I am writing this blog post on the eve of Comicpalooza, one of the biggest weekends of my life. I know, on the surface, that statement sounds ridiculous. It’s a comic book convention, what could be so important about that? I’ll tell you. First let me tell you a little story.
This company, my company, Warlocks Games and Beer, was sparked into existence almost 3 years ago between two friends’ hand written correspondence while one of them was in Marine boot camp. It’s a funny thing, hand writing letters. There is something very personal and introspective about physically putting pen to paper. The name of the business came later but those hand written letters helped us figure out what we really wanted to do, open a gaming brewpub.
We knew the first thing we needed to do was get better at brewing. We hadn’t been doing it for more than a year or two but we loved it. You learn pretty early on when you pick up brewing as a hobby how endless the options are for creating recipes. One of us, of course, was a United States Marine but that didn’t stop us from exchanging recipes. We stayed the course and kept on brewing.
A brew day back then would usually take 6 to 8 hours depending on the beer and what equipment we had. There can be long periods of time when the brewer does not need to be actively tending to the beer(or wort) so we would run in and play a round or two of Halo: Reach before running back to check on the brew. We had the timing down perfect.
About this time we decided on a name. I thought it was perfect, Warlocks. The whole story about the name is not one I often tell. I am hesitant to tell the story because it doesn’t exactly pair well with the current objectives of the company. I don’t want anyone to get confused about our intentions. SO, this is what I’ll do. I’ll tell you to watch the movie Superbad. If you are watching that movie you will probably figure it out.
Eventually the owner of The League of Extraordinary Brewers reached out to me on Facebook. She had information to share about a co-working brewpub she was getting off the ground. I didn’t think much about what was being offered to me until I realized the possibility; I could sell my beer to people. This is exactly what I needed. A low cost way to get my product in front of people and make money while doing it.
Long story short, we jumped on board and went for a ride. The League of Extraordinary Brewers has had it’s ups and downs over the past year and a half. Even during the down times we were still doing what I could never have done anywhere else. I was selling my beer.
It has been confusing at times for customers. Many times people thought they were walking into THE Warlocks Games and Beer establishment. In truth we were but a part of The League. I was torn on whether I liked the idea of people believing that The League was Warlocks. Either way, people knew who we were.
Time has passed and we believe it is time to find Warlocks Games and Beer it’s own home. There is no going back. We need to be our own place. Houston isn’t going to be lacking large number of brewpubs for very much longer. We need to strike while the iron is hot.
I feel like I have made many of the correct moves to get the business where it is now. I have never been someone who thinks he knows it all and is going to show the world how it’s done. When I identify a weakness I go to an expert in that area and get the advice I need. I surround myself with people that are better than me because I know one person can’t run a business this size. It takes a team.
Launching the indiegogo campaign temporarily destroyed that team work mantra in me. The instant I pushed that button to launch this campaign the weight of this business was thrown on my shoulders and I felt every ounce of it. I immediately became petrified of failure. It took a day or two and some conversations with trusted people before I could truly relax and put things into perspective.
Yes, this campaign is important. The truth is that it won’t make or break this company but it will give us a real good shot at creating Warlocks on our terms. When you get your money from an investor that investor then becomes a partner. In other words you have to end up compromising your vision. If you get your money from a bank you are tied down financially and have to pay back more than you borrowed. The more money we can get from this crowd funding campaign the better. The jury is still out on how important this campaign will ultimately be.
We have a lot of work to do regardless of whether we reach our goal in this campaign or not. I honestly look forward to the work. The day that I don’t have work to do for Warlocks Games and Beer will be a very sad day.
So, if you haven’t figured it out yet, this weekend will be one of the most important in my life because we have a booth at the convention with one goal in mind. To gain fans, friends , and campaign contributors. It’s going to be fun. See you at the con.
On top of all that, this is my first Comicpalooza.
Special thanks to Terry Jones, Jessica Niess, and Jason Danforth.