If you have known me any length of time, then you know TMD is a one-man show. Yes! I have help with research and masters. However, it’s just me doing the casting and shipping. You may also know that — like most of us — I have personal struggles. Unfortunately, in my case, because I am the only ‘laborer’ around here, when I get caught in those struggles, they have an immediate and sometimes severe affect on TMD. Well, we need to have a chat about my struggles.
I was supposed to release my next series of new products for Takom’s M3 Lee/Grant kits two weeks ago. Then I moved the release date to this weekend. Well, I know some of you will be disappointed with me, but I am going to move the release to January 26. Now let me tell you why.
There are three things I wish I could change about myself, and they are all related. In fact, they tend to feed each other until I wake up one day and find I have dug myself into a big hole again. When that happens, I start feeling like I should just give up and quit. I have had to be very careful to watch this since I took TMD back. SO far, I’ve managed to avoid this cycle — but just barely. Now I think I am closer to the edge since the last time I fell over it. You may remember the last time. I ended up selling TMD to my brother and walking away.
First, I struggle with several personal distractions that, if I am not very careful, get me in trouble with TMD. First, I ah a modeler’s version of ADD: I am interested in W-A-Y too many things. As a result, I can easily find my attention torn between so many subjects that I lose focus on the one thing that pays my bills: 1/35 scale armor!
Second, I have a bad habit of making promises without thinking. This is actually one of my worse traits. It is borne from a sincere desire to serve others and make them happy. Unfortunately, it usually ends up in disappointing people instead. This is why I pushed the M3 Lee releases back again. I have been starting to put pressure on myself by making promises I haven’t been able to keep.
Finally, I hate stupidity, hypocrisy and failure — especially in myself. I can overlook and easily forgive it in others, but not myself. So, when the pressure to keep up with the things I have stupidly placed on myself starts to make me see myself as being stupid, and a hypocrite and — worse of all — making me fail you, my customer, I start in a downward emotional spiral that makes me want to quit and walk away. Yes, it is partially self-pity. No, it is not depression, at least, not in the serious form with which so many of my friends struggle. I’d never suggest such a thing. But it is also borne of a sincere desire and drive to do more than I should try to do. And that is what leads to failure: because I cannot do everything I promise.
Well, I have been slowly sliding toward the edge of this personal abyss once again, and I do not want to fall over it. Not again.
Now, I have grown a bit the past few years, but not much. It’s been just enough to see the train coming at me and not much more. Still, I have grown enough to see that I need to find ways to keep from putting pressure on myself — so that TMD stays fun for me and I stay in the game. After spending the last two weeks thinking about how to do this, here is what I have decided to do, and in this order:
1 — Push back any new releases until the next regular new release date (Jan 26, 2018).
2 — Finish shipping the outstanding orders from 2017.
3 — Handle all customer service issues remaining from 2018
4 — Answer all unanswered email.
5 — Set a work routine, where I cast and ship in the morning, master after lunch and handle administrative issues in the evening.
6 — Start working on those structural problems I have identified, like making the web site easier to use, building a more visible image for TMD on the internet and finding new pattern makers to help me expand TMD’s product line.
Naturally, all of this will take time and a great deal of effort. I will need to keep focused and work on my self-discipline. I’ll also need to find and accept help wherever I can find it. You can help me with this. If you think you see me slipping, let me know. I’d prefer a private email, but if you think you need to call me out publicly, I get it. I’ll do my best to accept such warnings as sincere attempts to help me stay on track. If I can get myself to do all of this, and you help me watch myself, I think I can move away from the edge of my personal abyss and put TMD in a better position than it has ever been in — ever! I hope you’ll help, or — at the very least — be patient with me while I fix TMD by fixing me 🙂
THAT IS ALL
OK, enough listening to me blubber. Go have fun and, until next time, stay safe and try to build something (preferably something using TMD resin).