I started growing my first "real" beard back in 2008 when I was raising money for Beards BeCAUSE out of Charlotte, NC. It was right around the time I was let go from my job as a salesman and was entertaining prospects of starting up my first business. During the next three years I had an on again / off again relationship with my beard.
Fast forward to 2011, and I decided to move from a shorter beard and into a fuller beard. My first goal was 6 months, which then came to the yeard (12 months of growth) and ultimately to about 18 months of growth before I trimmed it.
Since that time I've maintained a beard of varying lengths and have learned a thing or two. About 3 months ago I trimmed my beard to the shortest length since 2011 when I went for the beardstache look. From there my goal was to grow it out for about 4 to 6 months and document the journey.
So what was my beard mistake?
Well, what I've learned during this second beard growing journey is that I prefer grooming my beard as it grows rather than letting it grow untouched. See the first time I grew the beard, I wanted length so Ieft it untouched. Because of this, I started to get afraid of screwing up the trim and ultimately my beard was less presentable then I would have preferred.
Had I groomed my beard as it was growing, then I would have felt more confident along the entire journey (rather than just the end). Yes it will take a little longer if you trim your beard as it grows out, but you'll feel more confident as you tackle the day.
We've always said there is no wrong or right way to grow a beard, and my mistake could be someone else's best action. While I've found a preference for trimming, it doesn't mean that growing untouched is a mistake or a bad idea. It's just not the best thing for me.