What it means to be a wealthy hairstylist

The number one goal of every single human on the planet is to become wealthy.

Some of your read that line and thought "um no, my goal isn't to become wealthy at all".  You can think that, but you are totally wrong.  The quest for wealth is what keeps each and every one of us working hard every single day.  For those of you would would argue and tell me "Britt, I seriously don't care about being wealthy", let me take a step back and explain.

Wealth has nothing to do with money.  Each of us has a completely different view of what wealth means and my view of wealth no longer has anything to do with money at all.  To be wealthy simply means to have an abundance of anything.  At this point my life I want to have an abundance of love in my life and time with my family.  I look around and feel the most wealthy when all four of us are piled on the couch watching The Incredibles (best Pixar movie of all time by the way). 

It took me years to realize what wealth truly meant.  I used to sit down with the stylists on my team and try to coach them on how to upsell conditioning treatments or increase their service revenue.  I would share with them the technique I use to save a good chunk of change from every paycheck and still have enough leftover to go around by using multiple bank accounts.  Some people would eat it up and some would sit there staring at me like I had two heads.  I would write off the ones who seemed unmotivated as lazy or not cut-out for the industry.  I was so incredibly wrong.   

I realize now that I was offering business advice based on what my idea of wealth was.  I spent most of my working life working around the clock, not taking lunch breaks leaving the house at 7:30am and getting home past 8pm regularly.  The money I was making was good so I felt wealthy.  Why didn't other people want to do whatever it took to make more money and grow their bank accounts?  Now I understand.

There are 4 main types of wealth...

Friend Wealth-Wealth for you is being able to take a weekend off every single month to go on a mini vacation.  It doesn't matter if it's the annual trip to the lake or a road trip to a cheap hotel so long as their two best friends can come.   Sometimes you live on Cheetos and Diet Coke because you can't even afford to eat out, but you guys don't care because you live for these times together.  If this is you, remember that your friends are super important, but not worth losing your job over.  If you want to take a weekend off every month, do it, but hustle to build your business so that you still make great money and your clientele builds.  If you have an employee working for you who appreciates Friend Wealth, they'll commit to working for you if you approve every single one of their vacation requests (you read that right).  Let them know that if they work hard, they can earn the right to be off every single Saturday in time.  Those who appreciate Friend Wealth are also generally very willing to put in extra hours in other places to make up for the time they want off, so sign these employees up for extra projects as needed.  Just don't expect them to reach financial goals to earn the time.  This does not compute for them since it isn't their idea of wealth. 

Family Wealth-Remember my story of feeling wealthy sitting on the couch snuggled with my babies and hubby?  That is family wealth.  Those who value Family Wealth put their nearest and dearest above all else and would rather be living on a shoestring budget with an abundance of family time than working around the clock for a buck.  I know a stylist who only values Family Wealth and for years she made no sense to me.  Her clientele didn't grow, she didn't care to earn more, wouldn't work more than 22 hours a week and I wrote her off as being checked out.  Not at all.  She had scaled back to spend more time with her family and couldn't have been less motivated by money.  She wanted to work as little as possible just to pay the bills and then race home to soak up that family time.  If you value Family Wealth just be sure that when you are working you are 100% working.  Try not to be distracted by your home life and give it all you've got when you are plugged in behind the chair.  If you have a team member who values Family Wealth, be understanding when they don't go for cocktails with the group or miss an educational opportunity.  Those who value Family Wealth live for simple moments at home and they should be able to soak it up.  These stylists won't be the ones you can count on to work the after hours events or hustle for a buck, but if you offer them the flexibility and time they so desperately crave, they will stay loyal for life

Luxury Living Wealth-Some people feel wealthy wearing a pair of Louboutin's even though they barely made rent last month and they've eaten Top Ramen for dinner for the last week.  Do you know the girls who blow their entire paycheck in one night because their favorite store just got a new shipment of jeans and handbags?  Talk about retirement savings and budgeting to these stylists and you might as well be speaking in a foreign language because they couldn't care less.  At first glance those who value Luxury Living Wealth may seem to be immature, irrational and impulsive, but they actually have the potential for more hustle than any of the other categories.  Those who crave luxury generally crave it in all aspects of life so they want to live in a nice house, drive a nice car, travel, have a big family.  All of those things cost money and luxury lovers understand that.  If you value Luxury Living Wealth, commit to growing your income by at least 15% each year to keep up with your love of the finer things in life.  Try and step outside of your comfort zone and set aside a specific amount of money each month in a separate bank account that you can't dip into easily. If you have a Luxury Living lover on your team, incentivize them with cash bonuses and prizes.  These stylists are generally competitive in nature and don't mind working hard if it means getting something shiny at the end!

Traditional Wealth-Even though wealth doesn't have to be about the money, it often is at least a little bit about the money.  I find myself to be a split between valuing Family Wealth and Traditional Wealth.  I am financially responsible, however my family comes first.  Those who value traditional wealth are good about putting money into savings in case of emergency, plan for retirement and make investments.  They crave stability in their life and want to plan for "just in case" with every move they make.  They don't spend frivolously and will do whatever it takes to earn more.  Like those who value Luxury Living, these stylists are hustlers.  They will work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week doing most any service if it means more money in their pocket.  Nothing is better than looking at a 4-figure day behind the chair and they are completely motivated by increasing their income.  If you are somebody who values Traditional Wealth, congratulations because you are in a great industry for it.  The sky is the limit and in our profession your income is a direct result of your effort.  Hand out your card, up-sell, ask for referrals and your business will boom.  If you have somebody who values Traditional Wealth, they won't be overly motivated by the opportunity to work less days or to stop working on Saturdays.   Vacation pay benefits are nice, but they'd honestly rather have more cash in their pocket. These are stylists you can coach on saving for retirement and selling more to earn bonuses.  They are willing to work hard for the money and you've got to support that drive.  

Most of us are a combination of all of these values to a degree, but generally one or two are prominent.  If you've heard me share my story before, you know that I became a hairstylist because I wanted to have complete control over my financial future and a great work/life balance.  At the time the opportunity to make more money was my #1 priority but as I get older I realize that wealth to me is an abundance of time.  I would do anything for an extra 2 hours a day with my family.   

I challenge you to sit down and determine what you values are.  Why do you show up and work behind the chair every day?  Some may be tempted to say "because I love my clients".  I know you do, but if they stopped paying you, you wouldn't show up daily and do their hair for free, think a little harder.  Create a plan that will allow you to enjoy your life as much as possible while growing into your fullest potential in this incredible industry.

XOXO Britt 

Britt Seva