Where Have All the Mentors Gone?

Posted by Alexander Irving under Building Authority, General, Getting Started, How-To, Networking, Strategy, The PR Mindset

Opportunities for PR happen not only because you are a talented salon professional and send out interesting news and photo releases. They happen because you are a part of people’s lives doing things that distinguish you from others in the crowd. You are a respected member of the community … a player .. you do things ‘differently’.  That’s ‘unique’.

I’ll disagree with my guest poster’s contention that you don’t see mentors in the news. Actually, we do every day. People like Beth Minardi, Brad Graham, Vivienne Mackinder, (uh) Don Bewley :-), and hundreds more on  the list. These individuals parlayed their love of the industry and their focus on support for the next generation as an ‘element’ of their overall industry reputation and recognition.

It’s true that thousands of others haven’t paid attention to the value of  a PR strategy for themselves and haven’t been recognized in the media, but that’s by their own doing … or lack of doing.  Mentoring is something that, coupled with good PR habits, does serve to get earn ‘stripes’, thus more people take notice.

PR is a very POOR motivation for mentoring, but the fringe benefit of being a caring and supportive industry professional certainly serves to enhance someone’s image in the eyes of others.

I thoroughly enjoyed what Don Bewley had to say about mentoring. It is truly the very foundational ingredient that has elevated the professional salon industry to what it is today. Read it … then don’t just sit there … get out and mentor someone.

Where Have All The Mentors Gone?

By Don Bewley, Eufora Intl.,  Co-founder – Reprinted with permission of Stylist Newspapers

When interviewing and hiring staff and educators at Eufora I always ask: who is your mentor? If the potential hire does not have one, I do not consider them for a position.

Why is this important? People who seek out and find mentorship are people who are committed to being successful.

There are many great mentors out there who truly care about the salon professional industry and nurturing the future generation. I have met many of them during my travels throughout North America. Sadly, these mentors often go unrecognized because they are rarely seen gracing the pages of our industry magazines, but they are definitely out there ready to share their expertise, provide guidance and serve as a sounding board.

So what is the definition of a mentor? A mentor is someone who has achieved a great level of success and sustained that success over time. They choose to share their expertise and success strategies and they do it based on their love of the hairdressing industry.

They are giving, humble leaders who are not afraid of someone becoming better than them, in fact they actually want their protégés to surpass their own level of success.

I have had three key mentors throughout my 30-year hairdressing career. It is difficult for one mentor to give you everything you need. Mentor Number One was an amazing hairdresser who understood the correlation between hair and fashion and the power of great technical cutting systems.

Mentor Number Two was a businessman who understood and excelled at the financial side of the business and taught me about profitability and how to drive points to my bottom line. And Mentor Number Three taught me how to be accountable for the goals that you set for yourself. All are important skills in becoming a success in the industry and are skills that continuously need nurturing and improvement.

It’s important to seek out your mentor and do not wait for them to find you. So where do you find these successful people willing to share their secrets to success?

Stylists should start with their salon owner. Salon owners obviously want you to make money, be your best and be happy, so it’s only natural that they would want to help you. However, if you’re not finding a mentor in your salon, it may be time to look elsewhere.

Industry networking groups are a great way to connect to successful salon professionals. We’re a tight knit community that can be very generous and loving; the entire salon industry wins if we help one another by acting as mentors because we elevate it as a whole. A great example of this is the Eufora Salon Owners Network. Salon owners, who are all competing in the same market, come together to discuss their common challenges and share solutions based on their own experiences. They are helping themselves while helping others.

Great mentors can also be found through premier industry business and creative educators. These professionals have dedicated a part of their career to helping other succeed either through haircutting and styling or business solutions. Most importantly, expose yourself to successful industry professionals through attending education. You‘ll discover talented and caring people more than willing to help you go to the next level

Everyone has something to offer and we shouldn’t be afraid to share our knowledge. Maybe reading this you realize that you are the successful professional that can reach out to help others. Since day one, Eufora has been dedicated to helping cultivate mentors through our education program. It starts with a desire to help others, a commitment to be the best. From this, success is nurtured. Educators are constantly in training themselves to better learn how to help fellow salon professionals achieve their goals and dreams.

If we all participated in the mentoring process by seeking the guidance of others, being mentors ourselves and helping develop mentors, the salon professional industry would be unstoppable. Just think of all the many opportunities it would yield for everyone of us to be prosperous and fulfilled.

Who is Your Mentor? Are You Mentoring?

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4 responses to “Where Have All the Mentors Gone?”

  1. Ginger Wong says:

    Wonderful & very thought provoking article.
    Thank you,Ginger Wong

  2. I can tell you where all of the mentors have gone, two words, “booth rental” Over my years I have mentored more haircolorists than I like to think about. you have to be impervious to pain if you feel a dagger in your back when the person you bring into your salon, the person you brought up like your own child, the person you promoted, spent advertising dollars on, The person you taught everything you know about haircolor says good bye with out a thank you. This didn’t happen just once, it happened over and over and over. A salon has to have a return on investment, training a new hire is expensive, plus covering up for the mistakes they make, many times on your clients. Then as soon as they reach that magic number, be it $1,200.00 or $1,500.00 a week then commission no longer works. All the new hire sees is the money they bring into the salon and think, “all of this is mine and this guy gets to keep part of it. It is a culture that is not going away, not in California. My mentoring days are over as well as hundreds of others I know. Its just too painful to mentor.

  3. Becci says:

    I have been listing to HairdesignerTV.com radio and your interview about “Teaching Old Dogs” which leads me to cruse your website tonight…:-)
    I recieved this post from Seth Godin a few weeks ago that I really liked and thought I’d post it. Sorry for the long URL.
    Have a great hair day! Becci

    • Alex Irving says:

      Seth Godin is wonderful spokesperson for self-reliance and personal initiative. I too subscribe to the good thinking he shares so freely. He is one of my heroes. Several times I have been inspired to ‘ship’. 🙂