Hello fans of music and Porter Pickups and Guitars.
This is a somewhat different approach as I work through what is now the current reality of our business. The Covid-19 virus has impacted the world as a whole and more closely to home, the entire music industry. There are no gigs, stores are closed and many of us are left wondering “whats next?” As of this writing, we’ve been placed under the “Shelter In Place” and deemed a “non essential business” for 21 days. What this means for our small crew of 4 and our business as a whole is an ever evolving situation and seems to change daily-if not hourly. The situations and decisions i’ve had to face and even consider over the last few weeks have lead to a lot of sleepless nights. We continue to evaluate options every day as we try to figure out how to move forward and get work done in these new realities.
I have been thinking lately about a lot of things related to business, family and how we proceed. Despite some more immediate business and financial concerns, I keep coming back to a theme: “WHAT DID I MISS?”
When so many things are not normal, you’re more aware of the things that really matter. 2020 has been a crazy year for us. (you’re reading this and thinking “yeah, me too Porter!”) We attended the NAMM show in January which was a big and expensive jump for us to get our pickup brand and guitar brand in front of people. We met many amazing customers, dealers and industry leaders. It was a fun visual representation of where our brand stands in the industry and how far we’ve come.
This giant risk was because we really believe in what we do and our mission of providing inspiring products to musicians and keeping music alive. We were able to show our products in person to more people than ever and we considered it a successful show.
A few weeks later my wife and I had a planned vacation for a week away. For those that don’t know, we have 6 kids so a week away kid free was next to impossible. It was something we wanted to and were excited to do after begin together for 16 years. We had it worked out with friends and family to help with all the small details. One thing we decided on during the trip: We were going email & social media free. We found out we didn’t really miss is that much and our guys handled the majority of the business operations while we were gone. This was the beginning of the journey of realizing “WHAT DID I MISS?”
Over the course of the next few weeks as everything unfolds and continues to unfold, its become apparent that we’ve missed a lot. I say “we” because this is our situation and maybe you will resonate with some of this. We look back at the history of our business: It’s full of joys, disappointments, amazing customers, difficult situations, haters, YouTube Trolls, Internet experts and amazing stories, relationships and music created with what we build in our shop. We feel more clear than ever that we’re truly doing our “WHY”
So what have we missed? I think at times we’ve lost course. Not in passion or work ethic but in pursuits that don’t really matter. We gave attention to noise that wasn’t helpful. We thought about giving up when it got hard or challenging. We looked at failure and wondered if that was the “final blow.” We chased our dreams but it also caused a lot of emotional toll. We sometimes chased bad advice or wandered from the way we want to try to operate for fear of losing popularity or customers. In our pursuits to chase making a living at our passion, we’ve ignored family time or other opportunities for relationships. We’re trying to provide but don’t take the time to listen often. For us, we’re trying out best to be using this time to dial in on what matters and see where the rest falls.
I see whats happening on social media right now. It’s a frustrating blend of memes, political complaining, and “i’m right and you’re wrong” We have become a divided society who’s intent is their own gain, status or popularity. We’d rather make a joke, or enter a debate than be helpful or consider others. Especially in this time where it’s more apparent that many of our regular and work lives will be altered or changed drastically in some way we’ve got to be different. It starts with each one of us. Maybe all this stuff is stripped away so we can get back to the basics of what matters?
I’m thankful to do what I do for a living. I appreciate all of you who have encouraged, supported and helped us along the way. We look forward to keeping the Guitar alive however that looks.
In the mean time, lets see what we can do to change this world for the better.
Love you all,