In Episode 047, Joan Turley describes loving people and building them up

Today’s interview is chock full of golden nuggets of truth. I am speaking with a woman from Texas whose life was changed when she started working in the salon and spa industry. Now she is on a mission to help people feel as good on the inside as they look on the out.

When Joan’s job at a Christian non-profit came to an end, one of the group’s biggest donors, who owned a large beauty salon in the Houston area, was experiencing an unfortunate transition itself.

The woman asked Joan to join the team to bring about some much-needed healing within the company. So, Joan entered the salon and spa business kicking and screaming due to all the Saturday work, and she wasn’t too keen on working with such a diverse group of staff, vendors and clientele. She thought God had called her to Babylon.

But, a funny thing happened along the way. Joan fell in love with the people and with the opportunity to love them and build them up. Today, she has a mandate to do the same thing with what she calls the winter saints.

I was especially moved by Joan’s revelation that although the staff, vendors and clients of the beauty salon she managed weren’t anything like her, they were like God and created in his image. As a result, she was called to love on them and to build them up whenever possible.

She reassigned the business’ priorities around taking care of staff first, vendors second and clients third. After all, Joan knew if she took care of her staff the right way, they would take care of the clients.

Joan engaged in a process of building people up by creating specific restoration plans to correct unwanted behaviors. If that didn’t work, she nudged staff members to ‘find a way to flourish’ somewhere else.

She was so successful at the salon that Joan started a business called Salon and Spa Made Simple to help other salon owners turn around their struggling companies into thriving businesses.

Over the years, Joan discovered many opportunities to perform sacred work even in secular places. She wrote a book by that name, which was a collection of stories about partnering with God in a beautiful, but broken world. 

As Joan reached her 60s, she felt called to instill in other older people of faith what she calls a “winter saints mandate” to share their stories with people around them. The best part of the mandate is helping people to realize that God always saves the best for last. The Bible proclaims seasoned citizens will still bear fruit and flourish in old age.

Joan knows there is a crisis of loneliness in America and the rest of the world, yet winter saints often feel unseen, unheard, invalidated, unnecessary and irrelevant. She tells people you don’t need permission to enjoy a better life. If you don’t get a seat at somebody’s table because you’re too old, then set your own table and invite others to join yours.

Simply noticing other people goes a long way to ending loneliness and lack of purpose in the lives of seasoned citizens and younger generations, too. She said simply asking people to tell their story is powerful because it’s important and it matters. Inviting people to share their story is a great way to start a conversation and a relationship.

People can connect with Joan on Facebook and Instagram. She promises to respond to anyone who sends her a direct message. Business owners looking for help can connect with Joan at Joan’s book, “Sacred Work in Secular Places” is available on Amazon and at other bookstores.

That’s all I have for this week’s show. If you’d like help in identifying a purpose for your life or to get help planning your next steps, I’m offering a complimentary brainstorming session to members of the Forward From 50 Facebook community. For details, connect with me on Facebook or visit

I’ll have another inspirational interview on the next episode of the Forward From 50 podcast. Thanks for listening. If you like this show, please consider leaving a review wherever you download the episodes.

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