ep63 – Ivan Zoot

My guest this week is the author of 15 books, he holds multiple Guinness Book of World Records including the most haircuts in 1 hour, the most haircuts in 24 hours and the fastest haircut. He is the CEO of Zootcuts, has a successful YouTube channel, he is a coach, trainer and mentor, and I can’t wait to sit down and hear Ivan Zoot’s story.

Before he was even a haircutter, Ivan realized that the haircutting business was really a sales business.

Ivan says “You are in the business of building and maintaining, cultivating and nourishing relationships with humans”

Listen to Ivan rate himself on hairdressing skills vs soft skills

Ivan describes the “Right Pricing” and respecting the client’s perception of value (the price value proposition).

Right now, stylists are seeing their clients “down market test”. Listen to find out what Ivan says about this issue

Complete Transcript

Chris Baran 0:00
How great would it be to get up close and personal with the beauty industry heroes? We love and admire and to ask them how did you learn to do what you do? I’m Chris Barron, a hairstylist and educator for 40 plus years, and I’m inviting all our heroes to chat and share the secrets of their success

Welcome to head cases and today’s guest is the author of multiple books including the Clipper Guys Says series, 100 by 100, which is 100 new hair cut clients in 100 days, and his newest book be $100,000 Hair Cutter. He is also a Guinness Book of World Record holder. Those are for the most consecutive cuts in 24 hours by an individual, most cuts in an hour. 34 fastest haircut 55 seconds. He is also has the Barber Lifetime Achievement Award winner. He is the ambassador for Booksy. He is a Barber Cosmetologist, trainer, mentor and coach is the president and CEO of Zoom Cuts. And so let’s get into this week’s head cases. The clipper guy, Mr. Ivan Zoot. So Well, welcome. I have to say, Ivan, it is a pleasure to have you on your honor Show and welcome to head cases. I have been stalking you a bit to get material for you. But I just want to first of all say thank you so much for giving up your time. And being here with it’s an absolute honor to have you on board. Thanks.

Ivan Zoot 1:43
Thanks for the invitation. I was I was excited when your folks reached out and invited me to spend a little time with you and catch up and it’s good to do it.

Chris Baran 1:51
Yeah, and so listen, I mean, I’m gonna I’m not gonna be sort of jumping into you right away. But I, I think that most people, I don’t know what hairdressing what industry they weren’t if they don’t know that you hold world records with the Guinness Book of World Records, and I’m sure that you’re probably sick to death of answering questions on them. But we would be remiss if our listeners didn’t get a little bit of that. So first of all, I have to say congratulations on that. I don’t know how you did it. I don’t know what your process is. But that’s what we’re going to attempt to find out. So I want to find out about that first. But before I do that, I just How did you get into the hair game? What was like, What’s your story? What How did it happen? Did you have other things first?

Ivan Zoot 2:35
Okay, what? Okay, well, as far as the world records are concerned, and we’ll go there, after a quick introduction, I am reminded anytime I think I might want to complain about talking about the world records that Billy Joel has to sing Piano Man every single night. And I think if you ask him, he probably can’t stand it. But the fans will not stand for him to take that out of the setlist. So I’ll take it as an honor and I appreciate it. As far as how I got into the business. Yeah, I started out elsewhere. I I graduated high school, I went to community college, I got my little two year degree. I’d been working you know, I didn’t go away to college, I lived at home, worked full time went to community college on a part time basis. So took me a while to get my two years in. And I was selling I was in the institutional food service and restaurant industry, calling on customers and selling restaurant supplies a job in which in 1987 My last year doing that I made a lot of money and didn’t have very much fun. But I had a customer who was a hair salon that used to buy janitorial products for me. And he seemed like a cool guy. And it seemed like a fun business. And like I said it wasn’t really having a lot of fun. But I was getting my hair cut at the time by a young lady in a shop or salon close to where I lived. And the interesting thing about Elaine was, every time I went to get a haircut, I hated the haircut. I was disappointed with the haircut. Yet I kept going back and after one disappointing haircut walking through the parking lot kicking the gravel, asking myself the question, why do you keep going back? I answered the question and the question came down to the fact that I went back because I liked her. I had a professional relationship with her that I thought was the way one should relate to one’s hair Pro. I liked the location. I liked the price. I liked the music. They played on the radio. I liked the magazines. I liked the owner. He seemed like a nice guy. I liked the bottle of gel I was buying. I liked everything about the haircut except the haircut. And at the time, my assessment was that the haircut business wasn’t really the haircut business. The haircut business was sales. And I had spent much of my youth underneath an automobile with a wrench. And I said wrench, scissors. I can’t be that much difference and I’m in sales. I can probably do this and So I went on a tour. I left work early the next day and I went on a tour at what was at the time pivot points, main location here in the Chicagoland area. And in I finished the tour, and I wrote a check, and I signed up for beauty school and I went home. And I told my fiance who now you know, 40 years later, I’m still married, but told my fiance Hey, guess what, I signed up for beauty school, having never mentioned the two word phrase beauty school ever before in my life. She’s like, Are you kidding me? That’s another No, I’m gonna do this. And then we went to dinner with my parents. And I told my parents, hey, guess what, I signed up for beauty school. And my father said you want? And my mother said, what kind of job is that for a nice Jewish kid. And I said, Well, Vidal say, as soon as Jewish there’s probably going to work out. And then we went to my in laws. They’re not my in laws yet. But my wife’s parents, and told my in laws that I had signed up for beauty school without missing a beat, my father in law said, hey, that’s awesome. When you’re ready, we’ll open a shop. Now, I had no intention of owning a shop at that point, I just wanted to get through beauty school. But long story short, most of my family was rather supportive. And years later, as I got to know, the industry better kept in touch with Elaine, I discovered that the reality was, Elaine was a perfectly good hair cutter. But Elaine was challenged in consultation skills. And it’s not that it was a bad haircut, it was a perfectly good haircut, but it wasn’t the haircut that I wanted. And that experience really reinforced for me the notion that while haircuts matter, they only matter to a point that when you get into this business, you’re really in the business of building and maintaining cultivating nourishing relationships with humans. And that really has has been the foundation of my success in the business because I tell you, on a scale of one to 10, as a hair cutter, I am not more than a rock solid five, proudly, a rock solid five. But but hopefully I’m hitting it out of the park, on the people skills, the soft skills that I believe are so fundamental to success in the business. So that’s the long story short or long story long, of how I wound up, you know, 35 years later, talking to you today.

Chris Baran 7:22
But, you know, I’ve been what I loved about what you said, there’s there’s several things that are in there. And the first thing that I that I did notice was number one was that we have a similarity. I didn’t want to be a hairdresser, either, I was going to be a mechanic, and I wanted to I wanted to pull wrenches just because I have no idea how to pull a wrench. I had never pulled the wrench before. But I, I thought I wanted to be because I just loved cars. And so that we have that similarity. And then the second thing that I loved about what you said, was this, and I just wrote it down here I put in my notes, I’ve just got this little triangle that I wrote in there. And I wrote on the top, I wrote skill. On the on the bottom left, I wrote relationship and on the bottom right, I put dollars for sales. Because I think that’s what happens in our business, we you know, and I can speak from that personal side where I when I got into business, I was just a floater of you know, I wouldn’t have hired me until I had a wake up call long story would leave for another time. But it wasn’t until I had a wake up call. And I realized that I had to go about a skill. And but at the very beginning, I was all skill, and no relationship and no sales. And and then I learned that if I could, if I could build relationships and have fun with people, that I could make a I’ll just say a pea pot because it sounds better at the beginning of our relationship here. But I could build up a model just got to say it sounds better when you say it pisspot full, but appears flop full of of money if you combined all of those things, your sales skills, your relationship skills, and mix that in with with, with the skills that you have for our industry, and I and I love that you put it that way. And I love the fact as soon as I started looking into all your videos, which I must say are great. And I’m gonna encourage anybody that’s out there that’s listening or watching right now you go on there and listen to them because there is just nugget upon nugget that’s on there. And what I loved is how you I think the average person if they think here’s a guy that has the Guinness Book of World Records for XYZ, that all you do is clipper work. But you do so much more than that. I mean, you you’re the way that you talk about pricing and business models and so on. And I’ve seen how you’ve mentored people. It just pulls me back to that. And I want to get into that business side in a bit but I would be remiss if we didn’t help people understand and know a little bit about those, those world records. So let’s jump into that. So my first question is, how the hell would you know what to do to get into like, if I’m going to want to set a world record, I wouldn’t have the foggiest idea of what to do to get a world record or even to be in whatever it is, in line. You know

Ivan Zoot 10:24
what Guinness tracks World Records for everything that you have to remember, based on our tenure in the industry. When I did this, initially, we didn’t have this this toy called the internet, you had to go to the literal Guinness Book, and you had to look these things up. And you had to call Guiness on the telephone in London, and have a conversation or you had to write letters. And I know we’re dating ourselves here, but I live in Chicago, and my salon was located in Chicago suburbs. And as any good Midwestern er knows, on a weekday in Chicago in February, when there’s 14 inches of snow in the parking lot, no one gets a haircut. So you have a bunch of hair professionals, me and my team, I own my shop at this point, me and my team are sitting around, you know, and we can’t play on our phones because phones didn’t exist. And usually a bunch of hairdressers sitting around usually find ways to get in trouble, arguments, fights, who knows. And it turned into who’s faster. And I wasn’t really part of the argument. It was the girls mostly fighting amongst themselves, because hands down, everybody knew that I was faster than the rest of them. So the conversation migrated into, I bet there’s a world record for this. found out what the world record was, I looked at the world record fastest haircut in the world most haircuts in an hour, I looked at the numbers, and I said, I don’t think I can break the fastest haircut in the world. I don’t think I can do that. But I said I think I can probably do, I can break the record for the most haircuts in an hour. And I hung the date out on the calendar and I said, I am going to attempt this. I created a system not a hair cut, but a system for approaching any hair cut shoulder length or shorter. Now it’s important backstory to understand that this did happen after a point in my career in which I woke up one day and decided to specialize. When I went to beauty school. If you said you were going to be a colorist, they would have looked at you and said you’re going to be oh, what? Because that Job didn’t exist. When I went to school, everybody did everything today. As we know our industries become highly, highly focused and specialized. But I made the decision many many years ago to specialize in short hair. Later it migrated into men’s hair later it migrated even further to clipper cutting. But I threw down a line in the sand one day and I said if your hair touches your shoulder, you can’t sit in my chair. Because I understood the economics of short hair frequency of visit take home haircare product referrals all the benefits associated with short hair. So I spent a year I cut one client I stayed after work late every night for a year, I cut one client to work out and home. Literally the choreography of an efficiency system for productivity and haircutting. I paid one employee every night one extra hours pay to stay with me to learn my system and to also serve in a support capacity. Long story short a year later, I staged a massive charity event and publicity stunt. We charge money for the haircuts we gave all the money away to charity. We threw a party in the parking lot with a live band and a restaurant providing free food. You paid your money, you got your hand stamped you got in the line, you got a haircut. And when the dust settled when it was all done August 23 of 1998. I had broken the world record for the most haircuts in an hour. And three of those haircuts were faster than the original record for single fastest haircuts. So here’s the numbers. Originally, the fastest haircut in the world was two minutes and 23 seconds. I broke the record. I did a haircut my fastest in two minutes and nine seconds. I also originally the record was 18 haircuts in one hour. I did 22 haircuts in one hour. So I’ve got my two world records. I wrote a book at the time I was working, doing some platform work on behalf of a manufacturer. So I started ramping up my educational activities at that point. Ultimately, shortly thereafter, I sold my business because I was getting very busy in the education side of the industry. Fast forward a decade, exactly 10 years to the day, August 23 of 2008. With the support of my now full time employer in education in the industry, we did it again. I because someone broke my records along the way and that got me rather upset. So I recaptured the world record for fastest in the world. I recap 16 times now. I broken that single fastest haircut record I recaptured the record for one hour. And I also set the record for 24 hours of nonstop continuous haircutting. And for your listening community, I have good news. For all of your listeners, the good news is, I’m never doing this ever again. So the object of the game at this point is for some young person, energetic and enthusiastic with new technologies and new information, to learn my system, to take it to the next level, break my records and take my job, because that’s how it works. Records are made to be broken.

Chris Baran 15:33
Right? You said two things in there that sparked my curiosity number one. I was told at one time that one time I was on stage during the show and God knows where. And they just said to me look at we’re having a hard time holding the audience. But when you step on stage, we people stay. So he said, Can you just stay on the stage for the rest of the day? And I went all right. And that night after we went, we went into the bar naturally and had a little how would you say, keep awake? libation. And one of the salespeople there said, I’m now presenting you with a cast iron bladder award. And I think I’m passing on passing on the torch right now, for the cast iron bladder award, because 24 hours of doing hair. Oh, my God, how? Number one? That’s? I’ll give you that honor, I pass that on. But number two is? Where do you get the? How did you get the models? And how did you get them lined up? And? And is there any qualifications that Guinness has there that you have to aspire to

Ivan Zoot 16:43
first first, Chris, what I want to tell you is this, you are not unique in that when I talk about the world records, no one asks me about the tools, the system or the techniques. The only two things they asked me about is how do you go to the bathroom? And where do you get the people? That’s the only two questions anybody ever asks. And the simple answers to your questions are. Guinness allows in endurance records, five minutes of every hour for bathroom and nutrition. So run to the bathroom and grab something to eat or drink. However, I will tell you in the 24 hour records, I use no breaks for the first 10 hours. And I think most of our listeners that have a few years experience in the industry can go 10 hours behind a chair without a bathroom break. That’s not monumentous the remaining 14 hours I used to have my five minute bathroom opportunities. So the answer is you, you have to really carefully manage your fluid intake. You don’t want to become dehydrated, but you don’t want to gotta go. So there’s there’s an art form there. And then number two, the question of where do you get the people? The answer is very simple. It’s two, four letter words. And those two four letter words are free beer, when you put beer in the parking lot, and the first time I did this, I did it here in Chicago in the suburbs. But the second time, the event was hosted by a barber shop and hair salon chain. And we use the location adjacent to the campus at the University of Texas, in Austin. And when you go to Texas, and you put up a sign that says free beer free, you have no shortage of individuals prepared to get in your line. So you know there are there are secrets to these things.

Chris Baran 18:24
And so rules rule give us

Ivan Zoot 18:26
the room formally, informally, you could say I have a Guinness World Record for the fact that our hair cutting rule, or hair cutting record, the records that I have captured or broken, contain some of the longest and most complicated list of rules and qualifications of anything Guinness tracks because of the difficulty of quantifying a haircut. So I’ll give you an example Chris, some of the rules rule number one is every individual that you utilize must have a full head of hair. So if you have an individual who’s thin in the crown, or significantly receded in the hairline, they’re disqualified, you can’t cut them less than a full head of hair is less than a haircut. Rule number two, you must remove a minimum of one half inch of hair from every hair on the head. So as an example, if I show up and I’m tapered down to about a one and a half blade, you can’t use me because you can’t pull a half inch off me everywhere. So what we did was we use these criteria to pre disqualify any candidate who wouldn’t go into the count because I can’t afford to cut you if I can’t count. You know, another example of a rule we have is you must leave two and a half centimeters or one inch of hair from the front hairline to the top crown. That rule specifically is intended to eliminate a buzz cut over the top of the head. You can no you cannot put a number three guard on a clipper run it over the top of somebody’s hair and call it a herring it’s not a haircut that is either sheep share During or agriculture, I’m not sure which but it’s not barbering or cosmetology. So those are examples of the criteria. So we had to there were 18 of those unique criteria. I had to have judges whose qualifications were pre approved by Guinness to serve as a judge, if you don’t have a Guinness, adjudicator a representative of Guinness present, which, truthfully at the time, I don’t know about it now, but back then was cost prohibitive. You were on the hook for $10,000 Plus accommodations and travel from London. So you instead you had your judges, pre qualified based on their resume, so you had to file all the resumes. And remember, this is before email and attachments. This was all FedEx back and forth to London. To do it all, then you had to document everything. log sheets, you had signed affidavits, you had timing charts, you the box that I sent to Guinness, following the world record for approval of my record, I remember it cost $121 to Federal Express that package. It was such a box of of aggregated data to do it. So you know, and here’s what I tell people. Breaking the Guinness World Record is not the tough part. The tough part is following the rules.

Chris Baran 21:15
Yeah. Yeah. So the first of all that, I mean, that’s, that is amazing. And I’m also thinking that everybody’s saying well, 189 bucks, or whatever it was, that was that was then now, now that now it’s like 100 bucks to send whatever, an iPhone or whatever. And that kind of package was that kind of I was

Ivan Zoot 21:35
I was, I had money. I was blessed that I had good sponsors. And I had folks that were underwriting and I always have you know, barbicide. The folks at barbicide are my primary sponsor today for my educational activities, and God bless them, they, you know, in exchange for my enthusiastic support and promotion, they’ve been been more than generous over the years of helping me be able to share my message with our industry so little plug for my friends, but but without those kinds of friends, these things don’t happen.

Chris Baran 22:03
Yeah, and as we should, I mean, let’s face it, barbicide helped us stay alive during COVID, etc. So God bless him for that, and our

Ivan Zoot 22:10
industry helped. But by playing along, when it was necessary to get serious about those things, so yeah, it’s it’s a very codependent relationship in a good way.

Chris Baran 22:22
Yeah. And so here’s my second part. And, and it is, while I am in those first, that first category of where I just want to know about peeing and and judges, I do want to know, what is your method? What What would like? How, if you asked me to do a haircut in two minutes, I probably couldn’t get it parted in two minutes. So much less in and I think your your record was what 55? So single

Ivan Zoot 22:48
fastest was 55. Yeah. 55. And I’ve done that, you know, that old long and short and male and female and black and white and curly and straight. And it doesn’t matter, because it’s not a haircut. It’s an approach. It’s a system. Right?

Chris Baran 23:03
So what is that? What what approach? Because I’m sure there’s many people out there that said, Well, if you’re in 55 seconds, it can’t be that good. So what do you say number

Ivan Zoot 23:13
one, I say to them, I will go upstairs in my office, take a picture of the certificate. And I’ll text you the picture. Because it was good enough because they gave me the record. The other side of it is fortunately, due to the technologies we enjoy today, on my YouTube channel, there are multiple videos that literally break down the entire system. What I’ll tell you, Chris is this, I nicknamed it it’s called Revolution cutting. And the subtitle on the system is called the notion of economy of motion. And very simply put, and, and you’ll understand this, cut each piece of hair once and move on to the next hair. There’s not that much hair on a human head when you approach it in this way. I tell the story all the time of a woman that I worked with many years ago, who was a very talented hair cutter, she worked in the chair next to me. And what was fascinating to me was we were so different. I I attribute it to my my logical background, my automotive technology background and my pivot point education. I was always very scientific, very methodical, and very mathematical if you will in my hair cutting. Now the woman that worked next to me was artistic. So we would share clients based on who was available. We would do the same clients haircut on different weeks, the client would leave looking exactly the same, but the difference was I was partying sectioning, holding and cutting and then partying sectioning, holding and cutting and I would watch my friend cut hair. And and I mean we can use this word on the program. I described her as a hair masturbator she would comb it And she would play with it, and she would shuffle it around a little bit. And then she would comb it up, and she’d nibble it a little more. And then she would play with it, and she’d look at it. And then she’d pick it. And it used to make me crazy. Because in my mind, this woman was getting five haircuts from her when she was getting one hair cut from me. So it’s some of that kind of philosophical approach. The other key to it was, and I learned this from a guy, way, way back when it’s a great story I was considering to do some work for a company in our industry. And they sent the gentleman out to my salon to observe me, and he was going to spend a few hours watching me and then we were gonna go to lunch, and talk about whether I would work for the company or not. So of course, when he showed up, I’m gonna bang out a haircut, and I’m jam into it. And I’m doing my thing. And I’m rocking and rolling this haircut. And when I got all done it with one haircut, he said, I want to ask you to do something. I said, What’s that? And he came over to my chair, and I’m not kidding you. He reached into his briefcase, and he took out a map, this one, this is a little one, he took out a huge Sharpie marker, a big fat black Sharpie marker. And he said to me, he said, Stand next to your chair. And I stood next to my chair, and on the floor of my hair salon with a big fat black Sharpie marker, he drew circles around my two feet. And then he said to me, okay, what I want you to do is I want you to do the next haircut, and I don’t want you to take your feet out of the circles. And I went, Okay, so clients in the chair, I’m standing in the circles, I’m cutting hair. But now I got to cut hair over here on the other side of the guy’s head, and I can’t reach over the top of the guy. And then it dawned on me turn the chair and the chair was about putting the miles on the client. So when I say the system was called Revolution cutting, in very simple terms, the key to my world records is the hair cutter remains stationary and reorients the client to the hair cutters position in English turn the chair. Yeah. And this was this was mind blowing for me. And you know if you’ve ever seen somebody with a curling iron running circles around the client, getting them wrapped up in the cord, you know, nowadays we have cordless clippers, but back in the day, this was this was really a paradigm shifting to to stand in one place. And this is classic barbering classic barbering is stand in one place and turn the chair, classic cosmetology is to work behind the chair with the client facing the mirror. And it’s not that it’s bad. It’s just that it’s different, because it achieves a different group of objectives.

Chris Baran 28:02
Yeah, you know, I agree with you 100% on that, and, and I’ll give you like, I loved your word that used for it. I’m going to shift to that word because I used to call it niggling. But I think yours is much more emphatic. You know, the, I guess the point is, and here’s the point that that I’ve been trying to get across to people for years, is that people think that the mirror is a communication device. And it is not, it is something to help to see you person to see perspective on the haircut that you’re doing. And that’s what I love that you said is turn the damn chair. You know, it’s the same thing is, is when you talk about, you know, when people would just cut and look and cut and look and cut and look. And I think I coined that phrase that said, just cut the damn thing. You know, if you’re, if you’re confident in what you do, it’s like, I can’t remember who I was listening to what they said, I think it stems from that. Never let them see a sweat. But the reality is, the reality is, is that you should look confident when you’re cutting, otherwise, they’ll they will tear you apart. Because they sense if you look like you’re fearful, they lose confidence immediately. And that’s when you see the bad client relationship come up. So, you know, when I remember my voice coach, but he said to me, I had this this problem when I was learning how to how to read from cue cards and to make it sound natural. You know, he just said look at if you’re gonna screw up screw up really big and when they coach you on it, just say, Oh, you want me to do it that way. But he says no matter what you do look confident in what you do and how you’re expressing yourself.

Ivan Zoot 29:41
I share that with college students and barber students all the time. You know, we’ve all had that haircut, whether they’ve got a comb and they’re going yeah. And finally the client looks up out of the top of their eyeballs and they go so how long you’ve been cutting their big Is there reading confidence in your body language? exactly your point? Yeah, for sure.

Chris Baran 30:06
Alright, so I love it. So we’re can if people want to know, and I think you mentioned it, but I want to make sure this gets across. If they want to find out this method, where did they go

Ivan Zoot 30:15
go to YouTube. If you go to Instagram and you click on my link tree, if you go to my website, Ivan zook.com, there’s links, it’s all on YouTube. And within YouTube is a playlist that will be labeled secrets of the world record. And as I’ve said, I have no less than a dozen videos that either cover the entire concept or break down and cover elements of it. And the other thing I tell people is one of the features of my website is a button that says Ask Ivan. And if you click on there, it opens up a page for your name, your email address and your question. I don’t have people. If you ask a question you’re going to hear from me, I try and commit to answering all questions within 24 hours. And I can share that most of the answers to most of the questions are, thank you for your question, please click the link below and watch the video because so many of them have been captured as FAQs. So I’m just gonna go to my playlist, and I’m gonna send you a link to the whole thing. Also, I caution people occasionally, when you ask me a question, I will send you a video and it will not be my video, because there are lots and lots of people in our business and industry who have really, really good content. And if the best answer to your question doesn’t happen to be my video, I don’t have an ego issue with sharing a good video No matter whose it is. So I encourage people, if you can’t find what you’re looking for YouTube, sometimes it’s been crushed under the weight of its own content. Simply reach out and I’ll hook you up with what you need.

Chris Baran 31:47
You know, Ivan, you said something that was really remarkable there. And I think something that needs to be happening in our industry more. And that is that, you know, this fate, there is hundreds of good hair cutters colorist etc. And we need to be supporting one another. And the interesting thing that I’m sure and I know you do this as well, but the thing that I’ve learned so much, is when in talking to people that sometimes, you know, I don’t know, I don’t think you have this, but I’m a little insecure. And you know, getting on and talking to somebody that you might be meeting for the first time can sometimes just at some point in my life was a bit ominous. And I must say that, in forcing me to do this, I’ve learned that people at the top are more alike than they are different. And we bear so many resemblances. And we’re so you know, eager just to say look at, go and talk to so on. So here’s this person going to help you this is if you want a mentor to go to this person, and I think we just need to have more of that in our industry, where we’re willing to let everybody have the you know, it’s, that’s, that’s gonna sound wrong, we have to help people get to the source. And we have to do that by knowing there’s other sources just then would come out of our own mouth. So, you know, it’s

Ivan Zoot 33:03
build us build a bigger table, there’s room in this room at the table for everyone to have a seat. You know, more so than ever, as a result of some of the tools and technologies we have. So shame on you if you don’t ask to pull up your chair. Yeah, no,

Chris Baran 33:19
yeah, yeah. Yeah, our coach and you know, with our business we have, we have a business coach that helps us along and, and I remember one time and I’ve talked about this a few times on our, on our podcast is about excuse me, that abundance is actually a value you know, and it’s okay to have abundance in your life abundance of money, abundance of knowledge, abundance of love, abundance of laughter, and then you can ask for things as such. And I think that once we found that out that that was a value. It really helped us in our business and our personal life and our family relationships, etc. So thank you for that. This episode is sponsored by the salon associate accelerator from trainers. playbook.com Are you struggling with the time and cost of associate training? Do you feel like your salon is running you will get your associates on the floor, all with 90% Less time from you. So you can get back to building your business. Get them world class design, finishing color and client care skills they’ll use every day for the rest of their career. While you focus on realizing your vision go to trainers playbook.com and get the salon associate accelerator and now back to the show. Now I want to I want to jump a little bit about about just just based on timing here is that you are so much more than your world records. And and and I I’ve been skulking around in the background and I may have the the figure I was wrong here. But I think it’s like something either 13 to 32 books that I think that I’ve heard that you’ve written. And and first of all, congratulations. And and I want to talk a little bit about your newest one, which is about the 100 clients and 100. Yeah, hi,

Ivan Zoot 35:16
I actually just approved the artwork this morning for the cover of book number 15. And I can safely say, I won’t have it for IBS New York. But I will have the book available for purchase for the ABS show for America’s beauty show here in Chicago coming up very, very soon. So So 15 is is is in the cam, and just going into production. And the most recent one was, was an a second version of the 100 by 100 book I originally wrote, It’s 100 new haircut customers in 100 days, it’s a day by day step by step program focused on one thing, and one thing only, and that is new haircut client acquisition. It’s a very honed and focused book. And I wrote it. And it’s written from a very entrepreneurial perspective as a shop owner, as a suite owner as a chair renter. And I had some inquiries, I had some requests from salon owners and from chain operators saying, you know, we love that book, but we need a version of it that speaks to employees. So what I did was I went back and I rewrote the book. So book number 14, is really a edited version of book number 12. And that is, originally it was called the chain salon edition, as you can see here, but now those two books are called the entrepreneur edition, and the employee edition. So the language and the positioning in the newest one, in the employee book really just acknowledges two things. Number one, it acknowledges as an employee, you operate under the house rules of an employer, so you don’t have you know, unlimited autonomy in some of your business choices. And it also relies very heavily on the idea that as an employee, in exchange for the obligation to play by house rules, you also have supervisors, you have managers, you have coaches, trainers, mentors, you have a chain of command above you, who have an obligation to support you in your pursuit of success. So there’s, you know, it’s almost that that double edged sword of, I’m an employee, so I can’t just do whatever I want. But on the other hand, as an employee, I now have systems and support that has an obligation to help make it all happen. So you know, it’s double sided like that. So that’s the 100 by 100. Book.

Chris Baran 37:56
Yeah. And it’s kind of like a symphony, isn’t it? That, you know, when you’re, when you’re working in an environment, where it whether you’re an employee, trainer, owner, whatever that is, everybody’s got to work together like a symphony, because if you work together, then the the music you’re playing is great. One person decides to do a solo when everybody else isn’t, then it kind of wrecks the tune. So I,

Ivan Zoot 38:19
did you ever go to a band concert when you had a child in fifth grade?

Chris Baran 38:30
True, true. That’s what it looked like. And you know, because I think that in our business right now that you get this owners are looking down on on independent operators, and vice versa, and so on. But when you really look at the numbers in the game, it’s, it’s how you play the numbers game in the whole thing. And quite frankly, at the end game, it’s probably going to turn out very much on its own. So you just have to choose what kind of business that you

Ivan Zoot 38:56
absolutely, you know, the trend towards sweet rental and and independent operator, you know, what we’ll call solopreneur? Ship. It’s an undeniable trend in our industry. But I think our industry has also discovered that it isn’t just the the moonshot, it’s not just the the money game, everybody thinks it is. Because many of the skills that make you a very, very talented Operator, do not really lend themselves to supporting you as an owner. So you know, and for some people that’s right in their wheelhouse other people and I think to some extent, I think the sweet rental end of our business, I think they understand this, and I think they’ve gotten better at vetting who they will immediately you know, rent a write a lease and rent a suite to because if you operate a multi unit suite operation, the last thing in the world you want is turnover or churn of your tenants. That’s not good for business either. So they don’t want you to fail and they realize and some Have them do a pretty good job of providing some education and things, they realize that being a landlord of a sweet situation is more than just renting space for money. They just like an employer must take an active interest in your success and long term viability. So there’s, there’s, it’s it to your point, it’s that it’s that orchestra, if you will, or that that combination of instruments to carry the analogy that will make the music sing.

Chris Baran 40:30
Yeah, you know, damn, you know, it’s like, going along with what what I said earlier, just the more that we’re alike, we’re more alike than different. You know, I’ve always told people that look, if you help people, whether they’re working for you, or alongside of you, is if you can help people get what they want. They’ll help you to get what you if you help them get what they want, you’ll help let get what you want yourself. Personally, I didn’t come up with that I don’t claim to it’s been around for 100 years, I always say take it a step further, is if you can have sit downs with people and say, Look at what do you want in your life? What do you want, personally, what do you want from personal growth, and then you can help them get that and help them to plan away. Now I’m speaking more from an owner perspective. So if you’re somebody from the suite owner, and you and you own that business, or whether you have a commission based business, salary based business, or whatever, I always believe you need to get yourself out, get your took us out from behind the chair, and get them doing what they need to do have a vision for them and help them get what their vision is, they’ll stay, they’ll trust you more, they’ll stay with you longer. And they’ll be much more loyal to you before they will make the shift. And they will, most of them will make a shift we all did. And I think that there’s this this thing in our business where if I treat them, right, they’re gonna stay with me until they die, they won’t. I mean, somebody may. But you know, listen, everybody’s going to leave you because they’re either going to move there, they’re going to start their own business, or they’re going to die. But everybody is going to leave you at some point in time. So if you can just make the time you have together more enjoyable, you’re going there. While they’re there, they’re gonna be more loyal, and they will be loyal to you when they leave, because they’re always going to be singing your praises. I learned

Ivan Zoot 42:11
some of these, I learned somebody’s lesson the hard way, certainly as a as an employer. And I’ve always believed, if you choose to be a salon owner, just like being a cosmetologist or Barber, you’re not in the business of cutting hair, you’re in the business of building and cultivating relationships with humans. Being a salon owner is not the business of owning a business. It is the business of accepting the mantle of responsibility for the success of others. And I believe if you look at Salon ownership in that regard, you know, to your point, give people what they want, you get what you want, you know, I always believed and I was mistaken. And I learned this the hard way. I always believed that people want to make money, because I want to make money. And it was a bit of a wait a minute what to find out that people are driven by recognition or driven by relationship or driven by artistic expression. You know, there’s a whole list, you know, and I had to learn that you have to sit down with an employee and go, What do you want? No, I had an employee, just as an example, when I finally had the conversation, you know what this woman wanted, this woman wanted to leave early enough every day. So she would be home when her daughter got home from school. And as soon as I knew that’s what she wanted. It was if you give me that this woman, this woman was never going anywhere. I said, Fine. You’re out of here every single day at three o’clock. So you can be home by 330. And all of a sudden, you know, a level of loyalty, a level of appreciation, a work ethic tied to my goals, because she knew she had what she needed and wanted. And even if that meant that there were prime shifts, she wasn’t working, that would negatively impact her total income. She was at this age for that child, she needed to be in the house when the child walked in. Yeah, she was fine. And that gave her what she wanted. And never would have dawned on me at that point in time in my life, you know? Yeah.

Chris Baran 44:26
Yeah, I know. It’s interesting. And I love I love that. I love what you’re saying here. Because, you know, I think that there’s the madness. Our world, our world in the in the, in our beauty industry has as it’s been a show of slow shift, you know, when they say trends happen every six years, you know, two years in two years or two years out. But I think that some of the trends have lasted longer, but one of the things I’ve noticed is the evolution of what it takes for industry to change. But I will say and I’m hoping you’ll agree with me on this, that in the last number of years, it has shifted dramatically, particularly because of COVID. And I’ve heard from numerous, numerous salon owners that say that they want different things. They they want to, they only want to work X amount of hours, they only want to work so many days a week, or I want to go on holidays. And then and they kept saying, well, they don’t want to work five days a week, and I went, so what’s the problem?

Ivan Zoot 45:27
Higher, let them handle that for days. You make more bodies on the docket, in order to be able to accommodate that lower schedule demand, you just get what they want to your earlier point. And yeah,

Chris Baran 45:45
yeah. And then you’ll get with it to that point, I loved it. And I also there’s your, I’ve watched, I’ve looked at a lot of the things that you’ve done, and especially a lot of the videos, etc. Kind of a lot of them are that if you want to know anything about raising prices go to Ivan. And I want to shift that a little bit differently. Because I don’t think that everything that you do, I’ve listened to a lot of the things that you’ve done. And I don’t think that you’re necessarily an advocate for for raising prices, I think you’re an advocate for proper pricing. And is that a fair described very well put, I

Ivan Zoot 46:23
call it sometimes, right pricing. And the phrase that I use when I talk about this is I call respect the balance. And what I mean by that I say this all the time, if you’re charging, and I’m random numbers, and I have to use numbers that Ivan can do math with, so we have to keep it fairly simple. If you’re charging $25 for a haircut, and you are delivering a $50 experience, you’re gonna go out of business. And if you charge $50, for a haircut, and you deliver a $25 experience, you’re gonna go out of business, probably at about the same rate of speed. And it’s about respecting what I call the client’s perception of value. And value is defined as the feeling that you’re getting more than you’re paying. And everyone in any business environment in any way has to be sure they’re delivering that value proposition. And that value proposition represents what I call the magic dime. And I use this as an example pre COVID Part time working in a barber shop in this area. I was doing haircuts for $20. In a barber shop that was opened in 1963 $20 barber shop, no appointments, get in, get a haircut and get out. And at $20, it was incumbent upon me to see to it that the experience in the eyes of the customer felt as though it was worth $20.10. The dime represents the added value the feeling that you’re getting more than you’re paying. Now I went to beauty school with a buddy lives in my community, our children went to high school together, he owns a shop not far from where I was cutting hair three minutes away by car. He’s getting $190 for a haircut. And it’s incumbent upon him that everyone who sits in his chair leaves his chair feeling as though the experience was worth $180.10. It’s the same time that dime represents that sense of added value. I can’t tell you, what your market, what your environment what your circumstances dictate as a price value proposition. But I can tell you, you got to figure it out.

Chris Baran 48:36
Yeah, yeah, no, and it’s so true. That’s what I’ve always said is that if you’re first of all you shouldn’t be, shouldn’t be ashamed or apologize for raising your prices. But we you should make sure that you’re the haircut that you’re doing. The worth of it, the value of it is slightly more than what you’re doing because that way, and I like actually I’m gonna I’m going to give you credit, I always believe in giving credit where I got information from, but I’m going to use your dime one, because the way that I used to put it was I would say, Look, if you want to raise your prices and you’re charging $20 Make sure that your haircuts worth 25. Then what you can do is you raise them to 25. Then they’ll say Oh, well, that’s what I was. That’s what it was worth anyway. And then but you better make sure then when it’s 25 that you better be doing a $30 here.

Ivan Zoot 49:26
And you know it’s same concept, you know, to make this a little timely. I’ve spoken about this online recently. We are currently in a situation in which we are experiencing and others have spoken of this. We’re experiencing some consumer pushback right now. Because post COVID We have seen rapid price escalation in every industry but certainly in our industry for the first time and a lot of people made up for lost time by taking some pretty big bites on their price increases which I don’t necessarily think is a bad thing. As long long as it can hold up to and withstand the value test where we’re seeing pushback is when clients are going, I’m not feeling this is worth 50. And then what happens is, and we saw this in 2008, when the economy slipped, you know, I’ve been in the game long enough that I’ve been through some of these cycles. Can consumers right now we’re doing something called trading down market. And what that means is, if you lived in the Chicago suburbs and you went downtown to get a haircut, when the economy tightened or you question value, you got a haircut in the burbs, if you’re getting a haircut in the burbs, at a fancy salon, you went to a more moderate priced salon, if you were at a moderate price salon, you might have gone to a privately owned small establishment, if you’re doing that you might have gone to a chain. And if you’re going to a chain, you might have gone to Walmart and bought a clipper, but everybody is testing down market. And here’s what happens with the down market test when a consumer tests down market. And in oh eight, when I was in an education role with a major manufacturer, the chains understood this in oh eight the chains understood and it’s happening right now, chain salons across America are seeing people coming in for a visit, who previously didn’t consider them a viable alternative. And so they went to check it out. I’m not going to use any names. But they said I’m gonna go try a hair cut down at Zippy clips and see how that goes. And what happens is one shot, if they go to Zippy cuts, and they have at the lower price, unacceptable experience, they have determined that they were logically correct in taking the chance and trading down market and they can get value at that lower price. The flip side of that is if they try to go to Zippy cuts once and if in any way, shape or form, the experience is lacking. What they have now done is they have now substantiated the need and the reason to spend more and to do more to get satisfaction, you validated their desire to be at that higher priced environment. So and again what happens is and everyone no matter where you are in the spectrum of our industry, you are subject unless you’re at the very top of the business, you’re subjected to experiencing downmarket testing, and my watchword for people is you better make sure that when they do test you downmarket, you’ve got to hit it out of the park, because you’re only going to get one shot, otherwise they will go running back to whence they came.

Chris Baran 52:44
Yeah. And and right back to that same triangle we talked at the beginning, regardless, is if you’re in the urban, whether you’re in the chain, whether where wherever you are, it’s got to have an equal balance of skill relationship, meaning how are you doing your consultation? How you’re treating the client? Is it a positive experience? And and the sales that go along?

Ivan Zoot 53:12
Is your shirt clean? Do you smell like cigarettes? Is is the bathroom clean? Are the magazines in the magazine rack, disheveled? You know, those things all fall into this big bucket that is labeled experience the customer experience and we all represent a different you know, we pound our stake in the turf based on the experiential package we endeavor to present to the public you know, in in the words of Sam Walton from Walmart, you know, on any given day for any given reason the customer has the opportunity to fire you.

Chris Baran 53:49
Yeah. I went to the I think that there’s this thing that I see constantly in our industry and I know because I was there I when I when I finally started making money and I could have made it a whole lot quicker than I than I did but from the path that I chose if I had money in my pocket, I burned it it was there and it would be just aching to come out of my pocket and I had all the more money that I made the at the end game I wasn’t making I didn’t have any more profit as we’re going to call it and i i loved in one of your one of the stories that you wrote you talked about profit and I don’t know if you’ve if you’ve read the book, or had any Inklings with with Mike Michalowicz on profit first.

Ivan Zoot 54:49
And I’ve heard I haven’t consumed any of the materials myself but I’ve I’ve heard references to it. Yeah,

Chris Baran 54:56
I’m gonna give you a nugget that because I know when you talk on this a lot He, the way he puts it is, is what’s the traditional more traditional accounting principle, whatever you’re taking in, you, you might you take, you take your expenses off of that, and what’s left is profit. So, income minus expenses equals profit. But if you looked at it the way that I grew up, I had income, I paid my expenses, I had a lot of money, which I think is what happens to a lot of hairdressers, then whose shoes look really good. Ooh, that vacation sounds really good. Ooh, look at I got a new car. But I could dump on my part because I looked a little better in this other. And this other car. What what he talks about is, is the little flip on that he says, income minus profit equals expenses. And when he talks about as he says, Look at payers, that’s, it’s, again, it’s not a new concept, pay your bills for yourself first. But that doesn’t go in your pocket, that you get put away, so that you can have money for your family money for your retirement money for whatever that is that you want to do. But that’s that’s the profit they talk about. And then he says, what’s left over? That’s what you pay your expenses with an included in that included in your expenses? Is your your your own compensation, your own compensation, you have to allow for what is what member what I get paid is what I was worth. And if I’m an owner owner, I see owners do this all the time. Oh, like, I’m just putting my money back in the business? No, you should be what would you have to do if you hired that person, that’s the way you should be getting, you should be putting that aside. And you should be your company should be making a profit. It’s like your shares that you if I was, if not, why don’t you just have a chair at a salon, you go to app the chair, take your money, go home, and invest in invest in stock market or wherever else or things you believe. So I do that, because I think that people got to start thinking about your profit, what’s there at the end of the game for you. And

Ivan Zoot 57:02
I’ll give you a good example of a great way that you’re listening community, especially younger people, students, recent graduates, people getting into the business, who maybe for the first time in their life, really have money in a meaningful way. And those that are successful are going to have a lot of money. I have a very simple system that falls into the same category. I’ve talked about it for years, I called it divvy your tips. And the idea was this all day long as you accumulate tip income, keep all that money, when it’s cash. Obviously, when it’s cards, it’s different. But keep all that money, don’t cash in the little bills for big bills, keep it in small bills. And then on the countertop, you have piles. Now everybody’s piles, the number of piles will be different, and the names of the piles will be different. But I’ll use an example. You take that handful of small bills, and you go one for my IRA, one for my wife’s IRA, one for kid number one’s college, one for kid number two, college, one for the rainy day fund, one for my pocket, and then you go back and you go and one and one on one. And you divvied into these piles. Now, you deposit this money in the IRAs in the rainy day savings account, you know, maybe you’ve got a pile for vacation, maybe you’ve got a pile for a new truck, everybody’s got different things for which they are saving. But one of those piles, only one of those piles is the pocket pile. And that’s your that’s your way they call wham WAM walking around money. But now that money represents only a fraction because, you know, when I say this tip income is real income, you’re going to account for it, you’re going to report it, you’re going to pay tax on it. But you’re also going to and I use this example of just tips because it’s a small money concept. But I always say if you’re not good at managing small money, the universe will never give you the opportunity to manage big money.

Chris Baran 58:56
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Wow, I did we just go through about like, a week’s worth or actually two years worth of information that we went through right there. I’m going to I’m just gonna hit you into the what we call our rapid fire stuff right now. Absolutely. And again, quick questions quick answers if they needed to be expanded by little that’s okay too. Okay, good. So in the creative process what turns you what turns you on travel?

Ivan Zoot 59:28
Exposure to the world?

Chris Baran 59:32
Love it. What stifles it. Same

Ivan Zoot 59:34
old same old doing the same thing over and over again.

Chris Baran 59:38
Love it. Oh, I love this one an event or a show that you you did? I’m sure there’s many but the first one that comes to your

Ivan Zoot 59:45
mind that when you ask that you say the first one I’ll say the first one 1000 years ago. I’m going to take you way back because you probably knew these guys. The first time I ever did an event in the beauty industry was a miller and Gould Beauty Supply show in Akron, Ohio. You In 1980, God, I don’t even remember. But I’d never done a show before. It was a first time standing on the floor next to a table full of clippers. But I’ve never forgotten that event it stuck out in my mind, you know, and all those little dealers are gone now. But my God, so much fun. Yeah, that was a different era, like I was a lifetime just for the people lifetimes ago.

Chris Baran 1:00:23
The people that don’t understand this and see the way that the industry is right now. Now you’ve got, you’ll think of the majors and you got what five or six majors you go to. And then there’s a bunch of little stuff that goes on. When we traveled the circuit 100 years ago, you could have a bit that you would do in other words, you’d say I’m showing these haircuts, I’ve got my pattern that I’m going to do and there was there was hundreds of different distributors that were going on and you could you could literally go every weekend to a different distributor do the same thing. You never had to worry about it. But you did the same gig over and over again. It’s It has changed the flipside

Ivan Zoot 1:00:57
of it’s always with that much repetition, man you were good back in those that you were on you were so hot. Oh my God, it was fun.

Chris Baran 1:01:09
He will clean it will clean it was it was good. Okay, things in life, that you dislike the most things

Ivan Zoot 1:01:18
in life that I dislike the most other people’s children

Chris Baran 1:01:29
I love that you see what everybody else thinks? And in life, what do you love the kids? Like? Oh, Lord, I love this. Oh, here’s the heavy one most difficult time in your life. Most

Ivan Zoot 1:01:46
difficult time in my life. I made you know what, in hindsight was not a good decision to have a first child and open a salon all in the same year. That was a challenge. I mean, we got through it. You know, there was there was a lot of a lot of wrestling through and you know, oh my god, we didn’t have money. We didn’t have anything. But we got through and then it all works out. But that was a tough time. For sure.

Chris Baran 1:02:15
I you and I have much more in common things that you dislike about our industries

Ivan Zoot 1:02:21
that I dislike about our industry. unreported income, unreported income is a cancer in the Beauty and Barber industry.

Chris Baran 1:02:30
BINGO, BINGO. things you like about our industry incredible

Ivan Zoot 1:02:34
opportunity that exists for literally everyone. I don’t care what your background is. I don’t care what your family comes from. I don’t care how long you’ve been here. This in the United States of America in the Beauty and Barber industry. The streets are still paved in gold.

Chris Baran 1:02:49
Yep, proudest moment of your life proudest

Ivan Zoot 1:02:51
moment of my life. Wow. You know, it’d be quick and easy to say things like world records and things like that. But I think the proudest moment of my life was probably thus far when my older son was ordained as a rabbi that was really a significant educational milestone something that meant a great deal to multiple generations within my family and you know, I can take partial credit for you know, kicking him down the road and getting him to that milestone so that was a big Yeah. Wow,

Chris Baran 1:03:25
congratulations on that living person that you admire the most living

Ivan Zoot 1:03:31
person that I admire the most. I’m probably my father in law. Somebody who has done a variety of things worked extremely hard and then not worked really hard because he learned how to think and do it the easy way and was my partner in the salon and really very instrumental in a lot of my success

Chris Baran 1:03:56
a person living or dead that you wish you could meet and why I’m

Ivan Zoot 1:04:00
interesting answer coming from this Jewish kid whose son is a Rabbi Jesus to really gain an understanding of of what was really going on there. And how did you know Christianity as this world’s number one most dominant religion which I while I am not a Christian believer, I have an incredible respect for it and knowledge to try to understand it and of all the people living or dead you know, he’s got to be high on an awful lot of people’s lists.

Chris Baran 1:04:31
Yeah, something that people don’t know about you

Ivan Zoot 1:04:34
um, well there’s not much because I share an awful lot but I can ride a unicycle

Chris Baran 1:04:40
No way. I’d kill myself on one of those a month off where would you go What would you know I

Ivan Zoot 1:04:47
wouldn’t be fishing the entire month. With for large mouth bass or big size bluegill and probably, you know, Northern Illinois. We got plenty of them. Yeah, I’d fish For a whole month, you know, I, I pound them I pound the pound the shoreline. And you know, I live in Lake County, Illinois. So there’s no shortage of places to play. But yeah, I go fishing.

Chris Baran 1:05:14
Love it. What’s your greatest fear,

Ivan Zoot 1:05:17
my greatest fear, you know, I’m going to cheat that one and go, I’m not really afraid of much of anything. You know, there were there were certain things when I was growing up, my kids are growing up. Fear is not an option, fear was never acceptable. Fear only meant you either didn’t have enough information, or you hadn’t tried something yet. And I don’t, I don’t work with a lot of fear. And I think part of that comes from the fact that I know some folks that really have spent much of their life paralyzed by fear. And I have issues with that. So I don’t think I really am afraid of much or anything.

Chris Baran 1:05:53
of it, favorite curse.

Ivan Zoot 1:05:59
And I told you earlier, here’s a funny story behind that I worked for a large company, family business. And we were at one of our semi annual national sales conference meetings with the family and all of us sitting around a conference table, and the daughter a little bit younger than me, the daughter of one of the owners accidentally let slip an F bomb at the table. And I was immediately adjacent to her. And she turned to me and she apologized for dropping the F bomb. And the person on the other side of her said, Why did you apologize to him? And she turned to them. And she said, Oh, Ivan doesn’t swear. And I wouldn’t be comfortable swearing in front of him. So I apologize. And everybody at the table looked at her and goes, what? And I turned to her and I said it’s not that I don’t swear. I don’t swear in front of you.

Chris Baran 1:06:57
I love it. Your your favorite comfort food.

Ivan Zoot 1:07:00
Oh, you know, I’m a Chicago and so we got to throw down hard in the pizza category.

Chris Baran 1:07:06
Oh, good. So you’re large crust.

Ivan Zoot 1:07:10
That’s the beauty of it. And that’s why I argue with the New Yorkers. New York’s got one kind of pizza and it’s just not that good. Chicago is the epicenter. We’ve got stuff and we’ve got deep dish and we’ve got Sicilian, and we’ve got thin crust, we’ve got tavern crust, we’ve got Mediterranean, we got eastern style, you can literally eat a different kind of pizza in Chicago every single day. And never have a bad experience if you know where to eat.

Chris Baran 1:07:35
Right. I love Chicago pizza. And I have to tell you an interesting story of the first time that I went to Italy I just went gotta have pizza. I’m going for pizza and and a good friend of mine Johnny Salado and I went and with our with our wives, we went for some pizza. And I remember sitting in this place and and I looked at the pizza when it came out and was really thin crust and they had and there was on one there was white sauce and potatoes. And on another side there was just as bread and and I went Where’s where’s the stuff? You know? You can’t tell if this is this is like bread with with tomato sauce on it, you know? So? Yeah, I love Chicago pizza. And every time that I go there that isn’t that’s one of my favorites as well. My

Ivan Zoot 1:08:21
wife and I recently in a dining establishment in like a food court. And there was a guy sitting across from us that was folding his pizza in half, which in Chicago is a sin and then he was having he had Ranch, which is absolutely not acceptable. And I’m like this is a heathen. He’s not

Chris Baran 1:08:46
if you could change one thing about yourself what would always

Ivan Zoot 1:08:48
joke around I don’t joke around and say I was supposed to be a couple of inches taller. That never worked out.

Chris Baran 1:08:56
I always said I always said look I’m not I’m not overweight. I’m just I’m tall I should actually be seven foot four you know I’m

Ivan Zoot 1:09:03
558 half and you know both of my boys are are six feet and above and and I’ve always joked around about that I you know I’m not exactly like Tom Cruise with a you know a short man’s disease kind of syndrome. But yeah, I’ve always jokingly said couple inches would have been alright, but yeah, I’m fine.

Chris Baran 1:09:21
Your most treasured possession

Ivan Zoot 1:09:23
my most treasured possession? Um, wow. You know, I don’t know that there’s something off the top of my head. I think there may be in certain contexts. I have I have a paperweight upstairs in my office that had belonged to my dad that was on his desk in his office for many years. It’s very special. I have a pair of blending scissors from barber school that I will never use again and are sitting in a box and I would never get rid of that have some meaning and I have I have a fishing lure that I inherited from an older gentleman. It was a friend of the family that I won’t fish with, because I know I’ll lose it. And these things have have to have meaning they have, you know, objects or ascribed meanings. But I don’t know that I have one that that’s that’s ranked up there a little higher. No. Yeah.

Chris Baran 1:10:11
I mean, I that’s one of the best responses that I’ve that I’ve heard. Because I, I really think I think it’s more about when you have if you have something that’s a possession, it’s about the memory that goes along with it. You know, like my, my dad gave me a watch. It was an IT. I can’t remember the name origin card, and it’s rose gold. It got it from it, he actually won it in a poker game from Errol Flynn. And, and he gave it to me, I never wear it. But it’s one of my most treasured one. Because it makes me think of my ranch.

Ivan Zoot 1:10:44
That was what hung on a nail in my grandfather’s basement. I don’t think in my lifetime, he ever used it. I’ve never used it. But it just it’s got it’s got a certain sort of special specialness to it, if you will.

Chris Baran 1:10:58
Yeah, it’s their presence. Yeah. Something in the industry that you haven’t done. But and I don’t know if there’s much that you haven’t, but something you haven’t done, but you want to

Ivan Zoot 1:11:07
Well, you know, you know, it’s the bully pulpit, when you do this kind of program, and you’ve got the Naha award over your shoulder like that. You know, I have an enjoyable piece of recognition to win an award at that level. But I’m also at the point in my career in which just about every month, someone wants to give me a lifetime achievement award. And at this point, a lifetime achievement award, I interpret to mean, get out of the way. There’s, there’s, there’s young people that want that spot, so move along my friend. But you know, I still got, I still got a few good hair shows in me, I’ve still got a few inventions are ideas for some things that I want to introduce to the industry, I got a new book coming out. So I’m not done. But you know, I’ve had a lot of fun, but there’s a little more fun yet to be had.

Chris Baran 1:11:59
I think you’ve got a lot more left in you. But if you have I will not, I will not accept. Because I’m going to ask you, if you’ve had one do over what would it be? And I’ve had so many people say well, I wouldn’t be the person that I would that I am now if I wouldn’t have made those mistakes, but I’m not accepting that. So if you had one do over what would

Ivan Zoot 1:12:21
it be had one do over? What would it be? I think it would have been wait two years to open the salon after the kid was born. tied to that that year of you know, year and a half of some some challenge because, you know, I mean, on one hand, I went into the salon, my father in law, and I put equal money in. And at the time, it was our house money. That was the money my wife and I were gonna use to buy a house, and it was either buy a house or buy a salon, and you can have a house too, but you’re gonna have to wait for the house. The beautiful thing about it was I was at a stage in my life in which I looked at that sum of money. And I said, if I lose it all if this venture if this doesn’t work, I’m young, I got lots of years. It’s okay, so I went into it without the the ominous burden of I put my life savings in on this. But at the same time, it was a lot on the plate at once that it wasn’t a great idea. Had I waited two more years, probably would have been sitting on a lot more money to go into that venture. But at the same time, I might have missed out on that space that we took and who knows, but I’m gonna gap that out a little bit. That might have been a better choice.

Chris Baran 1:13:28
Love it. Okay, tomorrow, you couldn’t do hair, you couldn’t have anything to do with the industry. What would you do?

Ivan Zoot 1:13:35
I would be an influencer in the fishing industry teaching people how to catch more fish, which is no different than teaching people how to catch more haircuts. I would take everything, everything I know and apply it in another circus. I

Chris Baran 1:13:49
love it. I absolutely love it. If you had one wish for our industry, what would it be?

Ivan Zoot 1:13:55
One wish for our industry would be that people entering into our industry had a solid understanding of that price value concept. If they really understood that, that you can you can do business at any price. As long as you deliver on that value proposition. Your first job is not your only job and not your last job. It’s a learning opportunity to move you ahead but understanding that in any situation at any price if you can figure out how to deliver value this game is so good.

Chris Baran 1:14:28
Yes it is. I’m and I just want to make sure that we give a shout out that if anybody wants to follow you it is at Ivan zoot

Ivan Zoot 1:14:37
Yeah, just for little letters, keep it simple. Same thing for Instagram for X for threads for the YouTube channel. If you go if you go to YouTube and you type in my name, you’re gonna find it all.

Chris Baran 1:14:50
And if they do want to contact you personally, they can just go to your to your web page and just hit the

Ivan Zoot 1:14:56
talk to Ivan button the red button on the top of every page just hit that and it’s going to open up that paid that opportunity and just type away and again I don’t have people you’re going to talk to me

Chris Baran 1:15:07
Ivan I, I truly appreciate getting to know you more this is we passed each other in the dark. This is the first time we’ve had this I really feel that you know akin to you I feel that we’ve had a great visit and I love chatting with you. So I just want to from the bottom of my heart just say thank you so much for giving up your time and your energy for being here and sharing with our peeps I

Ivan Zoot 1:15:29
very much appreciate you reaching out and inviting me to do this. It’s it’s fun to get to spend some time with you get to know you a little bit and we will cross paths I’m sure. sooner than later. I’m

Chris Baran 1:15:38
sure there will there will be a glass of wine, a pizza or something in there somewhere

Ivan Zoot 1:15:44
down the road. You got it.

Chris Baran 1:15:46
Okay, thank you, brother.

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