Hi, I'm Alan and thanks for visiting - So what's it all about? I'm the author of 4 books, with the most recent one 'FANTASTIC' reaching No 2 in the best seller charts. I believe that whatever you do, whether its in work or life, just being 'good' is simply not enough anymore. Good is the new 'nice'! I don't want to be a good parent, husband, friend - I want to be a fantastic one. In business it's not even about 'want' - you NEED to BE Fantastic to stand out from the crowd today.

PS. The reason I always put 'BE' in caps is because that's the secret - people are setting goals to be Fantastic, dreaming of it every day, writing it down, planning it - even sending it out to the universe - but the key to it all is ACTION! Don't just talk Fantastic, BE Fantastic!!
Alan Austin-Smith


Motivation is easy - when you motivate people with things that motivate them!

Trying to motivate people with things that don’t motivate them - Yep that’s hard!!

However this rule isn’t just for when you are trying to motivate others - it also applies your self motivation. If you are trying to motivate yourself with things that don’t motivate you then you will struggle to keep the focus, energy and drive needed to achieve your goals.

Starting with motivating others, here is a great little tip to help you if you are a leader or educator.

Never ask people what motivates them - As I will explain in a moment with regard to your own motivation, people often don’t know what motivates them and they will give you the wrong answer, even if they believe it’s the right one!

They are possibly using what they think motivates them - what they think ‘should’ motivate them, or sometimes what other people feel they should be motivated by - parents, employers, teachers etc. However if that isn’t what actually motivates them then it will always be a uphill struggle.

Ask them to tell you about a time when they were motivated - whether in work or life. They will tell you a story about a time when they were motivated - listen carefully as you will get some good clues as to what motivates them. Was it a team oriented story or individual, was it reward or recognition, was it competition with themselves or others etc.

Ask questions - if they tell you about achieving a target ask whether it was the financial reward they received or the achievement?

When you feel you have understood the story ask for another couple of examples and you should see some common factors emerging - it’s not fool proof and won’t work with everyone but I guarantee you will learn a lot more than just asking someone what motivates them!

Finally what about you? 

Do the same exercise on yourself - think of some times you were motivated and analyse them for yourself. But here is another great technique (which you can also use on your team) that i love. Write down 3-5 things that you believe are motivators for yourself. Now take each one in turn and vividly imagine life in the future with it.

For example, let’s say you put money down - now you obviously don’t imagine yourself destitute - just not having as much as you would desire. How does it feel - what are you thinking about? How painful is it?? You see if you are thinking - oh well, that’s a shame, but at least I’ve got my health and my kids are doing well etc etc. then it’s not really hurting - therefore it’s not a driving motivator.

Don’t confuse ‘like’ with ‘drive’. I like money, I’d like more and if you want to give me some I’ll take it thank you - however I’m not driven by it - it’s not what gets me out of bed in the morning. I ‘like’ money but I’m not ‘driven’ by it.

PS: There is nothing wrong with being driven by money - everyone is different and everyone is motivated by different things - nobody’s motivation (assuming it’s legal and not hurting anyone) is wrong - it’s just them!

All I’m saying is that in the above example you would have to say that person isn't driven - motivated - by money. It didn’t hurt enough!!

Do this with all the things that motivate you and you will find one or two that really hurt when you imagine life without them - those are your drivers - now look at how you use them to be more successful.

I’m strongly motivated by freedom - not by money - but when I use freedom to motivate myself I realise that I need a level of financial independence to achieve that freedom. If I just try to make more money it doesn’t work for me - but I’m very motivated to make money when I am focused on the freedom it gives me.

Motivation is easy when you motivate people with things that motivate them!

Are you motivating yourself and the individuals in your team with things that motivate - because if you aren’t, it’s always going to be hard!

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Alan Austin-Smith


View my Flipboard Magazine.

I use my Flipboard magazine to share stuff that I find online; articles, videos etc., which I think you might like - Hope you enjoy it! Just click on the 'Read Magazine' link. Have fun and Be Fantastic!!

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Alan Austin-Smith



Check out this quick little video - Many of you will have heard me despair at times at how boring and predictable the wonderful business I fell in love with as 16 year old has become - stand out from the crowd has been my clarion call for a long time now! Well I don't think anyone can say that the wonderful Sophia Hilton and her fab team are hiding in the crowd!!

Of course you need to do it in your own way - of course what Sophia is doing isn't for everyone - but the question isn't whether are you doing 'this' - it's; WHAT ARE 'YOU' DOING TO STAND OUT FROM YOUR CROWD?

#BEFantastic #alanaustinsmith #sophiahilton #notanothersalon


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Alan Austin-Smith


Sometimes we all lose the passion for what we do - I guess it's natural, only human - however it's tough to BE Fantastic when you're not passionate. 

So how do you get the passion back? 

The first step is to be clear about the difference between what you do and what your job is.

If we met at a party and you asked me what I do - I wouldn’t, but I could answer like this;  “I drive up and down motorways, fly around the world, stand in rooms that are too cold or too hot, too large or too small and talk to lots of people, I make telephone calls, write emails etc etc”

Now you wouldn’t let me get that far of course. You would interrupt me and say “No, I meant what’s your job?”.

Oh - But you asked me what I do. If you asked me what my job is, I would be able to tell you clearly and concisely, “My job is to communicate with people in such a way as to motivate them to fly!”.

It's 'WHY' I do what I do - it's why I drive up and down motorways, stand in rooms that are too cold etc., but that is not my job - it' just some of the stuff I have to do.

You see although I love my job, I don't love some of the stuff I have to do - when I have to stay away from my family, deal with traffic jams, freeze in over-air conditioned seminar rooms, take half my clothes off at airport security etc etc.

The only problem is when I start to think that stuff is my job - because when I start to focus on the the things I don't enjoy then... BANG - the passion is gone!!

So how do you get it back - shift your focus - where you put your focus is where you get your results so guess what - if you focus on the crap then you will get....CRAP!

Shift your focus to why you do what you do - I may hate some of the stuff I have to do but I LOVE seeing and hearing from people who are flying because of what I teach - I can sit in lonely hotel rooms and airports, get up at the crack of dawn to fight through the traffic etc quite happily when I love the reason I do it.

I remember a street cleaner where I live who used to dance with headphones on whilst sweeping the pavements. He was interviewed on TV and asked how he can be so happy cleaning up other peoples rubbish - "but that's not how I see my job" he replied "I love making the streets clean and safe for the people who live here - especially their children and pets!" 

It wasn't what he what was doing that made him happy, it was why he was doing it!!

Shift your focus and the passion will come back
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Alan Austin-Smith


 In a world of such rapid change creativity is becoming a critical skill - so many people tell me that they don't think they are creative, but we all are - we would not survive without being creative.

We all have creative ideas, solutions to problems and different ways to do things in our minds all the time. The only thing that separates out 'creative' people is that that they are brave enough to give those ideas oxygen - to get them out of their heads where they cannot grow and put them out into the world where other people can add to them and help develop them.

It's all so much to do with that fear of failure again - the number one reason why people don't take action in life!

Be brave and give your ideas oxygen - understand that most of your ideas will be crazy and unworkable, but when you give them air they can sometimes develop into completely different ideas that work. Probably the most famous example of this is the Post It Note - it started from 3M creating  a new adhesive that didn't stick! Then someone realised that not only did it not stick - it didn't stick consistently - every time you stuck it to something you could pull it away and then stick it to something again - this was the beginning of the Post It Note - something that must be in every office in the world!! 

There are two rules to help you here: Firstly the understanding that there is no such thing as a small idea - every idea can be huge - however small!

Secondly, remember that for every good idea that works there will be 99 that didn't - you have to go through the 99 process sometimes to find the one that works. Soichiro Honda once said that the 1% we call success can only come from the 99% that we call failure.

Choose something at work or home that isn't working and spend some time coming up with ideas of how it could work better and then start giving those ideas oxygen - you will soon sort out the failures and may end up with a creative solution that really works.

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Alan Austin-Smith


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Alan Austin-Smith

5 Top Tips to Supercharge Your Salon Marketing

Hi, how are you doing, fantastic I hope! Before you have a read below can I ask a couple of quick favours? If you think my post is worthwhile could you either leave a comment at the bottom of the post or share it on your social media (you could do both of course :)  ) Also if you haven't already I strongly recommend you subscribe to get updates so you never miss any of my posts. Up to you of course but it does make a difference - anyway thanks in advance, enjoy...

So I'm doing a FREE telephone Seminar on Wednesday eve based on the title of this post and I thought it would be a good idea to give you a taste of what i'm going to cover.

Register For FREE Telephone Seminar HERE

The world we operate business in today is so volatile and changing every moment - the question I always ask is "Do you look like a company 5 years in the future or one 5 years in the past?"

If it's the second one then you HAVE to start changing the way you are operating and communicating.

However this isn't just about social media etc - of course that's critical today, however, it's more about about understanding the way communication in business has changed.

You may have heard me talk about Fans before - that having a customer is not enough, we need them to become fans - but this is the key change that has occurred in marketing.


The power of a fanbase who actively promote you is the key to success today. the crazy thing in the salon business though is that it has always been like that for us - however we are not capitalising on it in a world where it has become the ultimate key to success.

So here are my top 5 tips:

1. WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR? If you want people to rave about you, to tell their friends etc, then what do you want them to say - what is about you that will make you stand out from the crowd?

2. MAKE IT HAPPEN! Don't wait for people to rave about you - make sure they do!

3. STOP SPAMMING! The power of a subscribed list versus a database - A subscribed list will engage with you at least 10 -20 times more than a database will!

4. OWN THE LAND! Be careful of relying on Social Media too much to build your list - would you build a house on rented land? Of course not - but many people are building a business on rented land - You don't own anything on social media!! This is why a subscribed e-mail list is so important - you own the land!

5. ENGAGE ME! In such a noisy world it's not easy to stand out - make sure you provide content that will engage your fans to ensure your message is heard.

I will be digging further into these 5 areas on Wednesday night plus a few extra little gems I'm saving for you

It's completely FREE - just pop here   Register for Telephone Seminar     

and book your place - we will send you a phone number or weblink and all you have to do is call in or click on the link just before 6.15pm on Wednesday the 29th July 2016 and join in. Don't worry, you don't have to do anything - there will be around 100 people on the call - you can't hear them and it's obviously non participative (that would be crazy - 100 hairdressers/therapists talking on the same phone call haha). I will be live though and it will just be like sitting in a room listening to me for 45 minutes or so, but from the comfort of your own home.

Here is the link again, just click through and register,


Register for Telephone Seminar

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Alan Austin-Smith


We all know that critical part of BEing Fantastic and WOWing our customers is consistency - As I always say "you can't just be Fantastic on Tuesdays!"

This is a great tool that you should use every couple of months in your business to check that you are being consistent but also improving all the time - Consistent standards aren't enough, as important as they are, all they will do is keep you at the same level consistently - CONSISTENTLY STANDING STILL!

 Not what anyone means by consistency :)

Consistency today is a mix of your standards as well as a consistent development strategy. FLOW helps you do both. This is a also a great personal development tool for yourself or members of your team in one-to-ones etc.

 So how does it work - very simple..

 F stands for First Impressions - check that the first impressions people are getting about you or your business are what you want and need them to be (consistently remember!!)

 L stands for Last Impressions - arguably even more important than first impressions - It's what people leave with

 O stands for 'Ouches'Those little things that go wrong - that aren't up to standard but that can sometimes slip through the net because they are small - on their own they don't matter to much, but when you experience a few of these as a customer it can turn into a major problem - we have all experienced ourselves - a visit to a restaurant perhaps and a series of small things are going wrong - as they mount up you start to become aggravated - hardly customer delight! Do you have any small ouches that need attention?

 W stands for WOW - The holy grail and the exact opposite of the ouches - especially when you consider that often the WOW comes from little things too - but Fantastic ones. I love the story of the young 17 year old trainee hairdresser who when a client asked if they serve peach flavoured sparkling water decided to get some from the shop next door for the customer - a tiny thing which cost just 60p - but HUGE! PS - She got a £5 tip - of course she did!!

 So there you go - FLOW - make it part of your business or personal strategy - here is a quick little video about FLOW - enjoy Have fun and BE Fantastic, Alan x


SUBSCRIBE to my BLOG for free here for a regular dose of FANTASTIC!

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Alan Austin-Smith


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Alan Austin-Smith


There are so many keys to BEing Fantastic all of which I discuss in my book 'Fantastic - When Good Is Not Enough, but the key to it all is Passion.

It's an overused word but what does it mean? For me it's all about the 'WHY' - it's not what we do it's why we do it that gives us the drive, perseverance and determination to do what we do. It's no good setting goals and knowing 'where' you are going, what you want to achieve if you don't know why you want it.

 I will always remember chatting to a multi millionaire I know who had been a millionaire twice before and lost it - TWICE!!

He clearly had a talent for making money but not keeping it. I asked him what was the difference this time, how had he managed to keep it and grow it to a level where he has become a wonderful philanthropist.

 He didn't hesitate. "I know WHY I want the money this time - previously I just wanted to be rich and do all the stuff rich people do - which is why I blew it - this time I knew exactly why I wanted the money and it was a powerful, passionate and emotional why that meant so much to me. I help so many people now I could never go back to the old 'rich' me"

Don't just set goals for yourself and your business, that's only half the story - you have to stop and ask yourself 'WHY' you want to achieve it and that why had better be a powerful one because it's what is going to ensure you stick to it when the going gets tough.

 Passion is about the why - the reason you do what you do - not what you do. o next time you have lost the passion, just press the pause the button and ask yourself what you are focusing on - I guarantee it will be what you are doing rather than why you are doing it - switch focus to the 'WHY' & the passion will come back!
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