Recently I had the opportunity to go to a hair show held in New Orleans, LA. This is the 4th show and I have attended every one. As a seasoned stylist it does become harder and harder to learn new tricks especially since we spend much of our time researching, developing, and honing new trends here at Lola. What this show does always do though is 1st remind me of old techniques that I used to use and forgot about and 2nd inspire me to push myself. This year there was one particular person that inspired me so much! Her name is Sonya Dove. Sonya is a very well known stylist in the industry and has been since before I even considered cosmetology as my career of choice. For the past 3 decades, Sonya has been in a partnership with her ex-husband (who came out of the closet after many years of being married) After the divorce they continued on as business partners, quite successfully I might add. Well, just this year they have decided to dissolve their partnership for reasons I am sure we will never know. Sonya has continued on representing Wella (a well know product line in the industry) as she and her ex always had. Wella has always had a segment at his particular show that I am talking about in which Sonya and Christopher (“the ex”) have always headlined. Well this year Sonya did this Solo. After an incredibly well-received segment Sonya started crying. Now, I will also tell you that she is a very emotional person so this was not the first time she has cried on stage. That being said, the audience did not think much of her tears although we are always touched to see how passionate she is. Anyhow, Sonya went on to tell us that when she received the invite to return to the show this year that she had declined. She declined because she did not think she was good enough. At that moment she got a standing ovation and the energy in the room was electric. My heart felt so big that I thought for sure it would tear through my chest. I was lucky enough to be able to meet her after the show. I felt that it was really important for her know what a profound impact she had just had on me. I have been studying a lot about vulnerability, fear, and strength. She epitomized everything that I have been researching…and she had to know. Sonya literally took fear, stuffed it in her back pocket, and allowed herself to be completely vulnerable in front of 3,000 fellow hairstylists. Having no idea how her peers would react…she did it anyway. She wasn’t fearless….she was full of fear, but she did it anyway. This is a lesson that each and every single one of us can learn from. Each of us has an obstacle or an opportunity in our life at one point or another that can scare the hell out of us. We all know that feeling….completely uncomfortable. Your heart starts to beat like a bass drum in double time, you start to feel hot, you get a knot-like feeling in your throat…we all know this feeling very well. I refer to this feeling with the Lola staff as an opportunity for growth. It is in these uncomfortable moments that we become stronger. What it comes down to is taking action no matter what the outcome is. There is a possibility that we will fall right on our face but we can take pride in knowing that we tried and I guarantee that a lesson will be learned. In the words of the great Vince Lombardi “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up”….so get your asses out and take the chance of getting knocked down!