Hurts so good: Overcoming the pain of positive change

September 28, 2012 | By Bruce Hourigan | 2 Comments

John Cougar Mellencamp said it best: “Hurts so good. Come on baby make it hurt so good”.

Personally, I can think of a few times when that statement was actually true. One time was when I finished my first marathon in 95-degree weather. All the pain and commitment from months of training finally paid off as I crossed the finish line after 26.2 miles. Another was recently when I had to have physical therapy on my shoulder due to two dislocated ribs. As a stylist of 29 years, the pain in my shoulder had become almost unbearable when I would blow dry. My physical therapist pulled, twisted, massaged and made major adjustments that were down-right painful, but at the same time “hurt so good”. Now I’m on my way to a full recovery thanks to the pain I was willing to endure to get the end result.

Now let’s put a spin on this and relate it to running your salon or spa business. Do you have some painful areas that are clouding your vision for your company? Or perhaps there are some sore spots you need to address, such as people on your team that you would be better off without? Maybe you need to make some serious financial cuts that would be painful at first, but in the end would be more beneficial for the company and your financial future? The pain is worth the end result.

I have been on a five-year journey to change our company’s future, and have been working hard to become debt free. I have had to make serious cuts, such as closing a location, ending some toxic relationships within our company, changing our payroll structure and improving my leadership skills so that I am better prepared to address behaviors that are not in the best interest of our company. Change is painful, but today I have a fantastic culture, inspired teamwork, a highly-profitable company, benefits for my team members (like 6 weeks paid maternity or adoption leave), paid vacation and a strong education system. Yes it was often painful, but it was worth it in the end.

The time for change is now — stop putting it off. The pain is worth the end result.

YOUR TURN: What painful challenges have you overcome in your business, and how much better off are you now? What are some issues that are causing you pain? What’s holding you back from addressing them?

Categories: Leadership , Productivity , Profitability , Staff Retention

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  1. I personally worked with and followed Lisa’s journey from the financial fiery pits of hell to truly no-compromise company that will soon be debt free. It took years of hard work and determination that, according to her banker, would have seen other entrepreneurs surrender and throw in the towel.

    I am honored to have Lisa (better known as Miss Miss) as a Strategies’ coach and educator to help her fellow business owners work through the seemingly impossible to rediscover the joy of business ownership.

    Hats off to a courageous and true no-compromise leader.

    CEO & Founder of Strategies

  2. I had to fire my manager in the middle of the recession. We just couldn’t justify the expense and badly needed to make cut backs to bring our cost structure in line with the softening demand for services. That was one of the hardest things to do because we had developed a strong friendship along the way. Turns out that the change was sorely needed. Our culture was in shambles and after my manager’s departure, my team confided that a lot of the problems at the salon stemmed from lack of leadership from my manager. (I own part of that). It was painful, it was emotional, but it was the beginning of our turnaround. Thanks for the great blog post Lisa!


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