Mar 15, 2021

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The Not-So-Sexy Truth About Success


Text overlay reads "the not so sexy truth about success" over an image of a salon, brown chairs are on the right side with sinks and chairs further back to the left. The wall in the back is painted with a colorful rainbow.

“It’s not easy. But it’s fun if you truly love doing it.”

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I know I’m not the only creative out there who struggles with anxiety. But I’m pretty sure we can all agree that it sucks. For a long time I felt so alone in my struggles. Like no one understood what I was feeling.

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

Welcome to another episode of The Anxious Creative and as always, I have an exceptional episode for you this week, with a special guest, Mirella Manelli. 

Mirella is a mom of 4, a salon owner, a content creator and influencer, a podcaster and an educator. And if you wanna know how you can do all the things that she’s doing she’s going to dish it all out in this episode. 

As always, buckle up friend, ‘cause this is gonna be a good one. 

Doing It All

Mirella is from Southern California and she has 4 kids (the oldest is 16 and her youngest is 1 and a half). She’s been a salon owner for 3 years, a hair educator with a background as a Kenra Professional educator. She’s a content creator, influencer and a Kenra Artistic Ambassador. 

Just this year she launched her own podcast and her salon also has a podcast. 

Mirella is seriously doing it all!!

I was lucky enough to meet Mirella 3 years ago at Ember Retreat, she was pregnant at the time and I remember being so awestruck at all the things she was doing, WHILE growing an entire human inside her!

So how does she do it? 4 kids, a salon and all these additional business avenues, what’s her secret? Mirella jokes that it’s a “magic wand”. 

But in reality, she “just does it”. She’s not shy to admit that a huge amount of support comes from the team she’s built. She’s learned to hire the right people for her team and has a wonderful group of strong women who want to do more than just hair in the salon. 

These women are striving to feed their creativity in different ways and she’s created a team of women that contribute to every facet of the business (whether that’s her salon or her personal brand). 

Mirella is very honest that she doesn’t do it all. 

Delegation and project planning have been huge contributors to the success of her ventures. It’s not perfect (is anything ever?) but they all do it out of passion and fun. 

Passion is the number one thing for Mirella. She wants to make sure her team is truly loving what they’re doing. 

“It’s not easy. But it’s fun if you truly love doing it.” – Mirella expertly puts into words what it’s like to run multiple businesses. 

Mirella is a person who really embraces change and she loves seeing the evolution of her business growing and flourishing, even if it’s small, baby steps. 


Mirella and I are similar that we both have 10 million ideas at any given time. She admits that she word-vomits ideas to her team all the time. (I’ve so been there. It wasn’t until I started utilizing Asana that I was able to filter out those ideas without the word-vomit)

Mirella and her team created their own Discord channel so that they could have separate rooms to talk about each project. Finding a system that works for you and your team is HUGE. 

It’s also very important to Mirella that she utilizes the skill sets that her team is most passionate about to take on a specific part of a project. For example, she has one stylist who really loves copywriting and writing the blogs and Instagram captions, so Mirella is happy to let her focus on those passions. Where another stylist is more passionate about photography and taking stock photos, Mirella also utilizes those expertise for her businesses. 

What sets Mirella’s salon apart from others is that she doesn’t call it “her” salon. As she puts it, “it’s ‘our’ salon.” She wants her team to know that they all have a stake in it to make it successful. It’s their business just as much as it’s hers. 

Mirella started out as a booth renter/independent stylist and she’s got some great advice for any suite stylists that’s wanting to do it all:

“You can.”

Even if you’re by yourself. If you wanna do something outside of the salon, collaborating with others can be huge. 

If you’re looking to grow your biz and hone in on your thing and your own social media and your own business it’s important to have proper planning and create a strategic plan with every piece of your business. 

Everyone needs to start out with making a plan; unfortunately, most of us skip this step entirely. No one wants to plan, it’s not exciting or “sexy”. In all honesty, it’s boring AF. 

But if you sat down and wrote out your goals and the things you want to focus on, it’s almost like you’re creating a checklist of things you need to get through. Eventually you can do it. 

Mirella uses large desk calendars on the walls of her backroom at the salon. Her and her team plan out their quarters, what products will be on sale, what holidays are coming up, what promotions they’re having, all of that information has been planned out and is readily available for the whole team. 


I’ve gotten trapped in the “workaholism” mindset before. If I’m not being productive or running myself to the ground I’m not worthy. 

Mirella has so many projects always on the go that she does admit to feeling overwhelmed sometimes and then feels like she’s not doing enough. 

Going back to her plan and the checklist she created really helps allow her to tangibly see her productivity. Seeing how much she’s actually accomplished allows her to give herself some guilt-free downtime. 

I’ve often struggled with the feeling that I need to “do more” or it’s not worth it. I don’t think anything should come easy for me. I have this internalized fear that I have to “earn the success” and earning it means that I have to suffer in some way. 

How ridiculous is that?

Both Mirella and I are very good at overcomplicating and giving ourselves more work than necessary. Both of us are working on reminding ourselves to “keep it simple”. 

An example that Mirella gave is when it comes to caption writing, a lot of times she overthinks it. But she’s recently been learning to simplify. She’s noticed that hairstylists really wanna know what formula she’s using when it comes to a hair pic, so she doesn’t overthink the caption and makes it to the point. 

I remember I used to try to be as poetic and thoughtful as I could be when it came to writing my captions. I’ve recently learned that the stupider I sound, the more people enjoy it. 

The Comparison Game

One of the best things Mirella has learned in life and regards to social media is this: contribute, don’t consume.

Mirella doesn’t spend time on social media for her own entertainment. She’ll go on to research trends and see what people are liking for her own inspiration, but she’ll avoid falling down rabbit holes of endlessly consuming and getting caught up in what others are doing. 

Mirella puts a lot of time into the creation of what fulfills her and her business. She contributes to social media by sharing content and education for the people viewing her feed. 

I can totally confirm that this helps. The more I’ve stepped away from consuming social media, or putting time restrictions on how long I’m consuming has helped a TON. 

One positive thing about social media is we’re starting to move away from the “perfectly curated feed”. People are wanting to see vulnerability and realness. Because it makes you more relatable and human. 

A Piece of Advice

Mirella has some advice for hairstylists who are inspired by her and who want to take on more and grow themselves and their businesses:

“You can do it. And don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. Be prepared for all of the negativity that comes with doing things like this. But don’t care what others think. If you really love something and you have a goal, you’re always going to have someone who’s a Debbie Downer in your path who tries to stop you from getting there. Find your community who’s going to hype you up and keep you moving forward.”

Mirella and I are both firm believers that consistency is key. It’s so important to keep striving for those goals. As long as you’re moving forward in the right direction, even if it’s only an inch or two, you’re still moving forward. 

Success does not happen overnight. 

It took Mirella 10 years to open up her salon, but she did it. And don’t let that discourage you. Sometimes you still have things to learn or the right opportunities. 

Everything Mirella has done up to now has led her to where she is. 

If you wanna connect with Mirella, you can find her everywhere. She’s on IG, YouTube, TikTok, Clubhouse @mirellamanelli or check out her website here. If you wanna listen to more Mirella, you can check out her podcast here

How amazing is Mirella? She’s such an inspiration to me! She’s one of the kindest people I know and I can’t wait to see what she does next. 

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.

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