Mentors + Models

Mentors + Models

“Mentors speed up the process of learning.” Gary Vaynerchuk

In my awesome career, I would never have gotten where I was without mentors and models. Sounds like such a simple statement, yet there are still so many that wander around, stumble over and over, and are generally lost. I hear so often of stories of professionals who are just not sure what to do with their careers.

What really blows my mind is there are mentors and models everywhere. So many awesome people, successful people, doing big things. With the social + digital web, there is NO excuse to not have a mentor or at least, models to observe and study.

So why does it seem so many are still lost? Here is my take…

1. Some people will always look for a short cut.
And there are no real short cuts to creating awesome. We all know this person. All the advice they have been given seems daunting, so they decide to just go it alone. Until they hit a big wall.

2. Some people are listening to the wrong people.
Facebook, Instagram and the web are all awesome for a gazillion reasons. It’s also one of the biggest places to find the WORST advice and recommendations. OMG, the stuff I see people talking about. Ugh. One of the most important things about finding mentors and models is to know their track record. What is their experience? Do they speak in facts or theories? We must all be very mindful of who we listen to and what we believe. I mean really, we are talking about people’s businesses and lives.

3. Some people are selfish.
Sad but true. One of my biggest mentors and all around awesome humans John Paul DeJoria says “Success unshared is failure.” Truer words have never been spoken. True leaders offer their hands, minds and hearts to those who need it.

Three ways to find mentors + models

1. Pay attention.
If you are looking for a business mentor or model, find successful businesses and who is leading them. With the social web, it is easier than ever to discover awesomeness. One of my go-to people for creating awesome as a salon owner is Keri Davis of Gila Rut Salons. In business over 20 years and a NAHA MBA Salon of the Year winner, Keri has managed to lead a happy, healthy and profitable business consistently over time. I did a Passion Profile on her which you can read here. It’s awesome, just like her.

2. Join Hairbrained is a community of passionate artists and leaders who are more than happy to open their hearts and minds and help others. And anyone you want to reach out to is only a click away.

3. Engage On Instagram
There are so many awesome mentors + models who are caring, open, kind and passionate about empowering others. Take the time to engage with these awesome humans, and you will find they will engage back.

How can you be a mentor or model?

1. Show Up
If you have a passion for helping others and have a successful track record in your area of passion, then reach out and share your awesomeness with others, both online and off.

2. Respond
This is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves. Seriously. If I had a dollar for every time I was told that a so called leader did not respond or reply when someone reached out for help I would be a gazillionaire. Look, you can ignore people if you choose, but if you do, please don’t call yourself a mentor or leader.

Our world can be so much more awesome when we realize we are one. And the more we help people, connect people, love people, empower people and support people, the better we all become. It does not get any simpler than that.

Are you looking for a mentor or model? Maybe I can help connect you. One thing I will promise you, I will show up, share, respond and reply.

Want more? Here is a little vid I did for my friends at American Salon Magazine. Enjoy!

Love + Awesomeness-

Keri R. Davis Gila Rut Salons


Either you create your own culture, or your culture will be created for you. You choose. Keri R. Davis

What an honor it was to sit down with my 25+ year bestie and all around awesome human and biz bad ass Keri R. Davis to take a peek into her brain & heart. Keri has three Aveda Concept Salon in San Diego called Gila Rut, is an educator for Aveda Business College and won the NAHA MBA Salon of The Year, or what I like to call the bad ass biz award.

N. What does passion look and feel like to you?
K. When I see something that I am passionate about, I see beauty, in all things — not just industry beauty or physical facial beauty. I see passion in nature. I see passion in people helping people. I see passion in laughter … and I love to see the igniting of the light bulb in someone’s thinking.

When I feel passion, it feels like butterflies in my stomach. I feel anxious or driven in a good way … as if it can’t come fast enough, yet I don’t want it to end so I can relish the greatness of it.

N. Why did you become an owner?
K. What a loaded question! I was so young (26 years old) when we opened our first salon. Thinking back that far is challenging, but what I do remember is that the salon I worked in for my first 3 years in the industry was my biggest learning experience. It taught me what I didn’t want. I hate to say that, but sometimes when we learn what we don’t want, what we do want becomes clearer. Kind of like a relationship!

As I observed hairdressers that had been practicing their craft for 20+ years, what became clear was that they had nothing to show for their hard work … not in their personal life or business life. And when I say that, I am referring to a retirement plan, and exit strategy, owning a home. I felt that they felt stuck. That could have been just my observation, but that is what drove me to want to do something that gave me security.

When I went to work for the second salon of my career, my observation got even clearer. I could not find a salon to work in that offered me a career opportunity. I could only get a job! This was a huge distinction because I wanted a place where I could grow roots — a place where I could see myself for a long time and elevate my position/career. I wanted a mentor.

This was the changing point for me. It became evident that my path was to create an environment that offered career opportunities to people where they could grow and where they felt taken care of through health insurance, retirement and paid vacations. Basically, for me, things needed to operate like a ‘real’ company.

I wanted to be a facilitator to be able to help people see what was possible for them where they may not have seen it for themselves. This became my mission and has become my passion. This vision has not changed over my 24 years of business ownership!

N. What is the biggest challenge you have had and how did you overcome it?
K. I think the biggest challenge I have had (there have been many) is accepting that people have their own ‘process’ of execution and achieving a final result or goal that is often different from mine.

Overcoming this is a process in itself, so I breathe a lot and remind myself that people have their own amazing process of getting things done. As long as the communication is clear and we are working toward the same end result, it is a beautiful thing to observe and respect different ways of arriving at the same place. In some cases, they arrive in a better place.

N. What is the greatest lesson you have learned?
K. To practice gratitude for all that we have been blessed to encounter in our lives … business and personal.

N. What is one skill you believe all successful owners need to have?
K. A vision and the communication skills to get people aligned to that vision.

N. Why that one?
K. Without clear vision of where you want to go, the energy and culture becomes fragmented. People are moving in different directions and when coaching, we need to have a clear vision/goal of where the company is going. Otherwise, we have nowhere to direct them.

N. Why are you so passionate about salon culture?
K. To me, culture is EVERYTHING. In my mind, this is my second home. I want to feel amazing when I walk in. I want our staff and guests to have that same feeling. Without a strong culture, the customer experience is inconsistent. That being said, this would create an entirely new set of problems.

Culture is the glue that connects the experience of your company. From owner to staff members, from guests to community. It is who you are!

N. Favorite quote?
K. I have two:
“Either you create your own culture, or your culture will be created for you. You choose.”
“Be now what you want to become.”

N. Starbucks or Coffee Bean?
K. Neither: I make my own!

You can find Keri on Facebook, and follow Gila Rut Salons on Facebook + Instagram.

Thank you Keri for sharing your heart + brain + passion with us. I am so grateful to have you in my life, my heart and my head.

Love + Awesomeness-