Felicia Leatherwood is a celebrity hair stylist who began her career with one very demanding client -- herself! She began by styling her own hair at the age of 8.
Before long Felicia was tending to the locks of many of her neighborhood friends, making pocket money doing what she loved most.
Today, Felicia Leatherwood's hairstyling business has grown to include a long list of celebrity clients, including singer Jill Scott and actor Anthony Anderson. Her specialty? Creating natural hairstyles and helping African-American men and women love their natural hair, sans chemicals and over-processing. It's a passion that has earned her the reputation as 'the hair whisperer.'
Felicia Leatherwood, hair stylist shares her secrets.
I sat down with Felicia in her cozy at-home hair salon to discuss the secrets to her success. I soon discovered that her thriving business was no accident, her eyes lighting up as she discussed what she calls "Intention".
"If you have an intention to grow a business, if you have an intention to be in a successful place with yourself, you don't need to worry about how it's going happen, you just have to know it's going happen, be prepared for when it does happen and be willing to do the work when it shows up."
Her Zen-like approach to success extends to the often prickly subject that stumps many women -- dealing with competition.
"You don't want to look at competition, you want to focus in on what you can provide to your consumers, what you need to improve your business."
Felicia also shares the advice she received from a wealthy female client. "Always have a product that can sustain your life, so that when you retire, it will always sell." But the best product, the woman said, is the one clients can only come to you to getz; "your personality."
While Felicia may have started styling hair earlier than most, I was surprised to discover that like so many of us, it took a great deal of time and courage to finally quit her "day job"-- a corporate position that brought her little joy -- and focus on hair full time. Once she realized that she was making as much money doing what she loved as what she dreaded, and that she could afford to support herself by following her dream- she never looked back.
That dream has been to empower women by not only teaching them how to love their hair, but showing them how to love themselves. And she attributes much of her professional success to her personalized, heart filled approach to clients who leave her salon feeling beautiful inside and out.
Felicia is a firm believer in the law of "reciprocity," meaning that the more you give to others, the more others want to give back. To that point, she doesn't just style celebrity clients, she also hosts seminars and webinars, often giving away her expertise for free. She knows that giving free information builds loyalty and trust and often creates paying customers in the future. And like many of the most inspiring achievers, success is not measured in dollars and cents alone.
"When you hear you've changed someone's life through a workshop? That's amazing," she says. "That's all I came here to do, be a positive influence on other people. So that right there is success enough for me."
Next week on Secrets to Your Success: Virtual reality and the reality of working in the male dominated auto industry!