Chris Foster column: Your passion is not enough


As a career coach, I speak to and help many professionals try to make a big impact within the industry. Everyone I have the pleasure of speaking to are super passionate, but quite frankly that isn’t enough! Especially if you don’t have a strategy, it’s hard to find out where you’re going wrong if there are no systematic processes in place. This is true when tackling a complicated haircut, if there is a system and goal, there is success.

So why build an iconic industry profile?

When you become an iconic industry professional great opportunities find you. Recognition, lucrative financial opportunities, joint-venture partnerships, recurring income, and other exciting ventures are commonplace for iconic industry professionals… hey, even your face on the front cover of a magazine! These opportunities are virtually impossible for those who do not have a strong industry profile.

Here are some tangible things you can expect when you become an Iconic Industry Profile.

Media and publicity, the media is always looking for experts within the industry. The press always wants to get their take on many different subjects and are constantly looking for experts and key people of influence to share their insights and knowledge.

When you are an Iconic Industry Profile (I.l.P) you get sent to work at amazing locations around the world or get asked to present on big stages both nationally and internationally. They get asked to be VIP guests at events and many other fun surprises show up unannounced. The fact is, all the best opportunities go to iconic industry professionals. And you need to be one the ONE.

There are two ways to increase your earning potential in this industry. The first is move to a location that charges premium prices and the second is becoming an I.I.P.

Traditionally, we are taught to work hard on our career path, learn new techniques, and master new methods of working. All in hope that the magic happens and you become amazingly good and can charge top dollar for what you do, but my friends, this is far from the truth. Allow me to introduce to you three types of hair professionals.

The Newcomers

Newcomers are buzzing with excitement they are full of dreams and hopes of becoming an iconic industry professional. They get excited by what the industry can offer and they are willing to work long hours for not very much pay in the hopes that one day they will be offered the right opportunities to excel in the future. They are the ones working for free backstage at fashion week. They are the ones working for free at hair shows. They are the ones saying yes to every opportunity that comes their way.

The Grafters

The Grafters are the ones putting in the time and effort, but not seeing much fruit for their labour. They were once newcomers buzzing with excitement, but now those dreams have been knocked out of them. They are burnt by bad experiences and feel used by the industry. When they were newcomers the industry felt fresh, new, exciting, and financially rewarding. But now they are resentful of the enthusiastic newcomers and the iconic industry professionals who make creating opportunities look effortless. Grafters are those who may enjoy their work but are disappointed the results don’t come in quickly enough.

Iconic Industry Pros

Iconic Industry Professionals are the ones with huge Instagram followers, creating fresh interest, and attracting new people to the industry. They are the ones travelling the world sharing their passion. They are the ones creating their own product ranges, or endorsing huge brands. They always have lots of opportunities flowing around them, achieving amazing results.

I.I.P’s attract investors who are looking for people leading the way—money flows where momentum goes.

The truth is there is nothing more restrictive than being average or ordinary. It is harder to achieve your goals if you are like everybody else, if you are not seen or heard. Nobody will know how magnificent you are. You have to stand out, you have to be an Iconic Industry Professional.

Now let’s get into the how.

Find a good mentor

Success is always a team sport; there is no such thing as a self-made millionaire. It will save you years and a lot of money to find the right people to work with. There is great leverage from working with people that share your ideology. They can help you shortcut the learning process. When left alone most people become distracted, unmotivated, and uninspired they will have difficulty completing tasks that lead to successful outcomes. Procrastination and time-wasting becomes the norm. The truth is it is harder to fulfil our true potential on our own. That’s why every great sportsperson has a coach, the Prime Minister has advisers, and actors have directors, all to bring out their best—passion is NOT ENOUGH!

Become an epic content creator

Plan and develop a strategy for sharing your content.  Now, I don’t mean just one-off posts on Instagram. I mean following a strategy that allows the industry to consistently see how magnificent you are.   

There are many ways to share your brilliance; with photographic work, step-by-steps, and blogs. These are all strong methods of showing your work to your audience and being noticed within the industry. Think of it this way, if you’re a recording artist and you make records it is vital for the artist to have an outlet to share their passion. The industry needs to see your work, they need to get to know you and like and trust you.    

I share more profile building strategies on my blog which you can visit at