Dec 19, 2022

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Can Small-Town Stylists Make Big City Prices?

business, The Anxious Creative

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Do you let being shy and introverted hold you back from reaching your dreams? Do you feel like you have to “do more” in order to reach the top? Dawn is sharing her tips on how she grew her own business as a shy, introverted, small town stylist.

Keep reading and you’ll walk away knowing:

  • The importance of taking risks

  • That it’s okay to do things differently

  • What failure has to do with success

You’ll learn how to grow your confidence and create the life, business, and bank account of your dreams.

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The Introverted Beauty Professional’s Guide to Earning 6 Figures

The first thought that I had when I started recording this podcast episode was that it wasn’t going to be “good enough”. I recorded it on my phone, from my cough, in my sweatpants. 

But I’ve come to realize that when I trust my gut and take messy, imperfect action, it usually ends up being the best thing ever. 

And that really ties well into the story of how I became a 6-figure hairstylist as a shy, introverted, ADHD gal. I’m excited to show you how you can do exactly what I did and it wasn’t even that big of a deal. 

Small-Town Stylist

I’ll be honest with you, when I first started out, I thought that 6-figures was only reserved for the NYC hairstylist. Not the small-town ones like me. 

Despite being a shy, anxious, introverted, ADHD, small-town stylist, I managed to become a 6-figure earner. Turns out those numbers aren’t reserved for big-city stylists and I’m going to share how I did it, so you can too. 

I’ve overcompensated so much of my life because of those labels that I’ve put on myself and I’ve let those things hold me back. I’ve felt like I have to do more because of those labels. 

I’ve beat myself up a lot in the past and I always thought that earning 6-figures was reserved for people who had their sh*t together and who were organized. 

There’s no denying that labels can be harmful. But I’ve begun to realize that it’s part of the magic that I have. 

I wanna share this with you because I never thought my career would get to where it was within the first 5 years, let alone the next 10 years, or where I’m sitting right now, over two decades into my career. 

Lean Into The Magic

I’ll be completely honest with you, I didn’t have a clear vision on where I wanted to go. I just knew that I liked a challenge and I liked trying new things – sometimes to my detriment.

You see, I suck at sticking to things because I’m always looking for new things to try. I often struggle with consistency, monotony, and simple things that are routine. 

And what I’ve learned is to lean into that magic, instead of trying to be and do what the world is telling me is necessary to be more successful. 

Yes, there are things that have helped me, but I want to be here to inspire you and show you what’s possible, even if you do things a little differently. I want to give you a baseline of what’s possible when you do things differently that works for a creative brain. 

There is so much education out there that I’ve taken that’s absolutely wonderful. And I’ve consumed it and I’ve tried to put it into my business or I’ve tried to adapt my brain to a different way of learning. And I’ve realized that I just have to show up and be messy. 

The messier I am, the less I worry about being perfect or organized or having it all set up perfectly. 

Mindset Matters

The magic for me has been looking at those labels as things that I can use to my benefit

And the mindset work is really important – as much as I hate to admit that. I really struggle with mindset stuff because it doesn’t feel tangible. 

But here’s the thing, when I decide that I’m going to try and I start dreaming big, I know I can make things happen. 

When I moved to London I interviewed for a job at the Aveda headquarters and I was asked to find someone to do a blowout on. I’m sure I probably made a fool of myself, but I found a stranger on the street to come in for a treatment. 

The person interviewing me later let me know that most people just leave and never come back. They don’t have what it takes and the fact that I was willing to go out and try to get somebody showed him my work ethic and what I was willing to do for a job that I want. 

I wanted it, so I went for it. And I ended up getting an assisting position at that salon because of it!

I want you to ask yourself how badly you want it, not that it’s out of reach. Oftentimes we tell ourselves it’s out of reach so that we don’t have to get uncomfortable. 

Creating Confidence

That job at Aveda, even though it felt like taking 3 steps back being an assistant, was really a slingshot for my career and my confidence. 

Not only did I learn how to do a proper blowout, which I was able to take back with me to Canada and show the other stylists at my salon and the clients loved it. It also helped build my confidence!

It got me going out and asking a stranger on the street to come in, which then helped me rebuild my clientele when I got back home to Canada.

Then when I went out on my own in 2010, even though I was scared and I didn’t know if anyone would come with me. I was determined to make it happen and that ambition helped me put myself out there. I knew that the worst-case scenario was that it didn’t work out and I went back to being an employee. 

I completely understand that as you grow, as your business gets bigger and as you build your life, you have more to lose and it gets a lot scarier to take risks as you get further on. Risks seem a lot higher at that point. 

I wish there was a way that I could guarantee that a risk wasn’t a risk, but that’s the whole point of risk. 

It can be easy to look back at the stuff that went well and the places you’ve succeeded, but we probably all have situations where we’ve failed. 

If you haven’t heard the story about the first time I asked a stranger to come in. I was so awkward and uncomfortable and I was so nervous I could barely get my words out and they never ended up coming in to see me. 

I could have easily seen that as a sign to stop, give up and find a new career path. But instead, that failure helped me get more comfortable with talking to strangers!

Confidence is a byproduct of getting courageous and vulnerable. To build up your confidence, you take a risk; and whether you have success or failure, it builds your confidence either way. 

Instead of doing things just to try to hit “success”, do things to build your confidence and let that be your motivation. 

Courageous & Vulnerable

Maybe you want to hit 6-figures this year, or grow your clientele, or become more financially stable. 

Your challenge is to build up your confidence by getting courageous and vulnerable. 

When you start to focus on it that way, and you focus on caring for other people, that’s when the results start to happen. 

And yes, know that you might disappoint yourself and you might not get exactly what you wanted, but you’ll learn something. 

And I want to encourage you that it’s not always about finding a way to find success. It’s about finding the courage and the vulnerability to move forward despite failure or success so that you can develop your confidence and you can continue to push forward with tenacity. 

Work on developing that confidence so that you can grow as a person. 

Whether you hit your goals or you move forward just a single step, that’s still a success. Even a failure is still a success, as long as you don’t give up. It teaches you a lesson on what to avoid or do differently the next time. 

I want you to think about your goal and what it’s going to require of you. What are the parameters? I want you to get specific. 

Here is a list of questions to ask yourself about achieving your goal:

  • What will it require me to do?

  • What are my fears about this?

  • Who is the future me that needs to show up so that I can do this?

You’ll never become the person you wanna be if you don’t start showing up as them right now. 

I want to leave you with a little challenge. I want you to make a list of all the things you want to accomplish in the new year and what the characteristics are of the person you want to become and who you’ll be because of those successes. 

I want you to keep that list by your bedside, look at it every morning and remind yourself “this is who I am today”

If you’re down for that, shoot me a DM on Instagram @dawnbradleyhair. 

Until next time, friend.

Let’s be besties?

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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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