Giving Thanks In 2020 by Patrick McIvor

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You might be scratching your head or just reading this to see - what could we be thankful for in 2020? But the truth is we all have something for which we can be thankful. This year we just might have to look at it with an extra dose of hindsight, which is, of course, 20/20.

So where do we start? Especially for those who have suffered big losses in 2020, either personally, professionally, or both, finding peace and gratitude is a task easier said than done.

I want to share a story about a very good friend of mine. This friend and I worked closely together for years including a lot of travel. Through the years, no matter what city we were in, every night this friend would leave our activity and attend an AA meeting. After a long span of this consistent repetition, one night I asked, “I know you have told me you are an alcoholic, but after all this time I have never seen you relapse or even look tempted. Why do you still go to your meetings every night?” Knowing that recovery and gratitude are a constant, conscious decision - he looked at me, “It always helps me to remember that no matter how bad my day is there is always someone there that had a worse day.” And if they can make it, so can he. And maybe him being there can help them too. I think this perspective is a great place for us to start finding “thanks” in 2020. No matter how bad our 2020 has been, so many others have suffered in so many ways and, ultimately, we’re all looking for a way through this together.

Now, coming from a completely different direction – there are several things to be directly thankful for that are completely new or finding accelerated success, not is in spite of but, rather, because of COVID. For me personally, it gave me the time to covert my haircolor for our salon and to learn new personal hobbies!

Let's talk about the color conversion, how many times have you wished you could just sit down and look at what you would like to evolve professionally? For most people, when you are booked solid the last thing we can do is evolve. We are too busy just keeping up with our schedules and pretty soon we can become almost trapped by the success we created. You know the old story about when you're green you grow and when you are ripe you rot? It's that. COVID gave me the time to slow down, look at how my salon was running, and determine where I needed change.

My evolution started with changing my distributer, and, for the East Coast Salon Services team - I could not be MORE thankful! My guests LOVE their new color, and since they hadn’t been going to the salon for months due to the shut down, it was the perfect opportunity to evolve their looks with new color and products. I am also thankful that there have been so many new innovations from ECSS to help me stay inspired and learn new things. Through the YouTube based education - from brilliantly executed classic concepts to COVID inspired tips (like how to work around a guest’s mask) - we all are learning a lot, and all in new innovative ways!

I love that 2020 gave me the time to learn something new, to be inspired by our craft, and to make up for the fact that I watched Tiger King. I also love that a brand-new retail opportunity from ECSS came about during this time! Now, with “Customer Direct” my retail world has long-term evolved for the better. And I had time to figure it out. With East Coast’s Customer Direct retail program, my guests can select their products straight from ECSS and have it delivered direct to their home. They get convenient fast shipping and I still get my profit margin without having to have massive inventory. I LOVE THIS! I don’t have any investment money just sitting on the shelves aside from my working product, which keeps more money in the bank! As an added bonus, since guests get their products delivered straight to their house, that eliminates it being shipped to me first. So environmentally, it saves the double shipping process and some paper and boxes - which I like too!

Honestly, for me, there are so many things I am thankful for this year: more time with our teenage girls (why I watched Tiger King in the first place, by the way); learning how to play blues guitar; and my new position with the East Coast Salon Services team to name a few - and there are lots more! Would I ever want to have another year like this? No. But that doesn’t that mean I can’t be thankful, truly thankful, for things that would not have happened in my life if 2020 had been different.

I would love to hear what you are thankful for in 2020. And, mostly, I want to wish you, your family, and fellow stylists a Happy Thanksgiving! p