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techniques you prioritize to master first are the

most versatile and widely functional.

Step Two: Create Action Steps:

Next figure

out the necessary action steps to accomplish each

set as a priority. Sometimes it’s as simple as one

step (e.g., begin greeting every single client as

they walk in the front door), but often it’s quite a

few (e.g., order the necessary tools and products.

Practice the technique after work every day for two

weeks on a mannequin. Try it with multiple color

combinations and placements. Ask Kate to be my

first model. Post pictures on Instagram to attract

clients that desire that technique. Offer an incen-

tive for the first couple clients. Carve out time in

my schedule for mistakes, etc.).

Create a timeline, assigning a timeframe to

each action step. People retain 90 percent of what

they’re taught if it is implemented. Everything will

not be accomplished in the first week, month, or

even year, but


will be accomplished.

Step Three: Change Your Environment:


may seem a little out there but just give it a try. If

you want to change a behavior, your thinking, or

the way you do something, change the cues in

your environment that stimulate you to act and

think the old way. For example: If I want to make

sure to greet every client that walks in the door, I

might move my station closer to the front door. Or

I could move my blow-dryer holder to the side of

my station toward the front door so that whenever

I put my dryer away I can peek at the door to see

if anyone came in unheard while I was using my


If I want to master a new tool, I put it front and

center on my station so I think of it every time an

opportunity to use it arises. If my goal is to host

more events in the salon but I have a hard time

coming up with what those might be, I could

rearrange or redecorate my office to get my brain

thinking differently or even work from a coffee

shop or park. Look out a different window with a

different point of view. The definition of insanity is

doing the same things over and over and expect-

ing different results. The easiest way to change

your pre-programmed activities is to change your

environment/the stimuli around you.

Being motivated during a class is the easy part.

That’s part of what you’re paying the educator to

do. What really counts is what you do with the

education when the class ends. Keeping it locked

up in a notebook doesn’t do anybody any good.

Get the most out of the classes you attend with

this simple three-step morning-after routine — pri-

oritize your goals, create action steps, and change

your environment.

Ali Davidson is the Director of Membership for Associated Hair Professionals (AHP), which provides

advanced education, business resources, marketing materials, career support, and liability insurance

to hairstylists and barbers. For more information visit or e