Tracey Dennison is an aesthetics nurse, director, trainer, mentor and coach, with almost three decades experience in nursing and eight years within the aesthetics industry. Tracey is Nurse Director of East Riding Aesthetics and Wellness, which offers a full range of aesthetic injectable treatments, as well as clinics focusing on menopause and weight management issues with a lifestyle approach.
Mindset, motivation, mental health: when I started out, I had none of these accounted for. This is very much a personal story of my experiences in the medical aesthetics sector, and if they resonate with you, there are also tools and strategies to help.
My aesthetics journey began with the desire to help a friend while providing myself with a way out of a toxic working environment.
Although I had no real insight at the time, having a rock-solid reason ‘why’ you’re doing what you are doing is a true anchor point; it’s the reason I kept going in the early stages when I had only basic skills and few patients.
I had no idea about establishing the principles of ‘like, know and trust’ with my patients. I had no concept of helping patients feel like they know you before they even pick up the phone or step through the door. I was 100% focused on building the business to create options and security for myself and my family, and after spending thousands on training, equipment and insurance, without building a patient base, I found myself in a very vulnerable position.
I felt like I’d let my family down: I’d spent our savings and I hardly had any patients, so when I received a cold call from a social media marketing company claiming to solve my problems, I was a prime target. Under normal circumstances I’d have a cautious, balanced approach to spending, however, in my despair, I made a terrible judgement call. It was a (legal) scam and I knew the minute I put the phone down that I’d been taken for a ride. This was confirmed when I did the background checks, however it was too late to dig myself out of the hundreds of pounds I’d promised them.
I learned a lot from this. One of the biggest business lessons being never to make decisions from a position of vulnerability. I also learned that once you’ve signed on the dotted line, you’re locked in. There are no ‘quick fixes’ or shortcuts. I needed to be my own friend and advisor (I know I would have managed a friend in this situation differently to how I managed myself). A few months later, things picked up. I wanted to grow the business, but I wasn’t sure how, and then I came across the fabulous mindset coach, Lisa McMurtry. This woman really ‘got’ me. Lisa’s nursing background meant we had instant common ground, but more than that, she had some really powerful, but simple, tools to help me notice the positives and the gains and develop critical new skills. She helped change the trajectory of my business, and not just my business, but every aspect of my life. She helped me develop a new energy;
I became much more appreciative, more grateful and much, much more abundant.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE LESSONS I LEARNED
A huge part of motivation is understanding why you’re doing what you’re doing. This took work: I knew why I’d started, but I didn’t know what I wanted. Aspiring to an income level is an outcome, not a goal, so goal setting became a priority and after much reflection I knew it was about being able to support and be available for my family (financial security and availability) alongside loving what I do (passion). Once you have clearly defined goals, you have a precise platform to jump from and a clear direction of travel.
Making space is imperative, without it we don’t have room to grow. Imagine a potbound plant: it’s never going to grow as big and strong as it has the potential to, while trapped in a pot that confines its growth. It’s the same for us, we must create space to grow.
If you’re looking to develop your clinic to include machinery, where are you going to put it? Is there room? If not, create the physical space before you need it, even before you can afford it. This allows you to visually invite that service into your energetic space. You are setting the intention, making room for change and energetically bringing the service into your clinic. In doing so, there is a focus on development, and where your focus goes, energy flows: you are likely to bring whatever ‘it’ is into being much more swiftly.
For me this meant planning. I was renting space in someone else’s premises, which although a great place to start, made me beholden to them and restricted by their availabilities.
I knew I eventually wanted my own space, I just didn’t know quite what that would look like, so I started looking, imagining, making enquiries (even when I was not in a position to pursue). I started to create the energetic space I needed to make it happen.
RAISE YOUR VIBRATION
This is the most powerful of all the mindset work I have done.
Have you ever been queuing in the supermarket, and the person next to you is projecting a bad mood? This (I learned) is the basis of a low vibration. Your impression of them is immediate: they’re not the kind of person you want to be around. On the other hand, have you ever walked into a room and felt an immediate affinity with someone? This is often sparked through laughter, or simply a warm smile. However you notice them, it’s usually via positive emotions: this is the essence of a high vibration. This is the kind of person you want to be around, they help you feel good, they are fun, kind, generous and warm. Now, which of the two would you want to do business with or work with? Obviously the person with the high vibration, right?
While you can’t promise to be little Miss or Mr sunshine all day, every day, by deliberately undertaking high vibration exercises, we can become a much more positive, happier and nicer version of ourselves as a real authentic personality trait. This can have a massive impact on our business and our personal lives, too. It did for me.
A couple of really powerful exercises I use every day are gratitude and movement. For me, this usually involves going for a morning run. While I’m running I try to be mindful and appreciative of what I’m seeing and where I am. I live very close to the countryside, so I can really appreciate listening to the birds singing, seeing bunnies or deer, or just beautiful scenery.
I also use this time to tell myself what a great day is ahead of me and how grateful I am for everything. This is so incredibly powerful. It creates energy in the body, improving my mood, uplifting my spirit, while providing the physical energy to get my day off to a fabulous start.
If running isn’t your thing, listen to your favourite music and dance, go for a walk, stretch – anything that makes you move.
Gratitude can be achieved in numerous ways, too. Sometimes I’ll write down the things I’m grateful for. Sometimes I put it on my phone, which is great when times are tough as it’s there as a constant reminder. Sometimes I just think it through.
These, among other tools, were life changing, not just for me, but my family, too. I became less critical, less tired, more patient, more accepting of problems, more tolerant when things didn’t go according to plan.
Mindset work requires big actions in order to grow, both on a business and personal level, which can make you feel uncomfortable, scared, exposed. My advice is embrace this feeling. It’s uncomfortable now, but it will pass. It’s all part of the process
While gratitude and abundance go hand in hand, developing an abundant mindset deserves its own space.
One of the first mindset pieces of work I undertook with my coach was to keep score of everything that came my way. This fits into the category of ‘where your attention goes, energy flows’. For me this took the form of my finances. Once you start to notice what you are receiving, you’ll be surprised at how much there is.
I learned to apply the same principles in my business: rather than being frustrated if I didn’t get many enquiries, I’d celebrate every one I did get. Rather than being annoyed about a wrong number, I’d celebrate that the phone had rung and that people knew how to contact me. Within a short period of time my business began to fly, my services were in demand, my diary was full. I needed help because I couldn’t manage everything myself, before the amazing lady who is now my PA came into my circle.
Since then, my small business has grown and expanded to include more services than I ever could have imagined. We also thrive off clinical collaborations with other local practices, working closely with our direct ‘competition’ for the good of our patients. It works because we all benefit.
I have gone from the despair of spending our family savings on a venture I was worried wouldn’t work, to being in a position of real strength with a solid patient base, bookings months ahead, a solid reputation and my own CQC registered premises.
While there are no shortcuts to success, I believe that a great business coach is one of the biggest assets and best financial investments you can make. I’ve used a few and my advice would be to do your due diligence (there are lots of sharks out there) find someone who you resonate with and don’t be afraid to change coaches over time. What you need at one point in your journey may change in the future and the skills and expertise you need to rely on will change in line with this, too.
For me, the magic is in the mindset work and I still work with a mindset coach on a regular basis.
Personal development is key: podcasts and audiobooks are great and there is so much material out there that can make a huge difference to your mindset.
Business strategy is also vital. Mindset work requires big actions in order to grow, both on a business and personal level, which can make you feel uncomfortable, scared, exposed. My advice is embrace this feeling. It’s uncomfortable now, but it will pass. It’s all part of the process. It’s something to feel grateful for, because when we start to feel uncomfortable, this is when we grow.
Don’t confuse this with making decisions from a place of vulnerability as I mentioned earlier. Make decisions from a place of strength, joy and positivity. If things don’t go as expected be equipped to take the lesson, be grateful for the experience and move on.
For me, motivation and mental health in business is all about mindset first and foremost. That fused with business strategy will lead you to a place of strength, allowing you to truly manage the journey in this wild and wacky sector.