I quit my job: What this means for NWFA

Discussion in 'Questions, Problems, & Feedback' started by Joe Link, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. Joe Link

    Joe Link
    Portland, OR
    Well-Known Member Staff Member Lifetime Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I’ve always believed utmost transparency with the NWFA membership is the best way to go. I’m writing this to let you know of a big change in my life, one which will directly affect NWFA.

    Since the beginning, I can’t think of a time when Northwest Firearms hasn’t been in direct competition for my time and attention. Goals and aspirations don’t put food on the table, so I have been forced to relegate NWFA side-project status since its inception in 2008.

    Putting what is essentially my life’s work thus far on the back burner has been difficult, but it’s what I’ve had to do. I’ve upset girlfriends with my lack of attention on nights and weekends, with me married to the keyboard. I’ve been caught working on the site at work innumerable times, other times successfully working it into employment negotiations. Between day jobs and NWFA I don’t believe I’ve worked any less than 60 hours per week in years, and easily upwards of 80 for some extended periods. I’ve known for quite some time now I’ve been spread too thin.

    Nine months ago I decided I needed to start making moves to make my exit, in order to focus solely on NWFA. I’m not the type to make uncalculated risks, and I knew what I had to do. I stopped going out, cut out all unnecessary expenses, even moved in with my brother so I could save every bit of money I could. Many of you who have been here a while know, and some will be surprised to hear, that I’ve never taken a paycheck from NWFA. All donation and advertising revenue (our only two sources of income) we collect have been used for maintenance, upgrades, development, and marketing.

    The primary reason I’m writing this is to be honest with our membership. I will be taking a very small paycheck from Northwest Firearms for the first time since its launch in August of 2008.

    After I made the decision that I had to make this move, I set a target departure date of June 1. I’m happy to announce that last month I sent my resignation letter, wanting to give my employer ample time to find and train my replacement. As of June 1 I will be self-employed, with 100% focus on NWFA.

    Many people think this site makes much more money than it actually does. Most people would struggle with the challenge of living on a wage several dollars less than minimum wage, but this is not uncommon among small business owners. My eventual goal will be to earn a wage I can live on more comfortably, but you have my word I’m not going to compromise any portion of NWFA to get there. Should I find I can’t manage, I’ll accept defeat and re-join the workforce.

    The benefits of making this jump are endless. I have a three page to-do list of tweaks that need to be made to the new software, not including the new features we’ll be developing. I’ll finally be able to get back to working the gun shows around the Northwest, dusting off our booth we haven’t used in years. Much work needs to be done in our forests to ensure these public spots stay open. Hopefully I’ll be able to draw some larger advertisers, and convince them to put together some great giveaways for our members. We might finally get our first member from Idaho :D

    Over the years I’ve had many people comment on the way I write these honest, open letters to the members of the community. It’s true I didn’t have to write this. Some would say this is none of your business, but I don’t believe that. I’ve always viewed this site as more than just a website or forum, more as a community or as a family of gun owners. Whether omitting facts, being vague, playing with words, or outright lying, it’s all dishonesty to me, and I don’t believe in that.

    As always, I greatly appreciate your support of both myself and Northwest Firearms.

    Thank You,
    Joe Link
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2014
  2. F2CMaDMaXX

    West of Portland from England
    Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Good luck Joe, it can be a lot of work drumming up support/income/improvements from this kind of thing. I'm glad you make the effort.
    jerman1964, Joe Link and Mikej like this.

    Wickiup Junction
    Well-Known Member

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    I for one appreciate your openness and honesty with your letters, especially this one.

    I truly understand where you 'are' as I have been self employed before and understand the risks as well as the rewards.

    With regard to the NWFA however there is simply no precedent. It's success is a direct reflection of your incredible, over-the-top time, hard work and dedication you have put into it.

    Stay the course of honesty and dedication and you will prevail and succeed.


    Old Hick, ocarolan, JonCook and 10 others like this.
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W.
    Silverton, OR
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Good luck Joe. Never be afraid to work towards a goal. And never overlook diversification as a way to help ends meet.

    GM made it through the great depression not because they made great cars and trucks but because they also made refrigerators, radios, railcars, railroad locomotives, Airplane propellers, Firearms, electric fans, clocks and washing machines to name just a few.
    Joe Link and Mikej like this.
  5. TOVO

    SW WA.
    Well-Known Member

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    Congrats to you. I have found that some people will not take calculated risks even though they have weighted the pros and cons. As you said you can always go back to the workforce. Better off to try and fail then live your whole life telling everyone later "could of and should of". Good luck to you.
    Joe Link, GrpCapMandrake and Mikej like this.
  6. KalamaMark

    Kalama Wa
    Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on reaching Escape Velocity, Joe!! That's uber cool!

    Thanks for all you do to make this place a great one to hang out!
    Joe Link and Mikej like this.
  7. Velzey

    Estacada Gunsmith
    Büchsenmacher Bronze Vendor

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    Thank you! That right there is some dedication! And I for one really appreciate it.

    Pm inbound for some thoughts and a question.

    Joe Link and Mikej like this.
  8. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie
    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Being a small business owner, I understand how difficult it is to pay yourself let alone turn a profit. I hope you are hilariously successful with your venture.
  9. Bello425

    Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer 2017 Volunteer

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    Congrats, and the best of luck in yours and to the future of NWFA.
    Joe Link and Mikej like this.
  10. Blackcobra

    Well-Known Member

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    Shoot - I was worried when I clicked the link, but after reading your post I'm very encouraged.

    Congrats on making the leap. The decision to leave steady employed and regular paychecks is a tough one. Long hours, more headaches, etc.

    However, not having a boss is wonderful. If I don't want to wake up and go to the office, I don't have to. If I want to knock off early on Friday, nobody is stopping me. Of course there are times when you will work 80 hours a week, but not every week. The freedom and independence are worth it.

    You're going to love it!
    Joe Link and Mikej like this.
  11. balline36m3

    Yakima WA
    Active Member

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    I don't post here much but I really appreciate all your work that has gone into a great site. Best of luck on the jump to a new (kind of) venture in your life
    Joe Link and Mikej like this.
  12. DieselScout

    S Clackamas County
    Well-Known Member

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    Best of luck with the future Joe, it is a hard choice to leave security to follow your dream. I hope it all works out for you. All the best!
    Joe Link and Mikej like this.
  13. Texfisher33

    Tri-Cities, WA
    Active Member

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    I visit this site more than any other. Thanks for creating it. I love free sites, but am more than happy to subscribe here. I would hate to see NWFA go. I have no problem with you making a profit from the site; I think it is expected you should make some sort of income off of it. THANKS!!
    Benihaus, gryghin, Joe Link and 2 others like this.
  14. ripcity

    Active Member

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    It's awesome to see your openness and truthfulness. That's a lost skill that many people don't have. This is one of my favorite sites, and I'm glad you spend so much time making it happen. Thanks for the site.
    gryghin and Joe Link like this.
  15. wabbithunter

    Active Member

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    Joe best of luck and best wishes.. :) :) :)
    So does that mean I get my "Smiles" back??
    :) :) :) :) :)

    P.S.please don't "Ban" me... :) :) :) :)
    Joe Link and Nwcid like this.
  16. Mikej

    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer 2017 Volunteer

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    I just went through and put "Like" on every post above. Because I do.

    This is a great forum Joe, and even though there are members here that are not directly aligned politically, we are all on the same page as far as what NorthWestFireArms.com is all about. Thank you!

    Joe, if you ever get hungry you are welcome at our table ANYTIME! Wifey and I will even foot the bill for your ride home if need be!

    Good Luck Joe.

    gryghin, Joe Link, BIGMEATY and 2 others like this.
  17. leadcounsel


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    It's a great site, and for all the complaining I did on the change over, I'm still coming back to try to be less grumpy about it. I applaud the small businessman. Go get 'em!

    I too have worked like a dog for a decade, easily 100+ hours per week for years on end at times (no joke). I appreciate how busy that gets, and how your life takes a back seat. Keep working hard!
    Joe Link likes this.
  18. SynapticSilence

    Battle Ground, WA
    Well-Known Member

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    I have the luxury of two retirements, one military and the other from Washington County. I left the Air Force in '93 and left Washington County in December 2013. I admit I've struggled a bit finding a new direction after all those years of work, but I doubt you will as it's obvious how hard you work and how much of yourself you've put into this forum. Having visited a lot of similar forums, I always end up back here because of the people here and the focus and direction you provide in keeping this a great place for firearms and shooting enthusiasts. Good luck and glad to hear you're not quitting us, which is what I was afraid I'd find when I clicked here. All the best!
    Tacticool22 and Joe Link like this.
  19. Kruejl

    Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter

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    I'm jealous. I would LOVE to spend my day making my passion a reality. Nice move. Very ballzy. Even more respect to you.
  20. orygun

    West Linn
    Silver Supporter Silver Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    For all you do for this community you deserve to make a profit from it. You have provided endless hours of entertainment and information to many like myself.
    I'm a member of other forums, but this is home. I can't tell you how pleased I am to have a place like this with a "leader" that takes it so seriously. Your dedication to this site, and us, is honorable.

    Thank you and good luck.

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