Never say Never

Never in a million years would I have guessed my “fork in the road” would lead me off the well-worn, already conquered obstacles road, that it Elements Fork in the Road 3did. My husband and I have faced, and defeated, many of those nasty difficulties we must forge through in the course of a lifetime. Those that really mattered anyway, and unlike Alice in Wonderland, we usually knew where we wanted to go.

August 2012, brought a whole new adventure for us. That was when we made the decision to pack up as much as I would need for a short period of time, and headed toward North Carolina. Having left my home of 37 years, surprisingly, the trip was a really good one. I felt no remorse as we got further and further down the road. We had fun along the way, not being in any hurry. The horizon looked promising, even though we knew there would be new obstacles to face. We knew our future depended on our attitude and the hope God had put inside us for our last hurrah, or as some would say, “The place of spreading the icing on the cake.”

My husband would stay in Oklahoma, until our house sold, to move to where he was taking me. We weren’t comfortable leaving our house empty, and felt it was the appointed time to get the new salon business started before the holidays of 2012, and really believed the wait would be only a couple of months, at the most. So, off we went. And now, here it is 8 months later, and he is still there…and I’m here. That’s a really big bummer. Yet, it won’t be forever…

Those of you that have kept up with this business blog will remember the post titled “Passion, Patience, and Persistence”.  It’s something anyone starting out in business, will need. The three P’s. I remember those first few months way back in 1978, when I started my very first business, and thought I would never make it this far. Fast forward to 2012 and starting over in a new state some 1200 miles away, I am once again reminded of the three P’s. As I sit here writing this, I’m once again amazed at how quickly the years seem to have slipped by us.

This new business of mine is located in Apex, NC, in a Market Square with other types of businesses. Yet in my particular building, there are other beauty salons in close proximity to me. Like next door, close. It’s a whole different set-up than what I had grown accustomed to in Oklahoma. I’ve always had a “stand-alone” building in which to do business. I liked it like that. But change has happened, and I adjust pretty well to change, it would seem.  I rent a room…a suite…from an umbrella salon called Sola Salons. Not much of a compromise of old passions. Instead of owning my building, I simply rent a room to house my business in. The area my room is located in, has many rooms rented out to 22 other stylists, and one Esthetician.  I was the only one in this industry starting afresh with no client base…at all. Well, I think the esthetician was beginning fresh too. When asked how I was doing, I would declare that I was “hemorrhaging” at the moment. In other words, a lot of money was going out the door in rent and professional products, along with purchases to make the room look as good as it could. But I knew it wouldn’t last. I made the statement, “I’ll know in 6 months if I’m going to make it here.” I felt I would know the signs of business health within that period of time. Yet, I also knew it would take twice that long to build a sufficient client base to become a viable entity. Many were the days of waiting, hoping, praying…doing everything I knew to do to expand the business.

The time came when I was finally able to make rent and not depend on my Oklahoma business savings account. That felt really good, as I watched the numbers rise. Bleeding stopped. Yay!  And then what I was waiting on, happened! Clients began re-scheduling and even asking to be put on a “standing appointment” basis. Elements Salon was on its way up.  Now, all I need at this point, is a blood transfusion. A lot of money was taken from the savings account, and now it needs replenished. I’m still not where I want to be. It’s only been 8 months, so there is a lot of room for growth. I have way too many open schedules. But we’ll get there! It sorta feels as if the wind is at my back now. That’s a great place to breathe a little easier in. Out of the red and in the black now, albeit minimal. Regardless, the bills are being paid without assistance. Elements is sitting up now…not quite standing yet…but at least we’re not horizontal any longer.

The moral of the story is this…never give up on what you’ve been given to do. Many times we quit right before the break-through, thinking it just isn’t going to happen. We fail to make the curve in the road, and end up crashing and burning. I suppose it’s possible to choose the wrong profession. I will give you that, simply because I think we try our hand at different things hoping one might work for us, and too easily move on to the next idea, before giving it a real chance to blossom.  And there are times we don’t have a choice. We must have money to live. But, if that is the case, we should see those jobs as stepping-stones to get us across the torrent that is trying to sweep us away from what we love.

We must follow our passion, and watch our life change! Follow the road Passionistas! Possibly I’ll see you there and will be able to help you forge ahead.

Passionately…Mary

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Which Kingdom Do You Visit the Most?

Lindsey's fb bannerHow many times have you been out and about and wished you had what it took to say these words out loud to someone you were in the surrounding vicinity of? “Smile please”

As the years fly by me…and they DO fly by…I think I have learned a thing or two about the human race. A thing, or maybe two. I really don’t think we ever totally figure it all out. But humanity being what it is, we all have our own set of circumstantial evidence that on occasion, causes the lips to droop a bit at the corners. Our brains being the powerful (yes, powerful), muscles that they are, will relay what our eyes tell it, as truth, and like Captain Jean-Luc Picard (Star Trek) would say, “Make it so.”

We become convinced that life just isn’t going to comply with our wishes and then we decided we might as well give in to the attitudes of the Kingdom of Sour, becoming more and more detached from the Kingdom of Pleasant. After a bit, we’ve sunk into a lower kingdom still, the Kingdom of Despair, as it wraps its spiny, claw like tentacles, around that powerful brain of ours. Now, it’s almost impossible for us to climb up out of the depths of the abyss we find ourselves living in.

Never fear! All is NOT lost!!! It’s time to find renewed hope in the profession we have decided to give our energy to. What caused you to choose this profession in the first place? Has your passion grown cold for one reason or another? We must ask ourselves some hard questions. But whatever the answers are, they must be truthful ones. No one is ever helped up out of despair by lying to oneself. If there are more people around that bring us down, than people who encourage us, we must dump them. Sorry. If we are to live in the Kingdom of Pleasant, showing others we are bigger than our problems, it can’t happen until our passion is more powerful than those muscles in the face that have to work over-time just to keep the sour look in place. And somehow those we allow in our space, seem to dictate to us which muscles we’re going to use. It really doesn’t have to be that way, ya know. Especially since we’re only responsible for our own actions…and not the actions of others. But many have bought the lie that it DOES depend on our environment. And I’m not talking about the outdoors area of our existence. I’m talking about those we’ve surrounded ourselves with. THAT environment.

I realize we can’t have a smile pasted on our face 24/7. That’s a little unrealistic. Okay…it’s a LOT unrealistic. However the industry I am blogging for, must have in its arsenal, a lot of smiles. I suppose this is one of my “soap boxes”. I think I would rather keep myself tucked away from the public eye, if I couldn’t muster a smile as my clients walk through my door. A real smile…knowing that without them, I wouldn’t have a business. They really do deserve more. It doesn’t mean we are being phony…it means we are being considerate of others and that we are professional people. And then, as we leave the business on any given day, if we have problems that need solved or at least have a little salve applied to them, we can then pick them up from the back door where we left them, and try to find a solution.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe tomorrow you can wear a smile instead of the frown that takes so many more muscles to maintain.

Encourage yourselves Passionistas!