The difference between the Few and the Many


Chris Sulimay


Chris Sulimay: Okay, so we’re back. I’m going to go ahead and assume that you went ahead and did the assignment. If you didn’t, please pause this and go ahead and do that now. What’s going to happen is as you take these really little small actions, day by day that we’re going to do, it’s going to start to help you build some momentum to start to help you build that habit muscle a little bit. And here’s the reality, whenever you’re trying to make a [00:00:30] change, it’s really about that habit. Building new habits little by little that over time create major change. If you look back in your own personal life, you can probably reflect on this and know that that’s accurate and true. So, now let’s go ahead and start to get into one of the first lessons that I think everybody really needs to own and understand at a greater level. And to tell you the truth, when I learned this at 22 years old, I remember hearing it [00:01:00] and thinking to myself, “Wow, that’s a little true” or “I can sort of see that”. And I’ve been hanging out with this idea now for close to 25 years and I feel like I get greater understanding of it every day. So, this isn’t just something you hear the first time and then have it forever. You’ll start to see this idea that I’m about to share with you, show up in your life, time and time again, in bigger ways, it’ll become more obvious. And as it [00:01:30] becomes more obvious, I believe it’ll help you to guide your thoughts, activities, and actions over time and really to help you to become the professional you’re looking to become. And so again, I don’t know why you signed up to do this, I don’t know what you’re trying to get out of this. Here’s what I do know: If you exert yourself a little bit, wherever you’re at now, you’re going to get a greater result. That’s just how this thing goes. And so let’s get into the idea though.

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[00:02:00] So, this idea that I call in the book, “The Few and The Many”, in every career, in every walk of life, there are certain group of people that seem to outdo and outperform the rest in that area. There’s a term out there that the cream rises to the top and you can see this if you go into any salon environment, you can walk in, you can look around and you can tell after just a few minutes [00:02:30] that there’s a few people in the room that tend to outdo the rest. Lately I’m saying this a lot, sometimes it offends people a little bit. I believe that 90% of the people have 10% of the impact inside of organizations. And then you’ve got 10% of the people that really have 90% of the impact or influence inside of any business. And unfortunately, if you watch that long enough, you’ll probably find out that it’s true. And in your life, [00:03:00] I always ask the question, do you want to be a part of the 90% or do you want to be a part of the 10%? My guess is if you’re here and we’re having this discussion, it’s because you want to be a part of the 10%. So, let’s take a look at what this looks like in a real life scenario. When I came back from that seminar, when I was just a kid, I had a clientele. It was a good clientele I believe for my age bracket. I had a lot of people that I knew from high school, I had a lot of people that I had just met because I moved across the bridge to Tampa [00:03:30] Bay from Saint Petersburg, which was a huge move at the time. And I started to develop a clientele of people just like me. So, youthful minded and we’re really interested in just, you know, what am I doing this weekend more than anything else.
And so, when I heard that lady shared on stage, that very successful stylist that she was doing thousand dollar days, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do that with my current clientele. [00:04:00] And since I didn’t really have all the skills that she had shared yet, I decided that when I went back to the salon, the first place that I was going to start to fix or to change my business was inside of the consultation. And I know you’ve heard consultation beat into your head over the years or certainly in cosmetology school if you’re newer and you’re listening to me, and it’s one of those topics that sometimes I think we can take for granted a bit. But [00:04:30] that was where I was going to start because I felt like it was the easiest and most obvious place I could start. So, the second decision that I made was I was going to go ahead and have the type of consultation that I had with my female clients, with my male clients as well. So, no longer were my guy clients just going to come in and we were going to talk about the weekend. We were really going to take this new approach and I was going to really dive deep into, you know, what do we want to do with our hair [00:05:00] and what are our hair goals and are we trying to grow our hair, or are we try to just maintain, you know, I just wanted to add some new verbiage and language. And remember, at the time I was just learning this.

The first time I really remember making an impact and maybe having somewhat of an experience of this was with a client of mine. His name was Jack, and Jack was in the police academy, he was just trying to get started in his career. And so mainly what we talked about was like, [00:05:30] “what are you doing on the weekend and you know, are we going to all meet up this weekend” and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. You know the story, right? So, when Jack came in, I had this new approach that I was going to sit down and talk hair with him. And when we did, I can honestly tell you it was a strange conversation. It was probably one of the weirdest conversations we ever had. Cause I could tell Jack really didn’t want to talk much about his hair, he just wanted me to buzz hair as usual and you know, go on about our typical social conversations. [00:06:00] And it was interesting because I remember feeling awkward because I was trying to learn some new verbiage in a new script, but here was the deal, I was really committed and I really understood that if I wanted to grow my business and I wanted to grow my demographic and I wanted to shift my clientele and start to grow, I had to try something that other people were doing that had them to elevate their clientele. And so, this is where I was committed to starting. Anyway, to fast forward, [00:06:30] I started to implement this over and over again. And over time my clientele, like Jack ended up going away. They ended up kind of fizzling away, not coming to me anymore because it wasn’t as cool to sit down and not talk about the weekend and actually talk about hair. And as those clients started to fizzle out of my appointment book, what ended up happening was I was opening up spaces to get new [00:07:00] clients to come in. And over that time period, as I’ve kind of already shared, I went from $200 days to $300 days and $300 days to $500 days and $500 days to $800 days and then 800, a thousand, a thousand and over. And it became again, a very regular experience for me to have $1,000 day. In fact, I always feel very unsuccessful unless my day has four figures in it. And you know, [00:07:30] that’s just where I’ve learned to live because I do understand that most hairdressers, and this is something I really want you to hear, maybe need you to hear, most hair stylists will never have the experience of having a $1,000 day. In fact, most hairstylist never have the experience of having a $1,000 week. And to me, that’s really sad and that’s not what I want for you. I want you to not only do all the artistic and creative stuff that you’re trying to do with your [00:08:00] career and go after those goals, but I want you to not be a starving artist along the way.
Now, I want you to just reflect on Jack’s Story for a second because I hope the lesson in there that you can see is that the transformation that I was trying to make was from becoming one of the many, becoming one of the lower or medium or average performers and I’ve really set my focus on shifting to what would happen and how could I [00:08:30] become a more high level performer.

So, I want to paint a picture and do a little comparison as to how I tend to help people identify whether they are somebody who’s set up and striving for and heading to become one of the few, or if there’s [00:09:00] somebody who is kind of setting themselves up to sit in average, just based on the regular thought cycles that are running around in their head all the time.
I’ve heard this said that it’s a scientific fact or statistic, if you will, that an average person has over 65,000 thoughts in a day. 65,000! just think about that, flying around in your head all day long, right? And that’s the good [00:09:30] news, right? You would think, wow, I have 65,000 thoughts floating around. I must be really smart. At least that’s what I thought when I first heard it, but then the same person told me that of those 65,000 thoughts that I was having, 90% of those were the same exact thought that I had the day before. So, it’s kind of funny to think about, but if you do think about that, we tend to, as human beings get into these habits of living, you know, we wake up, we do basically the [00:10:00] same thing. Sometimes we eat the same foods, we drive the same way to work, you know, these habits and these thoughts that we’re always having are happening automatically in our heads. And so, it was really helpful for me when I first learned to start to identify my thoughts and my thinking and the way that I think as a part of what was holding me back from kind of having the career and sort of the life actually that I [00:10:30] wanted. And so, whenever I hang out with a stylist, let’s say, and I talk with that person for just a couple of minutes, what they’ll start to do without knowing it, they’ll start to share their ideas with me as I’ll just ask them some questions. And just by listening to the speaking and the thinking of that person, I can kind of start to identify where they tend to like to hang out mentally. So as an example, if I listen to [00:11:00]somebody and we start to have a conversation about maybe growing their business behind the chair or maybe a goal that they’re trying to achieve, and I hear them say things like, “you know, I don’t think I can do it”, or “that’s going to be really hard”, or “I’m not really smart enough to do it” or “you know, I don’t think I can learn that” or “I’m not as creative as she is.” And I start to hear thoughts like that, what I realized right off the bat is this person doesn’t realize it, but they’re thinking themselves [00:11:30] into staying the same. And one of the most scary things that I’ll hear people say on a regular basis is that “I’ve always been this way”. Like “I can’t change, I’ve always been this way, that’s just how it is. That’s just what you get with me.” And if you think about that, that’s a really scary place to live for somebody who’s trying to grow and the reason why is because [00:12:00] I can almost hear that person saying, “that’s always how I’ve been and that’s always how it’s going to be.” And here’s what I want to really encourage as we spend this time together. I mean, I’m standing here in these silly lights, I’m alone in this room and I’m shooting this video and it feels really weird to do, but I’m taking this action and doing this activity because I believe it’s going to help you out, so, I’m taking this action, this leap of faith that you’re going [00:12:30] to maybe listen long enough, hard enough to start to think about making a change. And a part of that change that you’re going to want and need, I believe to make, I’m going to plead for you to make, is to see if you can’t put your old thinking on hold. If you’re one of those people who says, “that’s the way I’ve always been, that’s the way it’s going to be”, because what that lets a person know is “I’m not open to change”, [00:13:00] right? That’s how it is, “that’s how I’m going to be”. And I’ll have the conversation with somebody to where I’ll say to them, “could you bring yourself back to the moment in life that you decided that this is how it was always going to be” like, “do you remember maybe as a kid where you decided, ‘I have to be this way and this is how it is?’” You know, I’ve talked to some people about this and they’ve said, “yeah, now that [00:13:30] I think about it, Chris, I was seven years old and I realized I had to be strong because you know, I had a big family and my family, if you didn’t speak up and you weren’t strong, you’d wouldn’t get your meal at the table or you’d get made fun of. And that’s just how you had to be.” And then I would ask, “do I always have to be that person in every situation?” And then I would ask them now, “if you went back and you had to ask the advice of that seven year [00:14:00] old, would you allow them to set a rule that you had to behave to for the rest of your life?” Meaning when I was seven, I made a decision that this is how it was always going to be and now for the rest of my life I’ve lived that out and I’ve never gone back and just said, “hmm, maybe I don’t need to follow that rule anymore. Maybe that rule worked for a while, but now you know what? That rule is kind of keeping me [00:14:30] in chains. That rule is kind of keeping me from having the things that I want” or “that rule may be hurting people in my life when I go so aggressive or maybe I’m so passive.” Maybe the rule that you made up was you always had to be quiet and maybe that you got taught that by your parents who said children are to be seen and not heard, but you have something to say or you’ve got some next level energy that’s inside of you that you’ve been afraid to release.

So when I talk to somebody [00:15:00] who I think of as one of the few, that 10%, that person that’s influential, that’s trying to make a difference, that’s trying to better themselves. When I talk to that person, they have a much different language and their language, a lot of times is based in this thing that I call “faith”, for lack of a better word or “trust”, for lack of a better word, which is, you know, “I haven’t done it yet, but I think if I keep trying I’m going to have a breakthrough” [00:15:30] or “I remember that I had a breakthrough before so I know if I just keep practicing I’m going to get it.” Or “you know what if she can do what I can do it” or “if he can do it, I can do it.” Or you could even say, “Chris, if you could be sitting here shooting these videos for me, then you know what, I’m going to give it a try.” When I, when I talk to people, you know, in the salons and I hear them saying, “Oh, retail selling is easy”, or “you know, I just ask every person for [00:16:00] a referral” or “you know, I make sure to schedule time to take pictures of my clients so I can have a beautiful social media presence.” You know, when I talk to people that are trying different things and are willing to step out there and take new actions, I always know if they can just get some focus, right? So my belief plus my action and my focus, when they can put those two things together, man, I just know they’re in for some really good things.
[00:16:30] So, to recap a little bit of what I just said in the past few minutes is, is that your thinking has everything to do with your progress, and the difference between the few and the many always will come out in your thoughts.

So now that we’ve made a little bit more of a comparison of that group of the few and the many, I want to share a little bit more about myself personally, and my [00:17:00] thoughts and how they’ve kind of changed and evolved over time. And so here’s the reality of it, when I was younger, I worked with my older brother and you know, he’s a really great hairdresser and I always looked at him and the group of stylists that I worked with and I just thought, you know, “I’m never going to be as good as these guys.” They were doing some really fun things, traveling the world, doing hair competitions, and I just always used to secretly inside of my head, nobody knew this, I just always thought [00:17:30] “there’s no way I’m ever going to be able to be like that, so why should I even try?” And it was that thinking that I didn’t realize I started to adopt in lots of different areas of my life. And there were a couple of different very common themes that I would hear in my head when I started to pay attention to my thoughts on a regular basis. And so here are some of the common themes that I struggled [00:18:00] with and even sometimes still struggle with to this day. The first one was, “I’m never going to be able to do that.” And for some reason that was just like one of the first things that would pop in my head when I would see somebody doing something great. As an example, right now here I am shooting video and sharing this information with you. But I remember when I first started to hear it and I first started listening to business teachers [00:18:30] and, you know, great platform artists do things, like I remember seeing Trevor Sorbie being on stage when I was a kid and I just remember thinking, “oh my God, he’s got this audience captivated and he’s doing this amazing hair, I’ll never be able to do that”, or when I first listened to some of my business mentors and, you know, share information like this, I just thought, my initial first thought was “I don’t think I’m ever going to be able to do that.”

[00:19:00] Another thought that I hung out with for a long time and sometimes still do is “why do I have to do this?” I always had this idea in my head that, oh my God, I have to do this. And over time I started to listen to that really fully and listen to it and say, you know, every time I get this great opportunity, my mind, it’s not me, I don’t really mean to do it, but my mind plays this thought cycle, this tape in my head and it says, [00:19:30] “Oh God, now I have to go do this.” And over the years I’ve learned to change those thoughts and that style of thinking to “I have to do? I get to do.” Or if I think you know right away, “I’m never going to be able to do that.” Sometimes I’ll ask, first of all, “do I want to do that?” That’s been a big one for me. And then the second one is “if I really do want to do that, well then how can I learn to do that?” Or “what actions [00:20:00] would I need to take to get me closer?” And so this set of ideas that I think of as negative thoughts that most of us hang out with. Most of us have a few of these nagging negative thoughts about ourselves. I’ll tell you, social media has really exposed this. I see people that are afraid to post their beautiful work on social media because they’re afraid of what other people will think. And the reality is, I know secretly it’s [00:20:30] because they don’t feel good enough or they don’t think they belong or they don’t think their work… You know, they’re afraid that somebody might criticize their work or it doesn’t look as good as their friends. All of these things are what I think of as negative thought cycles. And in the book we call them “Self Defeating Ideas”. These are ideas that we have that hold us back on a regular basis.

[00:21:00] What we want to do now is start to identify and think of some of those ideas. So here’s the first part of your assignment that I want you to do right now, actually. Pause this video or recording if you’re listening to it on audio and I want you to spend five minutes with a sheet of paper, or on your laptop if you’d prefer to take notes that way or on your phone if you prefer to take notes that way. And I want you to write down every negative thought that you [00:21:30] have on a regular basis. So I want you to sit and I just want you to listen to your thinking, really deeply and quietly and just ask yourself, “Do I ever question myself? Do I question: Am I able to do this? Do I question: Why do I have to do this? Do I have some secret dreams that I’ve been wanting to do, but that fear is holding me back?” And I want you to ask yourself, what does that fear saying to you? Is it saying you [00:22:00] can’t do it? Is it saying you don’t have the energy to do it? Is it saying you’re not creative enough? Is it saying you’re not good enough, you’re not tall enough, you’re not young enough, you’re not old enough? What is it saying to you that you’re allowing it to control you and have you not at least put forth the effort and try? You know, I used to have a fear of speaking on camera and I used to say to myself, “I hate my voice, I sound silly.” Which is probably true, right? [00:22:30] It doesn’t matter. But I got over those voices in my head because I said, you know what, I just really want to help people. So if I’m going to have to do that, I’m going to have to learn to be on camera and like “shut up thoughts, I’m not listening to you. I’m jumping on here and doing this.” And so in your assignment, I want you to pause the video now and I want you to listen to your thinking and I want you to write down all of the negative thoughts, or all of the fear thoughts or the self-defeating [00:23:00] ideas that hang out in your head on a regular basis. So go ahead and do that now. It’s the first part of your assignment, I want you to pause the video, take three to five minutes, really try to write these things down, like really give it your best. I want to know what are those regular thoughts that you have on a regular basis that hold you back. So go ahead, write those down now, I’ll wait.

Okay, welcome back. You did the first part of your [00:23:30] assignment. Now, here’s the second part and piece. If you want to start to make progress, you’re going to have to start to adopt or listen for those positive thoughts or those self affirmations or those thoughts that help you to take better action on a regular basis. And we might have to nurture those a little bit, or you might have them, and we just want to recognize them more. And what we’re going to do now is we’re going to focus our energy on the [00:24:00] positive stuff that’s in there, in our thoughts cycles. So for just a second, I want you to think back to a time in your life where you did something that you were really proud of, or you learned a skill that you didn’t think you were going to learn. So you had a breakthrough and you tried something new, and it was those positive thought cycles that help you get there. So what I want you to do now, is I want you to write down all of the really positive ideas or thoughts that you have about yourself on [00:24:30] a regular basis. And so here’s what we’re going to do with this. You’ve got your list of negative thoughts already. We’ve got our list of, I like to call them “fear thoughts” now out in the world or you know, “self-defeating ideas”. You’ve got those lists of unhealthy thoughts written down, now what we want to do is we want to replace those on a regular basis with a list of better thoughts, maybe even more true thoughts, because here’s the reality, the things that we’re trying to do here [00:25:00] inside of this video series, grow a clientele, have a greater career, really fulfill our potential from, from that type of an aspect. In the world of hairdressing, it’s relatively easy to do. I know that might sound a little pompous for me to say, but I want you to hear me clearly. The things that we’re trying to do inside of this career aren’t impossible because other very regular people like myself [00:25:30] have done really great things in this industry. And I know that if you’re listening to this and you’re going to put forth the effort, you’re going to be able to do it. But in order to do that, we’re going to have to learn some new thinking habits, some new set of thoughts, some new ideas that you adopt and you start to think on a regular basis. And so let’s say I had an old thought and my old thought would be, you know, “oh, I have to do this”, now I’ve replaced that thought [00:26:00] with “I get to do this”. This morning I jumped out of bed super early. It was still dark out, it’s a Sunday morning. I’m sitting here shooting and I’m like, “today I get to go to video room and I get to go sit and shoot some videos that are going to help some hairdressers.” That’s an awesome way of thinking and it had me drive here as fast as I could and I couldn’t wait to just get the camera on and have this discussion with you. So pause the video now and [00:26:30] go ahead and write down, make a big list of all of the new positive ideas or thoughts that you’re going to adopt on a regular basis that are going to help us to A, get you you through this course. Maybe, there’s some things that are going to hold you back from this course. I want you to write some positive affirmational thoughts that you can put down that are going to help you get through this course, and that are going to help you in all honesty in your life. So pause [00:27:00] the video now and write those thoughts down, I’ll wait.

Okay, you’re back, thank you. So you paused the video, you wrote down some new positive thoughts, some new affirmations that you might use, some thoughts that you’re going to adopt maybe, maybe there are other people’s thoughts. You know, maybe you know, somebody that has a really positive attitude and they look at life as fun and you look at life as hard work, right? Maybe, you’re going to take a little page [00:27:30] out of the fun person’s book and you’re going to start to say, “you know, I had a long day today, but it was fun. I got through the day, I saw some of my favorite clients and even though my legs are hurting, boy, it was worth it, I had a great time.”

Now we have those two lists and I want to introduce an idea to you that’s going to help to carry you hopefully through the rest of the lessons but also the rest of your career. [00:28:00] This is an idea that I introduced in Shop Talk and I call it “Believe, Behave, Become”, Believe, behave, become. It’s a circle, believe, behave, become, believe, behave, become. And inside of this thought process or this metaphor if you will, I believe, I believe right? I believe truly and fully that it’s our beliefs [00:28:30] that really drive our behaviors. And so we just wrote down a bunch of negative beliefs and negative ideas that we have and then we hopefully are replacing them with some positive ideas and positive thoughts that we’re going to now adopt. And the reason why we’re doing this isn’t just because I want you to like walking around with a goofy smile on your face all the time, but it’s because I know that if you can start to really adopt a [00:29:00] more positive or affirmative or assertive set of thinking that it’s going to affect directly your actions and behaviors on a daily basis, remember: Believe, behave, become. I believe that your beliefs and your thoughts, the ones that you know and the ones that maybe you haven’t learned yet have an effect on your daily life every single day. So if I believe something is [00:29:30] hard and I’m not ready to take that task on, it’s going to have me not do that thing. But we want you to start to try to do that thing. So now I want to say, “okay, maybe it’s hard, but you know what, I’m up for the challenge.” Just that simple thought, “I’m up for the challenge”, I want to argue will affect all of your behaviors for that day, that week, that [00:30:00] month, that year, maybe a lifetime. And so it’s the behaviors that are going to start to give us our outcomes. So I like to say, when I believe good stuff over time it has me do more good stuff. And eventually I become, or I get more good stuff. And I’m not talking about getting a Mercedes and I’m not talking about, you know, getting a Lambo, [00:30:30] I’m talking about I get better outcomes out of life when I’m believing and thinking better. And when I’m taking more, what I like to call, “right actions” or actions that are going to help to move me in the direction that I want to go. When I do that over time, I can look back and I can see in my life that my career gets better, my home relationships get better, my [00:31:00] life has less negative stuff happening around it. And then when I believe bad stuff long enough, I get trapped in that negative thought cycle and I take bad actions, maybe lazy actions, maybe I just don’t take action. I get less good outcomes and less good things happen. And so I [00:31:30] want you to think about, or maybe write down, I’m sure it’s on the pdf that we’re providing for you. Take a look at that metaphor, “believe, behave, become”, and start to ask yourself, “how have my negative and positive beliefs on a regular basis affected my actions?” And if I want to become or get to a greater place, I think it will become obvious [00:32:00] that I’m going to have to hang out with the better of the two idea sets. So when I start to believe better and I start to behave better and take better actions, man, my outcomes just get better over time. And that’s what we’re going to want from you here.