The skills required to be self-employed for 30 years – Part 1

When I met Roy I was a qualified hairdresser, taking a sabbatical of discovery and travelling. I was working on cruise ships and wine bars and testing out all sorts of crazy jobs to find my place in the world.

It wasn’t really any great career sacrifice when the opportunity came along to help Roy get his motorcycle tour up and running. However, I was a bit concerned that I wasn’t educated enough, to run a business. I had no idea what a cashflow forecast was and let’s not even discuss what I thought “fiscal” meant when I first heard it.

When I look back on those days now I realise that I had something more precious than a bachelor’s degree, I had a good strong hand shake and the confidence to touch strangers. The first lesson in hairdressing is, “Good Morning, how are you, come with me, sit right here,” now accept my touch while I rest my hands on your shoulders and start running my fingers through your hair…it sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, doesn’t it? Well, yes it could be if it’s not done professionally in the way we were taught. All humans crave touch and if you can master the subtlety of that lesson without being dragged into a courtroom then you are winning in life.

My parents and my first boss had taught me so many invaluable things that I had taken for granted and these lessons have helped our business in its strength and sustainability. It all became apparent when I started training staff. Not everyone was given the same

education with these simple life hacks;

  1. Look people in the eye when you talk to them.
  2. Offer a handshake first and be confident with your grip.
  3. Smile! And smile before you answer the phone, it does reflect in your voice.
  4. Listen with interest, “hear” the details.

Do I hear you calling out “Social distancing”? Ok, answer me this, can you see someone smile from behind a mask and can you hear it through the phone? I do! Smile and be in the moment with your client and watch the changes in your business.

Your smile is a gift and you should use it wherever you go, smile at people as you walk to the post office or the bank, smile at people on the street. Is that just a lesson for country kids growing up in small towns? If you’re in a big city think of it this way if you have 500 or more clients, will you recognise them all in a shopping centre? They will recognise the “one” you from that salon or office. This concept became ever so apparent when I had teenage kids misbehaving on the streets, those little sh*ts thought they were hiding and I had heard about it three times…and then the penny dropped, the concept applies to all of us! You don’t see every person that’s looking at you so be aware to uphold your professional reputation everywhere you go.

Renae Kunda, Co-founder and Director, Cape York Motorcycle Adventures

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