Failure Builds Strength

I started off playing basketball. That was my dream, my passion. That’s where I put all my energy and ambition. At age 21, I found myself without direction. Basketball had always been my path. When that didn’t work out, I tried college. When college didn’t work out, I found myself drifting through life, going down a road that didn’t lead to my dreams.

I felt destroyed. But when I was at my lowest, I finally felt like I was able to rebuild myself. It was at that point I discovered a new passion: entrepreneurship. I grew up in poverty. I always wanted to be rich. I saw myself living a certain lifestyle and so I asked myself: “How do I get there? How do I win?”

Empires Are Built in the Mind

“Winning” meant doing what I loved and sharing that passion with others. I became a barber, opening up my first barber shop in Sacramento. I adopted barbering as my craft, my purpose, and saw that I could use my platform to inspire my community with the principles of success-seeking that had helped me. I realized that by doing what I love, I could create something much bigger than myself.

When I named my brand “The Rich Barber” in 2013, I was broke. I didn’t look rich. I knew I had to become what I’d envisioned. Barbers are artists. Barbers want freedom. Barbers don’t like to be told what to do and they can’t be kept in a cubicle. It finally clicked. I had to expand beyond the barber shop.

Doubt, fear, and most of all, the fear of criticism followed me like a shadow. But I believed in myself and my message. When I started The Rich Barber, I came up with 10 Commandments all Rich Barbers should abide by. Commandment #10 was this: “Thou Shalt Grow Beyond the Barber Shop.”

Connecting the Dots

When COVID-19 shut down my barber shops in LA and Sacramento, I moved my business online. I realized that my community was so much bigger than my barber shops. I listened, engaged, and applied the feedback I received to fuel and structure my online brand. I wanted to create products that people wanted, that would help solve everyday problems for professionals and non-professionals alike.

Today, I’ve brought 19 products to the consumer market, scaled my eCommercial presence across the world, and reopened my barber shops in Los Angeles and Sacramento, dedicating my time to serving my customers from the moment they walk in the door to the moment they get home to see their products delivered. My brand journey has allowed me to create patented, problem-solving tools for my industry and connected me to artists and barbers from all over the world who share my vision of creating a community that respects, refines, and reimagines the craft of barbering.

You Have to Want It

Building an empire requires two things above all else: dedication and desire. You have to want it and you have to be willing to put the time in to build it. For barbers, that means becoming the best barber in your city. That means building up your clout. That means taking clients by appointment only, saving for the future, keeping your tools sharp, and, above all else, greeting your clients by name with a smile on your face. 

That doesn’t mean being corny. That doesn’t mean playing a character. That means really giving a damn. The Rich Barber is more than a brand. It’s a philosophy. It’s about respecting tradition while growing through innovation. It’s about taking risks and knowing your own value. It’s about remembering to believe in yourself, build yourself, and always, always, always BE YOURSELF. You are your own empire. And once you’re built, you cannot be destroyed.

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