Mr. Hite and the barber school tribe

Tucked away in a corner on 72nd and State, you will find The Barber School. From the outside it doesn’t seem like very much. In fact, it looks like any other barber shop. However, once you step inside you will be pleasantly surprised to find a large group of students learning how to create art using trimmers and clippers.

The mastermind behind this is Tim Hite. Mr. Hite (as he is affectionately referred too) has been cutting hair for over 70 years! He has studied under the best (Paul Mitchell ring a bell?) and mastered his craft over a lifetime of work. Instead of hording this gift, Mr. Hite chooses to share it. In six months time, anyone can come in and learn the art of cutting hair.

His students come from all walks of life. This tribe of misfits Mr. Hite has assembled have left comfortable jobs or come right out of high school to follow their passions. Many of these starving artists are working 80 hours a week to support their families. Just ask the students when you are on the chair, it is part of the experience. Each student has an amazing story of how they got there.

As for Mr. Hite, he wonders between chairs, saying very little. Always observing. When students need his approval, he says one word or makes one motion. Highly respected by his students, Mr. Hite has turned cutting hair into a work of art.

For customers in the Salt Lake area, it is the best bargain in town! For five bucks, you get a five-star service and a great haircut. I never leave without tipping at least that amount (the service is that good).

You can’t help but feel you are part of something special when you go down there. And you certainly can’t help but tip your hat to Mr. Hite, who could have put down the trimmer many years ago. He could have chosen not to share his gifts with the world – it would have been easy. The same can be said with all of us: we could be “just a barber” or we can be an artist. More of us need to take a page out of The Barber School’s book.

Head over to The Barber School and be part of something real.

"With the way the world is going…"

You are either worried that the world is running out of resources (scarcity) or you believe that there will be enough invention and innovation to find new resources (abundance).

Or if you are an outside of the box thinker you believe in both, that when you have abundance in one area of your life you have scarcity in another.

“With the way the world is going…” it up to you and me to make it the best possible world it can be.

Why your story is more important than mine

Take a look at the top visited websites such as Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Twitter, Yahoo!, Amazon, they seem to all share one thing in common: None of them are telling THEIR story but are helping you tell YOUR story.

Donald Miller explains this beautifully about positioning yourself as the Guide and placing your customers as the Hero.

As Miller puts it, if you position yourself as the Hero in your customers story they are going to react with, “That’s awesome. I am a Hero too. I am looking for a Guide to help me though. Good luck on your journey.”

None of these sites are wasting a second of our time with telling their story on how they got here. They are all focused on helping us solve our problems. And they do it each day with a more seamless and fluid experience (one click shopping, dash button, like, share, subscribe).

Why rhythm

When you jump rope there are two types of jumps that are made. There are big jumps and small hops.

In a normal pace, the big jump is used for getting over the rope while the small hop is used to stay in rhythm.

We make small hops all the time while we wait for the rope to come back around (the next big thing). It is rhythm that keeps us ready.

If we can get someone else to hold the rope we won’t get as tired. We can go longer, take more chances, and focus on jumping the rope.

However, if you are holding the rope you can control the speed. The faster you go, the smaller the hops (no big jumps required). The slower you go, the bigger the jumps (more small hops in-between). You also have the double jump, where you spin the rope in two rotations in one big jump.

The point is this: It doesn’t matter what rhythm you choose. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

Did you show up today?

Facebook is a place where people go to be present. But it doesn’t change us or someone else for that matter. It is this place to check in with the world to see if it has fallen apart. The thing is Facebook is eerily similar to being present at work: respond to an email, listen in on a conference call, go to that meeting.

It is not enough to be present because anyone can be trained to do this. And everyone is. Everyone can be given a set of instruction to follow (we learned this in school remember?) If everyone can be trained to do it then why should I pay you more?

You have to show up.

Showing up is being present in the moment to solve interesting problems. It is an attitude; you are showing up when you initiate an email, when you are speaking up on a conference call, or participating in that meeting. Showing up is scarce. But it is a quality that anyone with any ability can practice and learn.

Show up where it matters: in the home, at your vocation, with your community. Share an idea, make a difference, make something or someone better today by showing up.

Publishing > polishing

The goal needs to be publishing not polishing.

Polishing is about smoothing edges: making sure that the colors stay in between the lines, that spread sheet is manicured to the bosses specifications, figuring out what kind of guitar your favorite artist used to start their band.

The problem with polishing is that when you keep going through the same thing over and over, again and again, it can turn into hiding. We all hide because we are afraid of putting our work out for the world to see. The way to avoid this is to have a ship date and get the product good enough to launch.

Ironically, most products get better and better when time passes. Google wasn’t perfect when it first started. The later people waited to use it the better it got.

Some of the best works have the shortest deadlines. Jack Kerouac wrote On the Road in three weeks, single spaced, on one continuous 120 foot scroll.

There is no arguing that “the scroll” turned into one of the finest pieces of literature to come from the Beat Generation. Kerouac understood it was less about tactics (procedures) and more about form (bring pieces together). Kerouac wasn’t worried about grammar, punctuation, what kind of type writer he needed. It was about writing. It was about publishing something which meant heavy lifting.

What Dean Potter taught us

What makes the late Dean Potter remarkable was that he did things that were worth making a remark about.

Potter was mostly known in the climbing community for his daring free solo ascents, speed ascents, free base jumps, and free highlines. Yet, he is famously known for two controversial events: 1) climbing Delicate Arch and 2) for his wing suit flight with his dog.

Good or bad, right or wrong – he changed the way we think and viewed climbing.

The fact is that Dean Potter had something to say about Art. He was a map maker and explorer. He trusted his compass and explored all the edges.

Dean Potter passed away last year in a base jumping accident. His path was a high risk, high stakes game. Potter pushed his chips in the middle and always bet on himself and his abilities to be perfect.

Most of us will not play that game and most of us shouldn’t. If the stakes of the game are so high that the result of failure can crush you then you might want to consider a different game. That didn’t matter to Potter though. As most free soloist will tell you that they do not feel like they are going to fall. What level of self mastery!

What we can learn from Potter and his work of art is to overcome fears and to bet on our own abilities to push the status quo.

Thank you Dean.

Spam networking

There is a difference between a Facebook friend and a real friend (one will help you move a coach).

If someone were to leave your social network, you would probably shrug your shoulders and move on with your day. You wouldn’t be crushed. We now have 99 followers instead of 100. This is different from a real friend.

The question then becomes: would you be missed if you are gone?

The NFL will end…someday

In 2013, the National Football League made north of 9 billion dollars with projections to make 25 billion by 2027.

(Amazing since they were a non-profit from 1942 until last year, but that’s a different story all together.)

Yet, you can predict with surety that the NFL will end…someday. Maybe it will be because of concussions, mismanagement, or the market doesn’t care about it anymore. We don’t know how it will happen, just that it will happen.

Since 1900, there’s only one top 100 independent company still in operation today. That’s the Ford Motor Company. Think about that for a minute—you cannot underestimate the impact Henry Ford has played in all of our lives.

All of the rest of these companies have bankrupted, sold out, been absorbed or transformed themselves into something you cannot even recognize. Eventually, everyone becomes irrelevant. Companies have lifespans. Oh, how the mighty fall!

Ford is the only exception. The NFL isn’t but they have done a good job in market penetration. Few organizations can become symbols for an entire city (like in 1903 when Henry Ford founded Ford Motor Company in Detroit).