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Sunday, 20 May 2007 10:59

In Pursuit of Happiness

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Have you ever sat and wondered about your profession? Are you aware that you are in one of the best professions? Did you know that it offers an incredible number of opportunities?
Many of us, when we graduate from aesthetic school, cannot wait to find a job to do facials, whether that is in a salon or spa. All we do is think and think about doing a facial cleanse, tone, and moisturize. Who will be our first client? Will they rebook? Will they tip us? But, our license offers us so many other opportunities that the possibilities are truly staggering.

There are many that we have not even thought about, but make no mistake, with that license we can capture an amazing job that we will love.
Whether you have just graduated or have been in the industry for a couple of years, you may be at a stage in which you want to do something different – you just don’t know what that something is. You have that itch to spread your wings and make it big but what is big? Is it opening a place of your own, or moving into a corporate setting? What about education? There really are many directions that you can go. 
First, you need to consider what you truly love and desire. Second, consider your needs. Needs? Your basic needs are a very valuable indication as to what you can risk professionally and personally. Do you have a family? Are you the primary breadwinner? Do you have a great support system, such as a mother who can pick up your children and watch them if you are stuck in a meeting or across town in traffic? Can you only work during school hours? Does your husband travel? If so, that may hinder your ability to travel. Do you need insurance? Do you qualify and are you willing to take the risk of applying for a business loan? What is your passion? Should you work for another company to find out if you really want to pursue this desire? It may take several moves before you find the best fit for you. 
By asking yourself these in-depth questions, you will be able to have a clearer concept about what you can accomplish and where you want to take your career. It is OK to change your mind after you get into a job. It is OK to rethink and say to yourself: I do not like this, or this is not what I thought it was going to be. It is OK to feel that you do not want to do this for the next 20 years. Say a huge “Thank You” for the experience. It is much smarter to find out where you are, whether you like to be the boss and whether you can handle the additional work and stress, before jumping in with your life savings to open your dream spa. 

The Formula for Success!
To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We have it down to four words: “Do what you love.” However, it is not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated. You can have passion; but, if you do not have direction, where do you go with all that passion? You need guidance, direction, and a roadmap to convert what you love into doing it well and creating your own unique success.
Diane Buccola, from Sacramento, Calif., took a break from her successful career as a court reporter in order to stay home with her son when he was young. She fully intended to go back to court reporting when he went off to school. Much to her dismay, when the time came, she found that the passion for that job was no longer there!
She thought long and hard about what she wanted to do and decided to follow a long-held, but never pursued, dream to open a women’s health center. She felt that to really make the dream a success, she needed to know everything and be able to do everything herself, from giving a facial to cleaning the toilet, even though in the long run, she did not want to do either of those. She just wanted to be the owner and manager.
In aesthetic school, we all talked about opening our own place. Oh, we were so sure of ourselves! Nowadays, looking back, she readily laughs at herself when she remembers the naivety and cockiness she and her fellow classmates exhibited.
In 1998, she finally opened that day spa, which eventually grew to a full skin care clinic. Much to her surprise, she did not end up just being the owner and manager. She ended up being a good aesthetician, who fell in love with the science of skin care, and the rapport that develops with clients in the treatment room.
Several years later, she sold the spa and is now a happy solo aesthetician. Buccola goes on to say, “As it turns out, even though I sort of backed into becoming an aesthetician, the decision many years ago to get my aesthetics license has led me into a fantastic career which includes many components that I did not expect. Besides still seeing clients that have been with me since the beginning, I also own a thriving message board for aestheticians and other spa professionals.” She is also heading up the Northern California chapter of a national organization that provides free education for licensed spa professionals. Who would have thought that an aesthetics license would take her to the ownership of an online e-networking spa community? The sky is the limit with what you can do with your license!

Another Successful Aesthetician!

Fawn Carr, a licensed aesthetician, knew she wanted to own her own day spa even before she started aesthetics school. Did she jump into buying a spa right after graduation? No, she knew it would take careful planning and training before she would be ready to be an owner. She strategically took positions where she would glean experience and knowledge. She drew strength from knowing that someday it would be her time. After years of preparing and looking for the right location, she found a day spa that fit her dreams and goals. Early last year, Carr opened FawnFeather Salon and Spa. Every day she faces new challenges, but due to her diligent preparations, she handles them with precision and success!

Make an appointment with your instructor or career counselor at the academy from which you graduated. Your instructor is usually a person who has “been there, done that” and can be a wealth of information. They can guide, direct, and help you avoid some of the pitfalls in the industry.
Call and ask to speak with the owner, CEO, or manufacturer of a product you like, or the person who is your spa hero. Ask, “How did you succeed?” Many will tell you it was hard work and many sleepless nights, but when success came, it was all worth it!
For some, it is being at the right place at the right time that success will come to them. For others, it will be that they gravitated towards someone in the industry who took them under their wing and mentored them. For those who want to advance in business or produce their own line, it may take extra classes at college to understand cosmetic science.
You will become successful when you find your niche in this industry. For some of you, you knew in school what area you wanted to get into. For others, it may take a decade of learning and growing in the industry before you determine what you are going to do and go after it. No matter where you work, do it with integrity and be grateful for the opportunity. Even in the worst situations, you will come out learning something important. Learning that you do not want to rent a booth or do bridal make-up is of the same extraordinary value as knowing what you do want to pursue in your future. Having a job is one thing, but knowing and loving the spa industry and making it in this industry is another. Those who just go to a job every day will not truly be happy or successful in their choices. For those who go to work to inspire, motivate, and create change, they will lead a life of fulfillment. They will be excited to get up every morning with the opportunity of expressing that inner passion and allowing it to spill over into a balanced lifestyle filled with happiness and success.

Denise R. Fuller is a Licensed Aesthetician and Beauty Therapist Consultant, Educator, and Author for the aesthetic industry. Fuller is also the CEO of International Spa Importing Specialists. For more information, please contact her at 888-566-4747.

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