Let this be my testimony, and a history that will be told to future generations of Nodballs all over the world, so that we may look back with joyful nostalgia, learn from the lessons endured, and move forward into a fulfilling, prosperous future.
The long and short of it is— I’m leaving Nodball Media and handing over ownership to my fellow admin and the man who built the tech that holds the place together, Taylor Karras. It’s a difficult, but necessary decision that will allow me to pursue my calling, and allow Taylor to take Nodball out of hibernation and fulfill it’s purpose going forward.
It’s a Long Story…
When I started the adventure of creating Nodball in August of 2019, I can easily admit that I had almost no idea what I was doing. I went to a PodHouston (podcast networking group in Houston, TX) meetup and a man named Greg Russel was doing a presentation on podcasting and business opportunities in the medium. That night, I decided to take action and create my own space on the internet. Several days and many hours of brainstorming on a name later— Nodball was born.
As nonsensical a word as it my seem, it’s just a simple mashup of nerd+oddball. back then, I envisioned a website for people just like me— nerdy, silly, and just enough crazy to make things fun. Our fist tagline was “we are the nerd culture.” I had some MASSIVE ambitions. I wanted to get a group of nerdy podcasts together, start my own, write tons of articles on things myself and a few friends of enjoyed and cared about (shoutout to Sandy, RJ, Ashley, Ethan and John!) and whatever else I could come up with to take the nerd culture by storm.
I had some good momentum going for about two months, then, the burnout hit. It stopped being fun. I quickly learned some hard lessons about trying to take on the world as an army of one. I wasn’t alone, but everything was on me. I was writing and editing my own stuff, editing every other submission, trying to launch a podcast, market the website, run several social media accounts— it was a classic case of doing too much and working myself into the ground.
I discovered that I didn’t have the drive to create the next big thing in nerd culture. What I saw growing in its place was a love for the independent music scene, and by extension, all of the amazing things I was seeing independent creators of all kinds doing. Like any good entrepreneur does when things are going to hell in a handbasket, I pivoted. I took Nodball in a new creative direction and scaled down the operation to something I thought would be more manageable.
I was still doing too much. And then I had to go back to the pipeline.
A lot of plans got put on hold while I went back to work as a surveyor on a pipeline project. By day, I was “fundraising,” working my 9-5 (really it’s more of a 6am-6pm in that line of work, six days a week, no less). By night, working on the 2020: Into the Fire Podcast and cranking out articles whenever I could afford to go without sleep. From the beginning, the plan was to save as much as I could so that I could make a serious run at making Nodball work. During that job, I was approached by Taylor, who was running the blog Nerdazine. We were in very similar situations— doing too much and trying to go it alone. So we decided two brains are better than one and joined forces.
Taylor is a genius at making the tech work. He even built a self-hosted podcast network from scratch. I knew that he could take the tech work out of my less-capable hands and let me do what I do best— make podcasts and work on the business side of things. He can crank out articles at the speed of light, so we finally started having content again. The problem was, I still couldn’t devote the time needed to do any one thing well, and things started to slow down again.
Even after the job ended and I came back home, I forced the blog into hibernation while we got clear on the vision/mission of Nodball and started working on creating a real brand with a defined direction and a powerful message. In the last several months, 2020: Into The Fire was launched and completed, the branding work was going smoothly, but without much content to speak of aside from the podcast, marketing was all but impossible. Content, promotion and social media became a complete afterthought while I sank into a depression over the winter and went into a long process of rediscovering myself and reigniting my drive to succeed and move forward.
Where Do We Go From Here?
What do I want? What impact do I really want to make in the world? The love for independent artists never went away— it’s only gotten stronger through the amazing connections I made with so many incredible artists while producing the podcast. I’d had an idea brewing for a long time— for something I could put together to help independent musicians to build a bulletproof foundation and find success without record labels.
Over time, I had to admit that’s where my heart really is. I love Nodball. I invented the name and everything it stands for. However, I’ve outgrown it. My vision for what I want to do and where I want to go is no longer aligned with what Nodball is and should be. I realized I don’t need a brand name… I AM the brand. The brand I was building was me, my spiritual vision and the powerful message I have for independent artists. Nodball is, and will continue to be about proving to the world that independent creators of all kinds deserve to be acknowledged, celebrated, and supported— just in a different way.
So where do we go from here?
Nodball will soldier on. Taylor has some great ideas and I’m confident he’ll find a way to make this place into the amazing community it deserves to be. I’ll keep advising and collaborating with Taylor from time to time, so I’m not disappearing completely. I want Nodball to be a success and I’ll do what I can to make sure that happens.
As for where I go from here on out… I have a vision to fulfill, a message to share, and a new business to get up and running. My dream is to empower and inspire the next generation of independent artists. Of course, I’ll help all you more established acts too if you need a level-up in your business 🙂
I know I can help artists form an unshakable mindset, summon the might and will to push through the challenges, and build the foundation that their creative business needs for them to find their audience and create a movement that will change the world for the better. I’m embarking on a new adventure to make an impact in the independent music world, and I hope you’ll join me, as well as join Nodball as Taylor and I work toward a future where Independent artists will find all the success they deserve and desire.
I’ll always treasure the memories I made starting this journey, the lessons I learned, the character built inside me, and all the wonderful people I’ve met along the way. It’s been a pleasure, an honor, and a privilege to be a part of this experience, and I hope what I’ve created here has informed, inspired or entertained you in some small way.
Take care, and I’ll see you soon.