Phorest FM: Live From The Salon Owners Summit 2023 With Derek Anthony & Jill Ruone

Derek Anthony & Jill Ruone — the powerhouse team behind Culture Curators — join podcast host Zoé Bélisle-Springer to highlight the need for and discuss why salon owners should focus on creating a great culture within their business alongside being creative, innovative and proactive. They also define Culture Curators’ Attraction Formula and Derek’s 24-Hour rule.


Derek Anthony

Derek Anthony is a passionate speaker, motivated salon owner, platform artist, business coach and mentor. Working on stages across America, Derek inspires salon owners to take their businesses and their passion to new heights. His gift for communication and leadership has uniquely tied him to those who attended his classes or worked with him.

Derek has become a business culture specialist and embraced the dynamic of growth as the backbone of his brand and business. As a salon owner, Derek’s business has soared year after year, creating profitability and providing the professional and personal freedom of his dreams. His delivery, passion, and ambition set him apart as an excellent resource for those looking to take their businesses to the next level.

Jill Ruone

Jill Ruone is a co-owner of Culture Curators, a published author and a keynote speaker. In addition, she is a Certified John Maxwell consultant and trainer and a sought-after Certified trainer and consultant for DISC behavioural analysis.

Jill is an expert in growing businesses by developing owners and teams and serves business leaders who want to increase sales and reduce expenses for operational efficiency. Through an individualized strategy, she collaborates with owners to identify operational areas to decrease expenditures while concurrently implementing systems to increase revenues. Jill’s expertise and knowledge give her firsthand experience on what it takes to be successful, from the inception of a business plan to annual strategic planning, as well as an exit strategy.


Derek Anthony: How many of you want to build an amazing culture in 2023?

Jill Ruone: Now, by a show of hands, how many of you can say that you have lost over a million dollars in service sales instanter? You know, there are certain clubs that you want to be a part of. You want to be a part of the million-plus dollar club, right? In revenue, bringing revenue in, but you really don’t want to be a part of the club that loses a million dollars instanter. My mistake was that I only cared about getting past that million-dollar mark.

Derek Anthony: The scariest and most dangerous thing a business owner can say is, “But we’ve always done it that way,” right? Because now think about it. Think about how much our industry was changing pre-COVID. How much faster is it changing now? If we’re not accelerating our evolution, if we’re not accelerating the change or personal growth within ourselves, we’re going to fall behind really quickly.

Live From: The Salon Owners Summit 2023 [01:19]

Zoé Bélisle-Springer: Coming to you live from Dublin, Ireland, for the first time in three years and introducing a brand new concept on the show, I’m Zoé Bélisle-Springer, and I want to thank you for tuning in for this bonus “Live From…” episode brought to you by the PhorestFM podcast, powered by Phorest Salon Software.

On our “Live From” episodes, you can expect coverage from ​salon industry events we attend, where business owners like you can network with the best of the best and gain actionable insights. We’ll be sharing attendee vox pops & interviewing some of your favourite keynote speakers and industry professionals, getting to know them better and getting their takes on industry-related topics.

Subscribe to the PhorestFM newsletter to know where we’ll be next and when you can expect these bonus episodes. Go to and hit that subscribe button.

This month, we’re airing 5 PhorestFM “Live From…” bonus episodes with exclusive vox pops and interviews from The Salon Owners Summit: Ignite, 2023: The Global event for Growth Driven Salon Owners.

The Salon Owners Summit is Phorest’s very own two-day conference full of education, inspirational speakers, product updates and workshops. 

Born with the salon owner in mind, it’s been designed to give owners in attendance the tools to tackle the year ahead and offer plenty of networking opportunities.

Introducing Derek Anthony & Jill Ruone [03:03]

Zoé Bélisle-Spriger: So I’m here with Derek Anthony and Jill Ruone; thanks so much for joining me!

Derek Anthony: We’re happy to be here for having us.

Jill Ruone: Thank you!

Zoé Bélisle-Spriger: So, listen, I want to start by alluding to the fact that you guys are called a powerhouse team. I want to understand how you describe both your skillsets and how they intersect to create this powerful duo.

Jill Ruone: What would be fun is if we described each other’s [skillsets]!

Zoé Bélisle-Spriger: That’s a great idea; you guys go way back, right?

Jill Ruone: We do! We go way back. And it’s a unique partnership because of the obvious. Derek is in New York; I’m in Minnesota. Derek’s under 40, and I’m over 60. So we’re at completely different parts of our life. But Derek’s strength that he brings is that he’s still in the trenches. He’s a business and salon owner, so he deals with everything our clients deal with. He’s an expert from the stage in his training ability, his skillset ability, in his ability to lead and direct and to coach and to take his real-life experience and the experience he’s learned through his certifications and bring it to our clients and help them become successful.

Derek Anthony: Thank you, Jill.

Zoé Bélisle-Spriger: How does that feel?

Derek Anthony: It’s amazing. I mean, Jill and I have known each other for a long time, as you mentioned. She was my longtime business coach, so that’s how we met. And what she brings is, I would say, always a steady ear, a listening ear, a steady hand. She has incredible experience in salon ownership.

A former salon owner, she’s been through the entire cycle of ownership, from manager to district manager to actual salon owner to selling her salon, business coaching and coaching so many clients from around the country and worldwide.

She has that real coaching core skillset. The way that she listens, the way that she speaks, the way that she guides our clients through, and she can give a perspective that’s really, really different from what I can provide.

She’s incredible with numbers. She’s incredible with P&L, she’s incredible with analyzing problems and helping find solutions. But as opposed to suggesting the solutions, she helps the client find the solutions by asking you questions. And I find that to be an incredible skill set of hers.

Culture Curators: Curating a dream salon or spa culture [05:26]

Zoé Bélisle-Spriger: So, knowing this about both of you now, how did you come together and define your offering? Because essentially, you’re talking about culture, but I know you’re [Derek] very tech-based, and you’ve [Jill] been through all of the cycles, so why culture?

Derek Anthony: Well, I’ll answer that one because I was adamant about when we were sitting. We were sitting actually in our classroom yesterday. We were sitting around the kitchen table, and we came about really…

We had talked about doing something together all these years, but we didn’t know when or how. And then the pandemic hit, so it opened up a massive opportunity for everyone where we were kind of in… I call it the great pause.

We were all at home and on our computers, trying to figure out ways to connect salon owners and support and guide them through a really challenging time. Fast forward to when we ended up saying, “You know what? That went really well. How do we keep this going?”

Jill was actually in New York doing an on-site with a client, she came to my house, and we sat at my kitchen table and started talking about, “Okay, let’s develop a company for real.”

“Okay, what do we call it?” And we were brainstorming. And I’m like, culture needs to be in the name of our business because we need to help people design their cultures. And that’s where curators came from.

So we help people curate the culture of their dreams and ways to help build freedom in their lives as opposed to so much of the frustration that we see from so many different people we talk to daily. So that’s when we came up with our Frustration to Freedom Coalition programs, our group coaching coalition, and different ways to create and unify salon owners from around the world in the country.

Zoé Bélisle-Spriger: Amazing!

Jill Ruone: Yes!

The Attraction Formula: C.U.L.T.U.R.E [07:07]

Zoé Bélisle-Spriger: At the Summit, you guys are presenting a workshop titled “The Attraction Formula: C.U.L.T.U.R.E” — that being an acronym. What does the acronym stand for?

Jill Ruone: The acronym. The C stands for communication, and the U is utilization and number tracking. The L is leadership. Everything rises and falls on leadership, as John Maxwell says.

What comes after the L? T! Training and development of your team. And then the U, we did a little twist on that. And we talk about “ur” personal growth.

Derek Anthony: Very text-y.

Jill Ruone: It’s about the business owner and their personal growth and how they have to develop.

And then the R is retention and recruiting, and then the E is evolution because we must constantly evolve to get where we want to go. And so, as we looked at culture, we came up with this acronym, which really encompasses everything that we believe you need to build this amazing culture and business.

Derek Anthony: So many components of a successful culture fall under each of those seven categories. Each of the seven words has breakdowns underneath them when it comes to many different areas of the business that cover the entire area of culture.

The 24-hour rule & workshop aha moments [08:28]

Zoé Bélisle-Spriger: Amazing! So when you delivered the workshop, obviously, you’re looking at people. People are taking everything in, taking notes and stuff. Did you notice attendees have any aha moments? And what were those aha moments?

Jill Ruone: Well, there were a lot of different aha moments because they’re all in different spaces and different timing of their business. But it’s the relatability of each of those areas. And one of the things I saw yesterday was when we talked about delegating. We talked about releasing some of the responsibilities and what that looks like to do it successfully, to get some of the things off of the owner — the high-level management plates — so that they can focus on the high-level return on their investment.

The other thing was our Leadership Candour Checklist and what we implement. Derek’s got a 24-hour rule that he can share about. In that 24 hours, we’ve got a checklist of things for when you have to have those tough conversations with someone that we typically avoid — at least, I avoided it because I didn’t want to, and then I blew a gasket, and it was all the wrong reasons.

And so now, you take 24 hours and settle down, get those emotions in check, go through our Leadership Candour Checklist and make sure that you set up that one-on-one or that meeting or talk, whatever it is so that it’s successful. And you leave people feeling heard and understood, and you leave them feeling high and empowered.

Derek Anthony: The 24-hour rule for me is just a time for me to process the emotion of what just happened. Generally, when our emotion is high, it’s hard for us to be… Our judgment is clouded, and our thought process is clouded. So we’re going to come out reactionary as opposed to prepared.

And honestly, every time I break that rule, I make a mistake and have to apologize for it. Not to say that I am perfect with it, none of us are, but I believe in it because it works. And this candour checklist helps you self-assess and analyze why this conversation needs to happen and how you will approach it.

And in the room, speaking to your earlier question, like in the room, we saw a lot of aha’s throughout the whole process, especially when we took them through the first exercise, which is what we call our Culture Wheel, where they assess themselves on a scale of one to ten in each area of the culture wheel.

And then Jill was asking them, “Okay, if this was a soccer or a football, what kind of a game would it be? What would that business look like figuratively, as a ball?” So you saw a ton of aha’s and people realizing, “Wow, my culture here and there isn’t what I quite thought it was, or I had never thought about it like that.” And actually, one of the attendees stopped us right before Bingo Loco — which was really fun, by the way —

Zoé Bélisle-Springer: You delivered quite the performance!

Derek Anthony: It was a lot of fun. Oh, yes, I did. That’s a podcast for another day, another episode! A salon owner — she’s owned a salon for 37 years, and she was telling us how this gave her so many aha’s and how it inspired her to recreate and rethink some of the challenges she’s experienced, as all of us have as salon owners.

Zoé Bélisle-Springer: Wonderful. Thank you so much for joining me; this has been fantastic. Derek, you’ve been on the show before. Jill, welcome to PhorestFM! Let’s do this again soon!

Derek Anthony: Absolutely, thanks for having us.

Jill Ruone: Thank you.

Vox pops from the Salon Owners Summit 2023 [11:53]

Paul Dromgoole: My name is Paul Dromgoole from Zeba Hairdressing in Dublin city. The diversity of the speakers is fantastic. It’s great to get a different balance across, not just hair business, but diving into other businesses as well.

Jade Merry: I’m Jade from Wicked Hair in Worcester. This is my third year [at the Salon Owners Summit]. Generally, I’m here for personal growth.

Kerri Hebb: Kerri Hebb, Brushed Hair Salon, Newburyport, MA. This is actually my first visit. I started using Phorest in January of 2022 and love the platform. So I saw this opportunity and knew I had to be here.

Final words and ways to support the podcast [12:30]

Zoé Bélisle-Springer: Thanks for listening to this bonus Live From…” episode brought to you by PhorestFM, powered by Phorest Salon Software. If you enjoyed it and you’d like to help support the podcast, please share it with others, post about it on social media, or leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. Together, We Grow.

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