Mikey Scott has been harassing me for a column like a loan shark who’s owed money. Which is funny, cause normally that’s my job—harassing assholes who owe me words. To be honest, I’ve been struggling with this whole blog business. I have a problem saying “no” to new projects I think are worthwhile and interesting, even though I absolutely know that I don’t have the time and/or brainpower to fully commit to them. I’ve got five skate mags, four snow mags, two fashion mags and now a new travel/surf mag to get off the ground, plus two huge skate events, so I really shouldn’t be telling Mike that “the column’s in the mail” so to speak. Cause it’s not. It’s sitting in a “to do” pile that’s 10 feet high that has become self-aware. I also suspect it’s plotting to kill me.
Anyhow, now this column is biting me in the ass because I think Mr. Scott is mad at me, and that’s no good.
“I don’t know what to write about, it all seems pretty self indulgent to me, dude,” I told him last time I saw him and he accosted me for not giving him a column.
“Talk about starting the business, what makes you want to do it, etc. People find that stuff interesting,” he encouraged.
I get asked fairly often “Ryan, how did you start King Shit?” To which I politely answer, “Well, I got shit canned.” Given, I mostly use that answer cause it makes people uncomfortable, and more often than not it saves me from going into the long backstory of explaining the nuts and bolts of getting a business off the ground. Unless you’re a business type, you’re not going to find that shit interesting. The “how” part is kinda boring. The “why” is a little more intriguing.
I won’t go into the gory details of it, but it wasn’t a “nice” departure from my former employer. Like everyone who gets the boot from a job they’ve put years of their life and a lot of heart and soul into, it fucking sucked. Big time. I was very, very, very mad at a lot of people I didn’t just consider co-workers, but friends. It’s a lot like getting dumped by your significant other. You get caught up in that wheel of pity and self-doubt and insecurity. “I THOUGHT I WAS AWESOME, BUT I GUESS I MUST SUCK?”
Wah, wah, wah.
So after half a year of doing other random projects, I decided instead of being bummed and going and getting a regular job that I’m sure I would have been miserable at, I was just gonna take a chance and start my own thing. Mostly it was out of spite, if I’m being completely honest. One of those stabby “OH YEAH, YOU THINK I SUCK? WELL FUCK YOU!” kind of moments.
But it was, at its core, more of a decision to finally do something on my own. Something I’d have complete creative control over, and not be holden to three or four superiors for every decision.That was why being at my old job wasn’t fun anymore, and why I was miserable and probably why I got shitcanned in the first place. It wasn’t where I wanted to be and it wasn’t what I wanted to do—but hey, it’s paying the bills and it’s easy, so why leave, right?
Sometimes you need a kick in the ass. And there’s no bigger kick in the ass than “WE DON’T WANT YOU TO WORK HERE ANYMORE” to make you reassess where you’re at with your life and what’s important to you. Cause let’s face it, it’s easy to get stuck in a comfortable rut that’s paying the bills and isn’t too time consuming or demanding, especially in the skate/snow industry where shit is super laid back and partying is considered working. But living in a rut isn’t living. Change is part of life, and if you can’t get comfortable with that, then you’re always gonna be a victim of circumstance, crying about life being unfair.
It’s taken me a while to come to that realization, but it’s a good one. I’m even friendly with the people who shitcanned me now. Cause I know if they didn’t do what they did, I wouldn’t be where I am today—busy as shit, but totally fucking happy with my work.
I’ve had to shit can a few people myself in the last four years, now that I’m “the boss”. It sucks, always does, always will. But having been there before and actually having benefitted from the situation has helped me appreciate the other side of it and handle things a little more delicately. I try to be encouraging, telling them the story of me starting King Shit.
“Just don’t start a skate, snow, fashion or travel/surf mag, dude. I’ll fucking destroy you.”