Updated: Jun 24, 2022
We've always been a transparent company. Let's get real.
I am a competitor.
I remember losing a baseball game when I was 7 years old and I was devastated. From little league through college football, I have lost a disgusting amount of games. I was upset about each one. "It's not the end of the world." "You'll get them next time." "It wasn't your fault." I have heard it all.
While those sentiments may be intended for encouragement, the truth is that losing still sucks. True competitors don't really care about the reason they lose. They just hate losing. I hate losing.
There are plenty of excuses as to why businesses, especially in the hobby, have been struggling here in 2022. Every time I hear those reasons, the competitor in me says "it won't stop me." My job is to figure out how to overcome problems and keep the Brothers In Cards train on the tracks. As hard as I work to beat those issues, it feels like I am losing right now.
We have tried several marketing tactics to help us reach more customers. We have gone to a dozen card shows so far in 2022 to meet new people and build new relationships (we love shows and will 100% keep going!). We have continued to provide the service we believe in - giving collectors an opportunity to rip hobby packs without paying absurd hobby box prices. We have fought to keep our prices the same over the last year, despite the fact that shipping and supplies costs have gone up. We will keep holding the line on this front as well.
I feel like we have winning strategies. We are calling the right plays. We just haven't been able to escape losing in a while. The activity in our eBay auctions is still not where we want it. For the 4th straight month, we have had a decrease in sales for our subscription box. And that's after an underwhelming start to the year, which is typically a boost. It has been frustrating and hard to accept. I am always excited to start a new month, but honestly, the loss from June still stings. I am hungry as ever to get back in the win column.
Every time we announce the new month's lineups, I feel like I get the ball in my hands for another drive. We have BIG plans for July's program (stay tuned). However, as losses pile up, so does the pressure to get things going the right way. I am up for it - I understood these types of risks before I decided to start my own business. July was our worst month in 2021 and we really need that to not be the case here in 2022.
The feeling of failure has been eating at me for the last few days. I usually feel better after I can organize my thoughts through writing. I decided to share that with the Brothers In Cards family in this article.
I am still very proud of the Brothers In Cards brand.
We stand for brotherhood in the hobby. We stand for integrity and positivity.
While failure has been difficult for my Enneagram 3 self to accept, I recognize that we are all in this together. Many other businesses are also having to deal with the current state of the economy. It may effect us all in different ways, but there are problems to be overcome for all of us. I encourage you to focus on supporting your favorite brands in anyway you can over the next few months.
We have learned so much here in these last few months. We are reminded of our core and that we serve a greater purpose than selling sports cards.
I am reminded of one of my favorite verses:
"Do not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time, you will reap a harvest if you do not give up." Galatians 6:9
We will continue to be a source of good and positivity.
We will never stop grinding and pursuing success.
While I hate losing with a passion, I value relationships more than dollars or wins. We have been so blessed by the hundreds of friendships we have accrued through this hobby - and we are looking forward to many more!
I am hopeful, optimistic, and confident that this season of failure will end.
We can't wait to share our successes with all of you.