Why Your Salon Needs to Connect with the Community

Why Your Salon Needs to Connect with the Community

THE POWER OF REACHING OUT

Have you felt like you have achieved a certain level of success but somehow feel disconnected from your community? When you are clipping along in your salon, it is easy to want to get home, close the door, and shut the world out. After a while, you begin to disengage from the world around you. Your life becomes insular, and you lose touch with a part of your humanity. Your heart begins to close slowly. The salon becomes a drag versus energizing you. Contrary to your intuition, this is the very reason why your salon needs to connect with your community.

It’s understandable when life throws a curveball, and significant challenges face you in the salon. Maybe your coworker is constantly trying to compete with you or complains a lot, or perhaps a client has missed her appointment one more time. Maybe one client is upset about her loss, or your coworker has four-stage cervical cancer and is in her twenties with two kids and a husband, or maybe your salon owner is temperamental, losing it in front of your client. A day in the salon can change from going reasonably well to off-balance and a complete off-the-hook nightmare by the end of it.

Closing the door seems the easier option. Remaining optimistic when challenges seem to outweigh the good stuff of life is complicated. Contrary to our intuition or inclination, this is the very time to reach out to your community because small gestures can mean a lot and can be life-changing to some. One thing is for sure – whatever gets your attention is what you get. If you focus on the hard stuff or the negative, you will create more of that. If you choose to put your energy into the positive and helping others, your life elevates to immeasurable heights.

What matters to you? Forget about fatigue; forget about the issues in the salon. Think about what matters to you. What helps you get in touch with your heart? What do you find yourself saying you would like to do someday but never do? Where is your joy? When you get to the answer, this is where life begins to get thrilling. Your heart lets the light in and streams out to those you serve.

“Serving your community is an expression of the culture of your salon.”

Rebecca Beardsley

At this moment, you realize that fame, glory, and money are meaningless. Happiness lies in helping others in need and your salon taking a stand for what can change the whole community’s soul, including your very own salon. Any salon member can take ownership, don’t leave it to the salon owner. It takes you and you alone to find that thing that tugs on your heart. Once you start changing, the whole salon, your family, and your community change. Your whole life begins to take on new meaning, and priorities get real clear.

Please don’t get stuck on what it will be. Explore all the ideas that come to mind. Start talking to clients about their involvement and why. Is it teaching kids to read, animal adoption, leading blind runners, or cutting hair for the elderly? Helping and serving requires you to get outside your usual mindset and grow. The experience of giving to someone or a cause greater than yourself offers excellent potential to open your life, utilize your talents, and make new friends.

Months ago, I came across a video that an acquaintance recommended. Watching this video changed everything for me. It touched my heart and showed me the power of a haircut, something we can easily take for granted and something we can tire of in the day-to-day. I reached out to Mandy Barnes and asked her what her experience was like cutting hair for the homeless. She shared her experience, and it inspired me to get off my duff and start walking my talk. Mandy was kind enough to forward me a supply list and action items that helped her. The list served as a great reference.

It took six months from the first idea to make it a reality. My client and friend wanted to help, and we researched organizations to see who we could partner with; Operation Dignity jumped on board. They give a helping hand to homeless veterans and their families and provide services to help them become independent. We just completed our 2nd event in Oakland last yesterday. Our non-profit working name is Haircuts with Heart. Barbers and hairstylists from Oakland and San Francisco gathered around the cause, and we cut close to 50 members of the community. Local restaurants donated lunch and pastries, a local videographer and her team captured the stories and before and after photos of the veterans. I sit today with a whole heart, with great memories created amongst us all. To find a common thread through my more extensive community of hairstylists and barbers blows my mind; their outpouring of support helped make the day that much richer.

Most of all, it was the veterans that said afterward, “Thanks for coming down, we love you, and this was a good thing you did here today.”

The day far surpassed my expectations and desires, and you will find your event will as well. The gesture, the event, the cause makes an impact, yes indeed! The memory of seeing a team of people gravitates to your words and intentions satisfies something very deep inside the psyche. We are all healed by a connection to the greater good.

When you decide to embark on an event, please keep me posted about it; I can’t wait to hear what you do in your community. If you need help with the process, book a time here.

 

HAIRSTYLIST TIP

Start with a list of organizations in your town or city.  Do your research, take your time and talk to clients. If you need help processing your ideas, book a call.

 

INSPIRATION

Watch this video and be inspired.

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