The Nail On SundayLeo Ko-Nkengmo
The cre8tive collective
Happy Sunday and welcome to yet another issue of The Nail On Sunday. This is our fourth blog of this series and we have had an amazing response. It’s so refreshing to see so much positivity return to our industry and also to shine through amongst all the negative obstacles we have had to face over the last 12 months or so.
Todays blog is all about loss and more specifically, finding the positives in loss. We hear you when you say, there are no positives in loss. However that’s not true. At some point in all of our lives we will suffer loss. It may be losing a loved one, losing a pet, the loss of a relationship or more relatively the loss of a business.
It may be that you have lost faith, lost motivation, lost emotion. Whatever loss you have suffered, there is a way to find the positive within and around that loss even if you cannot see it right now.
This week we discuss losing ambition and motivation and how to develop skills to bring your mojo back with me Leo Ko-Nkengmo. We discuss coping with loss with The Heff. We talk about keeping your creative motivation up while having suffered loss in some form with Carly and we highlight salon hygiene with Sam and discuss strategies for business recovery and more.
Simple Steps to Keep Your Salon
Safe & Hygienic
This week we will be looking at some of the simple steps you can take to keep your working
environment safe and hygienic both for yourself and your clients.
Consultations and Skin & Nail Analysis – this is something we should all be doing as
standard. It helps us identify potentially infectious or contagious conditions that the client is
aware they have, and allows us to check the skin and nails for any signs of infectious or
contagious conditions that the client may be unaware of. Don’t forget to carry out Covid-19
screening questionnaires prior to each appointment.
Sanitising Hands – regardless of the fact we should be wearing gloves, we should always
wash our own hands with liquid antibacterial soap prior to service, and ask our client to do
the same. A nail scrubbing brush can be supplied for clients to scrub under their nails ahead
of the service and both parties should also have sanitising spray on their hands. This helps
to reduce the transmission of pathogens. It is useful to carry out the skin and nail analysis
whilst sanitising your client’s hands.
Handwashing Facilities – bars of soap can harbour pathogens, so providing liquid soap is a
much better alternative. A fresh towel should be provided for each client; as damp fabric
can once again harbour pathogens. You may wish to opt for disposable towels depending
on your business circumstances.
Single use items- where possible, single-use disposable items are the safest option. These
are items that are used once and then thrown away, such as Birchwood sticks and lint free
wipes. However, it is also important to be mindful of the environmental impact, and choose
your supplies wisely.
Avoid Double Dipping – lotions and creams should be dispensed from a purpose designed
pump or spray, and where this is not possible they should be dispensed with a disposable
spatula. You should never use your fingers to scoop out product, not should you “double-
dip”, a process where by an item that has made skin contact is returned in to a container of
product, therefore cross contaminating the whole container. Instead a fresh spatula should
be used for each dip.
PPE – now more than ever it is essential that everyone is using the correct PPE, and using it
correctly. (We will cover more information on PPE in the coming weeks.)
Covid-19 Testing – Remember that most businesses can now register for FREE RAPID TESTING
KITS!!! You must register before 31st March. All of the information regarding this can be found at
Staying creative while feeling at a loss
During the first lockdown like many I hadn’t had my home salon open long. I wasn’t entitled to anything to help either. During April 2020 I made the decision that I would stay closed, due to funds and also the risk of Covid transmission.
I am high risk myself health wise and didn’t feel comfortable allowing people back into my home, and then there was the cost side of things, I would of had to replenish a lot of my stock which I couldn’t do at this moment in time. I felt so lost at times and had many tears, and low moments.
For me once I felt I could, I got more involved on nail groups doing some free workshops that a lot of places were offering to keep us all busy. Once back to it I found my creative side started to flow and from here I found the courage to enter my first nail tournament winning me 1st place. As time went on I decided to enter some international competitions I kept back my birthday and xmas money and used that to enter them, so far I have won 1st place and 5x 2nd places, I look back with reflection and for me this is a massive highlight during what has been a very difficult year for me personally.
I do think that with all this happening it has pushed me to be more creative and brave in order to do these things. There are times of course that I still feel sad and low and I nearly hit breakdown point, but I have definitely been faced with far worse situations than this year and I keep trying to push on as much as I can. We have to try our best to look forward and not backwards, my business is still closed for clients and I’m not sure if and when I will reopen for them.
Another positive is I have made some wonderful friends within the industry and have seen so many in the industry come together to help each other out during these difficult times, making the community stronger. I have enjoyed providing others with consistent support in the form of short nail art videos and step by steps. Here are some of the step by steps I have produced.
I also haven’t long joined the wonderful new cre8tive collective team. We hope to bring you all so much joy, information and lots of future plans to look forward to. I have loved helping and Inspiring so many others during the lockdowns that it has pushed me to save some pounds and go for my AET when I can. Little bit day by day and you will get there. Create, inspire, and stay supportive. This weeks challenge is to create a nail art design around something that gave you positivity during this difficult year. I will look forward to seeing your creations xx Carly
The last 12 months has been like going through the grieving process.
WOW!! 12 months on from Boris Johnsons announcement that the UK will be heading into Lockdown. He was very Churchillian in his delivery claiming that they would flatten the curve in less than 2 weeks. Well, we all know what happened! The curve was not flattened and the Uk recorded over 100,000 deaths. Why do I mention this terrible statistic? Well, I truly believe what every single one of us has gone through with our businesses has been very close to the grieving process.
Although, grief is played out differently in each individual where time is concerned – it is universally accepted that there is process we go through in grief. Below I will outline the various stages we have and still are going through with the loss of business, loss of clients, loss of income. The ultimate goal is to get through to the final stage of acceptance – Only then can we move forward.
1 day, business was booming – Spring was in the air and their was optimism amongst those who work in the personal care sector and even the clients – then out of nowhere, news of a virus in China was plastered over the TV. But there was nothing to worry about until several coach loads of tourists landed in the UK and were led in a convoy to a hospital in Liverpool to quarantine for 2 weeks. Everything started moving really fast culminating in the address by the prime Minister. Our reality has shifted completely in this moment of loss. It can take our minds some time to adjust to this new reality. Denial attempts to slow this process down and take us through it one step at a time, rather than risk the potential of feeling overwhelmed by our emotions.
It is normal to feel Anger – you have done nothing wrong – yet here you are experiencing extremely uncomfortable emotions. People often use anger as a way of shielding the fact that they are scared. You become unapproachable at a time where you need to feel comfort from others. No one had been through a pandemic before and certainly not been held in a UK wide lockdown and so emotions run high. Anger is perfectly normal and usually the first emotion we tend to project when related to a loss.
When you are experiencing loss – It is quite common to offer to do absolutely anything to change things. To do absolutely anything to alleviate any pain you are experiencing – This may manifest in praying – there is a feeling of helplessness and so by bargaining or negotiating promising that you will do things differently or follow all guidelines if you are allowed to go back to work. By doing this there is a perception of trying to seize control in a situation where you have absolutely no control.
When we are processing grief or LOSSD in this case – eventually things tend to calm down and reality starts kicking in. Heading in to the 2nd or even 3rd lockdown we start feel the loss more acutely. In these moments we tend to go within ourselves – we become insular – having thoughts that no one can help. This then spirals downward in to feelings of sadness and we lose routine. Although feelings of depression or sadness after a loss is perfectly normal – these feelings can feel very deeply and can be extremely isolating.
When we finally hit the 5th part of the grieving process – Acceptance – It doesn’t mean we no longer feel the loss we have just experienced but you are no longer resisting the reality of the situation. I have said many times over Anxiety and stress thrive where there is resistance to WHAT IS! Once we accept the situation as it is we can make plans to work through the situation and grow.
Unfortunately, we are not living by the same rules as 2019. We need to Acknowledge, accept and adapt to the situation we find ourselves in.
If you recognise yourself in any of the above states then breathe – you have just been going through a process – Please take from this that there is hope for you. There is a white light that will shine that will allow you too look back, take the positives, take the learning curves and move forward in your life and business with a smile on your face and a true appreciation for the journey you have just been through.
Brands In the Spotlight
Today our brand in the spotlight is Tafs.
TAFS are a Health and Beauty, a wholesaler/importer based on the North of England (Yorkshire) supplying beauty equipment to the UK market. They specialise in the nail industry and in particular equipment used to make the nail technicians life a lot easier, and more recently a lot more hygienic! The importance of a clean work place has never been more paramount and here at TAFS we are striving to supply reliable dust collectors, sterilisers and disinfecting products to keep your environment as sterile as possible. Tafs pride themselves on offering UK based returns, repairs and service on a quick turn around meaning if you buy something from us and it goes wrong or needs maintaining we are only a phone call or email away to help.
Tafs is a small family team that likes to look after its customers, they tell us “we aren’t here to break any records on sales but we are here to give the best experience of our products to our customers.” “We are humble but most importantly we are honest, something that we believe our customers deserve when buying or using our service.”
Tafs sell all sorts of PPE, beauty equipment and beauty product.
You can check out all of their products here TAFS Products LTD – Health and Beauty Supplies
and get in touch if you have any questions.
The Heff! a story worth reading.
I am an international coach, Inspirational speaker and Company trainer all centred around Mental Health and wellbeing. This is MY STORY.
It is important to explain, I am not a millionaire, I don’t own a yacht or travel round the world on my private jet. None of that interests me to be honest. Yes, of course – I like to have a nice holiday with my family, I like the idea of financial freedom quite simply because that allows me choice. But I am not craving a millionaire’s lifestyle. My journey to contentment started when I was only 8 years old.
Let me begin. When I was 5 years old – I was chosen by the local priest to become an Altar boy at the church which joined my Catholic primary school. This was quite unusual but I was good at reading and so seemed a logical choice, so it seemed.
Soon after, I was told I would be serving my very first funeral. At such a young age, this was an enormous responsibility and was my first experience of death. I can remember my 1st one – Over 100 people sat in front of me and the coffin on a stand towering above me. It was very surreal, but this soon became my world. Over the next 4 years I served around 300 hundred funerals and had become quite comfortable around death and grieving.
At the age of around 8, I became an unofficial grief counsellor. I would sit down with adults and they would pour their heart out – I didn’t say much, I obviously couldn’t offer advice so I did what everyone has the ability to do – I just listened.
What I heard repeatedly was the word I believe is the first thing you should NAIL to become more content in life. The theme that kept on coming up was REGRET. All I would hear was “I wish I?” or “I wish they?” and started listing off things that they had control off when the relative or friend was alive. “I wish I had phoned them more often!” “I wish they had followed their dream” “I wish I had said sorry!”
This was becoming a regular thing and I don’t mind admitting – It terrified me. The thought of having regret in my life was so painful. I saw the pain etched on the adults faces and I didn’t want that in my life. I asked the priest after service one day “How do I live a life free of regret?” and the priest responded with one sentence that has stayed with me ever since and one that I put into practice from the moment I left the church that day. He said “To live a life free of regret, you need to make peace with your decisions immediately” THAT’S IT – Make peace with your decisions immediately. Good decisions, Bad decisions. The time has gone once you have made the decision. I remember walking out of the church that day determined to make peace with my decisions and I can honestly say that as I write this, I HAVE.
On the clear majority of decisions, you make, you will have made them with a sound mind and with all the relevant facts at your disposal and so you simply cannot regret something that you have done knowing the facts and having a clear mind.
When I talk about regret, I often get asked similar questions to these. ‘But what about the times I get so drunk I do something really stupid like get into a fight or have something done to me like an assault?’ My response tends to be, if you were so drunk that you were not in control of your thoughts or actions then how can you possibly REGRET you having no control of that situation? Make peace with the fact that you were not of sound mind and work a way forward on the things you can influence such as not getting so drunk again to put you in those situations. Now this is not simple. Our ego and our minds like to keep us down. There will be resistance but the more you action this new way of thinking, the easier it becomes and soon a habit Is formed. You are well on the way to a more contented and stress-free life. I guarantee in every situation we find ourselves in, there is always a positive and a learning curve. Too many focus on the negative stuff that cannot be changed but if we focus on finding the positive and the learning curve and actioning them – we are able to make peace with everything that led up to the situation and everything thereafter.
When your making changes, it is usual for fear to raise its ugly head. I have learnt over time, to embrace fear, to accept that there will always be situations where we do fear something. People have a fear of spiders, yet most people will not have been physically harmed by one in their lifetime. Spiders help clear any fly issues in your house so rather than looking at them as some evil, nasty creature from Mars, appreciate them for what they truly are. Special.
One statistic that always makes me smile is fear of public speaking. This fear rates higher than the fear of death, which suggests the majority of people would rather be in the coffin than on the Altar delivering the Eulogy.
You see when you rationalize fear, it is something to smile about. It is widely accepted that the vast majority of situations that we fear, simply do not happen, so we create an alternative reality to what is actually playing out in front of us. This is madness.
I have been in several situations where FEAR Could have quite easily paralyzed me. One example, when I was homeless and living above a drug dealers squat in Salford in a disused, rundown maisonette. I was terrified that if I made any noise, they would hear me and come up and cause me harm. Now, I may sound like I am contradicting myself here, but unfortunately, I did end up making a noise and subsequently, three large men came storming in with balaclavas and beat me quite badly. Now, it is fair to say I was terrified, and I started playing all these different scenarios out in my mind. Such as, “I need to flee Salford and move elsewhere, what if these guys see me again – I would be left for dead” or “My life is in danger now – I can’t walk the streets as word will have got out and a price would be on my head” I can feel the emotions inside of me as I am writing this but very quickly, I thought back to the conversation I had with the priest and knew I had to make a decision. I could let FEAR rule my life or I could LIVE my life and so I decided to carry on my mission of getting the childcare club set up. I walked round my estate for months and not one single person approached me threatening my life during this time or recognized me as the lad in the flat. Had I given in to my fears, I would have been stuck in a black hole of depression and despair. Too terrified to think straight or move forward with my life. As a result of embracing fear and being rational, I was able to get the childcare club set up and my dreams at that time were accomplished.
What is it you fear? Is your business at STAGE where you know you need to hire in staff but are too scared of all the extra bureaucracy and responsibility? Or are you fearful of going back to work after the latest lockdown, fearful of losing customers or income? Change is painful – Which pain would you prefer? The one that holds you back and stops you from growing long term or the temporary pain which allow you to breathe more easily and move your life and business forward?
This to me, is the ultimate thing you need to master that will have the biggest impact on someone’s life (and business).
This is possibly where I also receive the most resistance from people as, I accept this is a hard one for people to get their head round. If there is someone who has done you harm in some way, this could be a physical harm or an emotional harm – who do you think it is hurting most by keeping those negative thoughts and emotions about them tied up with you?
I can assure you the other person will not be hurting – The only person that suffers by not forgiving is YOU. Now this is very hard to stomach for a lot of people but trust me – I am not talking going all religious and saying 10 Hail Marys. What I mean is you need to find a way of firstly, forgiving yourself for allowing yourself to be in such a position – this also ties in nicely with Regret.
Once you are able to do this then you need to work a way on forgiving the 3rd party – Not necessarily forgetting – just letting go off the pain it is causing you. There are many ways of doing this – Some clients, write letters of forgiveness stating that they no longer wish for the pain associated with the actions to be attached to them and so they are forgiving them to receive closure. They hang on to it for a period – re-read it and make sure it is from the heart and then they dispose of it. It is an intimate and very personal ceremony but one, when done with the right intentions is extremely powerful. Many people feel a huge shift and a weight being lifted off their shoulders.
I repeat though, once again – you are not doing this for the 3rd parties’ benefit but for your own.
I had a situation, back in the early 90’s where I came across a very cold and callous individual who had killed someone, this was a young person I was supporting through my outreach work in the Red-light district. We had managed to convince them to turn their back on that life and we arranged to meet and process the next day
She panicked and told her ‘Owner’ her plans and unfortunately paid with her life.
I went looking for them and unfortunately it resulted in me getting beaten up quite badly and a death threat was given against me. For what seemed like an eternity I hated that individual, I could not even contemplate living the above values as I was so incensed by the senseless waste of life. I hated myself for not getting her out that night. To cut a long story short, I was becoming depressed, I had attempted to take my own life (Although with hindsight it was more a cry for help than a full-on attempt) I felt lots of shame and guilt as I could not do anything to help this person and that hurt. I was also becoming extremely bitter against this man but also society for allowing such things to happen. I spoke to several people and eventually, when I felt at my lowest my mind opened, and I realized I had to forgive this evil person. For my own sanity I had to forgive myself also for feeling such destructive emotions. Now this was tough, I had, or thought I had no forgiveness in me, but I eventually calmed myself down, and found it within myself to forgive him. This took close to 3 months of reading out my letter I wrote 3 times a day until it felt genuine and from the heart. Ultimately, I felt a smile forming across my face and the dark clouds that has enveloped my mind were lifting. Having the ability to forgive is truly powerful and I have helped many people over the years do just that. So, if you can master the 3 things above, Embracing FEAR, forgive yourself and others and NO REGRETS, then I guarantee you will live a life of contentment.
Above I have given you several examples of situations that could have quite easily broken me. But as I alluded to earlier in the blog, I have found the positives and the learning curve which have helped me become the person I am who have helped 1000’s of people over the years with their wellbeing. Below is a 200 word Bio that explains my life and challenges in a nutshell. I HAVE MADE PEACE WITH ALL OF THEM
· ‘Born Salford, Roughest council estate in Europe,
· Altar boy, served my 1st Funeral aged 5.
· By aged 8 served over 400 funerals. Unofficial grief counsellor Listened to 100’s of mourners All displaying REGRET.
· Aged 9 parents split
· Homeless aged 16 Set up a childcare club and got A levels whilst living above drug dealers’ squats and park benches.
· Arrested for Arson (and eventually cleared)
· Volunteer outreach worker Red light district – Identified dead bodies, Received Death threats
· Barry Manilow nearly got me shot and killed
· Lived off grid for a year in a tent in the Lake district surviving 4 seasons mainly living off the land. Spiritual awakening.
· Moved to Essex £96 – No job no home – Same day Got job, £400 sub and free room for month – Regional manager for retail group.
· Death of nephew at birth, Stressed – arrested for assault on 2 occasions (both charges dropped) Diagnosed with rare form of Motor Neuron Disease – . Severe Spinal Canal Stenosis (Prognosis: Paralysis) and Paralysed diaphragm (30% vital lung capacity) Consultants advised should I undergo surgery I will 100% die on the operating table
· Living the best life – Content with no regrets.
Surviving Business after losing Business
What business owner do you know that hasn’t, at one time or another, felt the bitter disappointment of something not going as intended? This year has been a sheer understatement in terms of disappointment.
Having opened my beauty, photography and education studio space at the beginning of March, I thought I was set for a motivational, prosperous and fun year in business. We can all expect the odd trip and fall. A leak, broken bit off equipment, an overlapping appointment.
A pandemic?? No surely not! “You cant write this can you!”
My dreams of making that year the best year in business shattered. The last 12 months has certainly been harder then I thought. Becoming ill with what I know now as Covid in March 2020, I have struggled with my health more than ever. Dealing with this on top of the loss of customer intake and interaction and of course the loss of income hasn’t been the best experience. Not being able to claim for government thus far either has been the icing on the cake for me.
So what have I done about it? Did I sit quietly in self pity? Did I give up? The answer? No.
I have suffered major loss over the last 12 months but I decided to try and be positive. After all, at least I’m still here. At least I still have all my family and friends.
I decided to get myself a few freelance teaching positions, which wasn’t east at all but i manage it. That way the bills were being paid and money was sorted. Now for the mental position and motivation! I spent my days creating new nail designs, makeup designs, cooking and also providing support for others for FREE. We all needed support, we all needed things to keep us going! Over the months and months of endless lockdowns I have provided workshops, step steps, podcast episodes and more. You see giving to others and gaining a positive response put the positive spin on my loss. If I hadn’t of lost anything, I may not have taken those steps. Everything happens for a reason.
Now I’m on the road to business recovery with brand new business edition and a wonderful 300 plus strong community with me this time.
5 steps to positivity in business after loss
1. Would you believe that passion is just as important as your business plan itself? Your
passion is what keeps you going after a loss in business – especially one that seems
devastating. Starting and doing what you love or have passion for is the reason you
started your business in the first place, and you must not lose sight of that.
2. The ability to take decisive action is a key quality of a strong leader and it becomes
especially important after financial loss. Look into what the government has to offer in
terms of support, you may be surprised.
3. Write down what you have learned from the experience as policy to help create a your
development plan to business recovery.
4. Talk to someone. Communicate you concerns, your feelings, thoughts and plans. Don’t
be afraid to gain support. The people you communicate with may come up with relative
solutions that you may not have thought about.
5. Go smaller if needs be. Scale down your business even for a short period of time. Don’t
be afraid to pull back and do things a little differently for a while. get back to the no
way of doing things when your ready.
Don’t loose faith, loss is part of development. Until next time xx