The other day I went to a salon looking for some new beauty-consultant-type people. When you’re new in town, and really don’t have any recommendations, there’s no way to really know where to start when you need to get your hair cut, or your nails done or whatever whatever. So basically, I went in blind.
No big deal. What I was having done wasn’t life altering in any way. Superficial beauty treatments usually aren’t. Especially the ones that take an hour or less. (Unless it’s a bikini wax, but we won’t go there!)
As we got started, I asked the sweet lady about a part of the service which I mistakenly assumed she would either include, or at least be able to offer. It wasn’t any different from what I was having done, except for the type of product she was using. (No, it wasn’t purple hair color, though we all know that could come up again at some point.) To my great surprise, and extreme disappointment, she’d never seen, nor heard of this product (as well as a few others), even though it is something I’ve been using for at least a decade.
I asked how long she’d been in her current profession, to which she replied more than twenty years.
In my head: “What? How can you possibly have been doing this for so long and NOT know about this?” (I would like to point out that this was in my head, because I was so stunned, I didn’t really know how to respond politely, so I just smiled.)
She followed up with: “No one’s ever asked for anything new before.”
And there, my friends, is the REAL problem. Not because no one has asked for anything new, but because she is sitting around WAITING for someone to ask before she bothers to:
A. Train in new techniques
B. Try new things
C. Experiment with new ideas
D. Attempt to better her own skills
E. Keep up with current market trends
As a writer, it is my JOB to keep up with all of those things I just listed. Not because someone asks, or because someone else thinks I should, but because progress = each individual person taking the initiative to move forward of his or her own accord. That’s how we succeed, no matter our chosen profession.
The cute lady in question didn’t do a bad job. In fact, except for her inability to offer that one thing, I found her rather skilled. Unfortunately, I’m afraid I won’t be returning to her for the service, because she simply cannot offer what I need. I’m a regular customer who will, sadly, have to keep searching for my beauty people.
Don’t be the person who loses a job, or a publisher or agent or client or whatever, just because you don’t keep up.
*climbs off soapbox*
What are you doing to better yourself or your skills this week?