I remember begging to get my hair cut on Friday and Saturday nights by the guys that knew how to cut hair in my family. Finally I got tired of waiting and did the shit myself.
I used to get my haircut by my Grandpa Walter every 2-3 weeks. I loved getting haircuts. They’d be so relaxing. I’d sit in the barber chair that he had in his basement and chill. The clippers felt so good on my head. It was a relaxing experience. He used to play the radio station WNUA 95.5 (Chicago). My old school Chicagoans remember WNUA, that was some great smooth jazz.
I remember he used to cut my hair the way my mom wanted me to have it. All plain and shit. Just a plain Afro. No lines or anything cool. I wanted some cool shit. I remember when I saw a basketball card of David Robinson and I wanted the exact type of high top fade he had. I asked him for the hairdo but he must’ve collaborated with my mom and they decided that the hairdo wasn’t for me.
I remember being pissed. I had no control. I hated it.
As I grew older, things changed. My mom divorced my dad in 1992, my freshman year of high school. At that point she had a boyfriend named Eddie who could hook up a fade like nobody’s business. He used to fade me up before the dances to make me look sharp.
But then one day Eddie couldn’t cut my hair. More like he didn’t feel like it. I remember thinking, c'mon man, just a quick do. Nah, it didn’t matter. I basically begged him but it was a no.
So from that point on, I learned how to cut my own shit.
Listen, the learning curve was a steep one. I had to learn how to use clippers and I don't know what the fuck I was going. Remember now, this is before the YouTube days so there wasn’t any watching someone do it, I had to learn all of this on my own.
Many lopsided fades, uneven cuts, bad linings and patches in my head. It was an ugly period for me. I remember spending hours in the bathroom because I messed up and tried to “fix it” which made it that much worse.
FOMO? No. You AIn't Missin' Nothin - The Real Deal #56
I couldn't go to school wearing a hat all day and I couldn't hide from my fuck ups but here’s the key, I was going to get my hairdo down pat. No matter what.
The and part to all of this was that it was going to take time to get this right. Again, I was learning a lot about hair cutting on my own. And because I was such a stubborn child at the time, I didn't ask for any help either.
It was like I was on a mission trying to do this shit myself but I was fucking up miserably.
I went to school with many bad haircuts and “fades.” But again, the determination was that I wanted the hairdo that I wanted and I wasn’t waiting on anyone anymore. It was about me and what I wanted.
Once I committed to cutting my hair, I got used to the mistakes. But ultimately it was all about the number of times I practiced my craft, this about a year later, I became extremely good at cutting my own hair. And once I reached that point, I felt untouchable.
Get Good (and Get Consistent) at Doing the Little Things - YouTube LIVE, Feb. 7, 2018
Sounds silly right? Well, it’s the truth. You see, it was more than the haircut, it was about the independence that I had once I was able to become efficient at my craft. The funny part is that no matter how good my fades were, I always thought I could do better. I always knew where my flaws were and I would compare my hair with someone else’s. It was almost like I was super insecure about not having a totally awesome hairdo.
The Lesson and Response to Being Sick and Tired
I learned that I could do whatever I set my mind to. I’ve always been the guy that will try something no matter what and this was one of those times that I went for it. I just got tired of being pushed to the back burner when it was time for a haircut.
The key is that I went all in with one objective. I went through some embarrassing moments with fucked up hairdos. I was apprehensive many times when I had to turn on the clippers and start fading. There were many times that I tried to convince myself that I should go to a barber and stop wasting money.
But I wanted to look fresh with a brand new hairdo whenever I wanted. That was the key. I didn't give a damn how much money I spent so long as I could get my fade down right and look fresh.
As an entrepreneur, you will encounter countless opportunities that will resemble my haircut moment. I can show you the pictures above that show an awesome hair cut but you don’t know what the fuck ups look like. That’s why I tell entrepreneurs that their need to document their journey band post that shit online.
Most entrepreneurs won’t do that because they’re too fearful of what people will think of and some other circumstance that’s on the horizon.
If you’re not willing to embrace the good, bad and the ugly, then you won’t get very far. You may make a half million mistakes but understand why you’re doing what you’re doing in the first place .
Understand that you’re going to have a breakthrough after many many trials and tribulations. Just know that what you want won’t be easy but it damn sure will be worth it.
I’ve been cutting my own hair since I was 14. That’s 26 years of cutting hair. I never have to worry about going somewhere to see if they can fade black folks hair like they do in the city. You laugh but a good barber is damn hard to come by. And I live in Idaho now. I’d have to search high and low in my neck of the woods.
I want you to read this article with the understanding that it could pertain to the persistence you’re going to need as an entrepreneur. The fortitude it’s going to take to persevere no matter what. It’s a challenge but the reward is fucking awesome.
Take the risk. Figure it out. Because in the end, you just want to say that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want however you want and nobody can fucking stop you.