Closing My Doors And Opening Others

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. 

I Quit!

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I am currently finishing up a couple of client projects at this time and I have withdrawn from some projects that I was not obligated by contract.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

My New YouTube Channel Has Officially Launched!

The new American Craftsman Workshop channel has officially launched and it is off to a running start!

I posted the following video at my old YouTube channel this afternoon informing everyone to head over to the new channel and the response has been great!

In 7 hours I got 300 subscribers. That was just from the exposure on Google +, I had not posted anywhere else like the woodworking communities or here, at my own site at that point. 

The real goal is to strengthen the American Craftsman Workshop brand. Remembering my name, or spelling my last name to find my content is more difficult than "The American Craftsman Workshop."

This name came to be since I run my local business as Todd A. Clippinger - American Craftsman. The American Craftsman Workshop was a natural extension from that. 

I tried to change the name on my YouTube account, but that just was not working. It seemed that the issue was because I was going from a personal name to a business name and they would not allow it. So I just decided it was easier to start over. 

I had just over 6,000 subscribers and about 785,000+ views at my old channel when I launched the ACW channel, but I did not care. In the long run this will be better for my brand. 6,000 subscribers is pretty much chicken scratch and I did not deserve that for the sporadic posts that I made. 

People will watch, some will subscribe, some will like it, and some will not. But none of that matters, I just need to share, I just need to get it out of me. I have 18 years of experience bottled up inside of me and sharing is what makes me feel better. 

When I started as a carpenter, and even as I moved toward fine woodworking, I was self-motivated and self-taught. But there were people along the way that shared freely with me. I was impressed with the generosity of those craftsmen, and now it is my turn to pass it on.

That is why my motto is Share the Love - Share the Knowledge. You can go back through my earliest entries here at my site, or even way before that, check out my entries at LumberJocks. My motto is at the closing of each blog.

I would love it if you check out the new ACW Channel and show your support by subscribing. The comments and show of support is really energizing and gives strong motivation to get out more video. 

That's all for now. I still have some sanding to do on a project so I gotta head out. 

Your friend in the shop-

Todd A. Clippinger

Share the Love-Share the Knowledge 

I Am Moving....Sort of...

In The Beginning

When I first started making YouTube videos, I posted them on a channel that bears my personal name “Todd Clippinger.” 

I suppose that I did just what many popular YouTube content creators have done: start sharing on a channel with their personal name, then realized a brand, and then made changes due to the need for establishing that brand. 

Starting Over and Moving Forward

Now I am at a point that I want to start posting more video, and take things a bit more seriously. So, I have started a new YouTube channel titled “American Craftsman Workshop.” 

I only have a little over 6,000(+) subscribers on my “Todd Clippinger” channel with 784,400(+) views. I can’t say that I am in too deep as I switch things to “American Craftsman Workshop” and I really figure this is the best time to do it.

As I look at my situation, I think it is pretty exciting to take what I have, shake it up, break it down, and start building it back up, only to be better. 

I know some people will be annoyed and not want to move over to the new ACW channel, but I will not let that stop me from doing what is best as a business. It can’t be any more annoying than me posting video sporadically through the years. 

Rebuilding A Video Library

I went through the videos I have on my hard drive, picked the ones that I felt were of higher quality and posted them to the new ACW channel. 

I know that as I make more video, I will become more skilled and I will probably feel these videos are not very high quality. But I am not going to allow myself to get hung up on this issue. 

We have to realize that, no matter what interest we have, be it woodworking, making videos, etc., what we start out making in the beginning will not be as good as what we make in 6 months, a year, or in 5 years.

Each piece that we produce will be a benchmark of where we are with our skills at that moment. But, I figure that I have some decent videos to start with as a base, and I am not going to fuss over it too much. 

One Thing To Consider For Your Videos…

One thing I realized about making video, is that it’s a bad idea to label episodes on videos if they are considered evergreen content. If you are doing a VLOG, it is a chronological record, so dates or episode numbers are OK. 

But if the content is the type of information that will be as valid in 5 years as it is today, then just give the episode a title but do not date or number it. If people see a date, they will dismiss the video thinking it is outdated information.

Stay Tuned!

That is the latest from the ACW. I am starting over on YouTube with a new channel as American Craftsman Workshop and I will be posting new videos soon. 

As I post this, I have 1 subscriber, so I hope you will subscribe and be a part of building the American Craftsman Workshop channel!

Until next time - Be safe in your own shop. 

Your friend in the shop-

Todd A. Clippinger

Share the Love-Share the Knowledge