You like me....
A few months back I took a class at the industry trade show that I attend annually in New York by the name of Bottom Line Profitability for the Spa Business. It caught my eye, knowing I was going to be opening a spa, and that I needed to put my Big Girl Business Pants on in order to do this successfully. I plunked down a sizable fee and even bought the facilitator's program for a much more substantial sizable fee. While I have many years of experience with spa management and leading professional teams, I had never taken a business class. My right side, creative, let's-just-try-it-and-see-what-happens part of my brain was screaming the entire time. I tried my best to pacify it while taking feverish notes on subjects such as profit and loss statements, productivity per square foot and costs per treatment.
While in no way do I mean to diminish the importance of running a successful business with a profit in mind, I have come to see with crystal clear clarity that no person, group, organization, community, and yes, business can reach that pinnacle of success without knowing the importance of how to relate to those who are put in their path.
Let me state the obvious that the relationship between us and our clients is a sacred one. They share pieces of their lives with us that we keep in our professional vault. I always feel honored that they have the faith in me to tell me things that they may not feel comfortable sharing with others. Of course our focus is always about the skin and how we can get it to its optimum health but we develop a rapport with them when we see them on a regular basis. We share their joy, sorrow, victories, struggles, and triumphs. We laugh with them. We cry with them. We hug them. We let them just be. What a privilege!
Meredith and I knew going into this venture that in order to make this work we had to surround ourselves with a team of professionals that are as dedicated to their craft as we both are. That dedication does not necessarily translate into someone with as much professional experience as we happen to have. (Did you know that combined we have almost 50 years in the industry?). We know that it is much more important to hire those with integrity, professionalism and an open demeanor than anything else. Training our team members in our protocols is the easy part. Having taught new estheticians going into the field for several years opened up my eyes to the fact that some things just cannot be taught. We are so thrilled that our Lindsay Taylor SPAtiqe staff members are all people you can be comfortable with inside and outside of the treatment room.
I cannot talk about relationships with others without mentioning the huge impact of social media. From my own very unscientific survey, it seems that people either love it or hate it. There is something to be said for being able to stay in contact with so many people from so many different facets of our lives. Posting photos of my food? Yes. Bragging about the accomplishments of my child? Guilty. Subjecting my Facebook friends to my antics on vacation? You betcha. It is a quick-fix to foster many relationships. I am constantly amazed at how quickly your message can get to so many people..........whether they are your bff dating back from kindergarten or you met them at a paint night out with your girlfriends. I will admit a slight twinge of guilt for posting on someone's wall for their birthday instead of taking the time to send them a card. But it is still positive contact so it still counts in my book.
All of this came to beautiful crescendo last week when we opened our doors to Lindsay Taylor SPAtique to show off the fruits of our labor to our friends and family. Meredith and I are completely overwhelmed with gratitude with the turnout, response and outpouring of love. I don't say this in a Sally Field "You like me. You really like me" kind of way. I say it with the heartfelt realization that a lifetime of forming, cultivating and maintaining all of these relationships resulted in a huge plus in that column of assets. So while I continue to read books and articles, attend webinars, network and market for the business end of this amazing journey, I feel very confident with the knowledge that our warm and fuzzy side is what is going to keep us going for a long, long time.
With a Smile in my Heart,
The journey is the fun part. Thanks for being a part of mine.