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Gina Rivera Headshot

Your Customers Deserve the Best, So Take Care of Yourself

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We all know what it's like to chug along on fumes: not much fun. The added problem is that our clients, customers and colleagues also know when we're exhausted, stressed and hungry. Our diminished condition almost certainly detracts from the work we do.

I want to talk for a moment about taking care of ourselves. I'm going to tear through some of the more obvious ways to do that: get enough sleep, exercise, eat right, don't smoke, drink a lot of water and not much alcohol. We can't cheat on these rules for very long without consequences.

I want to suggest another rule, though, that is not so obvious, specifically for us as salon professionals, but anyone devoted to service and the quality of their work could fall prey. It is an ironic hazard of any such profession, I think, that when we spend so much time and attention making our clients beautiful, on making them feel great, that we sometimes neglect ourselves.

We're certainly not oblivious to our own appearance and happiness but these are probably not our focus. Our clients and our work matter so much that we sometimes overlook our own needs. We see their smiles and that is a terrific source of personal satisfaction. Our own appearance may not seem near so important as the service or product we provide but it certainly sets a tone that translates into value and reputation. That appearance not only affects the experience of our clients but also how we feel about ourselves.

I am not suggesting that we 'get all dolled up' for work every day, like we're headed for the red carpet. I do know, though, that we feel better if we look great and our clients certainly notice.

Try this: Take the time to do something more or different with your appearance some day this week. Step up your clothes or change your makeup. Buy a new pair of really comfortable yet fashionable work shoes that will make standing a lot easier on your body. Some of us already provide our clients with a hand massage while their color is processing. Do that for yourself after work. Run a soothing hot bath and pamper yourself with these same products you so diligently pamper your clients with. Set aside 10 minutes a day to meditate. This is about elevating ourselves at work and at home which results in being happier and healthier overall.

We should regularly make the effort to look great for our clients and for ourselves, but a one-day experiment will highlight the effect. Monitor the outcome. Take note of how other people act toward you. More importantly, reflect on how you feel.

As always, be open to change.