Punching 2019 in the face: March edition

Well, it’s time to recap the month of March. It’s the end of the first quarter…let’s check the punching-2019-in-the-face score!

Goal 1

Make a useful profit from the Hufflepuffery Etsy shop.

When we checked in on February, things weren’t going so well. In the shop’s fourth month of existence, the initial trickle of sales slowed to a mere drip. But I had reason to expect sales to come back around.

There were two recently released products — a personalized Ilvermorny acceptance letter and a nifty cherry wood wand — that I hoped would draw in some revenue. (Sadly, they didn’t…but in time, they may.) And I had high hopes for a new product that was in development.

The new product, which took me longer to launch than I anticipated, didn’t hit the shop until mid-March. But when it did, its success lifted everything else up. Visits to the shop are up 84% over February. Sales and revenue are up by 366% and 383%, respectively. We’re not talking big money here by any means (especially considering how low the baseline was), but it is enough to get some supplies I need and have a little profit left over.

So what’s the new product that has been doing so well? A personalized, printable Hogwarts acceptance letter.

It’s amazing the difference just having something people want can make in a business. 🙂 For April, I’m working on some more new products, hoping to get something seasonal ready in time to catch some Easter buyers. We’ll see how it goes.

Goal 2

Get the FAR Western roleplaying system ready to be seen and used by people other than myself.

Oof! Haven’t done anything at all on building the FAR Western game.

However, I have been roleplaying regularly — check out my posts on the Marvel Superheroes RPG — and having hella fun. Even if it’s not productive, it’s still positive. Why did I want to build my own tabletop RPG system in the first place? Because I love roleplaying games! So playing them is never a bad thing.

Goal 3

Go shooting a lot more often.

No progress on this one…again. Partly because I have no money for ammunition, but also because weather was a problem.

You know how that famous groundhog predicted an early spring? Well, we got absolutely buried in snow between Groundhog Day and mid-March. Coming home from a visit to friends on the other side of the state, normally a 6 to 7 hour drive, took TWO FULL DAYS. Heading into April, after a couple weeks of normal spring temperatures, there’s still unmelted snow on the ground.

This is what happens when people take weather advice from oversized rodents. Never again, you Punxsutawney Fraud! (Although, to be fair, he is in Pennsylvania, and maybe spring actually sprang over there on the other side of the country.)

We’ll see what April brings. I really want to get the wife and daughter some time on the new AR-15. I think they’re going to love it.

Goal 4

Write a short story every week.

Thanks to the active roleplaying campaign, I actually made a bit of progress here. Didn’t write every week, but I did write some: two Marvel-related vignettes, both in the same week. The game inspired my kids to do some writing too, so that surely also counts for something.

Goal 5

Get my finances in order so that I can buy a house.

A big part of this is simply bringing in more money. A single professional job does not cut the mustard in this economy. The Etsy shop will eventually help. And I’ve got a freelance copy editing gig that should last two or three months; I plan to sock that money away and start getting my savings back up to snuff.

The wife hopped on the wagon, too. She’s been taking inventory of our food storage and staples and doing meal planning so that we can make the grocery budget stretch farther. So far it hasn’t saved a lot, but even a little bit helps — and we’ve been eating a LOT better, which is a good thing in itself.

So…progress. Small steps, but steps nonetheless.

Punching-2019-in-the-face rating

3 out of 5.
Maybe 3.5 if I’m being generous, but maybe only 2 or 2.5 if I’m being judgmental. 3 splits the difference.

It’s time for attack mode.

As the fourth quarter of this contest ends, both sides have landed some punches. After a poor showing in January and February, I need to make up some ground, but it’s still anybody’s game. 2019 hasn’t escaped being punched in the face yet.

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