As we approach the end of 2023, it’s a moment for reflection. 

This year has been incredibly intense, filled with accomplishments that I deeply cherish. However, I must be honest; it hasn’t been a walk in the park. Achieving these milestones came with stress, pressure, and, at times, chaos.

I take immense pride in our significant accomplishments:

  • Crafting tailored soft skills programs and innovative board games for salons, addressing the demand for elevated customer service standards. These games aim to facilitate learning through engaging interactions.
  • Introducing Technical Trainings including Nails, Face Fitness, and Maderotherapy.
  • Establishing our Training Department, welcoming two exceptional professionals to our team.
  • Pioneering the industry-first Talent Gateway, an online recruitment platform catering to experienced salon professionals, addressing the industry’s talent needs.
  • Showcasing our presence for the first time at an industry exhibition.
  • Launching our Branding, Marketing Strategies, and Procurement and Inventory services, offering expertise to salons seeking distinction in a competitive landscape.
  • Expanding our team from one to eight members: 3 full-time employees, 4 partners, and myself.

Growing a business involves building a team, a task not without its challenges. Finding the right fit isn’t easy, and the interview process often conceals important details. Reference checks are imperative, even when outsourcing recruitment. Ensuring a thorough process can save time, money, and prevent disruptions within the team.

Financial pressures accompany rapid growth. Solely relying on profits and personal savings for business expansion brought sleepless nights and stress. During tough times, true colours emerge. As my parents taught me, not everyone who smiles means well.

A profound lesson this year was about not blindly trusting people, even those close for years. Many prioritize themselves, compromising values for personal gain or ego protection. It’s eye-opening yet deeply hurtful. Discussing this with a friend, mentioning how stupid I had been, she remarked, “You’re not stupid; you’re an optimist. You believe in treating people well.” That resonated; I’m drawn to authenticity and have focused on surrounding myself with like-minded individuals. Those who don’t prioritize your well-being aren’t worth keeping close.

Building achievements brings numerous lessons. Isn’t that the essence of life—continuous learning? Negatives persist, but acknowledging the positives amid challenges is an art.

Reflecting on the intense yet rewarding journey of 2023, here’s some hard-earned wisdom I’ve picked up along the way that might just make your journey a bit smoother:

  • Celebrate Achievements: Acknowledge and celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem. They serve as milestones in your journey and deserve recognition.
  • Embrace Challenges as Learning Opportunities: Every obstacle or challenge encountered is a chance to learn and grow. Approach difficulties with a mindset geared toward extracting lessons and wisdom.
  • Thorough Recruitment Processes: Building a team is crucial. Prioritize a comprehensive recruitment process. Beyond interviews, conduct thorough reference checks to ensure a better fit and prevent future disruptions.
  • Financial Planning and Diversification: Rapid growth often brings financial pressures. Plan strategically, diversify funding sources, and consider seeking advice from financial experts. Dependence solely on profits and personal savings can be risky.
  • Trust and Authenticity: Trust is valuable but verify authentically. Not everyone may have your best interests at heart. Prioritize relationships with those who share similar values and prioritize mutual well-being.
  • Optimism vs. Realism: Being an optimist is a strength, not a weakness. Balancing optimism with realism can help maintain a positive outlook while being aware of potential challenges.
  • Self-Care and Surroundings: Surround yourself with supportive, like-minded individuals. Prioritize self-care and mental well-being. Your environment significantly impacts your growth and mindset.
  • Balance Positivity and Acknowledgment of Challenges: Recognize both positives and negatives. Acknowledging challenges doesn’t diminish achievements; it adds depth to the learning experience.
  • Continuous Learning: Embrace the essence of life as a journey of continuous learning. Each experience, positive or negative, contributes to personal and professional growth.
  • Gratitude: Cultivate a sense of gratitude. Being thankful for the lessons learned, the support received, and the opportunities encountered fosters a positive mindset.

As we wrap up 2023, here’s hoping these lessons help light the way for an awesome year ahead full of growth, resilience, and a whole lot of wins!