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What To Do As A Nail Tech That Is Stuck In A Rut?


Do you feel like your nail career is losing momentum? Wonder why you feel stuck and alone? How can you ever get back on the bright side of nails? Feeling this way about work is a bummer for beginners. Hitting the wall after more than a handful of years is its own kind of pain for the long time pro. Let’s examine what really happens when you’re down and out. Maybe we can offer you a few ways to find your way up.

So you’re stuck in a rut and really struggling. Maybe you’ve been at this for two to three years and can’t seem to capture a steady clientele. This is such a common problem in the nail tech community. In our experience, you often have to hit the wall right before a major breakthrough. Without the dark, there can be no light. Right now, give yourself the gift of awareness. Give yourself credit for what is going right no matter how small, boring or mundane. Look how far you’ve come. Down in the dump feelings can mask some of the charmed parts of your reality. This moment will not last forever. In truth, it can’t all be going wrong. Break through with a little self-compassion and stop beating yourself up. Take some advice from Life’s Little Instruction Book, “Spend your time and energy creating, not criticizing.”

After you’ve had a little cry and enjoyed a little self-soothing, it’s time to face your challenges. Make a list of what you feel good about and what needs improvement. If something doesn’t feel right, ask yourself constructively how you might be doing it wrong. Mull it over. What’s wrong might be something like a toxic salon environment, an unsupportive “support” group, or a nail technique that could use some extra attention from a mentor or an enrichment class. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Life is long and your strategy should always be constant self-improvement one day at a time. Enjoy how far you’ve actually come.

You are worthy of a great nail career. Now it’s time to believe it, even if your confidence isn’t at 100%. Find ways to boost your confidence and connect with someone for professional and emotional support. Maybe you’re not promoting or marketing consistently or you haven’t increased your pricing to match your talent. This is about growing little by little every day. You don’t have to figure out solutions on your own; a fellow nail tech or business mentor can provide perspective. You can always direct message us here at Young Nails, too. Most people can be dismissive about the nail profession. They can be blind to all the business difficulties we face, especially today. We look at the nail profession as a true gift and a great opportunity to become an entrepreneur.

You’ve got the cosmetology license. Yet like life’s most rewarding experiences, your nail career doesn't come with an instruction manual. Instead it’s the awkward stumbling, flailing and humbling moments that prepare us to step into our greatness. From our failures, we gain the objectivity to truly see ourselves. When you reach out to say this is hard. We hear you. We feel you. We’ve been there. It’s taken us over 13 years to hit our stride. We made many mistakes along the way. Today, we face any problems that come up. No matter what level of whack-a-mole, we trust ourselves to find a solution. We also know that there are no perfect solutions; just the ability to make adjustments as needed. With every tough decision, we get better at assessing the situation. Most importantly, we get better at making changes (sometimes counterintuitive ones) in order to play the long game. This is the most important life lesson.

Sometimes we’ve become so attached to the money and time we’ve invested, that we cannot possibly imagine a change of course. We throw good money after bad; even if we aren’t seeing positive results. We find ourselves trapped with regrets and tethered to a bad situation. For us, success is tweaking the equation, taking notes, and moving forward. It’s knowing that we have a choice and we can change any time we want to. We can recognize those people, places, or things in our lives that no longer serve us. We can always make the adjustments to fine tune our businesses. This goes out to the nail tech who feels like they’re in the wrong salon location, with the wrong professional crowd and where they’re not allowed to promote themselves. It’s easy to want to commit after all the time already invested. If it doesn't feel like it’s working out, our advice is to get out right now. There’s no point in staying in a situation if you’re miserable and deep down you know it's a wrong fit.

So what should you stick with? You have to try everything and be willing to make mistakes. This is how you make informed decisions and beat the rut. Fighting against change all the time is exhausting. Change is actually not hard. It’s the people who fight change that make it hard. If you are not changing things up and getting out of your comfort zone; you’re going to feel down. Try something new. Try something that scares you just a little. Get ready for that feeling to start to resemble excitement. Push your boundaries and start feeling refreshed. Throw on that party playlist, keep going and experiment your way out of a rut.

**This is an adaptation from our YN Biz Talk playlist on YouTube, BIZ TALK: WHAT TO DO AS A NAIL TECH THAT IS STUCK IN A RUT?

***Follow our YN YouTube Channel and click here to watch the full discussion: