Friday, 24 June 2016

Are you a bully?

How many times do you take a base ball bat and beat yourself up each day. 

So far this morning I have told my self the following;

  • your miserable
  • your fat
  • you don’t eat the right food for your body
  • your abusing yourself by not exercising
  • if you took care a little more of your house you would find that top your looking for
  • your so untidy
  • your lazy
  • your too old
  • your not good enough
  • your fat….did I forget to mention that
  • how much weight are your gonna pile on before you stop eating that shit

I know right, I would be arrested I told someone else all that in a matter of an hour, would you say that to your best friend, daughter or even some stranger in the street? NO! because it is called abuse. So why do we do it to ourselves? 

 We have a very large and complex brain that seem to just seek out drama, repeat negative self-talk and  create false illusions.
The worst thing, it seems to pile on the fear and hate daily,  every complaint, every dissatisfaction, every problem is drilled down into our brain so it can spin it’s own story, our brain bullies us to be exactly where it wants us to be. 

Because our brain’s job is to keep us safe, it is constantly acting from a place of fear. (like all bullies)  Its primary  job is to ensure our survival. and not to allow us to have the blissful experience of life.

Even when everything is going well, a little voice in our head will say, “Watch out! Something bad is going to happen.” Then panic sets in, and we experience that unnerving anxious feeling of possibly losing all the good we have going for us.

Our brain is a marvel, and expert at telling us engaging stories that are so real and convincing that it’ll influence us to  act out of fear and irrational anxiety. As well as being able to spin a good tale it can vividly replay emotional stories in our mental theatre over and over and over and over.

It’s torture, abuse and self sabotaging our happiness

Before you know it, you’ll start to believe in the stories and trusting them to be true. It becomes a belief, solidified in your mind, yes even the lies. What happens is that we continue our journey in life and start to make choices based on this belief, and then we end up suffering. 

We suffer a lot and sometimes we suffer for a long time because we don’t realise that we are the problem. But there is good news, we are also the solution.

I am a believer we have 2 voices in our head, the loud, vicious one - that school bully, that rages and causes fear and terror in order to gain control of the situation. We also have  the quite gentle one, the delicate flower, who waits patiently for the right time to blossom, with some watering and sunlight it will grow and become strong. 

So what do you do, water your flower, and wait for it to blossom, or is the noise and terror of your bullies voice so loud you can’t help but listen to it and believe the stories. 

Now here is the hard bit, we have to  learn to ignore the bully, and every time we hear that negative self talk to turn away and look at the real truth. 

You have a choice today to believe the ugly lies we all tell  ourselves. Or start to  believe in the truth. and here is how you can do this….

Every day think of 3 things to be grateful of…….think of 3 things which make your life wonderful…..focus on those things all day and keep saying - I am so blessed to have…..

  • a beautiful family
  • amazing cleavage
  • blue eyes
  • a garden which his alive and filled with flowers
  • a sexy man/woman in my life
  • love
  • children
  • a home
  • warm clothes
  • food in my fridge
  • electricity
  • a job
  • great skin

and so know what your grateful for. 

Every time you hear the ugly lies, say right back, ahhhhh that is not true because I have ‘***fill in the blank****’ so I am in a better place today. 

Argue back, tell your brain you are not afraid and it is not in control of how you should be feeling today, tomorrow and forever. 

Take back the power and feel blessed… the glad game

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Rejection - how do you take yours?

I just read a blog post on social media, about a nail tech who was upset that one of her long standing clients called up to say she is going to someone else because they are cheaper.  It happens to all of us and it is a sucker punch to the stomach when it does...but why? 

The client was made redundant and the justification for the move was plausible, she is doing what is best for her self and her life. We have all done it, found a different hair dresser which is closer, or cheaper, changed educator because someone else offers something different, we have even changed brands of coffee cause they have been on offer or shopped in a different super market.

The tech who posted about her customers betrayal on the social media post went onto to say that she was worried for her business, that it kept her up at night. 

I totally related to this, understanding the tortured and torment we put ourselves through when a client decides to go somewhere else. What we have to realise is essentially we are feeling rejected!

In Latin  rÄ“icere, rejection means "to throw back," and is the ancestor of the word rejection. Nobody likes to feel  rejection, to have something thrown back at you, because it makes us feel as if we are not good enough. 

If you are confident that you do a great job, that your  up to date with education and offer the latest application methods. Then there is nothing more you can do and you should accept it and move on. 

But it is hard right? Not taking this as a personal rejection, we put our everything into our craft, so how come someone else can't appreciate it. Put yourself in your clients  position, think about the times you have gone for something  better, brighter or cheaper.  Did you worry about how the person who used to provide you with a service would think, did you personally reject her or where you thinking about your own self and how to better your own situation.

You client is never rejecting you when she leaves, she is thinking of her self and how she can manage her life the best way she can. It is nothing personal, and when you start thinking that way you can move on and sleep better. It has taken  me 45 years to understand that human nature is essential selfish and we are only ever considering how we personally feel about something. 

How can you make your self feel better in that moment of rejection? How do you change the negative thought process? 

Well I zoom into the other persons shoes and look at her position, I begin to realise she is not even thinking or considering me at all.  She is doing what I am doing thinking about what is best for myself and how I FEEL about it.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Nail do you like yours

I had a conversation with my mum the other day about the different opportunities today for nail techs to learn something new. We have the actual face to face workshops and seminars, DVD's and downloads, online subscribed learning. There is also the FREE stuff on YouTube too. But which one is right for you? Have you thought about how you learn, absorb the information and how you can improve this? 

Studies show that online educational programs work. In fact, students today are so used to using the internet that more and more education is now being provided online as it is effective and efficient, it facilitates an easy transference of information where as in the class room the student has more of a passive learning experience and individual learning styles could be ignored. The class structure is stricter with less freedom to absorb and practise when you're ready.  

Face to face learning and online learning is down to personal preference, and I feel the future of the nail industry will hold a place for both to be accessible readily so that your education could become a blended learning experience. 

Heading off to a workshop or class may help to commit to learning at that moment in time.    You are also surrounded (we hope) by like minded people and you are encouraged by the tutor being available if you have an issue. 
Online learning, on the other hand, may be better for certain learning styles as the learning is at a practical rate for the student. So, for instance, someone like me who likes to work quickly and prefers to work along side a demonstration, online learning means I have control of the fast forward and pause buttons. 

Any profession requires a level of re-investment; your continued learning, improving and skill building is what will make you one of the best. It is how you re-invest which is important. Online learning and face to face education should be a considered investment, and if your going to learn anything worth while it is never going to be FREE! 

But what saddens me is that there is a lot of nail technicians right now spending a lot of time looking for FREE education. With the motivation to save money by making do with the snippets of nail tutorials and half explanations through YouTube videos. Generally those free tutorials are there to highlight a product, technique or promote a person - the FREE stuff never gives you the whole story! I will let you into a little secret; it is a marketing tool in order to promote and encourage you to buy into the actual focus of the tutorial. There is nothing wrong with that, I do it all the time. Personally I think some of the cup cake tutorial videos on Face book are mesmerising. But if I wanted to make a cupcake look like a puppy dog, you can bet I would be signing up to a class.   

Surely that time and effort searching for FREE education could be put to better use? What if you had someone on hand to explain where you could improve and get better after you have learnt a technique? Wouldn't that type of education be invaluable? I know there is not always the money, time or resources to re-invest in yourself. My suggestion is to spend your time and money more wisely.  

There is a simple equation you should consider in order to make you and your business successful.

and here is what you should concentrate on;

TIME -spent looking for the free stuff verse's time working at good stuff? 
MONEY - spending £100.00 on your education should give you a £1000 return 

It doesn't matter how you prefer to learn (face to face or online) both ways of learning can work hand in hand and reinforce nail education on a whole. But the one thing to consider is; learn the right stuff the right way. 

Monday, 22 June 2015

Monday Morning Moan

I received a comment on a post this morning...

which wound me up something rotten, I have to tell you, it stopped me in my tracks for a few hours.
I took a breath and understood that, of course this person does not intentionally want to wind me up or insult me and would be horrified if she knew. I also had to remember; she does not know that I have just spent the whole weekend working on tutorials, free films and steps to help nail techs 'learn new techniques' and that I am tired. 
How could she know of the past 10 years worth of content I have published for real techs doing real nails.....and just because it might seem difficult she doesn't know the lessons within a lesson are the most valuable!  
So, on reflection, I am very happy I did not reply..... to her comment.

"Sam, do you ever teach for real life nails" 

I am taking this 'life lesson' as a positive; I do teach nails for real clients, I have a wealth of content available for FREE for 'real nails'  You just need to spend some time and find out what is right for you. YOUTUBE, FACEBOOK VIDEOS and more....pictorial steps (before we knew how easy it was to film) and then there is always the online learning. Which, yes, is not solely for 'real nails' but there is a heck of a lot of techniques and applications you can use in your own work. 
What I am trying to say is, you need to get what you can for each lesson; take it and turn it into something you can use in your own work.
rely on other peoples designs to just copy, reproduce and pass off as your own inspiration. 

So why out of all the comments I get, did this one touch a nerve? 
I think I felt a little used
I do give away a lot of FREE stuff, I do work hard to bring everyone something they can use in their salon work and I do think about the nail technicians and their clients before anything else.
As much as I want to, I can't make things cheaper, easier and free'er than it is already! 

Friday, 24 April 2015

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I would have to disagree, it not only becomes frustrating but creates a negative feeling, tempting me to start keeping things close to my chest. 
I am not alone with this gripe, I know a lot of you have also felt the whip of imitation within your career, but look at it this way,  if your doing something right, you will be copied. 

Throughout my career I have always been questioned for giving too much away, people rarely understand how I can give away freely some of the things I have learnt on my travels and my answer to them is this; "I share freely because it is my role as an educator to help others expand their knowledge".  But when things are taken from you, or your good will is misused you are pushed into a place where you ask your self 'sharing freely might not be such a good thing'.  

Life is not FREE, we all have to make a living and I understand we are all trying to carve our own empire with original innovation and inspiration available to us. I am not blind to the fight to be the best, but lets all take one step back for a moment.  This is about the clients and not our own careers, think about the bigger picture and before you dilute your business into many different avenues because it is working for the competition, look at what your business actually needs to grow. Perhaps there is something unique and distinctive of your own you can develop instead of ripping off someone else hard work and ideas. 

For me to stay healthy, my approach to education won't change and I will keep innovating and developing my own original ideas and share freely, I know I have touched a lot of nail technicians worldwide and my actions of  sharing have helped them move forward.  

Do the same and be a leader, let the others follow, they will always be one step behind anyway. 

It is not the action that is important but how we feel about it that will make the difference! 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

I know what your biggest nail art hurdle is.

Because I have faced them myself!  One of the biggest stumbling block to creating Nail art is finding inspiration.  The second hurdle for many of my students is the lack of skills to translate this into a nail design.

Inspiration is every where, all around us we see colours, shapes and designs, but the skill is translating that onto a nail and coming up with a design. 

The one thing I see nail techs do over and over again is over compensate because of their lack of confidence and just keep adding more!  The skill of becoming a great nail artist is working out how to translate your inspiration and put the design together over 10 different nails to make it look complete.

What I am noticing is that there are a lot of nail techs looking to social media for inspiration, in fact lets loose the word social media - nail techs are looking at other peoples work and trying to recreate the looks they like.

This is where their problems start! STOP right there! Copying other peoples looks and designs will not only stunt your creativity and  hinder you, making you doubt your abilities and leave you frustrated! 

What you need to do, is find a design you like, and think about the actual application.

Ask your self....HOW? 

What did they use to create the look, was it pigment, did they get the fine lines with the nail art pen or a brush, was using alcohol and ink how they got that effect. Learn HOW, and then put forget the image. Instead draw from your inner creative and use what you have learnt to develop your own unique style. Pull two or three different nail looks together, use a technique or application from one, and colour combination from another. Perhaps the lines and patterns from a third.

Then you have a brand NEW look in your own style, and you feel good about your work!

Remember one thing I always tell my students above all else!

You need to K.I.S.S your nails.

"Keep them simple & sexy"

Saturday, 11 April 2015

The wisdom to say nothing...

The other day I overheard conversation, which turned into a little debate, both parties took it in turns to voice how they did things within their business, but getting nowhere in trying to change the opinion of the other. 

Although it is important to stand up for what you think it is right morally, It is difficult to fight the urge to prove yourself and the temptation to explain your actions to others is hard to resist.

It is the wisdom to say nothing and have faith in what you are doing is for the good of your business and the industry, which will ultimately make you the
There is no point wasting your time trying to change another’s point of view, they will still make their own opinion of you and your business. 
This valuable energy making sure everyone knows you are more than what they think you are is wasted. 

Ignore this urge, don’t feed the ego, instead send your self some love and give yourself a break. As long as you can continue with good intentions who care what anyone else thinks, surely this is all that matters.

Have you been in a situation where you wanted to shout from the roof tops because you know they are wrong, trying to inform them of this fact, or do you let them continue to insist their way is right and keep quiet. I would love to know what you think? Please leave a comment on this blog and let me know.