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“Be” An Educator! – A Blog from NAHA 2024 Educator of the Year Finalist, Stephen Gomez

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For 30 years I have dedicated my life and times to support our amazing industry to grow and elevate who we are and how we support our communities to look and feel great! Being a business coach means putting in long hours of analysis, preparation, thought, travel and energy into seeing the dreams of salon professionals realized.

I’ve always said that this is my life path, it’s not a career, it’s what I have given my life to, and I am proud of it. I’m proud of supporting salons and spas to become more profitable. I am proud of helping salon and spa owners become more organized, confident, and sure in their decision making. I am proud of delivering live education that compels people to think and act differently. I am proud of the books I have written, the one I am writing and numerous articles like this. I am proud of bringing this message and tangible solutions and systems I have invented to back it up all around the world. It is a journey I never anticipated but am humbled by and thankful for.

A few weeks ago, I am proud to say that I have been nominated by my peers to be a finalist for Educator of the Year for the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA). As most of you know, for over 35 years, this has been and continues to be one of the most prestigious awards in our industry. To receive this nomination is a public validation of the journey I have been on and continue to be on. It means a lot to me. Thank you to the judges and the Professional Beauty Association. A huge congrats to all of the past nominees and winners and my fellow nominees. I am in an amazing group of powerful women uplifting our industry. I am truly blessed and honored.

Moments like this offer a moment of reflection, contemplation, and excitement. As I have chewed on what this means to me, I keep coming back to the fact that, in our industry, we are all educators. I constantly bring this message to my coaching clients and to live audiences. If each of us stop and remind ourselves that we are here to educate people, it can create a more empowered dynamic by which each of us can operate on a daily basis.

Technicians are not here to sell anything to anyone. Technicians are here to educate guests on the treatments and at home care that will give them the optimum look, health and feeling of confidence in themselves. Salon and spa owners are here to educate their team on how they can create the best results for themselves such that they have an unrecognizable career and life. School instructors and their leaders are here to give us the foundation from which we can create an amazing career path. Business coaches like me are here to educate salon and spa owners on how they can become the best leader of others they can be. Manufacturer and distributor partners are here to educate salon professionals on the technology and science they have created that delivers cutting edge results in application, technique and at home care. Technical educators and platform artists are here to show our industry how to improve their technique to increase confidence in less time and wow our guests. They remind us of the creativity and imagination that fuels this great industry. Associations are here to educate us on legal, financial support mechanisms plus industry standards and regulations that help us deliver the best services with integrity.

We are all here, playing our part to serve each other and uplift our communities. While it is imperative to have goals and to achieve them, I believe the clearest pathway to this can be found in remembering to “be” an educator. “Being” an educator isn’t about doing anything different as much as it is about embodying who you want to be an infusing that energy into everything you do. In every conversation, every guest service experience you deliver, every class you attend or give, choose to be who you want to in that moment and live into it with passion and joy.  Remember situations and challenges will always be there and they can take us off our games. Learn from them. Choose to shift out of them and into who you want to be to face them and continue to grow!

We are only here today and given this moment. Make the most of it and be proud of who you are and what you provide others in this life. I know I am! Together, let’s lift our communities. Let’s lift up life itself. Let’s keep elevating each other!