Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Nail education...how 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!