I just wrapped up a full month off from work and, while I initially dreaded the break from my usual hustle, It was the best thing I could have ever experienced. I reseted, relaxed, enjoyed my handsome hubby and beautiful babies, recentered and refocused.
Do you know that in the United States, most adults take less than 16 vacation days a year? My guess is that in our industry the number is closer to 7 vacation days annually or less. The idea of an extended period away from our clientele often sounds scary, taboo or even career suicide, but I want to offer an alternative perspective.
I can remember feeling like a slave to the salon too. As a stylist I didn’t have a single sick day (which we all know means I worked sick) and I never took all 5 of the vacation days I was allowed annually.
I’m not proud to admit this, but as a Salon Director I’d sometimes get mad when a stylist called out sick or said they wanted three weeks off. I don’t believe I ever took more than 3 consecutive days off for fear that the entire building would crumble and the wheels would fall off if my butt wasn’t sitting at my computer day after day.
That is until the Fall of 2014 when I welcomed my sweet baby G. I begrudgingly took a 16 week maternity leave at the instance of my hubby who said that this was the time to finally take care of myself. As Pam Halpert from The Office says “that maternity leave rocked my ass off”. It was a turning point for me when I realized that a career is nothing without a beautiful personal life to enjoy.
Now don’t get it twisted; that leave wasn’t easy. We saved our pennies for months to make that time off possible and we were living on a shoestring budget to make it work, but I wouldn’t trade those 4 months with my beautiful family for anything in the world.
Fast forward to today and this current one-month sabbatical was unexpected. I herniated three discs in my neck on July 1 and taking the break was not optional. I initially cried and stressed about all that wouldn’t get done, but hindsight is always 20-20 and I know now that I desperately needed that time.
I am now organized, have a clear vision for what my business needs to look like to move forward, am re-energized about hopping back in to my work and can’t wait to provide you all with better content than I’ve ever shared before.
Here are 5 reasons you’ve got to schedule some time off for yourself and not feel guilty about it:
Your business will be better and will grow faster
Let’s be real, even when you’re away from the salon, your business is usually still active in the back of your mind. When you step away from that hydraulic chair and just let your mind wander a bit about small shifts you can apply to improve your business amazing things happen. I always say that your business won’t grow until you stop working in it and start working on it. When you aren’t in the throws of trimming bangs and painting foils, your brain will actually have the space to focus on what needs to be done to push forward.
Your guests will enjoy a better experience with you and you’ll retain more guests
There is always a fear of losing clients when we take a break, but generally we come back refreshed, re-engaged and excited about our business again after taking a break. That energy is undeniable. Your clients will feel the buzz in the air and, if you really took the break to let your mind wander about what you can do to spice up your business, your clients will become even more loyal.
Your body physically needs it
Our industry is brutal. I know stylists under the age of 30 who have developed carpal tunnel syndrome from using their shears, stylists who have torn rotator cuffs from over using a blow dryer and then there’s the neck and back injuries that we’ve all experienced from bending over that shampoo bowl and being on our feet all day. Many injuries can be prevented by simply taking a break. Put your health first if you want to enjoy a life-long career.
Your family, spouse, children and friends need to come first
Our loved ones know that we signed up for working weekends and late nights, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t miss us. They really do get sick of us missing dinners, birthday parties and family vacations because we’ve got to work. Think on this….why did you choose this industry? My guess it was something along the lines of to make great money and have flexibility in my schedule while being creative. You can have all of that, but you’ve got to feel confident and take it. What is the point of working in this amazing industry if you can’t appreciate a beautiful home life?
You’ll regain your sanity
The job of a hairstylist is all consuming. You’re not just a stylist, you’re likely also a marketing specialist, social media manager, accountant, receptionist, customer service manager, inventory specialist, employee trainer, etc. You’re answering calls around the clock, skipping lunch breaks and living on caffeine. We are in a unique industry in that we live or die by our business building efforts. We can’t just punch a clock and collect a paycheck. The hustle must happen in order for the business to push forward, but a break from that hustle must take place or you’re bound to have one of those awful mega-emotional “I hate my clients and my job sucks” breakdowns that can be prevented if we are just willing to give yourself a little space and breathing room.
Now is the time and today is the day. I want you to close this article, head to your calendar and book at least 3 days off sometime within the next 90 days so that you can refresh and recharge.
Comment below and let me know what you plan so we can celebrate together!
Cheers to enjoying a beautiful life, love!