20 Oct Three things I learned from a day with Andy at Ziggy’s
Turns out, you can learn quite a bit about a person by spending ten hours following them around with a camera! Here’s a few home truths I learned hanging out with Ziggy’s Barber Salon co-owner Andy Pearson for a day.
1: Smash that mould with both hands
Meeting Andy for the first time – tastefully tattooed, casually charming, with a splash of Surry Hills sophisticate thrown in for good measure – you would never guess that he began his career not as a hairdresser’s apprentice, but as a brickie in Byron Bay.
It’s almost impossible to picture this guy slapping together a brick wall for a living. It just doesn’t seem to suit him. By his own admission, he had found himself on a path that was headed in the complete wrong direction. Luckily, he was honest with himself, owned up to the fact that he was hating every minute, and got out of there stat.
If the daily grind makes you feel like you’re on a one-way street to eternal boredom, it might be time to rethink your path. You don’t have to completely throw in the towel on life as you know it – small changes can go a long way. A different haircut or a new routine might be all the reinvention you need.
If Andy had stuck with being a brickie, would he have been a success? Knowing him like I do now, the answer is probably “yes”. But would he have looked back in a decade’s time and wished he’d had the nerve to choose something different? For sure. Which is why it’s so important to…
2: Toughen the eff up
Faced with a conundrum that’s got you so scared stiff that encountering a deranged clown in a dark alleyway sounds mighty appealing by comparison? Hey, nobody said life was easy, but sometimes you’ve just got to make a call one way or another.
When Andy poured his life savings into a business at the age of just 26, do you think he had a clear idea of whether everything would work out? Of course not – nobody has a crystal ball – but in the end it’s well and truly paid off!
Unfortunately, it’s a universal truth that the more important the choice, the more chance it has of completely railroading your ability to think straight at all, let alone make a good decision. It’s time to face that tough call head-on and ask yourself what you’re really scared of.
Newsflash: nothing is permanent. So what’s the worst that could happen? And is that really worse than where you’ll end up if you settle for the status quo? Be honest with yourself – you might find you’ve already got things figured out without even realising it.
3: Don’t give up on finding your tribe
Most of us have been there at one point or another – trying to blend in with the crowd when all you want to do is go hide in the toilets and get lost in your Facebook feed. When you’re faced with this kind of scenario, you have two options: keep up the act, or bail a fast as you can.
It can be mighty tempting to play the game and hope no one notices – but who really benefits if you put all your energy into faking it? You’ll wind up worrying nonstop about being found out, and besides, spending time with people who don’t think you’re completely awesome will only get in the way of finding ones who do.
Andy didn’t step off the plane in Sydney into a crowd of raving fans – it took time to find his groove. He didn’t gel with the kombucha-sipping crowd, and the small-town mentality he encountered in some suburbs just wasn’t for him. After exploring a few different locales, he finally found his sweet spot in Surry Hills.
At Ziggy’s, Andy has deliberately created a space where his guests feel comfortable and at home. Watching him interact with his tight-knit team, as clients arrive and greet him like an old friend, and his mates pop by for some banter and a beer, it’s clear that Andy has found his home too.
Check out more of Andy’s story at www.shortcuts.com.au/ziggys
This article first appeared in the Cutthroat Journal, October 2017.