Is it hard for you to get started learning a new hobby, or some new skill. Sometimes you just need some inspiration.
In this episode I will tell you a little bit about some people that inspire me, and why they are inspiring. They help me to focus when I get a bit down, and de-motivated helping to realize I can do what my goal is.
Hopefully they can help to inspire you as well to step out there, and learn something new. Or learn that thing you have always been curious about.
If you want to watch click below
Hello and welcome to the 12th episode of The Buddy Podcast. Today we’re going to talk about the fact that you can do what it is that you want, and there’s really nothing stopping you. All you have to do is get started. And to kind of go along with that, this is going to be kind of an inspirational episode where I talk about a few people that changed their stars. In a sense, if you get that movie reference. They started out either one way, and ended up somewhere else, or they just dove deep into something and they made a go of what it is that they like to do, and they’re successful for it.
But before that, if you’re watching on YouTube, please feel free to subscribe and hit that notification bell to turn on notifications, so that you know when a new episode is on. If you’re listening in your podcast application, we’re available on most major platforms. Then visit the website at B-U-D-D-I-Y.net to sign up for the email newsletter, so that you can be notified of not only when new podcasts come out, but other content as well.
And finally, if you’re listening on the website, we are available on major podcasting platforms. And I’d also ask that you subscribe to the email newsletter as well. So with that, let’s go ahead and jump into the episode. And the first segment up is kind of what’s been going on in life.
Well, for the last week I’ve been sick, which sucks, kind of had a cold. So I haven’t really been able to get out in the shop and do a lot of things. So I’ve kind of stuck to doing stuff inside. And one of the things that I was thinking about over the week is it’s kind of demotivating to be stuck in the house. Fortunately there were things that I could do inside, and one of those is I wanted to kind of jump on some of the electronic stuff that I want to do.
And I realized I kind of have a problem where I like to learn new stuff, and I like to try new things and I like to experiment. The problem is I’m already learning new stuff and trying new things around woodworking. And I tend to like, once I get going on a path of one thing, I want to add more to it without fully getting far enough down the original path. And so I think I’m going to pull back from doing the electronic stuff.
I’m still going to do my humidity and temperature monitor thing that I want to do, except I’m not going to dive down into the more of the theory of electronic, which is something that I want to do. And I actually kind of came to that realization whenever I cracked open the book that I was reading on it. And I was like, “You know what? I have read the first two chapters of this book, and I don’t really remember anything from it,” because it was a couple of years ago, “And I need to reread it.”
And I was like, “Man, this is going to take me a couple of days to reread it. By that time I’m going to be ready to get back out and start doing some of the woodworking projects.” And just kind of went down the path of thinking. And it’s like, “You know what? I need to shelf this, and come back to it.” It’s something I definitely am going to do and want to do, but I need to shelf some of it and make sure I stay on course to learning more on woodworking.
And it also got me thinking of sometimes people are afraid to learn new things. I don’t necessarily have that problem most of the time, because I just kind of jump in and go for it and start learning. And it frustrates my wife, because when I’m learning something new, I talk her ear off about all the new stuff that I’ve learned. And she just kind of sits there and stares at me like, “Uh-huh, that’s cool.”
Because sometimes I can go on some random topics and she’s just like, “I don’t care at all.” So anyway, I started thinking more and I’m like, “I really want to learn some of the electronic stuff, but let’s hold off a little bit.” A lot of other people go out there and learn something and they’re successful at it. Sometimes people are afraid to start, and afraid to learn new things because they aren’t sure if they can be successful at it.
So I want to go through in the main segment today, and I want to discuss 11 people that have either changed courses in life, and gone a different direction. And so they had to learn a whole new skillset. Or they’re kind of like a couple of the more famous where they just dug deep into a topic, or into something and finally succeeded at it. And then finally I want to hit kind of some of the influencers on the internet, Instagrammers, YouTubers and things like that, where some of their story a little bit and how they changed directions and kind of went down a new path.
And they’re not only setting themselves up a nice career, but they’re showing to be an expert in their field and they’re doing a really good job at what they do. And it’s inspiring, it kind of helps to motivate me to do new stuff, and do fun things. And also shows that I can learn new things. And so hopefully some of these people will help motivate you, that you can go learn new things, and you can do new things.
Because while everybody like is unique, I don’t know. Not everyone is special and they’re the only people that will succeed. I feel if anyone tries hard enough and long enough, they’ll succeed at least to some degree, in what it is that they want to do. And so again, I want to go through a few people. These first three are going to be people that I know, so they might not be as interesting of stories to other people, but I definitely recommend that you just find some of the people in your network, and extended network where they are excited. Where they have changed direction in their life and I can bet you that’d be pretty, pretty interesting and offer some pretty interesting stories.
I’m going to follow that up with two people that are kind of famous, and have interesting stories, and are outside of kind of making. And then finally I’m going to hit with influencers and YouTubers that I really like and really admire and offer me inspiration, and hope that I can learn some of this stuff faster than I even expected as long as I’m dedicated to it. And as long as I actually put the work in, because that’s the key thing in everyone that I’m going to talk about today.
They did the work, they didn’t just be like, “Oh, I want to kind of play with this thing over here for two hours and become an expert.” No, they did the work, and they became really good at what they did and it shows. So with that, let’s jump to our first person, and this is actually a person… These first three, I’m not going to give names, I know them and I just want to keep them kind of confidential.
This first person is pretty cool. She started out as a nurse and went to school, got the degrees, everything, went to be a nurse and find out she hates being a nurse. She liked all the people that she was dealing with. She liked interacting with people, but she just hated dealing with medicine. And the reason she became a nurse was because you can make a lot of money being a nurse, and that’s what all our friends were doing. So she became a nurse.
Well after a while she’s like, “I’m just not happy anymore and I need to do something different.” So she stopped being a nurse and quit and went and joined a programming bootcamp and then spent the next six months doing every day, all day doing a bootcamp learning to program. And the cool thing is about some of these new programming bootcamps is they will place you after you get done if you meet all the requirements of the bootcamp.
And so she got placed with a company as a junior developer, and it’s been a couple of years and now she’s a mid-level developer at a company and doing really well, and she really knows her stuff. So that’s totally cool. And I like that she’s like, “You know what? I’m not going to stick at this job for decades because I hate it. But hey, it pays well.” She took the chance and she succeeded.
So the next person I want to talk about, she actually was kind of a homemaker, and it kind of just went through life randomly in a sense, without getting into too much detail. And then one day she’s like, she kind of got bored with her kids being off at school and she’s like, “They’re going to leave in the next few years and go to college, so I really need to figure out what I’m going to do.” And so she started learning to program.
She did some basic, she found a mentor and a really went after it. And then she started taking on contract jobs, and she did a few and did them really well. She executed well, good customer service and she did a really good job, but she realized she wasn’t growing in a sense because she was getting kind of some of the same contracts. So she started taking on projects that were beyond her ability and one was accidentally light years beyond her ability.
But she persevered, she stuck with it, she found people to help. I was one of them and this project looked like it was simple from the outside. Everyone thought it would be, but when you dug in it got super complicated. But she persevered it, it took a few extra months of effort, but she got it done and everything was successful, and it really expanded her ability and made her more valuable in the marketplace.
And now she’s a developer and loves her job, and she’s making money and everything is great. She says at one point she didn’t know what she would do in the future, and she’s totally glad she took the chance to learn how to program and become a programmer.
The final person that I want to hit on is someone that kind of grew up with a rough history, family life and they were pretty poor. But they learned skills along the way, and they eventually became a contractor, building houses, fixing houses, doing handyman work. At one point he had a team and company and they were building like hotels and houses and were doing okay, but he was always struggling. He just couldn’t ever quite get it kind of that next step. It just kept getting dragged back down.
And finally one day he was done. He didn’t know what to do left. He’s just like, “The business is closing down. I don’t know where to go from here.” And he was very fortunate in that somebody came along was like, “Hey, you’re a hard worker. I need hard workers. I can teach you my business. But I’m having a hard time finding people that can work well.” And so he went and worked with this other guy, got a good mentorship, and learned how to basically sell oil field equipment.
And did that for you know, four or five years. And then now he’s moved on to bigger and better opportunities in the oil field industry in a sense. And he’s doing major sales and he’s a really prominent figure. But he was like, “Hey, I’m going to take this position some out of need.” But he also said that it was a big change for him and it was scary. But he’s like, “Hey, this person is willing to teach me, so I’m going to consume all of the knowledge I possibly can. I’m going to work as hard as I can.”
And so he just dove in and that became his thing. It not only became his job, but it became his hobby. It became everything for him for a couple of years, while he learned the entire business. And now he has changed the trajectory of his life. And just hearing that story, I was just super excited for him to hear where he is now compared to where he was, because he’s super hard work.
So now I want to jump to kind of two famous people. One is famous, probably everybody knows of him. The other one is kind of famous if you’re in the right niche and you’re in the right group. The first one is Colonel Sanders. I find Colonel Sanders to be super interesting. Here’s a guy that struggled and worked and toiled away, and did everything for decades and decades.
He left early home, forged documents to join the military because he wanted to join the military, went to war, came back. Started restaurants that failed, all the stuff. He was a failure. He was a failure for several decades. He never could make it to where he felt like he could be. Along the way though, he constantly was working on making chicken, and figuring out a good process for making chicken.
And then came World War II and he was just almost there on the chicken recipe. And then World War II happened and it postponed it by I think a decade almost. And well finally when he turned 65 he was able to get everything aligned right? And he sold his first franchise to make chicken, make fried chicken and it worked out. At this first one, he’s making 4 cents per piece of chicken sold, which at first he’s like “That’s not very much.”
But then it’s like if you think every single piece of chicken you get 4 cents. And if you expand that over, the franchise there starts to be some money. He eventually got a little too old to handle. How fast the franchise grew. And he sold a portion of his American operation to a group of people, and made an okay amount of money from that. But he kept other operations and so he did not die poor. Yeah.
And so to me Colonel Sanders is a great story of a person that worked his entire life, didn’t necessarily do the best in the world, but he stayed at it, and eventually he was successful and he finished strong and he lived to be 90-years-old. So it’s not like he got to 65 and then died at 70 or something. You know what I mean? He worked and he did well in his business for a really long time.
So the next person is… If you’re a boy scout, you might’ve heard of him, he’s known as the Nuclear Boy Scout, his name is David Hahn and he was super interested in chemistry. And as a teenager he built a neutron source that would emit radioactive… I think it emits radioactive isotopes for doing testing of different things. He was trying to come up with a breeder reactor, but he didn’t get something right. Don’t understand fully.
But to me his story is inspiring because here’s a teenager that for all intents and purposes as teenagers, we’re dumb. And we don’t really live up to our full potential. But he just said, “You know what? Nothing’s standing in my way and I’m going to get this thing done.” And he did it. Kind of became a little bit humorous for everyone else, because he was doing something and got pulled over by the cops and they were like, “What is all this stuff in the back of your vehicle?”
And one thing led to another, and they finally figured out he has a neutron source in his shed at his house and 10 months later the EPA came and cleaned it up as if it was a super fun to site where nuclear waste is put. And so I’m sure that was a very interesting process for that, however long it took them to clean up, seeing all those people there, because I’m sure they were fully hazmatted up and everything just to be safe.
Really going to stop there in his story, because I really wanted to focus on the fact that, as a teenager he dove deep, and he figured something out and did something that most teenagers wouldn’t even do.
So the last person we’re going to hit before we jump to influencers and other makers is a guy named Dan McLaughlin. If you’ve ever been in to golf, and you were in to golf between about 2010 and 2015, you might’ve heard of this guy. He was taking an approach. So he started out as a photographer coming out of college, went into marketing and did product photography. Never really touched a golf club a much in his life, maybe other than putt, putt maybe a couple holes.
Never done a full 18 holes of goals. Never, in all honesty from what I understand, considered doing it for most of his life. And then one day he just was like, “You know what? I want to be a professional golfer.” And went about doing it? He followed the thing about 10,000 hours. If you get 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, then you will be able to be as good as all the other professionals in the world at that.
So he was going to spend 10,000 hours doing deliberate practice for becoming a professional golfer and joining the PGA. That’s what his goal was. And he did really good. He got really, really far before an injury, kind of like stopped him. If you ever had a back injury, sometimes it can take years to recover from, and that’s really what happened.
But along the way he went from basically a ginormous handicap to a 2.6 handicap, which is you have to be at a 2.0 handicap to be able to go to qualifying school, to be able to get into the PGA to get your PGA tour card. He was almost there. I feel like if he could have gone a few thousand more hours and gotten up to 6, 7,000 hours, he probably would’ve qualified for the PGA, and been able to eventually get on the tour.
I think he could have done it. And I think he helped prove out the concept of 10,000 hours. 10,000 hours of deliberate practice can make you a professional and one of the best in the world at whatever it is that you’re doing. Not only did he go from being a product photographer in trying do this PGA tour thing, but he made a third turn while he was basically down, and he couldn’t swing a golf club very well.
He went in and he started working with his neighbor and create a brewing company. How crazy is that? He went from product photography, to PGA attempt to, starting a brewing company. And from what I understand he’s running a successful brewing company, in Washington. So in a sense he’s kind of doing the epitome of what this topic is about, is like he wants to do something, and he just kind of dives in and just does it, and he’s seen success in all the areas that he’s going about doing it.
I really recommend kind of jumping on the internet, and kind of reading up about him. His site is thedanplan.com. And I don’t know, to me it’s a really cool story proving out that “Hey, with enough time, with enough practice, with enough effort, you too can be world-class at whatever it is that you want to do.”
So now let’s kind of jump into the influencer market. The YouTubers, the Instagrammers, the people that are micro-famous as I like to call them. People that aren’t like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, super-famous, Dwayne, the Rock Johnson, those kinds of people. These are people that are in our niches that we look at as famous.
I know in the programming world I was a… It’s funny like I was micro famous in a sense, in the Django community, outside of the programming Python Django community, probably no one would know who I am. But inside of that I was a little bit… Because I had produced a lot of content for teaching programming, and so I became a little bit known.
So I mentioned that to show that like these people are not super-famous. You’re not going to necessarily walk down the street and randomly know who somebody is as if they were super-famous. But people look up to them, and they’re inspiring and people want to know their story and generally they’re interesting stories. So I want to go through several people that I think are interesting stories that kind of prove out that if you work hard, you can learn anything, and you don’t have to have a predisposition to do it, at some earlier time in your life.
So the first person I’m going to hit is probably one of the biggest names in the woodworking maker community. Her name is April Wilkerson. She started her blog in about 2013 area, and she’s interesting because she graduated with a business management degree and jumped over and was like, “Hey, I don’t have anything to do. I just was working full-time and going to college full-time and now I have all this extra free time. My husband’s off at school still trying to finish up graduate school, and we don’t have any money, but I need some furniture.”
And so as the story goes that she tells us, she went and grabbed a screw gun off of her husband’s desk or his workshop. And was like, “Hey, how do you use that?” And proceeded to build a couple things for around the house. And the rest, as they say, is history. She started a blog so that she could teach other people and kind of walk other people through the things that she’s done. And then like a year later after that, after doing stuff, she started doing YouTube and put up YouTube videos.
And now I’d say she runs one of the probably most successful YouTube ventures that are out there for in the maker space. Now she’s got multiple employees. She’s constantly expanding. She has plenty of sponsors and I mean, she’s making good money. And she has a good business head on her and she’s doing really, really well. And she started out not knowing anything. And she even says in a couple of interviews, she didn’t grow up doing any handy stuff growing up.
But it’s something that she’s learned to enjoy and she’s just gradually done and gotten better. And if you look at it, it’s been seven years since she started. And so where she is now and where she was then, she’s had a lot of time to get better and improve. So time can really be a helper in learning what you need to learn. If you need to learn something complicated, it might take you 10 years. But there’s no better time to start, than start right now.
Because if you don’t start now, that means you’re going to start in the future, and you’re going to be further away from actually learning and getting to the skill level that you want to be. The next person if you’re in the woodworking world… Again, most of these are going to be woodworking is Marc Spagnuolo, The Wood Whisperer.
He actually started out in biotech and as his bio goes, he accidentally ended up in management, leading a few people and he hated every minute of his job, even though he was an up and comer and he was doing his job well, and he used woodworking. He picked up woodworking after college and used it as a getaway to unwind and return sanity back into his day. He eventually left his job and tried to do full time as a woodworker, professional woodworker, and just never really worked out. He never could get enough business and never could get enough clients to make projects for.
So he turned to doing content creation, and it has been doing that ever since that he found his niche, doing what he enjoys doing. And that’s teaching other people to do woodworking. So, I mean it just goes to show like, again, a little bit later in life, he just kind of switched gears almost on a whim in a sense. And now, it’s led to something that’s even bigger and better for him. The next person I’m going to refer to by their branding, and I like this guy a lot. He is super cool. I’ve talked to him a couple of times on Instagram. I love his projects, I love his skills.
And that’s bevel edge creations. Totally check this guy out. He’s got skills coming out the wazoo, but he started at the end of 2017. And so, for context, that is two and a half years ago. It was roughly when he started. And he had said he had never created a project before that. Basically, as I understand it, he needed to build a door for his master bedroom, got some tools and created a door and turned out it’s like, “Hey, I liked this. This was a lot of fun.” Fast forward one year, one year to August of 2018, and he decided to post his first project to YouTube.
Fast forward another 18 months and now he has a successful YouTube channel where he only posts one video a month, but they’re really high quality videos, and he’s up to about 30,000 subscribers. He has gone in two years from an audience of non, to an audience of tens of thousands. He’s come a really long way and he’s done really well, but he also kind of has an ‘unfair advantage,’ if you listen to business books, where he started out as a… He’s a designer for the Honda Odyssey.
He did wedding photos and videography on the side as a side hustle, so he knows photography, knows video as well, and he does a really good job editing and he’s really good at storytelling. and he has a good design eye as well. But to me he’s a good example of saying or showing you can go from nothing to creating really cool things to put out on the internet, not necessarily put out on the internet only but for yourself and for your family in a short amount of time. Because, while looking at what he does and how he breaks things down, all of the stuff isn’t necessarily complicated.
You just need patient, and an attitude to be able to get that project done. And again, I think this guy is super inspiring, and it really shows that, “Hey, you can quickly get up to a skill level to be able to get things done.” So, we’re going to jump to our last two people. First, is Jason Bent. This guy is interesting. He’s only been woodworking for I think four years, maybe five. But he’s actually, his full time job is he’s a teacher at the ROTC at a college campus.
He’s a couple of years away from retirement in the military because he’s full time active duty military, and he was one day moving to their new house and the wife was like, “Hey, I want you to build this table.” And he’s like, “I’ve never built anything before. Why do you think I can build this?” And she’s like, “That’s okay. I would like this table, and I think you should build it.” And so he did. He got the tools, and he built the table and he’s like, “I actually like this.” Told his friends and showed his friends the stuff, and he basically turned it into a custom furniture business that he would do on the side.
And he wanted to eventually turn it into a job and a career, so that when he retired from the military, he just went from the military straight into this, and he’s making a full time income and he’s done a really good job of that. And he has an Instagram and a YouTube account to be able to see some of this stuff and learn from him as well. But to me, he’s inspiring because here, here’s a person that didn’t start anywhere. His wife was just like, “Go for it.”
And he’s not a young pup like he’s not like in his 20s or something. He’s probably 30s, maybe early 40s. Late 30s, early 40s area maybe, depending on when he joined the military. So he’s just jumping out there and getting things done and he learned along the way. The final person, I like this guy because he’s doing a channel that I really missed for my childhood. He’s doing content that are really best for my childhood. His name is Joe Robinet, and he does videos of his trips when he goes out and does camping trips.
I know there’s bushcraft building, there’s a TV show called Survivor Man that I really liked growing up where before cameras are small, he would take multiple cameras out and he would do a seven day trip in the wild and he would film himself on the trip. He did not have a crew with him other than our emergency station to come and get him in case he was in trouble, and his goal was to walk out or walk to a certain point so that he could kind of get out on his goal was to survive that long and kind of teach stuff along the way.
In a sense Joe Robinet channel with something similar. But to me he’s inspiring because he started out best phrase, I know what I call as a drifter in a sense. He didn’t really have much of a major direction and he grew up a suburban life, and so he didn’t really go out into the woods a lot. Later on in life, he decided that he wanted to go camping, he started going camping, joined a bushcraft form and they would have challenges.
So he started posting videos of him doing the challenges on YouTube, and started getting a little movement. He did a couple of trips and recorded those and threw those up and that really resonated with people. And so, he just kind of picked it up. And now he records all of his trips and I think a couple of years ago at last time I heard he was doing like 50 nights a year of camping or maybe a little more, maybe a hundred nights of camping here. I don’t remember what it was.
But that’s a lot of camping. That’s a lot of over writers and a lot of videoing of those camping trips and there are a lot of fun because it’s him going out and doing this thing. He’s talking, he’s teaching, I really like his channel. To me it’s inspiring because he took something he had a passion for. He dove deep, deep dive into it and walked away with a career that he never expected. And you can learn a lot from him as well. So there you have it. I mean those are the people that I find inspiring. Those are the reasons I find them inspiring. Those are the stories that they have.
This might’ve been a little long winded, but I kind of wanted to kind of give this to say, you can learn anything that you want to learn and you can do it right now, no matter how old you are. I don’t think you’re ever too old or ever too young if you’re reasonable to start learning, because I mean, let’s face it, a three year old is probably not going to learn nuclear physics, let’s just be honest. But I don’t think you’re ever really too old or too young to start learning something new and getting a new hobby.
And if you want to, you can take it all into a full blown career and if not, you can keep it just for yourself. I know that my grandma does painting and she’s a really good painter, but it’s something that she never wanted to turn into a career. My uncle could be a professional fisherman if he wants to. He’s that good, but he’s like, “I don’t want to hate fishing.” And so, you don’t need to turn something into a career. I’ve just focused on people that have, because that’s kind of where my head spaces, I love business.
And so, I’ve worked with people that turned things into careers. Anyway, but again, you can do whatever you want when you want and you can start learning right now and I highly recommend you to do and to go with kind of a little bit of a timeliness, or a March 15th in 2020, and we have the coronavirus we’re dealing with. And a lot of you are going to be cooped up in the house for the next couple of weeks. And so, why not start learning stuff? Why not sort of learning a new hobby, open up Google, open up YouTube, type in that hobby that you always wanted to learn or that thing that you’ve always wanted to learn and give it a shot.
So now let’s jump to the last segment and that is my failure of the week. And that would be, I had to replace my sink. So, about Thursday night, my wife opened up the bottom part of our guest bathroom and saw that the sink, and saw that there was water down there collecting on a rag, and that the rag was a little moldy, when she touched it, it kind of broken out. So, it had been down there for a long time getting wet for a long time and had a long time for the bacteria to break it down.
And then we realized we had found the leak earlier, but it was right before a trip. So we put the rag down there to catch it because it was one of those slow drips, like a drop every once in a while. And only when you turn the water on, not like a constant drip day in and day out. Well, since then we’ve had two kids and they like to play with water and sinks. So, with that in mind I was like, okay, I mean probably just only need to replace the drain. So I went to Lowe’s and bought a new drain, came back and then on Saturday morning, around 10 o’clock, I think, I took off the bottom drain and when I pulled it out, some of the sink came with it. It had rusted off of the sink.
I didn’t realize it was a metal sink until that moment and the rust came off with the drain. Yay. So we loaded up and went to Lowe’s to see about buying a new sink. We measured everything to make sure we could get the right size. And then along the way we found a vanity sink combo and we’re like, this looks better, it could replace the crappy thing that we have there. The sink is a full porcelain top. So we don’t necessarily need about worry about extra ceiling and everything. When our kids play with the water.
So we ended up getting that and over the course of the next several hours, we got it home, got it all put together, got everything hooked up and have a new sink and vanity situation going on there. But it killed my entire day, that day on everything that I wanted to get done. So my failure was, we didn’t take care of the leak, as soon as we should have, and it led to killing a day. How am I going to solve that in the future is we now have our first weekend of the month that we’ll make sure that we write stuff like that, that’s non-emergency, but needs to be taken care of pretty quick.
And I can take care of it on one of those weekends that would have solved this problem 100%. So, but live and learn. And there you go. So with that, I thank you for your time. I hope that you have a great day and join us on our next episode, episode 13. Thank you. Bye.