3 Business Books Every Aesthetician Should Read

One of my favorite things to do while winding down at the end of a long day, taking a leisurely lunch break or enjoying some time outside on the weekend is curling up with a good book. 

I love reading historical fiction, spy novels, and, of course, anything and everything about business, marketing, and personal development. It’s inevitable that once you jump into business ownership, you get a craving for books to help you grow smarter and faster. 

Because of that phenomenon, I frequently get messages from aestheticians asking if I have any good book recommendations, so I thought it would be a great idea to create a blog post that rounds up some of my favorites that I recommend to everyone no matter what stage of life or business they’re in. 

Here are my top three go-to business and personal development books (in no particular order): 

1) The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

Have you ever heard of limiting beliefs?  Each of us has them even if we don’t realize it, which is usually the case. 

Limiting beliefs are ideas and perceived truths that we’ve developed about what is possible based off of experiences that we’ve had throughout our lifetime. The Big Leap focuses a lot on mindset and teaches you ways to look at situations from different angles.  

So, why is it a great read for aestheticians?  

Well, I actually think it’s a great read for everyone, but especially for aestheticians because we’re natural caregivers, and when we are working so hard to build up our book and to attract new clients, it can sometimes take longer than we would like. It’s easy to feel like you’re not good enough or that there is something wrong with you, but it may be the result of having a limiting belief.

These types of beliefs come up a lot with money. For example, thinking, “I could never make $50,000 per year or $75,000 per year, or even $100,000 per year.”  

We all have a different number, but the belief is still the same. And because we don’t believe that it’s possible, we won’t be able to take the actions needed to make it real. Our belief limits our possibility. 

Now, it’s important to note that I am NOT someone who thinks that if you simply believe it, you will make a $100K per year salary.  It takes hard work plus a clear action plan. However, I do believe that mindset and removing those limiting beliefs is a crucial part of your action plan. 

2) Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Do you ever feel utterly exhausted at the end of the day, but when you reflect back you realize you’re not even sure what it was that you accomplished?  

If you’re a solo aesthetician or spa owner, I’m sure you can relate because not only are you spending time in the treatment room with your clients, but you’re also running a business! 

So, how do you prioritize your time so that you’re spending your most valuable resource on the tasks that will propel you the farthest in your business?  

That is the central question Greg McKeown answers in Essentialism.  

He also dives into what steps we need to take to discover what the essential tasks are, so rather than making a small amount of progress on a hundred different things; you can make a huge amount of progress on a single, essential thing. 

When I was a new small business owner, it made a world of difference in how I approached operating and expanding my business. 

For example, I’m a total type-A personality, which means I inherently want to do every single task in my business. Let me save you a lot of time and trouble - that is not a smart idea. 

You need to spend your time on the essential tasks in your business and hire or automate the rest out. Essentialism drilled this into me. 

Think you don’t have enough money to hire someone? 

Think about it this way: If you can make $30-$60 profit per hour working in the treatment room, doesn’t it make sense to pay a virtual assistant $15-$20 per hour to take over administrative tasks that eat up multiple hours per week for you?  

(Want to learn more about how to hire a VA in your business? Check out this post.) 

Once you learn what the essential tasks are in your business, you’re able to focus on those and watch your business grow. 

3) The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

If I’m totally honest, I have to say that this book, out of all of the hundreds of business books that I’ve read, has had the most significant impact on my business.  

It changed the way I think about my business, the way I operate my business, and it’s a book that I continually refer to if I’m feeling at a crossroads as I continue to grow and expand. 

In The E-Myth Revisited, Gerber talks about how we all have three people inside of us: the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician. Each role is important, but if you’re a solo aesthetician or a spa owner - or a small business owner like me - you have to really live in the entrepreneur role if you want your business to succeed.  

In the book, Gerber uses an example of a woman who opens a pie shop. She’s loved baking pies her entire life and has always had a talent for it. One day, she decides to take the leap and open a pie shop only to discover over time that she was miserable working in her business.  

She believed, like so many of us, that if you have a passion for something, it’s a good idea to start a business doing that particular thing. 

But here’s the truth - starting a business requires so much of yourself; you will not be able to just do the parts that you love all day every day if you want it to be successful.  

If you’re a solo aesthetician or a spa owner, think about how much time you spend in the treatment room versus how much time you spend marketing, planning, networking, and completing administrative tasks. 

My guess is you spend a lot of your time in the treatment room because that’s what you love and it’s where you feel you make the majority of your money, but if that means neglecting the other aspects of your business, you’re setting yourself up for hard times.   

Overall, the biggest takeaways from this book are that it teaches you the nuances of the different roles we need to play in our business, how much time we should be spending on each one, and most importantly, the power of organizing your business like a real business. 

Simply put, The E-Myth Revisited changed my business, and if you apply the information Gerber shares, it can change yours, too. 

Other Business Books I Love

With such a passion for books, it was tough to narrow down my picks to just three, so here are some honorable mentions that are absolutely worth checking out:

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

This book is all about vulnerability, resilience and the courage it takes to dare greatly. It’s got wonderful lessons for being a leader in both your life and business. 

The Art of Speed Reading People: How to Size People Up and Speak Their Language by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger

I’ve discussed the importance of being able to quickly read your clients and potential clients so that you can effectively build trust before, but this book dives deep on the art and science of  picking up on body language, personality, and more so that you can put your clients at ease in an instant. 

Fascinate by Sally Hogshead

The concept of branding can be an elusive one, but this book breaks down the elements of what makes certain brands, including yours, irresistibly fascinating.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

In Getting Things Done, Allen’s premise is simple: “our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax.” His methods walk you through the steps you need to organize and clear your thoughts so that you can achieve maximum levels of productivity. 

 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

A classic, and for good reason. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People provides what Covey calls a “paradigm shift” to adjust your mindset so you can successfully adopt the habits that the most successful people in the world have in common. 

Alright, that should be enough to fill up your free time (and your bookshelf) for awhile! 

If there’s any other advice I could give, it would be to get a physical copy of these books because I have a feeling you’ll want to markup and reference for years to come like I have. 

Have any other business and personal development books you love? I’m always looking for new reads, so let me know your favorites in the comments! 

4 Steps to Finding Clarity In Your Brand Strategy

When you hear the word “branding,” what comes to mind?

Your logo? The color palette for your website? Business cards? 

Well, your brand is actually none of those things. (Don’t worry that’s what I thought branding was just a few short years ago, too.) In reality, those are elements of your brand, but overall, your brand isn’t a single, tangible thing. It’s a variety of factors that play together, evolve, and shift as you carry out business with your clients and customers. 

Alright, by now you might be staring at your screen with a puzzled expression, so let me tell you, today we’re going to talk about your brand, or more specifically your brand strategy. 

My hope is that by the time you finish reading and close out this blog post, you’ll leave with a defined concept of what a brand is and some action steps you can take today to clarify and develop your brand strategy.

Ready to get started?

So, first things first: what’s a brand?

One of my favorite definitions of branding that I came across was by Jay Baer in this appropriately titled post featuring 30 definitions of the term “branding” by industry experts. 

He said, “Branding is the art of aligning what you want people to think about your company with what people actually do think about your company. And vice-versa.”

So, as you can see branding is a little vaguer than you might have originally thought, however, there are plenty of tangible factors that you can create to guide the thoughts and feelings you want people to connect to your brand and business. 

But, before you start creating those tangible pieces, you need to get clear on some key factors that should drive all your brand decisions whether that be your web design, your client management and customer service principles, all the way to the decor in your spa. 

Four Questions for Brand Clarity

Similarly to treatments you perform on your clients, preparation is key to seeing successful results with carrying out your brand strategy. 

Be sure to open up a fresh Word doc, or a notebook if pen and paper are more your style, and write out the answers to these questions. Don’t keep all the info swirling around in your head or else you’re going to continue feeling unclear in your brand. 

The first step in making your brand take shape is keeping your ideas in front of you that you can repeatedly return to. 

1) What industry are you in?

Your answer here isn’t the spa industry or aesthetic industry; your answer needs to go deeper. 

Are you a lash specialist or a microblader? Do you focus on anti-aging treatments or acne? Are you a pro at laser hair removal?   

Get really clear on your particular industry, or as you’ll also hear it referenced, your niche. If you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one, so make sure you’re clear on exactly what it is you do best to help people.

The more you focus on your single or couple of select areas of expertise, the more credible you become for your audience. 

2) Who are your competitors? 

It’s important to know who your competitors are not so you can mimic what they’re doing well, but so you can pinpoint your differences. 

This is crucial to understand because if you’re trying to craft the same offerings and services and appeal to the same exact people, you’ll be competing on price alone, which doesn’t bode well for the profitability of your business. 

So, rather than looking at your similar qualities, examine the things that set you apart from your competitors such as the menu of services you provide, your client experience, the level of quality you provide or the types of people you aim to serve. 

3) Who are your clients?  

Naturally, you can see where the last question flows into this one, and that’s because you want to get super specific on who it is you serve.

Remember how I said if you try to appeal to everyone, you’ll appeal to no one? That doesn’t just apply to your specialty of work; it also refers to the type of person you’re trying to attract. 

Do you find that you naturally draw in career women who also happen to be moms? Are you a magnet for adults suffering acne? Do you serve women looking to reverse the signs of sun damage? 

Get clear on what your clients are suffering from, need help with, and their life situations. All these factors will play into how you draw them in and how you talk with them. 

4) What do you sell?  

So, we’ve talked about your specialty and who you appeal to, but believe it or not, we still haven’t covered what you actually sell. 

What I mean by that is that although you’re technically selling services, you need not think so literally and instead focus on the benefits and results of what you’re selling.

For example, if you help reduce acne and diminish the appearance of acne scars, you’re selling self-confidence. If you provide facials that help your clients maintain a radiant and fresh appearance, you might be selling relaxation. 

Focus on the benefits of your work over the features, and you’ll be able to pinpoint the emotions you can evoke to draw in your ideal clients. 

Now that you’re clear on those emotions, I want you to make a word cloud. Write out all of the words that resonate with you and that resonate with you as well as your business.  

Once you’ve gotten a few words down, I want you to sit with it for a minute and choose the one word that stands out the most.  That one word will be the core of your brand.  

For example, my word for AddoAesthetics is Inspire.  For those of you who don’t know, “Addo" in Latin means to inspire, and everything I do in my business is done with the intention of inspiring aestheticians to reach their true potential and create their own success. 

So with that in mind, brainstorm around your word and pick one that can be an anchor for your brand.  

Making Your Brand Visual 

With the four core questions answered and your word that is at the center of your brand, you are ready to get to the fun part of making a mood board!  

Your mood board should include your brand colors, fonts, and image styles. (You can create a professional mood board and brand guidelines through Frontify.)

Personally, I like to have one primary color and two secondary colors, and I also use two separate fonts and have specific types of images that I feel connect with my word as well as the intention of my brand.  

Once you have those core components, it will make the development of your brand much easier. Your social media content, your newsletter content, your website, even your spa decor are factors that can be decided by referencing back to your mood board so that everything looks consistent. 

Alright, that’s plenty to start with even though this is just scratching the surface when it comes to your brand.

Keep the conversation going over in the Aestheticians Connect Facebook group!

P.S. In next weeks post I'll be announcing something really exciting - a Free 5 Clients in 5 Days Challenge.  Be sure to stay tuned for that!