Leading With Love + Awesomeness

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.

Jim Rohn


Love Me(image via Redboy)

Here is the audio version of the post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.

My religion is love. My life is love. My passion is love. And this does not mean that I do not get worked up, angry or grumpy. I am all of those things at times, but choose to focus on what’s good.

So what gets my blood boiling? Glad you asked. Lame leadership. Here’s the deal. Not everyone is meant to be a leader. And that is OK. We need followers too. Followers are very important, without them, we cannot create awesome in our business.

I continue to see frustrated owners, resentful team members and turnover continues to be a huge challenge in the salon biz. One of the reasons for this is leadership. And before you get all worked up, I am not saying team members cannot be jerks, they can, we all can. But at the end of the day, as a leader, its your job to create an environment for growth, to hire the right people and more importantly, to fire the right people.

If you are unhappy with your culture, the energy in your business or a team member, look in the mirror first, then begin to determine who you want on your bus. If you have a team member who is holding you hostage, you have a choice. If you have a team member who is not up to par technically, you have a choice. So it all comes back to you, the leader, and the choices you make.

How do you lead with love + awesomeness?

1. Love Yourself
One of the biggest challenges I see in leaders is their deep insecurities and ego driven leadership style. Guess what guys, this may have worked for you in the past, but in today’s world, it just wont cut it anymore. Love begins with us. Love is an inside job. If you want to be an effective leader, it starts with you. Do the work.

2. Care
OK, so this one may be obvious, but I am talking about really caring. Not just saying you care, but showing it in your actions. If you are not a people lover, you are not a leader. You know the old saying, actions speak louder than words.

3. A Servant’s Heart
The role of a leader is to create an environment for growth. To get the best out of your team. To provide the tools they need to create awesome. And the best way to do this is to have a servant’s heart. Your job is to be of service to your team.

4. Show Up
This one is big. And by showing up, I don’t just mean physically. Be present, be aware, be available, return calls, texts and emails. Spend quality time with your team. They chose you as their leader. Are you showing up for them?

5. Courage
It takes a ton of courage to take responsibility for the lives and careers of others. It takes courage to be able to take ownership of mistakes. It takes courage to have those super tough discussions with people, you know the ones I am talking about. It takes courage to be honest. But all of these things are part of leading with love + awesomeness.

How do you lead with love + awesomeness? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments or click here to share them with me privately, I’m listening.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

What If

The Other Shoe

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

Paulo Coelho


What If

Here is the audio version of this post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.

You know the old saying “waiting for the other shoe to drop’? There are several explanations of the origins of this phrase but for the sake of this post, we will say it’s about waiting for something to happen, usually bad. As a person who battles (and wins more every day) with anxiety and panic disorder, I have lived most of my life waiting for the other shoe to drop, particularly when things are going awesome. So let’s just say I have lots of experience with this way of thinking.

Our minds are wonderful, powerful and crazy things you know. And we have the power to choose our thoughts, we had the power all along as we learned in The Wizard of Oz.

As Henri Matisse so famously said…”Creativity takes courage”, and I would add to that, so does creating awesome, starting a small business, running a small business and being a great leader.

What if…
I fail
It doesn’t work
They don’t like it
People hate me
I have a slow day
Nobody comes

What if…
I succeed
It does work
They love it
People love me
I have a busy day
People come

We can go about life, full of fear, waiting for the other shoe to drop or we can turn our fears into fuel, courage, creativity and create awesome. It’s a choice. Choose wisely.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

One Size Does Not Fit All

The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.  -Michael E. Porter

Here is the audio version of this post. Thanks so much for listening. Enjoy.

What is YOUR strategy? Sound like a loaded question? It’s not. It’s a question I believe we all need to take time to answer as brand and small biz owners if we are going to be awesomeness creators.

Here is one definition of strategy, and it includes the word ART which I love…
(noun) the art of devising or employing plans toward a goal

One of the important things we do as brand and biz owners is make decisions. And the best way to make good decisions is if we have a clear strategy. When we have clarity, the decisions become easier to make. We know our plan and are clear on the steps we need to take to get closer to our goals.

And strategy can be and needs to be very fluid. Things change, people change, markets change, opportunities change, and thus our strategy will continue to change over time.

So what does all this have to do with the topic, “One Size Does Not Fit All”?

In today’s hyper connected world, we have opportunities to engage and help our community in so many ways. If someone has a question, we all seem to have answers. Yet, there is a very big flaw. And that flaw is how can we really answer a persons question without knowing more about them, their biz and their strategy? You see, one size does not fit all.

Promotional Strategy
Someone asks a question in a Facebook group about Daily Deal platforms and if they are good…
Several people jump into the comments with their “personal” opinion, knowing nothing about the person or business asking the question. How could anyone really answer that question without understanding the goals or promotional strategy of the person asking the question?

Pricing Strategy
A healthy discussion begins about pricing of products and services…
Several people jump into the conversation adamant about what someone’s pricing strategy should be. Really? How can we be so sure without knowing more about the marketing strategy?

Online Marketing Strategy
An expert is at a hair show talking business and a several people ask the “expert” which social platforms they should be on. And the expert actually answers them, very specifically, knowing nothing about their marketing strategy. Really? How in the world does this expert know?

Referral Strategy
A group of small businesses get really mad at YELP and tells all their biz owner friends to avoid it. What an incredible disservice that is. YELP may or may not be important depending on the businesses strategy. And how in the world would that small group of businesses know that? SMH.

You see, one size does not fit all. We must begin to craft our own strategy, not just absorb other people’s.

Can we all learn from each other? OMG yes! One of the most awesome things about the social + digital web is that is has brought us so close together, to be able to help empower and support each other. But at the end of the day, awesome businesses have strategies unique to them. And strategy is an art, just like cutting and coloring hair.

When we have a strategy, making decisions becomes easier. We are clear on what to say yes to, and even more importantly, what to say no to. And that my friends, is where awesomeness creating and real marketing begins.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)

6 Awesome Content Resources

“Every company is its own TV station, magazine, and newspaper.”

Jay Baer


Mike Pittman PhotographyPhoto via Mike Pittman Photography

Here is the audio version of this post. Thank you for listening. <3
6 Awesome Content Resources

One of the most common questions I get asked by salon owners is where to find content for their social biz pages. One thing to always remember when creating content (original stuff) or curating content (sharing other people’s stuff) is it must fit your brand, your story, your why and your voice. Always remember, your content is your marketing.

There are so many resources for content, you just need to know where to look. Sometimes, the best content is right where you are standing, in your own salon.

Here are some awesome content resources for you to take a look at.

1. Fashion + Beauty Blogs + Sites
You will almost always find the latest & greatest fashion & beauty content to share with your community on these pages. From the latest celebrity trends, to how-to’s and more. These are some of my faves…

2. Content Curating Sites
Just type in what you are seeking and like magic you will find articles and features. It really is like magic!

3. Pinterest
Search anything you are looking for and I promise, it will be found. Pinterest has awesome fashion, beauty, lifestyle, food, inspiration and more. Just always remember to credit the source so you can stay socially awesome.

4. Manufacturer Partners
For product info, high quality hair & product images turn to your manufacturer partners. They have big budgets and art departments, unlike most of us. Use the beautiful imagery and copywriting they create.

5. Quote Makers
For those of you who have a community looking for inspiration, humor or just love quotes, these are my go-to quote markers for Passion Squared.

6. Your Salon
This is the best resource of all. Before’s and afters, client & stylist features, behind the scenes (BTS) are all typically the most engaging content you can post on your social pages. So download a pic app, get on Instagram and start creating awesome.

And of course, there is always Google.

If you are looking to create awesome in your online and offline marketing, check out my Creating Awesome Workshop created with love by me.

(shared with LOVE from Nina)