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A Cut Above: Framing The Future

A Cut Above: Framing The Future

Everyone’s had a first date. We panic immediately after the date and time have been agreed upon. What are we going to wear? We rush to the mirror and realize that our hair needs a trim- we check our contacts and scroll down to the only barber we know is available this late in advance. Pulling up to the appointment, we think about the date. What are we going to wear? Our minds flash to the pantry and try to recall whether we have mints and gum. Should we look casual or come decked out- we begin planning the minute we decide we’re going to go on the date. Our focus shifts to the possible outcomes of the date; we think critically about how our actions will impact the date. We think at both the micro and macro level, creating scenarios that detail  information from our word choice to our role in external environments. And when the time comes, although we’ve panicked and checked the mirror a hundred times, we have some framework that we are working within- we have a desired outcome and planned behavior and situational awareness to accompany this manifestation. 

In our lives, we are continually going on first dates. The only difference between success and failure is our ability to stay a cut above; we are only as good as we are prepared. 

Documenting Goals 

As barbers, we have to continue to set goals for ourselves. Our job is to pursue excellence in a way that is authentic to our own brand; we hold ourselves accountable by staying on the cusp of transition. Documenting our goals allows us to see what cards are on the table and then to assess the current hand we’ve drawn. We can ask better questions about the direction we're going in and create pathways that have a direct affect on the outcome that we’re seeking. Writing down our goals establishes that we are working towards something and every push in that direction breeds smaller successes. However, if we are unaware of where we are going; if we aren’t able to identify what we want, then we can’t  make moves that allow us to move forward. There are several ways we can do this:

Creating a vision board

Making a scrapbook of ideas/positions you want to be in

Creating a list and sending it to an accountable partner

Make a poster and post it where you will see it everyday

 In order to actualize, we first need to identify- if we want to reach the stars, we need to chart them first. 

Bit Sized Action (Systemize)

Just like we wouldn’t jump straight into a cut without first considering how to achieve what the client wants and what resources we have to execute the cut, we don’t need our journey as barbers to be complete overnight. We need to approach our path to success as we would planning for a date; consider the in-betweens and plan accordingly. If we want to build our network to include high-profile clients, for example, we need to consider the path we’ll be taking to get there by breaking down our goal into smaller actionable steps. This could include offering a free service to someone in the network you want to be a part of, or working with someone to breath an idea into fruition and advertising this service after the venture is successful. Whatever you want to do, you need to think big and plan in detail. 

Remain a Cut Above 

 Success is not told in stagnation but rather in the way we continue to reinvent ourselves. As we pursue our path of excellence, we need to remind ourselves that the systems we’ve developed or the ideas that have come to fruition can always be improved upon or re-evaluated as the world around us changes. Staying a cut above means looking at the landscape that you’ve created and finding ways to improve the way it actualizes your goals. In this same way, our goals can also change. We are constantly planning and framing, looking at ways we can actualize the goals of our past while seamlessly incorporating the desires of our future. 


You have to train your subconscious mind to operate in accordance to your goals. Will power is not enough. We breathe, drive, & blink on auto pilot. So manifesting our thoughts on autopilot. Faith comes with time when your subconscious mind starts to take over from the vibration you feed your mind everyday.


Thinking Ahead: The Thoughts of a Barber

Thinking Ahead: The Thoughts of a Barber


Our moms always tell us, “watch your words.” We ignore her after beating ourselves up when we lose that qualifying game during the last 10 seconds. We push them into the back of our mind when we are back having that conversation with that one teacher that has told us we’ll amount to nothing: our dreams aren’t for someone like us. We’ve stuffed them away as we watch the face of our first customer drop after seeing their new haircut. But, as we get older, we hear people in positions we want to be in, talk about the power of words; the necessity to speak life into the projects and ideas you’re working on. So we think back, to that one time, when someone pulled us aside and reminded us that what we’ve spoken into the world shapes our reality in it. And our mothers words come crashing into the foreground: Watch your words

In the world of barbering, we talk a lot about Barbers Eye. The concept focuses on seeing the details of a given canvas— but how can we see what we have not yet assumed can be true? As barbers, the fundamental nature of our work is to take something at face value and transform it into something else. It is actualizing the imaginary. Our thoughts about our work and our ability as barbers is limitless; our thoughts are the proactive measure of manifestation— and so, are extremely important. Transforming  our thinking is the initial step to elevating ourselves as barbers; we only walk the roads that we ourselves can see. 

We often tell younger barbers to visualize their cuts— look at the canvas and decide where they’re going to start. We need to take this same approach as we look at our own paths as barbers. Where do we see ourselves in the next month? Next year? Next five years? We need to look at the canvas of our career, and reimagine the path in the way that we want to find success for ourselves. Think about it like carving out a sculpture; you have to visualize where you’re going to go so you know what steps to take to get there. 

It is often that we hear stories of others' success and don’t believe that we’ll get there using their methods. However, watching your words, or rather, being deliberate about what words you use to manifest your journey, tells us to verbalize that this is a possibility. Changing our thoughts allow us to create an environment of success- and sometimes this developing vision of success might start by looking at another barber's path of excellence. By allowing ourselves to see someone else pursuing something they’ve dreamed and then executed, we can use this information to begin to craft something for ourselves. And then, we can reimagine the frame and mold it to something that works for us. 

In order to speak something into existence we can’t see, we need to challenge our mindset about how we’re going to get there, but more importantly, believe the idea that we can. Moving forward in barbering begins with one core concept: thinking ahead. 

“What you feed your mind, will lead your life.”
Kemi Sogunle

What thoughts will lead you?


Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile from Pexels

Barberhood: The Essential Network

Barberhood: The Essential Network


/ˈbärBər. ho͝od/


  1. an association, society, and community of people linked by a common interest; barbering. 

We look down, head bowed in shame revealing a crooked line-up and a chunk of hair missing from our crown. We’ve butchered our role as the ultimate home barber extraordinaire. Moms is yelling and pops has called his friend up the street to come document the incident. We’re embarrassed; we can’t call our friends, we want to keep it as quiet as possible. Someone’s booked an appointment for the next day. The shop is welcoming; old heads roast us for the entirety of our stay. We realize they’re laughing in memory; they’ve also chopped and screwed their own canvas- the barber cutting your hair nods in agreement. We’ve all been there, their words echo: it happens all the time. You leave the shop feeling on top of the world; you carry this moment in your story archives, anticipating the day you’ll share it with one of  your own clients. 

Barberhood, at its core, is the shared narrative of living and learning together; taking the love of cutting hair and building a community out of this passion. We often talk about building our network as barbers learning how to expand our business, perfecting new cutting techniques, the list is comprehensive and continually growing.  We don’t often examine how building a network within our community is critical to our success. Building lasting connections in the industry allows us to plot our own success story by allowing others to provide valuable input. As we secure a community of support, we acknowledge that we need each other to move forward, that our individual success is symptomatic of our commitment to uplifting others who are striving for the same thing.

Barberhood allows us to forge our own paths by acknowledging the steps of others. It helps us expand our personal business as we learn from each other and constantly reach back into the system for support; to seek guidance; or challenge our own growth. Barberhood, in it's purest form, is realizing the connectedness of the movement and seeking to add your narrative to a growing collective of shared stories. It is also the why we continue to press on in this field; it is why we highlight former barbers and barbering communities when we tell our own stories. It is why we look forward to sharing our experience with the generations after us. We want to build a lasting community; we want to keep the magic that we experienced as children alive. 

We don't heal in isolation, but in community.”
S. Kelley Harrell



Photo by Ahshea1 Media from Pexels