I’m a great believer in embracing the sometimes very difficult challenges life chucks at us and trying to see past the experience to get to the lesson we’re being taught by it. This all sounds great on paper but is much harder to put into practice, of course.
I’ve often said that having your own business is like having a baby that never grows up. You can never stop nurturing, cultivating and motivating it. But a bit like parenthood, the baby itself can teach us many lessons. I recently had this experience with my son. He’s nearly 16 and not academic but has a savviness and tenacity that make me feel he will succeed in life without question. My very academic daughter couldn’t be more different – for all her intellectualism she could never be described as streetwise.
Sometimes our children, our staff or our business can teach us the biggest lessons of all
Strive for success
My son is very sporty but at college he has had to fight for his place in the rugby A team U15 firsts. His teammates really are outstanding and I have no doubt some of them will go on to play for their country like their coach, Will Greenwood, did. He’s never had to work so hard to get off the bench and spent most of last summer pushing weights, passing and spinning the ball with his teammates, and working out.
His college team got to the semi-finals of the Natwest Cup and he was left out of the squad as an injured lad came back to fitness. He was inconsolable. As his mother, for the first time I felt helpless. Will was amazing in building back his confidence; reassuring him that despite being a successful England player, back in college he couldn’t make it past the C team. He also told him he’d rather play with someone as gritty as my son any day.
The coach told my son he could travel with the squad to the match which meant a four-hour round trip. Despite this, he made up his mind to go and watch from the dugout. I’ve never been more proud of him.
Staying positive in the face of disappointing setbacks is a key skill I nurture in my salon team, too. It’s an essential skill to master if you’re ever going to achieve success.
My son’s team won by the narrowest of margins and reached the final, played at Twickenham.
We joked that the only way he’d get back into the squad was if somebody broke their leg – and that’s exactly what happened. My son was back on the bench. Just like I do when I’m facing a business challenge, I told him that if he wanted to play he’d have to use visualisation.
And not visualise it with doubts but set his intention and raise his vibration to actually feel the feeling of running out on to the hallowed turf, creating a try and helping to win the match for his college. With a comfortable lead and a few minutes to go, the coach let the subs on to the pitch and that’s exactly what happened. The elation on his face being awarded his medal will stay with me forever.
Sometimes our children, our staff or our business can teach us the biggest lessons of all in determination. And how sweet the victory feels when the struggle has been so immense. PB
Hellen Ward is managing director of Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa in London, one of the most profitable independent salons in the UK. She is beauty ambassador for The National Beauty Federation (NBF).
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