Well oh my fuck, the universe is presenting itself in some weird ways this morning. I had spent the past hour or so writing an inspired post to you all, which I'll try my best to recreate below after this paragraph, and I mistakenly forgot to save it and accidentally swiped on my weird apple mouse that likes to fuck me and it took me back to the beginning. I couldn't help but laugh given what I was writing about...which was "a case of the Mondays". Am I going to let it ruin my day? Absolutely not. Why? For one, it's Tuesday. And because happiness is a choice. And right now I'm just feeling good and thankful. It's sunny out, I'm sitting on a nice patio in Miami (while there's 9 feet of snow in Idaho) listening to tunes...so I'm just going to pour myself another cup of coffee, sit down, and bang it out again with a smile.
Here's what I was going to say though...
It's Not Monday,
Actually, I "yelled" at Oscar last Monday for an Instagram post he made about it being Monday, being slapped in the face, and a bunch of bring-everybody-down-with-your-negative-shit Monday bullshit that people usually like to post about. Mind you, Oscar is a man that knows pain and suffering more than most...so he was playing mostly to the crowd, but still, when you're working for someone else "the Mondays" can be a real thing. But here at Violent Little though, as a rule we do not complain about Mondays. What do we have to complain about? We live in Sun Valley at the base of the Sawtooth Mountain range, we get 205 days of not-a-cloud-in-the-sky sun per year, we're healthy, attractive, mildly successful, especially humble...and the list goes on and on. But I can see Oscar's point since I've been trying to work on my empathy -Mondays for him consist of fulfilling a couple hundred orders and are the hardest and most boring day he faces at Violent Little throughout the week. I did not envy him (since I've been there myself), but I sure as shit respect him for just shutting up and going to work with a smile on his face.
If you're not happy with your Mondays, FUCKING DO SOMETHING about it and take actionable steps to change your life. Not tomorrow, now. It doesn't take much time or money to get a side hustle going...which can quickly become the main hustle if you want to put in the work. Check the ego at the door and you can accomplish anything. Take Oscar for example, who went from being an E-6 Navy SEAL (a pretty sweet spot in the military) to being a warehouse worker (even though he's much more than that). He just shows up and goes to work, regardless of the task...pure operator style. The only thing that operates more than him is our Roomba. This is what's going to make him a success in the future, and it's what's made him a success in the past. His Mondays might suck now, but I'm confident they won't in the near future.
My buddy Evan at Thirty Seconds Out...same deal. Evan sustained a TBI while he was in the teams, and I'm told he was never the same after. If he lost his edge, I certainly couldn't tell when he started working for me at Violent Little. I was immediately impressed with the amount of accountability and ownership he took over anything he touched. Here's a man who has led the best-of-the-best in war and at the highest levels, and now he's at my little shop starting from the very bottom and I'm managing him? It was comical to me that I was this guy's boss...we had a good laugh about it. But "A Players" also know when to check the ego and just go to work. They're not above anything, especially starting at the bottom. I had a set of skills that Evan wanted to learn, so he simply applied what made him so successful in the teams to his process at Violent Little and went after it. Now look at him...he runs/owns Thirty Seconds Out AND this year just realized his dream of being a Ski Patroller on our mountain. His MONDAYS do not suck. I can't decide what's more impressive...his military military career or making the cut with ski patrol given that he just picked up skiing 3 years ago (at like the age of 40 or whatever he is). Seems like a hundred people try out for it and they took two or three this year. Getting paid to ski -it's basically the dream job in our little mountain town. The guy can shred, but he'd also be the first person to tell you that he was probably middle of the pack as far as raw talent goes. Success, getting the job done, and being a part of the team requires so much more than talent alone. Success is a blend of work ethic, humility, accountability, AND talent...in my opinion. You can usually fudge the "talent" part too so long as the rest of your game is strong. Evan's got it. Oscar's got it.
Anyways...Mondays...yeah, they can suck, but the people that I see who accomplish their dreams have plans in place so that they're only temporary. This "goal setting" shit...yeah, it's for real. Anybody have any cool stories about how their Mondays (or whenever your work week begins, you semantic shit) used to suck...but don't anymore? Would love to hear. Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading.
It is about fucking time we got a SECDEF with real experience. I mean, who is going to fuck with a guy who has been in the U.S. Military since '69 and goes by the nickname "Mad Dog." Nobody with a brain, that's who! We hope you enjoyed our Little Bag of Violence this month. January's Bag is now available for a few individual sales (while sizes last) and if you want to subscribe for future boxes click the green bar and get signed up if you want...it's ok.
"OK" Guy With A Gun T-Shirt
Modeled after Violent Little's very own Brandon. He's not too happy about this. (He actually wrote that last sentence). Normally it's "Good Guy with a Gun", but have you ever seen Brandon mad? Try pantsing him when he's got his arms full of Violent Little packages when he's loading up the truck to take them to the post office. He becomes just "Ok" instead of his happy old self...
General Mattis Morale Patch
The good General went into the service in 1969. 19-FUCKING-69...Good God. Get ready for those good ole' days. They're here again. This patch is exclusive to the Little Bag of Violence...not available for individual sale.
Not Alcohol Stadium Cup
It's not alcohol. Now you have plausible deniability wherever you go...and that's what this life is ALL ABOUT.
I don't fucking get you...and this is a good thing.
I'm on my second time through this pretty cool book on being creative (like as an artist or a writer) called "Steal Like an Artist" by Austin Kleon. There's a cool section in there where the author recommends writing fan letters to people you admire.
I'm not just one of these assholes that reads something and doesn't try to execute or implement it into my life...gotta switch up the game if you want different results, right? So in that spirit, here are a few words about you, your company, and why I admire it. And perhaps I should start by saying that behind every good man there is a great woman (or another man if you're into that kind of thing). In this case, that woman is Lydia...so this letter is to her too, because I know she carries your ass, as does my woman with mine.
There's much to admire about the way you guys run your shit. Your political opinions on 2A and matters of liberty are pretty spot on with ours. Moreover, you have the ability to express those opinions in a concise, professional, and respectful way that doesn't alienate anybody (unlike us for example). I've always been impressed with your ability to do that...whereas whenever I try to write something thoughtful I'll take 2 hours to write something and then just delete it because I know there's a shitload of holes in any of my arguments. Your shit's always airtight.When Violent Little got into the patch game there were already quite a few established players, Modern Arms being one of them. We were the new kid on the block. I didn't really know who you were or what your company did aside from making patches, but I would see you all over the place as the morale patch Facebook groups, such as Morale Patch Black Market, started to pick up steam. Not that we deserved it at the time (or now for that matter), but for reasons still mysterious to us, you took a liking to what we were doing at Violent Little and we became pretty decent "internet friends" over the past few years. I mean...we were even kind of invited to your wedding.
But most importantly, it's all about the patches. You've got THE most loyal fanbase in the game today, as far as we can tell. This doesn't happen by accident. I thought we had a pretty damn loyal fanbase (and we fucking love our crazy fanbase), but the Modern Arms customers border on insanity, if not certifiable already. This was evidenced by the fact that we sold over 100 patches in less than 2 minutes I think it was, on that special collab we did with you. Faaaaack. I mean, we can move some patches on a drop and we frequently sell out very quickly, but not like this. This was a whole different level.
To this day I still don't understand what the big fucking deal is with Modern Arms or how you've built this legion of Berserkers...but I do recognize that it is a big fucking deal, so let's examine the possible reasons for this phenomenon a little closer, shall we?
Concept and Art: The thinking behind the concepts that MA comes out with is definitely mysterious to me, which is why Violent Little does what we do and MA does what you do. We have two very different styles of playing in the same sandbox. And even though most of your concepts are lost on me, like the Ronins because samurais aren't really my thing, A LOT and A LOT of other people get it and will do whatever it takes to get their hands on them. That's what matters. And that's the ABSOLUTE beauty of the whole patch game. I don't have to get it, but I 100% recognize the uniqueness of what Modern Arms makes. It would be boring if all the companies were like ours. I'll put it this way...there are a lot more companies out there that look like Violent Little than companies that look like Modern Arms. The beauty lies in our differences and uniqueness...and Modern Arms is beautifully different and talented. The stuff that I do get...like the Pirate Flags and the Liberty Quills -I'm fucking crazy for.
Build Quality: The quality of your patches is unmatched. And even though I've tried to get the name of your embroiderer multiple times, I respect that you've held steadfast in your fucking secrecy, which I appreciate. I usually sing like a canary. Their thread count, detail, and overall finish are the best I've ever seen...hands down.
Textures: MA's use of textures, grains, and patterns on their patches sets them apart big time. It adds a touch of class to each patch that just screams "EXTRA MILE". Nobody else is doing that. Or when they do try to do it...they fucking suck at it.
Presentation: Building a rabid fanbase is VERY HARD to do. It took us a long time and a lot of grinding to build our customer base, so when I see how crazy MA's base is, I tip my hat to you and give a nice little curtsy. And how do you build a loyal following? Well...you do what you and Lydia painstakingly do. You include an art card with the patch in a nice cellophane sleeve. You throw in a handwritten letter into every single order, of which you've personally inspected and trimmed each patch to make sure it passes your rigorous QC standards. We do that with all of our leather stuff because we produce them in house, but with all of our other stuff we usually just quickly inspect it as we're picking orders. I'm not going to lie, with the sheer volume of our operation, subpar product sometimes, yet very rarely, slips through the cracks (which we take care of immediately). Not so with MA...if it leaves your place, it's good to go and your customers know this!
All that said, I still don't fucking get it, but I admire it, respect it, and am thankful to know you. Thanks for giving us a wink and a smile at the very beginning...you were a big help and influence in building Violent Little and a great role model in the way that you comport yourself and your business. And that's my fan letter. You can pull your pants up now and pass the kleenex.
P. S. Remember that time that cry baby "artist", who shant be mentioned by name, picked an Instagram fight with me...and you came to our defense and squashed it immediately in one fell swoop. Well that was chill of you, especially since I was on shrooms at the time (I don't do that stuff anymore). I got your back, bro.