The first step along another path
Banlish Headquarters, Pennsylvania, USA
March 31st, 2017
I wanted to write something up as the mood hit me hard today, I've been writing, talking, emailing, and messaging all over the place since I ended the stream almost 7 hours ago and it seemed like a good idea. I just finished recording my first ever video that's going straight to YouTube and in a small pile of firsts I figured this blog needed to get off the ground sooner rather than later.
I've been doing this 'streaming' thing for 16 months as of today. I started Nov 1st 2015 and in a few hours my 16th month begins. I never thought I'd be here by the way, in my youth I never thought I'd be making media for the world to see. I can look back and see the signs were there, in spades in fact, but I was too clueless to pick up on them. Much like today, I took too much of a 'wait and see' attitude on what I was going to do. It's been a problem and a benefit in equal measure in my life, sometimes others jump in and I get to say “See how I didn't get hurt because I waited?” Other times I miss a great opportunity because I was too cautious.
I believe I've approached YouTube the same way and the thought angers me a little bit. My wife and I sometimes joke that we've been 'late bloomers' all our life; it's just the way we are in many respects. And after making the video, and how easily it happened I think I've waited almost a full 8 YEARS too much. Why 8 years? That's when I started really looking at YouTube videos as a source of entertainment. That's when I found my first 'let’s plays' and said after watching a few people “Man, I think I can make something as good, if not easier to understand, then THIS person.” I didn't, and still don't, think I'm better than others. It's not how I approach things. But I do think I have a different approach, more of a 'layman’s' approach to how I describe and explain things. And it made me want to get involved. But, me being me, I put excuse after excuse in my own way until in the start of 2017 I said “HOLY CRAP, STOP WAITING DAMMIT”.
My streaming obviously affects how I'll cast as a YouTuber. And my message as a streamer hasn't changed; I think anyone should give a chance to being a streamer and see if they like it. If a 34 year old contractor can stream and make people laugh or find entertainment in his playing games, ANYONE can. I've repeated this message, over and over, to hundreds of people over the last year plus. But then as 2017 dawned, I found myself saying “Man that YouTube stuff must be pretty complicated.” I realized what I was doing. I was giving myself the excuses I had heard from hundreds of people that came through my twitch channel. I, not anyone else, was stopping myself from getting started. And I was taking, yet another, wait and see.
I shook my head, got a little angry at myself and set myself down the path. But, being 'wait and see' I over thought it as per usual. I got over 6 different people willing to answer questions for me, all of which had made videos on their own. Some of them doing it for their full time job. And I began asking dozens of questions. There wasn't some massive pile of hidden, secret and even ARCHAIC knowledge that was hiding below the surface that I'd have to sift through and find. There was one phrase that made me madder than anything. It was a phrase that was on my lips weekly, on my lips in front of hundreds of people in the channel, in front of my friends 1 on 1 when they asked me about becoming a streamer, and even 1 on 1 when potential streamers took me aside on voice coms and asked their piles of questions to 'someone who was already doing it.'
Don't wait, just start....
But my 'wait and see' attitude had hidden that message; it had changed it into “Research ALL you can, prepare for this like it's a 1st date or a massive project that will have MASSIVE repercussions on your life going forwards.” I want to smack my old self upside the head and say “HOLY CRAP JUST START ALREADY!”
But I can't. What I CAN do, however, is try to explain that feeling, that regret, that annoyance to you, and convince you or maybe someone you know. "Don't wait, just start...” I know it's almost impossible for many (like 90% of people) to listen to someone else that's 'been there' and 'done that.' So many of us need to figure it out for ourselves and it maddens me like no other. I've done that too many times, even with being someone that's taken too many wait and sees. I've done it. I bought items I shouldn't, I hung out with people that weren't good for me, I took risks I shouldn't, and I held back in other instances when I should have charged ahead. And yet, it still drives me insane because I know, so many people will read this, and do it another way. Because it leads me to my next saying that I had to learn the meaning of.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink...
This one has driven me to the brink of insanity the last years. I used to work in the financial field. I specialized in helping people pick the right debts, insurances, investments and mortgages. And through it all, I kept thinking to myself, "This is great, I can't wait to help all of my friends and family, and they’ll all pay off TONS of debt and be so much better off. Then we can all do crazy things like take amazing trips, go to comedy shows, retire with millions and have it EASY!”
I have a metric ton of information up in my head about debt, insurance, investments, and how to make the most out of whatever it is you earn. Yet, you know how many out of the (I would guess) 2 dozen friends even talk to me about this? Two. Yep, two. That's it. The rest all 'know better', do their own thing, or 'I don't LIKE talking about money.' This, by the way, counts all family members I talk to, friends I've known for 25+ years, people I care DEEPLY about, and people I knew that if I had to call at 3am and say “We gotta get rid of a body.” They'd reply “Okay, where do you need me to show up at?” instead of turning me in. Yep, that's all. Two whole people out of 24.
It drives me absolutely nuts, I see them buy the wrong insurances, the wrong investments, the wrong mortgages, the wrong debt, and they'll sit there and complain over and over, “Man, I'm getting SCREWED on XYZ interest rate on my credit card, why is it so unfair?” Yet if I say “Hey, I'll come help you, hell I'll do it for free, just give me an afternoon and we can get it all fixed up.” Oh no, that's not what they want. I know it’s part of being a person to want to complain at times, but come ON. I have 5+ years WORKING in that industry and 27+ of financial knowledge drilled into me by my Dad's side of the family doing everything from watching the stock market channel with me, reading the Wall Street Journal, to giving me financial books to read and prepare me for my future. Yet through it all, it doesn't mean what I thought it does. The desire to do it myself in my own way is so strong in some people, it's almost maddening. I've seen a friend of mine struggle through a divorce. He even sits there and will tell me dollar for dollar what debts he has, how much he makes, and says “Man I can't get approved for a house!” I've offered over 50+ times to just sit down with him and show him how to fix it, without having to get extra jobs or earning extra income and it comes down to him always saying this phrase. "Well Banlish, you know me, I'm stubborn. I gotta figure it out on my own; it's just the way I am."
It makes me want to punch him in the head. It's literally tens of thousands of dollars going out the window per year because he wants to ‘figure it out himself.’ And yet I can't say anything.
I can, however, put this message out there and hope someone reads it and decides, “I SHOULD do this for myself” and gets started. I hope when you hit 6 months straight of putting videos out there you'll come back here and tell me your story. I hope you'll tell me how you’re making enough to change your life a little and maybe how you've set yourself down a path that you never saw yourself going down. Nothing would make me happier. I don't want anything for it except to see others succeed and win. Too many of us are stuck in jobs we hate that are slowly grinding our souls into dust. I hope this post will get even a handful of people to just start. And I hope around Thanksgiving of this year you'll show up and show me your channel with all of your work and tell me how it's changed your life.
That'd show me I took the right choice for a change when I wrote this first post, choosing, ‘Don’t wait, just start....'
Editing by AddictedWife
Subject mater by Banlish