Switching up. Time for a new relationship?

In my last post, I shared the steps to becoming a leader in your niche. Today I’ve got to tell you about the new guy at my hair salon.

First, let me start by saying, I like my regular hair stylist. I’ve been going to her for over ten years. She’s a safe bet. We keep up on each other’s family, new purses, and vacation plans. She doesn’t try to up sell me on every new product or service and I don’t leave there looking like the oldest member of the mod squad. That makes me happy.


Periodically, however, I venture out and try someone new. You never know when you might discover Oprah Winfrey’s makeover hairstylist has moved to your town and set up shop and no one else knows but you. I have two big events this week, so probably not the wisest timing to experiment; but I prayed first, so what could happen?

My usual girl was on vacation, so the receptionist lined me up with Kevin*, promising me I’d be pleased. Only after I sat down in the chair for a full highlight and hair cut appointment did I discover that Kevin has only been doing any of this for one year. This was day three at this new shop.

Was it too late to run?

I noticed the other staff watching him periodically as he worked (just as a driver’s ed teacher watches out for teenagers behind the wheel).

There were other tell-tale signs that I might be in trouble, but I won’t go into detail. Needless to say, by this point I’m sure Kevin has never produced any work for Oprah.

There’s a point to this story, so hang with me.

Over the next three hours, Kevin systematically did his thing. The conversation was interesting, never awkward. We bantered back and forth about marketing, tattoos, hometowns, getting kicked out of college (him, not me), and aluminum foil. His tone carried an underlying level of energy and excitement that clearly comes from getting to do what you love.

Other guests came and went but I remained as he worked away. The color was done and looking good, so I gave him permission to experiment ever-so-slightly with my cut. I could tell he was excited.He proceeded to brush, dry and cut it in a backwards manner like I’ve never experienced. It was actually fun to watch.

My remarkable new hair styleIn the end, I was happy. Thrilled actually. The new guy had set out to delight his client in such a way, that she would want to come back again and again. It worked. This 30-year old tattooed newlywed with a Rottweiler and a Pitt Bull as kids had just wooed me without even so much as a brief neck message. And, it didn’t cost him a nickel more than my regular girl.

So why do I tell you all of this? Because Kevin is remarkable in small but important ways…all of which have nothing to do with marketing strategies or social media plans.

He’s slower than my usual girl, awkwardly fumbles with too many tools in his hands at times, and he’s and from a completely different generation, religious, and social group. He’s completely outside my normal circle and I like him.

Here’s what worked in the relationship:

  1. Zeal. Kevin was genuinely excited about doing my hair and chatting away. He was having fun. I like business people who think serving me is fun.
    (Note: Entrepreneurs focused on list building work harder than those focused on time and profit. They don’t take any relationship for granted.)
  2. Timing. Kevin was in the right place at the right time. The time I needed him and that’s what matters.
  3. Shiny object syndrome: There’s something inherently fun about a new relationship. Hope becomes part of the equation. I was hoping to strike gold today and when Kevin “delivered the goods”, I felt smart for finding him. {*pat on the back*}

It’s just too bad Oprah’s not sticking around to hire him one day too.

What about your business relationships?

What is more important to you: faithfulness to an existing relationship or the opportunity to experience remarkable? How do you know when it’s time to move on?

*Of course Kevin isn’t his real name, but if you live in Lafayette and need a new hair stylist, I might share his real contact information. He does pedicures too.



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1 Comment

  • Nancy

    Reply Reply October 2, 2011

    Thanks for the share!

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