Running a business is really hard. You can’t play at this, you’re either committed or you’re not.

Some say go big or go home, but ‘big’ isn’t always the way. Instead, I believe it’s heart and soul, or go home. Unless you’re 100% all in, completely dedicated to building a better life for yourself and those you love, you will never attain the level of success you’re truly capable of.

Dreams and ambitions are strong motivators, but it’s decisive and perpetual action that makes the magic happen, not dreams.

When you’re all in, belief in your product, your business and in yourself just comes as part of the package. You can’t help it, it just happens. When you have total belief, commitment and vision for where you want your business to go, you respect yourself and your time and you stop doing bad deals with unreasonable customers. You sever toxic business relationships, and you stop getting sidetracked by everyone else’s expectations and demands.

Social media is a useful tool for sure. It connects us and creates opportunities. But it’s a virtual representation of a tiny fraction of real world business.

Like a filter, businesses on social media show the best 10% of their day. Their successes and achievements. Only sometimes do we see a real glimpse of what’s actually going on. The struggles. The sacrifices. The hard days when we feel like throwing in the towel. When clients don’t show up or when we haven’t had a decent paying client for a while. The loss of belief in ourselves and what we’re trying to achieve. We all experience times like these, whether we choose to admit it or not.

Contrary to belief, the vast majority of SMP clinics are not always busy, all of the time. Don’t think just because you’re only getting one head a week, at a lower rate than you’d like, that you’re the only one because you’re not.

Whatever services we provide, SMP, PMU, laser, Fibroblast or whatever, and wherever in the world we may be, we all share one common goal. Each of us made a decision not to accept the status quo. Instead, we struck out on our own to find success in our own way. We committed to making sacrifices in pursuit of our dreams.

Some of us knew the road that lay ahead, some of us didn’t, but those who didn’t know at the start almost certainly do now. It’s exciting, uplifting, nerve-jangling, exhausting, and sometimes when the bills are flooding in and we’re struggling to meet the payroll, pretty scary. But that’s the path we chose to commit to for a greater purpose, and that’s what drives us.

Knowing that we’re all on the same path together, and that we all share a common goal, we should be unified. Always.

Successful businesspeople act like professionals. They don’t bitch about each other on Facebook. They don’t stir up trouble or rumours about other people. They don’t act rudely towards one another because the other person didn’t message back immediately or because they had a difference of opinion, and they don’t take enjoyment from naming and shaming each other’s less than perfect work without good reason.

I am so grateful for the unity we share in this group, and in others like John Chandler’s and Jonathan Gerow’s groups too. But it has to be said, the way some people talk to others in some of the non-SMP groups, the total lack of respect shown to one another, says more about the person running their mouth than the person they’re attacking.

I have the greatest empathy for moderators of these groups. They’re in a no-win situation much of the time, just trying to keep things civil. The same can be said for those who slate each other’s products. Watching the Fibroblast industry right now is disappointing and embarrassing, and I guarantee potential customers are being put off by the way the industry is conducting itself. We see the same in PMU all the time.

I’m proud to say however, that I honestly believe the SMP industry has improved in that regard over the last 12 months, but we’ve still got a long way to go.

For a long time, the SMP industry fought against the hair transplant industry. The message spread by early adopters, myself included, was that hair transplants were bad and that SMP was the answer. When the HT industry tried to discredit SMP, who could blame them? We fired the first shot, after all.

Next came the permanent makeup world. As an industry we didn’t want to let PMU artists take any limelight in SMP, and I still don’t understand why but thankfully we’re over that now.

Now, it’s tattooists, microbladers and barbershops we don’t like, ironic considering some of the very best techs we have originate from those fields.

Instead of embracing change, we just seem to be fighting everyone, all the time. Its almost as if people feel threatened by change which is crazy in a new industry like ours. Besides, we all know that businesses that fail to adapt usually don’t last very long. Embracing change is not optional in this game.

Yes, there are skills gaps. Of course, there are bad treatments and no, we don’t want to see the market flooded with poorly trained technicians. But fighting the tide is not the answer. It’s never worked in the past, and it won’t work now.

Remember, SMP is still a very young industry. I believe SMP will be bigger than hair transplants in 20 years time, truly I do. It’s non-surgical, more financially accessible and the barriers to entering the market are far smaller. I see 50+ providers in every small to medium city in the world, and I see them thriving, albeit at a lower price point than today. But that’s my belief, some may not agree.

If we truly want SMP to become a mainstream hair loss solution, we need the market to grow. But we also need to be professionals and handle ourselves like professionals.

We’re all learning, none of us knows it all just yet, so we need to embrace each other’s ideas and opinions, and grow together.

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