A Barbershop Lesson from my Father: What makes an artist?
My father and his wonderful wife came up from Florida to be at my daughter's 5th birthday
party. My father is retired from corporate life and is now a golf club repair specialist. He used to work on the Champion's PGA Tour before settling in to do work from his home shop near Fort Walton Beach. He asked me where do I get my haircut? I was waiting for the punch line because it sounded like a set up, like "John Deere?" but then looking at his own hippie dippie length hair I realized he actually needed one. I said I get it cut at the barber shop here in town and they're really good. So he said let's go. I know a lot of people would hesitate to get their haircut at some random place. People are very particular about their hair. But my dad could care less. Let's go. I get my hair cut by a beautiful Israeli woman named Irit who knows what she's doing. She doesn't waste time and she's precise. She was free and my dad was in her chair in seconds. I left him in her capable hands and went to the bank. I stopped by the wine store to buy a bottle of Fragolino for the occasion. We hadn't seen them in 4 years. When I got back to the barber shop my father's hair was cleanly and neatly shaped. I was gone for maybe 10 minutes tops and she was practically done. My father's first words to me were "This woman is an artist!" Now my father is an strongly opinionated man. When it comes to his judgments, he doesn't pull any punches. They're pronounced with the righteousness of Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction or the gravitas of James Earl Jones circa FIELD OF DREAMS. You never doubt his word or conviction. The Gods have spoken. As a kid I was used to hearing the other side of the coin, so it's so refreshing to hear a RAVE with enthusiasm coming from my father's mouth. She shaved the back of his neck. My dad said it must be over 30 years since he's had someone do that. In the car my father said something that I don't think I'll ever forget. He said she's an artist again, and said "you can easily tell the difference between someone who loves and cares about what they do and someone who's just doing a job. That's why I'm always busy." He meant it. He takes great care and time with his customers. He leaves no stone unturned in not only building, tweaking and repairing clubs but testing them and informing them of the latest changes swing and technology that can dramatically improve their game. He asks them really good questions like a golf Sherlock Holmes and gives them incredbible insightful feedback. He goes above and beyond for his customers almost like he's personally responsible for them improving their golf game. I've seen pros teach who don't nearly come close to how much attention and commitment he delivers. I thought about how I've been in my own business with LSNY EVENTS. How I treat my clients. How I feel the same level of passion, responsibility and commitment to give them something of great worth. This is something I've learned from my father and somehow never got to see it until after he retired. I've been that way my whole life and never put the two together. If you define an artist as someone who is competent, capable, and extremely talented at what they do, BUT goes beyond their talent to offer what amounts to their LOVE and PASSION to you personally then my father is an artist. And I have learned from that artist. Our clients get the very best because I learned from someone who thinks good enough is not good enough. That great is so much better that good. And that if you can, you help someone to be happier, have a better outlook, and be more enthusiastic afterward than before they came in.
I love my dad's world of full artistry. He would never short cut a problem. He's got a a built in quality essence, reaching beyond your great talent to really give more than what's expected. These Artists like Irit and my dad are to be celebrated and revered because they give you something of such WORTH they make YOU feel happy, alive and thankful. What a great lesson from a haircut.
I love you dad.
Remember you are Extraordinary,
Michael Sage Schindler