Jun 14, 2021

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What I Learned From My 1st 200k/yr Behind The Chair


I wanna help you create the life, business and bank account that you’ve always dreamed of

You can also listen and subscribe to The Anxious Creative on iTunes, Google Play and Spotify.

Did you know that the average hairstylist makes $40,000/year? I’m on a mission to change that!

I’ve been in this industry for 20 years now, self-employed for 11 of those. I’d be lying if I said it’d been all smooth sailing. The truth is there’s been a lot of ups and downs, especially in my journey as a self-employed salon owner. 

I remember the first year I hit the 6-figure mark, it was so exciting. But I didn’t take home 6-figures. 

Then I remember hitting the $200,000 mark and really seeing my business grow. But there were some really important lessons that I wish, in hindsight, that I would’ve known sooner. 

I’m so thankful that I get the opportunity to share the lessons that I’ve learned with you so that you don’t have to struggle the way I did. 

I’m not some mystical, magical unicorn – you can achieve the same results I did (hopefully without the burnout and overwhelm) and it starts with…

The Top 5 Lessons I Learned from My $200k Year Behind the Chair

Lesson #1: Intention is everything

When my business first started rapidly growing in my second year of being self-employed, I was so excited. Unfortunately, I was still getting a lot of clients that I didn’t really want in my chair. So although the money was rolling in and was super great, I was still really stressed out behind the chair. 

I wanted to do and be it all. I didn’t want to specialize. I loved it all. I wanted to win over those “hard” clients. I prided myself on being busy. 

So my intention behind everything was focusing on me, instead of my clients. I was focusing on building myself up and my insecurities, over time I’ve learned to focus more on the experience rather than just getting people in my door. 

I want you to ask yourself these questions:

  • What is my intention?

  • Where am I going with my business?

  • What are my goals?

When you build a business with intention and the future in mind, you’re going to be able to pace yourself and grow and do things for the right reason.

Lesson #2: There’s more to life than work

I used to be so proud of the fact that I was a workaholic. That I would come home at the end of the day utterly exhausted. I wore it like a badge of honour. 

The reality? I didn’t have hobbies outside of work, my relationships were struggling, I didn’t even have an identity other than “Dawn the stylist”. It got to the point where who I was was so wrapped up in my job that if anything went wrong I would spiral into anxiety and panic.

So I want you to know that there’s more to life than work. I want to help you create the life, business and bank account of your dreams, in that specific order. 

Lesson #3: Things will catch up to you

The “hustle” mentality is not sustainable. Believe me, I know from personal experience. You might be feeling really good right now, you might be telling your friends and family “I love what I do. It’s not even like a job to me.” 

I was there too, friend. I loved what I was doing, until I physically (and mentally) couldn’t do it anymore. I ended up taking more sick days than I could count. My anxiety went through the roof. I felt physically exhausted all the time

I burnt myself out so badly. Because eventually, those grueling hours, that lack of boundaries and the “hustle” catches up to you. 

Lesson #4: Everyone fails

This was such a hard lesson for me to learn. I remember I wanted to have an image that I portrayed to everyone, especially as Instagram started to become more popular. I wanted people to admire what I did, to think I was amazing and I hid all my failures. 

If I was going to become this “perfect” business owner, this person that people admired and wanted to come get their hair done with me there’s no way I could ever mess anything up or make a mistake. 

Because a “successful” hairstylist to me was someone who had it all together. 

I now realize that everyone fails. And being open and honest about my failures the more compassionate I became to myself and to others. 

Here’s the thing, failure happens when you give up. A mistake isn’t a failure. There’s a quote I really like “a mistake is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it”. And honestly, my biggest mistakes have become some of my greatest lessons. 

We’re all works in progress. We’re all human. Everyone makes mistakes. No matter what level. 

Lesson #5: Money isn’t everything

The first year that I went self-employed I started making 6-figures. Then I hit that $200,000 mark and I was living the dream (or at least that’s what I wanted everyone to believe). 

You see, that year that I hit $200k for the first time I was at my lowest point in my life. My marriage had collapsed, I had lost friends, I was obsessed with work and disregarded my own mental health. Looking back, I would’ve traded in that $200k if it meant a more stable work/life balance in a heartbeat. 

So yes, I’m on a mission to help hairstylists just like you earn more money, but it’s also not just about the money, it’s about creating a life that we love. Because it doesn’t matter how much money you’re making or how great your business is doing if you’re miserable in your life. 

I wanna let you know that that’s the place that I come from with all my education, I want you to be happy, I want to take things off your plate so that you can have a business and a bank account that you love that’s helping fund the life that you’re creating.

And I wanna show you how: I’m hosting a FREE class all about The 5 Pillars of a Successful Hairstylist. This information is game-changing and you are definitely going to want to check it out. 

I hope you enjoyed these 5 lessons that I learned. I know it was a good refresher for myself right now, to take that step back and ask myself “what are the important things? Where am I headed and what are my intentions?” 

I always love hearing from you, so go ahead and shoot me a DM over on Instagram @dawnbradleyhair and let me know which lesson resonated with you. 
I hope to see you at my class! Until next time, friend.

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I am just a small-town, Canadian gal from the prairies who teaches thousands of creatives around the globe how to earn 6-figures stress-free!

Hey, I’m Dawn!

“Rock Your Business” Course Creator, Host of “The Anxious Creative” Podcast. Named by Salon Magazine as Canada’s #1 women of influence.

Get to know me! :-)

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