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ETCG August 2017 Newsletter

For the full newsletter click here, or click the image below. If you’re just interested in one topic, click the image or “read more” link and you’ll be taken directly to that part of the newsletter on EricTheCarGuy.com.

If you’re reading this on the website, you’re already reading the full newsletter. Keep going, you’re doing great!

Past newsletters and the ETCG Blog can be found here.

The #FairmontProject, My White Whale

Call me EricTheCarGuy. 8 Years ago I started a YouTube channel, EricTheCarGuy. I was broke and fed up with the auto repair business. I figured, why not tell all the secrets I learned about auto repair to the masses? I felt by doing that, I would be able to enact some small revenge on the occupation that I felt, at the time, had turned it’s back on me. 

Here I sit, 8 years later, writing another monthly newsletter to over 30,000 website subscribers in hopes they may give me a click, and possibly a read.

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I’ve come a long way from that small dingy shop I used to shoot my videos in. I have almost a million subscribers to EricTheCarGuy now and almost 150K on my other YouTube project, ETCG1. I have a 3000sqft shop with all the tools I could possibly want or use, including a lift. It’s an impressive achievement considering where I started all those years ago. It blows my mind to think about.

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Last week I decided not to post a Friday video to EricTheCarGuy for the first time in 7 years. I did this for a number of reasons. The main reason I mentioned in my last newsletter. I’m burned out. Plain and simple.

Burnout means you don’t care anymore. You have trouble focusing on the task at hand, and you find little motivation in the work you do. That’s exactly how I feel about editing one more frame of video at this point. 

It’s my own fault. I took on too much. Between producing videos for ETCG, ETCG1, and Premium Members, it’s taken every spare minute I’ve had. I’ve worked 6 and a half days a week for as long as I can remember to make those channels happen. 

The real catalyst was producing the 100+ videos I took on as additional work. That proved to be too much, and has led me to this place where I’ve had to step away from posting EricTheCarGuy videos for a while. 

I just want to put some clarity to this. I haven’t started my ‘vacation’ yet as many have assumed in the comments to my last ETCG video. I still have those 100+ videos to produce. I’m also still posting to ETCG1. However, I don’t plan to post the week of August 1 to ETCG1 as I’ll be on a much needed vacation with my family. I don’t want to have to get up early Monday morning to make the ETCG1 video live. I also don’t want to ignore the comments to the next ETCG1 as it pertains to the Labor Shortage in America. Instead, I’ll post that video on August 7, 2017.

After I complete the work on those 100+ videos I mentioned, and also the Fairmont, I plan to have a serious think on what I should do next. My hope is that, when that time comes, I’ll have a clearer perspective without those stresses on my plate. If nothing else I’ll have less on my plate which would be a very welcome change at this point. 

There have been many suggestions on what I should do next, and I appreciate all of that input. Some say I should give up the 

#FairmontProject, go ‘back to my roots’, and start posting traditional repair videos again. However there are many viewers that are just as deeply invested in the #FairmontProject as I am, and I don’t want to let them down either. 

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The truth is, I’ve been posting those ‘traditional repair videos’ since the beginning of the year, mixed in with the Fairmont videos. The views say that those videos aren't’ getting anymore views than the #FairmontProject. 

In fact, it seems that the majority of my subscribers are flat out ignoring anything I post these days. That, or they’re not being notified that I’m posting new videos, but that’s a topic for another newsletter. My guess is it’s a combination of both possibilities.

As of right now, I have almost 40 days of footage I’ve shot of me working on the Fairmont, and I still have more to shoot before the car is complete. Some of it is really good stuff. Things like building my gauge cluster, fabricating the firewall so that I could fit the new HVAC, and the wiring. Some of it is just documentation of the build. All of it has value in my opinion. I have no intentions of throwing any of the footage away, but I don’t want to continue to present it the way I have in the past. That’s obviously not working as the views have shown. 

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I’ve had a plan for some time to help bring the views back to the #FairmontProject videos. I’m just not ready to talk about that yet. When the time comes, you’ll know what I’m referring to here, but we’re not there yet.

The problem at hand is to figure out how to move forward. I need to somehow work through the #FairmontProject videos without turning EricTheCarGuy into the Fairmont channel
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Also, one day I will be moving on to other video topics and people will say, “Do you remember when you almost killed your channel with that Fairmont?” In a weird way, that will be a happy day indeed. Mostly because I’l be driving it instead of making videos about it. Well, I’ll probably be making videos of my driving it too, but those will probably be on ETCG1. I digress…

Let’s think through going back to ‘repair' videos. I’d first need to get vehicles in the shop to repair again. Vehicles that aren’t mine. I’m sure I’d be able to find some of those with little difficulty. Then I’d need to shoot videos of those repairs and start the edit process.

More importantly, I need to figure out how to structure these new ‘repair’ videos, and their subject matter. Do I go with the Barbara’s van approach and document a series of repairs on a vehicle, or do I just focus a particular job or diagnosis? Or is it a mix of both? What jobs do I take on? Brake jobs? Engine replacements? Electrical repairs? Do I use my fancy shop tools, or do I go back to rolling around on the ground? Personally, I’d rather not be rolling round on the ground again.

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There’s something we’re leaving out here. The reality of auto repair. I discovered long ago that peoples vehicles don’t break down on a schedule. Sometimes you find something else wrong. Sometimes you have to wait days, or even weeks for parts. That means making repair videos again will have it’s own set of challenges. Challenges I’m all too familiar with, and quite frankly, I’m bored with. 

I like building things. Scratch that, I LOVE building things. My grandfather on my mothers side was a fabricator, and I think it’s in my blood. I simply can’t get enough of taking an idea and turning it into a reality. I get a rush from that like no other. Sure, fixing something gives me a similar rush, but making something, for me, is on an entirely different level. I realize now it’s what I was born to do.

I already have ideas for future projects. My dads truck, the GSR, the Mustang, my dad’s ’51 Chevy, and also my blue Vigor that many of you have probably forgotten about. Believe me, if I'm able to do what I hope to do to the Vigor, you’re gonna love it.

I wouldn’t do these projects like I’ve done the Fairmont videos though. I’ve learned my lesson. Instead, I would like to document the process from start to finish and THEN start releasing the videos. I think the benefit of hindsight will help the viewer be more engaged.

Another approach might be to do one project at a time instead of tearing the vehicle down to the frame and starting over like I did with the Fairmont. Something more like weekend modifications that anyone can do instead of a full on restoration and performance build. Small upgrades instead of a complete rebuild.

I’m not saying I won’t do repair videos anymore. In fact, I realize those are the very things that put me where I am today. I just don’t want to go back to just doing repair videos. 

That would be like riding the best waterslide ever and being told I can never ride it again, but I can see it from my house and every day I get to watch other people slide down the ride I can never partake in.

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That’s a metaphor for not doing build videos in case that was too vague.

Some say, start another channel just for doing builds and do repair videos on EricTheCarGuy. That sounds all well and good until you consider the amount of work I have just keeping up with one YouTube channel with almost a million subscribers, not to mention ETCG1. The comments alone can take hours. I simply don’t have it in me to produce videos for more than the 3 channels I’m posting to now. You forgot about the Premium Member videos didn’t you?

So I’ve painted myself into a corner. I have a lot of unprocessed raw material that is not very desirable-the Fairmont videos that have already been shot. I have very little motivation to produce the very type of video that brought me the success I enjoy now-repair videos. It’s an interesting problem.

Please don’t think I’m complaining. First world problems are the problems to have, trust me on that. Remember, I started with nothing. I know poverty. I know what it is to struggle to pay bills. I know that a lot of my viewers are in that very position and I want to continue to help them, but not at the expense of my own health and happiness.

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In fact, I started Fixing it Forward to answer to that very thing. You thought I wasn’t even going to bring it up didn’t you?

I love the idea of Fixing it Forward. I love the concept of it, but when I think about FiF these days, I wonder how it can happen within the context I just illustrated in the previous paragraphs. I still want to make FiF happen, I just haven’t figured out where it fits into the grand scheme of things just yet.

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If you’ve read this far, you realize that I’ve got a lot to process and consider during my ‘hiatus’ once it actually begins.

Once the Fairmont is on the road again, I’m hoping the long drives I take in it will offer some time to think and reflect on what’s next. I don’t plan to leave the YouTube space just yet. I just need to figure out how I’d like to move forward with it. I’d like to come up with a solution that, first, makes me happy, and second, makes the majority of my fans happy. I say majority because I fully realize that you can’t please everyone. If nothing else, a career as a YouTuber has taught me that lesson.

Rest assured, I’ll be back. I’m just not sure when or how yet. By the time you read the September newsletter I should be driving the Fairmont. If that’s the case, expect a very different tone to next months newsletter.

Premium Member News

For those of you that may be wondering, I’m still producing videos for Premium Members of my website. The last thing I will do is turn my back on paying customers. I will continue to post videos for Premium Members throughout my hiatus. Although the amount of videos and content may change.

If I ever decided to close down the Premium Member program, I’ll be sure to provide plenty of advance notice and offer refunds to anyone who wants one. I will not take your hard earned money and not give you something in return.

Last month Premium Members got 4 exclusive videos. “Electrified Fairmont (Exclusive Video)”, “A Message to Premium Members 7/2017 (Exclusive Video)”, “What I Use To Edit With When I’m Out of Town (Exclusive Video)”, and “Just Got Back From the Fabricators 7.2017 (Exclusive Video)”.

Electrified Fairmont Exclusive Video
A Message to Premium Members 72017 Exclusive Video
What I Use To Edit With When Im Out of Town Exclusive Video
Just Got Back From the Fabricator

Premium Members get up to 4 exclusive videos per month. They also get additional perks on the website, and they help support the site with all of it’s useful, free, repair content. 

Details on the new Premium Memberships here.

In Closing

I wasn’t even going to post an “In Closing” for this newsletter, but I realized that I probably should so you don’t go looking for the rest of the newsletter. I feel I said everything in the body of this one. 

I said everything except the most important thing, thank you. I say this at the end of just about every newsletter, but this time I feel it has a special meaning.

I would not be able to do what I do, and provide for my family like I have, without all of you. Your support and viewership has given me so much over the years and I am eternally grateful. 

I have not forgotten about you, or turned my back on you. I just need a minute to figure how how to move forward. Once I get that sorted out, I hope to be back and better than ever. 

Thank you all for everything. I couldn’t have done it without you.

Latest videos below.

Be safe

Have fun

Stay Dirty

ETCG


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