See this little girl? She's a survivor. She lost her father at the age of 3 in the worlds largest mine disaster (at the time). Life was not easy on her. At 15 years old she lived on her own, paid her own way and had to became an adult. She Graduated high school and then went to college. Her life shaped her beliefs and views. She is kind, passionate, ambitious, motivated, confident, and strong. Since this picture - this girl has always been a fighter! Literally and Figuratively. She had to work her ass off and when there were times She got knocked down, she got right back up. Right now more than ever Shes in the fight of her lifetime. She is self employed (yes that is a choice) and has the least amount of support. None specifically... when it comes to unemployment compensation. This shut down is uncharted waters for her. Yes she's scared, and yes she is mad as hell....but in the midst of all of this, this girl knows this too shall pass. So for those who don't understand and can't see farther than there own nose despite their face, please get over yourselves. We are all in this together regardless of your political stances. Take note in your plight, rise above it and don't fall victim to the hate. We choose our paths, our destiny! Will you let fear control you or will you show you will not be the victim of fear? Mind over matter.... it's TRUE! How do I know? I am this girl and I have walked in those shoes.
You know all that HYPE and the reference to FAKE NEWS ? This article is relate-able. It was written by a person I know named Joy. This came up as one of my memories today from 2013. Joy calling out the press for not valuing achievements and a national award I won in 2013. Thank you joy for calling out the press!
Stay tuned for one of my fabulous blog posts....but in the mean time....please enjoy this rant....
It seems our local media doesn’t REALLY read most press releases that are sent their way. How do I know? Not JUST because Outlook tells me 99.9% are deleted without being read (don’t question Bill Gates) but IF they DO find it in their gracious heart to print a tiny weeny sentence that actually relates to SOMETHING in the press release, they screw it completely to hell. Just for the record....
Patti Thor Usselman owner of Patti Usselman Hair.STYLE recently won an amazing award at the 2013 Business Excellence Awards ... More than 400 North American companies participated in the event. Not Spokane companies. NORTH AMERICAN.
But this is definitely NOT news worthy in Spokane.... one publication couldn't even bother to get her business name right..OR HER ADDRESS....
Oh right, she's just a hair dresser. Ok. I get it....
How many hair dressers do you know, barely three years into their career, own a practice that serves more than 200 personal clients? Did you know that 60% or more of the clients that were introduced to her services over that time are still with her today?
1) A Groupon offer (November 2011) that ran through the first half of 2012 had a redemption rate of 83%; a positive experience* rating of 94% (* would recommend to a friend); and produced an average net sale of $62 (profitable!).
2) A later Living Social campaign (Mar-Aug 2012) had a redemption rate in excess of 87%; a 100% "thumbs up" rating, along with 92% saying they would return to the business; and, once again, a profitable net sale average of $74. !
If you want the best? Go see the best. Please support local business, especially local female-owned businesses whose successes directly impact our communities in a positive way. Now go do something about those roots...lick here to edit.
Sometimes don't our minds just get cluttered with the stuff and we forget to focus on the important things. Sometimes we get so busy and there are signs that keep slapping us directly in the face but we push them aside and just ignore them. Recently I've been sideswiped by some very disappointing news in regards to my current business location. (Another competitive salon was moving into my current location a few doors down and there are only approximately only 13 parking spots for 5 different business suites). Oh here we go - My first reaction was anger! Who has it against me? Who does that? Why would you want to do that? In a whirlwind I tried to make sense of the disappointing news that I've just been dumped. Why now? How many more roadblocks while I come against when I've worked so hard in regards to growing my business? I couldn't focus or think. I wanted to sit down in a corner and cry....I had to push back the emotions and not wollow in a puddle of my own tears. I'm at work - Ive got to take care of my clients!
When I was able to gather myself (sorta) and gain a composure where I wasn't going to reach out and grab the persons jugular (my landlord) who was responsible for this misfortune, I immediately as soon as I could telephoned my landlords commercial realtor to obtain a copy of my lease agreement, then forwarded a copy of my lease to my attorney to see if there was anything legally I could do to stop this. Unfortunately after several days of trying to get the answers I needed to hear, I was let down to find that myself and my team were left with no choice. The new salon would still be making there move into the building and now there would be a fight for survival for who is going to get that "one last parking spot".
You see a business location is key... numero uno! Second PARKING with easy accessibility, and a central location. I had most of this....well sometimes (to be completely honest parking has been the most stressful factor with this location, minus the homeless man living in a cardboard box next to my salon in an alley). Ugh!
Last night I turned the key to lock up the salon after a long day of work. About to break down again I said "snap out of it Patti - my gosh your leaving for vacation in 2 days, do you want this to over come you and ruin your most deserved rest time"? Of course not (insert rocky music playing in the back ground of my head 🎶) this is not who I am, I'm a survivor, I'm a fighter, I'm a WINNER!
I decided to turn this around and look at this in more of a positive way. Things happen for a reason - don't they? There is a reason this is happening and maybe it's because "the stuff" has gotten in the way of me being able to focus on what's important and that's to WORK ON my business. The "Stuff" (limited parking mainly has held me back from growing as I was more concerned for the other tenants than I was for my own business. By "stuff" limiting me and my potential I focused more on only working in my business. Wait - what? What does that mean? For me, I am a business owner first. My skill or trade as a hairdresser is only secondary. I've created a job for myself in my successful hair salon but have I created a business? The answer is NO! A business is one that can operate with out you... can my hair salon sustain itself when I'm not there ? The answer is definately NO! How disappointing..... To be honest I've known this for sometime and pushed it aside. I've allowed myself to become so busy working (being a magician aka hairstylist) and now I'm stuck. All the "stuff" preventing my business growth has gotten in my own way from allowing me to let others do the work, so I can work on my business. Duh!
This new obstacle brings forth the opportunity for a change. A change to move forward on my business plan and growth. Will I need to find a new location? Inevitably yes....sooner than later, but where will that be? I don't know the answers to that today. One thing I know for sure ... The next phase will be different. It will be a fresh start, to be bigger and to be better. I now have regained hope, faith, and the perseverance to push on. Success is the best revenge. See you next year 2017 with some exciting changes and new business growth.
Many of you have been following me and my blog and have learned I've been doing a lot of research and writing on company culture and building a business on culture. So how do we create a good one?
An a-ha moment came to me in the middle of the night one day specifically at 3:51 am. I came to realize how important it is when you hire, you don't necessarily hire just for the skill or experience they have or can bring, you must hire on people fitting into the company culture.
Unfortunately, I didn't follow my own rule of thumb when I sought out team members for my business. The current business model I operate my hair salon is a booth rental model which means they are independent contractors which they lease or rent a space under your roof to operate their independent business. With this model it is so challenging to get others to buy into the company culture? But Why - I want to scream out. Candidly put I cannot treat them as employees and cannot dictate nor force them to do anything they don't want to do.
To foster a great culture a company adopts ways to have fun, acknowledge others, games, team building activities, celebrating birthdays, to name a few. Also continued education is vital to the Sucess of a business and is necessary. Well known companies such as Google, zapoos, and Southwest Airlines build their business on culture first and that is why they have been so successful. Many seminars and training are given to teach the model which these companies foster because business owners know they work but don't know exactly how to create it. I've worked exceptionally hard and was intentional in branding Patti Usselman Hair Company. Part of that Branding is to target a niche market and to be exceptionally known for customer service, excellence in hair color and precision haircuts. If you talk the talk, you've got to walk the walk! If you don't keep up with the current trends, perform the service well, and meet the needs of the customer they'll buy elsewhere. When someone on the team doesn't respect the company culture and neglects to participate in activities to create a team environment or continued education they won't accept the culture.
Im making changes to improve things that haven't worked so well and trying so hard to build a cohesive team that is excited to come to work each day. Those who desire to be part of a team, be an asset to the business, be positive, supportive, hungry for learning, wants to invest in themselves, and most importantly wants to have fun while doing it. We all know that people behave differently and I know they can make a conscience choice to change if they value and want to adapt into the company culture. Getting a bad apple on your team is like a cancer. They are a morale killer and makes it very challenging to be around them and gets in the way of being able to foster a good company culture. We know what they are doing is wrong. so we try conciously not to invite those onto our teams. But what if they are? How do you get the wrong people to get off the bus? Create change and keep fostering the culture and thrive in the culture. Eventually they will be forced out or they will realize they don't fit in to the company culture and will make a decision to get off the bus. That's ok, it's for the best. You move on and focus on recruiting passionate people who will accept your company culture. After all YOUR CULTURE IS YOUR BRAND.. ❤️ Patti Usselman
What do I do when I can't sleep at night? Count sheep right? Hardly, that's not even closely accurate. I can blame it on my brain as my brain doesn't know how to shut itself off. It's always thinking, processing, obsessing, problem solving, goal setting, learning, and so on. I am extremely goal oriented and passionate about my business and its sucess. Clearly the majority of my time is working in and on my business so I focus a lot of energy there. Appropriately many of my nights (and days) I accumulate concepts on how I can improve my business and the model in which I currently operate. What is working satisfactory and what isn't, and then I have to find the reason why it isn't working, and come up with a solution to fix it. One thing that is consistent with me is to listen to my guests needs, create the best experience I can for my "guests" and have fun while doing it. What we are all doing and how we work as a team and treat our guests is a reflection on the culture and the values of how we do business. This is a no brainier! Culture is foremost in my business and extremely important to me. How does culture play a role in your business? Do you know how to create a great culture? Many of you may ask, what is culture ? Culture in a nut shell is our core values and beliefs. I know with certainty I take it upon my self to empower the culture because without it I would not have the level of success and growth in my business. How can I measure that? Culture is carried through with a happy customer and positive reviews from that satisfied customer on Google, Yelp, or potentially styleseat that would be happy to share their experience with others. With growth there is change and a change in a business model is inevitable. I know I must select future team members on buying into a culture and not a job and be able to reduplicate what I've started. The most successful Companies focus on "culture". So from here can you identify what your company culture is and how do others value your culture? Go forward and make adjustments to empower yourself and your team (if applicable) in an awesome work culture. ❤️ Patti Usselman “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Henry Ford, Ford Motor Company
NETWORKING is a powerful marketing tactic for any individual or business. It is necessary!
Networking is about making connections, building enduring mutually beneficial relationships and expanding your sphere of influence.
Let me share one remarkable story how networking has positively benefited me and my hair salon business.
One evening in October 2012 at a third Tuesday networking event I was introduced to Jim Munro, then a business coach with Action Coach. In conversation Jim learned I had won an award with Krem 2 the best of Spokane earlier that year. Jim asked me to share with him about my hair salon business, my vision, what steps I had taken to get where I was then, my goals, customer satisfaction, retention, keys to Sucess, and other relative information. Jim shared with me that he was looking for extraordinary businesses owners like me and felt my business was a great example of a business he was seeking to nominate for the national 2013 Business Excellence Awards with Action Coach. Of course I was honored and agreed. Jim conveyed that all the information I told him had to be factual and had to be verified to be considered for the nomination. He wanted to make sure that I had the hard numbers and facts to back up my story. A few weeks later we met at his office and Jim collectively gathered the necessary information to write the nomination. Based on my business and the 19 categories for the nomination, Jim and I mutually agreed to choose "the best service based business" category. The deadline for the nomination to be submitted was the last day of November 2012. A few weeks later I received notice that my nomination was accepted and that my business was one of finalists for the business excellence awards to be held in Las Vegas in January 2013.
I shared the great news with my husband Mike who was slightly pessimistic regarding this award nomination and still wasn't 100% on board. I assured him it was legit and that we were going to the awards ceremony in January and he needed to get a tux. The date January 25th 2013 arrived and earlier that day Mike and I took a quick day trip to Hoover dam outside of Las Vegas. At Hoover dam there are 2 bronze statues and legend says that if you rubbed the feet of the bronze statues it would bring you good luck. So of course I rubbed the feet of the statues, said a little prayer and hoped for the best. That evening Mike and I presented for the awards ceremony at the Red Rock Hotel and Casino. The event was exceptional, in my mind it was like going to the Oscars for small business. With over 19 categories receiving awards that night covering categories Best start up business, best customer service, entrepreneur of the year, etc. In my category "the best service based business" there were 12 other companies represented which varied in different types of small businesses throughout North America and Canada. Approximately half way the awards ceremony my category came up and Brad Sugars was discussing this award category, it felt like an eternity went by! I was so nervous and I just stared at the large screen in the front of the room with all the business nominees names and logos, closed my eyes for a brief moment and kept repeating.....say my name, say my name. Then the next thing I remember Brad Sugars was actually announcing my name and the name of my business as the winner of the "best serviced based business in North America, and just like the Oscars I gave a brief acceptance speech.
So the moral of this story and I hope you can see the underlying message I'm trying to get you to understand. Networking is a must for your business! Networking brings connections that you never knew were possible, and brings people into your life that can be a positive influence on you and your business. I am thankful I get the value in networking. Had I chosen not to attend the third Tuesday networking event in the fall of 2012,I wouldn't have had this wonderful experience to live and tell, and to share with you all of you. Business owners - what are you waiting for? Don't let someone else steal your recognition and nomination. I encourage you to get the confidence to get out there and network, then watch your business referrals grow. What do you have to loose besides growing your business? Simply put you've got a lot to gain with great opportunities and referrals. ❤️Patti Usselman
Everyday I read to gain knowledge, to learn, I watch a motivational video, listen to a successful business person so I can learn more. What does this do for me? It makes me more excited to go out and do my life, run my beauty salon business, to reach that next level of Success, or what ever I choose to do today. I put my plans into actions. Actions = results which for me means I'm doing what I said I would do.
Live it, believe it! Know you will and you can and you will become! Start now....take steps, wrote down your goals, set a plan, measure the plan, modify, take action, go for it. Don't listen to the nay Sayers. Live your dream! I have the power to be who I want to be and will achieve it with out a doubt. Will you? Read, learn, live, read more, learn more......my key to Sucess. You are your decider. Will you decide to sit back and watch others pass by you on the ladder of Sucess? Or will you be the driver of your Sucess. Step 1) this week I encourage you to watch this video and get your hands on books or material to help you be more successful in your life, decisions, business, marketing, financial freedom, relationships, goals, you name it - what ever you need to help you to be a Sucess. If I can be one thing to you, I hope I can be a positive influence to help you to be motivated and to be the best you can be. When life knocks you down you get back up, when someone says you can't, YOU prove to them you can. Patti Usselman
The presentation needed to be a 2 hour presentation. I was a little nervous having to come up with enough Information to teach on since generally when I had to do this in the past it was at a networking meeting and it was only 10 minutes tops. I called someone I knew and asked her advise as to what I should do. She advised me to do what You know and what you do well - teach them key points on how to operate a market for your business, choose your target audience, build your niche, other key points, your awards, and share your challenges and Successes in business. I began writing with key points, staying on track and covering the important information I wanted these students to learn and I included it with a wonderful slide show of pictures to keep them engaged. The two hours was so easy.... Why because I was speaking on something I was passionate about and what I knew well. I received a phone call from one of the students this last week who graduated in 2013 and she shared with me of all the guest speakers I was the one she remembered the most. See folks were leaving our imprint on others (and hopefully a positive one). I have been asked over and over by people to write a blog. I reply "I simply don't have the time". I've since re-evaluated and determined I will make time for those things that are important to my Success and how I can be a positive influence on others. I will make more time working ON my business and less working IN my business. You can follow along and learn along side of me and apply key points to your life and business (if that applies) or keep doing what you are doing and watch others pass you by. You are the decider. I choose to learn so I can EARN. What are you willing to do?