Just a Haircut… Or Something More?

I walked into a local spot the other day to get a haircut. The woman who would be cutting my hair was new to me, and so I showed her a photo of what I was envisioning. Bradley Cooper has good hair… I’d like something like that, please. She looked at me, looked at my hair, and replied, “Oh, you just need a quick trim. I’m not even going to charge you for this.” I was dumbfounded. She took two minutes to trim things up and spent ten minutes teaching me how to get my hair to do what I want it to. I ended up asking her to give it just a little extra trim, just so she would charge me something. My total was five dollars.

As she wrapped up, I asked her, “How do you make any money off of free and five-dollar haircuts?” She smiled and answered, “Referrals. My only ask is that you refer me to someone you know who needs a full haircut or a color. That’s where I make my money.”

Mind blown. There were so many lessons to learn through this experience. Here are three…

  1. Make your vision clear. Having a clear, defined vision of what you want is the first key to making it a reality. The second I showed her the images of Bradley Cooper that I had found, my stylist knew EXACTLY what I wanted and how to help me get it. That clear vision removed all the confusion and eliminated the chance of any miscommunication. Ask yourself, “How clear is my team’s vision for what we want, and are we aligned around that vision working together to make it happen?”
  2. Give and over-deliver. When my stylist told me she wasn’t going to charge me, I was shocked. She could have easily spent fifteen minutes “working” on my haircut, making it look like she was creating a masterpiece and charging me for that level of cut. Instead, she gave me what I needed (and wanted), and she did it quickly. Within just a couple of minutes, my hair was cut, and she was done – and she was going to give it to me for free. What? On top of that, she spent the time with me to explain why my hair wings out in weird directions and how to prevent it. She went above and beyond, and I knew it as I was sitting there. Ask yourself, “Have I been generous and over-delivering, or bringing something less?”
  3. Let your work speak for itself. When we give generously and over-deliver, we’re building our reputation. Solid reputations lead to referrals, and referrals build businesses. Those reputations are built up over time… but can be tarnished quickly. Ask yourself, “How do I feel about my reputation? Would I recommend myself and my brand to clients, or would I hesitate?”

There’s a lot to unpack here, in what was a ten-minute experience getting a haircut. We’ll give you one last takeaway… Pay attention. Every day, we have interactions with people that are short and seemingly meaningless. Slow down, look for the meaning in every connection, and develop your own keen awareness for what can be learned through each interaction you experience. Life is full of lessons if we look for them – even things as simple as a haircut.

Clarify your vision, over-deliver, let your work build your reputation… and if you’re in need of a cut or color in Chaska, Minnesota, reach out to us. We know the perfect place!

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