Strategies, not tragedies.


I’m at the airport in Suckramento after an amazing 4 day business seminar with Neil Ducoff and his team of Merry Men. If you have never heard of Neil Ducoff, I will describe him now in celebriterms because one of my best spiritual abilities is to be able to recognize the alter celebrity within a person. I like to think of myself as a specialist in this field. It’s a complete fallacy to think that people who do this kind of work are unable to do it on themselves, like psychics or massage therapists. Well, I’m here to tell you that that is not true for me. I, myself, know that I am an inner Rhea Perlman. But I digress. Neil Ducoff is Woody Allen. But like a better looking, emotionally stable, securer Woody Allen. Like if Woody was reasonable enough in mindset to not think that marrying his wife’s adopted daughter doesn’t count because of reasons only known to 3rd world countries where you have a duty to populate your 40 person village. Sure, she’s not your BLOOD relative so why not a assume the role of a potential suitor for a taboo love that cannot be denied? Honor it, Woody! But again, I digress. Although I will say that I can only watch Woody Allen movies retroactively. Like BEFORE he had sex with his stepdaughter (ex-wife’s daughter, ahem). I have had supporters of their relationship say that they think it means a lot that he and Soon-Yi are still together and have children and these people talk about how they they saw this documentary where they seemed so in love blah, blah, blah. Yeah, well Patty Hearst saved her captors from being caught by gunning out a window while she was in the van ALONE, allowing them to escape. And she was at least in college, fuggodssakes! Being held hostage can mean many things, ya know. I just hope one day we don’t have to watch a docudrama of their abusive relationship where an afro’d Allen is beating up Soon-Yi on a shag rug with his hand belt, making the thought of real and terrible violence against a woman ashamedly funny, like Ike and Tina in “What’s love got to do with it”. Really, that was just too much. I still feel terrible about my horrifically inappropriate giggling (not cool. At all. Ever).

Here’s the thing. Neil Ducoff, like Woody Allen, has fucking great material but unlike Woody Allen, he can deliver it without the affected nasalic quality Woody is so famous for. Neil is a genius who is dry, funny and irreverent, talented and passionate and puts his ideas right on the table with such confidence that it can make your neck hurt from nodding your head so much while he’s talking. I haven’t experienced this much spinal discomfort since I saw Metallica when I was 14. And, like Woody Allen, he has found his calling, or I should say, you just know he was born to do it. Can you imagine Woody Allen doing anything else?? Well, I can’t imagine Neil doing anything else, either. He is truly an idol of mine and he is a huge part of elevating the culture of the salon industry and, lemme tell you, we need it. The salon industry is busting at the seems with a lot of narrow minded thinking that gets passed down with nary a thought. And who is passing this small minded culture down? We are!!! Mindlessly passing down outdated and outmoded industry “standards”
that we don’t even challenge. We, as salon owners, have a responsibility to educate and elevate the people who help to create value in our companies. We have a responsibility to young stylists to give them the opportunities for education and to give them the respect of treating them as equally valuable to our company as any of our top earners. We have a responsibility to our long term stylists to create financial stability with the potential to earn more when they’ve reached their “fully booked” status, which Neil calls “being gridlocked” because once they’ve gotten there, they’ve tapped out their earning potential and are, at that point in fact LOSING clients. We have a responsibly to our clients to show them respect by providing an environment that is about them and their needs and allowing the idea that they would know the difference between mediocrity and greatness. It’s about creating a culture based on transparency, trust and accountability. And, ultimately we have a responsibility to ourselves, as salon owners, to really reach for our full potential and not run our companies asleep at the wheel, so to speak. Neil is responsible for creating a business system that allows everyone in our company to be fully a part of the company and to be rewarded for that. I also consider his approach to business and coaching to be the equivalent of a Mindfulness program for business. It creates a culture where we can no longer “coast” even when our salon is at the top. It’s about being engaged, aware, mindful, and accountable. It’s about not slacking. It’s about holding ourselves and our team to a higher standard. It’s about leading by example. Most importantly, it’s about creating a culture where the most important person in the room, the head honcho, the número uno, the Big Daddy is, well, just guess who? It’s our client! And who benefits from that? WE ALL DO! And isn’t that what it’s all about?

I encourage you, if you are an owner, manager or even a stylist to go to his site, sign up for his Monday morning wake up emails (that’s what did it for me) or purchase one of his books! The only thing you may regret is not having known about it before you got yourself into that mess! But not to worry, they can also get you out!

Oh, and does anyone else think this whole town smells like marijuana (from what I can imagine it smells like when i’ve watched “Up In Smoke”. I’m more of a Black Beauties kind of lady, like that Jackie Suzanne). I was wondering if there was some medical marijuana thing going on here?? I now apologize for profiling those ponytailed Insane Clown Posse looking guys outside the lobby, assuming they must be responsible for all this herby aroma that’ been wafting through the air. Cause thinking back on it now, I think was just smelling some sort of tree I’m not used to.


He made me do the bunny ears. He thought it would make it look like he has a sense of humor.