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TNX Veteran
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Well, as far as I'm concerned and just about anyone here, if anyone knows him personally, he should know he's got our support as well.

Ordered a few things from the site just now that I've been waiting on purchasing for a while(extended axle shafts, extended brakes, etc.)

Here's to hoping the guy sees better days soon.

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I can only hope that whoever takes over doesn't mess with success.
I spoke with Steve for about an hour last night. His reasons are indeed personal, heartbreaking, and not my story to tell. He is looking at options to avoid shutting it down completely. But, the success part of your comment is a good starting point for my comment, because, I think we all have an ill-conceived vision of what that success is.

My comments below are general, not specific to Steve, but rather about observations I have made over the years of becoming more and more involved. I am no less guilty of the offenses, and for that I am sorry.

We as a very small niche' community need to change. As we all know, aftermarket support for Nissan's is extremely limited. Most of the 4x4 world hardly knows we exist, if they know it all. The vendors we have, have invested their heart, soul, time and money. I know personally some who have invested themselves in the Nissan community so completely that it has caused their personal lives great harm, up to and including lost marriages. I have watched as many (customers) post up on various social media platforms about how they have been inconvenienced or worse because of delayed product delivery, or mistakes that were made. While this can be and is a frustration for many, I ask you all to keep the following in mind.

The vendors we have are small "mom and pop" type businesses, often times, just "pop". They are not a fancy office space with tech people waiting to answer your calls, or operators "standing by".... it's usually just "pop".... busting his ass for us. They are not 12,000 sq ft facilities with shelves full of product just waiting to be shipped out. These are folks who have started in a spare bedroom of their mom’s house, or fabricating in their own garage, working ridiculous numbers of hours fighting to develop and bring products to market, sometimes working a regular job on top of it. They do not have the capital to stock 20 items of everything they offer just hoping one of us will buy it. They are not Summit Racing, Amazon, or 4 Wheel Parts with warehouses and stores all over the country, etc. And we do not drive Jeeps. If we want to be able to thumb through catalogs, pick up the phone, and have our items in a week, we’re driving the wrong truck.

We as Nissan owners are cheap. We complain about prices constantly. We say "I can build it cheaper", or why is this or that so much money. Have you priced armor for Toyota's?.... Our stuff is cheap already. And further, when a manufacturer can make a zillion of something, prices go down, but we will never be in that category.

These guys cannot afford to give us a discount, often times because they are already priced at a point where they hardly make any money if it is a resale, or they are literally fabricating the items one at time themselves. That money is what they live on, and they deserve to make a living. We all work hard for our money, and rightly want the best bang for our buck, but these guys.... They work harder than most, and when you break it down, they work for less, or in the case of event organizers, they work for free. Why? Because they are passionate about what they do, and the community they belong to.

Yet we still complain.

We are all human, we all make mistakes, and we all feel compelled to judge, particularly in this day of internet shopping, next day delivery, instant feedback, and choices beyond reason, we forget. We forget that these folks have laid a great deal of time, energy and personal capital on the line, knowing full well, that they will not get rich. They hope. Let that sink in. They hope they will be able to make a living, buy a home of their own, and actually take a vacation once in a while without having to worry about that latest email from an unhappy, and sometimes ungrateful customer.

My hope is that we as small community that is truly full of really great people can support these fine individuals and their small business dreams with our patronage, so that they can continue to provide us with the many great products we enjoy for many years to come. We must remember that unlike the Jeep or Toyota brands, we belong to a very very small and dwindling community, and these folks have made a huge gamble with every product they develop.

The thing I find most endearing about Nissan owners and wheelers, is the comradery, the friendship, and willingness to help, whether it be here on the forum, or out on the trail. Never in my life did I ever expect a vehicle purchase to bring about the friendships I have found and enjoy now, and those friendships extend from coast to coast. Friends I’ve met here on the forum, and at events like Gone Moab.

I hope that the probable loss of a vendor such as Rugged Rocks will give us pause, to step back, think, and then rally around those people, and businesses that we do have. And to remember, that behind the glossy websites we peruse while grumbling about the lack of options, are people. People who cared enough to dream, and take the chance to make our community better.

Please join me in thanking Steve for all he has done and sacrificed, and wishing him well in whatever it is he needs to do for himself. He is a great man.
 

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Thank you all for the kind words, support and business over the years.
Since announcing this last week, a few businesses have reached out to me that simply don't want to see my efforts go away. I included would like to see RR live on even if I'm not the guy behind the curtain. I'm even considering taking a very very back seat in the business provided someone else can run it. So, I'm hoping to work something out with one of them but anything can happen at this point.

For now I am still taking orders, I do have a large backlog orders and I'm trying not to freak out about it. I'm trying to breath a little.
Here is the inside scoop as of last Monday.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10161598485370471&id=528590470

For the individuals who don't have access to facebook;

My dilemma and how I got here.

When I started Rugged Rocks, my plan was to get away from working in computers for a few years. It was a shift in focus into a space where I felt I had a purpose. It was the perfect mix of computers, (building the website managing a server, VoIP phone system, digital marketing, SEO, etc), filling a void in a niche market, and the love of wheeling and building trucks etc.

I also started Rugged Rocks with a very open mind of: if it sinks it sinks, and if it floats it floats. But over time, I became more stubborn in making it work, I spent more and more time on building the business. And made myself more and more available for longer hours and through many avenues, email, phone, Facebook, Instagram, Skype, and on over 20 forums/message boards via public posts and PM's, etc.

It had a few good years where I was working on new product that a lot of people cared about. I felt like I was doing a good thing and maintained my personal freedom and guilt free camping trips and free time, (even if it was a single bike ride at lunch or an early AM jog), I was happy and found my happy place. My purpose at the time. I met Tara Risner and life was grand. I brought her into the Nissan wheeling world and we hand countless good times and adventures.
Over time this niche market essentially didn't need me anymore and I've been in it so long it's hard to let it go. For me and my life I need to let it go, but I don't want to shut it down write it off as a failure. Instead I'm shutting it down and taking the things I've learned with me. But in the end I've lost my purpose. I've felt lost for a long time. But I kept plugging away trying to force this to still be my place, but it's not. I'm still moving parts. But its not the same. I'm capable of a lot of things and my current role with rugged rocks is simply sales. I'm not a sales man, I was meant to build stuff, and think outside the box. Invent. These days I have a lot of anger and frustration with it. Its brought a lot of joy to my life but the anger and frustration I've had the last few years overflowed into my personal life.I tried pinpointing my issues at the time and pointed it at a lot of the wrong things. About a year ago, I broke. I had a full breakdown after trying to hold it all together. Myself, my relationship, the company. I essentially chucked it all out the window. I was sitting at the top of mammoth mountain when i was flooded with emotion and was just simply was trying to relax. I allowed myself to feel and really think. Everything just hit me at once. A disfunctionional me, a broken marriage, and a whole lot of upset and disappointed people. I really royally truly ****ed up my personal life. (Sorry mom, curse words seemed to fit here), It's taken me a long time to come around and make real true sense of things. I've been digging deep trying figure out what I should have done different years ago. Oddly enough the rugged rocks server going off line while I was out of town, should been a telling sign 4 - 5 years ago. I wasn't mad or freaked out. Time seemed to stand still, what I now know as anxiety - ceased to exist, the sun came out and birds started chirping again. Real life started happening again upon my return home and of course I fixed the website and life went on with the 10,000 anxiety on my shoulders.

Rugged rocks took a lot out of me. For a few years it was worth it. But the time came where making a living became very difficult, new products became less and less significant. I kept pushing and pushing until I had nothing left to push with.

I've been living day in and day out very disconnected from life, and have been resistant to the inevitable end of this business.

This morning I've made the decision to no longer take orders for truck parts. (Existing orders will be filled), My purpose in this space has come and gone.
I want to be me again, I want to love life again, I once again want to be the guy that people make fun of because I don't stop smiling. I want to focus on things in a space where where I truly have a purpose and I want my life to get back on track. I want to mend my personal life and as hard as it will be to speak to some.. I want to apologize for the hurt and anger that I've caused. I may not be forgiven by some but at least I can try.

This decision with rugged rocks may come to a shock to some and to others you're probably thinking... it's about damn time.

I shouldn't have let this take over my life as much as it did. It was one hell of a ride.

At the very least it's time to start living again. Life is too damn short.

 

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@IM1RU that was very well written. I stopped and then read it twice.
@SteeevO I read your post as well, and I say - absolutely - without question you did the right thing.
The level of maturity you now have and had expressed very well is refreshing in a way - something I'd like to slow down and analyze my own self.
I like that you can finally disconnect from the buildup of stress and frustrations.

While I wish I would have purchased Xterra parts from you when I had the chance, I wish you all the best, sir.
 

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@SteeevO Take care of yourself and family before someone else has always been a motto of mine. Steve I wish you well out there and while I wish I could have given you more business I hope it all works out for you in the end. You've taken good care of this community and you will be missed but still come wheel with us from time to time :)
 

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The thing I find most endearing about Nissan owners and wheelers, is the comradery, the friendship, and willingness to help, whether it be here on the forum, or out on the trail. Never in my life did I ever expect a vehicle purchase to bring about the friendships I have found and enjoy now, and those friendships extend from coast to coast. Friends I’ve met here on the forum, and at events like Gone Moab.
This. This right here is why I love this community. In fact, I was just telling some friends (whom I wouldn't have met otherwise) how grateful I am for this forum. I seriously doubt I would've ever gotten into wheeling and exploring as much, if at all, had I gotten a Jeep or Toyota. The comradery you speak of where everyone is willing to help everyone with anything makes this community feel like family. For better and for worse, there's no other place (that I've found) like this forum. The wealth of knowledge and information is second to none.
@SteeevO, we've never spoke, and I (unfortunately) never had the opportunity to work with you, but hearing your story is heart breaking. I wish I could think of something better to say other than 'thank you' for everything you've done for this forum, and the Nissan community. Even if RR closes down, it would be the furthest thing from a failure. The amount of knowledge you've spread throughout, and the rigs people were able to build because of your brand and expertise...that is what success is all about. These experiences and memories will never be forgotten, and you're a huge part of that. I think I speak for everyone when I say I wish you the best in your future. Go have some fun, take care of yourself moving forward, and best of luck finding your calling.
 

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Even if RR closes down, it would be the furthest thing from a failure. The amount of knowledge you've spread throughout, and the rigs people were able to build because of your brand and expertise...that is what success is all about. These experiences and memories will never be forgotten, and you're a huge part of that. I think I speak for everyone when I say I wish you the best in your future. Go have some fun, take care of yourself moving forward, and best of luck finding your calling.
I think that pretty much sums it up.

I think that also extends to all of our vendors here. :salute:
 

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Steven: so sorry to hear this. My heart breaks for you. But agree it sounds like the right decision. Don’t focus on the closing of this chapter in your life, but rather the excitement of the opening of the next chapter of your life. Wish you the best in the next chapter.

Rob: very well said. Thank you for taking the time to put those thoughts into words. Couldn’t agree more.
 

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@SteeevO You got an update for us?
I spoke at length via text with Steve a week and some ago. RR is still open and fulfilling orders. No new products are in the works, and Steve won't be spending the kind of time on the phone he used to. He has someone taking care of his drop shipping for him.


For the first time in a very long time he is currently supposed to be on an actual vacation with some friends. Other personal details I'm going to leave out of it.
 

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Just thought I'd drop this link here in case you guys missed the other thread.

 

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Is that where everyone went? I am saddened by this news...
Its

Never mind SteevO.

Its unfortunate. I really loved our TNX community. However, XN is seeing new members at a record breaking pace of mostly TNX refugees. It has a friggin' edit feature that a lot us like and responds well to changes we ask for.

I hope AG can eventually fix the issues. But, with the lack of response most have lost confidence. Is what it is.

The "edit old posts" thread pretty much tells the story loud and clear.

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Caretaker of The Minion
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Is that where everyone went? I am saddened by this news...
Yup..we unfortunately abandoned ship when it was figured out we couldn't edit posts... especially our build threads and how-tos. And AG doesn't give a rate @ss that it bugs all of us. We hoping ON will join us over on XN sooner than later 😉
 
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