Salon & Spa Owners' Convention speaker in the spotlight: Sharron Lowe

Success coach Sharron Lowe is a keynote speaker at the Salon & Spa Owners’ Convention at Professional Beauty North in October.

We catch up with her about her coaching methods, her book, The Mind Makeover and what you will learn from hearing her speak.

What’s the premise of your success coaching methods and your book?
Everything starts with “tell me what’s right”, rather than what’s wrong. It’s about getting people to see what they can do and are already doing because when you keep focusing on that, the things that aren’t working either fall away or improve.

But I’m a strategic coach too, I grow brands, so I’m very focused on exactly what we need to change or stop doing too. The Mind Makeover is not a “fix-it” book; it’s about harnessing our ability and maximising potential.

One of the endorsements I’m most proud of is from Sue Peart, editor of Mail on Sunday’s You magazine, who said “this book will empower you to achieve anything.”

What makes you someone that salon owners need to listen to and learn from?
The mind makeover process positively impacts performance, results and success which everyone in the audience will want to feel in control of.

As a success coach to global brands such as Chanel, Estée Lauder and Lancôme, I advise and grow brands but I grew up in a family business in Sheffield and I understand small businesses. I started my career studying beauty therapy and business studies then became a beauty consultant in Debenhams. Because of my results I was made area manager and eventually became European director of sales and education for Nina Ricci.

From day one I had a passion for psycho-cybernetics, wthe mind-body connection and the impact our minds have on our life and success. I’ve gone on to coach the greatest luxury brands and retailers, which gave me expertise on success for different personalities and different companies – one size does not fit all. It’s not the numbers that are important. Whether in your salon there are five, 50 or 150 staff, they are your totality and the strategies for success are the same.

For busy salon owners, taking time out of the business often seems impossible. How can they achieve their goals while keeping on top of everything?
All success starts in our thoughts. Most people in business, particularly privately owned businesses, are very focused on actions and what they have to do rather than why and how they are doing it.

When a therapist is doing a treatment I can tell if she’s really connected, which makes it memorable, but I’ve also been in situations where they’re thinking, “I have so much paperwork to do”, and I can sense that because thoughts are 90% of performance. It isn’t enough anymore to be good, you have to be memorable. When you have a mind makeover you realise you can only do one thing well at a time so you might as well be fully in that moment. Mindfulness helps you be more efficient.

What about measurable results. How could mindfulness help you achieve a 20% business growth, for example?
You can employ a strategy that’s been proven to increase revenue in the past but maybe in your head you don’t believe it’s possible or you’ve allowed external influencers to dilute your belief. By that I mean perhaps you’ve had a coffee with a person who’s negative about your idea.

It influences you and you start to feel a little bit of doubt. The mind makeover process teaches us “I’m in control of my mind and my thoughts”. You need to be able to meet someone who has a negative opinion of your goals and block them in a way that means you can still have the conversation but it doesn’t impact your actions.

What’s your advice to a salon owner who feels they’ve tried everything but nothing is working?
Listen to your inner voice. If it’s saying “I can’t” then I’m not one of those speakers who’s going to tell you “yes, you can”. It has to come from your inner voice, which is a very private thing. Ask, “what am I actually saying to myself?” Maybe your inner voice is doubt, the enemy, and not belief, the friend? I’ll explain how you can change that by working out why you feel it and how to take control.

Words have a big impact on results. Change the word failed to learned and watch your results change. You can look at, for example, a promotion you ran and say it failed, or you can say “it didn’t work to our expectation and what I’ve learned from that is I need to do it a different way next time”.

When you cultivate this mindset, positive ideas will flow. You’ll start thinking, “I’ve got to find another way to do it, so maybe I’ll research salons who’ve done something similar and succeeded”. Straight away, who’s taking control? You are because you’ve moved your thoughts into the future of your business instead of getting stuck in the past.

What do you do if you find yourself in a situation that throws you?
I’ll get a pen, write down what I did, why it happened, what I think about it and what I could do differently. I go through the exercises in my book that allow me to, as quickly as possible, move out of it and back into the future.

Being successful doesn’t mean bad things will never happen, it means you have a set of tools to deal with them differently. I believe in visual thoughts and when I wrote my book I visualised it being featured in You magazine, because it has such a high readership. People said it was impossible. So, I had to go through the exercises in the book to make sure I didn’t take on the opinion of others.

In the end my book got four pages of coverage in You, which is unheard of for a book of this genre. That got seen and picked up by Hello, Marie Claire and others, which ultimately led me to where I am today.

I’m not telling you this to impress but rather to impress upon other business owners how important it is to keep your own counsel. I practise every day and the success of my business began in my mind, just as the success of any salon or spa business all begins in the mind of the owner or manager.

Sharron Lowe’s keynote speech “Makeover your mind to secure future business success” will take place at 11.30am on Monday, October 23 as part of the Salon & Spa Owners’ Convention North 2017 at Manchester Central exhibition centre. For more details and to book tickets, visit here