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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

It's Not Really All About You...

  This week I had the opportunity to work with an amazing team of ladies at The Artistic Edge Salon and Spa where I am an independent contractor. We pulled off an incredible feat of prepping 30 models with hair, make-up and nails for the Solon Civic Club's Spring Fashion show yesterday. There are no less than 40 salons in the area they could have chosen, but we were honored with the opportunity to showcase our talents.  Let me back up and share how this all came about. When my kids were in elementary school, I volunteered for PTA, field trips, fall festivals, you name it, I signed up. I met a group of women over the years that knew my worth, that they could count on me to come through and as my children grew, so did the opportunities. I donated my time and talent for fashion shows, plays and musicals, fundraisers and again met incredible women doing the same. Contributing their own time, talent and money  to a cause or a project with a common goal. At the time, the immediate gratification of a job well done, or a successful event seemed enough reward. But what I did not understand was the long term relationships that would last much further into the future. These women still contact me to help in their many activities and causes and what many see as a chore, I choose to see as an opportunity. I never take for granted that they choose me, when there are so many others they can choose. As an entrepreneur the road can be so singular, so desolate. Joining other women, other business and causes expands your network in areas you can sometimes only see the tip of the iceberg, but believe me it will have a larger impact that you can ever imagine.  The iceberg is there, under the surface. Developing these relationships over time continues to be one of the best marketing strategies, and I am still reaping the benefits.

                So fast forward to this past week. Two of the ladies I knew from my past volunteer days asked me once again to help with their fashion show. They continue to bless me with the opportunity to get exposure for the 250+ women in attendance. Many of the models were in the salon earlier in the week getting complimentary services with stylists donating their time, which is money, to make the event as special as we knew we could. Sunday we gave up the majority of our day, starting at 9am adding the finishing touches with everything from extensions, make-up and pre-made full coverage nails. I posted a few pictures on my Facebook page of the amazing work this team rocked out.
         Becoming a part of something larger had a dual meaning for me this weekend. I felt so grateful to be a part of the extended community as a fashion/beauty expert and also an amazing part of such a talented group of ladies from the salon.  This exposure results in many new clients for us as so many did not know about our salon. We are all individuals on this work journey but connecting with others is truly the only way to grow ourselves and our businesses. I found an interesting blog on this topic by Jim Haudin imploring his readers to think we not me, to search outside themselves to find their lifes work.  He writes, In the words of Bill Taylor, the cofounder of Fast Company, the more executives, entrepreneurs, and talented individuals that I get to know, the more I become convinced that true happiness and genuine success does not come from finding yourself, but in losing yourself. “Losing yourself in a company you can believe in, a cause that you are prepared to fight for, and a commitment to a problem that has defied a solution”.

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