Major Announcement - Taking a Break
By Justin Poublon
September 21, 2020 - 12:38 PM CST | 297 0
I have decided to stop the membership paywall on WISCONSINWX.COM. The $4.99 membership fee HAS ENDED for existing members effective immediately. I will be issuing refunds for what's left on yearly membership's. Here's the story.
In recent months I've totally lost interest in weather forecasting. Most days I can't even touch it and doesn't feel right to continue down this path. It's shocking shift because I was so convinced. I'm not operating at the level I use to. I cannot find the energy to continue down this path and need to make a change. I feel like god is pushing me in a different direction.
I need to do the right thing. It's time to take a break.
I can't point to a single cause, reason, or excuse. Many things going 180. Very slow storm season. When COVID hit my life changed drastically. Life pivoted around me and I started questioning everything. I'm a one man show. I can't handoff my responsibilities when I need a break. Today, six months later...I feel like an entirely different person. Perhaps when the money got involved everything went to hell? I think it's a sign from god that maybe I should try something else. In the same way god gave me strength to pursue this in the past; god can take it away. It doesn't mean I have to give up on the whole thing all-together. I will apply patience, observation, and hope for the best! Time heals everything.
Wisconsinwx.com - What To Expect
Here is the list of changes effective immediately...
- PAYWALL REMOVAL - The $4.99 monthly membership fee (including $54 yearly) has been CANCELED. Members should no longer be billed. Refunds will be issued for what's left on yearly memberships. At the time of writing this cancelation process is in progress and might take 24 hours. Hopefully the good news of not having to pay anymore will offset the change in services provided. Please contact me directly if you have any problems.
- ON AUTO-PILOT. While I take my break, everything on wisconsinwx.com will be automated. NWS warnings will still go out. Nothing really changes except the new registration hold, ending of monthly forecasts, and lack of storm updates/blog posts. If there is a big storm coming I may send out information, blog post, or storm updates. Don't count on it. I want to feel it out.
- REGISTRATION HOLD - No new memberships until I can figure out the next step that will cover the cost of operation. I can handle the cost of 50 members.
- Monthly forecasts will STOP. I want to reassess my strategy. Monthlies give me anxiety when things don't go as predicted. There might be a different way of doing it.
One Year Later
Last year I quit my job to do this full time. I have no regrets! For the first 3 months - into early 2020 - and prior to COVID things were perfect! No question it was the right move for me. I developed Wisconsin's first subscription based weather service for anyone & everyone. Having members who contribute monthly to pursue my dreams was truly amazing! I'm thankful at the deepest level! Such an unbelievable feeling!
However, I feel I have a deeper commitment when members are paying for it. If I'm not meeting my end of the commitment[100% all-in], change is needed. I must be honest with you.
I always wanted to be the "expert". Be knowledgeable in something. For the past 10 years this was all I aspired to. I think younger generations missed the point, myself included. All about making money and buying your freedom. I thought I could live in this moment forever, chasing storms for a living, and do that until the end. Change seems to be the only real constant. When growth becomes stagnant, it dies. I feel I accomplished everything I wanted. Maybe I have nothing left to do?
Meteorologists predict the future. We build the context around a projected [but unknown] outcome. Something always goes wrong. In the wrong mindset all you see are the failures. I would say's probably my problem right now. I can't let go of the inaccuracies. Attitude is more negative than positive.
Part of me wants to feel what it's like to experience the weather like everyone else. Without my own projection/prediction of what it should be. Just to let it go and let things happen. Walk out the door and be surprised that it's raining, or sunny, warm or cold. When it snows; get 10" and be thrilled not disappointed because my forecast called for 12". Now is my chance to get away from the computer desk. I want to live a more active lifestyle. I want to build something with my hands, to see my work yield some physical result. Perhaps doing that for several months will clear my mind.
This is not the end. Nothing wrong with taking a step back to reassess. I bet there is a better way of doing this that is more beneficial to everyone than the membership fee.
I want to continue developing WISCONSINWX.COM. I will definitely continue storm chasing if good opportunities arise. I won't force the marginal situations anymore. You can watch my adventures on youtube page. Storm chasing has always been my primary passion. Weather forecasting was the means to an end [came as a result of storm chasing]. I will still chase storms. If nothing else, I want to simplify back to the singularity that started my journey.
Regarding the website specifically, here's some ideas I have...
- Return to free-memberships, free-giving mode of operation in my free time. Try to tap back into that god given energy. May not work but it's start.
- Advertising. As much as I hate it; perhaps this could cover the cost of operation. The $4.99 fee included my expertise & full-time employment...with that aspect removed advertising becomes a realistic option. Nothing decided yet.
- Give it some time and space. Come back when the time is right with reinforcements. Return to former glory.
THANK YOU for supporting my dreams over the years! What a ride it's been! I won't forget all we've accomplished together. Please understand; I wish I didn't have to do this and it makes me sad to undo what I spent so many months building. I know in my heart this is the right move. I hope it's not over and wish to return to former glory in the future!
Take care, friends and hope to talk to you soon
Justin Poublon (JP)