We recently connected with Chelsea Mtchell and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Chelsea thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. Setting up an independent practice is a daunting endeavor. Can you talk to us about what it was like for you – what were some of the main steps, challenges, etc.
I remeber as if it all happened yesterday. I was just a cosmetologist with a dream. I had met many successful stylist who grew up in an urban environment, yet still hit the 6 figure mark in just a few years of working. I always said, “Why not me?” I am confident, gifted and talented and young. What do I really have to lose. I didnt realize that one day i would have to eat those words. Right before my career hit off, i began to go throw a personal detox. My brother told me that he careful who you call your friends , what you think about yourself and what activities you engage in. He saw that there was greater in me and that I needed to live up to the Shelby brand. At that time i was going through alot. Emotionally and physically. Yet, i knew that there was greater for me. I remember the great saying, that a dream is hope deffered. I would watch my father he believed he could do anything. He would start multiple businesses, some would work while others failed. However n it never destroyed his confidence. I was taught by him to never be afraid of anybody and that you are never beneath but above the richess man in the room. Even though in reality i was just a poor black girl living in the ghetto with big dreams. Against all ods I one l knew that i could excel. I think one of the biggest challenges to starting a business venture: is birthing a belief bigger than you. You have to almost see yourself walking in that boardroom landing the big deal, before it completly manifests on your reality. Some get their confidence from religion, family and peers. Wherever you find it, it must be maintained and kept.
The next step i would say to the young entrepreneur who want to grow in business; is to have perserverance. I can’t tell you how many times people have conted me out. Ive been told “You won’t make it as a hair hairstylistn” or Do you make enough money to own your hair salon?, I even have one more…. Do you have enough clientele to really own this building. I have heard it all. My father always told me to be kind even to those who are envious, mean and who belittle me . Just smile and waive. Your revenge will be won by your ultimate come up. My father also taught me how to play chess. It was like there is a mindset to win. You can’t go around fighting over the small stuff, keep your eyes on the prize. Feeling uncomfortable, dealing with criticism is nothing compared to the rearward that you will reap at the end of your harvest.
I remember times i could barely afford to ride the bus or needed to borrow $20 just to eat off food for the entire week. Now because I chose not to give up i have enough earnings to eat or daily and treat others if i desire . Pain and difficulty is part of the process.
Lastly, In closing, I will say make sure that whatever you decide to do in business in is ” Your True Passion,”. Some people get in business for all the wrong reasons. For example: some start a business to quit there job in a field that they know little to nothing about. With the amount of adversity that you seek go through, your will need to pick a field that is your specialized niche. Not something that will make you look cool, or that made your uncle rich. You must choose something that comes like a natural talent to you. I believe that this concept births the best business. With this philosophy greed, mistreatment of others would never be an option. At the end of the day, some things are bigger then money. I hope that this will inspire all the new and old entrepreneurs that are looking to to grow in their new business. I wish everyone prosperity and peace.
Chelsea, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I began my cosmetology career at the age of 12. I began cornrowing and getting paid $10- $20 for my services. I later took cosmetology at my high school TC Williams; where Patricia Farrah and Stacey Rue were my first mentors. Later i recived my first internship Ann Wielsh Salon. She was a very friendly Irish last that loved cats and had a heart of gold. The were very nurturing to me as a hair stylist . I loved that she gave us pizza every Saturday.
If you could go back in time, do you think you would have chosen a different profession or specialty?
No, I finally decided that whatever field i go in. I must love it. I love doing hair and helping others its my passion.
What’s been the most effective strategy for growing your clientele?
One of the best strategies for building a clientele is being personable. No one wants to do business with people who are rude and not kind.
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