Radical Intervention

Tabatha gives you the dirty details about one of the filthiest salons she's ever been to!

Orbit salon had to be one of the filthiest salons I’ve ever seen; it was covered in hair, dust and dirt—it was a pigsty. And it was shocking to me because everyone acknowledged how dirty and rundown the salon was but nobody actively did anything to clean it up and make it better. Even Eddie, the owner, called the place a dump and his staff hand-me-downs. Way to motivate, Eddie! And the lack of initiative and zeal in taking care of the salon carried over to everyone’s work. I saw sloppy color, uneven haircuts, and a total lack of attention to detail. The worst of it all, was Eddie had been using his basement as a personal storage space. Tens of thousands of dollars in products were buried under his clothes, bicycles, and junk. This is no way to run a successful business. Over-ordering product and then not storing it and organizing it properly so you can sell it for a profit is literally throwing money down the drain.

The moment I met Eddie I could tell he was a proud man and it was hard for him to open up about the issues in his salon, and he knew there were many. I liked Eddie because I could see that he wanted a better salon but he was totally stuck. He had owned Orbit for a long time and the wear and tear showed on both the salon and the owner. My challenge was to find a way to shake Eddie out of his rut, to wake him up in order to save his business. And I needed to make sure the staff took some responsibility, as well. So I tried one of the most radical interventions I’ve ever done—I made Eddie and his staff pack up all his personal sh*t in the basement, load it on a truck, and take it to Eddie’s condo. He needed to really understand the mess he’d made of his business. He needed to live with it. And it worked. I really saw Eddie and his staff transform. They found their passion and they could finally find their products in a cleaner, more organized basement! Bobby and Andrea really transformed their attitudes and their work. Everyone pulled together and supported Eddie, everyone except Lindsay, that is. I could see that Lindsay’s inability to change really bothered Eddie; he broke down. Firing her was clearly a difficult decision for him but he did what he believed was best for his business. And I have high hopes for Eddie and for his whole team now that they have a fresh start.

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Reclaiming His Balls

Tabatha tells us how she helped Nik take back control from Sabina.

Concerto was taken over before I even got there by Sabina, a stylist at the salon. Nik, the owner, had handed over the reins and responsibility and had lost total control of his salon and his staff. The staff all disliked Sabina, because she was rude, disrespectful, and bossy. They all agreed that if Sabina was the boss they would all leave. They respected and liked Nik, but Sabina not so much!

The problem at Concerto was an amazingly passive owner and a group of stylists that weren't bad at their job, but had nobody leading them, holding them accountable, or managing them, so that they just did whatever they wanted. The staff also saw Nik not being active in the business, and they felt he didn't care so they followed his lead.

It was amazing how openly hostile and aggressive people were towards Sabina at the staff meeting. Equally amazing was how Sabina's unprofessional behavior and the way she spoke to not only Nik but the other stylists was affecting the staff and the business. Clients openly complained about her language and the way she acted and said they didn't want to return to the salon because of it.

Nik had told me running the salon had created a lot of stress in his marriage and that his wife wanted him to sell, but I knew he didn't want to do that. I figured sitting with them both and having a realtor explain to them what the salon was worth and what they would get would hopefully wake Nik up and let his wife see that it wasn't the best option and that her husband truly wanted to keep the salon. They both realized selling wasn't the best thing, but Nik was still so annoyingly passive. I needed to get him to wakeup and take charge.

Taking Nik to a martial arts expert was my way of trying to let him get some aggression out but also to help him feel empowered, so he would hopefully start taking charge. He was truly awful in the beginning, not wanting to raise his voice or participate, but he really started to get into it with the help of Master Shin. He even flipped me! Now that takes some balls! 

Seeing the aggression the other staff had pent up, I wanted them to get that out. I wasn't surprised when Nicole stepped up and said she wanted to take on Sabina. She had felt so mistreated by her for so long, I was glad to see her stand up for herself and say enough.

Reopening day went well. Nik seemed ready to take on the challenge of being a boss and Sabina was quiet! I just hoped that it would stay that way. She didn't strike me as the kind of person that could relinquish the control she had over Nik or the salon. Revisiting Concerto, all the staff agreed Nik was a changed man and was truly following through on enforcing rules and holding his staff accountable. Sabina was even taking a back seat! I just hope she keeps it up for the good of the salon! 

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