May 2009

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


The Only Thing Constant is Change

In our current economic reality, many in the beauty industry are reflecting on the path their careers are taking them.

In the past, some of us were striving just to keep up with the pace of the ever expanding business models trying to maximize productivity or just plain trying to stay one step ahead of the curve.

Now with the unforeseen changes, one question is challenging us: Do we turn this down time to our advantage and seek change to advance or do we wait-and-see, hoping that better days will come?

This is the long time honored conflict between being proactive and reactive and also being brave enough to seek and most importantly, to embrace change.

In our industry, do we see ourselves through the eyes of our past successes that now seem, through no fault of our own, to be eluding us? Or do we see new horizons not yet seen or experienced?

Do we see unrealized potential and opportunity? Do we see scarcity and have a glass-half-empty attitude where there’s just not enough to go around? Or do we seek continued abundance and believe this is our time, our moment?

Henry Ford once said, “If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right.” Yes, we define our own destiny.

The greatest enemy to positive change is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of the less than anticipated outcome, fear of failure. In the darkest days of the great Depression, Franklin Roosevelt reached out to millions of Americans and proclaimed: “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Just like us, they felt they were sucker punched and left on the ropes.

Fear is no friend to those seeking abundance. Fear immobilizes us. Jim Yates of Nuts and Bolts Training has a great definition of fear. False Evidence Appearing Real. Always remember what persists, exists. If we focus on our continued growth with unwavering faith in its positive outcome, we will not only survive these times but we will thrive. Fear cannot occupy that positive space we create and will seek to exist in our reality.

Growth and expansion particularly, in down times, isn’t easy or comfortable. But quite frankly, many who were thinking themselves secure and successful were just plain stuck applauding their past hoping it would define their future in some way. How can you drive forward while looking in the rear view mirror?

Have you ever heard that insanity is defined as doing the same things continually but expecting different results?

Beyond the desire for change, are we using new actions that are in alignment with the desire for change and its anticipated abundance? Are we developing new skills, embracing new ideas and principles? If we are truly growing, we will know, as we will experience growing pains.

If we see ourselves differently, we believe, behave, and get different results for our efforts. Change requires energy, and the faith to overcome self doubt and fear, but the rewards far exceed the effort because we made it happen. We adapted and overcame our challenges and have the right to proclaim we did it! and then we can own our continued success through constant positive change.

Jerry Tyler’s column Blue Highways is his “Road Less Traveled” perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. Jerry Tyler has been a stylist since 1975 serving as the former artistic director for Vidal Sassoon Academy and currently as Director of Education for Carlton Hair salons. He is also a licensed cosmetology instructor and has served as President of the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.