There are two kinds of power: the kind you use and the kind you don’t. Sometimes you don’t use your power because you don’t have to.

If you’re a salon owner who has authority over a staff, you don’t have to exert your power for it to be known. A less confident owner might constantly remind her team that she is the boss and flaunt her power, often in the end losing her power position.

Sometimes you don’t use your power because you don’t know you have it. (That’s the point of our retail article: Why aren’t nail technicians using the power of their professional recommendation to sell more take-home products or get clients to try new services?)

There’s power you squander because you don’t want to put forth the energy. In California, the debate over pedicure safety rages on, with the state legislature all but sure to pass new regulations for nail salons in light of what has been happening all over the country. Although some of the board’s new requirements are well-thought-out and wise, some of them put an unnecessary burden on nail salons and are not even-handed. But where were nail salon owners and nail techs when the board was debating these new rules? Nowhere to be found. Nail techs lament the lack of understanding of their profession by those in control, but too often they abdicate their power position simply by not speaking up to the people who are making decisions.

At a recent gathering of leaders in the Vietnamese salon community, several people complained that whenever there was a bad story about nail salons, it was a Vietnamese person in the spotlight. Where is the power and leadership in the Vietnamese community to help galvanize this very important and under-represented group? Asked one industry insider: ”Why aren’t the Vietnamese speaking up for themselves in Sacramento and in the media?”

There’s a positive kind of power that you use in your job. When you hold a client’s hand in your hand and transform her, you’ve actually transferred power. With a smile and an attentive ear, you’ve given the gift of self-esteem, and what is more powerful than self-confidence?

How about the power of your example? Do you set a good example for fellow nail techs, newbies, the world at large? Do you show that nail technicians are in a true profession practiced by serious individuals?

This is the POWER issue, and we devoted the entire issue to a discussion of who has the power in the nail industry, how to create more power for yourself and your business, and probably most important, how to use your power with your clients to expand your business.

Ultimately, the point is that you do have power. Discover it and use it wisely.