January 2011

Jerry Tyler

Blue Highways | by Jerry Tyler


Reflection and Progression

Towards the end of each year, I like to take a moment to reflect.

The year always seems to wind down differently than how I had imagined at its start.

One of my favorite quotes is, "Yesterday's the past, tomorrow's the future, but today is a gift. That's why it's called the present." – Bill Keane.

Each new day or New Year gives us the opportunity to take stock of the lessons we have learned. We can apply these learned lessons today as a "pay it forward" toward a different future.

Many of the tried and true ways of dealing with life and business have been forever changed by recent economic conditions. The key to realizing true abundance is to see the world around us through new eyes, and then to act on our vision to improve our world.

To some, looking at things from a different perspective may seem uncomfortable at first. We may even experience some pain or uneasiness in this new process. After all, as we flex our new muscles and move in new directions, we may experience "growing pains."

I enjoy visiting beauty schools, colleges and salon academies. My experience in speaking and mentoring our new beauty industry professionals has helped me see a change in the landscape as who is entering our industry, and why.

The largest growing portion is those who are leaving corporate America and are embracing our profession as a second or third career path. They can see, while we are not recession proof, we are definitely recession resistant. They also see our industry's uncanny ability to adapt and even grow in these challenging times.

What these new industry professionals add to our artistry and technical skills is their business and corporate backgrounds, as well as their education. While this is a new and challenging next chapter in the book of their lives, they are not starting over, but taking the next big step in the path to a higher level. So many of them have become disillusioned by the lack of personal and professional fulfillment in corporate America. They see a potential for growth in our industry, as well as an opportunity for a more fruitful and meaningful result for their efforts.

What they see in this career path is the result of years of hard work and evolution of our industry as a whole. They are benefiting from what many in our industry worked for years to attain.

So much of what we do is driven by creativity and artistry, and this may be the one area that eluded them in their past pursuits. Allowing passion to drive them towards their desired goals is an attractive proposition, and, after all, it is passion that has always driven our industry.

It seems that whenever we hit a dead end, it forces us to take stock of how we got lost in the first place. It is usually because of a lack or loss of passion for what we are trying to achieve. Possibly, we lost our love for the goal we were trying to attain. Passion is the purpose behind the true rewards we all seek.

While the future remains unseen, we strive to reach the goals that lay before us. We can be certain that, if we treat each day as a new beginning and act accordingly, we will move towards our goals. By building on the lessons learned from the past, we, along with our new colleagues, can create an abundant present and future, both personally and professionally.

Jerry Tyler's column Blue Highways is his "Road Less Traveled" perspective on the solutions and challenges facing the beauty industry. Jerry Tyler has been a stylist since 1975 serving as the former artistic director for Vidal Sassoon Academy and currently as Director of Industry Relations for Carlton Hair salons. He is also a licensed cosmetology instructor and has served as President of the California State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology.