Once upon a time there was a little girl afraid to speak her mind in fear of retribution. She was afraid to ask questions, and terrified to share an opinion that differed from someone else’s, she just smiled and nodded along with everyone else.
So, nothing changed.
Then she found her lungs and hasn’t shut up since.
Our industry faces challenges due to several factors that vary in degrees across the globe.
- Poor standards and/or lack of standards (health and safety, business licensing etc)
- Unregulated education and unregulated educators
- Lack of standardized education (quality of theory and practical techniques varies greatly)
- Advertising by Brand/Manufacturers and Nailtechs alike, that perpetuates myths and straight up false information
These issues are not unique to our industry alone, so don’t misunderstand me. I’m not disparaging our industry and claiming it’s the worst. There are worse industries out there. However since the Nail Enhancement Industry is the one that interests me, that’s the one we are discussing.
Further up we established that I found my lungs and now I can’t be shut up. I’ll own it. Yes, I have a mouth and I’m not afraid to use it. There have been occasions that I’ve done so to later receive private messages that read as follows
- “You took the words right out of my mouth!! But I can’t say anything or offend my friends who use that brand”
- “I wish I had your courage to say what I think”
- “I stopped teaching for that company because I couldn’t repeat the lies they wanted me to share”
- “way to go! I love what you share. I don’t bother anymore, no one listens”
- “As an Education, I’m not allowed to let anyone know publicly that I use product A instead of that product B from this brand, but in the Salon I use and retail product A. It’s so much better. I hate that Product B changed and we weren’t told!”
- “I love what you said! I love your honesty, why aren’t more people and companies honest?”
That’s a very good question.
Why aren’t more people and companies HONEST.
Here’s an idea. Share your honest thoughts, put them out there. I’m not suggesting go out and start fights. What I’m suggesting is put honest information out there. Share the facts, dispense with the fiction and stop myths right in their tracks. Don’t tolerate false and/or misleading advertising. Speak out against it. Ask Questions and demand explanations. Don’t be false. Don’t smile and nod in agreement if you don’t agree. If you can’t stand behind Product B because the company is doing XYZ, then say so. If you think the school you attended dropped the ball because you have since learned through ongoing education that their curriculum is outdated, or incorrect or whatever; then advise them and point them in the right direction. Is an educator perpetuating the cycle of bad information? Share the right information with her. Does your client think gel is better because her nails can breathe; instead of smiling benignly, correct her and educate her. I’m not suggesting everyone run amok bashing brands or whatnot that they don’t like. I’m talking about combating ignorance and raising the bar.
None of us are JFK, Abe Lincoln, or Pauline Marois (that’s a Quebec thing so unless you’re Canadian, you probably won’t understand that last reference). We aren’t going to be shot at for speaking our minds.
Afraid to lose a friend on Facebook for stating the truth? I do mean truth by the way. Truth based on science and facts, not fiction and not opinion either.
Take it from someone with experience in the matter. I have shared some thoughts that have not been popular. Yes, I did indeed take some flak for that and I still do. Did I lose friends? That would depend on your definition of friend. Am I still standing? YES. I have NOT been shot. Although I dare say that there might be a few that would pull the trigger or at the very least, might high-five me to the face with a chair. To their displeasure, I’m still sitting here yammering away. Sucks to be them.
Let me ask you this – Do you TRULY LOVE this industry enough that you want it to be BETTER than it is? If your answer is a resounding yes, then it’s time for you to come out. Come out from behind closed doors, from the inside of closets and from behind private messages and emails. Come out with pride and use your voice and let it be the voice of change.
For those that say that speaking out changes nothing, my honest reply is not fit for polite company so I’ll just say ‘bollocks’. It DOES change things. I witness the truth of that every single day! It has been proven over and over again throughout history that a strong group of voices CAN produce change!
Come out from hiding and speak up! I can’t hear you!
Things won’t change unless you do.