As many of you are already aware, The Gun Dude’s location in Falls Church has been closed. As businesses go, The Gun Dude was a pretty darn good business. We built a great community of people for a good cause in a nice place. We made real human connections. Sure, we dropped the ball occasionally and not everyone thought we were that great… but the overwhelming majority enjoyed the space and we truly enjoyed most of the folks who walked through the doors.
So, when we made the decision to shutdown, it was a community decision. It was a sad day when I looked at the numbers and had to admit that we could not financially make the model work. Thats hard, it’s like pulling the plug on a living creature. So many people had interests tied to The Dude. Our employees, customers, investors, creditors… Not to mention the five years of personal 110% devotion to a dream that had to be publicly laid to rest. Yeah, some growing up times right there.
The sentimental aspect aside, what a journey! I learned, and continue to learn so much. First, I learned how many people truly cared. Next I learned that planning is crucial to success and understanding the risks so that you can mitigate them. I learned that a new business is wise to establish it’s grow/hold/sell/close metrics at the beginning so the executive team has them available to guide decisions. I say this, because when you are in the trenches it’s hard to be objective. The final months of The Gun Dude very much reminded me of times in the back of the ambulance. Working on a patient, giving it everything you can think of against overwhelming odds all the while deep down knowing you can’t change the outcome, but you try. Similarly the entrepreneur in the throws and passion of driving a business from the ethers to reality, at least in my case, can find it hard to be able to step back and say “Is it time?”.
Well, since you are reading this you probably have the gist of how the story goes. We closed, served our customers to the best of our ability, and now we PIVOT!
What I loved most about The Dude was the people, our customers, our employees, our friends. I realized I still have your email addresses, I still have the website, why not continue to share? That sounds pretty cool.
I told you that, to tell you this…lol… I introduce “The Gun Dude Blog” through which I intend to share the things that I find interesting, useful, and cool. I still have contacts in the firearms industry that bring valuable resources to me that I can share with you. But I come across so many cool things I would love to share.
Read, enjoy, keep an open mind, love each other, and remember…we are all in this together.