I had an appointment yesterday to get my hair highlighted and cut. Feeling kind of down from a tiresome week and hair that was a couple weeks overdue for a cut, I was oh-so-ready for a change.
I’ve never been one of those girls that freaks out at the sight of scissors, begging the stylist for “just a trim.” Maybe it’s because I grew up during the 1980’s punk and new wave era when my friends and I would all pile into the bathroom together with boxes of Lady Clairol bleaches and dyes and emerge hours later “looking like we swapped heads,” as my mom put it. So for me, change is good. A new hairstyle is entertainment–a chance to reinvent myself and change up my mood a bit.
My hairstylists are at Crimpers the Salon which is run by husband-and-wife team Derek and Sandi Roe. Everyone there is really good. Sandi is an amazing haircolorist who can weave flawlessly natural highlights and is a whiz at corrective color. Although I’m fiercely loyal to Sandi for highlights, I switch around for haircuts. Mia does miraculous things to long hair, giving it shape and movement while keeping the length. Derek does killer razor cuts and knows how to create a look that is professional-looking but still has a bit of edginess to it. That was exactly what I was wanting. In the mood for a change, I wanted someone that could take me there.
The reason I’m telling you this story is because it’s an important point to remember with your own clients: Are you willing to let them change? Can you take them there?
I’ve long been saying that one of the biggest barriers to change is that other people want to compartmentalize you. They don’t necessarily mean to, but it’s the way the human brain works. In a world of overwhelming choices, the brain tries to make order. When something is sorted and filed away, the mind can move on to something else. This is marvelous for memorizing routine tasks, but it’s hell on relationships.
People rarely stay put in the compartments your mind has created for them. They change; you change. It’s hard enough to change oneself. For any major life changes (and some small ones) we must overcome years of habits and conditioning. It seems that the odds are stacked against us sometimes, yet we keep growing like weeds that eventually break through asphalt. It’s hard when you’ve finally made some big inner-change, and those around you respond to it as an inconvenience. As anyone that’s started a new career, come out of the closet, or announced a divorce knows, some people will challenge your desire for change–not because your choices are questionable, but because they don’t want to change they way they see you.
If you’re in a holistic type of service business, your job will frequently include helping people to change. You might be facillitating one type of change, such as reversing a health problem, but that change is going to have an effect on other parts of that person’s being. Other times, your client comes to you with some kind of life transition already in motion, and you’ll need to adapt your routine. As a service provider, it’s much more convenient for you to perform services on autopilot. Your day might be boring, but at least your brain will be relieved of stress. Beware this tendency towards professional complacency. Just like any healthy personal relationship, you need to keep your client interactions fresh and alive. Make new recommendations. Suggest new products and services. Ask your client if they’re in the mood for a change, and if they say no today, ask them again next time.
Derek asked me how I liked my last haircut was, and I explained that although it was perfect, I’m ready to change it up. I told him I’ve been enamoured with the long mod-revival hairstyles of the late ’60s – early 70’s. Not only did he know exactly what I was talking about, but he knew how to rock that cut. Derek was one of London’s hottest hairstylists during that time, with his work featured in major fashion magazines such as Vogue, Bazaar, and Cosmopolitan. When we were nearly done with flat-ironing my new long and heavy bangs, he mused, “Do you know how many times, I’ve done this cut? Hundreds. Just not in the last three decades. We used to call it the English Model’s Haircut. All those girls wanted that look back then.”
It’s so nice to have someone give you permission to change. Thanks, Derek. Now I’m off to find some smudgy dark eye-liner.
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Jaya Savannah - Chief Inspiration Officer. Strategy Coach for Holistic Businesses. Trainer, speaker, and writer. Spiritually aware, yet street smart. Elephant lover.