October 2010

Lisa Kind - Editor

Off the Top | by Kimberly Johnson


Discover The Need

I was honored to be given the opportunity to publish my personal opinions via a column in the Stylist Newspapers, however, I wondered why anyone would be interested in my opinion and ponder, agree, or perhaps question their own.

I was once told that every opinion is right, because everyone has one. If we did not have opinions, we would not have much to discuss over dinner, a glass of wine, or yes even at the styling station.

Over the next few months, I hope to share with you messages that may not always be politically correct. However, some of my experiences may give you comfort to realize that you are not the first who has struggled to handle a mistake, or even a success, in a graceful way.

I believe that, if you work on yourself, then you will be able to give unconditionally to your personal and career life. “Self Empowerment” is critical in leading a full life.

To give you insight into my credentials, I will begin with the fact that I am almost 40 and not sure how I feel about it. However, I am sure that my journey thus far is one that I would never change. My father was an officer in the U.S. Air Force and the majority of my childhood was spent in the Philippines. In middle school, we returned to the Hawaiian Islands, where I lived until high school graduation. My wonderful childhood allowed me to gain the key foundations that I apply to the way I live my life, foundations that I hope to share with you throughout the year.

My college education was at Portland State University in Oregon, with the belief that I would become an accountant. This was not because I was great at numbers, but because I thought that accountants wore cute suits and carried official briefcases. After I barely posted a C in my first accounting course, I realized I had better re-think my strategy. I quickly found advertising and general business to be my forté. The humbling experiences that helped to shape these decisions and my life are some I hope to share with you.

Graduation came; I needed a job, so I was off to my first stint in an advertising agency. It was a sexy job, but I could not figure out how to make money at it. So, on to my next endeavor, which was copier sales. All I need to say is, “really?” Yes, “really.”

Sales and managing a Xerox dealership came next. Selling copiers may not be the most interesting position to flaunt at a cocktail party; however, it was a learning experience in customer service and persistence, besides the benefits of working for a solid company. The amazing training will stay with me always which brings me to the first key lesson I learned.

Discover the “NEED”

I have had the good fortune to work with some very astute managers, while opening three salon spas throughout Portland, and currently acting as the Director at Aveda Institute Portland. Many of these opportunities came my way because of my constant belief in finding the “NEED.” You are often invited to become part of the solution – if you find the need.

You must be genuine when listening for the need if you want to reap positive results. Do not be upset if you provide a solution that is not utilized right away, as it is only one solution out of many possibilities; however, by offering that possible solution, you have expressed your desire to participate, and you are now positioned for a positive wave to come your way.

Each day, wake up and make one improvement to yourself, or even more meaningfully, to others. This often causes doors to open automatically. Our communities have a “NEED” for individuals who will put themselves on the line to see a “NEED” and not look the other way. Life is great when you choose to participate.

Kimberly Johnson is a successful Cosmetology School owner in Portland, Oregon.  In addition, she serves as Director of Business Development, overseeing a local 12 million dollar salon spa operation with 250 employees with four locations.  To reach Kimberly email her at kimberly@avedapdx.com.



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