Should I make the leap?

F&LLondon

New Member
#1
Evening, and apologies for what will be a long email. I’m early 40s with a young family and currently on mat leave. I work in a very different industry and have a stable job with a reasonable salary. However I have an overwhelming desire to work for myself. When I had my first child I did my level 2 VCT and thoroughly enjoyed learning but didn’t love the college I attended and it really put me off.

I haven’t practiced any treatments for a while and know if I don’t do my level 3 now that I’ll never do it. I have a dream of eventually having a salon but would start working on my own from home to see if I’m any good - but I’m plagued by the following doubts: I worry I wasn’t a natural on the level 2 course - can practice really make me significantly better?My friends and family have been very dismissive as to why I would give up my current job that I studied hard for to do something that might not pay well if I’m no good when I could return to my old job. Are other therapists/business owners happy with the income they make? I worry I’m too old and ‘uncool’ to keep up with current trends and as I don’t look young and glamorous - clients might be put off? I also keep finding the threads on here about things going wrong and I’m quite an anxious person - so the thought of ‘damaging’ someone through a bad treatment terrifies me. If I’m careful and study properly does it really happen a lot? On the plus side I do think my 20 years of work experience have given me some transferable business skills.

In a nutshell, I would just love to hear from anyone similar who ever suffered doubts like the above. And thanks if you are still reading this mammoth outpouring!
 

#2
Evening, and apologies for what will be a long email. I’m early 40s with a young family and currently on mat leave. I work in a very different industry and have a stable job with a reasonable salary. However I have an overwhelming desire to work for myself. When I had my first child I did my level 2 VCT and thoroughly enjoyed learning but didn’t love the college I attended and it really put me off.

I haven’t practiced any treatments for a while and know if I don’t do my level 3 now that I’ll never do it. I have a dream of eventually having a salon but would start working on my own from home to see if I’m any good - but I’m plagued by the following doubts: I worry I wasn’t a natural on the level 2 course - can practice really make me significantly better?My friends and family have been very dismissive as to why I would give up my current job that I studied hard for to do something that might not pay well if I’m no good when I could return to my old job. Are other therapists/business owners happy with the income they make? I worry I’m too old and ‘uncool’ to keep up with current trends and as I don’t look young and glamorous - clients might be put off? I also keep finding the threads on here about things going wrong and I’m quite an anxious person - so the thought of ‘damaging’ someone through a bad treatment terrifies me. If I’m careful and study properly does it really happen a lot? On the plus side I do think my 20 years of work experience have given me some transferable business skills.

In a nutshell, I would just love to hear from anyone similar who ever suffered doubts like the above. And thanks if you are still reading this mammoth outpouring!
What field is it? Hair or beauty?

Vic x
 

Haircutz

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
1. Stop listening to those negative friends and family. Are any of them successfully self employed?
Why aren’t they supporting you? Is it because they’re afraid that you might change?

2. Practice DOES make perfect. I think many people seem to have forgotten that before YouTube and instant gratification was a thing, most tradespeople worked as apprentices and spent years learning and honing their skills.

3. It’s very common for women especially, to change career after having children. Also, clients often prefer an older therapist as they don’t want to feel intimidated by someone with young flawless skin. They value the knowledge and experience that maturity brings.

4. Start by working on your confidence and self esteem issues. You do need to develop a thick skin when running your own business and dealing with the public, because you can’t afford to avoid confrontation.

5. Research lots but keep things in perspective. People post on here asking for advice to resolve specific problems. They don’t generally post just to say ‘everything’s going great’.

Best of luck!
 

F&LLondon

New Member
#5
Thanks very much for taking the time to reply Haircutz. I think you are right in your response and hit the nail on the head in that those judging are not successfully self employed and are also v risk adverse. I also think my confidence is a bit lower than normal because I’ve been in a mat leave bubble. Am hoping when I get back out there this improves. Fingers crossed.
 

RosieR

Well-Known Member
#6
Haircutz has answered so many of your anxiety issues, and her advice is great. I will add that being self employed does not suit everyone!

If you are self motivated and don't need anyone to motivate you to get things done, Then you will find that it will be the best thing for you !

I do not want to put you off, but a few things I felt I wanted to add.

It is not easy, but the rewards are satisfying for someone that is dedicated and consistant.

Do you have good health? :- It may seem a silly question, but illness and getting used to sick leave from work will not be an option. Clients want you to be always available. They can be ill, but you have to drag yourself out of bed. End of.

Have more than a weeks' holiday at a time? : - I say this because my clients moan if I am closed for a week and it doesn't quite suit their holiday arrangements with wax/ pedicure appointments.

Does the idea of having an irregular income not worry you? :- If you can afford to have a wage reduction and live off your partners' salary as was in my case then it is a no brainer.

I am hoping to just add a few more considerations to your decision, and I really do want you to give it a try... Just do it !!! You will not regret it.

Even those of us with decades of experience need a little help from time to time, and it is nice to know that there is usually sound, reassuring advice from this forum.

I know you want to do your level 3, but why not start simple and do mani/pedi/mini facials/ brows/lashes/wax to start with. You can get student insurance, ask at your college whom they may well have an affiliation with .
Gain those clients and as you are studying you could have some money coming in. Your first clients will help with your confidence building. They would probably also be willing for you to practise your new skills on them if you just ask.

As my dad said to me nearly 30 years ago...."Go for it kid!" so I did and am still trading and love, love, love it!

All the best x
 

#7
I am almost 52 and I worked in Beauty consistently for 15 years before packing it in to have my family. I then had a 15 year break from it!! Now my youngest is in secondary I decided I’d like to get back to work. I work from home and there are 2 salons within short walking distance. Despite this I’ve so far been successful. I’ve only been up and running for 9 months and since May I’ve been bringing in approx. £1,200 a month and I’ve not had to be run off my feet for that. I couldn’t live of this amount so if I can double it or treble it within a another year or two then I’ll be very happy. I didn’t have a job to give up though so I’m not sure if I could be that brave. If you can afford to live off less than you’d be earning then give it a go. I love working from home and it doesn’t feel like work. I am qualified in electrical body and facial and aromatherapy etc but I’m not looking to spend big financial outlays on face and body machines. I’ve stuck with manis, pedis, waxing, eyes and back massage. I have a varied age group and I know from clients comments to me that they often feel intimidated going into a salon and often have young girls with less experience in some salons. They like that it’s me they get every time and not passed on to other staff. I wish I’d done it sooner but the reality is it didn’t suits me sooner. Give it a go.
 

F&LLondon

New Member
#8
Haircutz has answered so many of your anxiety issues, and her advice is great. I will add that being self employed does not suit everyone!

If you are self motivated and don't need anyone to motivate you to get things done, Then you will find that it will be the best thing for you !

I do not want to put you off, but a few things I felt I wanted to add.

It is not easy, but the rewards are satisfying for someone that is dedicated and consistant.

Do you have good health? :- It may seem a silly question, but illness and getting used to sick leave from work will not be an option. Clients want you to be always available. They can be ill, but you have to drag yourself out of bed. End of.

Have more than a weeks' holiday at a time? : - I say this because my clients moan if I am closed for a week and it doesn't quite suit their holiday arrangements with wax/ pedicure appointments.

Does the idea of having an irregular income not worry you? :- If you can afford to have a wage reduction and live off your partners' salary as was in my case then it is a no brainer.

I am hoping to just add a few more considerations to your decision, and I really do want you to give it a try... Just do it !!! You will not regret it.

Even those of us with decades of experience need a little help from time to time, and it is nice to know that there is usually sound, reassuring advice from this forum.

I know you want to do your level 3, but why not start simple and do mani/pedi/mini facials/ brows/lashes/wax to start with. You can get student insurance, ask at your college whom they may well have an affiliation with .
Gain those clients and as you are studying you could have some money coming in. Your first clients will help with your confidence building. They would probably also be willing for you to practise your new skills on them if you just ask.

As my dad said to me nearly 30 years ago...."Go for it kid!" so I did and am still trading and love, love, love it!

All the best x
Hi Rosie,

Thanks for taking the time to reply and the considerations you mention are very useful. To date, I’ve not had any ongoing long term health issues - fingers crossed this continues! The holiday time is a good one to flag given the school holidays - I’ll have to see if my mum could help - this year is the first time my eldest has been at pre- school not nursery.

My partner is in a newish job and still on probation - this finishes very soon. Once he’s hopefully permanent then we may be able to take a salary drop for a while which would hopefully give me a chance to try this. The trouble I have with practising / starting now is I haven’t really got anywhere to do it. We live in a small terraced house in London and with two small children, there’s always stuff laying around. I toyed with a summer house but people would still have to trail right through the house to get there. However we are looking to move outside towards Leicestershire for family and I’ve seen a lovely house with a huge garage crying out to be converted I’ll maybe have to make do with practicing on friends and family in our front room until then.

It’ll be scary but when I decide to do something I’m very motivated and I am a real grafter so hopefully this would serve me well for running my own business. I’m just a bit nervous about giving up my job - but there are always other jobs if it all went pear shaped!

Thanks so much. X
 

F&LLondon

New Member
#9
I am almost 52 and I worked in Beauty consistently for 15 years before packing it in to have my family. I then had a 15 year break from it!! Now my youngest is in secondary I decided I’d like to get back to work. I work from home and there are 2 salons within short walking distance. Despite this I’ve so far been successful. I’ve only been up and running for 9 months and since May I’ve been bringing in approx. £1,200 a month and I’ve not had to be run off my feet for that. I couldn’t live of this amount so if I can double it or treble it within a another year or two then I’ll be very happy. I didn’t have a job to give up though so I’m not sure if I could be that brave. If you can afford to live off less than you’d be earning then give it a go. I love working from home and it doesn’t feel like work. I am qualified in electrical body and facial and aromatherapy etc but I’m not looking to spend big financial outlays on face and body machines. I’ve stuck with manis, pedis, waxing, eyes and back massage. I have a varied age group and I know from clients comments to me that they often feel intimidated going into a salon and often have young girls with less experience in some salons. They like that it’s me they get every time and not passed on to other staff. I wish I’d done it sooner but the reality is it didn’t suits me sooner. Give it a go.
Thanks so much for taking the time to reply and this is so helpful. It gives me a real idea of potential income if I’m good and also services without a huge initlal outlay. Also you must be great to be doing so well even with two salons near by! I suspect you didn’t lose your skills whilst not working

If you don’t mind can I ask if you work full time? I was going to trial maybe 3 days in the week and a Saturday? I’ll have to put my youngest in nursery so I may start with mornings or afternoons so I’m not minus to start with. The bonus I’m think about with children is all the mums on the school run....

You’ve really inspired me. I definitely don’t have 20 years left in what I currently do. It feels like now or never to make the leap!

Thanks so much again! X
 

#10
I pretty much work whenever clients want me right now. I try to book clients close together if I can. I work two late evenings but I may only have a couple of late bookings in just one night. My children are all in secondary now and my room doesn’t require clients to trudge through the house which helps. I also do Sunday’s. I don’t want to turn away any business as I’m still growing. My biggest problem was I’d slowed down a lot. I had to really space my clients out especially when doing gel polish as I hadn’t touched gel nails in 15 years either so it was getting back into a rhythm and getting familiar with the layout of my room and where everything was that I needed. I like my clients too. Mixed age group but nice down to earth people.
 
Last edited:

#11
What with Facebook and Instagram etc, you will find you get people from different locations. And fir those working it’s good to offer a late evening or Sunday morning. I only work half a day on weekends but sometimes I have nobody and other times I’m booked up so it balances out. So far I’m finding I’ve quietened down this month but not as much as expected. I think I’ll still take over £800.
 

#12
I also specialise in hot wax Brazilians and Hollywood’s.
 

F&LLondon

New Member
#13
What with Facebook and Instagram etc, you will find you get people from different locations. And fir those working it’s good to offer a late evening or Sunday morning. I only work half a day on weekends but sometimes I have nobody and other times I’m booked up so it balances out. So far I’m finding I’ve quietened down this month but not as much as expected. I think I’ll still take over £800.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply and it’s is really kind of you to share so much information. I’m sure with the Xmas period coming up you’ll be rushed off your feet even if this month has been quiet. And it’s a good point about being flexible as if I’m able to work from home that would be much easier to manage. I’ll let you know how I get on - and thanks again. X
 

#14
When I started working from home my youngest would have been about 1 1/2. She would come wondering into the salon with teddy and dummies in hand, curl up on the fluffy chair and go to sleep. My clients knew i had children, so if they booked monday to thursday they knew there would be a little visitor. After hours fridays and saturdays muly girls would usually be inside with dad. They would still pop in to see who was there. A couple of clients they didnt like too much and they knew there cars, so they usually wouldn't come in the salon. It's good as the child also learns about how to behave in the work place.
 

UK Beauty

New Member
#15
I find that very often the 20 year old supermodel beauty therapists are the most off putting in the industry. When you're old, fat and less than perfect, like me, these girls are intimidating, so don't think you're old and uncool, you're experienced and approachable.
 

#16
I find that very often the 20 year old supermodel beauty therapists are the most off putting in the industry. When you're old, fat and less than perfect, like me, these girls are intimidating, so don't think you're old and uncool, you're experienced and approachable.
I find many of my clients feel that way. I’m 51 myself and if I’m honest I prefer the clients I get to those who go to those 20 something glamorous looking girls. In fact I squirm slightly if I see the profile of a prospective client to be looking ‘High maintenance’ before they come to me. I have more down to earth clients with much more interesting conversation and a bit of relaxed humour.
 

F&LLondon

New Member
#17
Well I’m old, fat and imperfect I think I was worried because I’ve visited a few training colleges and I’ve been shown around by a few young ladies who are young enough to be my daughter and incredibly glam! And a lot of the other trainees were similar. I saw one last week where the trainer was more mature and had a training school and her own salon and I think this is the one I will go with. She just came across as very knowledgable!




I find that very often the 20 year old supermodel beauty therapists are the most off putting in the industry. When you're old, fat and less than perfect, like me, these girls are intimidating, so don't think you're old and uncool, you're experienced and approachable.
 
Top