_______ is key.

I shaved off my hair. All gone. It got in the way on Saturday so much that I didn't even want to remotely deal with it.

Way more functional. I need to keep things simple, focus less on how good my hair looks and more on how I can make other's hair look better. I'm starting to piece together different things and it's making more sense. I'm nervous, but I am chomping at the bit to get more experience under my belt.

Charles has been doing an amazing job at showing us practical application hands on. Karlo gave up portions of his beard for a lesson in beard shaping, and earlier today we were trying to fade the side of a mannequin head when I asked if it would be easier to demonstrate it to Karlo by forcing him into the situation. We all agreed it would.

I noticed something key today. The difference between us and the barbers we aspire to be can be boiled down into two main categories.

The first category is knowledge. Knowledge can be viewed as both book knowledge, as well as knowledge from your previous experiences.

The second category is confidence. Confidence is tricky where I'm at right now, because I am at a point where I haven't even brought a knife to a gun fight. It's more like a foam sword. But I know what I'm capable of, and I look at small accomplishments I've made.

Tying a bow tie is one of my favorite accomplishments. The first time I tried tying one, I had my iPad in front of the mirror and I was watching youtube videos for what had to be 15 or 20 minutes to come out with a half-assed crooked bow. I kept going to work and my friend Madison would always fix my ties because they would get crooked halfway through the day since they were so loose.

That's not how my ties fit anymore. I persevered through looking like an idiot, and I can now confidently tie a bow tie in less than a minute. I look at what how much I'm actually grasping, and how things are starting to feel less awkward and incrementally more natural, and I can't help but notice the changes in the last two weeks, even just on the mannequin heads. So I'm starting to find my confidence, but it isn't in the traditional "I know what I'm doing" way, but instead "I trust myself enough to know I'm going to get there."

I don't think Karlo has hit that pointjust yet, so today I wanted to help him out, so I threw him under the bus and put him on the spot to cut my hair. This is extra difficult to the inexperienced eye because first of all, there's tattoos everywhere that break up the natural way you break up looking at the head. Secondly, I have very light hair, and that's an extra degree of difficulty for the inexperienced eye. So he's getting into it, and I'm immediately giving him feedback of "you can use more pressure" "you can go faster" "you can move my head around" and making sure he can know first hand what is the proper amount of man handling he can get away with. But then I decided to give him the visual on what my realization was. 

"Karlo, when did you start playing bass?"
"About five years ago"
Knowing that Karlo plays for his church worship group and sings, I know he is good at it.
"Were you good when you started?"
"Kind of, although I started with guitar, which I had been playing for a long time so picking it up wasn't too hard."
"What about guitar? Was that difficult to learn?"

I think you can see where I was going with it, I wanted him to realized that the best of you is never in the viewpoint of today or tomorrow. It's always in the comparison to yesterday. But before I could get my point across, Charles started laughing. Karlo had gotten so into the conversation that he stopped being timid. He relaxed, and all the tiny movements that we had been practicing just started coming naturally to him. Charles laughed because he realized I was trying to get his mind off of it, and have him just do it. And short of getting stabbed in the back of the ear once, my fade came out great.

I have confidence not because of where I'm at, but because of where I'm going.

Chris BentleyComment