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Monday, September 30, 2013

Lessons from the Naja

     This crazy road I've traveled with Nail Talk Radio has had many twists and turns but one of the best parts has been working with Naja Rickette. Last night she announced she is stepping down as co-host, but I know she is truly stepping up. So many opportunities are opening up for this gal and I am so excited for her. As a tribute I want to share what I've learned from Naja.

It's never too late to be who you are supposed to be. Naja  is proof positive of this. After starting her work career in the culinary field she took a risk. Threw caution to the wind, left her comfy surroundings and went in search of a new career. I know she said her only criteria for a new job was to not have to trapped in any type of uniform but her search was definitely more calculated than that. When she packed her car and moved across the country with $300 it was a game changer both personally and professionally. As long as I've known Naja she is a woman evolving. Constantly learning, growing, searching for what is next for her and her career. Being open to opportunities that may have rattled others, she embraces her doubts, her fears and moves ahead never allowing herself to be held back.  This takes boldness.

So the second thing I'll remember is to BE BOLD! Making a total life change takes chutzpah. Taking on a new career in one of the toughest cities to do it, definitely bold. Stepping out into the editorial free lance world without a whole lot of experience has to be one of the boldest moves to make in the nail game but Naja took the leap and figured it out during the process. I just love this about her. Too many of us wait for the ideal set up, timing, situation and we get stuck. Stuck in our fear, or insecurities, or whatever haunts us. The fact that she had a fear of speaking and now is an on air personality is amazing to me. To get what we want we must walk through the hot coals of our own self doubt.

     It's business not personal. Working as a front desk coordinator at a spa she recognized an opportunity. So many clients were trying to get in on Sunday or Monday and so many of the salons in the area were closed on these days. Naja saw an opportunity, recognized a need and set out to fill it. Going to nail school was purely a business decision to take advantage of a hole in the market place. Finding that hole automatically set her apart from her competition. Willing to do what others were not to advance takes a certain insight. As I watched her on LA Hair she was always focused on the business side of nails. Protecting her investment in herself and her self worth is such a great example to fellow professionals. Naja never backs down from a business battle. I have seen this first hand. I strive to be as committed to the business side of this profession and have learned so much about charging what you are worth and behaving in a professional manner. From showing up on time to a set, which is really one half hour early to protecting a fellow professionals reputation Naja is always on point with a strong work ethic. Her business mind is keen and she never lets the emotional side of the business interfere with decisions. If we don't protect our investments in ourselves who will? I love this quote "You've got to work like it's your first day on the job every day. That's what I do, work hard, laugh later." This is what separates the  good from the great. I think it's bad advice to tell people that just showing  up is half the battle. They will get half the rewards. You must show up to work, nothing is outside your job description when the project is on the line. Do more than you are asked, with a smile and you will be asked back. Simple as that. I know my spirit  continues to be enriched knowing this amazing woman and I hope to carry many of her Naja-isms with me always. I look forward to seeing what is next for her and continuing to be inspired.
Pajama nail party Gatlinburg 2012
Thanks for the memories Naja xo

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