A Mystery: How My Career Blossomed When I Broke My Foot
This blog is written by the amazing Bridget Nottingham
I was living at home with my parents back in 2013 and had only a car payment to worry about. The salon I was working in was busy enough and I was able to travel to countries like Indonesia and Costa Rica and party as much as I liked. I was in my early 20’s and had no real goals or aspirations. Basically, I was floating through life without a care.
I was very comfortable, but at the same time a little irritated. I worked with my best friends, and liked the salon’s low maintenance clientele. But the space wasn’t very nice, the commission wasn’t great and I believed that us as stylists were not being paid properly. (California labor law states that employees on commission are entitled to minimum wage for every hour worked including overtime. But we were not getting anything for the down time we spent waiting for walk-in customers.)
I used to vent about it to a friend who is also a stylist. She constantly urged me to join her at another salon nearby where I could become a booth renter, paying a monthly fee instead of sharing a percentage of what I made from each customer. Wow! Booth renting was the dream, man! But it seemed too far out of reach financially and I felt like I was too young into my career to go solo. I had only been working as a stylist for five years and booth renting was something only super experienced stylists could do, right?
So here’s where the story gets crazy. It had been a couple months of them happening- the visions, I call them. I’d be doing my normal thing, driving along, or out for a jog when BAM - it’d hit me! A half second flash across my consciousness came the image of my foot accompanied with a feeling of fear and distress. “What the hell was that?,” Id say to myself. “Where did that just come from?!”
Fast forward to the day I attended a friend’s pool party. I was swimming and splashing, jumping and diving into the water. Just having an all around great time. It was getting later in the day and my friends were heading inside one after the other and called me to follow. As I was coming into the house to dry off, something inside me said “just one more jump.”
With a huge smile across my face I dropped my towel, turned and ran toward the pool! As I launched myself from the concrete en route of the water I heard a loud crack ring out inside my head. Then flying through the air I became immediately aware of the sharp pain that followed the sound. F****************ck.
I had broken my foot.
Had the visions been a warning? I now believe that for months the Universe had been trying to tell me to get off my ass and change my life. But I wouldn’t, so it forced me. I couldn’t walk, drive or put weight on my injury (which meant I could not stand for hours doing hair at the salon) for three months while the bone healed. I had a nifty little scooter that made me mobil but was difficult to use for long periods of time. My stylist friend kept asking me about booth rental, but I was still noncommittal.
I guess the Universe realized it hadn’t made enough of an impact yet. So when I called my boss to let her know I was almost ready to go back to the salon, she told me she had already found someone else to take my job. I felt hurt and betrayed - but the Universe must have been stoked because I was now open to the idea of booth renting.
I started at the new salon part time, renting a chair with almost zero clients. Only my friends and family knew what had happened and where I was now located; most of my clients at the other salon were being told I was out on vacation.
I didn’t know how I was going to make any money.
The only option I had was to get serious about my business and figure it out. I didn’t know much about hair color at the time, but I knew I needed to incorporate those bigger ticket services if I was going to be able to pay rent and build up a solid clientele. So I poured all of my energy into education and marketing. I realized how much I love learning and practicing hair color and hey, I’m actually pretty good at it!
Oh wait, its actually my passion?! Say whaaaat?? I also realized how much I enjoy running a business and seeing it grow. It’s so much work but the pride that comes with it is unlike any feeling I had experienced as an employee. I worked at that salon for five years honing my skills and learning a lot about this wonderful industry and all the opportunities it offers.
Breaking my foot was a bizarre blessing.
The Universe steps in in strange ways; ways that we don’t always see as favorable at the time. Now my goals are big and bold. And I can look back and be grateful for that experience. I was not too young to booth rent, I just didn’t believe I could do it. I put limitations on myself.
This experience taught me great things can come from misfortune, pay attention to the signs and trust the journey because the Universe has my back.
Has something like this ever happened in your life?