1. What has been your proudest career moment?
I honestly don’t look at what I’ve done in the past, I’m always onto the next. I suppose the success of the book was nice, but I’m not big on reflection. I feel like I’ve only just got going.
2. Who has been/is your biggest mentor?
Honestly, our industry as a whole. I never stop looking/reading/absorbing. There is always something else to learn.
3. What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have ever received?
Don’t spend your VAT!
Say ‘yes’ to every job (ethically sound ones!) until you can comfortably say ‘No thank you’.
Do what you have to do, so that you can do what you want to do.
4. Which training body would you recommend for someone wanting to enter your area of the industry?
Any of the OFQUAL regulated ones. I did CIBTAC, and I would add CIDESCO, ITEC, HND, City & Guilds – there are quite a few available. Always, always ask if the course is regulated before you sign up.
I can’t bear seeing people spending their hard-earned money on courses only to find at the end of it that they are not officially recognised in their field.
5. How do you make sure you stand out from the crowd e.g. up-skilling, research, social media?
Talk to your customer, don’t have comments open on social media unless you are going to engage.
Never, ever stop learning. Make sure you are up to date on all relevant offerings in your chosen field.
There is nothing wrong in specialising in one area. If you’re brilliant at waxing or nails, stick with those and build a fiercely loyal clientele.
Not everyone has to be a jack of all trades.
6. If you could give one piece of advice to someone starting their own business, what would it be?
Don’t expect your team to care as much about your business as you do. It might be your life’s work/passion, but to someone else it’s a stopgap to feed their kids, fund further training, or something they enjoy and then leave at the door when they clock out. And that’s absolutely fine.
Try and build up 6 months’ worth of expenses as soon as you can. It’s not easy but tracking every penny in the beginning gives you a bit more breathing space down the road. It’s astounding to me how many people start a business with a fantastic idea and no plan.
7. What’s the best and hardest thing about your job?
The best is making a difference in people’s lives. Helping people with their skin is something I have always done; I just didn’t expect to end up doing it in this fashion. It’s not something I could have predicted.
The worst is not being able to reply to everyone that asks for help and dealing with other people’s bad behaviour that in turn affects your business. Jimmy Iovine says that being in business is basically wrestling the world from fools every day. And the busier I am, and the more my business grows, the more I see what he means.
No complaints from me though. I love the work life I have created for myself.
8. How do you switch off after a difficult day?
Hair up, face off, comfy clothes on, dinner, sofa, TV. Done.
9. Desert island 3 course meal?
I’d have two starters and no pudd. Maybe a Tricolore salad, or potato skins loaded with cheese and all the extras, followed by either fried chicken or a good pasta. I’m not that hard to please, just serve up the carbs!
10. Which 5 people (dead or alive) would you have at your dinner party?
My grandparents. Just the four of them, and me.
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