Seems like the longer we're around, the more insane it gets every week, which I love...I always said I'd never want to be "that guy" who is a hardcore hobbyist, then starts a company, and gets "too busy" to do the things he likes to do- like interacting with fellow fish geeks...Well, some days, I must admit, it feels like I've become "that guy..." I mean, there literally aren't enough hours in the day sometimes to do everything that I want.
Between setting up orders, taking orders, answering customer questions, Packaging, shipping, and all of the other minutiae of running a company, it CAN get a little hectic. I guess it's a good "problem" to have. But I think it's a problem nonetheless. Self-help gurus will tell you that not being able to do the things you want to do is a function of "poor time management" or "not being kind to yourself", or...whatever!
Anyways, I'm happy to be here to interact with you cool people- as YOU are what it's all about. In the mad frenzy of running a business, I always take time to acknowledge and celebrate the things that really make me love this hobby- an exercise we should all do from time to time. And one of the things I enjoy ruminating on is the fact that we as fish geeks are into the most obscure stuff!
Think about it. If you've entertained the idea of playing with, say, propagating Daphnia or Black Worms at scale- there's probably some hobbyist out there who's not only had the idea, but who's but out a propagation system just for that purpose in her basement! Want to grow riparium plants for your next paludarium? Create a freshwater botanical refugium for your next display? There are likely hobbyists who are "experts" on that. Creating a system for freshwater sponges? I'll wager that there might be half a dozen hobbyists worldwide earnestly working on that stuff as I write this! I mean, there are so many cool things that you can do in the hobby, and so many cool resources at our disposal! Our "tribe" has insanely good knowledge of many, many things, ranging from the basic to the downright obscure.
That's totally cool.
Thanks to the internet and the general geekiness of hobbyists worldwide, this "obscure" stuff doesn't stay obscure that long. We talk, brag, share, assist, and just generally let the information we've gleaned percolate into our culture, which enriches us all. And it's fun to get into these seemingly "obscure" things, isn't it?
I mean, a lifelong obsession with blackwater, botanical-style aquariums was the direct line to the founding of Tannin aquatics. Taking something obscure, hyper-niche, yet personally obsessive, and creating a company (Hell, a category, for that matter!) around it to share it with the world is incredibly satisfying! Scratching your own "itch" often puts you in contact with a whole world of people who share the same interest- people you might have never met had you kept these ideas bottled up inside!
Stuff like that happens-so you need to DO when it comes to these things.
Now sometimes, your passions just sort of bubble under the surface for a while, waiting for the right time and situation in order to really take off. A personal case in point:
For decades, I had this sort of long-term "love affair" (sounds sordid, doesn't it?) with marine macroalage. I used to play with all different types, but just kinda ran out of time and resources to keep going. It was sort of on the "back burner" for a while, as the sayings goes...Yet it never left. You know how that goes, right? Well, moving forward a few years and I had a 16,000 gallon saltwater facility, Unique Corals, with all kinds of toys to play with!
So, when the opportunity came up to acquire some cool macroalgae from an awesome propagator and curate the collection I'd been dreaming of for over a decade, I jumped on it. So, much to the chagrin of some of my employees, on any given day you'd find me doling over my little section of one of our raceways, packed with little containers of macro algae of all sorts. In a edition to a geeky "cottage industry", it was just fun doing something that I sort of lost track of over the years...the fun and excitement of doing something that's interesting, "new", and obsessive is a sublime delight for the fish geek!
Don't give up on your passions. Don't fight the urge to act on that idea! It could spur you on to more and more unique and exciting things.
You just don't know until you act...
Okay, so the point of all of this rambling is quite simple: If you have one of those geeky and obscure obsessions, indulge yourself and play! Do the geeky stuff to your heart's content...and remember to share your passion for it with other fish geeks. It's the kind of stuff that makes things really fun. The kind of stuff that makes a hobby more than just a "pleasant diversion"...It becomes a lifelong obsession- a rich and rewarding passion.
Find your geeky bliss.
Stay engaged. Stay obsessive. Stay humble. Stay generous. Stay patient...
And always, always...