They say that the success always comes after the struggle. If that’s true, it explains why 2019 was such a great year…because 2018 was HARD! I could say I spent most of 2018 coming face to face with myself, my downfalls, my selfishness and the decisions I had made that lead me to a place I didn’t want to be.
But failure is just success in training and in 2019, I took the lessons of the past and applied them. This year was probably one of the best years of my life. I accomplished so much!
I started this year with over $50,000 of debt, working for a food company that I loved eating at but didn’t love my job. Food service is not for me and while I learned to expand my stress thresh-hold, I definitely did not want to do this forever. So, I started dreaming about doing hair full time again but I knew I didn’t want to go back to working for someone else. The salon environment can be rough and I have learned that my big personality doesn’t bode well with the big egos that come with big salons. I decided to take a chance on me and sign a private room. Every day, my only goal was to make rent and be able to cover my supplies…maybe grow a little more than last month.
While I was working my 9-5, I built my little hair business and finally gave it a name: Tally Beauty Girl. For years, I’ve wanted to relaunch my beauty blog (formally beautyfinish) but this time I wanted to make an impact. I started working with Grova Creative on my logo, branding, and the framework of what I wanted to bring to life. They did a phenomenal job on my brand and it’s exactly what I wanted. I highly recommend it.
I also had a very good friend tell me about this budgeting program called Financial Peace University. My first month renting my little studio was pretty lucrative but I’m embarrassed to say I spent every last dollar on stupid things I didn’t need. My spending addiction was a rude awakening. I learned that it was the root of a lot of issues in my marriage and why we couldn’t ever quite seem to save much. What a surprise!
Each week my husband and I watched (while I cried) Dave Ramsey deliver hard truths. We sat down, wrote out our goals to get out of debt FAST! We committed to each other that we would move the needle. Every dollar I brought in above expenses in my hairdressing went toward our debt.
While working full time slinging food, growing more and more each month doing hair, I was also deep in prep for my first fitness competition. Every gram of food I ate was measured, I drank over a gallon of water a day, I trained 6 days a week for 3 hours at a time. I worked non stop and somehow managed to launch the blog on March 28, just 2 weeks before I stepped on stage for Europa Orlando!
I also finally got my LLC filed and had a real business!
When I look at the revenue of my little business in April, it took a major hit. April was a rough month because the final weeks of prep, I was eating less than 1000 calories a day, while still training hard and working full time in catering. I was exhausted, cranky and crawling toward my show date.
I traveled down to Orlando for my show and somehow managed to win the first trophy I’ve ever received! I placed 5th in Masters (competitors over 35 years old) and in Overall! I couldn’t believe it. I absolutely fell inlove with the sport and the ladies I met backstage. I can’t wait to do it again! Click here to see what I did back stage.
Coming home was a reality check though. After a show, especially a first show, can be a real smack in the face. You’ve worked your butt off (literally, I had no butt haha) for 5 months, accomplish a big goal, and I felt like the sum total of all my work collapsed on top of me.
I was at a real crossroads. I no longer had my competition to distract me from how much I didn’t want to be in food service but that salary tho…Tally Beauty Girl was doing great but the salon I was at wasn’t the best fit for me. I wasn’t confident in the ground underneath me, so taking the next step was terrifying.
Nothing centers me like the ocean so after a beach trip with some friends, I knew what I had to do. Or rather, I knew what I couldn’t do one minute longer. I left the food company and decided to just go for it. If things at the salon didn’t work out, it wasn’t the only place I could do hair. I decided to keep my head down, my mouth shut and focused my business.
While business was great, it hadn’t quite replaced my cushy salary and I worked effortlessly to fill my calendar (you may have received a friendly Facebook message asking if you needed a hairdresser this month!) My husband and I had planned to take our anniversary trip to Savannah this month, but after looking at the budget and our goals, we decided to wait. Instead, I decided to focus on my business and take a balayage class! Balayage has been trending hard on the market and I loved the results. It had been years since I took a color class and this one was worth every penny! I became a certified Balayage artist and decided to run a special in July.
This month was a real eye opener for me. My balayage promotion was a hit and my clientele was growing! I couldn’t believe how well everything was going but still didn’t feel like I was in the best place for what I envisioned my business to be. I desperately wanted to create community with my clients and my tiny little studio wasn’t going to work…
A few months back, the owner of Beauty & Grace had invited me to come take a look at her sweet hair parlour. It was exactly the place that could host events and the location was perfect. I parted ways with my little studio and moved over to Killearn.
But first…my husband and I took a quick trip to Jacksonville to see LIVE and Bush. Let me tell you Gavin Rossdale is still fire but his dance moves are definitely obvious that he’s got kids!
My new hair home was more cost effective than my studio and my husband were plowing away at our debt. I did however get a rude call from 2018…one word: TAXES! Gross. I thought I had paid enough but Uncle Sam is greedy and I got smacked with a $4500 tax bill I wasn’t ready for. Since we were still putting all my extra hairdressing money toward debt, I was able to crush this pretty quickly and continue moving on.
I also had the opportunity to share my story on the How I Got Here Podcast. It was the first time I heard my own story spoken out loud. What I learned is how often I’ve walked my own journey alone and I am still figuring out how to be okay with that…
Life can’t be all work and no play so my husband and I decided to adventure up to Minnesota to visit my in-laws for their anniversary! We went to Prince’s museum, the Conservatory Arts Museum, a brunch with Alice in Wonderland and my brother in law and I binged on Schitt’s Creek. It was a much needed break from a busy year!
This was my first holiday season back as a hairstylist and it. was. busy! I love what I do so I worked every day in November through Thanksgiving. I regret nothing. It was a great month and I am so thankful to be so requested!
I also finally decided to invest in the product line that stole my heart nearly a decade ago: PHYTO. I absolutely love the philosophy that this brand is built on and that it is entirely botanical. Recommending a hair care line with ingredients I understand and can explain has been so fun!
I took sometime to plan for 2020 budgeting and I’ve got to say: Numbers are fun! I’ve always imagined my financial goals, but seeing them on paper and knowing that I can actually make them real life is very exciting.
The last month of the year for me is always a time for reflection. I like to look back and consider what I did well, what I learned, what challenged me and what I will apply to next year.
If you notice, I started this article talking about how it was the best year. However, it was not without it’s challenges, pivots, unpleasant surprises and hardships. I persevered and my husband and I have paid off over $35,000 in debt, saved, and we have big goals for 2020.
How was your 2019? Did you accomplish everything you set out to do? What were your set backs? What did you learn?
Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you.