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?!