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One Salon Owner’s Journey from the Fiery Pit of Hell to Giving Back to Those Less Fortunate

January 11, 2021 | By Neil Ducoff | No Comments

Every business goes through good times and bad. Sometimes, the bad times get so excruciatingly painful, the sleepless nights, and feelings of hopelessness so debilitating that some owners lose all hope.

No one opens a salon/spa expecting his or her business to fall into the fiery pit of hell. Yet, many owners find themselves there. The fiery pit of hell is real, it’s ugly, and emotionally demoralizing. So much so, many businesses never emerge from it.

In this post, we put the spotlight on one owner that found herself in the most unimaginable situation a business could be in.

This owner’s name is Lisa Cochran, owner of The Studio in Hattiesburg, MS, and R3 in Laurel, MS.

Lisa is the winner of the 2020 Team-Based Pay Coach’s Choice Award.


We first met Lisa in 2006 at her first Incubator seminar. Her business was in the deepest point of the fiery pit of hell. She was over $700,000 in debt, most of which was back taxes to IRS.

On top of that mountain of debt, in 2006, she had a Net Loss of $170,000. Commission payroll was sucking the financial life out of her business, bills weren’t getting paid and she had no tools to manage expenses.

The one thing that Lisa did have was the knowledge that she needed to change her approach to business and a willingness to learn and do the hard work it was going to take to turn her business around.

Lisa made the decision, at that 2006 Incubator, to become a Strategies coaching client and begin her journey out of the fiery pit of hell.

Working with her coach, she learned how to build and manage a comprehensive cash-flow plan to achieve the profit she needed to pay down IRS and other debt.

Six months after she started coaching, Lisa implemented Team-Based Pay and began creating the culture she always knew was possible.

That very next year, her hard work began to pay off with a $46,000 net profit. She began the process of paying down debt.

Seven years later, Lisa’s company became debt free.

To describe those stressful years, Lisa says, “I always worked hard … but I wasn’t working smart. It wasn’t until I started working hard smartly that my business began to turn around.”

Six years ago, Lisa opened a six-chair boutique salon called R3 in Laurel, MS. More importantly, she opened it debt free and it’s been profitable since day one.

A true testament to Lisa’s command of her company and its finances, is that during the pandemic, she purchased the building where R3 is located.

And then came Dwell, the culmination of a vision that Lisa had since 2012. Dwell offers transitional housing to women working their way back from drug and other challenges.

And then came Remnants, a thrift store she opened to support women located in the building she now owns.

And then came an episode on the HGTV show Home Town that operates out of Laurel. Dwell needed a facelift. Lisa was approached by the producers to do that much needed facelift.

The episode of “Home Town” featuring Dwell is titled “Color Psychology.” It aired on HGTV on January 10, 2021, Season 5, Episode 2. Please check it out.

The best way for readers to appreciate the leader and businesswoman that Lisa Cochran is today, is to view the exclusive Strategies video embedded at the top of this blog post.

We hope this video inspires you as much as Lisa continues to inspire all of us at Strategies.

Categories: Financial Literacy , Leadership , Team-Based Pay

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