A high-profile salon owner, award- winning hairdresser and the inventor of the eBlade scissors, Robert Masciave knows all about success. But how does a hairdresser just starting out in the industry propel themselves to similar heights? Robert offers his insight into planning a personal journey to success.
Many of us look at successful people in the industry and just see the end results – but we don’t always know how these people achieved their success? The answer is almost certainly, by working extremely hard.
The first step to achieving success for yourself is to decide what success looks like for you. It looks different for everyone – not everybody want to be wealthy, or own a big house. For some the dream might be to do stage work for other it may be to run a busy column but have a great work/life balance.
SET SHORT-TERM GOALS
Once you know what your idea of success is, you can start to make plans and set goals. When you are young, achieving success can seem impossible, which is why it’s important to set realistic short-term goals that will move you in the right direction.
This is what I did back when I was 17 and just starting out. I knew even then that my dream was to do shows and present to big audiences. I used to read in the hairdressing press about successful hairdressers doing this and I knew it was what I wanted to be doing too.
My colleagues and peers at the time were not encouraging when I told them that I wanted to do show work. Most of them told me I didn’t stand a chance. It was then that I learned to be careful who I listened to. The people who were discouraging me were basing their opinions on their own experiences. Perhaps some of them had tried to achieve the same thing and failed, but that didn’t mean the same would happen to me.
So, I set myself my first short-term goal which was to be the best I could be at everything that came my way. Short-term goals are important – they are the carrot that will take your forward. If you only set long-term goals, it’s easy to run out of steam. It can be like looking up to the top of Everest and thinking ‘there’s no way I can climb that’.
My experience is that successful salon owners need good people working for them. When I started out I realised that I just needed to be good at what I did. Every opportunity that came my way, I did to the best of my ability. I was never satisfied with just being average. It’s important to always be the best you can be.
THE HARD WORK STARTS NOW
Achieving your goals will involve a lot of hard work. If you want an exceptional life, you have to put in an exceptional amount of work. The good thing about putting in a lot of hard work is that you will quickly realise if you are on the right path. If you work to your full extent and you run out of steam, you’ll know that the path you are on is not the right one for you.
If you still feel inspired and want to do more, you will know that it is.
People talk about passion, but you can’t know that you are passionate about something if you know nothing about it. You start to love what you are doing because of the outcome you get and the feedback you receive. That’s when your passion kicks in.
You will soon realise that the key attributes to achieving recognition for your hard work are reliability and consistency. Once you have achieved these, you have the basic foundation for success.
FIND A MENTOR
Now you have the foundations in place and a clear vision of the future you desire, it’s time to find a mentor to help you grow and elevate your work to new levels.
Don’t take the task of finding the right mentor lightly. I see a lot of hairdressers constantly moving from one salon to another. Often people come for interviews and haven’t researched the brand or the people working within it. It’s important from a young age to respect your career.
When you realise you are ready for the next stage, you need to find the person that is going to help you achieve it, which means doing your research.
It’s so much easier now than when I was starting out. You can search social media platforms, websites and, if the salon is fairly local, go and visit it as a client. There is nothing to stop you going for a blow-dry and checking out the salon and how they work.
You need to find a good match – someone you can work honestly with, and to whom you are happy to offer consistency and reliability. If you can offer that, pretty much any boss will want you.
My mentor was Guy Kremer. Before going to work with Guy I had just worked in small salons in France. I wasn’t sure whether I was good enough to make the move to the UK. I spoke to my boss who said I should go and if it didn’t work out she would take me back. That’s when I knew I must be good or there was no way she would leave the door open for me like that.
Once I started at Guy Kremer, I made sure I did much more than just the basic work. I worked outside of hours practising, and I did so in the salon so that Guy could see my commitment. If you show loyalty and commitment you will gain the respect of your employer. Guy could see that I was genuinely interested in his business.
I offered to work with him on shows. I did one but he didn’t ask me to work on the next, saying I wasn’t good enough at long hair. So, I accepted this but then practised my long hair work until I was good enough. Guy started to trust me and have the confidence that I could do things.
I started packing his kit bag for him before shows. I took pressure off of him. I made myself indispensable.
This was the start of achieving my personal vision of success. I hope it inspires you to start mapping out your own personal journey to achieving your dream career.