My Birthday: A Catalyst for Change
I just turned 50. Yeah, that's right - 50.
Hitting this benchmark in life, has made me take a look at where I am at, where I am going, and if I am on course to achieve my goals.
The fact is, I am not, and I realized that I need to do something radical to change my direction in order to meet my goals.
Hooked From the Beginning
I made my first post on the LumberJock community in May 2007 and I posted my first YouTube video at the end of December 2008. In both cases I was hooked from the beginning. I really love sharing the knowledge and experience I have gained as a contractor, designer, and craftsman with the woodworking community.
Ever since those first posts, I have continued to try sharing be it by blog or by video. I love doing both, but in both cases, time is too short to do either.
My priority, as with anybody, is to make a living. So that means paying clients are my priority, even above family as I have sacrificed a lot of weekends with my family to meet deadlines and fulfill contracts.
My weeks are long, an average week is 60-65 hours and they get longer, much longer, as deadlines loom near. Any remaining time goes to family, and anything left then is either for sleep or sharing with woodworkers.
It Ain't Working...
I have tried a number of times to use my client's projects as the subject matter for my blogs and to share the lessons of the project challenges with the woodworking community. The lesson I have learned over and over is that they are 2 separate worlds that collide in a horrible way and I lose money when I do it.
If I want to make a living as a contractor and professional woodworker, I have to focus on that. If I want to share my woodworking knowledge and experience with woodworkers, that is completely separate and cannot be mixed with the other because it only slows me down and causes financial loss.
As I took a look at where I am and where I was going, I decided that the only answer was to quit. If paying clients are my priority, then I decided to offer woodworkers an opportunity to make themselves my priority as paying clients
I am closing my doors as a contractor and opening my doors as the American Craftsman Shop Class to the woodworking community.
I am currently finishing up a couple of client projects at this time and I have withdrawn from some projects that I was not obligated by contract. I am effectively shutting down as a contractor. It would have been a lot easier if I was employed somewhere, I could have just walked out. Honestly, I wish I could have done that.
Online ACW School Coming Soon
As I gear down my business as a contractor, I am gearing up as the American Craftsman Workshop and to set up the American Craftsman Shop Class.
I made some changes to strengthen the American Craftsman Workshop as a brand and I have also been working to set up the platform that will allow me to have an online school. For the school I will be able to upload video, PDF files, and other digital files such as Sketchup or CAD to create a course and project lessons.
The goal is to provide products that woodworkers can purchase. This makes woodworkers my priority as they become my paying client and it allows me to focus on them. If you are a woodworker, then this means you are about to become my priority!
Through the support of the woodworking community I will be able to offer both free content and paid content such as project instruction and plans. And - I will be able to become consistently active in the woodworking community sharing knowledge and giving support.
Besides the admin changes and restructuring changes I have been working on, I have also been developing plans for some of the projects. So things are well under way. You can check out the new Shop Class page here at my site.
I hope you will join me as I launch the American Craftsman Shop Class, I am working hard to make it worth your time:)
Your friend in the shop -
Todd A. Clippinger
Share the Love - Share the Knowledge