She pens new interactive book aimed at bringing success to others
As soon as you open the book, Larissa Lane reveals the cold-blooded truth: “I knew I would have to work hard to get what I wanted, but I never thought I would have to work this hard.”
As many entrepreneurs, CEOs, and others in heads-of-state positions know, the path to having a successful business, a successful brand is painstakingly difficult.
After the dream, there’s the research, the financial aspect, the legal obstacles, the employees, the maintaining of said entity through the ups and downs…
“Quitting is not an option. I don’t have a choice, I don’t have a fallback…This is what I do, this is what I love; if I quit, then what? What do I do? I’m in a place in my life where I’m trying to create a legacy.”Lane, a 2006 graduate of Perry Traditional Academy, always wanted to own a business. She was always the organizer as a youngster, “the one to make sure everyone has everything done,” she said.
So it’s not surprising that she was able to organize her thoughts into her first published book, “The Blueprint to Building Clientele,” which was released this past January. It’s not surprising that she could organize her book release party, well-attended even with inclement weather.
What may be surprising is that no one gave her “the blueprint” to building a brand, building a business, or writing a book. It’s all self-taught. And she found out, when it comes to wanting to be successful, you have to dive in with both feet.
“Quitting is not an option. I don’t have a choice, I don’t have a fallback,” Lane told the Courier in an exclusive interview. “This is what I do, this is what I love; if I quit, then what? What do I do? I’m in a place in my life where I’m trying to create a legacy.”
Lane started her post-secondary education at CCAC, but her true passion was becoming a hair stylist. She left CCAC after one year, and enrolled at Empire Beauty School.
After officially receiving her cosmetology license in 2009, she worked at Jou-Al’s Hair Studio in Homestead. Later, she left the salon, and decided to take clients from home. “I had a nice amount of clientele, but working from home wasn’t necessarily a way to be respected,” Lane said.
To build up more clientele, she began the arduous process of “getting her name out there”—creating a logo, purchasing hats and shirts with the logo printed on them, giving out business cards to whomever, using social media—eventually she found employment at Fahrenheit 212 Salon in the Hill District, where she stayed for six years.
A manager at the salon noticed Lane at Fahrenheit 212, as Lane was wearing her custom-made shirt and hat with her personal logo on it. Lane was at the salon with her father, Lamont, who was getting a beard shape-up. “I told her (the manager) I applied here a while ago and nobody ever called me,” Lane recalled.
Personal branding, persistence and placing oneself in a position to be noticed professionally were key elements to landing the position at Fahrenheit 212, as the manager, Chelsea Glover, took Lane under her wing.
“I could not have the customer service skills that I have, and the skillset that I have being a stylist without Chelsea,” Lane said.
Fast forward to the present, and Lane took on another challenge by leaving Fahrenheit 212, and becoming a stylist at Le’Vire Atelier, in Shadyside. “I felt like I had learned a lot (at Fahrenheit 212), and it was time to ‘move out of your parents house and do your own thing,’” Lane said. “I knew that (at a new location) I would be doing everything on my own, I knew that I would be more independent.”
Lane, 30, also teaches advanced cosmetology classes at South Hills Beauty Academy, and at times, hosts teaching classes at Le’Vire Atelier.
So how did writing a book factor into things? Lane told the Courier that decision came out of a desire to help other people reach their goals, reach their levels of success, faster. Lane said she didn’t feel it was right to have learned all the goods, and not share with others.
“The Blueprint to Building Clientele” features topics on branding, networking, professionalism and etiquette, client retention, and advertising and marketing, among others. The book has an interactive component, where readers are encouraged to, among other things, write out their goals, or write a series of discounts they may want to give their clients.
Winter Clay, a friend of Lane’s who read the book, said that “I didn’t even think I had a business bone in my body. But the book revealed to me that I did have that business bone, I just wasn’t sure how to start the process.”
The next month (February), Clay used the information from the book to jumpstart her new Christian T-shirt business, called Loved Scripz. “It’s definitely a book to help you be able to serve others, but on a personal level, to hold yourself accountable, to have things planned out and build a foundation,” Clay said.
Lane, through her years-long journey, found that one thing remains “constant” on the road to success.
“Consistency,” she said. “Being consistent in whatever you choose to do. If you’re not consistent, it’s never going to work. It definitely gets hard, but you build up a resistance. You have to find something that makes you keep going. Why did you start? Why did you want it? Keep going, never stopping, because every time you stop, you start over.”