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Original Date Posted: Apr 12, 2012

John McCormick, CEO of Visable Changes, a chain of beauty salons is a great example of an entrepreneur who took an old idea and made it new. John has a fantastic story of the beginning of his business he told to me one day as we lunched in Detroit at an Inc. Conference.

John was a policeman in New York City who decided one year to supplement his income by selling Christmas trees on the sidewalks of New York. John made $2,000 selling the trees and afterwards invested the money in the stock market. Somehow John invested in something that increased his $2000 to a million dollars in a short time (after forty years in the market, I personally have never been able to do that).

John resigned from his position on the New York Police Department and began to enjoy the good life, believing his luck would continue. He and his wife moved to Houston, Texas not knowing what the future would bring. With his money decreasing rapidly, John began to worry and would walk the beach each morning trying to figure out what he could do to make a living.

His greatest asset was his wife who was a beautician.

As John walked each morning, he met an older business man who was Jewish. This man owned a small business and as he and John became friends as they walked each morning, John realized that this man was very knowledgeable about business. John asked if he could go to work for the man for six months for no pay just to learn what he could from him about business and the businessman agreed.

After his six months of business training, John decided to use what he had and sent his wife to Europe to study new styling techniques while he prepared to open a beauty salon in Houston. John visited the Houston Oilers football ownership to make a presentation: He would cut all the football players hair if the management would allow him to advertise his business as the barber of the Oilers. The agreement was made and John printed flyers and put up billboards to draw people to his shop.

His salon was very successful and his stylists earned on average four times what stylists earned in other salons because he taught his stylists to sell beauty products to every person visiting the salon and the stylists received a commission on each sale. John took a business idea which had been around since the beginning of time and made it better, allowing his employees to live better lives and customers to get better service. A new idea improved upon can be as beneficial to the economy as a new idea.

Today John has a chain of beauty salons in Texas and was recently awarded an international business award for excellence.