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...and the lessons learned from...SQUIRREL!!!!

In my former life, (meaning before the beauty industry), I was a C-Level Executive Assistant. I managed the time for the C Level executives - CEO, CIO, CFO, etc. My day, and theirs, was broken up into 15 minute increments and decided by who it was that needed to see them, contracts, account needs and a large number of other variables set forth by the executive themselves. I guarded their time aggressively and maintained that their time was valuable, short, and not to be bothered with by frivolous issues that could be easily managed by their direct reports.

Today, I find that many of us in the beauty industry don't guard our time ferociously as I once did with my executives. I think that we believe if we give each and every client the same amount of time we would want should we be in the chair, that it will give us a leg up on the competition. After spending enough time in both positions - chair sitter as well as behind the chair - I've found that this is absolutely not what we should be doing, for two main reasons.

First and foremost, our time is valuable. Clients come to use for the services and products we offer. We have learned, trained, and become licensed to do these things and because of this, we have value. Too often I found myself hoping that if I just gave a little bit more to my clients they'd see how valuable I was. But what would ultimately end up happening is I'd get behind and late for another client. Which leads me to my second reason, we create entitled clients.

Let me explain what I mean by that. As a beauty industry provider, you've likely had that one client who expects you to not only bend over backwards, give them all of your unadulterated time and attention, while still offering them a discount. You're expected to be on time for them, they can be late, and often expect you to extend your time for them for a service that wasn't booked and at the end, want a discount. And as the provider, you bear the responsibility of creating that client.

Respect for you must be by you. Meaning, booking and charging your clients appropriately, keeping a professional demeanor, and valuing your time and expertise. That means keeping to a schedule and rescheduling any services that cannot be completed in the allotted time frame for another time. If you don't respect your time, how can you expect your clients to?

Another area where I struggle, as evidenced by my copious usage of the comma and an italicized sub header, is when my attention gets diverted by something else, aka, "squirrel!".

I have always struggled with getting distracted by conversation, by events happening around me, or by some other project that I want to do. This is my own personal struggle and I've found that by keeping my calendar up to date and keeping to my schedule, I have given myself the structure I need stay the course and get what I need done, done. In the end, it's up to us to consider our time as just as important, just as precious, and just as valuable as any other expert in any other field. People are coming to us and we are to provide them a service based on our expertise, our knowledge and our skill. And if we don't value it, neither will they.

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