Managing my time is something I am still getting used to and as a barber I rarely work set hours. I can see clients at their hotel at 11pm and then I can be back up at 6 in the morning to travel to see another client somewhere else. As stressful and tiresome as it can be, Ive always thrived on not working to a schedule and feeling tied down, and travelling to different places excites me, but sometimes… I just want to sit down and relax, do some writing, edit my photography or just do something for me. The last few years especially, Ive lost the ability to just take time for me. Theres a fear of missing out (FOMO), a fear that clients might go to someone else, a fear that I might start to become irrelevant if Im not constantly working or available to everyone at every minute of the day. This, in turn, has had a knock on effect to my mental health. My mind got to a point where it was constantly turning. I had a to-do list that never seemed to get done. The pressure was too much but it was coming from….me!!
I’ve been in therapy now for the last four months to try and get back on track after my anxiety decided to rear it’s ugly head again. My therapists main advice has been to start prioritising more of what I enjoy and put less pressure on myself. Sounds easy doesn’t it?? However, it can be hard when you are a natural perfectionist who actually enjoys their job. I was already filling my time with a job that I loved to do so how was I going to fit more stuff in to my day? I had to start making time by prioritising myself.
As you’ll know from my other blog posts, I have been cutting hair for 17 years this year and I feel that although the Barber Industry is at an all time high in terms of interest and people wanting a career out of it, I also feel it is sadly being abused for what it actually is and a lot of people are becoming barbers because they think it will give them a quick road to success. What people don’t realise is that there is no quick road to success. This industry, especially, takes hard work, involves long, unsociable hours and requires a constant level of drive and enthusiasm, not to mention talent. Add all these traits together and you still require years of hard graft to amount to any sort of success. I will never fall out of love with barbering, far from it, but since broadening my horizons, taking time for me and prioritising more of what I enjoy (on my therapists advice), I’m able to keep a healthier mind and have a better work life balance which, in turn, makes me a better at my trade. I take influence from other passions that I have now that can cross over into my barbering creativity.
If you follow my social media you might notice I’m posting a lot less haircut images than I used to. You’ll find theres more photography, travel, charity events and much more on there. Opportunities have come up in the past that I’ve turned down due to work and I can be a terrible procrastinator when I’m not doing interesting things so Im trying to say yes to as much as I can now. Ive been lucky to be given opportunities professionally that incorporate the passions outside of barbering that I have and since this change, bigger brands have been approaching me more and more. You’ve probably seen that I’ve had the opportunity to go to Isle of Wight Festival, London on a few occasions, Ive done loads of cool photoshoots, driven boss cars, worked with some incredible charities and product launches to name a few. I don’t think this work would be available to me if my only output was images of haircuts and although it was a hard step to take, its really working out for the best.
I have always had a passion for photography, I haven’t got a lot of knowledge or experience but I am quickly learning to take a photo that I am proud of and that I feel is aesthetically pleasing to an audience. I am also getting to travel a lot more with the jobs I am doing now which gives me a lot more opportunities to take some nice photographs. I really do aim on improving my photography skills and hopefully doing more photography work as well as a lot more regular blogging and reviewing jobs.
I would definitely advise anybody thats getting stale or bored in their job to take a step back, open their eyes a little more and see what else you can add to your routine or job to keep you feeling satisfied. People can become trapped in a cycle or a way of life that they feel is what they ‘should’ be doing. Don’t pigeon hole yourself, why can’t you be the Accountant that also repairs motorbikes on the side?? Who knows, you might have a hobby that you can make a living out of! Forever grateful for what I am able to do.
What sort of things do you do to relax? Let me know in the comments below.