By Justin Poublon
November 12, 2019 - 11:47 AM CST | 111 0
BIG NEWS - I QUIT MY JOB!
On Sep 27, 2019 (~46 days ago) I became a professional storm chaser and meteorologist.
For a very long time I've struggled with how to break the news to you. I tried recording a video. I hinted at it a few times. I know some of you caught on. I've been grinding away and didn't want it to come off insincere or lacking in passion. I just couldn't find the right words or the right time; until today.
If you don't know me; My name is Justin Poublon(JP). I'm 28 years old. Happily married. Two boys; 2yr & 3 mo. I was born and raised on a small farm south of Oshkosh, WI. Wisconsin is where I Iive. I love it here, it's my home, and it's where I plan to spend the rest of my life.
I earned my Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 2013. My degree is in Earth Sciences - Geology but I didn't realize my calling was atmospheric until half way through. Out of college I would prioritize getting a job, moving out, and starting a family. The weather thing would have to wait.
I wouldn't give up my college education...but the reality is I am self-taught. Staying up until 2AM writing mapping algorithms or making forecasts while my friends partied. Always researching, developing, and creating my own forecasts . Jumping in my old Ford Taurus to drive half way through Iowa on whim to chase storms. Countless nights driving back late from storm chases dreaming of the future. 95% of what you get with me my personal struggles of trial and error, in a fight against myself. I can't tell you how nervous big snowfall forecasts makes me but I've come to find that's where the rubber meets the road. There's a saying: if it makes you nervous you should probably do it. I'm learning to run towards it.
The traditional pathways (i.e TV/NWS/radio/research) never appealed to me. I was outcast from the start because of my storm chaser label; why I don't understand but it tends to limit the number of people willing to work with me. A victim of society perception I guess but I look at it like - I don't want strings attached and it's probably a sign I need to do my own thing.
I've always felt a need to provide something new/different and go above and beyond doing it.
I don't settle for mediocrity.
I demand the best and take responsibility.
Everything you see is built from scratch to the best of my abilities. Every minute of every day have to swing that axe. Keep hammering away. Every day is a work in progress. I LOVE IT. I'm learning so much!
I quit my job for a few reasons; but mainly because I believe in us 110%. I believe in YOU. I believe we're building something great together. There is room to improve weather communication and create more opportunity.
In my old job; I spent a lot of time thinking about this moment. The first day I quit I felt like everyone else; this is the best thing ever! And it was but I knew I had to get to work. That's what I've been spending my time on these last 46 days. And the work is just beginning!
Self employed! That's awesome! Leaving your comfy job is not ideal financially however. It puts pressure in other areas. It's not easy to replace 50K/yr. But it's okay. That's the way I live my life now: "the biggest risk is not taking one".
I have a plan.
Most professional storm chasers try to get by with storm footage or photography sales. That's why the best often bail for the plains where that stuff is more fruitful. Skills vary from one person to the next so perhaps that's what works best for them. Living in Wisconsin; storm footage opportunities can be very hit or miss. People tended to not give me an opportunity because they wanted it for themselves. Either way I've always known I needed a more stable form of income. That's why I've created the membership service on wisconsinwx.com. For $4.99/mo you can get the highest quality weather forecast experience around, support us, and everything you see here. Again it's a work in progress. We're building a community. Happy to say we're making great progress!
My goal right now is to simply pay the cost of operating the website.(~$70/mo). We are almost there!
What new services come out of this is based on need. Farming. Agriculture. Ice fishing. Severe weather coverage. Whatever the need is I will move to fill it. There is a billion things we could do. You tell me. I have idea's but I'd love to hear your's. The whole weather information landscape is changing. It says a lot about the competitive environment when people are willing to pay when there is free stuff out there. Happy to say we're in a position to take advantage of this opportunity!
I DON'T KNOW if I will be successful in my new journey...
but I believe I will and off to a promising start. My cutoff date is Mar 1, 2020. That's the same day the free trial ends for our 760+ pre-existing wisconsinwx.com members. Mar 1, 2020 will be the day of reckoning. I'm challenging myself by earning your respect & business before that. Will I go get a "real job" if this doesn't work? There is no plan B. I would rather die. That's what you're gonna get with me. Someone going to WAR for you.
I do set some boundaries; i.e the weekends I tend to take a break as I watch the kids. If there is ever a big storm I would work right through the weekend. I've learned that if you are constantly grinding it can lead to burn out. Ask anyone; sometimes you have to set boundaries and take a break. That's the only way this post would have happened.
All I know is that I want to spend my time doing what interests me and I'm passionate about. It just so happens that's the most difficult, challenging, and grindy way imaginable lol. That's what makes life rewarding.
Being present today in this moment.
Knowing tomorrow is never guaranteed.
Living life to the fullest
Holding nothing back
Most importantly - and for you as well - finding a way to bring our unique skills & talents to this world to the best of our ability!
There is no instruction manual.
You have to dive right in and do it the best way you know how! I'm happy to say I've found my place. I know who I am. I know where I belong. I'm here. This is what I live for. And if I fail, at least it's doing something that I love!
My next step is to continue what I'm doing. To keep my head down and keep swinging that axe. I hope to see you on wisconsinwx.com! I'll be there doing everything I can to keep you guys ahead of the storm. :)
Thanks for reading! Hope to talk to you soon! - JP