That Love/Hate Relationship with Your Salon/Spa

September 2, 2019 | By Eric Ducoff | No Comments

Of course, you love your salon/spa business. You’re proud of what you built. You should be. Heck, starting and growing any business is tough work — especially these days.

And with all that pride and passion you have for your business, there are those times when you don’t feel that much love. In fact, there are times you just plain old hate your business.

FACT: As an owner, you openly share your love for your business with everyone. When you’re in “hate” mode, you hold it all inside you.

You only discuss the hate stuff with that little voice inside you. It sounds something like, “I’ve had enough of this [insert problem].”

When you go deep into hate mode, the internal conversation sounds like, “I’d like to sell it and get out.”

Guess what? The whole love/hate relationship with your business is simply part of being an owner. Owners can’t “punch out at the end of the day” and leave the problems at work. The problems and challenges stay with you 24/7/365.

I’m intimately familiar with the love/hate relationship because I’m a business owner too. I love my company, Strategies. I take pride in my team and the work we do together.

Likewise, over the past 26 years, I’ve had my share of hate moments.

The simple truth about business ownership is that there are good times and bad. There are small problems, and every now and then, there are big problems.

  • Leading people, hiring and firing, employees quitting, crazy behavior and performance issues can be frustrating.
  • Fighting cash flow, chasing profit and managing expenses can be frustrating.

No doubt, you can quickly build your own list of hate mode triggers.

FACT: When an owner slides too deep into hate mode, the ability to lead slides with it.

To help you understand and cope with the love/hate relationship with your salon/spa, I offer you these No-Compromise Leadership insights:

  • Hate mode is a symptom: Problems cause stress. Hate mode is like going down a rabbit hole, stress pulls you deeper into hate mode. The longer the problem continues, the more it feeds hate mode. KEY: The only way to stop the stress is to acknowledge and fix the problem.
  • Fear of fixing the problem: The reason business problems persist is the owner’s fear of fixing them. It’s easy to get stuck on fears like, “What if the fix doesn’t work?” “What if my employees don’t like the fix?” “What if the fix makes the problem worse?” KEY: Delaying and obsessing over the fix causes more stress and feeds hate mode. Taking action puts you back in control. Taking action pulls you out of hate mode.
  • An objective voice: In hate mode, it’s hard to find solutions because it feels like the walls are closing in around you. While you are second-guessing yourself, the problem persists. KEY: You need an objective voice that’s not caught up in your situation. You also need to feel safe talking through problems and challenges. This is where a business mentor or coach can help you see solutions and instill the confidence to implement them. The sooner you talk through the problem, the sooner it can be fixed.
  • Go for the fix — not the Band-Aid: Hey, if you’re in hate mode, you’re stressed, frustrated and not exactly a fun person to be around. As a coaching company, our job is to help owners fix problems and grow their salons/spas. Band-Aids are the easier quick fixes that mask rather than fix problems. KEY: If your business needs open-heart surgery, get it done. If your culture is contaminated, fire the source of the contamination. If expenses exceed income, aggressively cut out every nice-to-have expense. Taking decisive action to bring your business back to life is the fastest way to fall in love with it again.
  • Take a break to breathe: When problems and stress push you in hate mode to the point where decision making gets tough, take a break. Maybe you just need some time to walk and breathe some fresh air. Maybe you need to take a day or two off to clear your head. Heck, in 2007 I took a three-month sabbatical to rethink my work and my company because I drove myself into depression. (I was fortunate to have a great team to take care of my company in my absence.) KEY: When you’re getting up every day to push against an immovable wall, you’re just going deeper down the hate hole. Stepping back for a bit gives you a clearer perspective. You become more objective and capable of finding better solutions. But you cannot linger too long on break. Recharge. Regroup. Get decisive. Get back in and lead your company.

Here’s my challenge to you: If you’re still reading this, you know the love/hate relationship well. You know how being in hate mode saps your energy and wrecks your confidence to lead your company.

Once employees figure out that you’re in hate mode, the message you’re sending them is, “If our leader doesn’t want to be here, why should we?”

If you never experienced the love/hate relationship with your salon/spa, you are the exception. Or maybe you practiced some of the insights above to solve problems quickly and manage stress levels.

As entrepreneurs, we are a rare breed. We take on big challenges to turn our visions into thriving companies. We are willing to bet the ranch because we believe in ourselves. We willingly work endless hours to make our companies the best they can be.

We love to love our companies.

We hate to hate our companies.

Hate mode only happens when we’re not paying attention and leading.

Categories: Leadership

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