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Are You Looking For A Solution Or An Excuse?

Opinion 3 Comments on Are You Looking For A Solution Or An Excuse? 438

This is a real question you should ask yourself and I present it here with no intention of being snarky.  I receive so many questions from followers and one of the most surprising things I’ve found over the past number of years is how often my very valid advice is essentially ignored. How do I pay for college?  How do I get experience? How do I get promoted?  I give the exact same advice I’d give a family member, which is many times what I did to get where I am today and yet the advice is thrown out barely before the words can leave my mouth.

This is relevant to me literally today because of the issues I’ve had uploading videos to YouTube while I’m on the road.  When I started this RV adventure two and half months ago I really didn’t think it would be that hard to upload content.  I figured it would be a pain in the butt, but not as close to impossible as it has become. The wireless networks I’m dealing with are worse than any I have ever come across before.  Simply pinging the default gateway only elicits a reply half the time, and when the replies do come the time is up to 4000.

I did a video about this, and have let my followers know this issue on my other social networking accounts.  To this there have been many valid suggestions on what I could do.  I could copy the new videos to a flash drive and then send it to my house sitter to upload.  I could find a local business or coworking facility and ask to stash a laptop there to upload for the hours it would take.  I could stay at a hotel every week or two and use their internet connection to upload.  I could do a number of things.  All the advice is valid, and if I was willing I could do it. Truthfully though I’m a bit happy just to have a valid excuse to stop.

I don’t know why so many people blow me off when I say it, but the fact of the matter is I don’t like being “famous”.  Being recognized in public brings no happiness other than it’s a curious metric to mull over. I’m not overjoyed telling people that their half assed plans are going to end in a pile of debt without anyone being interested in employing them. And it’s rather frustrating to be continually called an asshat douche simply because I argue that employees should bring profit to the organization they work for, and shockingly that you should earn enough money to be able to pay for your mortage and a vacation once in a while. (I have been uttlery flabbergasted at how many people think a vacation is the highest of bourgeoisie concepts.)

In the real world I’m a rather quiet person. I’m not interested in what I think, because I already know it.  I sit for hours talking with CEO’s and dock workers a like. Neither receives more or less respect.  The dock worker needs the CEO and the CEO needs the dock worker.  To the CEO I might poke and ask about quality of life and whether 60 hour weeks are really worth the money.  And to the dock worker I’ll poke and bring up that with a bit of technical training that they could work less and be paid twice as much while still being “manly” (Diesel mechanics make stupid money).  Overall though I just sit back and listen trying to extract that tiny golden nugget of knowledge that everyone possesses.

What I portray on YouTube are the thoughts that people have, but are unwilling to say.  These thoughts drive decisions and have real and harsh consequences, but they are rarely spoken of because it would be considered rude. The fact is:

Worldwide, the number of hungry people has dropped significantly over the past two decades, but 805 million people continue to struggle with hunger every day. 1.2 billion people still live in extreme poverty — on less than $1.25 per day. Each year, 2.6 million children die as a result of hunger-related causes.

It is a cruel joke to state that the world cares about you if you don’t provide something society is willing to pay for.  For me to say otherwise would be disgraceful, and yet when I say an A+ or CCNA alone isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on this is deemed insulting. I’m the guy having a cup of coffee with recruiters and CEO’s believe me they won’t give you an unpaid internship if that’s all you have.

At a certain point the YouTube project became tiresome.  I found that video is a beast to scale.  That YouTube is fickle and schizophrenic when it comes to making and applying rules.  And lastly I’m not overjoyed with 500K viewers passing judgement on whether or not I’m an asshat.

As I’ve sat staring at the sporadic ping replies over the past few weeks I have to say I’m not as disappointed about the results as may be imagined.  I’ve run through a number of possible  solutions that have failed, and at the end of the day I’m finding myself to be content with a good excuse. As a professional projects will come and go, and sometimes a reason to stop is far more valuable than a solution that allows you to continue.

So ask yourself when you present a professional/ mentor/ guru with your problems, “Are you really asking for a way to overcome your obstacles, or deep in your heart are you really hoping a respectable person will give you a valid reason for failure?” All snark side… sometimes a solution isn’t the answer you’re looking for…

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My YouTube channels are not “dead”, and I may go back to them.  For the time being I’m happy to hide behind text and plug away at GeekBrainDump…


Eli Etherton

I am Eli "the Computer Guy" and have been in the tech industry for approx. 20 years doing all kinds of odd projects. I started as an electronics tech in the US Army, worked in corporate IT during the IT Boom, was an individual consultant and grew my tech shop to have numerous full time employees and supported small business clients with computer repair/ server maintenance/ web development/ surveillance systems/ telephone systems until the great recession. After that I started creating video training on all the topics I know and now have a YouTube Channel with over 500K subscribers. I am the founder of and my plan is to create a tech "news" site that I would actually find useful if I was still in the server room.

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  1. Klous May 30, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    First, I’ll start off with the usual – I have watched and enjoyed your content over the last few years. I have especially enjoyed your latest attempt “Failed Normal” and your adventures in RV’ing. Sad to see you throw in the towel on that one. But, at the same time I am glad to see you and yours have found a ‘calling’ out there on the road. Enjoy it! I also really like the color change you’ve done here at and am looking forward to seeing new content you create and any new endeavors.

  2. Chris May 31, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Hi Eli

    I’ve been watching your videos on and off for years now was even present for Google hangouts.

    It’s good you’re being honest with people and that’s the reason I watched the videos. You didn’t sugar coat the IT industry you told it like it is. Because like myself I found that you get no respect or appreciation for doing your job, only when things went wrong were you truly acknowledged.

    Some people are quick to criticize and judge and those people are the ones, unfortunately, that get the most attention. But remember, not unlike yourself, the quiet ones appreciate what you’ve done over the years and the video content you’ve created.

    It’s an honourable thing to do to decide not to fake it and do what makes you truly happy.
    I’ve already bookmarked your blog and will be offering a guest post in the near future.

    Take care and cheers.

  3. John Doe May 31, 2015 at 9:03 am

    Good day mister Etherton. Could you please tell me if microcontroller programming is worth learning and does it have any future ? I think that microcontrollers are begining to be used in more and products these days, but will programming them bring a decent income today and in the forseeable future ? I was thinking about learning ARM cortex. What is your opinion ? Sorry if my English is bad. Could your response be in the form of another comment ?

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