Always have a pad and pencil next to your bed. I am one of those people who often will lay in bed for hours sometimes trying to fall asleep. My mind is busy and wandering. I start thinking about so much, especially as an entrepreneur who finds it difficult to shut off work from my mind. I'd dare to say that I do some of my greatest reflection and thinking during this time. Ideas, plans, reminders, philosophies, new products...the floodgates seem to just open up when I'm in bed. Think about it. Its dark, its quiet, its comfortable, and you spend a third of your life in it. You're bound to think of something worthy of remembering the next day, and if you've got no way to write it down, you're bound to forget something the next day that would have made your day, week, month, year, life better in some way. Last night I was laying in bed and realized that I had unknowingly developed this habit over the course of a couple years. It was a bit of an "Ah Ha" moment for me. I go to bed with my notepad and a pencil on my bedside table every night now...without really trying. In all honesty, sometimes I'll jot down a note on my iphone instead of turning the light on and waking up my girlfriend, but for the most part I like to get it down on paper. God forbid I keep myself awake another couple of hours worrying that I'm not going to remember what I promised myself the night before I would, which I really never do come morning.
Violent Little Machine Shop wasn't always the move. This project of ours was originally called Arms Keep. Why Arms Keep? Well, at the time, the country was still reeling from the Sandy Hook tragedy. Politicians and the public alike seemed hell bent on knee-jerk, across the board gun control reform. As someone who makes the firearms/tactical/military industry his home, this was of concern and we naturally had our own knee-jerk reaction of not wanting to budge one iota...keep your arms...Arms Keep. It sounded original and interesting, but we realized that this was a horrible name for a number of reasons.
- It was too polarizing. It was a "you're either with us, or against us" sort of attitude. That's not really our approach to our business or lives for that matter. We're smart enough to know that issues are not always black and white...and quite frankly, the politics going on in this country are abysmal for everybody, but that's a post for another time. If I lost my six year old child to a school shooting, who knows, maybe I'd staunchly be against weapons too. I'm not even a parent (yet) so I just don't know how I'd feel. "I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times." -Everett Dirksen
- It was hard to understand. While setting up the business and talking to people on the phone we often had to give our email addresses or the company name to various people. I feel like I do a good job enunciating, but it was clear that every time I had to say the company name there was mass confusion, panic, and mayhem.
- It wasn't fun. Everybody had a quizzical look upon hearing it...usually followed by the reaction of "Uh, ok...I guess."
The name had to go. Thankfully an omen came along in short order that changed the name game for us. A beautiful little shop came on the market in our beautiful little mountain town of Ketchum, ID and boom, offer made, offer accepted, and we had a shop to call our own. For the first couple weeks it was "Shop this" and "Shop that"...Shop Shop Shop. We couldn't get enough of the new headquarters. Being so central to the business and fun of the new endeavor, the new name had to revolve around the shop. Not sure how it happened, but Violent and Little got thrown into the mix...and since all of our current products are CNC machined, Violent Little Machine Shop is what they got. Watching people smile or laugh every time somebody says or reads the name...or volunteers how much they like the new name over the last one is all the proof we need. Done.
Our brand new retail display at Silver Creek.
Read full post →