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A Time for Gratitude

December 22, 2019 | By Neil Ducoff | 6 Comments

Well, it’s the day before Christmas Eve and the second night of Hanukkah. A new year, and a new decade, is about to begin.

At Strategies, we’ve been coaching and training owners of salons, spas, medspas, barbershops, and every other industry related business for over 26 years.

As coaches, we spend our days celebrating your successes and helping you overcome challenges. We love to inspire you and we deliver tough love when situations dictate.

And like you, I am the owner of an employee-based service business. The only difference is that you provide hair, skin, nail and massage services. We deliver leadership and best business practices through coaching and training.

You see, building a successful service business, beauty or business coaching, requires passionate and dedicated people.

Sure, you can go it alone, but there’s a difference between building a “private practice” and something capable of growing beyond your wildest dreams.

Our employees bring life and meaning to our vision. In return for their hard work, we provide growth opportunities in many forms.

I’m intentionally leaving out the money piece and all those critical numbers and performance measurements we owners obsess over.

Why? Success for you and your employees isn’t all about the money and critical numbers. It’s about the opportunity, the vision, challenge, the culture, the sense of purpose, and all that stuff you can feel but not measure. 


This blog post is about those special people we call employees. The people who hitched their career to our vision and dream of building something special — our companies.

Your company, my company, is only as good those we employ and how we inspire, challenge and coach them to bring their best every day.

We try to hire those with the spirit and determination to thrive in our unique cultures. Many do. Some don’t.

Those that thrive develop a sense of responsibility and ownership to play key roles in the growth of the company. They help nurture it and protect it. They give you confidence to push forward because you know they are with you. They have your back as much as you have theirs.

Like all labor-intensive service businesses, there will be employee challenges. And at times, employee challenges will test your ability to lead, sometimes to the breaking point.

Interestingly, it’s how you chose to lead, and your leadership style, that has the greatest impact on minimizing the frequency and intensity of those inevitable employee challenges.

For example, the most feared employee challenge is the dreaded “walkout.” Walkouts don’t manifest themselves. They fester and spread when issues go unaddressed. It can be fairness or an operational problem. Or it can be a toxic employee that should have been terminated long ago. It always comes back to what the leader did or didn’t do.

Hey owners, we totally understand how and why employees can stress you out, sometimes to the breaking point. And we seriously understand how the financial responsibilities can be an unbearable weight on your shoulders. But it’s all part of being in business. The bad days are simply part of the journey.

  • Through it all, your employees show up for work. Yeah, some are late, but lateness can be addressed.
  • Through it all, your employees want your company to be successful. It’s about being part of something special that cannot be achieved working alone.
  • Through it all, your employees have your back. Okay, some are shooting arrows at your back. You know who they are, so have that long overdue conversation. Help them get onboard — or help them leave.
  • Through it all, your employees are a reflection of the culture you built. If that culture empowers you and your team, make it stronger. If not, fix it.
  • Through it all, your employees have a sense of loyalty to you and the company you brought to life. If you feel the loyalty, honor it. If you don’t, you’re not paying enough attention.

Here’s my challenge to you this Holiday Season: It doesn’t matter if your employee-based company has been in business for two months or twenty years, the people you employ make it work.

The people you employ believe you and what you built. They want and need you to believe in them just as much. Believing in each other means belief flows both ways.

The people you employ need your gratitude as much as you hope for and expect theirs.

This Holiday Season, put the chase for money and critical numbers aside. Take this season of joy, friendship, respect and peace and take time to demonstrate your gratitude for the people you employ.

Categories: Business Builders , Teamwork

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