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,

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

self-employment is worth it

I get asked a lot about what it’s like to own my own business.

I always tell those who ask that I prefer it over being an employee, even though in the beginning it was scary worrying constantly about money (this never really goes away, either; it just adjusts itself on a wide spectrum). I also worked waaaaaay more hours than I did on someone else’s schedule when I first started.

The relationships you create are the most important part of it all, too, and not just because of the financial support. When there is no degree of separation between you and the client, you give more and the rewards are felt on a much greater scale. The client becomes part of your team, something you don’t necessarily feel when you’re working for someone else. It changes you forever.

Soon, I’ll be interviewing others who are also self-employed. You can find out what their worries and fears were (and ARE), and how they’ve used simplicity to grow their businesses. You’ll hear their stories. You won’t be able to help but be inspired, whether you are currently self-employed, thinking about it, or want to know how to incorporate an entrepreneurial spirit into your current job.

And I’ll also get some more hair tutorials up, I promise!

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