It took Neo in Matrix a long time to work out what the Oracle meant, when she said that he was ‘The One’, most of the movie actually.

You career can sometimes be like that, working away with people throwing advice at you, reading self help books, looking for inspiration and guidance, but somehow unable to sift through all the noise and focus for success.

In recent months, there has been an explosion of educators and academies utilising the online platform to deliver, at a fee, access to video content, private Facebook groups and live tutorials. Most of this content is based around improving your barbering skills, colour knowledge, pattern work and some social media skills.

All of this to improve your daily work in the shop and to increase footfall or bookings.

Which is all great, but some people want something else.

There is another direction to aim in your career thought.

Chris Foster is a man who likes to innovate and he has come up with a programme for Barbers and Hairdressers to work at pushing their game ‘beyond the chair’

Having reinvented himself as ‘The Profile Guy’, Chris is now working with small groups of individuals who want to move away from everyday hair cuting and expand their repertoire of work, such as stage work, photoshoots and brand representation.

The programme is delivered over a 9 month period.

I was given exclusive access to the first two modules of this course which were very enlightening indeed. The monthly education is by live Webinar, so you can watch, listen and ask questions, with Chris and his guests.

This is backed up with worksheets, Facebook videos and one-to-one calls.

The first module was all about sorting out your profile, with some real soul searching and ‘quiet time’, as Chris calls it, to consider what you are all about and where you want to position yourself, made a little easier with the help of one of the workbooks.

Module two, was getting serious about social media, strategies and usage.

This is such a massive part of everyone’s marketing, that this module helps you see through the noise and really focus on what your message is, how to deliver it, when, where and how often. On this module the webinar guest was a fantastic content creator Ollie B (@byollieb) who helped Chris deliver a great session with some real nuggets of information to use the very next morning.

Further monthly modules focus on arranging photoshoots, photographers and models. How to enter and win awards, attracting sponsorship, achieving industry status and culminating in creating and shooting a collection with acclaimed photographer Andy Kruczek.

Stacey McCabe, Scotland’s Best Barber 2016, who worked with Chris on the first programme in 2017,  told me ‘I wanted to do this as I had followed Chris’s work for a number of years and this was a great opportunity to work with him and to push my boundaries.’

‘All of the modules over the months helped me learn how to deal with social media, planning and many other things. But the best thing was the photoshoot, which allowed me to push myself out of my comfort zone and create something truly unique.’

‘I think that was the best day’s work I have ever done’ she said delighted

‘I have used those images to enter Scotland’s Best Barber this year and have made it to the live final in April at the SEC, which is amazing!’

When asked what advice she would give to others thinking about taking part this programme she said ‘ Definitely do it!! It can take your career to the next level!!’

Check out Foss Academy for more information on The One Programme.

Author: Tony Haresign

This article first appeared in BarberEVo #9