Why I’m getting out of the game.
And a game it is.
The more astute among you will have noticed that over the past few weeks I haven’t been posting as many YouTube videos as I used to. I’ve been asked about it by a couple of people, so I thought I’d take a moment to explain why, and hopefully help some of you who have dreams of YouTube fame (not suggesting I’m famous).
What I’m about to share with you is just me being honest and transparent with you. I’m not exactly proud of some of the things below, but it’s the truth.
A couple of months ago I was getting ready to go on a fishing trip when my 9-year-old son came up and quietly asked, “Daddy…can I go?” He’s been on trips with me before but doesn’t get to go on all of them. I had my camera gear in my hands, trying to make sure all the batteries were charged and the disk space was clean. For a split second, I almost said, “Sorry buddy…I’m filming tomorrow.”
That was the moment I got slapped hard with a dose of “what the hell are you doing?” I immediately told him how much I would love for him to come with us and started telling him all about where we were going. As he bounded out of the room excited about the next day’s fishing trip, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad that I had gotten to the point where I was choosing between fishing with my son and filming for River Ratz.
For those of you out there that are interested in the labels on the jersey, and the notoriety that seems to come with the “pro-staff” positions…I have some free advice for you. I’ve had the privilege of working with some truly amazing companies in the kayak industry…Ones that truly want to do right by their customers and “pro-staff.” But the truth is…in most cases, you are nothing more than free advertising. Remember, pro-staff is short for Promotional Staff….not Professional Staff. I’m still associated with a company and a publication because I believe in the people and their products. I will continue to support them whether they rescind my pro-staff position or not. If you can’t say the same about the company you’re associated with…quit. Pro-staff are a dime a dozen nowadays, and the time you invest versus the discounts you get simply isn’t worth the effort. I know that statement will probably make a few pro-staff directors mad, but it’s the truth, IMHO.
As far as River Ratz, I’ll still put out a few videos per year, but nowhere near the one a week that I’ve done for the last year. You’ll still see articles and such from me but only because I love helping others grow in this sport that has given me so much. Not to mention, the articles take a fraction of the time to produce AND they don’t affect my time fishing with my son.
I never had any doubt that I had made the right decision, but last night I got the confirmation. We were eating dinner when I told my wife “I think I’m going to the Brazos on Saturday.” Without missing a beat Cameron said, “And I get to go with you!” What a difference from that timid little request a few months before…..”Daddy, can I go?”