we’re all movers

We talk of movers and shakers as special beings, but we are all movers. I move hair from heads onto my floor. When I write, I move words from my head onto a page. Yogis move their bodies. Gamers move their characters.

And entrepreneurs move their visions of business from their hearts into reality. They don’t sit and wait.

Is this the year you’ve decided to take your vision and create something tangible from it? I encourage you to take even the smallest dream and move with it. Is your goal to make $500 extra a month or $5,000? I’ve talked with many business owners throughout the years. Many were the careful types – saving money or curating their credit until they could borrow what they needed. They sacrificed and took their time and made a carefully scripted plan. Many others, like me, jumped in and modified as needed.

Neither is better than the other, in my humble opinion, as long as you’re actively working, moving, to accomplish your goals. If your first goal is to increase your monthly income by $500 a month, what do you need to do? Make $16.70 more every day. If you only can devote weekends to your fledgling business, make $62.50 every Saturday and $62.50 every Sunday. Put anything extra you make into your business account. Actually start a business account.

Too simplistic? Maybe, but it works. Whenever I want to make more money, I look at that dollar amount and work from the starting point of “How many more haircuts do I need to do per day to get that?” It has always worked for me. How do I find those clients? The old-fashioned way – I ask my current clients to send them to me. I’ve done many other things: coupons, advertising, specials, etc. Nothing has worked as well as simply asking my current customers to help me. They have never failed to send me new people. An added bonus? I already know that those new clients will be likable and like-minded. After all, people I already like are evaluating them for me.

Maybe you own a store and want new customers. You want to sell one more tote bag each day to make $500 more a month. There are a lot of ways to get your current customers talking about you. I’ve watched my friends give away some pretty great freebies, knowing that their biggest fans will post to social media about it.

My friend Millie Hilgert is the perfect example of an entrepreneur that started out simple and grew her business from word-of-mouth. She started out selling her own handmade goods at the local downtown market; started expanding to art shows, specialty conventions, and Etsy; moved on to open a small store that included other local work in her art studio; and now has a bigger store in an up-and-coming area just off downtown Boise where she sells all of the above plus more. Her dressing room is the TARDIS – imagine how many people talk about that. She has been written up so much in local press that she’s considered “Boise famous.”

And here’s the thing: She isn’t afraid to ask people to talk about her. She gives them fun freebies. She invites them to use her space for creative meet-ups. She encourages them to tag her on social media. She gives them reasons to chat her and her store up. And they do.

Don’t be afraid to ask people to spread the word. Give them reasons to do so. Give away a few tote bags. Make them so great people will be stopping your customers on the sidewalk to ask where they found them. You’ll be making that extra $500 a month in no time. Then you can plan how to make another $500 a month for your bigger storefront.

Get your product out there and moving. Give your clients a reason to come back. Ask them to bring friends. Figure out how much you want to make and then make a plan. Chunk it down into daily goals. Work.

Move.

 

 

 

luck

Do you believe in luck? My belief in it comes and goes. I’m more into doing the work. It does seem, though, that some people are born a little luckier than others. For example, not all of us are able to get a small loan of a million dollars from our dad (don’t worry; this isn’t a political post).

Arnold Palmer said it best, “The more I practice, the luckier I get.” You have to do the work.

People from both sides of the aisle like to take digs at Chelsea Clinton and Ivanka Trump. They were, after all, born into wealth and basically handed dream careers in adulthood. The thing is, I’m not one who is going to say that they aren’t putting in the work needed to maintain and grow those careers. I’m a mom; I know what I’ll let my kids get away with. Being lazy and ruining my business isn’t high on that list. I’d fire them in a half-second, if they jacked-up something I’ve worked so hard to build.

My biggest goal for 2017? Work so hard that people think it’s my luckiest year yet. I have some business goals to achieve. I promised Maire a stack of rejection letters for my writing (proof I’m putting in the work), and they have to show up on her desk by my birthday in April, so I have less than 100 days. I’m president of a fledging business association that needs to fly, and I’m vice-president of a theater board that has pretty lofty goals for next season. All that and Pooka turns 12. There’s plenty of work waiting for me.

So crack open that fortune cookie – it’s our lucky year.

unbound

​I have the most incredible friends & clients. Kind, articulate, and intelligent. They help me more than I do them. I’m grateful.

My work is different than most. It’s a very personal business. We were trained not to talk about the biggies: religion, politics, and sex. I can tell you right now that I have never worked with a stylist that ever followed that rule. I’m sure we’ve all filtered for certain personalities, but through the years most of my clients have become so much more than business transactions.

They’re friends.

I have held people as they sobbed over lost pets, spouses, and children. I have visited hospitals, and I’ve watched kids. I’ve known about divorces before they happened.

It’s a privilege to be invited into the lives of so many, and I don’t take it lightly.

We talk about boundaries in the workplace, and I definitely agree that there must be some, but they don’t have to be as rigid in an industry that is so people-centric. Honestly, I’ve worked with stylists who aren’t so great with hair but are amazing with people – sincere and loving. They were immensely successful, too.

I’m not telling you to get into everyone’s personal business. I am saying that, when the time comes, be ready with kind, honest words. My clients always have them for me, and I will always be here when they need them from me.

work with what you have

It’s no secret that I didn’t grow up with much money. I still don’t make a ton, which is my own fault, because all the decisions I’ve made over the last few decades have brought me to this point in time. And the choices my parents made formed my foundation, just as I’ve created Rhiannon’s.

All we can do is work with what we inherit and constantly work toward a better tomorrow, right?

I live a life that allows me to be right where I am at this moment – sitting on a red leather sofa next to a snoring dog while my daughter takes singing lessons. I even drove through a snowstorm to get her here. It’s what I do, making sure she knows how important she is. She knows I love her, and she knows what my expectations are. And I know she loves me and what her expectations are.

Yes; kids have expectations, too.

I’m still working out how to turn this life into one that makes a decent amount of money, so I can help her meet her own expectations. There are many options, and I’ve never been afraid to take risks, so I know it’ll happen. When you start out with very little, you’re less afraid. You know you’ll be okay, even if you have to drive $400 cars and eat a lot of beans (been there!).

In the meantime, I’m grateful that I own a business that allows me the time to be an actively involved mom, to volunteer, to work in the arts, to join committees that make a better community, to be the person others can call when they need help. To be free.

I’ve been able to braid all the many pieces into a beautiful life. I’m lucky.

As you think about 2016 and wonder what’s ahead, focus on how you can take this moment, this second, and expand it. Whether you’re the CEO or a new-hire, what can you do with what you already have so that you can sit at the end of 2017 and know you made the best of it?

busy

Time to make time for, well, everything. It’s been an amazing magical few weeks renovating the BENCH salon & gifts to accommodate The Husband Guy’s business (The Beard Mechanic) and get the kids eased back into school, BUT now I need to create a new schedule for myself. Seriously.

I’m on the board of Alley Repertory Theater. Our season is just starting. Oh, and we’re suing the State of Idaho. No big deal. Just artistic freedom. So there’s that.

And guess who’s the president of the newly formed Vista Bench Business Association? So there’s that…

Time to sit with a time management specialist.

impostor syndrome

You don't have to attain perfection or mastery to be worthy of the success you've achieved.

I know a lot of self-employed people. Some are freelancers and some have employees. It seems that lately the term “impostor syndrome” keeps coming up in conversation with my entrepreneurial friends, and every time I’m relieved to find that I am not alone.

Obviously, I am not a therapist, so I can’t pretend to understand every detail of this disorder. I am, however, a stylist who has hundreds of conversations a year on many different topics, and one thing that I have learned in the two decades I have been talking is that even my most successful clients have sat and thought, “What happens when they find out that I am a fraud?”

Being a business-owner is a wondrous thing. It’s almost like giving birth. One day there is just space and the next day this thing exists! You made something! Others are going to see it and judge it and hopefully throw their hard-earned money at it! GAH!

Even writing that made my hands sweaty and I’ve been self-employed a long time.

Are we frauds? Of course not. We are people who work very hard and put a lot of love and time into what we are creating. Some of us have had to overcome huge setbacks, too, so to say that we’re winging it or have just been lucky is hugely inaccurate. Why do our own voices throw those ideas back at us then? Why do we feel compelled to constantly prepare for the worst?

I chatted with Audrey Mitchell, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and good friend, about this. She says impostor syndrome, at its core, is an issue with self-esteem. She created an email subscription of weekly affirmations to specifically target this. We met because our daughters are both in the local GATE program and they introduced us. When I told her that I often feel something similar to impostor syndrome when comparing myself to other GATE parents, she laughed, but she understood.

As parents, we often second-guess ourselves. Single parents and parents that belong to blended families (like she and I) triple-guess. Or quadruple-guess. Or just stare wistfully at the couples raising their kids together who don’t have to co-parent with numerous others. And then we marvel at how amazing our kids are despite everything and pat ourselves on the back. Good Mommy.

One of my best friends is a Licensed Professional Counselor whose specialties are sports and adolescent counseling. You’ve met Jodi here before. She’s part of my inner core. She’s one of those people who is constantly working and reworking herself. She educates herself daily with books and videos, trade magazines and peer work. She’s truly one of the smartest people I know. Regardless, she told me, “I definitely have times I feel like an impostor. Even with all of my experience, I sometimes wonder, ‘How did I get here and why are these people listening to me?’ Logically I know that I’m a professional, competent adult…but sometimes those fears creep in…It’s not totally a bad thing. Better to be aware that I can still learn and grow than to think that I already know it all.”

And I think that’s the positive part of this oddness – it’s a reminder that we still have more to learn. When you love something like I love being a mother and owning my own business, you always want to be the best version of those things. Wanting to be at the top of our game and then continuously working at it is definitely not a negative. Feeling like you somehow don’t deserve the success you have is.

So, to everyone out there worried that she or he is about to be “found out,” I give you this: Just keep doing the work. Don’t be afraid to put your heart out there. People can say what they will about you, but they’ll never be able to say that you didn’t throw all your love and action into it. When you work that hard, you deserve everything you have.

 

 

 

art, art, ART

One of the reasons I love my shop is that I have a venue to sell my own art/jewelry/weird stuff. The countdown to Christmas is here and so many of my artists and craftsmen are selling at different places and events, and I’m so happy for them, but I’m also trying to bring in enough new items to sell. With everyone running around busy, I decided, “GiGi,

image

So I’m working on Christmas ornaments and decorations to sell. It’s fun AND it’s getting me excited for the holidays.