Hard work always pays off. In this episode, Jason Schneidman of THEMENSGROOMER joins Tanya Memme as they talk about overcoming worst-case scenarios. Jason used to be homeless and an addict. Get to know him deeper as he shares his journey through addiction and how he became a hairstylist for men. Learn how Jason got himself back on track after hitting rock bottom. Tune in and get involved with THEMENSGROOMER FOUNDATION and learn how you can also help people get back on their feet.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
Hard Work Always Pays Off: Overcoming The Worst Case Scenario With Jason Schneidman
What’s some advice that you can give people that are struggling with their businesses? They maybe are entrepreneurs and now that COVID-19 has happened, everything is falling apart for them, and they’re losing hope.
We’ll come back from this. It’s going to be hard work. That’s the best advice, just work hard. I don’t have the answers. I don’t know what it’s going to be one day at a time. I’m so in the moment. For me, I know that I’m not in fear. I’m in faith. That’s how I live my life. Because if I’m in fear, I’m paralyzed and I can’t be productive. I was taught that in recovery. COVID-19 was a lot like crack addiction in 2004 for me. I was dying and I would take a crack hit, hit 91, and I had my finger on 1. I’ve survived stuff and I’ve made it through. I know we’ll make it through this. It’s going to be hard work, staying in faith, staying positive and getting creative.
Part of it was interesting for you personally. When somebody is struggling and going through a tough time in their life, they’ll say to themselves, “What’s my worst-case scenario? I’m out of work for how many years. My worst-case scenario is I’m going to end up homeless on the streets,” or “What’s my worst-case scenario? I’m going to end up homeless.” You went through that, you faced the worst-case scenario. That gives you a massively hard rock foundation to grow because you already know your worst-case. You’ve been there and you’re not going to go there again.
It’s such a good feeling to surrender. On my Instagram, it’s like there’s a plan. I don’t know what it is. It’s not always my plan. It’s God’s will, not Jason’s will. There’s a lot of good that’s come out of this and it’s like the reset button. It’s not my game of chess. I’m just passing through. I know that I’ve got to take care of myself and my family. A lot of people are making this out to be more than it is, but then there are a lot of people without jobs and they’re going to have to get creative. There’s always going to be hard work and that will pay off for everybody.
Moving forward, where can we learn more about you and where can we donate and all that stuff?
It’s on my website, TheMensGroomer.com. If you’re in the LA area, come in and get a haircut. There are twelve hairstylists and barbers doing the most amazing haircuts.
Do you only do men?
I did women’s hair and I assisted Chris McMillan who did Jennifer Aniston’s hair. I did women and hair color for years, and then I simplified everything. I just do dudes. In the shop, there are people doing women’s hair and they’re incredible. People are doing hair color and we’re in Venice. TheMensGroomer.com or you can go on my Instagram, @TheMensGroomer. What that will do for you is you’ll find out where you can show up and get hands-on. We started TikTok.
How’s that going?
It’s insane. In two weeks, we’ve already got 140,000 followers, which took me seven years on Instagram. TikTok is an amazing platform. A lot of young people are posting up our videos there and people are commenting and loving. We are a 501(c)(3), so you can get tax write-offs. If you want to donate, it’s all on TheMensGroomer.com.
Where does that money go to? Does it go to helping the homeless get off the streets?It's going to be hard work, but just work hard. Click To Tweet
That money goes to providing clothes, shelter and rehab. It helps our events where we go out on the ground floor and help people, food, socks, underwear. We continued to get creative and make sure that it’s going into the right hands.
If people want to volunteer and help, is that good too?
DM me on @TheMensGroomer Instagram and I’ll be posting stuff up. I’m getting itchy to go back out there and do some haircuts, even though it’s not 100% safe yet. They say that cutting hair is a medium to high risk. One Easter, I went out and I passed out baskets. We’re constantly trying to think of ways we can help, but I’m ready to get back out there and start doing haircuts.
I know we’re going to see you out there soon when this is a little bit more over. What makes your story incredible is that you have lived it and you relate to these people because you’ve been there. Can you share with me one amazing story about somebody that you helped off the street?
I was at a donut shop and this dude came in. He was tweaking like how you see the tweakers going in. He was like, “Are you Jason? Are you The Mens Groomer?” I was like, “Yeah.” I was grabbing doughnuts for my kids. I got out of my truck early and he was like, “Can I get one of those hats?” It was The Mens Groomer baseball cap. He was like, “That will give me street cred.” I took the hat off my head and I gave it to him. He was like, “I’ve been out here for a year and I used to work at this jean company for Chip & Pepper.” I was like, “I know Chip & Pepper. They were sold at Nordstrom.” He was like, “I did that and I went to USC. I’m struggling.” I was like, “Are you ready to go to rehab?” He was like, “I’ve been doing a lot of meth.” I was like, “Let me know when you’re ready. I’m right here at the salon.” Four months later, he came by and I took him to rehab. He’s sober now and he’s doing amazing. I see him around town at meetings.
Does he have a job now? Is he working?
No. He’s in this house. I got him into Awakening Recovery and he’s got fifteen friends. He lives in a house in Beverlywood. It’s like Beverly Hills. He goes to two meetings a day and he’s doing well. I know for a fact, this dude is going to make it. He’s a great dude and he’s doing well. That’s just one of many stories. I got a woman who came to one of our Venice shops. She got her hair cut by one of the girls that volunteered and came. This girl that came and volunteered just had twins little girls. The homeless woman was six months pregnant. She sent me an email and I’ve been trying to communicate with her back on the email but she hasn’t shown up. I don’t know if she wants to go public on this but she sent me a picture of that day where she was getting her haircut. She sent me a picture now with her son and her husband. She said it was all because of that woman that cut her hair that day. That changed her life and now she’s got a family and she’s no longer homeless. We’re making a difference. I broke down on that one. I have the pictures and I haven’t gone anywhere with it. It has a big impact when I do share it. I hope this girl reaches out. I’m going to send her another email.
People might be asking, and I can come up with my own reasons, but I want to know it from you. How does a haircut change a person’s life? How did that day change her life? She’s homeless talking to one person or the haircutter or whatever. How was that experience?
It’s like when you would go to school and you would have a summer break. You didn’t want to go to school but then you went school shopping. You have new shoes and clothes, and the motivation to show up. It’s as simple as that. I do a haircut and people get jobs, movies and dates. People make thousands of dollars because of a haircut. They show up. It makes you feel good and it gives you motivation, and then with a little kick in the ass from me in your face, it’s a good formula.
When you think about it, if you’ve been on the streets for a while, physically you can shower somewhere. You can get clean and you can get half-decent clothes somewhere from a donation. The one thing you cannot do is get a haircut unless you have somebody do that for you.
The human connection, somebody’s touching you and telling you that you’re worth it, was a part of the haircut.
You’re a God-given gift that you had all these years. Did you study? Did you go to school to learn how to do all of this?
I went to a hair school. It took me five years to graduate from a year program. I got kicked out of five schools. It made me a good hairstylist. I had lots of instructors, but I did the same thing like I did in high school as a terrible student, but I found my calling.
What I love most is that you didn’t stop no matter what. You got kicked out of five schools and you got back up on your feet and kept going. You became homeless and you did not stop.
It’s a great profession for people. If they can get into school, get a government grant. You show up and you can make money. If you are struggling with COVID, go to hair school, get your license, go out there and cut some hair. There’s always enough hair for everybody. We’re not going to go short on hair.
Thank you. I’ve been through your website and it’s absolutely amazing. You have to check out the inspirational stories on your site alone if you go to The Press area on your site. You have article after article and video after video. I was bawling listening to your story. The way that everything is produced is phenomenal. Your Instagram page and social media are incredible. I remember you changed my boyfriend’s life. He had hair that was down to his waist. There’s a video.
How do we get to that video? We need to get everybody to see that.
He would kill me.
Go look for OT. Look for the guy with the longest, whitest hair on my Instagram and you’ll see Tanya’s boyfriend get transformed from the Zeppelin lead guitarist to the most interesting man in the world.
That’s true. I said to him, “I don’t want to come across shallow or anything, but had we gone on our first date and you had the hair that long, especially up in a ponytail, I don’t know.”
I’ve changed his life. Just look at him, he’s got you.
Thank you beyond belief and for everything that you’re doing. Just keep going. If you can support Jason’s foundation, please do so. If you want to binge-watch more Life Masters, go to my iTunes and YouTube channel. Follow Jason because the stuff that you’re doing is phenomenal. I know that you have a lot more to come. I look forward to it.
Thank you for having me.
- @TheMensGroomer – Instagram
- TikTok – The Mens Groomer
- The Press tab – The Mens Groomer
- Life Masters – iTunes
- YouTube – Tanya Memme