Literally! I could have been cut with the straight razor but let me tell you a bit of a backstory.
A year ago a new barber shop named Sailor Bup’s, opened in town, now I will confess here I am a hipster, beard, floppy hat, craft beer, coffee, everything you would picture but I don’t use a mac (and for the record no, it has nothing to do with it being mainstream, I’m just cheap).
The city of Halifax had a few barbershops already but this one was being opened by a friend’s fiancé, Mark Peyton. I started going to support the business and got to see it grow. It has switched locations growing to six staff, developed a line of hair and beard products, shirts, and overall created a whole community.
During all this amazing growth and building, Mark also injured his hand playing dodge-ball, yes dodge-ball, and was told he would have to give up working with straight razors. He focused on the business, he worked hard, we became friends – all these great things have happened but he could participate or interact with customers in the same way. He couldn’t be a barber without discomfort.
This was right around the time that Ross (one of H&G’s Founders) wrote about an injury of his own, oddly enough also caused in the same dodge-ball league as Mark. Ross had started to view his injury as a limitation and wrote about getting over it.
Whenever I am into the shop I tend to hang out in the back office and talk to Mark about how business and life is going for the both of us, he gives me a lot of perspectives and I hope I do the same. He brought up Ross’ post, having seen it on my Facebook, and said that it then said something that was super supportive but had motivated him to want to learn to work with his injured hand. I wanted to support him in this and have no concept of risk sometimes, so I offered to let him shave my head.
A few people called me crazy but at the end of the day, this is a friend who has been good to me. He listens when I talk business and always gives feedback. He looks after people in his shop more than just as a business owner and that’s a value I’ve applied to H&G.
Friends in Business: Entrepreneurship is a team sport
People like Mark are fantastic to have in your network, they can help you learn new things, see different perspectives and talk shop in a totally different way than you do in the office. To be able to talk about business and relate to another entrepreneur is really powerful and if someone is willing to support you then you need to support them as much as you can.
Entrepreneurship is a team sport, it can be a lot of work and if you don’t have other people to bounce ideas off of, or to talk about wins and losses with then you will are more likely to give up. Some of your regular friends might listen but no one will “get it” the same way another entrepreneur will.
So, Let’s Talk About The Shave
Mark had a bit of pain but managed to finish the shave with a bit of cleanup work from a trimmer at the very end. He got to do the work he loves again, and to see a friend that happily made it awesome! Every few weeks I head in now to let Mark practice and every time he gets a bit better, closer to where he as.
This isn’t the story of me being willing to take a razor to the head. It’s a story about friendship in business and an entrepreneur named Mark tackling his self-imposed limitations, his excuses. I volunteered to help, on but he had to be driven to recover. Relationships like this are important, they keep you moving forward, they help us all get over our excuses. I talked about my excuse of being a student before, for Mark it was an old injury, what is it for you? What’s your excuse, and how can we at H&G help you get over it?
P.S. We totally didn’t tell his fiancé about this yet, and the odds she will read this are good, Sorry Floyd!
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