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How To Be A Goal Digger, A Beginners Guide

In this edition of the Biz Talk, we receive a few pearls of wisdom for new nail artists on the block from the extremely talented YN Mentor and our friend Rhiannon (Rhi) Miles. A successful money-making professional nail artist, Rhi has built a thriving career over the past 13 years. What does a profitable professional nail business look like? After a few rocky years laying down the groundwork for her business, all that hard work culminates in a 3 day work week where she provides kick ass services for a select group of happy and healthy clients booked on repeat. Rhi is living her best life, and if this sounds good to you, keep reading to discover how she managed to get in the nail game and how she stays on top!

Back when I started out, I worked full time at a call center and went to cosmetology school at night. I remember the first goal I set for myself was to earn $350 per week. I’m a huge believer in the power of manifestation. I wrote it down. I vocalized it. Then I worked my day job and sat in the salon as often as possible. Any time there wasn’t a client in the chair, I kept busy working on my practice hand.

Wear your own work and hit the streets. Let your nails be seen. Show them off around town specifically in the vicinity of your nail station location. Visit every gas station, coffee shop, bakery, restaurant, grocery store, hair salon, bank, etc. Basically be on the lookout for any potential future clients.

Have a good opening line when you are conducting any kind of transaction. People will always comment on your great set of nails. Be sure to know how to take that compliment and convert it into a chance to sell yourself. Be gracious and grab the opening to let them know you work in the area and could do an awesome set for them, too.

Nail professionals just starting out always want to know how long it takes to get things off the ground. I found a booth and the rent was inexpensive. It took about 8 months for me to get things going; and 2 years to really build up the business to where I could earn on my own. I was working double duty with a full day job; then heading into the salon every night and weekend. Some days I would leave my salon at 10 PM. Before Google, you had the yellow pages listing businesses. I was lucky, my salon started with the letter A; so I guess I got a lot of exposure that way.


To be a professional nail artist, a lot of people don’t understand, that you are first and foremost a business owner. Running your own thing is really challenging. It’s so hard. It can be taxing. You have to put in the hours to reach your goal which was to not work at my day job anymore. It’s crazy to think about even working for anybody else except myself. At the beginning, I would do whatever it took to book a client. If a client asked for 3PM or Sat at 6PM. I said OK. I took every appointment. Even if I had to come and go from the salon several times. It didn’t matter.


Today, it’s different. I have control over my schedule. I stopped working on Saturdays which is a huge deal for professionals. I was totally nervous at first. Now I book late on two days (Tues/Wed) during the week. It can be so hard to even feel comfortable to talk to your clients about any changes to pricing or schedule. I ended up condensing my schedule. I prioritize my health and body, so that I am not punishing myself with my work. In the beginning, there is no choice. This is the only option. Today is so different. It’s cool. Social media has changed the game. It’s easier to build your business now. You can market on your down time and connect to a local clientele on Instagram. You don’t even have to pay for it. You just have to do it with location marketing. You just have to put the time in.

So what does my business look like today? I only work on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. I take my first client at 8AM or 9AM and finish around 8PM or 9PM. I take 10-11 clients a day who are mostly fills. I raise my prices consistently, so I don’t have to work that many hours. I try to raise my prices right before the holidays. I put up a sign and give everyone 6 weeks notice. S they have time to find other people (or I guess get trapped into staying). I charge $70 for a fill. I raise prices $5 a year. So far, I lost 4 clients. I still feel good though. Even if I don’t get tipped, I know that I am charging what I feel like I deserve. You have to have a reason to raise your prices. I literally continue my professional education, by mentoring and always taking classes to improve my work. It’s a process.

This is an adaption from our Young Nails “Biz Talk: Top Piece of Advice for Nail Beginners” playlist on YouTube. Click here to watch the interview in its entirety: