Maybe it was the beginning, for some of us, when we realized that this year would be different. The echo of lingering laughter in vacant shops would act as a testament to how we’ve been feeling this year: everything is uncertain except our memory. We remember walking into shops or open garages greeted by familiar customers and the subtle head nod that it was our turn to sit in the chair. Our time both in and out of the chair has been limited. We worry about tomorrow and watch businesses that we once loved close shop until this all blows over﹣ we think back to those who were just getting started, barely touching the surface before opportunity was swept from underneath them. Our hair grows﹣we don hairstyles that have started to go on their own adventures; reveal their own personalities. Control is not something we understand much anymore, not even in the shop; not even in the place that grounded us, pulled the chaos of noise into one sound. But here we are, still building, willing ourselves to continue what we know and what we love. So, as barbers,what is our role during quarantine?
In our life’s journey, we are people first. We are human first. It’s completely normal for us to react to what is going on around us; it is this ability that allows us to create masterpiece from nothing but tools and our bare hands. It is in our job description to listen and interpret reality into something unique for our clients specific needs. We also need to be vigilant about adopting this mindset for ourselves. Many people don’t consider taking time for yourself essential, but it is our responsibility to make sure we are intact. We can’t cut, build,brand, if we are unaware of who we are the moment we decide to pursue these ventures. Our humanity is a balance, and knowing when to take a step back and build ourselves up is necessary to the continued pursuit of barbering in our current climate. We are the best barbers when we are taking care of ourselves.
As we move forward, our dedication to the building according to the needs of our brand is necessary; it’s survival. Our focus has to shift from what once worked to what is going to help us sustain in the future. This includes building on old skills, adopting new ones and recognizing that change is imminent . Many barbers are beginning to realize the accessibility of social media and have used this to build a client base outside of their immediate vicinity. Building on skills such as networking, digital marketing, customer analysis allow us as barbers to increase our mobility and unlock our potential to expand remotely. We are building as we gather and process new information; our business models should reflect this in how we secure new clients and how our services have accommodated the changing times. We are moving into uncharted waters, but that does not mean that we need to stop pursuing the things that we love, we may just need to change our course of action.
It can feel like the idea of investment has been circulating everywhere, but the reason is simple: investment is important. We don’t often think about taking care of ourselves or updating our tool inventory as viable investments, but they are. The truth is, that right now is the time to invest in people, things and ideas that will propel us forward. As barbers﹣ as budding business owners, it is our job to continue to amplify our voices and our personal brands as they pertain to our future. We are not building for yesterday, but rather paving the way for tomorrow by looking at investments in the present.
Moving forward during quarantine might not be as simple as it was before, but it will be worth it to solidify our purpose cutting into the future.
So, how will you cut during quarantine?
“Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.” — Marie Curie