I’m really not one to think of the New Year as a new start, after all it’s just one day after the last day in December and what really changes? With that said, I can see it as a way to put things in perspective, to kind of look back and inventory what the last twelve months have meant and what you hope the nest twelve will have in store.
There is no doubt that 2011 was the year of plenty of “highs” and “lows” for me and my business. I hate to admit it but there were probably more “lows” then “highs” in all honesty. Our production was not what we normally count on and I was not happy with the direction our company had been taking so we moved on from some of our crew that had been with us for a long time, which was personally hard to do, but the right decision to get things back on track. Bringing new crew on is always tough because I look at BHB as a family. We have been fortunate to find some key people that have really helped change the way we do things. Our production for 2012 looks more promising then ever. Of course there will be disappointments, but I think this will be our biggest year ever. We also have been trying to improve all other aspects of our business from a brand new website to bettering our quality of animals and service. It’s hard when things start to slip and you have to figure out how to get back to where you were before things started to go in that direction. When things start going bad it doesn’t happen overnight and the “fixes” don’t happen overnight either. We ended the last few months of the year working harder then I can ever remember. The turn around is slow but is obvious in the animals health and certainly worth the effort. To say I’m not excited to see how things turn out and looking forward to being 100% proud of my business like I had in the past would be an under statement. Again, it’s a process and we’re working our way through it as quick as we can, but I know that soon we’ll look back and be so happy with all the work that we have put into getting back on top of the way things run around here.
It’s not all about “my business, our hobby has been under major attack this past few years, but 2011 might have been the most pressure our hobby has seen to date. I don’t just breed and sell snakes, but I work hard for the community, if that means promoting the hobby or being involved with “behind the scenes” work to protect the hobby, I am all over it. I put a lot of pressure on myself because I love what I do and I love this hobby and I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep this hobby alive. I’m not going to lie and say there aren’t times when I think that going back to just worrying about “my” business and not having to have all the pressure of trying to be one of the “front men” for the hobby. It was a lot easier life, but I can’t imagine not being as involved if not more involved then I have been. The love of the reptile hobby drives me, even when the weight seems too much. Sure it sucks when you work so hard and you hear people bashing you for one reason or another, saying the our “show” is hurting the hobby when you see the people flooding into the hobby because of your efforts. But then I get all the positive feedback, the tons of emails, messages, comments and it makes it more then worth it. I just have to not let the negative drag me down, because I know that my heart is in the right direction and that’s all I can do.
We’ve been working towards a TV deal for more then four years, with our “web show” growing in popularity it seemed like it would be easy, but trust me it’s not. Finally a few months back a network “green lit” a project that we would be involved with. We hoped to be in production by fall of last year and as with the whole process we have yet to film one scene. Once again, I realize how tough this TV industry is… Our producer promises that we’ll be filming the very first part of this year and with any luck we’ll make it to the TV screen sometime in mid 2012. The biggest reason why I even care to do TV is to expose people to our “world” of reptiles. To open the doors for us to get our word out. Who’s out there representing our hobby to the masses? Sure there are some that are trying and even making some progress, but I want to be even louder then that. I want people to see our passion for what we do, so they can understand that these animals are not dangerous monsters. Sure, there will be people within our hobby that will “hate” our show, they will continue to say that when we get on TV that we are hurting the hobby because we will be doing some extreme things. I can bet you that chewy WILL be getting bit from time to time, we will be showing the “ugly” side of running a family business, but we’ll also be showing how much we love the animals and how passionate we are about working with then. You have to remember it’s a fine line between entertaining people enough for them to watch so you can get your message out and boring people to death and nobody watching and your show getting canceled. If we go down that path then what did we do to help our hobby? You “have” to stay on air in order to get your message out. I always say you can have the best message in the world and if nobody is listening or watching what difference does that message make? We’ll do our best to represent our hobby in the best light we can. Trust me, I do not take that lightly and will not do anything that I feel will hurt us in anyway. And with the exposure that hopefully comes with it, I will use it to really change the peoples minds that don’t understand what we , the reptile community, are all about.
As you can see, this next chapter in my life is full of change, full of possibilities, from getting our business back to the standard that I will be proud of to trying to lead the reptile revolution to the masses… I have my work cut out for me and there will be many many sleepless nights to go with my always long days. In the end it’s all of you guys and all your support that empowers me to live my dreams and fulfill all my desires. If there is such a thing as a “New Years resolution” then mine will be to try to make all of you proud of what we are trying to do. I thank you for being part of this and I hope to make you all proud in this new year!