Everyone loves a good mystery. From reading classic Nancy Drew novels to wondering how the years flew by so quickly (a more depressing type of mystery), there’s something enticing about mysteries. Here at Hustle Paintball, we realize this – which is why we are pleased to announce our mystery boxes. What’s it all about? Keep reading to find out!
Something legendary just happened today – something borderline miraculous. What’s the news? Oh, it’s only the announcement of today’s launch of Ninja’s 77cu SL tank! That’s right, folks – today. Now. Right now! The latest iteration in the ‘Super Lite’ brand, the Ninja 77cu SL is Ninja’s latest effort in ensuring that when you play paintball, you don’t have to worry about lugging around a heavy tank that’s only going to get in the way, decrease the effectiveness of your game, and generally feel uncomfortable. Everyone wants a lighter tank (and thus, a lighter marker), and the new 77cu SL is going to make it happen. Less fatigue, the ability to perform better ‘snap shots,’ and again, a more comfortable feel when playing, the 77cu SL needs to be in your life.
Well, December was so nuts that I was unable to write about anything! Thanks for choosing us for your holiday shopping, everyone!
The end of 2012 has come and gone; we’ve reflected on where we have come since the beginning of 2012, and it is absolutely astounding. Right before Christmas of 2011, a big change in the company happened when our former Operations Manager parted ways from Hustle. We really had to look deeply into ourselves and see what it was that we needed to do to make everything better, rather than blaming any past mistakes on the departed. Not just for our own satisfaction, but for you all, our customers.
I would like to take this opportunity to talk about what our mission has been for the past year, and what it is in the year moving forward. In the last few months we have made a very large push with our video channel. Not only are we focused on making sure we get AT LEAST 3 videos up per week for all of you, but we have quite a few ideas floating around on what we would like to do in the coming year. Of course our production values are only going to get better as we learn more and put more assets into the video portion of our business. Really though, I want to acknowledge each and every person on the team for what we have accomplished this year.
Not many of you know this, but 99% of the items on our website go up because of Jeff.
We would not have the up-to-date catalogue that we do were it not for him. You may not see him in as many videos as some of the other guys, but he is an extremely important member of this team who deserves just as much love as the rest of us. Due to the fact that we were able to hire two new people before the end of the year, Ethan and I are hoping we can help Jeff out a little more with his products. By doing this, we are focusing on getting our website cleaned up and getting up to date. Look out, we have big plans for our “2.0″ of each and every product on our website this year.
Wow, have ya’ll been watching our videos in the last year? Check out the difference between our first video in 2012 the Lapco TPX Front Block and our most recent video the Psiworx PC3X. First off you will notice a few things, it feels like it has been much longer, but 2012 is the year we went HD.. finally! This has been absolutely huge for our channel. Next, you will see our studio and production values as well of our knowledge of editing and how to make an appealing video has increased. This is all due to Jay’s unwavering drive to ALWAYS improve our videos. Once Jay was free to explore what he wanted to do and learn more about the science of making videos, it opened up our possibilities with film so much more! Heck, we even did a huge production with our Versus video. There will be more on the way this year, promise. We just need that practice and they require A LOT of man hours and preparation. If you enjoy our videos, be sure to email Support@HustlePaintball.com and let Jay know, I am sure he (and the rest of us!) would appreciate it.
While we are on the subject of videos, let’s not forget about the best host in paintball, Russell Wiarda! Seriously, we have found our guy who is just a natural talking to you all, not only do we like him in that position, but you all have been very vocal about how he is your favorite host. Why wouldn’t he be? He’s possibly the most entertaining guy in the industry.. even when he is showing you how to install something you may never even own. In the 105 videos that we did in the last year Russell was in 21 of them. Considering we hired him in February, and his first video was in May that is a lot. Since May of 2012 Russell has been the host in 26% of our videos. When you think that myself, Jason, Ethan, Jeff, Erik and Jay have all been in the rest, Russell is clearly the most used and most liked. Hopefully you all are looking forward to our new segment we are moving forward with, our weekly check-in video the “Weekly Reload” because Russell is spear-heading that project and I think you will all enjoy them as much as we do.
Erik and Jason have not had as much of a quantifiable impact that you all can see just yet, 2013 will show a little bit more of their personal talents and what they can do for the company; but behind closed doors they have been doing a lot all year. Both Jason and Erik have been hired recently, but they have been coming in to the shop and helping ship out orders and work with showroom customers all year round. Were it not for the countless volunteer hours that they put in throughout the year there is no way we would have been able to make the progress we have. If you talk to them in any shape or form: YouTube, pbRIOT, emails or even the phone – be sure to acknowledge them and thank them for all of the hard work they did for you in 2012. Doing hard work out of the kindness of your own heart is something that should be celebrated much more widely than it is.
It feels a little odd to write about myself, but I am going to lump Ethan and I into the same paragraph. You see, a lot of what we do is inglorious boring stuff, but the biggest thing of 2012 for us was to have a cohesive management corps. Before the split, things were very hectic around here. I am sure you all know, it is hard to have focus and drive if you do not have a leader to get you there. Anyone who has played a team sport knows that a captain is paramount to success. Ethan is not only our companies owner.. gosh that seems so disconnected from who he is. Ethan is our captain, he is the team leader, he pushes us because he pushes himself so hard. He sets the pace and we follow knowing along the way that we are working towards a single important goal: To provide the best retail customer service in the industry. To provide the most friendly and comfortable internet forum in paintball, that is also knowledgeable. Lastly, but not least is to provide the absolute best paintball channel on YouTube.
Our goals are no small order, and they could not be achieved with bickering and lack of understanding of the role of position. Since I have become Operations Manager, Ethan and I have worked extremely well together. We have kept the team mentality around here, something that was missing under the previous.. “regime”. I do not believe I have written about this at all this year, but when we make big changes in the company, or brainstorm about anything really – we do it as a team. Everyone’s voice is heard, which is something we will continue to do in 2013. More heads are better than two and if we can find better ways to improve, why not? While at the end of the day it is not a Democracy by any means.. it is always a team effort and the Captain makes the call with the team’s best interests in mind.
I am going to stop myself before I write an entire novel, but I want to end this post with a word of thanks to everyone involved in the world of Hustle Paintball. Those of you reading this blog, those of you who watch our channel, who post on the forums; hell, those of you who just purchase gear from us. Thank you so much for helping us grow this year, not only do we do this to support our families, we do this for you. You all have helped build this company as much as the rest of us. Without you all we wouldn’t be where we are now and we will NEVER forget that.
Thanks for 2012, let’s kick 2013′s ass even harder huh?!
We work in an environment when you have to care about what you do more than the compensation you are getting. It is just a reality of this business and what we are trying to achieve.
Like any business, good people are hard to find – but because of the nature of this job and what it must mean for the employees for them to truly succeed and feel accomplished; good people are even harder to find. We do not have the time, resources or patience to have a revolving door for employees. Where some places are able to have a high-turnover rate and it just doesn’t matter, for us it would be like shooting ourselves in the foot with a cannon.
I kid you not, back in August 2009 when I was hired, there were two other employees on the team (aside from Ethan). Within a month, just myself and Ethan were left. He had cleaned house and was no longer interested in those who don’t have any drive to learn, and work hard for something bigger than themselves. Don’t get me wrong, Ethan is not a slave driver, he is just a realist with no room for bullshit.
Even so, it’s tough to find good people – I have seen 14 people come in and out of these doors since then. For a company that was 2 people in the back-half of 2009 and is currently 5 people in 2012 – That is a pretty awful turnover rate. Especially considering that other than myself, the only person who has been here for 2 years or more is Jeff. Jay just passed his one year mark, and Russell is going to be hitting his one-year around February.
I bring this up, because we are hiring two new people and have decided to move on from actively trying to find them. Honestly, with our pay grade and work style, more often than not we attract younger people. Not to say this is bad, I am 23 and was hired at 19 – but in general someone who is younger works purely for the paycheck and does not have the maturity or drive to do or be more than a 9-5-time-filling-paycheck-collection-employee.
Our most recent Employees were friends first and then became a part of the company because they had been around us, watching what we are working for and wanting to be a part of that. They WANT to be a part of Hustle Paintball and our mission to take the paintball world by storm with our knowledge and helpfulness. Seriously, Jay and Russell were Team Anomaly members first, and then became Hustle Paintball employees. We are so happy to have trusted and taken the plunge into hiring them, because we would not have had the video and creativity surge we have had lately were it not for them.
It is because of Jay & Russell’s success that another Anomaly Team member will become a part of the company, our good friend and brother in arms, Erik Cromer.
Erik has been on the team for a little over a year now but he has been a friend for much longer than that. We are excited to have someone like Erik joining the team. Not only does he care about us as friends, but he cares about the company and our mission. Coming up shortly he will be answering phones and emails just like the rest of us, so look out! Welcome him to the company if you interact with him at all :) .
Now, we do not just hire directly from the team.. even though the last three have been and still are team members. We just changed our outlook and went searching for those who we KNOW that we can trust, that have expressed a care and love for this company and what we are meaning to accomplish. The second employee we are hiring will not be starting until February or March, but those of you who read this blog regularly will know of him.
Jason was originally a customer who just showed up in our showroom one day because he wanted to purchase a paintball marker and some gear. However, he did not know much about the sport and had heard about how we like to educate our customers and allow them to make their own purchasing decisions. (Contrary to experiences he had with other places who prey on lack of knowledge and just shovel expensive products your direction, pressuring you into buying them.)
Jason liked the way we treated him and his familiy so much when he came in here that he decided he wanted to volunteer in his free time, just to help us out.
Fast forward to today and Jason has become a close friend of ours who we miss when he is not around. So we are extremely excited to be able to have him be a part of our team after the new year.
Really, all of you should be excited as well. With this post you can know that Hustle is expanding, and thanks to you. However we are expanding the in correct way, we are making sure that as this company grows it does not lose its mission or its soul. Our customer service is only going to get better, our video channel is only going to get better. Honestly, thanks to all of the support you guys have given us – we are able to focus on making everything better for all of you.
Thank you for watching our channel. Thank you for buying paintball gear you need at HustlePaintball.com. Thank you for reading these blogs. Thank you for posting on pbRIOT.com! Thank you for being a part of us, trust me, not a single one of us goes to sleep without knowing and feeling that we would not be where we are, where we are headed without all of you.
Thank you for making this expansion possible.