We recently connected with Natasha Ickes-Saman and have shared our conversation below.
Alright, Natasha thanks for taking the time to share your stories and insights with us today. What was it like going from idea to execution? Can you share some of the backstory and some of the major steps or milestones?
I call my ideas- and I get a lot of them- divine downloads. Whether you call it a spark of your imagination, a big dream or a crazy idea- we all have them and I believe we should honor them. As a young woman who had worked a series of retail jobs I intensely disliked, by age 20 I knew I was ready for a career I loved. I wanted freedom, fun and a great income. That led to me becoming a hairstylist and eventually a salon owner. When I decided to actually open my own salon there were so many components to consider. So I created a list where I had my big goals with the steps necessary to achieve them. Then I made sure to complete at least 5 goals per week. They ranged from legalizing my business (getting a business license, sellers permit and zoning permits from my city) to decorating my space (purchasing equipment, installing floors and painting the walls). It is important to work backwards. Start with your big goal, then write down everything necessary to achieve it.
I had my salon for close to 10 years before Covid. During the pandemic I was stuck at home for close to 6 months. During that time I had another divine download- I wanted to write a book and launch a new career. So I wrote the book, got the cover designed, self published and learned how to be my own PR. The book won 3 awards and became a best seller and pretty soon I was traveling the world to speak on my life and experiences. Most recently I delivered a TEDx talk which I am so excited about.
I currently run my salon, am a certified life coach and international motivational speaker. I always have a new idea and the biggest key to my success has been to keep my eye on the bigger picture, whatever dream that I have. But also to break down the process into bite size steps that I can actually take. If you have a dream it’s for a reason, you just have to follow it and never give up.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
My name is Natasha Ickes-Saman and I am an eclectic, multi passionate business owner. I am the owner & lead stylist of Shear Passion Salon. We focus on locs, extensions, color and natural hair. We also pride ourselves on giving back by regularly providing free haircuts to homeless men, women and children throughout the Bay Area. Sometimes we are in homeless shelters volunteering and other times we set up on the street with clippers and generator providing services to whoever shows up.
I also mentioned being an author. It started as a way to connect, to be open about my struggles and the ways I overcame them. It blossomed into more than I could ever imagine. Eventually it led to me creating a series of courses. One of which is a free Art of Manifestation Course. This essentially shares how to identify and manifest your dreams, the vision board method that actually works and how to shorten the distance between where you are and where you’re going. It did so well that I launched another course – The 90 Day Book Writing Challenge. This is a hands on, live course where I give you the frame work to simplify and speed up the process of writing your book.
Sometimes people ask how my careers connect. My answer is simple- I love transformation. In the salon the transformation is primarily external. In my coaching and courses it is internal and external. Either way I love helping people step into the next version of themselves.
What’s a lesson you had to unlearn and what’s the backstory?
I grew up in a time where we were taught to work hard, that was the key to success. Now don’t get my wrong, I enjoy hard work. I think it is beautiful to invest in yourself and your business. However I was working to the point of self neglect, and that is common for people who are self employed. I often worked 14 hour days. I went years working 7 days a week. I prided myself on being the first one at the salon and the last one to leave. And you know what? It took a toll on my body.
I suffered from chronic migraines up to 5 days per week. I damaged my vocal chords from speaking to clients all day and had to have surgery to correct it. To this day I have to be careful not to over talk or work myself to the point of exhaustion. Then at 33 I began to have high blood pressure despite being a non drinking, non smoking, vegan. It was too much and I was forced to listen to the signs my body was trying to give me.
I drastically reduced my work load. I began working 3-4 days per week in the salon and raised my prices to maintain the same income. It was no problem because I book out several months in advance. I made monthly massages, reiki appointments, visits to the chiropractor and meditation a must. I also purchased equipment for a home gym so I could work out regularly. Now my blood pressure is in the ideal range.
I had to unlearn working myself to the point of self abuse, always putting myself last. Now I love on myself and I am so much happier.
Can you share a story from your journey that illustrates your resilience?
Growing up I dealt with abandonment which led to depression and low self esteem. My first suicide attempt was at 9 years old. By 16 I was a homeless, addicted, high school drop out. Shortly after I had a suicide attempt which left me hospitalized. It was at that point I knew something had to change. I wanted to do better and be better but I didn’t know how. It wasn’t until I learned radical accountability- that my life changed.
Life happens to us all and the only thing we can control is ourselves. When I really understood that lesson my life changed. I enrolled in cosmetology school and launched a profitable career. I was able to afford a home. I got sober. As my life transformed I proved to myself that I am in control, good or bad I am responsible for my life.
I am a naturally emotional person. So I allow myself to deeply feel emotions. If I need to cry for a day I do so. But I put a time limit on my pity party and when that time is up I put my energy towards something positive, towards changing whatever I am upset about.
I learned resilience because I had to, because I knew I could be better than I was and I was determined to make it happen.
- Website: https://natasha-ickes-saman.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/n_shearpassion/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natasha.ickes.s
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/natasha-ickes-saman/
- Other: My Free Art of Manifestation Course- https://www.manifestingmiracles.net/optin The 90 Day Book Writing Challenge- https://bit.ly/90DayBookWritingChallenge