Outside-in with Guest – Sara Burton

Salon Education Journal welcomes a guest columnist each issue to share their thoughts, coaching or mentoring from a place outside of our world.

Ever thought like just giving up and packing it all in? Wait! Hold that thought…

Try This!

We’ve all been there at some point, right? That place where you’re always working hard, you’re super busy but just not getting the results you want. Perhaps you’ve been building your business for what feels like forever, doing all the right things, putting in the hours but just not achieving the success you want…the success you KNOW you are more than capable of achieving. 

I see you!

It’s frustrating when you still have the passion for what you do but when it’s not working how you want it to and you feel tired, stuck, and just don’t know what to do next it can feel hopeless. Decision making becomes hard …our brains go into survival mode and want to keep us safe, so to avoid further angst, our thoughts turn negative, and we convince ourselves that it would be good to just pack it all in and do something else.

But there is a way to get back into the driving seat and boost up the motivation. Rather than keep plugging away in the same way, doing the same things, and potentially heading for a burnout, try this 

Do a start over!

Wiping the slate clean and starting over can be a game changer and its repeatable. Success isn’t a linear path, learning as you go, tweaking and re-thinking is all part of the journey.

Done in the right way, a start over will flood your brain with a wonderful new motivation to take confident action in a different way, allowing you to step back  and look at what’s really going on. It’s a chance to lose bad habits, strategies that aren’t working, release toxic thoughts and raises excitement over a new challenge. Shed the old way of thinking and doing and bring in the new!

You see the thing is, you’re not starting over from scratch. You are starting over with experience and more knowledge than before. And THAT IS an advantage. 

Maybe it’s time to make the most of what you know best…YOU!

Oh, and that word “failure”? Let’s throw that out too if that feels big to you. Failures are merely lessons that you needed to receive to move forward. 

So, how do you start over?

I’ve studied this and have had thousands of start overs in all areas of my life (it’s easy to say that when you are 52) so I know this works and have proven it works for others too! So, I set about simplifying it, formulating it so you get to discover the power of a start over fast.

You can start this right now…grab a pen and paper, find somewhere quiet (it can be done!) so you can hear your thoughts and let’s get you started.

My start-over method has 3 phases: Sort, Shape and shift!

1. Sort

Before you can make any changes it’s important to understand where you are starting from. Be kind to yourself, this isn’t a time to berate yourself for all the things that you could have done differently, this is a time to evaluate your current situation objectively. Be honest with what comes up, remember this is just for you to work with.  

So, get ready for a good sort out. What’s is or isn’t working well? How are you feeling? What are the things you’ve learnt so far? What’s important to you? Just let whatever wants to come out flow out on to the page. Getting it out of your head and seeing it on a page can really free up some much-needed head space.

2. Shape

Now for shaping the vision of where you want to be, for example, “I want a business doing what I love that brings me a regular income of £5k per month”. This may be exactly the same as before or you may have adjusted it but make sure you’re really aiming for what you want next. So…What do you want to achieve? What does success look like to you? When do you want to achieve it. Let your imagination be free to explore. How do you want to feel when you get there? Have fun here, let the excitement run through you and really try to visualise it all.

3. Shift

Now you are clearer on where you are right now and where you want to be, it’s time to look at how you are going to get there. Look only for the positives here. Go over what you’ve written so far…where are the gaps? What’s are the biggest changes needed? What can you do differently this time? What resources or support do you need? And my favourite…who do YOU need to be to make it all happen?

Gaining clarity through this method only comes after giving yourself time to think, to trust in yourself, your knowledge and experience so far. You get to let out YOUR thoughts, ideas and needs, everything you need is inside of you. If you can imagine it, you can do it!

Now you can begin to plan, now you can start-over, and the fun bit is that no-one else needs to know the shifts that are happening inside you, your successes will show for themselves.

It’s never too late to make a change and it’s never too early to start-over.

Sara Burton is The Start Over Coach helping driven individuals re-evaluate, re-define and re-energise their goals, next chapter and desires in life and business after something has changed them forever and they’re ready to start over. Creator and host of The Start Over Podcast. 


It’s new, it’s innovative, it’s transformational, it’s educational!  But what is it all about?

Nabuno and Salon Education Journal are excited to introduce a new stage for educators and experts within the salon industry – SALON:ED Talks.  The premise of the Talks is to share knowledge, skills, ideas, and experience in the form of video presentations or seminars. It is a new and fantastic opportunity for experienced professionals, educators, and industry experts to expand their profile, their audience, and to develop their skills in public speaking and presentation.

SALON:ED Talks will be relatable to the salon industry and encourage personal or professional growth for the viewer. They will be hosted on our SALON:ED YouTube channel from early 2024.

Talking for a living has been part of my career path since I started work in the 80’s, and like many of us, ‘talks too much’ was always a critique on school reports. In my corporate roles, as a salon professional talking with clients, as an educator imparting my knowledge and skills, or more recently as a podcaster talking to a mic, talking has continued to be very much part of what I ‘do’. In the salon industry I know I’m not alone in this trait – we all talk for a living in some way or other. Some dislike it, some just want to be quietly consulting with a client; meanwhile, others want to be on the rooftops sharing to anyone who’ll listen to their knowledge, ideas, or thoughts. For those that don’t love it so much, you’ll probably be a great listener. There must be a balance for all of that hot air from the rest of us. The Ying and Yang needed to complete the circle of communication. For every voice there must be listeners, and listeners want to hear a voice that resonates.

Most educators and experts like to talk and present, even if only to a small group. Some have experienced stage speaking too; however, this activity usually tops the ‘what do you fear most list’ for most people. If you’ve not stood on a stage with a microphone and spoken to an audience, the thought of it can be anxiety inducing and terrifying. We all start somewhere, and in today’s world where video content is king, mastering your fear of the camera and the mic can give power to your career and your business. This is where the SALON:ED Talks come in.  Alongside those that love public speaking, we are welcoming those new to speaking and who want to challenge themselves to take the step to connecting with a bigger audience.  

Although this is a virtual, recorded talk, going through the SALON:ED process will enhance your skill set. Whether through the speaking itself or the planning, writing, practicing, or recording skills, submitting a talk will help you grow. It can help you build confidence, increase your knowledge of your subject through research and preparation, grow your profile and network, and may even help build your position as an expert in your subject.  The SALON:ED Talks opens a new way of sharing and growing as an industry speaker.  

What SALON:ED Talks are:

  • Talks relating solely to promotion of education, skill development, career development, and business development within the salon industry and supporting sectors.
  • All sectors and niches related to the salon industry are welcome.
  • ‘Coffee Break Talk’ of around 15 minutes or a ‘Lounge Talk’ of around 45 minutes.
  • An opportunity to raise your professional profile as a SALON:ED speaker.

There are a few things that SALON:ED Talks aren’t as well…

The SALON:ED talks will not be an opportunity for product houses, business coaches or other sellers of goods or services to promote products, schemes, or brands.  All talks hosted on the SALON:ED channel will be provided free of charge at the point of delivery and no payments will be made to the speakers. There will be rules around what can and cannot be included in the talks which will be made available at the point of application.

We’ll be starting the application and submission process very soon and details will be available on our socials and on the website as soon as we’re ready. 

We are really excited about bringing this innovation in educational resources to the industry and would love for you to be part of this legacy.

The SALON:ED Talks will be hosted by Nabuno & Salon Education Journal, and we are welcoming sponsors to collaborate on this great educational platform for the industry.  Sponsorship enquiries should be directed to he***@sa*******************.uk.

Nail Safari 2023 – Talons & Tails

Nail Safari 2023 – Talons & Tails is getting ready to run its nail magic for the fourth year running. 

After hosting three events, the Nail Safari education week is gaining a reputation for great education coupled with a sincere approach to raising awareness, knowledge, skills, and confidence in the delegates that join the adventure.

There is a fantastic line-up of award winning nail experts, who lead their field and make waves in the nail industry.

The line-up includes Marian Newman, Jennie Nippard, Jacqui & Sean O’Sullivan, Kay Dodd, Cat Leith, Hazel Dixon, Kirsty Meakin, Rebecca Isaac, Mino Vo, Andreaa Ignat Simona, Scarlett Senter, Sandy Cheung, Chantelle Vermont and Alex Fox. 

With an unrivalled line-up of education in the UK Nail Safari is now giving delegates a more flexible opportunity with 2, 3, 4 or 5-day packages available. 

A five-day package is 849 including lunches and refreshments. Discounts are available when you take a friend creating a saving of around £100 per person. 

  • 1-day is £199 
  • 2-days- £349
  • 3-days – £549
  • 4-days – £749
  • 5-days- £849

It is: The Nail Safari 4th edition 5-day nail event. 

When: 13-17 November 2023 (9am-5.30pm daily)


With intense learning combined with fun challenges and advanced techniques for those hungry to learn and looking for a new environment to learn in. 

There will be a variety of workshops including 3D sculpture, acrylic advanced techniques, handpainting, crystal design, confidence building as well as myth busting, competition skills there is something for every aspiring nail tech.

This event presents interviews with delegates, the enhancing and advancing of skills, it offers networking and bonding, provides inspiration and dynamic energy unrivalled in the nail world, it proffers competitions & inspires teamwork. There will be lives on social media before and during the event with videos and photos published on socials when it’s complete and an overview published in Scratch magazine. 

Get in touch: Email Alex Fox on na**********@gm***.com to get more details and to sign up for your place on this exciting nail adventure. 

The Benefits of being a Nabuno Education Provider

As an Education Provider in the salon and personal care industry, you understand the importance of keeping up with industry trends and providing your Learners with the latest knowledge and skills.

This is where becoming a member of Nabuno can be incredibly beneficial for you and your Learners…

Nabuno is a one-stop education platform created specifically for the salon and personal care industry. Whether you’re an Education Provider specialising in beauty, hair, nails, holistic/complementary, wellness, or fitness/nutrition, Nabuno is designed to meet your unique needs. Here are some of the key benefits of becoming a member of Nabuno:

Learning Management System

Nabuno offers Education Providers an easy-to-use Learning Management System (LMS) that delivers your text, video, and PDF resources to your students. The LMS also manages your Learners, with features such as learner reviews, drip feed, quizzes, assignments, gradings, email, webinars, and more. This means that you can focus on creating great course content, while we take care of the logistics.

Learner Management and Communication System

As part of the LMS, Nabuno also offers a learner management and communication system. This means that you can keep in touch with your database of Learners and ensure that they are getting the most out of your courses and can easily move onto to your other courses offered.

Integrated Payment System

Nabuno has an integrated payment system with Stripe for Learner payment, which means as an Education provider,  you can be confident that you will receive your payments are processed at the point of booking and will be paid forward promptly. This takes the hassle out of managing payments and allows you to focus on your teaching.

Opportunities to Contribute to the Wider Industry on Nabuno Oracle

Enterprise & Business members of Nabuno can contribute to the Nabuno Oracle. This is a mine of information that includes blogs, vlogs, and other resources that are designed to help you and your Learners stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends.

Live Course Directory for Education Providers

Nabuno has a live course directory for all approved Education Providers. This means that potential Learners can easily find your courses and academy, and you can benefit from increased exposure.  We also optimise the content you place on Nabuno helping your reach go further.

Strict Criteria and Code of Practice

All Education Providers on Nabuno must meet strict criteria and agree to abide by the Nabuno Code of Practice. This ensures that the platform maintains high standards and that Learners can be confident that they are receiving quality education by Education Providers who have the right credentials. 

Online and Social Media Promotions

Nabuno provides online and social media promotions for your courses and academy, depending on your subscription level. This can help you reach more potential Learners and grow your business. 

SEO Know-How

Nabuno uses its SEO know-how to help your courses hosted on the platform rank higher in search engines. This means that your courses will be more visible to potential Learners.

Multiple Membership Levels

Nabuno offers multiple membership levels, including Pro, Enterprise, and Business. There are also Plus levels for Enterprise and Business for Education Providers with satellite or regional centres. This means that you can choose the level that best suits your business needs.  We know that the education sector of the salon industry is diverse in its way of working so we want to give our Education Providers flexibility to grow and develop while still being able to offer an affordable system.

We hope that you’ve got a clearer picture on becoming an Education Provider on Nabuno and how it can be incredibly beneficial for you and your business.  With the easy to navigate Nabuno LMS, learner management and communication system, integrated payment system, and all the other features, Nabuno takes care of the logistics, allowing you to focus on creating great course content.  And don’t forget, Nabuno offers opportunities to increase your exposure across the industry through the Nabuno Oracle, and the live course directory will help put you in front of Learners who are already looking in the right place, making it an excellent investment for all salon industry Education Providers.

Moving from Salon Professional to Educator – How Easy Is It?

In recent years salon education has shifted immensely, partly due to technology evolving but also pushed faster and harder by the effects of the pandemic.  What was once a face to face only occupation is now shifting into blended or hybrid learning, where there is a mix of face to face and online, as well as some courses being delivered fully online.

This means becoming an education provider is now more accessible but also requires a different set of skills as standing in front a class delivering knowledge is different from standing in front of a camera, being recorded, and then editing the digital content ready for upload to platforms such as Nabuno.  Technology in education is the way forward and you’ll need to not only complete your teaching qualification but master the world of software services that will support your academy.

Accreditation organisations have moved quickly to embrace this shift, and this has positives and negatives for those who are wishing to make a career pathway from their skills and experience.  For the industry it means that more professionals than ever are wanting to embrace education as an alternative revenue stream.  Whilst this should be applauded it is still an approach with caution situation as not every professional has enough experience, confidence to teach or the ability to pass on their knowledge.  It is a very different role from that of salon professional and it’s not as simple as showing someone how to carry out a particular technique.

Accreditation has become a method of easy access into the salon industry and understanding how it works before you begin your journey into education is vital.  Firstly, not all accreditation providers are created equal.  The better schemes require the education provider to be working to the national occupational standards, have a suitable back history of experience in the subjects they are teaching and to deliver any practical skill in an appropriate way (usually face to face). However, there are now also accreditation providers that allow all skills to be delivered remotely, online with no live tutor interaction and this route needs to be considered very carefully as often learners are left with a ‘qualification’ that is only insurable via the accreditor’s insurance supplier and with skills that leave them lacking confidence and career opportunities. 

These changes have led to education being a career pathway for many more than has been the case previously, and it’s led to a dilution of quality salon industry education.  If you want to be a quality-driven educator in your future, then here’s some information on how to start that journey and choose the right pathway to share your passion.

Don’t expect to run before you can walk.  Teaching is not for the faint-hearted or the inexperienced.  If you want to teach for a professional brand, they will usually be looking for at least 2 years, and sometimes up to 5 years, proven experience in your area of knowledge.  Without this length of experience, you may find yourself in the unpleasant situation of not being able to answer your students’ questions, and constantly having to look at notes or manuals when you are in front of the class won’t instil confidence from your learners.  If students are paying you for your educational services, they want to be able to trust that you know your subject thoroughly and will be able to answer any queries they may have before, during and after their course.

It is unusual in today’s world to be able to teach without a recognised education/teaching qualification such as the Ofqual regulated Level 3 AET or equivalent, such as PTTLS.   In more recent times there has been a rise in accredited versions of the AET but be aware that it is considered false advertising to call a qualification the AET unless it is an OfQual regulated and approved AET certificate.  These unregulated courses will likely be cheaper, and you will discover that many educational venues will not accept them as a suitable qualification for you to teach and so you may end up having to take a further regulated qualification.  Check your provider is a regulated provider and not accredited. If they aren’t a regulated provider ask for evidence that you will be able to teach outside of their umbrella both in your own academy and within a college or brand education role. 

You can progress in your educational qualifications to Level 4 and 5 in Education & Training culminating in a degree level qualification.  These courses may be more costly, but in some circumstances, you may be able to obtain funding or sponsorship depending on how and where you want to teach.  If you wish to work within the Further Education field this will be a requirement to have or be working towards.  It is an investment in your own education and your future so make sure you choose your course wisely, and speak to education providers you wish to work with to understand what they require and if they can offer support.

In regulated AET and higher courses (CET & DET) you will learn how to work with your learners and how to deal with different learning styles, develop the ability to assist those that have learning needs, and how to prepare and present your subject plus a lot of other skills to enable you to provide a well-rounded lesson.  Like all qualifications, the higher the level the more in-depth the study and the harder the course and assessments will be.

Before you embark on your journey to be an educator make sure your own education is up to date and that you have underpinning knowledge behind you.  Have you taken enough CPD over the last couple of years?  If not, then make sure you update your skills to today’s standards.  Are you aware of the National Occupational Standards (NOS)?  Again, if this is something you’re not aware of then make part of your continued learning to understand and update your knowledge with the new NOS for the hair and beauty sector, released in 2021. Make sure you understand every element of what you will be teaching.  There’s nothing worse than being on a course where the educator can’t answer a basic question without looking it up in a manual themselves?

If you haven’t already undertaken NVQ or equivalent qualification, then look at taking the regulated Level 2 and Level 3 courses in your subject area. In an ideal world, all industry educators should have formal qualifications to ensure they have the best level of standardised underpinning knowledge, however, a good and thorough history of brand or accredited education along with industry experience will, of course, be acceptable for many scenarios.  There are now several providers of ‘route to regulated’ education that can transfer your non-regulated education and experience and get you certified as regulated with only a limited amount of assessment of skill & knowledge

Whilst you can still take VRQs & NVQs there are also Technical qualifications available where you will sit end of course exams, so it will be tougher to pass.  This is going to prove an interesting time in our world as these new courses will perhaps shift things educationally in our sector.  Equally, this will all come down to how well the course is delivered and by whom.  A good educator teaching the NVQ route could produce better outcomes than an average or poorly experienced educator teaching the Technical qualification and again, this translates into accredited education which in some instances may be far more comprehensive than regulated but does not have the kudos of a regulated qualification.

Students should be checking their educator’s background and experience, whether brand educators or further education educators.  Are you current, do you know their subject, can you answer their questions?  If they are unsure or can’t find out this information, think about how to ensure they see a value to their investment and make sure you can answer all their research and due diligence questions appropriately.

It is important that you have the skills, qualifications, and experience to teach, as your potential students should, and will, be checking you out once you are educating.  Education isn’t just about being able to provide your specialist service well, it’s about being able to impart the biology, chemistry, structure, anatomy & physiology, and the full theory behind whatever you are wishing to teach.  The practical element is only part of their learning and many courses, particularly cheap online ones, fail to cover much of this important area of knowledge.  Your ability to pass on the vital underpinning knowledge to learners with comprehensive information and passion is the biggest skill of a good educator.

Once you’ve gained all the required skills and qualifications then the hard work begins.  If you haven’t signed up to work with a professional brand and wish to remain independent, you will need to work with an awarding body or an accreditation provider.  You need to decide if you will teach short courses or whether you wish to only teach regulated national qualifications eg NVQs.  Each pathway brings different levels of assessment and criteria for your education provision.  Accreditation is the simpler of the two routes and is currently a common source of education in the industry.  It gives easy access, sometimes far too easy, for students to get into the salon industry.  If you intend to provide accredited courses give your students plentiful guided learning hours as, without it, they may struggle to succeed long term.

Following the pandemic and lockdowns, online education has become more common and popular and whilst in some scenarios, it can be a great step forward in some ways it is also enabling some less morally sound educators to profit from cheap, not fit for purpose education.  Some educators have embraced the online world with virtual classrooms and for areas such as nail services, this can create an advantage for students who instead of peering over someone’s shoulder to see the tutor demo get a birds-eye view via video link and in fact also means that the tutor can view and assess the student’s work more effectively and efficiently than in a live class with 16 students to walk around.  We need to recognise the difference between virtual classes and online courses as the difference is vast.  An online course will in some cases an unsupervised, pre-recorded video with worksheets to complete and little or no assessment from a live tutor.  For this style of education any certificate provided may be little more than an attendance certificate which in the world of career pathways won’t support a professional in the event of an insurance claim.

Education is changing and as an industry, we watch with curiosity to see what the future holds as we merge old style learning with more virtual and online studies.  Educating our future professionals as a career should be seen as a privilege, and those of us that provide this need to ensure we treat our students fairly, with respect and to give them qualifications that are fit for purpose, worth their investment and will enable them to grow a successful career.

Education should not be easy – it should challenge and inspire; it should help you evolve into the professional you want to be and help you develop the next generation of professionals.

Empowering our future professionals is and should be, an honour for all those who work in creating the professionals of tomorrow.