your non-negotiables, how you make decisions, how you care for your team, how your team cares for your clients, all of these things create a brand.

3. Experience + Value
How the customer experiences your business, how they feel, the emotions that come up while engaging with your business, the value that is perceived in the mind of the client, that is a brand.

4. Strategy
Planning, what you say yes to, what you say no to, your plans, pricing, promotions, programs, that is the beginning of a brand.

5. Relationships
When people begin to engage with your business and relationships are built. When transactions take place, that is a brand.

Your look, your feel, your sounds, and the consistency of your look, feel and sounds, all of these elements combined, creates a brand. This is where your logo comes in.

You see, we have it kinda backwards. We don’t start with a logo when creating a brand, we actually end with a logo.

When creating a business, with must begin with our objectives, our WHY’s, the outcome we are seeking, our strategy, our culture, experience, promise, purpose, and then, when we have clarity around that, it is time to begin design. And not one second sooner.

Why? Well, a logo is designed to communicate a brand promise, purpose, culture, etc. So how in the world can a designer create a logo without knowing those things? In fact, more importantly, how can you create a legitimate business and a brand without knowing those things? You know?

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

PS: One of my awesome go-to guys on all things marketing is and has always been Seth Godin. Here is his definition of a brand. I love it, and him so much!

“A brand is the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another. If the consumer (whether it’s a business, a buyer, a voter or a donor) doesn’t pay a premium, make a selection or spread the word, then no brand value exists for that consumer.”

Seth Godin

Posted in GROW on September 8th, 2014

The Bad Ass Barbers of Instagram

“Your culture is your brand.”

Tony Hsieh, Founder + CEO, Zappos



The Bad Ass Barbers of Instagram


Here is the audio version of the post, thank you so much for listening.

There is so much awesomeness happening on Instagram, thus my obsession with the platform and writing about it. One of my obsessions at the moment, well, not just at the moment but every day, is the bad ass barbers of Instagram. I am so freaking inspired by how they create awesome each day, so here is my take on what they are doing right and how you can learn from them to help you create more awesome in your biz.

1. Culture
Culture is everything. And the barber community has nailed it. They work together, play together, celebrate their communities, and use the same language. They have a shared passion and work ethic. They live their culture. And it shows.

2. Brand Identity + Messaging
This is the one area that continues to blow my mind. The look, feel, sounds and sights are so insanely consistent. From logos, to colors, to fonts, words, sounds, styles, shapes, tools, merch, storytelling via content, and most importantly, culture, these bad ass barbers not only understand branding, it is clear they value and respect how it can create awesome in their business.

3. Engagement
As my biz hero Gary Vee says, “Best marketing strategy ever? Care.” And these barbers care. The reason I know this is based on their engagement on Instagram. They listen, they respond, they give shout outs, they love and support each other, they build relationships and in turn, they have tens of thousands of passionate followers.

4. Generosity
These bad ass barbers are collectively very generous with their lives and minds. They share tips, offer education, host events and more. As Winston Churchill once said, “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

5. Passion
Well, this one goes without saying. However, what I will say is many of us may say we are passionate, but does it show through our online and offline presence? Can it be felt through a screen and through the stories we tell from the content we share?

Generation C, the connected customer, as defined by the genius Brian Solis, is passionate about shared experiences. About stories, about culture, about going behind the scenes. And these bad ass barbers get that. Do you?

If you want to learn how to create more awesome on Instagram, follow these bad-asses, I do, and I am so grateful they exist.


Oh, and while we are here, here are just a few of my other FAVES creating awesome with men’s hair on Instagram. Follow them.


Love + Awesomeness-


Posted in ENGAGE, GROW on September 1st, 2014

I Can’t Get To The Phone Right Now…

“Never be so busy as to not think of others.” 


 Mother Teresa


(image via

Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening.

It seems simple enough. Yet, the lack of it seems to be an epidemic, and it can also be a competitive advantage. What am I speaking of? Caring.

Here are some ways to show we care…
1. Show up for ourselves, our family, team + community

2. Respond

  • To phone calls

  • To texts

  • To emails

  • To social shout outs

3. Be on time (and end on time)

4. Respect others time

5. Do what we say we are going to do

6.  Be honest

7. Make eye contact

8. Be authentic

9.  Keep our promises

10. Own our mistakes

Many of us are guilty of using the “busy” excuse. And that is exactly what it is, an excuse. We choose where to put our time and energy. If it matters, we will not be too busy.

I wonder what would happen if we were honest and instead of saying “OMG, I am so sorry, I got too busy”, we said, “You know what, you and your issue, or our meeting, or that phone call, or that email was just not very important to me.” Would we be more accountable to each other if we were forced to be honest? Something to think about.

If you find yourself saying I just can’t keep up with all my emails, Facebook messages, etc. than maybe you need to look at your systems, processes and resources. If you want to create an awesome business, caring (not saying you care, but showing you care) is one of the best ways to create an awesome business.

In the world of time management, is it time that manages us or us who manage time? Who decides what we say yes to and what we say no to?

Life happens, things come up, oversights happen, but when it becomes the norm, and not the exception, it’s a problem. If you want to build trust, relationships, and a business, it’s time to admit there’s a problem and make a decision to change it.

As always, the choice is ours.

Love + Awesomeness-

Posted in ENGAGE, GROW on July 28th, 2014

A Thirst For Change

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”

Lily Tomlin


Thirst Project logoHere is the audio version of this post. Thank you so much for listening.

There are a few times in our lives where we meet someone who touches our soul so deeply. This happened to me when I met Eden Sassoon, and shortly after, Eden introduced me to The Thirst Project. When the Universe speaks, I have learned to listen, and there is no doubt in my mind the Universe brought Eden and I together. That, and Instagram, and our dear friend Winn Claybaugh.

I am not one to jump on bandwagons, so to speak, and I know there are a gazillion humans in need, but Eden and The Thirst Project spoke to my heart so I decided to join my heart and hands with them along with some other awesome humans such as Kaz Amor, Tony Beckerman, Marylle Koken, Anthony Cress, Carrie Balion-McDonald, Erin Short, and Amy Gammon.

Eden Sassoon Seth Maxwell

“As an industry, we use a lot of water.  As an industry, it’s time to give some of it back.”

Eden Sassoon


Thirst Project Las Vegas July 2014
A few things that I love about The Thirst Project and why I think you may want to love & support them too…

1. It is one of the most practical efforts to solve a world issue; access to clean, safe drinking water. They build freshwater wells in counties of need. I know for me, I have always taken fresh water for granted. Not anymore.
The Thirst Project well

2. It is lead by some of the most passionate young humans I have ever met. I mean, Seth Maxwell, Founder & CEO of The Thirst Project, was only 19 years old when we was moved to action, only 6 short years ago. I had the honor of meeting Seth, along with Lucas Romick, Ops Manager of The Thirst Project, who is ONLY 20 years old!!! These guys are making shit happen, and are wise beyond their years.

Seth MaxwellEden Sassoon Lucas Romick

3. It is empowered by our youth. This maybe is what inspired me the most. So many people complain about our youth. About laziness, entitlement, you know, you have heard it before. I am one that feels the absolute opposite. Young people today give me hope.

I am inspired daily by the passion and belief that they do not have to accept the status quo. Their rebel with a cause attitude makes my heart smile. And The Thirst Project is fed through these passionate young souls, in middle schools, high schools and colleges around the country. My motto is do not hate that which you do not understand. Take a moment to understand how powerful our youth is. As a business leader, it’s your responsibility to.

What Passion Squared Is Doing…
1. Sharing The Thirst Project story through this blog, The Weekly Dose of Awesome newsletter, Facebook and Instagram.

2. Hosting a live Facebook chat with Eden and Seth on August 7th (time TBD), so you can connect with them, ask questions and learn more about The Thirst Project.

3. Getting my clients involved.

4. Donating $1 from each book (printed, audio book, ebook) I sell on my website.

What You Can Do If You Feel Inspired…
1. Visit The Thirst Project to learn more.

2. Like & follow The Thirst Project on Facebook and Instagram.

3. Donate $1 and ask your friends, family and co-workers to do the same.

4. Spread the word.

It is such an honor & I am so grateful to join with Eden and her amazing team, Seth, Lucas and The Thirst Project to solve a simple yet devastating issue. Click here to join us!

Love + Awesomeness-

Photo credits: The Thirst Project, Salon Today, Eden Sassoon, Google

Posted in GIVE BACK, HEROES on July 21st, 2014