Remember when you were a kid and if something didn't go your way you could just say "that's not fair"? Too often these days, not enough people were told as a kid, or an adult, life isn't fair! That makes it a little easier to understand why when we start a new career in the nail industry (or any industry for that matter) unrealistic expectations can spell defeat before you ever actually put any effort into the budding business you thought would be a great livelihood.
Let this blog be an equal part hug and kick in the pants that helps you survive that initial few months to a year that seems like your book will never be full, your nails will never be as good as so-and-so, and your business will never operate in the black!
Doing nails is hard work. Whew there I said it! It is so much fun to do your own nails, or your friends nails when you get together, that the idea of doing nails all day seems like a walk in the park.
What you may not realize is that sitting at a table all day is hard on your body:
you need to practice good posture
you should wear gloves to prevent overexposure
you should do carpal tunnel prevention exercises daily
What also might not have occurred to you is that doing nails as a professional is not cheap:
professional quality products have a higher cost (and better performance)
you should continue taking classes after getting your license/certification (ideally annually or bi-annually)
you have overhead like rent, utilities, sundries, replacement product, etc.
massages and chiropractor visits can help maintain your bone and muscle health for a longer career
good tools come with quality material that helps them last longer which costs more
salon disinfection is necessary expense that you must spend for the safety of you and your clients
and so much more!
You are new, you need more education than just school, your nails will get better!
focus on quality, speed will come in time if it is meant to, if not then market that you are meticulous and charge for your time
your nails may never be as good as so-and-so, there will always be someone better than you, don't get bitter - get better
perfection is a journey not a destination, the reason you see some of the most amazing educators in the industry still taking classes is because they know that you can never know enough to know it all, keep learning and growing into your personal best until you retire
Clients tend not to magically appear simply because you decided to do nails, crazy right! You are actually going to need to work to build up a full book of work. Good customer service, quality services, and a clean space will go a log way towards building your clientele. Take photos of your work, not only to have a portfolio, but to look at for self critique to see where you can improve and grow. Sometimes you can see mistakes in a photo later that you missed in person during the service.
Hopefully it was a small enough reality check that this didn't hurt too much, there's really a lot more to this amazing career than meets the eye and I bet you have what it takes now that you have a better expectation of what's coming. I have faith in you, believe in yourself enough to put in the practice and work hard, it's definitely not easy - it is so very worth it!