What is the secret to a successful business? It seems like everyone is seeking the one and only secret to success, whether in business, life, or happiness. The secret to being successful in almost anything is repetition. You don’t have to make a major or extraordinary management decision every single day. As a matter of fact, if you have to make such decisions over and over, it is an indication that your business is not heading in the right direction.
How the Brain Works in Relation to Success?
The brain consists of billions of neurons, or brain cells. All of our thoughts and actions are the result of connections among brain cells. Some of those connections happened before our birth; these are called “instinct.” “Personality” is those connections that happen in our early childhood. The most important connections among our brain cells happen in our adulthood and are called “habits.” Habits are strong connections between a specific number of our brain cells. The brain makes a map or blueprint for each action by connecting a group of specific brain cells.
When you do a specific task for the first time, you are most likely slow, having to think twice and consciously do it step-by-step with possible mistakes. Over time, the connections among brain cells build up and become stronger and stronger. Eventually, you may not even need to think about the action while you are doing it, for instance, when you are driving a car, riding a bicycle, playing a musical instrument, or completing a task as a beauty professional. You don’t even think about the movement of your hands or how to use your tools because everything is done by a map in your brain. This automation is the habit we spoke about earlier. Our habits are the secret to our success or failure in business and in life.
Habits are the cornerstone of our success or failure in our personal and professional lives. More than 90% of our actions, activities, and thoughts are controlled by our subconscious mind. Your brain makes maps for everything that is in it. For instance, when you are drinking your morning coffee, your brain coordinates the movement of your hands with your mouth and everything else so you can drink your coffee. Everything else in our brains follows the same rules. Our brains coordinate lots of steps to accomplish an activity or thought. We call these “automation” habits. It takes 30 days for the brain to make those automations. During those 30 days, brain cells make necessary connections, and by using them over and over, the connection becomes stronger and more permanent.
If you like learning any new technique as a beauty professional, you have to do it in the right way for at least 30 days. Additionally, if you’d like to change the way you and your team care for your clients, it has to be done in the right way for at least 30 days.
The 30-Days Challenge
Thirty-days changes are not just for business. It applies to almost all aspects of our lives. For instance, if you like to eat healthy, you need to eat healthy no matter what for at least 30 days; then your brain can do it automatically, and it becomes your habit.
To be successful in your business, the first step is to find out your weak and strong points or the things that you need to incorporate into your business. As mentioned before, to move your business towards success, you don’t need to overhaul everything and start from scratch. A few good habits, or eliminating some bad habits, is all that you need.
Let’s explain with an example: Suppose you are doing a Botox injection, and you want to be the best and most reputable in your area. First, you need to spend some time researching the best way of injection, the best candidates for injection, how to inject with less pain, the best care after the injection, and so on. You may need to get an appointment with the most reputable Botox injection specialist in your city and look carefully to see what he or she is doing differently. You can add some extra services to your Botox injection. For instance, spend time before each injection explaining exactly what is going to happen and what the client should expect after the injection. Prepare a luxury, informative pamphlet that explains everything in detail so clients can take it home. You can also have your secretary call your clients once or twice after the injection to follow up. You may also have the clients come back for a free, short follow-up visit one or two weeks after the injection.
After establishing all these practices in your Botox injection business, and repeating them over and over for at least 30 days, they become yours and your team’s habits. At the beginning, it may seem like too much or too weird, but in the time your brain adapts to it, you will become the best and most respected specialist in your area. If you are persistent enough to update and upgrade your injection techniques, and you and your team approach business in a more professional way, it becomes a new habit for you and your team, developing into the culture of your salon.
Developing a Business Culture
When the automation is for one person, we call it a habit, but when a group of people do the same, we call it “culture.” For instance, if everybody in your salon treats the clients the same way, it would be the culture of your team, the culture developed from a group’s habit. The culture of a business is like the personality of a person—It is hard to form and harder to change, but it is the main engine and personality of a business.
Eliminating Bad Habits
Leaving behind a bad habit can be even more important than adopting a new one. We all learn to detect flaws much faster and easier than points of strength. For instance, if you are the best in everything in your business, but have the habit of being condescending to people, people will detect it much faster and get irritated, and that habit alone can downgrade your business.
To eliminate a bad habit, you need to detect it and consciously remove it from your behavior for at least 30 days. You may ask one of your family members or colleagues to charge you $20 whenever you commit that bad habit. If you can control yourself for 30 days, there is a good chance you’ll get rid of that bad habit for forever.
The only problem is when we have a bad habit that we are not aware of. Just ask your family member or colleague an honest question about your bad habits; you may be amazed at what they say, having never realized the need for change.
Building New Good Habits
To start building your new good habits, you can look at your business through the eyes of your clients, or, even better, you may consult with a specialist in the field of marketing and customer care. Identify the bottleneck and what needs to be done to fix it. Don’t try to change everything at once. It will be too much, and tackling it all at once can make you destined for failure.
In a business, you are not the only one that needs to embrace change. There are other people in your business that need to adopt a new habit or eliminate a bad one. Make a timely plan for each habit to adopt or eliminate, and address them one by one. Simply realizing that you need to adopt some good habits and leave behind some bad ones is a big step forward.
You definitely have to look at your team’s habits if you want to have a more successful business. To change the habits or culture of your team, you can explain the 30-days challenge and enforce it by asking your team to observe each other. In case of not following the new habit, encourage them to pay a dollar or two to a charity. The point is to commit to the new habit for at least 30 days so the new habit becomes engraved in your minds.
Keeping New Habits
Everything can be forgotten, including good habits. The brain tries to go back to the old, familiar habit that it has been using for years, even after establishing new good habits. This is especially true when someone on your team is not loyal to the new habits or culture. In this case, you might consider letting that person go. It is best for her as she can find another job that she is more comfortable with, and you can hire someone that is willing to adopt your culture. A group meeting once every couple of weeks or per month is a good remedy for the whole team to review the culture and new habits.
Keep It Simple (KIS)
The changes and new habits should be simple so they are doable. It is extremely hard to change the whole of a person. She will give up eventually sooner or later. For instance, if you want to change the customer service of your business, break it into smaller, simpler parts and, over time, tackle each one separately. Don’t expect yourself or anyone else to be another person overnight.
Matching the Habit with Your Personality
If you are the owner or manager of the business, the changes should be in line with your own personality. All of a business is an extension of its owner or manager. We run our businesses based on our beliefs and values. If the changes are not in line with your personality, no matter how good or brilliant the change, it won’t go anywhere. For example, if you are not disciplined, and you want your business to become more disciplined, it is almost impossible to accomplish unless you hire a disciplined manager or work hard on yourself to become a disciplined person. Remember, making a new habit takes at least 30 days.
Measuring the Result of Your Challenge
The best way to measure the result of your 30-days challenge is to request feedback from your clients or the other people around you. Ask honest questions about the new changes in you or your business. If you find any mismatch between your goals and the current reality, don’t be disappointed. Keep doing what is right until it becomes your habits and culture. For some people, it may take some extra time for their brain cells to make necessary connections to form new habits, but it will eventually happen. Asking for help from professionals is always a good habit. If you have the habit of asking questions, that alone will put you ahead of many people.