A Salon Owner Story: Never Give Up

February 1, 2016 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments


Lisa Cochran is a true Southern original who tells it like it is…

She speaks from her heart and helps others find the courage they lost on their entrepreneurial journey.

About ten years ago, Lisa showed up at a Strategies Incubator Seminar stressed, burnt out and on the verge of losing everything. The second salon she opened turned into a disaster.

Things got ugly and Lisa was left with the pile of debt, unpaid payroll taxes, landlords and angry creditors.

Like many Incubator attendees before her, Lisa learned the skills and disciplines of…

  • Salon/spa leadership
  • Financial and cash-flow management
  • How to inspire and drive team productivity
  • How to get rid of the commission pay that was sucking the financial life out of her company.

It’s a long hard road for any business to climb out of such a hellish and seemingly hopeless mess.

Many owners quit … Lisa didn’t.

She started coaching with Strategies.

Lisa DID the work.

Yes, we talked her off the ledge a number of times. She never gave up.

She followed the plan, implemented new systems, and mastered living her Cash-Flow Plan … and converted to Team-Based Pay at the beginning of her climb out of the fiery pit of hell.

Had Lisa stayed on commission … her story of recovery would have been far different from the following story she shared on our Facebook discussion group, the Strategies Salon Spa Business Idea Exchange. To get the true flavor of Lisa’s story, I suggest reading the following with Paula Deen’s voice in mind…

Hey Y’all!! I haven’t posted in a while and I wanted to send out a big bunch of love and encouragement to those of you who may be struggling and thinking about giving up. Nothing I write is ever going to be short so stay with me.

Our company was the official poster child for the “financial fiery pits of hell.” IRS Debt, State Tax Commission, $80,000 in credit card debt, bank loans, NSF checks, COD with vendors, cash-only with the utility company because we had bounced so many checks. It was hell … pure hell. We were told to close, go home and file bankruptcy … but I couldn’t.

My purpose became greater than my pain. Trust me, I had pain, a complete nervous breakdown in 2005, was hospitalized and put on 30 days of bed rest.

While in the hospital I organized the linen closet and did a Dewey Decimal System to organize the hospital library and I thought, “I am not crazy … I am tired.” Tired of this debt, tired of this misery and I need HELP.

Help came in the form of Strategies’ Incubator Seminar. Incubator was the “Truth that set me free.” At first it made me miserable because I realized how deep of a hole I was in. Now, here we are eight years later with up to three weeks paid vacation, six weeks maternity leave, IRA with company match – and a very strong and healthy team-based company.

Here’s what I was reminded of last week…

We have had a young man from Cambodia in our salon for three months. He was led into prostitution at sixteen because he had no education to support himself. Now, after he completes school, his dream is to open a salon back in Cambodia. He now fights human trafficking and wants to provide opportunity to those being rescued. Because we are a strong business, well respected in our community and state, the US Embassy accepted our letter of support and allowed him to come to Mississippi on a temporary visa to learn American Business Culture in a salon. Now back in Cambodia, this young man will have his first interview to enroll in beauty school this week.

Our salon will pay his way, our staff will do payroll deductions to help support him and his family while he is in school.

Our business has changed, our culture has and will continue to change. But I had to change first. WHAT IF I WOULD HAVE QUIT?!?! My encouragement to you is KEEP GOING and make your Purpose Greater Than Your Pain.

I will be attending my third Strategies Incubator in Austin later this month. I hope to see some of you there.

I forgot to mention that we got hit by Hurricane Katrina, lost our roof and had closed for six weeks. What a journey.

Much Love to all of you!!

Lisa Cochran
The Studio
Hattiesburg, MS

Here is Lisa sharing more details on her story a few years ago.

The salon business is a seriously tough business that can blow up in your face in a nanosecond. It takes systems and leadership that too many owners hesitate to learn … or just fear implementing change.

We didn’t know Lisa was going to post her story, but we’re glad she did to inspire others to turn their frustrations and hope into reality.

I will be joining the Strategies Coaches at the upcoming sold-out Incubator in Austin, TX. After 22 years of doing Incubator … it’s still a thrill to see the lightbulbs turn on and glow bright. 

Learn more about the October 16-19, 2016 Incubator Seminar here.

Better yet, schedule a free coaching call with a Certified Strategies Coach right now, and let us help you put together a plan for growth.

[thrive_2step id=’4449′]Team-Based Pay White Paper[/thrive_2step]

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Please share your thoughts with me about today’s Monday Morning Wake-Up. Click below to comment.

Pass share this article with your business colleagues, managers and friends. They will appreciate it.

Categories: Business Builders , Leadership , Monday Morning Wake-Up , No-Compromise Leadership

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