I would have been content with 100 reads by the end of 2009.
When Brent Johnson and I launched the then “B&B Entertainment Blog” in late September 2009, I thought no one would ever read the site, nor would the two of us, with our busy schedules, be able to maintain it.
Yet, here we are four years, yes, four years later. It still blows my mind and this isn’t some roundabout humble brag, no, this is me, four years later still wondering how the hell all of this happened.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. No, our original intentions with the site were purely selfish. It was about two guys who were frustrated with their jobs and missed writing about pop culture like they did in college. It wasn’t about anyone else but us.
Yet, here we are four years later with 20 or so people writing for us plus three outstanding photographers on staff.
And that’s what has made Pop-Break so great for me as the dude who runs things behind the scenes — the people.
I’m not going to lie … the 1.4 million views worldwide, all the people we’ve interviewed, all the events we’ve attended and the recognition we’ve received has been amazing. It’s the cat’s meow for sure.
However, in my book, the cat’s pajamas always outranks the cat’s meow and these feline pajamas belong to the staff of Pop-Break. Yes, that might be a really, really awkward and weird sentiment, but it’s true.
The staff of Pop-Break is second to none. They’re a group of hungry, talented, wonderful writers and photographers who don’t see a dime for their work. Some of these people have been writing for me as long as the site has existed and yet, not one red cent has ever been asked of me.
It’s this fact that continues to blow my mind, even more so than this site being around as long as it has. It’s also this fact that motivates me to keep on striving further and further for this site — even during my darkest of hours when I feel like throwing my hands up and thinking it’s not worth it anymore. It’s always the people who bring me back to Pop-Break.
When it comes to the staff, I’m not just their “boss.” To me, I’m a proud papa bear who has seen many of his writers, whom he plucked out of college, become adults (true story – most of them were not 21) and get a full-time job. The fact they put my site on their resume and sometimes even used me as a reference makes me so proud. And like I said earlier, this was never my intention. I never expected anyone to ever get work because of me (true story – I’ve got my last two paying jobs because of this site).
And it’s even more than that. I’ve seen great friendships grow out of this site. I’ve seen people help each other find work, seen them collaborate with each other on projects outside of the site and yes, of course, there was some flirtation to…you know who you are you crazy kids.
All of this means a lot to me. During the past 365 days, I’ve had four jobs, gone through tons of medical issues and pretty much have had some of the lowest points of my life. Yet, there was Pop-Break and the staff waiting for me. And sometimes I’ve got to remind myself of how good things on this site are. When you’ve had as much success on a completely grass roots scale as we have, you want more. You want bigger and better and you want it now. In the past year the goals I had set for this site were not met. I wanted this to be the banner year for us, half a million views a month, money starting to roll in, etc. This hasn’t happened and as the dude behind the scenes I tend to blame myself for all of this. Why didn’t I make this happen? Then I take a moment, look at what we’ve accomplished, look what we have on the horizon and I see the excitement people have and I realize that even though I didn’t accomplish everything I’ve set out to do, there’s another 365 days ahead of me to do it.
So to the staff of Pop-Break — thank you for always making me believe in what we can do. Thank you for helping us get to four years. Thank you for being a part of this wild ride. I can’t wait to see what the next year bring us.