January 1st. Saturday. 2022. What a year, between COVID continuing to take over the world and American Butchers JERKi continuing to steamroll donations across the world, it’s been a relatively eventful year, to say the least. It’s hard to believe that we started American Butchers JERKi just when the world was starting to shut down and I was looking for something to continue to entertain me and provide a challenge during a very dull point in people's lives. Isolation. Lack of Community. All factors played a tremendous role in building what we have today.
As we step over to 2022 and we look at the total contribution that we have made as a community towards the men and women currently serving overseas, the impact that our community has provided, all by a little Taste of Home, we find it to be quite an accomplishment together.
All of these Founder’s Logs start with an opportunity to look back into the past week, month, year to take a second and reflect. Reflect on the good that has happened and sometimes a chance to look into the bad. It’s safe to say that this has been a journey, to say the least. I chuckle writing this at the number of times I’ve promised to keep these founder Logs to a weekly basis but can’t seem to stay true to that. I think it has something to do with not progressing the business forward.
Some weeks the grind train is moving and we go above and beyond. Coming up with new ideas, working on new outputs and new opportunities and I think, when those ideas go south and the results we had anticipated to receive end up fizzling out, that is when our train comes to a complete stop. These logs come in all shapes and sizes from a verbal Podcast form that you might have been listing to or a written typed-out version like this one and, honestly, sometimes I throw both together to give a vocal reread over what I typed. The one thing about typing this out, it seems to help get the thoughts out on paper more than sitting there with a live recording trying to figure out what to say next.
It’s all about manifesting your destiny. Now I’m not talking about some 3rd dimension voodoo-type stuff here. I’m talking about seeing the things you want in life and seizing the opportunity to take them. Let me give an example. American Butchers JERKi last week was still banking on Google Ads and other marketing techniques to help share awareness and gain some impact for what we as an organization are doing because, if I’m being honest and not wanting to toot our own horn, we are doing some pretty awesome things between supporting American Agriculture by purchasing beef locally to the end goal of supporting our deployed Armed Forces. I can’t say that for somebody like Jack Links or some other grocery store beef jerky.
To make a long story short, I went ahead and reached out to a few news outlets ourselves. I kept it local, reaching out to tv stations and late-night news. I’m talking about the ones that your grandparents are watching at 2200 each night to find out about “What's happening in Nebraska.” I decided to reach out to 4 and built up the reach each time. Started local, then went to the region, then when to the state news, and soon found myself shooting an email to FoxNews (why fox? I don't know, CNN didn’t have a Good News Point of Contact). All with the information of a Good News Story. There had been so much negativity going on around the world that I figured a story like American Butchers JERKi would resonate well with the people.
I searched through each of their websites looking for a “Contact Us” opportunity to share News and found a generic email “News@….” Figured this couldn’t hurt and was a place to start. I opened with a little story about what we were doing, who we are supporting, and how many bags we’ve been sending overseas and finally added a little bow on top with a few pictures of the Men and Women serving overseas with our Taste of Homes. Well unbenounced to me for about 3 days, we gained 2 new followers from people in the newsrooms. A story or something might not ever happen but whomever you are that read our email and gave us a follow, welcome to American Butchers JERKi, and thanks for the follow! Hope you stick around and thanks for the support!
It’s stories like this that make American Butchers JERKi’s foundation roots worth something. Reading countless other stories and listening to podcasts from other founders with each highlighting the most enjoyment they experienced in their business was the beginning when the grind was real and the goal of finding out who you are as a business and where you can fit yourself in was the biggest joy they had so far.
The future is a crazy thing and often we can’t predict what’s about to happen. However, it does go hand-in-hand with that whole “manifest your own destiny” stuff from earlier. We work hard, set goals, and take steps in the right direction and many, not today, maybe not tomorrow, or many not in a month but one day we’ll look back and realize that we’ve been walking for a hundred miles. For us that million-mile goal is to reach 1000 bags donated overseas and as we near our 2nd anniversary in May and take a look at what we’ve accomplished already (675 bags donated) that 1000 bag goal is getting closer and closer.
Cheers to 2022 and for 2021… thank you for the memories.