26 Sep Not Your Average
“He’s Not Only…”
–Who is Maurice Russell?
A son, uncle, and grandson; I don’t really like to associate with jobs, so I identify to my family first. Most people say what they do first, but I feel it doesn’t tell about them. So, I personally identify with my family, then my job title. I’m a work in progress; I’m constantly changing. Next year I will be better than I am now.
I started cutting hair when I was 13; when I was 22, I opened a barbershop in Toronto, Canada, and have been in business for the last 10 years. We truly are a staple in the community. It’s not a typical barbershop; it’s very comfortable and family-oriented. A year after opening, we added a tattoo shop to the business.
–Tell us about your interest in aviation and how you became a pilot.
I traveled a lot as a kid and it sparked an idea that I could do it everyday. I should have pursued it straight out of high school, but I pursued business. At the age of 25, I decided to enroll in a two-year flight program. I buckled down and learned aviation after moving to Northwestern Ontario, 16 hours away from home. It was probably one of the best decisions I could have ever made because I learned more there than what I would have learned in a familiar place.
It took an extreme move and a lot of sacrifice, but it worked.
–As a sky diving pilot, what’s the most exciting aspect of being a specialty pilot?
Its always exciting – new challenges and you are consistently meeting people who are checking items off of their bucket lists daily. Everyone is passionate. It’s not like an office job and it’s not about the money; people show up because of the passion.
-Any advice for anyone interested in the field?
Some people try to create obstacles in their minds (too expensive, too hard, etc.); don’t let any of that stop you. The sacrifices are big, but the rewards are as well. There are so many people who say they are passionate about flying, but are still working mediocre jobs and complaining about bills. I wish at 17 or 18 someone had told me the options available; I was late getting in at 25, but I made it happen.
–How can readers keep up with you?
I am on Instagram @mauments and I just recently became an official vendor in the Jordan Brand Store in Toronto which allows me to actually cut hair inside of the store. If you are ever in Toronto, please stop by!
This article was written by Justin Sims, (IAMMRMENTOR), In hopes of not only inspiring entrepreneurs, but young black males to be the best and the truest version of themselves.
If you like this article and find yourself interested in more positive stories about black millennial age males, please visit WWW.IAMMRMENTOR.CO and follow him on his social media pages IAMMRMENTOR on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.