This is a short article I wrote that was just published by the Professional Beauty Association:
As I approach 25 years in the salon industry, the last 15 working with students, I see that the old adage “It’s not what you, know but who you know”, has been replaced by “It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.” Success in both your life and career is about relationships. Relationships start with making a connection, but more importantly the right connection. When starting my career I was told “You’ll never make any money in the salon business.” Lucky for me I realized that you don’t ask a homeless man if it’s possible to be rich and you don’t take advice from failed stylists. If you want to know whether it is possible to be a successful stylist, you talk with and learn from other successful stylists. I worked hard to meet and learn from the best in the industry. It was difficult and expensive finding the right mentors who were willing to share their knowledge., but eventually I did find them and they gave me the advice I needed to follow for success. Fortunately, today’s students have an easier path because of the Professional Beauty Association’s Beacon program. Beacon brings some of the industries best business and creative minds together to mentor these future professionals. As an independent school owner, I want my students to make as many connections as possible so that they can expand their opportunities no matter where they choose to pursue their career. The connections they have made at Beacon have given them that chance. Each of my students chosen for Beacon has returned with life changing stories of mentoring, motivation and connecting with the best in the industry. I have been so impressed with the quality of the program and the positive experiences that it promotes, that 3 years ago I decided to become a sponsor. I would recommend that any school owner or instructor encourage their students to apply to be part of this career and life changing event.