Top 5 Experiences in the first 5 Years

Life as a salon owner


I was 23 years old sitting in the livingroom of my former employer when I received some wise words of advice that would forever change my life. We were in the middle of discussing my new potential management position within the salon when her husband walked into the room, sat down next to me and said something along the lines of “There are two paths in life. You can be a leader or a follower, the decision is up to you.” Now I know It might not seem all that insightful but at the time it was exactly what I needed to hear. I did not need to make a decision, I knew exactly which path I was destined to follow.

One year later at just 24 years old I opened Eclipx Salon with nothing but some major support from my family and a vision for what I wanted my business to look like. I had no business experience, a small following and a lot of time on my hands. I was determined to make my vision a reality and I am proud to say that I am doing just that!


The past five years have been a rollercoaster ride with many ups and downs that have paved the way to where I am right now. For hours and hours I could continue on with stories both good and bad but for now I will just share with you my top five experiences in my first 5 years of business.

  1. Sacrifice - There is nothing that can compare to the 24/7 “always on” lifestyle of a business owner and only those who can relate will be able to understand. I have had to sacrifice friendships, a chunk of my 20’s, and time that I will never get back to get to where I am now. For those who were hurt along the way, I’m Sorry! I assure you that it is nothing personal but I'm on a mission and nothing is going to stop me.

  2. Gratitude - I try my hardest to wake up every day and feel incredibly grateful for everything that has come my way over the past 5 years. The thoughts you channel out to the universe really do become things. People come in and out of your life for a reason and experience both good and bad are meant to help you learn and grow.

  3. Multi-Tasking - As I am writing this I am walking on my Treadclimber! I thought I was a good multi-tasker prior to opening Eclipx. Now I know I am a good multi-tasker! Shit needs to get done and there is only so much time in the day. It is 100% necessary that you learn to master multi-tasking without it I assure you that you will be lost.  

  4. Sleepless Nights - This experience happens often and when it does it's necessary to be ready! I keep a lamp, notebook and pen right next to my bed. You may think that you will remember that awesome idea that popped into your head at 3am but I promise you you won't! You will kick yourself in the ass the next morning if you don’t get up and write it down. Great thoughts come at the most inconvenient times, get use to it and be ready!

  5. Control Issues - Although I still consider myself a control freak I have learned to take a step back over the years. I now know I physically and mentally can not get everything done on my own. I remind myself daily that it is okay to ask for help! I struggle with letting go but it becomes easier and easier as I gain a team that I can trust!

These experiences might sound like pure chaos but I assure you I would not change it for the world. I encourage each and every one of you to set a goal and reach for it. Don’t let anything or anyone stop you! Create your vision and make it happen. It will be a rollercoaster ride, you will question your decisions, tears will be shed but in the end I sit back with a smile on my face knowing that when I chose the leadership path that I made the best decision of my life. Every ounce of blood, sweat and tears has been worth it and these experiences make me who I am today.

Natalie Riley