A very good year

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brian_clareyby Brian Clarey

It’s fast, man.

When you get on the weekly grind, the days tick off like sidewalk tiles and next week starts before this week ends.

The old papers are starting to pile up here in the Triad City Beat offices, nearly 100 issues out so far — this one is No. 97, if you must know. I’m amazed at the covers taped to the office wall, each one in its own way a tiny goddamn miracle, and awed by the opportunity to contribute to this body of work.

I’m pretty sure we weren’t supposed to make it this far. Our operation was too small, we didn’t have enough capital, the market was too saturated. I knew all too well the challenges of launching a business — a newspaper of all things, in 2014! — and there were plenty of naysayers around to fill me in on some of the ones I hadn’t thought of. And truth be told, if we knew how hard this was gonna be, we might not have done it.

I am as proud of the journalism TCB has brought to the Triad in 2015 — and man, my guys killed it this year — as I am of the business that we’re growing around the paper.

But we had to. Because behind the braying of the haters, genuine support came from all quarters, telling us that we could do it. We should do it. Someone needed to build a better mousetrap. Why not us?

And we knew that if we didn’t, then nobody else would.

So here we are, a full eight quarters in business and a two-year anniversary just a few weeks out. It’s crazy, I know.

This year differed from the last in that we’ve had some time to find our groove, to further align our processes with workflow and the general atmosphere of the cities we cover. To watch this symbiosis develop has been a beautiful thing.

I am as proud of the journalism TCB has brought to the Triad in 2015 — and man, my guys killed it this year — as I am of the business that we’re growing around the paper. I came into this after a career of working for other people, bringing almost no business experience save for a decade or so behind the bar and a lot of hours at the poker table.

I’m just starting to feel around the edges of the concept of owning a business, the weight of it, what it means. It’s heavy stuff, man.

But it looks like we’ve carried it across another milestone, arbitrary as it may be, and some reflection is appropriate.

It’s been challenging. Exhilarating. Terrifying. Maddening. Some weeks I think I can barely stand it.

But like I said, it goes by fast.