Monday, March 2, 2009

What coloring your hair can teach you about business

I think I've learned a valuable lesson about multitasking while coloring my hair this morning. Let me elaborate. First, you should you know that I don't really like going to get my hair or nails done. It doesn't feel productive enough and I don't like being pulled away from work. It's too hard to get my groove back. So it will come as no surprise that I color my own hair. I don't have to leave home, it's cheap, and I can do other things while I'm waiting. Each time I do it, I get more into the multitasking aspect of it. Who doesn't love that? Usually, I'll clean the bathroom or bedroom. Today, I decided to work at the same time. I kept running back and forth to my office throughout the process and I guess I got too distracted. This was a mistake. My promo letters are fine, but I can't say the same for my neck, hair, rug (it's white and my hair is brown), and the dog. Everything worked out in the end. I'm sure that residual mark on my jaw will fade quickly. Thank goodness for drive-thru at school!

So, what does this all have to do with business? The key word here is FOCUS. Just like in hair coloring, you have to focus on the necessary steps and follow them all in order. In business, you need to focus on your goal. Make a plan. Follow the steps of your plan, methodically and with focus. It sounds boring, but each little step brings you closer and closer to your dreams.

This incident reminds me of a great book on living your dreams called, Dream Big by Linda Hammond of Femail Creations. She started a mail order catalog business. She, like most of us, was doing most of the jobs in her business. She realized at one point that she had to fire herself from some of those jobs in order to do what she does best. While I'm not ready to fire myself from hair coloring, I will stay more focused on the task at hand.

You can do only one thing at a time. I simply tackle one problem and concentrate all efforts on what I am doing at the moment. —Maxwell Maltz

The first rule of focus is this: "Wherever you are, be there."—Anonymous


  1. I have always thought this, but am also often guilty of multi-tasking. I think that some days it is unavoidable. However, it really is true ~ the more attention you give to one thing at a time, the more productive you can be (and the less errors you make).

    I learned the "fire yourself" lesson from coloring my hair, actually :-) Like you, I resent the amount of time (and money) it takes to get my hair done. And I only get pedicures (because they're too hard to do myself) ~ also resented for the time it takes and leave my fingernails to their own devices.

    Back to my hair coloring event ~ I colored my own hair for years, first for fun, then out of necessity. Several years ago Nice 'n Easy had the nerve to discontinue my favored color which sent me on a quest for a replacement color. After using said replacement color, I found it had way (way) too much red in it. (as in: I don't want any red) Silly me, I went right out and bought a darker brown shade and reapplied it the same night.

    Stupid - right? I know. What resulted was my hairdresser, who got me in the next day after I boo-hoo-ed on the phone - telling me I looked like a punk calico cat. My hair was a deep magenta on top and nearly black on the bottoms. I don't know or care about the science that made this happen, I just know it was my stupidity and it took $100 and 2 hours with my head in a shampoo bowl to sort of fix.

    So, from that day on, I fired myself from doing my hair (my husband voted that this was a good idea) and haven't bought a box of Nice 'n Easy since. But every month I grit my teeth and spend 1-1/2 hour and $$ at the salon. But I no longer look like a calico cat :-)

  2. I often think "Now what's wrong with gray? Gray's a good color. I like gray.... but not on my head!" :)

    Good post. Focus really is important, and I constantly have to remind myself to finish. one. thing. then move on.

    Sorry BJ about the magenta. I know people who dye their hair that color on purpose though ~ are you sure its not "you"?

  3. Sorry about the Who Am I? identity in the above comment. Its Paula Pertile here. I changed my blogger profile, and didn't know I'd actually changed my whole identity along with it! Guess I'd better go fix it...

  4. Yeah, Paula, I am pretty sure that the magenta isn't me :-))

  5. This is awesome advice and a great story!
    Myself, I find it's best if, during that 40 minutes, I sit still here at the computer and don't move my head an inch, don't even kiss the (white) cat if she joins me...but if I am inclined to move around I have found that a lovely Saran-Wrap dew-rag is great for a clumsy multitasker like me and has probably done wonders for my doorways, shower curtain, rugs, and furniture. Oh, and it's a great look. Or...I could learn to better focus! Great advice for those of us whose work naturally intertwines with home-life.
    And for the record, BJ I can't quite picture you magenta but I bet you could totally pull it off :o]

  6. Saw you and following on Twitter. Love your illustrations. I've always wanted to write a children's book! I just posted this blog link on Twitter. So hope it gets you som new followers. Feel free to follow-me back. Blessings, Stacy (@spagirlstacy)


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