Goal Achievement

Winning the Game of Money: This Is My Story of Tribulation to Triumph

Author: Caroline Sanderson | 2018

It was a Wednesday in May, 2009. It was in Inverness, the Scottish Highlands. I heard the faint sound of a hairdryer and clock ticking as I sat in the tiny staff room of my salon—across from him—in silence.


I watched as he turned the pages of the report, with his crisp blue suit and short over-gelled hair. I smelled a mix of peroxide and overpowering aftershave, which added to my nausea.

As I watched him, I thought to myself: He doesn’t look a day over 19 . . . yet my financial future is in his hands. How did this happen?

My tummy was doing backflips, part with excitement (praying that he was about deliver the good news I so desperately wanted) and part with nervous dread, a deep gut feeling of pending doom that was making me physically ill.

He looked up at me with an arrogance: “Miss Sanderson, we can’t take on your business to sell. It just isn’t worth it due to the lack of profits over the past few years. I know as a business owner you always think your business is more valuable than it is . . . but the truth is, it’s worthless.”

BOOM, there it was: the news I’d been dreading. I wanted to scream at him: “What do you mean it’s worthless, so my divorce meant nothing? You mean the chronic back pain I took painkillers for every two hours for two years meant nothing?” But I didn’t say anything.

In reality, I couldn’t speak. I felt numb. “I’ll see myself out Miss Sanderson,” he said in an off-putting, aloof tone—like I had completely wasted his time.

The Reality of My Past

I was eight months pregnant and about to leave for maternity when my salon manager of four years left work one day never to return. Without notice, she just disappeared with a stolen client list under her arm and went off to rent a chair somewhere across town.

I was recently divorced, which was also very painful. So there I was: About to become a single mum to three children.

I had no cash in the bank, no money saved, and I didn’t know how I was going to meet payroll the following Friday. To make things worse, I’d also gone over the value-added tax (VAT) threshold without realising it, and I owed more than £11,000.

But my fear was not only restricted to my unfolding, unfavorable salon situation, I had other pressing worries: Complete failure.

The truth was the recession had hit hard, and things weren’t going well. I made every mistake in the book. I could’ve written the darn thing! When you hit rock bottom and don’t know where to turn, you never forget the day you finally crumble.

That was when I asked myself one question that changed my life: Caroline, can you honestly say you have done your best to make a success of your salon?

At that moment I realised I had not done everything I could. Now I felt feelings of serious failure because I hadn’t given it my all.

Then suddenly it was as if I was taken over by a powerful energy force.

A feeling of pride and power rose inside me and the determination I felt in that moment gave the motivation I needed. I wasn’t willing to throw in the towel until I had given it my all!

How do we know what we are truly capable of unless we give it our all?

This was my turning point. And the point where I couldn't get any lower. When the pain is so great, you must take action in some direction . . . So there and then I made a decision (and a pact with myself) that I was going to turn my business and my life around.

That’s when I set out on the journey for knowledge. I wanted to find the right mentors to help me with all the challenges and changes ahead of me.

I came across John Assaraf by reading his book, Having It All, and seeing him in the movie, The Secret. I started to get a real interest in the Law of Attraction, neuroscience, and how to develop a mindset for success.

I watched the Brain-A-Thon and immediately knew the NeuroGym Inncercise programs were right for me. I put my money worries aside and invested in the programme . . . I knew I had to invest in myself if I wanted to make any progress.

This is how I started to grow my salon business.

The results were astounding. Within the first four months, I was speaking on stage to 350 delegates at an industry event. On top of that, I had a flurry of new clients who signed up for my salon business coaching program.

But things really began to accelerate after the I completed the Winning the Game of Money (WTGM) programme. I won my first marketing award within 10 months but the best thing of all was I realised within 10 months of doing the programme that I had a net worth of $1,000,000.

This is when I started to achieve my potential.

Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t suddenly attract this cash into my life. The programme helped me change my perspective. You see, I’d been sitting on a gold mine the whole time, without even knowing it!

C. Sanderson salon smart

Within a year of starting the WTGM programme, I won four of the biggest awards in my industry all in the same year—something that had never been done before. I won the:

• British Hairdressing Awards Scottish Hairdresser of the Year

• Creative Heads Most Wanted Business Thinker (I was the first woman to win it!)

• Britain’s Best Photographic Stylist

• British Hairdressing Business Awards’ Best Front of House Team

The awards have kept coming not only for me but for my team including being nominated for Great British Entrepreneur of the Year.

And in 2018, my life has successfully changed even more. Not only have we already won eight awards, I received another five nominations. I teach several of my own programs, including my Mindset Mastery System and Super Salon Success Systems.

I host numerous events and seminars, and this year my Super Salon Summit is in its third year. It’s set to be bigger than ever with 100 attendees! For the event, we secured a line-up of incredible sponsors and celebrity hairdressing guests.

AND, after being single for seven years, I just moved into a new home with my three children and my wonderful partner.

I’m also waiting to hear back on my offer for salon #2 to open in a new city. There’s so much going on in my life! But the best thing about it all is how I feel about myself.

During my Winning the Game of Money journey, my self-worth grew exponentially. I am truly grateful to John and the NeuroGym team for all their help and support along my path to success.

Caroline S

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About The Author

Caroline Sanderson

Caroline is the owner of Ego Hair Design and Salon Jedi. Her mission is to share her system and knowledge with other salon owners so they don't have to go through what she did when she first started out in business. She does this through her company Salon Jedi, which offers training courses and consulting.

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