Personal Colour Analyst As Successful Career

Personal Colour Analyst As Successful Career

access_time 2013/09/7 account_circle chat_bubble_outline 15 Comments
Projections

…are useless.

Projections are something the male brain loves. The charts and graphs can get other male brains feeling exhilarated. They can impress each other. Some women buy into them, and others do not have clue what they’re talking about and don’t care enough to learn. I’m in the second group. Projections make my eyes glaze over.

Projections are usually wrong, besides being narrow and confining. They set too many terms and conditions on what might happen. They never tell the whole picture. When something new and great comes along, the automobile, the internet, and it always does, or something awful, a tsunami, what use are last year’s charts?

A business plan that takes more than a page is a waste of space unless you’re trying to convince a banker. It forces you to map out your future like a game of Twister. If I step left 3 paces, and then I go right 3 hands, I will be there. The problem is that all you ever see is the gap.

Make a wish, cast it out there. Let it come back to you however it wants to. The root of your richest, highest, truest ambitions will not come from feelings of insufficiency. If it fills you with joy, that’s the direction you move in. Fine tune the next wish as the first one becomes part of you.

Don’t think about every reason things could go wrong. Live your best life. Know your own bank account. Have a sense of your net worth and cash flow. Forget what ‘s going on around you. Most of it has nothing to do with you.

 

Photo: vivekchugh

Photo: vivekchugh



 

Expert Advice in Women and Money

Tracy Theemes is the woman that I acknowledge first in Return to Your Natural Colours (blue book, right hand column). Tracy is a huge believer in women-owned businesses, in part because they account for the #1 income earners among women.

She is a financial advisor specializing in women investors in the US and Canada, helping women use their resources optimally. She advises women who own multimillion-dollar businesses, women struggling with divorce or welfare, and all of us in between. She helps her clients balance knowledge, fear, resources, erroneous assumptions, should vs. shouldn’t, and can vs. can’t. In her many years of experience, far too much energy is being given to can’t.

She has a recently-launched book that applies to every woman the world over. In it, she suggests kindly and attentively that knowing how to run a house on a budget is not financial empowerment. This book is about defining ourselves as women, why the world buys into the male financial model and how that came to be, and the money language that women are wired to understand.

In fact, women are biologically equipped to be better at money than the guys are. Tracy outlines a 5-step financial plan that brings us solid financial grounding whatever our income and savings. The plan provides us with awareness. Awareness of where we are now, where we want to be, and how to have that happen. Letting the men look after this is a weakness. Her explanations make complete sense, no charts, no graphs.

The book is here at Amazon.com

and here at Amazon.ca

Tracy understands first-hand the exhaustion and distractions of constant juggling – children, career, marriage, self-growth, and physical health. She never stops believing that there is nothing between you and your power to control your money except the kind of fear that is not important and holds us back.

You will never meet anyone who sympathizes with your life more sincerely, who believes more certainly in your power to know and own your money, who realizes how hard it is to talk about money inside and outside a family, and who will have your back the whole time.

Her advice is real, possible, and safe. Standing up and embracing our money is better and easier than living in denial of this massively influential energy form. Being free and in control opens up creativity and giving, the only real kinds of receiving.

Below, our conversation.

 

Photo: lornzo

Photo: lornzo



 

1. Christine: If we listen to media, especially North America’s paranoid media, we are moved to act and we buy more media, affirming the reason that media is in business.

Worse, we become North America’s paranoid society. Then someone comes along and says, “Hold on. Let’s take a step back and see what’s really going on here. Well, turns out it’s not what we thought at all.”

Sure, economies downsize. In certain sectors. That’s just making room for the thousands of jobs that haven’t been invented yet. Today, if you can’t get a job, you make a job. You don’t have to slot into an already existing job. That’s how things used to be. Besides, in bad economies, what sells the most is smokes, booze, and looking better.

If you can add enough value to your service, Personal Colour Analyst seems to me a win-win career because it’s independent of economic trends, albeit less so than mascara and vodka because they’re cheaper and the gratification is instantaneous. The women I see have matured well beyond the confines of instant gratification anyway. They’re looking for something far more profound.

I’ll believe nobody has money when I stop seeing line-ups waiting to pay for $4 coffee.

When women stop saying to me, “Just tell me what to buy.”

When Dollar Stores don’t close down.

When mall parking lots are empty.

When the Hampton Inn is never sold out and the Quality Inn always is.

Seems to me that we are in a fine economy for entrepreneurs, those near retirement age, home-based and cash-based businesses, flex hours, people with children…come to think of it, I can’t imagine a better time to join our profession.

Tracy, am I just naive?

Tracy: For 30 years, it seems it’s always the wrong time to start a business. It’s a bad economy in every economy. It’s always a volatile stock market. People are still worrying about what they read in ’92.

My advice: Own what you are trying to achieve.

 

Photo: merlin1075

Photo: merlin1075



 

2. C: Is there a right time to start a business, or from a personal perspective, is there a right time to become trained in a new skill?

Tracy: Women are relationship-oriented. For some reason, when we ask the people who form our relationships about new ideas we have, they feel compelled to think of every reason why something might not work out.

It seems to be genetic in women to underestimate our value and ability to own a successful business. Go with those feelings but know they aren’t real. Even established businesswomen second-guess themselves. This is not a good enough reason to avoid pursuing a career you would love. These feelings are not an excuse for not doing something you want to do.

Unless you were raised in a 5th generation business-owning family, you will never be more than 75% certain. Go for it. Don’t wait for 85%.

 

Photo: tvdh

Photo: tvdh



 

3. C: Many women communicate to me that they dream of becoming colour analysts but…

Any thoughts about women and risk?

Tracy: Research shows that women are more perceptive to risk than men. Women are much more sensitive to their feelings in general and are able to label them better than men. Research also confirms that once women gain knowledge about a topic such as money, we are much bolder investors than men, whose risk-taking is reduced with greater knowledge.

All people self-medicate with certain ideas they hold, the securities we all need to have around ourselves. We know that there is a type of fear that is simply rebound from big decisions that throw these shelters and protections off balance – and that those who experience that fear and pause before financial decisions become better business owners than those who do not experience any fear. There is an optimal hesitation that we can moderate slowly as we make conscious changes in our lives. Keeping some of it is a good thing.

How we overcome feelings of fear and risk is by practicing with the little things first. If something doesn’t work, fix it. We come to realize that there is no end of the world. You hate a haircut? Let the hair grow back and try again. You bought a blouse you regret? Take it back. We can apply this to business and see that no decision is irrevocable. Business is a process. Like health, you are continuously on the path of adjusting and improving.

 

Photo: saavem

Photo: saavem



 

4. C: I want to see Personal Colour Analyst be recognized as a viable profession, one in which women can support themselves and their families.

We can’t survive on minimum wage. Why is it even called that? Stuff costs too much even if we live modestly. Well, it depends. You can have a fantastic lifestyle and no cash. A surfer. We could point to college dropouts who become dot com billionaires. We stand back and say, Well, my goodness, isn’t that an interesting part of our world? They had enough arrogance to believe they can outsmart the system and enough brains to do so. Like fashion models and other meteorites though, this is hardly a strategy for the rest of us.

How do new or experienced analysts set a price for their service?

Tracy: Pick a number that seems reasonable and double it. You’ve already factored your inputs and time in subconsciously.

Everybody thinks their town needs a financial break. It isn’t true. Remember that you are not your clients. Don’t try to think for them. You might not get a $300 haircut, a $300 hotel room, a $300 colour consultation, but your clients would. They do it all the time. They are not your social circle or family, nor do they need to be.

The business owner is not her target market. She is not the example for how her clients think. You can find clients, many clients, who will do what you won’t. There is plenty of wealth, even if it’s not where you hang around.

Charge your full price 80% of the time. Sometimes, when starting out or well established, give your work as a gift, for experience, referrals, or pro bono in the community. Never discount the service. A reasonable hourly rate is $100 to $140, which grows as you develop credibility in the community.

Women must stop seeing themselves as part-time earners to help the family. We should think of ourselves as business owners, as the makers of our own retirement, and as the source of support for our family.

Photo: demma

Photo: demma



 

5. C: How can a woman know the right time to take the training? As a financial advisor, if a client were considering a new business venture as a colour analyst, what would be your thoughts?

For me, it was when life gave me no other choice I could live with. The opinions and judgments of others were irrelevant, positive or negative. They felt outside me, as if their words were not even about me, but some stranger.

Tracy: You are taking an economic jump that your family and friends are not. Only listen to the advice of other business owners.

From that point of view, this career offers you full control of your investment. You are the pilgrims of a new profession. It will be as great and wealth-producing as you make it. There is no paradigm, no glass ceiling, no pattern or model you need to fit into. As a community, you are making it up as you go along.

I want to underline the importance of having nothing to break through, as so many other professions have required women to do. The value in this must not be underestimated. If all colour analysts charged $500/hour, then that would be the accepted starting fee. Psychologists just started talking. Now they earn 250/hour.

The most lucrative investment you can make is in yourself. It’s the only thing you have 100% control over. Especially as a sole proprietor, you completely determine how hard you work, how much you advertise, what innovations you offer, your brand, and your fee.

Invest in yourself. You can’t go wrong.

 

Photo: OwnMoment

Photo: OwnMoment



 

 

A prospective student asked:
I want to know whether this career is a scalable business or best enjoyed with the support of a second occupation (since I noticed you are a part-time vet). A PCA [is about $250]. But how do you build the business over time given its not a repeat business business?
After 4 years as a colour analyst, I have retired from the veterinary profession, hopefully to meet new successes elsewhere. I live in a small farming town, near larger professional cities. I learned to travel to gain exposure, which I no longer do. Not every analyst will need to do that. People are very willing to drive an hour or two. Word spreads fast.

Will it matter if it doesn’t work out? Not even a little bit. I will have tried. I can easily go back to earning money with cats and dogs, or in a brand new way I haven’t even seen yet.

PCA is very much a repeat business, in that once you’ve done Mom, you’ll see daughter, Grandma, son, husband, son’s fiance,…. The secret is to do such a brilliant job with each client that they want to come back, see someone they know be analyzed as a refresher for themselves, ask you a few more questions. Take such good care of every client that they wouldn’t dream of severing the connection.

Never in any field make assumptions about what you’d pay or what you’re worth. This is a deadly bad habit. As Tracy said, you are not your client. You are spending your money now in places others would not. The software developer is not the teenager. The pharmaceutical company owner is not the woman choosing toothpaste for her family. Focus your attention on how to make your service spectacular. Exceed all her expectations in that way, not by being the cheapest game in town. That never impresses anybody.

During the training, we do discuss growth through excellence, surprise, individuality, and variety, as well as how to grow yourself in your community. Your training guide manual includes a big section about it. The possibilities are literally endless with nobody writing your own story except you. What’s more empowering than having so much say in your own future?

There are admittedly many unknowns in a business like this. Moving them all around like puzzle pieces, hoping they’ll snap together and make a clear picture, is not going to happen. If you feel anxiety and hear alarm bells warning you to protect your borders about how it’s all going to turn out, I respectfully suggest that the time is not right to jump in.

Lower the bar on what you’re willing to worry about. Believe that it will all turn out fine. That’s what the students so far have had in common. They will grow their colour analysis business exactly how they grow the rest of their lives: by expanding what they love and getting less caught up in what makes sense. Life’s best offers come in when we don’t have the controls.

Have you answered the most important Q?

This is the A you most need to know.

What do you want?

15 Thoughts on Personal Colour Analyst As Successful Career

  • Stacey

    Christine I follow your blog for a long time and I really like your work. However, this is the first time I will shook my head in disagreement in some of the points you make. Even though I like the underlying message of your blog post, I think it’s foolish for someone to take financial risks right now, if they have no safety net. I don’t live in America, but I remember the signs of the upcoming gloom and doom in Europe. Right now, Southern European economies are destroyed and the rest of Europe is struggling. The only reason some people still survive is BECAUSE they were being cautious the previous years, paying attention to the rumours for an upcoming crisis. I think it wouldn’t hurt people in America to be as cautious, even if that’s rather boring. Better safe than sorry. What you wrote:

    “Will it matter if it doesn’t work out? Not even a little bit. I will have tried. I can easily go back to earning money with cats and dogs, or in a brand new way I haven’t even seen yet.”

    is admirable and I do get your point, however that’s terrible advise to someone who may not be as focused or organised as you, or who may simply not have a back-up profession. Not to mention that you can’t be certain that in the future the economy will allow people to explore new opportunities.

    Any way I hope didn’t offend you. I mostly agree with what you wrote, however, I get the impression that because things are sightly better in the US and a hell of a lot better in Canada, people aren’t quite aware of how bad things are going to be in the next years. Again, better safe than sorry, even if it’s boring.

  • Elizabeth

    Christine,
    Even if you disregard the economy, the bottom line is that you have priced your drapes for color analysis very high. So high, in fact, that I doubt many will purchase them–period. I am hardly a person who “cheaps out” in any area. I just do not believe in paying outrageous amounts of money for things that should not cost that much. There has to be a better way to work the drape issue for your and Terry’s students. In fact, I see one of your recent graduates did just that and picked out her own drapes, which makes me feel quite duped, as I was given the impression that there was no other option, but your drapes.

    • Christine Scaman

      Thank you both for your comments. They allow me to clarify some things I didn’t say clearly enough.

      Stacey – I wasn’t thinking so much about whether a person can afford the training. That’s really your business. Don’t drain your life savings. Don’t buy a house you can’t afford. That applies everywhere anytime. The point I was really trying to emphasize is that a person shouldn’t assume that they will get no clients. Just because my finances have been rocky doesn’t mean everybody’s were. I’ve been poor in great economies and been comfortable when those around me are not. Assuming that nobody will want a PCA in your country because everybody is feeling the same squeeze just isn’t so. There’s always money somewhere, lipstick sales never decline (they soar in bad economies), Botox isn’t getting cheaper, plastic surgeons are booked solid if they’re doing a great job. I pay a lot too – 40% taxes in Canada (13% HST and income tax around 27% is our lowest), 15% US exchange rate when I bought my drapes, 3% extra on every PayPal transaction …but, very slowly, people called.Yes, might have been 2 appts a month at first. I focused on blowing their socks off with the service, the surprises they didn’t expect, the valuable info they get in newsletters forever after their PCA, and soon, their friends call. You’re so right, that another job to float this one along helps.

      Elizabeth – I didn’t mean to mislead anyone about the drapes. I didn’t want to insist that people buy mine. What I REALLY don’t want is for our industry to continue giving women different Seasons. Therefore, the working tools have to be correct. The student who bought another company’s drapes had to re-harmonize every single colour and move them around into other Seasons and buy some others to fill our 12 groups correctly. I couldn’t assume that every person could do that equally accurately every time Terry or I had a student. And I didn’t want to get emails, “My analyst was trained by you and couldn’t get a correct result. Your system and/or training must be at fault.” I want our Sci\ART based community to find great trust in the public eye. Now, if a student wants to buy the drapes offered by True Colour Australia, I would have no problem with that. Even without seeing them, I do not doubt they’ll be perfectly calibrated to the 12 Sci\ART palettes. I guess it’s hard to say what something “should cost” till one has tried to make it… bought the inputs, dealt with the manufacturing, addressed the marketing, remunerated the expertise/consultants/research, provided for re-investment and continued supply, and the many other facts about bringing a great product to market. Maybe nothing ever feels like it “should cost” what it does. I agree with you that if another company can offer you an education and product that is more within your means at the moment, whose accuracy and precision performance you can have complete faith in, and still fulfills a life ambition, then it would only make sense to explore that.

      • Christine Scaman

        PS the truth would never offend me. If you were all vague and polite and didn’t tell me what you really think, that would bug me far more. I don’t want to hear so much about what’s working as what’s now working and how I can adjust it to suit you better. Thank you for being honest, it’s far more difficult than being vague and polite.

  • Heather

    Christine, re ” Now, if a student wants to buy the drapes offered by True Colour Australia, I would have no problem with that.”

    I had intended to do just that, but one of the reasons I decided not to pursue the training is that Amelia told me that she *would not* sell me her drapes if I were doing your/Terry’s training course. Her drapes are more moderately priced and, of course, precisely match the TCA palettes, so they seemed the better option for me. Unfortunately all of this points to the fact that there is no Sci/ART plc.

  • Elizabeth

    The option to purchase Amelia’s drapes was not made available. She said that she didn’t feel right selling her drapes to someone she did not train. I would also venture to say that if an anaylsyt has the eye for doing pca, she would also have the eye for creating her own drape set.

  • Ineke

    It looks like the drapes are very expensive, but really, when you compare each drape to a blouse, a top or a T-shirt, I think you will agree that it’s not that bad after all.
    If you would buy over a hundred blouses in one day, you would feel dizzy spending too 🙂

  • Denise

    Christine,

    I’m wondering how you – in practice and with trainees – reconcile loving color, transformation, and beauty with business and sales and marketing. Kind of a big question, I know. I admire what you are doing and wish you well.

    • Christine Scaman

      Heather – I fully agree with Amelia and can see why she decided as she did. She had no choice that I can see. She doesn’t know me. She has no reason to trust that I could harmonize drapes to Seasons. I was never certified as a trainer. No doubt her analysis process is vastly different from mine since I’ve never met 2 analysts who do it the same way. Also, as a business woman with brains, it would be crazy to sell drapes without the training. The profit margin on the drapes is ridiculously low. What would be the point of making drapes to basically break even? That’s not smart. The training provides the income that floats the whole show to keep the enterprise going for more students to learn, and have a good set of working tools. At least, I can’t speak for Amelia, but that’s how my books are looking. I do not understand what you mean by “Sci\ART pic”?

      Elizabeth – I guess the option still isn’t available if Amelia only sells to her own students. You might be the person who could accurately place 250 fabric colours in exactly the right Season, but could I really depend on every student being able to do this? The idea that an eye for PCA means you could achieve this task … well, you gotta give it a try and see how easy or hard it is. Different students have different aptitudes or “eyes”, or have and eye for very different things, or bring very different abilities to the career. Some have long histories with colour, with colour myths and overlaps and crossovers, have been more used to Dominant and Secondary systems, or have very little history or knowledge but are committed to serving people in this way.
      Really. Go out into the North American textile industry and give it a go. Maybe I have a weak eye but I find it unbelievably hard to choose the colours and what each will be compared with in all the possible algorithms of the Sci\ART process when it is fully understood and deployed.
      And then of course, once the fabrics are Season sorted, they need to be measured (those cutting wheels, they need replacing way too often), cut, sealed (bottles and bottles of glue, hours and hours of time), grommeted (guess what a good press costs? and how fast you’ll go through those little metal loops!), stamped (all 80 plus stamps), packaged, shipped, and publicized – anyone who thinks making drapes is easy and should be cheaper really must make some before they can say that. It’s an eye opener.
      A person makes drapes for one of two reasons. A. They love doing it and value the immense education of it. I’d be in that group, but I wouldn’t share the numbers with my accountant lest she fall off her chair laughing at me and ask why I’m in business to break even or lose money. At least as a colour analyst, booked at 15 appts per month at about $200 each, there’s decent income. As a drape maker, even if they’re sold out a year ahead, you’re still not doing much better than break even. B. They want to teach and share this amazing process so much that they’re willing to deal with drape-making. I’m in this group too.
      It would be my dream come true if someone wants to take on providing a source of 100% accurate drapes that might even improve on the originals, if only in number. I’d turn inside out with gratitude because I could just focus on teaching. Please, step up, anybody, and make these things. I’ll help you find all the suppliers. No research needed.
      The great thing is that all the other companies that have cheaper drapes than mine also offer training, so even if Amelia’s product wasn’t an option, theirs always was, no?

      Denise,

      Every woman owes it to herself and her daughters to watch this and apply it somehow to her life today.

      http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html

      Nobody has the answer. Not even the COO of facebook. We try a little more every day. There is no such thing as work-life balance. And the absolute impossibility of such a thing won’t be resolved till somebody asks a guy how he’s coping with it. I know some men who have never heard the term. It helps me that I don’t believe men are smarter, better at handling business decisions or money, that the business world is nearly as complicated as the home world. I was refused loans, the whole thing, so I did it myself. I stand on the other side of that now and find the value in it. If I did it myself, I guess I’m stronger than I thought I was. I analyzed a beautiful Dark Autumn recently who had been through some difficulties, she said “The colours found the strength in me that I’d forgotten I had.” Is it all sustainable? Can I keep teaching, keep up with drapes, keep my life together? I have no idea. The path of least resistance and staying a 3-day a week veterinarian was so much easier.

  • Paisley Ize

    What do I want? Um … health insurance … prescription benefits … part-time disability … for a start … or a husband with an excellent income, whose insurance I could be on … not having the latter, and needing the former, I think I’ll keep my pca work part time, thanks. 🙂

  • Monica

    Christine,

    Never in a million years would I want to make drapes. I was happy to purchase them from you, and I would do so again. The combined care and attention to detail between you and Terry is an incredible gift. I am grateful that you are serving the community in this way.

    As far as business goes, the people in my life and the people in their lives are lining up for this. I think women in particular are hungry for the encouragement and exhortation that come from someone speaking gently and knowledgeably into their lives in such a vulnerable place, with practical information that they can use every single day.

  • Lian

    Christine, you blew me away with this. What a wise and wonderful woman you are. It’s so clear you are coming from a place of love, generousity abundance. I look forward to watching your continued success.

    “The secret is to do such a brilliant job with each client that they want to come back, see someone they know be analyzed as a refresher for themselves, ask you a few more questions. Take such good care of every client that they wouldn’t dream of severing the connection.”

    Yes, yes, yes!

    And I’ll be buying Tracy’s book. What a wonderfully insightful and empowering woman. Thank you for introducing her to us.

  • Lian

    *generosity, even. Whoops! 😀

  • Janine

    Christine, I really really love your article. I’m on the verge of thinking about training to do colour analysis (with a company in the UK – sadly I’m not close enough for your training!) and although I’m scared, I can feel the pull towards it, as you describe. It’s truly a life’s dream.

    I’ll start by doing weekends and evenings, then maybe go part-time and take it from there. I’ve been offered an amazing opportunity, I even happen to have some spare cash to start off my training. I’m scared, but sensible. I’m in control of my cash flow. I think I just might be able to do it. Reading your article has really lifted my spirits. I’m rather in awe of just how well you write and how your writing resonates. Thank you so much for this, it’s come at just the right time.

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