Updated: Apr 4, 2020
" Perfection is a narrative that says you are not good enough! "
I have been in nail & beauty industry for about 12 years, maybe longer, to be honest I cant remember but its a long time! I have worked in many salons around Manchester, some good, some bad. I have been self employed for 2 years and still going! Nobody tells you (when you leave college) how hard its going to be to work in a cut throat industry...yes cut throat!
Just because you leave college it doesn't mean that you will have a line of clients waiting for you. You need, experience, knowledge, skills, patience, persistence to build yourself to be able to open a 'salon' or be 'self employed'. This doesn't happen over night, it takes years and years to establish yourself! Remember....in any job (unless your filthy rich & don't need to work) you can be replaced! its the nature of the industry, so many people are doing nails or beauty or both, its hard trying to find your own uniqueness!
So is nail perfection such a big thing? personally I don't think anybody is perfect in the nail or beauty industry. Phrases like, “Practice Makes Perfect" is not right...The general public is a very hard audience to please! The saying should actually go, “Practice Makes Pretty Damn Good Progress”. The idea that every single nail you file, build, and polish must be perfect in every way possible, in order to build a solidly booked nail business, is a myth! its took me over 12 years to realise that I needed to set myself free from the mental prison that comes from chasing perfection.
For so long I thought "if i'm perfect my clients will stay? fact is...clients come and go, I will gain clients and I will lose clients. Doesn't mean that i'm not good enough! We’ve all been brainwashed by Instagram or (back in the day) in the pages of magazines that show a set of nails lit to perfection right? You know that kind of perfection doesn’t actually exist in real life? It’s a smoke and mirrors illusion, art directed and manipulated under meticulously controlled conditions where a small army of professionals work for several hours on a hired hand model for a single look that is further digitally edited to represent unattainable ideals of beauty
Nail perfection, is it really worth it?....
In my experience, perfectionism sets the tone for a constant and steady state of panic and lays a pretty clear path to a nervous breakdown whether your a nail tech or beauty therapist. The inner critic, that voice in your head sets the trap for you to fail before you even start. It undermines your work. It’s like a 'friend & enemy". It’s well disguised negativity. In life, there is no such thing as true perfection. Perfection is a narrative that says you are not good enough!
Everything in nature comes with irregularities and imperfections to form a unique beauty of its own. We have to recognise that a beautiful set of nails is not flawless. We have to limit self-sabotaging behaviours and treat ourselves with a certain respect, give ourselves more praise, instead of comparing ourselves with other people.
Know your work, identify your strengths and weaknesses. Find your flow. passion, what gives you that drive, then create optimal work conditions to be your best self and offer services from that positive space!
Progress is profitable; perfection isn’t. Progress is real, rock steady, and life changing. This is the true trans-formative pursuit you should strive towards in your everyday business.
Good luck to all those hard working Nail Techs & Beauty Therapists!
Keep up the good work ;)