Starting a new career is always a nerve-racking experience. As an upcoming beauty professional behind the chair, you will feel discomfort as you’re navigating through a new journey in your life. This is especially when you’re also starting a beauty business because now you are both a new technician and a business owner. To do both successfully, you will need to be confident in how you interact with clients, perform your services, and run your business. This all starts with your mindset and how you overcome self-doubt as a business owner.
Even as a seasoned professional with years under their belt will still feel knots in their stomachs. All of this is normal. It means you’re pushing through uncomfortable experiences to grow. Gaining confidence as both a beauty professional and a business owner will help you with how you handle your business and deal with clients. Having great confidence will positively impact the way your clients perceive you as they will see it in how you present yourself.
Your clients want to know that you’re confident in your craft. They want reassurance that they will be in good hands with you and are getting what they want from your services. When you have confidence, it shows that you are knowledgeable and that you’re the right person for the job.
Lash Artist and Educator, Michelle Le, gave insight into her experience entering the beauty industry and gaining confidence behind the chair. This was a career she never expected to get into. However now she has been running her fast-paced lash business for over three years.
Michelle always had a creative background and growing up, she wanted to become a graphic designer. “My immigrant parents were very strict and didn’t think the arts would benefit me, so I abruptly changed my path to pursuing a career in business–hospitality and human resources to be exact,” she says. “I constantly jumped from job to job to ensure that I expanded my experience and to find my one true calling. During my final years of school, my family went through some financial difficulties that required me to pick up another side job to help my single-mother, even though I was in school full-time and working full-time.”
After following Lia Juhas from LIALASH on Instagram and because Michelle admired Lia’s work so much, she ended up taking her first Classic Extension course with her. She loved it and this was the start of her growing business. “It was difficult at first, but after practicing tons, I picked it up in no time,” she says. “I loved the whole creative aspect of lashing, as well as the relationship-building amongst my clients. As my clientele grew larger, I ended up quitting my full-time to pursue lashing!”
At the time when Michelle entered the beauty industry, getting lash extensions wasn’t as big of a deal as it is now. “I really thought that it was just going to be side-gig, hence why I wasn’t so nervous,” she says. “I was fortunate enough to have a space in my mother’s salon, so building clientele wasn’t so hard. At the time, Instagram had not evolved as much as it has now, so gaining followers and recognition was not as difficult.”
“As a new artist, you need to approach everything with an open mind and patience. Lashing takes practice. If you are putting in the hours to perfect your skills and even gaining constructive criticism from your colleagues, your work will speak for itself,” says Michelle. “Not only do you need to improve your skills, but learning to showcase your work through various social media platforms will help you as well. It’s really important to not compare yourself to other people because that will do more harm than good.”
When you work with an open-minded approach, you are allowing yourself to have complete control of your thoughts. It allows you to change the way you think and how you view the world. You will learn to view mistakes as learning opportunities and feel a strong sense of self. This will allow you to gain confidence as you learn more about yourself and the world around you. You will learn to grow, be honest with yourself, and experience personal growth.
Business owners have a higher chance of experiencing burnout as they try to juggle all aspects of their business on their shoulders. You will need to learn to be easy on yourself, take breaks when needed, and put yourself first. Running a business will be a challenging journey for the entire duration of your career. There will be days where you feel on top of the world, though there will also be days where you will feel uncertainty.
“As a seasoned artist, I don’t always feel confident and I really think that’s ok. I am always looking to learn new skills and/or improve my skills, but that takes up a lot of energy. For the most part, I am confident. I am confident in my work and as a professional,” says Michelle. “I have such a loving clientele and they continuously share their love for me and my work. But as times have progressed, my social media platforms will not grow unless I put in the work to increase my engagements and posts daily. That alone can also take a lot of energy.”
Michelle also talks about behind the scenes of marketing and social media. “There are days where you need to just put your phone down and take a break from social media. It’s stressful to be on your phone and seeing so many posts a day. Maybe you’re left with no new content to post and that is ok,” says Michelle. “Sometimes I catch myself in this cycle of comparison when everyone is on their own journey. As long as you plan your posts ahead of time and take however many breaks you need from social media, you will still succeed!”
“Remember to push past any negative feelings because that’s how you build your confidence. Put strategies in place to make improvements where necessary and don’t beat yourself up.”
You are not alone. Many other beauty professionals are going through the same feelings and experiences as you. Instead of seeing other beauty businesses as competition, find ways to connect and collaborate with them. You will have an easier time growing within a community than on your own. “Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. There will be people that will not want to help you, but there will also be a community that will,” says Michelle.
Reach out to those who inspire you and connect with them on social media. If you’re taking a group training course, stay connected with the other students. Remember to stay in touch with your educator, especially if they are available for ongoing mentorship and support. You will feel more confident when you have a strong network of beauty professionals to turn to. More often than not, people want to help and support others in the community, however, they won’t know unless you ask.
Lastly, we asked Michelle what advice she would give someone looking to break into the beauty industry.
In Michelle’s words:
I find lashing very therapeutic and enjoyable as I have such a great group of girls supporting me… Though not everyone will think the same. It’s also pretty hard on your body–your back, neck, forearms, wrist, and hands. I feel like a lot of people are on the fence about pursuing this path, and if so, just ask a Lash Artist about what it’s like–you can message me if you are curious!
After you’re confident that you still want to pursue lashing, research, and find the right educator. Don’t take courses that teach you various styles of lashing within two or three days. It is not enough for someone to really become great in every style, like classic, hybrid, volume, mega volume. Especially if you’re just starting, you need to perfect the basics before you approach more advanced styles. Don’t take shortcuts. TRUST ME! SIS, you need to take it step by step!
So before becoming a Lash Artist:
Michelle understands what it’s like navigating the beauty industry as an artist and business owner. She proudly supports other Lash Artists in the community and offers one on one training in lash extensions. To learn more about her business, you can check out her Instagram page.
If you are a beauty professional and would like to be featured in future blog posts, let’s connect!
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