Predicting Greatness
I recently found a new hairdresser whom I adore and who I think is going to become a huge success in the beauty industry. His name is Darrel and he started a new career as a hairdresser only a few years ago. Prior to that he was in the U.S. Army and then he spent time as a computer programmer. When he decided to switch careers and get into the "hair business" he graduated from beauty school and got a job at Jackson Ruiz Salon and Spa which is widely considered to be one of the best salons in Austin.

After spending a couple of years honing his skills at Jackson Ruiz he moved on to the Aveda salon where he now works and where I am a client. He is still working his way up the ladder (so to speak) and is rapidly building a loyal clientele. Darrel's dream is to have his own salon and I think that not only will he achieve this goal but that, if he desires, that he could create his own franchise complete with branded products. Why do I think this and why I am blogging about it? Because Darrel has some personal attributes that spell success for anyone in any career.

1. He has set specific goals.
Darrel knows what he wants - his own salon - and he has a plan for how to make that happen.

2. He is conservative with money.
Darrel saves his money so that he can make his dreams a reality.

3. He is disciplined and focused.

Darrel shows up at work on time and stays on schedule. I am not sure I have ever had a hairdresser who is as efficient and effective at getting clients in and out on time while not appearing to rush and without sacrificing quality.

4. He is grounded and centered.

Darrel is the father of a teenage son whom he coaches in baseball. They attend church regularly. He takes care of himself physically (works out), spiritually (church), and he has an interest in the world around him (current events, sports, entertainment).

5. He continuously updates his skills by paying for ongoing training classes.

Darrel told me that he is one of few hairdressers who pays for ongoing training. Vendors routinely visit salons and demonstrate new products which, for many hair professionals, represents to majority of their ongoing training. He attends all kinds of continuing education classes for beauty professionals simply because he loves what he is doing and wants to be the best.

6. He understands his customers.
The salon in which he is currently working is relatively small and is not conducive to relaxation and quiet. With that said, Darrel, always starts hair sessions by placing an eye mask over his clients' eyes and giving them scalp and temple massages so that the time they spend with him is a relaxing reprieve from the "real world". Most women absolutely love to be pampered (and a lot of men too) and the fact that he understands this tells me that when he opens his salon he will create a place where "the experience" is a part of every client's visit.

While this post is about my hairdresser the fact is that almost every successful professional exhibits these traits. Most successful executives or entrepreneurs started out behaving this way as well. Maybe the most important piece of advice to take from Darrel is to love what you do. He had several careers before he was finally honest with himself about what he really wanted to do with his life. And now he is doing it and he is excelling. I wonder what the world would be like if we could all find the perfect job and commit ourselves to it with such passion and discipline?