Do you ever feel kind of weird about spending money on education? I mean, we are living in an age where you can literally watch thousands of hours of hair technique tutorials on Youtube at anytime. Many salons bring in free education to their team throughout the year. If you educate for a brand they often provide awesome in-house education.
Seriously, what's the point of researching education as a hairstylist today when it seems like free education is at our fingertips?
Have you ever heard the saying "you get what you pay for"?
I actually didn't really believe that to be true until last year. I am the queen of resourcefulness. For real though, I'm pride myself on being ultra resourceful and built my clientele just by doing my own research and trying all kinds of techniques.
When I decided to start coaching hair stylists full time I did the exact same thing as I did when I built my clientele; did tons of research, followed inspirational leaders and just kind of figured it all out. I completely prided myself on the fact that I was what I considered to be self-made and didn't need to spend a ton of money on training.
That is before 2016 when I took a major leap of faith and dropped nearly $30K on advanced education. WTF?!?! I know, it still sounds insane. Now I want to be clear, I didn't just have that money to burn. It was a complete leap of faith (and some serious credit card debt) but I knew that if I was really going to be the best that I can be I needed to truly invest in myself.
Nearly a year later I would go back and write that check again and again and again because I have learned more in this past year through education than I've learned in my entire lifetime before. I am now not only a better coach but a much better wife and mother and I've actually found time for myself again.
I share that story because I want you to really re-evaluate how much you're investing into yourself and your business these days and if you're seeing a return on that investment.
If you're really ready to level up in the year ahead and are ready to commit yourself to learning new skills to take you there, here are the 5 steps you've got to take before you invest.
1. Look for educators who are not affiliated with your hair color or hair care brand
You have to realize that your brand has trained it's educators and expects them all to speak in a certain way about certain topics in order to benefit the company they work for. Listen, brands don't hire these educators for fun. It's a business move and having an inspirational educator sharing their message is great publicity.
When you only learn from educators within your own network you're narrowing your focus and limiting your growth big time. You're only getting one perspective in an industry that is growing at a record pace. Don't cheat yourself. Do your research and find your own educational mentors beyond your brand.
2. Don’t believe in the hype
I’ve heard the good, the bad and the ugly about many of today’s educators and, oooooooooh, there is some ugly. Just because somebody has 20K Instagram followers doesn’t mean they are a good teacher.
Anybody who knows how to follow a system can grow their social media following.
Anybody who practices their skills can master a cut or coloring technique.
It takes some serious skill to be able to properly facilitate a class and inspire a group. I hear story after story from stylists who drop $300 or more on a class only to get mediocre education, broken promises and one cute selfie with the educator.
Don’t believe the hype. Do your research, ask for referrals and choose to work with educators who really know their stuff and offer an incredible and inspirational experience.
3. No educator shares their best knowledge for free
Don’t fool yourself. There is no educator on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram or anywhere else sharing all of their best strategies for free. I know I don’t and when I talk to all of my friends who educate they know better than to do that too.
We share all of our best stuff for those who invest their time and money into our programs. If you want to truly elevate and reach your full potential, you need to have some skin in the game. Invest in yourself because it truly is the only way to grow.
I purposefully teach what to do for free, but the how to effectively do it, I save only for those who invest in my trainings. If you want to stop wondering why your DIY techniques aren't performing that well, it's time to invest in some real education.
4. Figure out how you’ll make the financial investment back before you even attend the class.
For example, if you're going to sign up for a $500 hair painting class, you should have a plan in place before you even attend the class to apply that technique and market these new skills to increase your referrals and grow your business.
Don't even bother taking the latest social media training class if you don't plan to be 100% committed to growing on that platform moving forward.
I always tell students that if they aren’t prepared to make my courses pay for themselves and then some, I’d prefer they not sign up.
I never, ever sign up for any kind of coaching or class unless I’m committed to, not just earning that investment back quickly, but making increased income by applying the techniques that I’ve learned.
So often we get sign up for a class, get excited, learn the skills and then do nothing truly effective with them. What is the point of taking a class if you aren’t going to apply what you’ve learned and level up?
5. Spend at least $500 a year on education if you just want to maintain your business. Spend at least $1,500 if you want to grow this year
Like I said earlier, you get what you pay for so the more you want to grow, the more you better invest. Once you’ve committed to not just earning your educational investment back quickly, but making increased income because of it, spending money on education just isn’t that scary.
Take it from me, the lady who spent years saying “I’m mega resourceful, so I’ll just figure this all out myself”. I wasted time, money, energy and effort scrapping strategies together when I could have just invested in the right education and earned more income faster and more efficiently.
My only educational regret is that I wish I had invested more with the right people earlier. I am absolutely making up for lost time now and diving head first into every book, class and coaching experience I took for granted.
Do you wish you were more committed to taking the RIGHT classes? Let me know in the comments below what you’d like me to share more about through my blog, free online classes and paid programs. I’ve totally got you covered.