Oscar Valencia Biography

When Inspiring Champions Coach and Trainer Oscar Valencia first got his start in the salon and spa business as a hairdresser, he was amazed by the success he saw others achieving.  Valencia says, “I figured they must have ‘it.’ They must deserve success and I may never achieve that level of accomplishment.  I found that when I changed my mindset, deciding that not only could I have success, but that I really deserved it; that’s when I finally understood.  I was then willing to invest my time, money and energy to owning that success.”  This change of mindset not only allowed Valencia to eventually achieve the business success that he desired, but also laid a path for him to become part of the Inspiring Champions team of coaches and trainers.

Valencia was originally reluctant to join the professional beauty industry.  His father ran Valencia & Associates Hair Salon for over 25 years, which was the first full-service salon in the San Diego area.  The family business was successful, but to Valencia, his father’s achievement came with a cost.  He shares, “My father’s model of success was based on hard work; 14 hour days for six days a week.  Growing up I didn’t get to spend much time with him.  That model of success frightened me. I didn’t want that life for myself.” 

So Valencia took a different route and studied marketing at Mesa Jr. College in San Diego instead, while continuing to find time for baseball, a lifelong love of his.  In 1984, his dream of playing baseball professionally came true when he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates.  But life took a turn for Valencia when he tore his rotator cuff and had to end his athletic career early. 

Valencia decided to go back to what he knew growing up and enroll in cosmetology school.  In 1987, he began as a full-time hairstylist at his family’s salon.  This was also around the time that his father was planning for retirement, so Valencia also took over the responsibility of running their salon.  He quickly achieved traditional success as a hairstylist and a salon owner.  He competed in hair shows and was first runner up in the Hair Wars Challenge in 1987, becoming a respected platform artist for L’Oréal Professionnel and a national educator for them from 1991 to 1994.  But Valencia’s design for achieving success had been much like his father’s up until this point.  He says, “When I first got into the business, I became that exact same model, working for 13 years as a full time hairstylist and salon owner.  Then, I discovered the Inspiring Champions business courses that ultimately changed the course of my life.

Valencia first met Inspiring Champions Founder and President Lauren Gartland at a Long Beach hair show.  Gartland was extremely infectious and Valencia was drawn in by her dream. He realized that his current business ethic of working harder should be replaced with working smarter. Valencia says, “Inspiring Champions exposed me to effective and comprehensive business tools and proven systems that enabled me to be able to design my business versus settling for whoever just showed up.”  He then successfully implemented the new Inspiring Champions systems into his own salon business. 

Before being introduced to Inspiring Champions systems, Valencia had an average service ticket of $42.50 with a $25 haircut fee.  His rebooking rate was 18% and his average retail ticket was only $1.45.  Immediately upon completing Champ Camp in 1998, all three of these areas more than doubled within the first three months. Valencia says, “Six weeks after the camp, my average service ticket rose to $68, with a 50% rebooking rate and average retail ticket of $6.00.  I was doing the perfect consultation and mastering the ‘bump’ system.  In another three months, my service ticket rose to $90 and I then raised my prices, with a haircut priced at $35.  I continued to commit to the systems and three months later had an average service ticket of $100, with a rebooking rate of 68% and an average retail ticket at $9.”

Fast forward to 18 months after Champ Camp – Valencia was then using the Inspiring Champions systems regularly and had raised his haircut price to $45. His service ticket was then averaging $145 to $152, with rebooking at 90+% and retail at $10 per client.  Valencia shares, “These systems combined with the support I received from Inspiring Champions and my commitment to following through with my goals every day enabled me to succeed.  The systems are proven and fun and they can change your business and your life!”

While Valencia was effectively learning and implementing the Inspiring Champions systems, he was also continuing his involvement with baseball by coaching a high school team for several years. Through this experience, he learned the value of coaching and how deeply it touches the lives of others. He says, “My baseball coaching experience was about more than sports. It was about helping to form men from high school boys.”  This combined love of transforming lives and the confidence in Inspiring Champions systems brought Valencia to a new crossroads in his life.  He sold his salon, continued in the beauty industry as an independent contractor and joined the Inspiring Champions team.

In the early days of Inspiring Champions, there was no actual coaching program. Valencia personally worked with Gartland to develop some of the early business systems and then in 2008, went on to become a full time trainer and coach with the company.  He shares, “At first, I didn’t understand what coaching outside of sports was.  But when I saw that this company has what it takes to support people, I knew I was on board to help others change their lives too. Now I am helping to develop successful business professionals, not just hairstylists.  People don’t realize that business acumen accounts for 85% of your success rate as a hairstylist.”

These days, Valencia also practices life coaching and is working on a degree in a graduate leadership program. He says, “I am working on an experiential learning program, developing team building through interactive challenges, from strategic exercises to games to bungee jumping.  I have developed my own program for individuals to break down their own personal walls, using playing pieces that look like bricks to stand for intentions, used as a tool to work on our daily actions. We are all blocked by our own walls. I try to use playful, imaginative ways to help people get unstuck.”  Valencia plans to create more innovative tools and programs for inspiration, including virtual applications that clients can play with to create new mindsets, support new actions and be rewarded with new results.

Now, Valencia lives the personal success that amazed him upon first entering the salon and spa business. In addition to Inspiring Champions systems, he also credits his success to his father for a strong work ethic and passion for business, his mother for her love of humor and words, his high school baseball coach for helping him to believe in his dreams, and his grandfather for always teaching him to do the right thing.

Continuing to support the salon industry he loves and to help beauty professionals create better and more balanced lives are goals that Valencia strives for.  He shares, “I have a saying that I came up with: Today doesn’t have to look like yesterday -- but better than that; tomorrow doesn’t have to look like today.  So often we get off track in our lives and are hard on ourselves. Every morning when the sun comes up, it’s another opportunity to recommit to your dreams and goals.”

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Inspiring Champions is a business and coaching company offering live training camps, coaching and mentoring services, webinars, audio tapes and educational resources.

For more information:
call 800-496-9305
visit www.InspiringChampions.com
email info@inspiringchampoins.com

Jenny Hogan is the Media Director at Marketing Solutions, Inc., a full-service marketing, advertising and PR agency specializing in the professional beauty business.

For more information:
call 703-359-6000,
visit www.MktgSols.com
email MktgSols@MktgSols.com.

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