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Celina Rydeén @celinaryden shares her latest creation

I’m excited to get started on this new series on business-related topics. But before we even begin to address any of the topics we have in store for you, there is something that you must understand if any of the recommendations and advice that we provide you are to end up adding value to your business: that mindset matters more than skill. As someone who has been a trainer, a manager, and an entrepreneur across very different industries, I’ve come to learn a lot about how to transfer knowledge, how to effect change, and about leadership. Let me provide you a bit of background so you can understand where I’m coming from.For over the last couple of decades I’ve led 2 parallel (professional) lives. I started training in martial arts in my late teens and it quickly became my passion. Shortly thereafter, I went off to college and started my path into the corporate world all while still training in self-defense on nights

and weekends. As my career in the corporate world evolved into managing people and projects, so did my involvement in personal defense; I started teaching it and not only training in it. My progression through the world of personal defense exposed me to training—and training with—a lot of people and organizations whose job performance was a matter of life and death. Namely, law-enforcement, military, and security personnel. On the corporate side, the stakes weren’t as high as that, but still significant considering that as the business grew (as well as my responsibilities), my decisions carried the weight of millions of dollars. Having access to those two very different worlds helped me be a much better leader in business and a much better personal defense instructor. All of the details could fill a book, but today I’m going to reveal to you the most important factor in all of this: mindset. If you embrace this concept, you will have improved results in everything that you do; from your business, to personal relationships. That’s why I want to address it before anything else. What is mindset? It’s the mentality with which you approach anything in life: tasks, challenges, work, relationships, etc. I like to break it down into a couple of components: attitude and perspective. Both are interrelated but let’s look at each one individually:


Attitude is the general approach and demeanor that we have when we do anything—the energy that we bring into any situation. We usually categorize people’s attitudes as being positive or negative, but for the purposes of self-improvement I like to categorize them as either constructive or obstructive. We can go into something with an attitude that will work with us and help us build (constructive), or an attitude that constantly works against us and precludes us from progressing (obstructive). Reality check: how would you categorize your general attitude?It’s important to note that our attitude is hard-wired to a large extent (all things being equal). The positive outliers are those lucky few who tend to be naturally positive; they are way ahead of the game and tend to be more successful (BTW-I measure success in happiness and level of satisfaction in life not in financial terms, although there is a strong correlation there as well). The bulk of the population tends to have positive attitudes about the things they already like, and negative attitudes about the things they don’t like, or know little about. The negative outliers, on the other hand, are the few at the bottom who are naturally inclined to be negative about most—if not all—things (we call them cynics). The good news for the vast majority of us in the middle and the bottom of this scale is that it is possible to improve our attitude if we are proactive about it (more on that shortly).Look at the columns below and the adjectives I listed under each section. Afterwards, think of situations in which you came across or worked with someone who exhibited any of those qualities. What was the experience like?

I bet that those people who showed any of the characteristics on the constructive side were easier to work with and be around than those who exhibited obstructive qualities. The list under both sections could be infinitely long, but for the sake of brevity I only included my top 5. What adjectives would you add? 


Perspective is the point of view from where we look at things—putting things in a particular context. As I mentioned earlier, both attitude and perspective are interrelated. It has been my experience that those who are hard-wired to have a positive attitude don’t need much perspective, they’re just positive by nature (those bastards), but they’re a small minority. Unlike attitude being largely pre-determined, perspective is something that we must actively work at in order to help us shift our attitudes. 

Let me provide an example of how this works. Let’s say that a person gets fired from their job. That’s something that would demoralize most of us. Depending on the circumstances, this can lead the person to call into question her abilities, worth, and despair about the future. As a result, this perspective will lead them to an obstructive attitude. How useful do you think that attitude will be when it comes time to find a new job? Not very. In fact, it could preclude her from getting a job at all, or at best end up with a job of lower quality as the previous one. In order to have the best results she will have to find a way to get into a constructive attitude. This is where a proactive perspective comes into play. By actively looking for the positive aspects of one’s situation, life, or past, it’s possible to pull ourselves out of that negative spiral and end up in a more positive—or at least neutral—headspace. This opens the door to a constructive attitude. 

The perspective(s) that one needs to put their situation in a healthier, more positive context will vary from person to person. One of the most common and effective perspectives is one of gratitude; thinking about how many other people find themselves in worse circumstances, or realizing how many people (friends, family, co-workers, etc.) you have supporting you during difficult times. Being thankful for the people around you and realizing that things could be much worse can go a long way in lifting your spirits. Another perspective can work is pride, not the deadly sin, but the one you earn through accomplishment. When we think back on all our accomplishments and the challenges we have overcome, it can be incredibly empowering. Again, the perspectives that people use to put themselves in a more positive space will vary and it’s important for you to find what those “touchstones” are for you. The more you work on this, and the better you pinpoint what brings your positive energy up and puts you in a position where you can adopt a constructive attitude, the easier this exercise becomes.

The reason why all of this is important—especially when it comes to your business—is because of how few people recognize just how impactful mindset is. A common thread among most of the businesses and independent contractors that Liz and I have consulted over the years is the belief that skill is the most important aspect of their business. They believed that as long as they can do excellent work (nails, hair, makeup, etc.) that the rest will work itself out. It doesn’t. While skill is important, the reality is that it is only your ticket to the game; it creates the possibility to have a business, but in order to maintain or grow it you must have a strong mindset to deal with the other challenges that all businesses face. 

If I had to pick one of the attitudes that I have observed yield the best results in the most areas it would be accountability. The reason is that if one embraces accountability, it can draw out any other positive quality necessary to get the job done. Accountability means that you take ownership of the situation; you are invested in the outcome, and are confident that you have the power and ability to effect change. Think of the inverse: not believing that you have any power or control over your circumstances, and that everything is up to chance or other people. How disempowering is that? This is what we usually refer to as a “victim mentality”; the most toxic and obstructive attitude there is. Avoid it at all costs. 

There is a lot more that can be said about mindset, but I hope that you get an idea of what it is and how important it is to your success. For now, start analyzing your mindset (attitude and perspective) as you do different things (work, deal with family/friends, meet knew people, do your hobby), and take note as to which cases you find yourself in a constructive mindset versus an obstructive one. Throughout this series about improving your business, mindset will be a key part of every topic even it isn’t mentioned. The success with which you absorb and implement what we teach you will be largely dependent on your mindset so start working on it and stay tuned for our next entry in this series.

Until next time,

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Whether we’re looking for new quality products to offer our customers or creating educational content, I hope it’s evident to most of you that we strive to add value to the individual nail tech in every possible way. We aspire to elevate the industry by helping techs become more proficient in their craft and more profitable in their businesses. Over the last couple of years, our focus has been on helping techs become more technically adept. The reason being, that from managing a salon and our many travels across the country and abroad, we observed how many techs struggled with even the most basic techniques when it comes to using gel. Moreover, since many nail schools still put more emphasis on acrylic than on gel, it’s clear to us that this issue is not likely to improve much anytime soon...READ THE FULL POST HERE


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Coffee tastes have changed so much that I remember around 2012, introducing a much more acidic coffee into our blend thinking we were going to lead customers into a new experience of flavour, only to be dismayed on day one with customer’s dissatisfaction with a fruitier and more flavourful coffee. Coffee is after all the seed of a fruit. From then on, we began to work at a gradual pace, turning up the brightness a little, season after season. Today we can proudly craft a coffee with notes of lemon meringue, strawberry or passionfruit and find people on all sides of the counter are learning and developing their pallets.

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In addition to emphasizing education, we also strive to share all the things we've learned about the nail industry and all its ups and downs. And as we learn more, we want to continue to pass the knowledge onto others. We are committed not only to bringing you important topics but also the best information about ways to get the most out of your nail career.