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August 27, 2019

If you’ve never read an ETCG newsletter before, you might be sad after reading this one. Then again, you might be happy. I suppose it just depends on how you feel about ETCG newsletters.

For the full newsletter, click here, or click the title image below, and you’ll be taken directly to the full newsletter on EricTheCarGuy.com.

If you’re already reading this newsletter on EricTheCarGuy.com, you are already where you need to be. Keep reading.

Past newsletters and the ETCG Blog can be found here.

ETCG September 2019 Newsletter

The ETCG Newsletter is Evolving

Last month I posed the question, “Should I Continue To Write Newsletters?”. Many of you were kind enough to email me your thoughts on this. I apologize if I didn’t respond to you directly, but know that I did read all of your emails. Thank you for sending them. Thank you also for your input and suggestions.

I’ve decided to start posting the newsletters quarterly instead of monthly for a while and see what happens. This way, those of you that like reading the newsletters still get newsletters, and I get a little more time to work on other things.

So for the next year, starting now, I’ll be posting newsletters in January, March, June, and September. The irony here is that I need the time now to wrap up the edits on the #ETCGDadsTruck videos. I also have some sponsored content that’s been overdue that I need to take care of. Yep, I had to start doing this in September.🙄

Because of that, this ‘first’ quarterly newsletter will be shorter than you’re used to. Maybe…

To be honest, not much has happened since my last newsletter. I haven’t shot any new ETCG videos, and I haven’t had the time to work on #ETCGDadsTruck or the #FairmontProject.

Right now I’m still editing and trying to figure out what’s next. My only focus up to this point has been to complete the #ETCGDadsTruck series videos. If all goes to plan, I should be wrapping those edits up by the end of September. I think the series will wrap up sometime in October or early November.

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I have options, lots of them actually. In fact, that’s part of the difficulty. I’m spoiled for choice. However, experience has taught me, that my ‘audience’ will only tolerate so much.

This is what I’ve learned so far.

You, the ‘audience’, like my ‘repair’ videos. Makes sense. That’s what I started out doing in 2009, and that’s what I’m most known for. Also it’s how most of you found me in the first place. Something on your Honda broke and you found one of my videos is the most likely scenario.

You like a ‘variety’ of vehicles. Very few of you get invested in my ‘project vehicles’. Sure, those of you that are into those projects love those videos. Thing is, you’re in the minority of my viewers. If I want more YouTube views, I think the best course of action would be to make a return to ‘a wide variety of repair videos’. I feel this would be the path to more views to my YouTube videos.

To be honest, producing more repair videos doesn’t interest me much for a couple of reasons. The first is that I’ve posted over 800 ‘repair’ type videos. Not saying there aren’t more repair videos to make, it’s just not what interests me right now. I don’t get excited thinking about what I’m going to ‘fix’ today.

Remember, I was a professional mechanic who did the job everyday (flat rate) for more than 10 years before I started ETCG. Have you worked a career for 10 years? If so, do you still love what you do, or is it something you do for money that you can use to do the things you really want to do?

The second reason is that I haven’t worked as an everyday ‘mechanic’ in years. I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to produce YouTube videos for a living these past 6 years or so. Thank you! It truly is the best job I’ve ever had. However, it’s left me out of practice, mechanical practice that is. Sure, I can do the work, and I can learn new things, but doing that work would likely mean learning new systems that I frankly have little interest in learning.

For me, for the most part, modern vehicles are nothing more than appliances like your toaster or refrigerator. I don’t get excited about fixing my toaster. Instead I jump online and find out if it’s cheaper to just replace my broken toaster.

Fixing it Forward, I love the idea, I really do. Thing is, for me, it wasn’t so great in practice. Mainly because auto repair is a business. Video production and being a YouTuber, is also a business. Charity is also a business that requires time, dedication, and focus. I had some difficulty trying to manage all of those things at once.

Sure, there are other YouTube channels that seem to pull off working as a mechanic and a YouTuber, but they’re not me.

Here’s an example of what I’m on about. The last FiF vehicle I worked on I kept in the shop for 3 months. Much of that time was taken up by the videos I produced for the series. Who can afford to leave their daily vehicle with a mechanic for 3 months? Not many people I can tell you.

I’ve said it in the past, if you produce a video of a repair, it’s going to take up to 4 times longer to complete, and when you’re talking about repairs that can take days to do, like rebuilding someones ailing vehicle (Barbara’s van), that time adds up. Who can afford to give their vehicle up for an extended period of time while I make videos about welding their ball joints?

There’s another factor here. Where does FiF end? Let’s talk about

Barbara’s van. How many times did that come back to the shop? It was more than once. My point is that people that can’t afford auto repair are often driving ticking time bombs. If I take on these ‘ticking time bombs’, then there is the real possibility that I’ll be working on that vehicle for the rest of it’s unnatural life. This would leave little room to work on other vehicles for other people. I am only one man after all.

My point with this is that doing charity work like FiF means I have to ‘call’ it at some point. Meaning, I’d have to turn someone away that I’ve already helped so that I could help the next person. This creates some awkward situations as I’ve experienced first hand with FiF.

Let’s not forget that during the time I was working on FiF vehicles, I was also posting weekly ETCG and ETCG1 videos. I still needed time to edit. Without editing, there’s nothing to post to YouTube. This meant I couldn’t be in the shop everyday shooting video and fixing vehicles. It pretty much worked out to a 3 day work week in the shop, Tue-Thur. I’d spend Mondays and Fridays doing office work. Things like phone meetings, angering emails, and writing newsletters. I’d spend my Saturdays editing.

I really can’t remember the last time I had a Saturday to just do whatever I wanted. Granted, I made the schedule, I have no one to blame but myself on that one, but that’s how I worked things out. I edited on Saturdays and took Sundays off to do whatever I wanted. That worked for many years, and I pretty much stick to that schedule today.

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I love the premise of FiF. I love helping people. It’s part of what got my YouTube channel started in the first place. But I’ve come to find that helping people can often come at a price.

I’ve had several ideas of how to move forward with FiF. In fact, it’s one of the things I think about most when I consider what’s ahead for ETCG. As much as I hate to admit it though, I don’t get excited about getting back to FiF. In fact, when I think about FiF, I get bogged down in the logistics of how I would make it happen.

As a side note here, if I started doing FiF again, it would be very similar to my ‘project’ vehicle videos. I’d be stuck on the same vehicle for weeks, or possibly months. In my experience, casual viewers get weary after the first couple of videos. After that, they go somewhere else and the views start to fall off. This is exactly what happened when I posted the original FiF videos. In fact, my views started dropping off during that time, before I ever started the #FairmontProject. I believe the term is, ‘viewer fatigue’.

Here’s the kicker. I love to ‘build’ things. When I think about going to the shop, I imagine all the things I can do there. Mainly, the things I can build with all those wonderful tools. I’m only limited by my imagination, and I can imagine a lot of cool things.

So far I’ve built 2 vehicles, the #FairmontProject and #ETCGDadsTruck. I love them both. I love how different they are, and I love looking at them and thinking about all the little details only I know about. I love driving both vehicles. I love how driving something I built makes me feel. This is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

The sad truth is, the majority of my audience doesn’t feel the same way. They want repair videos. I don’t blame them, this is what I started out giving them 10 years ago. When I stopped giving them that, many of them went away. Seriously, no hard feelings. I understand and appreciate where you’re coming from, or in this case, leaving to.

The biggest downside of my love of building things is that I feel guilty about having interest in that over FiF. Practically speaking, builds or FiF would pretty much work out the same when it comes to the videos. It would just be different vehicles. It would still be a series of videos on the same vehicle, for weeks at a time, that I believe some viewers would get tired of.

However, as I’ve said, building things is more interesting to me than fixing things. That doesn’t mean I don’t want to help people.

There is a solution here, and I have several thoughts on that, I’m just not ready to type them all out for you here. I don’t feel that’s necessary, especially since I haven’t committed to any of it yet. As stated, my focus now is on getting old business done. Once I’m past that, I think a short hiatus to collect myself and decide what’s next will be in order.

For those of you that have stuck around with all the changes I’ve thrown at you, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I’m still able to make a living and provide for my family. For me that’s of paramount importance, and for that I thank you. In essence you’re giving me the time to figure all of this out.

Here’s an aside. Just the other day my 14 year old daughter told me she wants to be an optometrist. I think that’s brilliant. She was born with a condition that pretty much leaves her blind in one eye. I think, in part, because of that, she’d make a great optometrist. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you what kind of investment that would be though.

I’m ready for that challenge, no matter what happens with the ETCG YouTube channel. She is my daughter, and as a parent, I want to help her, and her brothers realize their goals in whatever way I can.

Heck, I made it this far, and I’ll never forget that I started at $36 above the poverty line when I posted my first ETCG video.

All that said, I’d like to take some time to process all of what I just shared with you before I jump into the next thing. I’m hoping that next thing strikes a chord with my audience and doesn’t send me further into obscurity. If it does, so be it, as long as what I’m doing makes me happy and provides for my family.

IMG 5950

I just want to go into that next thing with eyes wide open and a plan for how to get whatever it is I decide to do, done.

Well, this has been cathartic. Thank you for that. I realize this hasn’t been the most traditional newsletter, but since I’m the author, I can pretty much do what I want, and today, I felt getting this out there would be the best thing for the first ‘quarterly’ ETCG Newsletter. I hope it was a good read for you.

Want to share your thoughts with me on all of this? Eric@EricTheCarGuy.cm Latest videos below.

Be safe
Have fun
Stay Dirty

ETCG

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