If you are a solo lash artist or a lash entrepreneur, you need to first pat yourself on the back for making it this far. Even though your work brings you joy, it would be almost utopian to think that every day when you wake up, you feel confident to face your clients or are 100% sure of how to run your business successfully. Unfortunately, we all have days when doubt, fear of failure, and comparison engulf and bog us down. Still, as Sigmund Freud once said, "Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength." Focusing on our wins and looking ahead are the ways to keep going.
In this article, we’re discussing some ways to manage and overcome the challenges that lash artists so often face within the salon, that tend to creep up on us and affect our confidence and mental health.
Pre-appointment anxiety is natural whether you are dealing with an old or new client. The pressure of delivering a perfect set of eyelashes for your clients can make you immensely anxious and doubtful about your skills. Even though you want to provide your best, your skepticism may hinder your performance.
One way to manage this pre-appointment anxiety is to always have a consultation session before the appointment to understand and set the right expectations of your client. Being honest and transparent about what can and cannot be done with your client's natural lashes can ease the pressure off you. Preparing yourself ahead of the appointment and staying focused on the fundamentals of your lashing skills will help dissipate the stress you would otherwise feel. Remember, your excellent lashing skills are what set you apart.
"I have my loyal list of clients, and they love the lashes I create for them, but I don't think I am good or quick enough. Everyone else seems to be doing better than me." If you have felt this ever, you are not alone. Imposter Syndrome is a common feeling that many people experience, and is usually defined as feeling as though you are not good enough or even an imposter. People with Imposter Syndrome can wake up with a sense of hopelessness, disregard their achievements, and are over-critical of themselves. So, how do you manage Imposter Syndrome?
Don't let a difficult client or one unpleasant situation doubt your abilities. Considering the nature of this profession, we settle for nothing less than perfection; therefore, sometimes, the perfectionist in you may gnaw at your abilities but learn to look back at all your accomplishments. Irrespective of the number of clients, focus on why they return to you; this will create greater awareness of your capabilities. Every lash artist has their individual journey; you would be doing yourself a disservice if you compare yourself to another.
Work on your skills
Knowledge is power. As a lash artist, you ought to build your knowledge to the level of an expert. The more you learn about the lash industry, new techniques, and excellent products to incorporate into your business, the more confident you will feel about your skills.
Attending lash conferences, upskilling, and reading about what is trending will help you keep up. If you think you need to get better at something, act and make it better. If you feel you want to add a new service, practice the required skill, and ace it. Taking back control of your strengths rather than dwelling on your fear and negativity is key to running your business successfully.
In a customer-facing business, lash artists have challenges to face every day. It could be a challenging client, complicated lash situations, ineffective products, or hurdles in running the business. It can sometimes be overwhelming to deal with some situations without prior experience. Listening to professionals with experience and learning from their mistakes will give you a better perspective.
Try finding a support system within the industry that will help you discuss issues, share ideas and build confidence in your skills. Prolong Lash's Professional Lash Network (LPN) on Circle is a lash community created especially for all lash professionals seeking mentors, support, or strategic insights and encouragement. This community initiates group discussions and shares constructive criticism from their own experience. Given the tense and sometimes challenging situations a lash artist may face, this community can also be a sounding board and comforting forum for you to be part of.
Time for yourself
A lash artist's job is no mean feat. You know that! It is highly labor-intensive, so you should ensure you are not ignoring your physical and mental well-being. Invest in an effective ergonomic chair that is comfortable, provides enough cushioning, and assists with good posture. Also, have enough time to rejuvenate between lash sessions. Take time off during the week to indulge in a hobby or sit back and restore your energy to avoid burnout. Your job should bring you happiness, not exhaustion. To take care of the business, you need to take care of yourself.
Sometimes you may feel at a crossroads with your feelings when trying to run a business all by yourself. If you cannot fight your negative emotions, there is no embarrassment in seeking professional help. Seeing a therapist can help you ease your anxiety. Having someone listen to you with no judgment can be helpful for you to pour through your feelings and see things in a positive light.
Set reasonable expectations
Rome wasn't built in a day; similarly, give yourself time to grow your business. One day, you would be on cloud nine because a client was thrilled by your lashing job, and other days, you may be devastated by a client's unhappy comments.
Set realistic goals for your business. You can't make everyone happy. Weigh the satisfied clients against the unhappy ones, if the happy ones outnumber the latter, you are doing a fine job, but if the opposite happens, you need to revisit and improve your service. Building confidence is a gradual process and learning from your everyday experience is the way to thrive. Stop at nothing!
From an economic perspective, you may struggle to build your clientele initially, but staying focused on getting better at your job will help you grow your business. Keep track of how much you want to earn every month, how much profit you are making and how many clients you gain each month. Keeping a record of these statistics will help you evaluate and tailor your goals to your unique challenges.
Growing your clientele
Have you been stressing about your limited clientele? Studies say retaining clients is more profitable than finding new clients. The practical advice to give any lash entrepreneur is always to grow your clientele to make more profits. However, we disagree; focusing on your current clients and providing them with the best service is the right approach to growing your business. Don't get us wrong; we are not against increasing your clientele. However, when you provide your customers with the service they are looking for, you will earn a loyal clientele, build your reputation, and eventually grow your business.
Another way to dispel the stress of growing your clientele is to focus on using and selling quality products. Aftercare is just as important as the initial application, so making sure that your clients walk away with an effective lash cleanser, oil-free makeup alternatives and information on how to properly care for their new beautiful lashes is key. Feeling like they are equipped after their appointment will also make sure your loyal clients keep coming back time and time again.
Like any entrepreneur, lash artists need affirmation to inspire them to face their daily challenges. Self-awareness of your skills, limitations, and potential will provide you with the opportunity to move forward. Remember, "When you take risks, you learn that there will be times when you succeed, and there will be times when you fail, and both are equally important"— Ellen DeGeneres.