It has happened to all of us. You register for a class you’ve been craving more education about. A trend that is developing so fast, clients are asking for it and you know you can increase your business quickly from this course. You are excited, you sacrifice money, time away from your family, the salon, and your clients, but you know it is going to be worth it! The educator came with high reviews and the subject matter is something you cannot wait to implement in the salon.
And the class did not disappoint! The educator kept you on the edge of your seat and every word they said rang so true to your business it was like they were reading your mind. “Aha” moments were competing for attention as they overlapped, and you could hardly take notes fast enough. If life was a cartoon, the lightbulb above your head would look like a strobe light.
You left the class feeling more inspired and motivated than you had in ages. Immediately your mind starts racing with the unique ways you can take this information and use it! Your next day in the salon couldn’t come fast enough; the excitement to implement all you’d just learned was burning in your soul. Quite literally, it was a high.
You finally get to work. There are a hundred things you want to do, change, and accomplish, but the first step is unclear. So many possibilities. So much potential. Too much to do. Paralysis sets in. What now?
Like I said, we’ve all been there. I’m ashamed to admit how many incredible classes I’ve enjoyed only to let what I learned fall by the wayside as soon as I returned to reality, stepping into the day-to-day routine. Appointments back-to-back, getting through the day. Through all of that, however, I knew there needed to be a change. I am signing up for these classes not only for my own education, but to also help increase my business. So why am I not taking the next step to use what I’ve learned? Follow these three simple steps to help implement what I’ve learned to help stop the post education paralysis.
Step One: Prioritize Goals
The morning after a great class, I sit down with my notes. What’s been haunting me all night? Which things can’t I stop thinking about? They’ve just been playing over and over in my head. Highlight those. Identify the things you really want to do and then rank them in terms of importance. If you attended a business class, you may have learned 50 things that could improve the way you do business, but there are seven you think could be implemented right away. It would be impossible to try all 50 things at once, but seven is a much more manageable starting point. Likewise, if you attended a technique class, you might have been shown 10 new haircuts, but there were three techniques used in all 10 that you really want to master. Sure, there were about 20 techniques you were shown, but it isn’t feasible to practice and master all 20 right away. The three techniques you prioritize are the most versatile and widely functional. Set realistic goals for yourself. Even though you may be excited to jump in and start using all the techniques and ideas you’ve learned, you’ll just become overwhelmed if you try to do everything at once.
Step Two: Create Action Steps
Next, I figure out the necessary action steps to accomplish each goal I listed as a priority. Sometimes it’s as simple as one step (begin greeting every single client as they walk in the front door), but often it’s quite a few (order the necessary tools and products, practice the technique after work every day for two weeks on a mannequin, try it with multiple color combinations and placements, ask Kate to be my first model, post pictures on Instagram to attract clients who want that technique, offer an incentive for the first few clients, carve out time in my schedule for mistakes, etc.). Create a timeline, assigning a timeframe to each action step. People retain 90 percent of what they’re taught if it is implemented. Not everything will be accomplished in the first week, month, or even year, but something will be accomplished.
Step Three: Change Your Environment
This may seem a little farfetched, but give it a shot. If you want to change a behavior, your thinking, or the way you do something, change the cues in your environment that stimulate you to act and think the old way. For example, if I want to make sure to greet every client who walks in the door, I might move my station closer to the front door. Or I could move the angle of the chair so I am facing the door. That way, when someone walks in, I will see them every time and greet them. If I want to master a new tool, I put it front and center on my station so I think of it every time an opportunity to use it arises. If my goal is to target a specific audience, such as more male clients, I will make the time to sit down and write down where my target audience will be—sports bars, golf clubs, sporting events, etc., as well as how I can network with these places to help with cross advertising or how I can spread the word about the salon. Look out a different window with a different point of view. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The easiest way to change your preprogrammed activities is to change your environment and the stimuli around you.
Being motivated during a class is the easy part. That’s part of what you’re paying the educator to do. What really counts is what you do with the education when the class ends. Keeping it locked up in a notebook doesn’t do anybody any good.
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