Last weekend was Empire Education Group’s (and Masters of Beauty) Future Professional’s Expo in Hershey, PA. It is one of the biggest beauty school student events that I know of and, guess what? This event consists of all Empire Beauty School and Hair Design School students! What a great event. Every student (all 1,700 in attendance!) was so professional with a great attitude. The energy level was high for both days. I can’t neglect to mention the amazing work done by the competitors. Every year I walk around with other Empire team members to look at all the completed work and, without fail, the response is always the same, “These judges have the hardest job in the world to pick from such amazing talent!” It is a hard job because of the talent level of these beauty students…they’re literally all winners. Future Pro Expo is truly a celebration of success within the cosmetology field.
On the final day we had the big awards ceremony. This awards show is done in typical EEG fashion complete with DJ, lights, cameras, celebrities, the list goes on! The awards show is to recognize the top competitors from the previous day, but also, and more importantly, it is to recognize the great things that go on at the schools throughout the year. We have cosmetology educator of the year award as well as future professional stylist of the year award. I have the honor of presenting the future professional award. I love presenting this award because it recognizes our students (the folks that give reason to what we do every day, “To create opportunities for people to improve their lives”). I present this award every year and I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine – every year I am nervous! I’ve been told that some people fear public speaking more than they fear death. Ok, maybe I’m not that bad but I do get very nervous.
I wanted to write this story and focus on that feeling. Everyone knows what I’m talking about, some call it a “pit in the stomach” or “butterflies”. Usually this feeling comes from when you’re out of your comfort zone. I have learned that no matter how hard it is to be out of that comfort zone it almost always is a good thing. When we branch out to do things we’re not used to there are always learning opportunities. Take for example me presenting the future stylist of the year award. I get to recognize aspiring students at our beauty schools from all across the country. Each year I get nervous but each year I feel great afterwards. As a beauty student you can think back to that first time you spoke to an Empire Career Planning Specialist. If you’re honest with yourself you can probably admit that you felt the same kind of nerves that I have when I get on stage. Now fast forward a few weeks, months, years after graduating from beauty school and look at how much you’ve learned! I’m always amazed when I talk to graduates or students close to graduation how many are afraid to take their state boards for their cosmetology license. I’m also saddened by how many choose not to take the test at all because they’re scared. You have come so far in your education you should be proud of the accomplishments you’ve had.
My point is to emphasize that throughout life you shouldn’t run from these nervous feelings. Embrace it because your growth is on the way. Also, don’t forget that you’re not alone when you have this feeling. Know that you have a support team and that millions of other people have had the same feeling. When I get up on stage I always take comfort in knowing all the great people around me – my coworkers! I know I don’t have to go it alone, and neither do you. Never hesitate to reach out to anyone at Empire Education Group because you have a great support structure here. So, to conclude, let’s all seek out those “butterflies” and nerves that aren’t comfortable at first. It means we’re out of our comfort zone and that is where success is going to be created.