Sep 12, 2022

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Bourbon doesn’t give a shit (How to Stop Caring What People Think)


Silhouette of a person jumping in the air with a beautiful sunset behind them. Black text at the bottom of image reads "Stop caring what people think of you - why you want people not to like you"

Are you a recovering people-pleaser? Do you stress about whether or not the stranger on the street likes you? I’m diving deep into how to stop caring about what people think. 

Keep reading and you’ll walk away knowing:

  • Why you actually want people not to like you

  • What bourbon has to do with people liking you

  • How to confidently embrace yourself

You’ll learn that it’s okay if not everyone likes you and it’s actually a good thing. Let’s reframe our mindset and dive in!

listen now to this episode below or keep scrolling to read the full post

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The Bourbon Analogy

You know I love a good story, and this is no exception. 

When Nick and I first started dating he’d always have a glass of bourbon in the evening. I took hesitant sniffs and couldn’t understand how he possibly could enjoy that. I stuck with my Long Island Ice Teas, they were the perfect flavor for me. 

Eventually, curiosity got the best of me and I decided that I was going to try the bourbon. I poured myself a “shot” (although I’m pretty sure it’s actually called a ‘finger’, I really know nothing about bourbon), took a sip, and immediately hated it. 

I remember Nick laughed at me with my sour face. After trying it I was even more confused as to why he liked it. 

But here’s the thing: the bourbon didn’t give a sh*t.

The bourbon didn’t care if I didn’t like it, ‘cause it knows that people like Nick are out there who enjoy it. 

Let’s get a little creative with our imagination here for a second. Let’s pretend I was able to wave a magic wand and make the bourbon come to life. 

Now, imagine that I had given that sour face after taking a sip and the bourbon got offended that I didn’t like it. 

Even though Nick is over there enjoying every sip, I didn’t like it. So because of that it’s not thinking it’s stupid. It thinks something must be wrong with it. Me not liking it made it feel worthless. 

So bourbon is now feeling defeated and in true people-pleaser fashion it comes up with a plan to try and get me to like it.

It assumes that my sour face was because it’s too strong of a drink, maybe if it watered itself down a bit I would like it more. So it heads over to the tap and waters down its contents. 

(I just realized it’s a little weird that I’m consuming my friend… but let’s skip that part)

Now that it’s watered down it feels confident that I’m going to like it, so it offers me another glass. 

But I still don’t like it. I still make a sour face. All that happened was it now tastes like a watered-down version. 

So Bourbon, not liking to be unliked, heads over to trusty Nick, to tell it that it still tastes good. But the problem is, now that it’s watered down, Nick doesn’t like it either. 

In Bourbon’s attempt to make me like it, it actually made the people who DID like it, stop liking it. 

Moral of the story? 

When you try to be for everyone, you end up being for no one. 

People-Pleasers Unite

One of my deep-seated insecurities and fears is wanting people to like me. 

I used to take it very personally when someone didn’t like their hair, didn’t like my salon, or didn’t like the way I ran my business. 

I wanted to do all the things in my business. And if you’re a hairstylist who wants to do multiple services, I want to let you know that I think that’s great. 

When I started out I really loved doing all the things. As I continued to grow as a stylist I started to realize what I really enjoyed doing and what made me anxious and drained me. 

I do believe that it’s important to specialize in one or two things. Specializing has really helped ease my anxiety. But I also realize that it can take some time to know what you want to specialize in. 

Once I started to see that trying to do everything for everyone spread me so thin and took me longer to get really good at things, I knew that being really niched was the right thing for me. 

For example, updos used to be a source of so much anxiety for me in the beginning because I didn’t have a lot of practice. The more I was able to practice, the more confident and comfortable I got with it. I even ended up being named one of Canada’s best bridal stylists in 2013. 

I was attracting brides because that’s what I wanted to do. 

On the other hand, I was still offering clipper cuts for men on my service list, despite truly disliking them and not enjoying it at all.  When I saw someone book in for a clipper cut it would make me lose focus because I knew I didn’t want to do it. 

When someone comes in and you know right off the bat “I don’t want to do this person’s hair”, it’s totally normal to be scared to say no. We worry that they may think we’re incompetent or pushing them away. 

Here’s a script that you can use to politely let someone know you don’t think you’re the right fit for them with kindness, compassion, and empathy. 

“Hey, I think this is going to look great and you and I think it’s really amazing, but I don’t think I’m the right person to do this for you. I don’t feel comfortable with that technique and this isn’t my area of expertise (isn’t what I specialize in). My skills aren’t up to this level. I would hate to take you on as a client and then not be able to give you the results that you’re looking for.”

The moment you start being okay with saying no to services that drain you is when you’ll start attracting clients who really love you. 

The Ideal Client

How can you expect to attract your dream client if you yourself aren’t clear on who they are?

Although I think it’s okay to have different ideal clients, I also know it’s really important to start with one. Remember, you have to know the rules before you break them. 

It’s so important to really nail down who that dream person is so that you can attract those that are similar to them. 

And before you start saying that you don’t want to exclude people. I want you to think about this:

You as a person have all these unique things about you, but are your friends all exactly like you?

Although you and your friends probably share some common interests, there are also differences between you. This is the same as your ideal client. 

If you use that person as your focal point, then you can market to them directly. 

We as hairstylists need to be marketers of our business. It’s not hard or scary. It’s knowing and understanding who we are for and who we’re not. 

You don’t want everyone to like you and you don’t want to be a watered-down version of yourself. 

Attract the clients that you really love and do the services that you really want to do. 

Being able to say “no” with kindness, compassion and empathy is huge and will be a game-changer for your business. 

I hope this episode helped shift your mindset when it comes to saying no, doing the services you enjoy and creating a business that’s for your dream clients, not just for any client. 

Did you know that you can leave me a question that you want answered on the podcast? Hit that “leave me a message” button at the bottom of the page and you might be featured on the next episode!

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.

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