I’ve been asked a few times in interviews to talk about what or who inspires me. And I have had the odd employee complain that they are not inspired. I always have the same answer;
One of the reasons that I have been so successful as a stylist and have had a degree of success as a salon owner and educator is because I don’t need external sources of inspiration in order to stay inspired. It’s nice to come upon something that inspires you and lights a new fire, but I have plenty of fires burning.
I find inspiration in every client I work with. I am fascinated by what millimetres and minor variations of angles can do to a shape. I am inspired by my need to give my clients a great result as well as a memorable experience. I am inspired to perform at my best because I love what I do and because there are people who go out of their way to sit in my chair. They wait a long time and pay a lot of money, and I see it as a privilege to have the opportunity to exceed their expectations.
I am inspired by turning on light bulbs for my students and showing them how they can have a great life through hairdressing. And by the successes of the people around me, from the junior stylist who starts to finally “happen” to the senior who messages me with an awesome picture of work they did or a personal best daily total.
And most importantly, I tell my clients and my students that I am inspired by them. The act of saying it makes it real and gets me even more inspired, just like smiling makes you happy.
I absolutely am inspired my many things and many people. I have had many mentors in my life and have studied others who have no idea who I am. I love art, photography, nature, film, architecture and find beauty and inspiration in so many things, but I don’t need to have someone to lead me to inspired thoughts or work.
I believe that if you require external forces to inspire you in your career as a hairdresser regularly, you are missing all the little things around you everyday. And it’s possible that you yourself are likely not very inspiring to be around, unless you happen to be inspired at that moment. Sort of like if you are always bored, you are probably pretty boring.
Today, tell each and every client you have that you are excited to do their hair. Verbalizing that phrase will often be the first domino to you delivering an inspired performance as a stylist. Like everything else, it all starts by looking in the mirror. Find it. It’s in there. You might have to dig for it but it’s in all of us.