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5 Tips to Stay Motivated

Steven H. Dayan, MD and Terri Wojak September 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
woman in white shirt holding glasses

Every spa and provider has to work hard to get busy. Without a steady stream of clients, it is hard to stay confident that your business will grow. Now is not the time to get discouraged; instead, try digging deep and remember why you chose this business in the first place. Here are five tips to keep you motivated.

Success Tip 1: Your career is what you make it.

One of the top questions on most esthetic student’s minds is, “How does a person succeed in this business?” The answer is that each person is in charge of their own success. Motivation is the key to success, no matter the career path. If you are driven to succeed, then you should not stop trying until you do. Esthetics is not the type of job where you can expect to be handed a great career if you are not willing to work for it. This industry is growing at an enormous rate, with an expected 34% increase between the years 2006 and 2016.1 There is a lot of competition out there, and if you don’t work to get clients and keep them, they will go to a competitor. This is a tough business to be in as it is, and it is even tougher with the state of the economy right now. Your career will be what you make it.

Success Tip 2: Money should never be your singular motivation.

You will not succeed unless you are motivated for the right reasons. If you are in the customer service industry, your first motivation should be to make the client happy, and if it isn’t, you might be in the wrong business. Of course, everyone works to make money, but your top priority should be to do what is best for your clients. It is hard to succeed in a career if you are not passionate about it. There are many different career paths for an esthetician, including performing facials at a spa, assisting in a medical office, or acting as a product representative, spa coordinator or owner. All of these options can be rewarding, both professionally and financially, as long as you work for it. It is understandable to worry about and try to ensure your financial future, but that cannot be your only motivation. If you make your clients happy, you will prosper from it.

Success Tip 3: Don’t count on others to do your work.

More than 500 students have been taught at our training facility, and it is amazing how you can tell from the first phone call to the office whether they will succeed in this business or not. Many prospective students will call to find out how much money they will make while working for a physician or whether they are guaranteed a job after the course. It is impossible to guarantee a job unless it is within their own company. When job placement is offered, it definitely helps, but the ultimate responsibility lies within you. If you want something enough and are willing to work for it, you will get it. You must take the necessary steps to find what you are looking for if you are stuck in a job that makes you unhappy or if you are unemployed. Job searches on the Internet, in local newspapers, and hand-delivering résumés and offering your time for internships are all great ways to get started. You must show employers your passion for your career, and work hard to demonstrate that you are worth hiring.

The motivation cannot stop once you have obtained the job you want. It is constant effort on your part, as well as the company’s, to keep clients coming in the door and to retain them. Working at a high-end well-known spa or medical office can only help. In the end, it’s you and the client. All the marketing and promotions in the world will not help you to succeed if you are not doing your part.

Success Tip 4: Share your motivation.

If you are an owner or manager, it is also your responsibility to motivate staff. This is the reason for your position—because it is likely someone saw the motivation in you and knew you could pass it on to others. You cannot just hire someone and expect that person to stay motivated if you are not there to inspire and provide the necessary tools to succeed. Recognize your staff members for jobs well done. Reward them for work that is done above and beyond, and make them feel appreciated. Incentive programs are a great way to do this. Set goals for employees depending on their strengths and weaknesses. It is also important to offer room for growth in the company. If you want employees who are motivated, then they will likely want to further their careers. These employees should be given more responsibility so they feel important and recognized.

If you are not at management level, you can still share your ideas and experiences to help the company grow. When it grows, it can only benefit you. It will also show that you can handle more responsibility and be a leader.

Success Tip 5: Stay up-to-date in your field.

It is of the utmost importance to continue your education and be up-to-date on the latest advancements in your line of work. You can never get too much education. In the cosmetics industry, new treatments and products are coming out every day, and it is your responsibility to be well-educated so that you are able to inform and treat your clients correctly. Read as many publications regarding your profession as possible. They contain articles and news about the latest treatments and products available, as well as what is happening in the industry. It is your duty as a provider to be aware of this type of information.

Take the time to become familiar with different product lines highlighted in these publications, as well. Learn the main ingredients of these products, and how they benefit the skin. This will help to ensure that you perform the right treatments for your clients and reduce the chances of any complications. Clients are always impressed when they ask you about a product they are using, and you can explain what is in it and why it is beneficial or not beneficial for their skin.

Continuing education classes are just as important. This is why many states have continuing education requirements. To find out whether your state requires continuing education, log on to Minimum requirements are often set in place to make sure estheticians remain current in their field. During classes, you have the benefit of obtaining a better understanding of treatments through hands-on experience, interacting with other estheticians and having someone available to answer any questions that may arise. Take as many classes as you can. Even a class that you may think you know everything about will likely teach you something new.

Look into the reputation of the classes you want to take, and make sure the instructors are well-versed on the subjects they are teaching. You don’t want to take a waxing class from someone who only only performs facials, or an acne management class from someone who only applies makeup. This may be hard to determine, but just do your homework: Ask for testimonials from former students and for detailed information about what the course involves, as well as the instructor’s credentials. Never turn down free education. Also, many product suppliers offer free training to educate about their product line. Even if you are not using that particular product, you may learn something new. The estheticians who complain about taking a class are those who will not succeed in this business. If you are passionate about something and it motivates you, then education should be important to you, and remember, you have the ability to succeed if you work hard.


1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008–09 ed, Barbers, Cosmetologists, and Other Personal Appearance Workers: (Accessed June 15, 2009)

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