This is the 2nd in my 'Inspiring Interview' series and I'm delighted to feature a very talented and highly driver woman: Nina Warden.
I'll leave you to soak up the wisdom she has to share from running her own hairdressing business for the last 4 years.
Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule, Nina. Please tell us what it is that you do:
I own a hair and beauty business and I help busy women feel beautiful. We all know how much better we feel when our hair is done or we have a tan and my passion is helping busy ladies that are juggling work/family life, by providing a salon service in the comfort of their own home.
What do you love about what you do?
I love making women feel good about themselves, actually no, I love making women feel amazing about themselves. I think there is a lot of pressure on women to look a certain way and I think our world is becoming even more this way from what we see and read in the media. We can all be so self critical and my mission is to give women the confidence they deserve, not only by looking good, but feeling it too.
What were you doing before?
Before starting my business I was managing a large salon and had done for two years. Prior to that I worked in HR for a large corporate company.
What made you choose this business?
The hair and beauty industry is so fast paced and I wanted a career that I'd always be able to learn more. Being a hairdresser and spray tan therapist allows me to constantly learn new techniques and I can truly say I love what I do. My husband said to me a few months back, "I think what you do is really special." I was of course touched by his comment, but asked him what he meant. He replied and said "You have the power to not only change how someone looks, but how they feel to and I just think that must be a really amazing feeling"
I had never really thought about it in this way before, but he was so right, it is an amazing feeling and that is exactly why I love what I do.
Do you run your business full-time, part-time or alongside a 9-5?
Full-time for the last four years.
How does your Dream Business reflect your gifts, strengths and personality?!
I like to think of my business like a stick of rock, if you cut through the middle, you'd see my personality running through it. My branding is me, with a strong identity and I'm really proud of that. I like to think it makes people feel relaxed and warm because they get to see the real person behind the brand.
I think one of my strengths is organisation, which does really help when running a business as everything you see, is created and done by me. Whether that's my website content, my monthly blog or my social media content. A lot of time and energy goes into that, to reflect what I'm about. I love to share beauty tips on my Facebook page or quotes that I think will resonate with my clients. I love that I have the freedom to create anything I want to and that no day is ever the same.
What was the biggest obstacle/s (physical, emotional or financial) you had to overcome?
Back in 2013 when I was first starting out, I remember feeling so strange when everyone was going back to work after Christmas and I wasn't. It felt super exciting, but so scary all at the same time. But at that point the reality was, I wasn't employed anymore. I had no job and no wages coming in! I had no clients! So I worked my butt off to get my name out there, to connect with people. But it wasn't easy, one of the biggest things I had to overcome was fear. Fear of being visible in my business and this is something that I continue to work on even now, almost 4 years on. People won't just find you, you have to work consistently to find them.
How different is your life now to what it was before?
Oh completely different. I used to come home from the salon and feel completely drained, stressed and frustrated. In fact so much so, it was beginning to make me ill.
But now, I love spending my days working with my clients 1:1 or creating new things for my business that will offer my clients great value.
I continue to fall in love with my business everyday and I genuinely count myself very lucky for having such amazing clients to share it all with. Don't get me wrong, my days are long and I always have so much to do, not just in my business but on it as well, but I wouldn't swap it for where I used to be, not in a million years.
If you knew then what you know now what advice would you give your former self, as you embarked on creating/starting your business?
I would say believe in yourself and keep going. I was really lucky to have a great support network around me that really encouraged me and made me realise I could do this. But running a business can be a lonely journey. No one really understands what it's like unless they're doing it. No one ever tells you about all the "other stuff" and by that I mean; the putting yourself out there. No one tells you that running a business is like an emotional rollercoaster at times that it's pretty certain you will work 10x harder for yourself than when you worked for somebody else. That you will have many different hats to wear, including CEO, Administrator, Marketing Manager, Content Creator and Writer and so many more in between. But the other thing that hardly anyone tells you is that no matter how hard it is and how hard you work, if you love what you do, it's the most amazing job you'll ever have.
How did you KNOW this was what you wanted to do?!
I always wanted to make a difference to people. To give women the confidence they deserved. To give women the right to be their own kind of beautiful, not what the media says they should be. The salon environment isn't always for everyone either, I think it's often like marmite. Some people love it and others hate it, they can't afford to take three hours out of their day or they feel a bit vulnerable, sitting in a crowded salon with wet hair in front of a large mirror. But whether they love it or loathe it, every woman deserves to feel beautiful.
A client of mine text me a little while ago just to say thank you and those little things mean so much. I also knew that after 2 years of managing a large salon I wanted something different. I didn't just want to be another "mobile hairdresser" that would trim your ends for a fiver, I wanted to give a high level of service at an affordable price. I wanted to retail the right shampoos, conditioners and styling products to my clients so that they can have the best hair possible.
What would you say to someone else who is thinking of creating their dream business?
I would say do it! But, be under no illusion it's hard work! However if you are prepared to put in the hard graft, it can be the most amazing journey you'll ever have. I remember someone saying to me once,"it must be lovely to work for yourself, you can do what you want, when you want." Some of that I agree with, the flexibility is great, however, unlike employed people, I don't get paid when I don't work. Being self employed is a far world away from long lunches and lazy days. I think I'm quite lucky, I am extremely disciplined, but it's not for everyone. With the job I have, my evenings and Saturdays are often taken up with work, because that's what my clients need and for the first 3 years I would often be working 6 days a week. I didn't begrudge that time, because I had to build my clientele and I truly love what I do. It's been only more recent months that I've started to take a Wednesday off. (Although quite often, I'm using that day to work on new blog posts etc) but it works for me and I wouldn't change any of it.
Anything else you would like to share?!
Life is way too short for regrets and if you have the drive, determination and a passion for what you do, then you're half way there. Running your own business is definitely a journey, not a destination. The journey is full of adventures, good and bad, but it's so worth it.
You can check out Nina and the work she does here:
Are you dreaming of running your own business too? Maybe you don't know where to even start or you run and business but feel stuck with what to do next to get more clients and more money so you can spend your days doing what you love?
If 2017 is the year you want to make your dream business a reality, you're in the right place, gorgeous.
Book a FREE call to find out how I could help: