What makes a successful salon owner? (Video)

Need some inspiration and motivation? Got 3 minutes? Then watch this video – I love it. In this TED talk Richard St. John captures the very essence of what you need to focus on if you want to succeed in your hair or beauty business.

It’s down to earth, common-sense and very do-able. Watch out for the great acronym at the end of the 8th point – priceless advice to salon owners!

Richard interviewed 500 of the world’s most successful people and distilled the results into ‘The 8 Traits Successful People have in Common’.

And in case you want to mull over his advice I’ve made some notes and added my thoughts below.

So if you want to be a (more) successful salon owner click below. Enjoy – I did.


What leads to success in business?

A couple of years ago, whilst sitting on a plane, Richard was asked by a young student “what leads to success?”

Intrigued, he set about interviewing 500 of the most successful people in the world.

The result? He concluded you need a combination of the following eight characteristics.


Become a successful salon business owner

Passion. “Do it for love. Not money”. If you find something really interesting and love it, as many in the hair or beauty businesses do, then your chances of success are much greater. And most likely the money will follow this passion.

Work. Rupert Murdoch told him, “It’s all about hard work. Nothing comes easily. But I have a lot of fun” Richard suggests becoming a “work-a-frolic” not a workaholic. I can really relate to this one.

Good. “To be successful put your nose in something and then get good at it”. Richard advices there is no magic. No silver bullet. It’s practice, practice and practice. I think most salon entrepreneurs would agree with this.

Focus. “I think it all has to do with focusing yourself on one thing”. It’s too easy to become distracted in a busy business. Take time regularly to re-focus on salon priorities.

Push. “Push yourself. Physically, mentally, you gotta push, push, push.”

Richard stresses you need to push yourself through shyness and self-doubt. He quotes successful actress Goldie Hawn, “I always had self-doubts, wasn’t good enough, wasn’t smart enough. I didn’t think I’d make it.”

Serve. It is not all about you. As Richard says “millionaires serve others something of value”. As a salon entrepreneur work on developing this “something of value” for your salon business.

Ideas. “I had an idea – founding the first micro-computer software company” – Bill Gates. Bet we all wish we’d had that one.

When it comes to how to generating ideas for your salon business Richard suggests this is easier than you think. You need to:

Be Curious
Ask Questions
Problem Solve
Make Connections


Persist. The final trait of a successful salon business owner. “Persistence is the number one reason for our success” – Jo Kraus, co-founder of Excite.

This is probably the most powerful trait according to Richard. He emphasises you have to be able to persist through failure. As he puts it, persist through the C.R.A.P. Which stands for Criticism Rejection Assholes Pressure.


Find out more about Richard St. John at his website.

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