Seth is an Accountant & Video Editor
Seth David is the Chief Nerd and President of Nerd Enterprises Inc., a company that provides consulting and training services in accounting and software. Consulting services range from basic bookkeeping to CFO services such as financial modeling.
Seth returns from episode 51, to talk about his shifted interest from hiking to video editing for his consulting courses. He breaks down how he although enjoys his work as a consultant, his true passion in his work is currently more towards the video editing aspects of it! Seth also talks about how he found relief in diving into this passion during a time of loss in his life.
• Shifting focus towards creating new courses
• Learning by accident
• Editing videos for his courses
• Losing his dogs
• The trick to teaching something effectively
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Welcome to Episode 242 of What’s Your “And”? Follow-up Friday edition. This is John Garrett. Each Friday, I follow-up with a guest who had been on the show a few years ago to hear what’s new with their passions outside of work and also to hear how this message might have impacted them since we last talked.
I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book is coming out so soon. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites. So check out whatsyourand.com for all the details or sign up for my exclusive list and you’ll be the first to know when it’s coming out. Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every Wednesday and Friday. And this Follow-up Friday is going to be no different with my guest, Seth David. He’s the Head Nerd at Nerd Enterprises in California. And now, he’s with me here today. Seth, thank you so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Seth: Thank you so much for letting me in the door.
John: Absolutely, man. I mean you’d knocked for days. I was like, “Finally, I guess I’ll let this guy in.” But no, this is going to be so fun, man. It was so fun chatting with you before and just catching up. But I’d do my rapid fire questions up front now. Hopefully, you’re ready for this.
Seth: All right. Let’s do it. Look, good thing, I just released my bulletproof bookkeeping course. I’ve got my bulletproof vest on, so hit me with the rapid fire.
John: Here we go. Here we go. It’s a Nerf gun though, so it’s all safe. No Seth Davids were injured in this podcast. First one, if you had to choose, Harry Potter or Game of Thrones?
Seth: Game of Thrones, hands down.
John: Okay. What’s a typical breakfast?
Seth: A smoked salmon with cream cheese on a flatbread.
John: Nice man. That’s fancy. I like that. Being in Southern California, do you have a favorite Disney character?
Seth: I guess Mickey Mouse. I know that’s like the most boring answer ever. But that’s the first character that comes to mind.
John: That’s good. When you’re reading, Kindle or real books?
Seth: Nook, I read the nook.
John: Nook. Okay. Okay.
Seth: I’m a Barnes and Noble guy.
John: There you go sponsored by ding. Brownie or ice cream?
Seth: Can I have both?
John: Yeah, you can.
Seth: I’d get them on the brownie.
John: That was a trick question. You can have both. Absolutely. Absolutely.
Seth: All right. Perfect. Done.
John: Yeah. More suit and tie or jeans and a T-shirt?
Seth: Oh, definitely jeans and a T-shirt.
John: Yeah. For sure. The last one, this is maybe the most important one I’ve ever asked. Toilet paper roll, over or under?
Seth: I’m going with over on that.
John: Going with over? Absolutely. It’s how the patent is drawn, right? So the last time we talked on Episode 51, what so many years ago, it was hiking and you were the only one who’s ever done their passion while recording the podcast, which I thought was awesome. You were actually doing the hike when we chatted. Is that still a thing that you’re doing?
Seth: In a way, I was getting high during the podcast, right? I mean in the most literal sense. Let’s not spread any rumors here. I’m not talking about mind-altering substances. I’m talking elevation, right?
John: Yes, absolutely.
Seth: Griffith Park, my Nirvana, in all honesty, at this point, it’s faded out a bit. I haven’t been hiking lately. But it is in the plans to get that started back up again. As a matter of fact, as of this recording, it’ll be long passed by the time people hear this. But we’re going to be meeting at the Huntington Library — a group of us professionally actually — which is a beautiful place to come to if you’re ever in the area where I am in Southern California. Some are going to bring their laptops and get some work done and the most beautiful environment you could ask for to be working in. And others are just going to go around and enjoy the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden.
I do still get out of my nerd cave occasionally. But the time that I used to spend doing my hiking was generally on Saturdays. Earlier this year, I got very, very laser focused on developing a series of new courses starting with the flagship cornerstone course of all of it, which I already mentioned. It’s the Bulletproof Bookkeeping with QuickBooks Online. So I’ve laid my hobby has become my work, which I love. I can honestly say I love getting up to do what I do every day. And I know a lot of people will say that. But in most cases, it’s not actually true. In my case, it is.
John: But it’s more than just doing your work. It’s a different thing. I mean when you’re creating a course and teaching people how to do what you do, that’s not doing the work. It’s work-related, but so was hiking was work-related because it was bringing people together that way. So it’s really not that much different to be honest. It’s just maybe a little bit closer.
Seth: John, it’s a craft. It’s so different than doing actual bookkeeping work — creating videos creating content. Anytime the thought ever pops into my head that I think I know everything there is to know about how to record and edit videos, it’s a very quick fleeting thought because I’m constantly learning new things. Just last week, I was editing a video for the next course that I’m working on. I’m not going to bore people with the details. It won’t make sense to anybody. But the bottom line was I learned something new. And I learned it by accident, which is how I learned a lot of things by the way. Almost every Excel tip I could give you, like the really cool ones that not everybody knows, is something I learned by accident because I did something accidentally with my keyboard that I didn’t mean to do. Then I had to try and retrace my steps to figure out how I did it and then after a bit of trial and error, I would figure out that shifting the spacebar highlight the whole row. I’m like, “What? Wait. Then something else in the spacebar is better at highlighting columns?” And sure enough, it was the Control key.
So it’s very similar. Things happen when I’m editing videos. And I just learned a little trick the other day that has to do with when you’re trying to clip a section of the video. That makes it much easier to make sure that you’ve isolated the exact points from both ends that you want to clip the video.
John: That’s awesome, man. I mean because that’s a different skill that you’re exercising, that editing and shooting video. I mean there’s people that you pay to do that. But you’re like, “Nope, I’m learning it and I’m going to do it myself.” And I think that’s fantastic. Yeah. Do people know that you’re the one behind all this? I mean of course you’re the face on the video, but you’re not just the superstar. You’re doing all of it.
Seth: Yeah. I think most people know. It’s funny because a lot of so-called gurus or coaches or whatever they choose to call themselves this week have suggested that I should really outsource the editing part. I’m like, “Are you kidding? That’s my favorite part of all of it because that’s where you truly get to…” I mean, of course, recording this stuff and knowing what you’re doing, that’s obviously part of the parcel. But to me, the most rewarding part of it is knowing that I’m sitting there and creating the experience that someone’s going to have and knowing especially that — and I know this is going to sound dramatic, but it’s not even a question of, “I believe it’s true.” I know it’s true because of what people have reflected back to me. I’m literally creating an experience that’s going to change someone’s life.
John: You totally are. That’s so cool because, yeah, I mean for you to outsource that, you lose the magic. You lose your fingerprint on it, if you will. I think that’s great that it’s like, “No. I’m shooting the video so I can actually edit them. That’s really why I’m doing this.”
Seth: Yeah, because that’s where you really create the experience for someone. It’s in the editing. That’s really the experience that gets created. Shooting the video is the easy part actually.
John: If you shoot enough, you can edit and make it look amazing for sure. That’s really cool, man. That’s really cool. What’s your editing software of choice?
Seth: I wasn’t sure because you made the comment about Barnes and Noble. I was trying to be careful about mentioning brands, but —
John: No, no. You can. I was just teasing, man. Absolutely.
Seth: Okay. Fair enough.
John: No one sponsors the show. Everyone should know that by now.
Seth: Actually, I should also remember that if anything, being that it’s you and me specifically here crossing lines is what it should be all about anyway. Not doing lines — crossing them. Again, I want to be clear. We’re not doing any mind-altering substances here.
John: I think by the fifth reference of this, people are going to start to wonder, “What is going on over there?”
Seth: Well, that’s the point right? We just want to see who has nothing better to do with their time.
John: Exactly. Then start with social media.
Seth: So the software I use, it’s no secret. It’s Camtasia. I absolutely love Camtasia. I cringe because you’ll see a lot of threads in Facebook groups where people are asking about what software to use to create and edit their videos. And if it’s anything to do with something that’s happening on your screen, I don’t know why there’s even a question about it anymore. I know there are other programs out there that you can use and there’s free ones, but I just feel like if you’re going to do it, just do it. Go all in. It’s not that much money. It’s like 300 bucks at the most. That’s if you don’t get a coupon or promotion of some kind. Just use Camtasia. Stop.
John: No. You go nuts, man.
Seth: If you’re going to do it, just do it.
John: Right. There you go. But I mean that applies to everything. And it’s certainly the mentality that you bring to Nerd Enterprises when you’re dealing with clients and everything else. That’s really cool because I mean in the same way that you’re creating these experiences with the videos and changing people’s lives, you do the same thing in your actual bookkeeping business. So when you’re actually dealing with clients, you’re doing that there too.
Seth: Yeah. Although more and more these days, I’m trying really hard not to deal with clients.
John: Right. Yeah. No, that’s the end goal actually. That’s the end goal for everyone.
Seth: I’ll tell you something, John. This is just very honest and all joking of any kind aside. Again, as of this recording, my wife and I recently had to put two of our three dogs to sleep, two of them in the same one-week period.
John: Oh, man.
Seth: So it’s been a very sad time on the one hand. And on the other hand, career wise, it’s a very happy time. So it’s bittersweet because career wise, I’m closer and closer to spending substantially all of my time doing the thing that I really love, which is creating the videos. Luckily — I should say I hate to use that word in this vein, but the timing of when we had to put them to sleep was just before the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah. So I had planned downtime, those two days, which worked out well in that sense that if it was going to have to happen around now, that was the time because it gave me the chance to have a couple of quiet days.
At the same time, while I’m just in such a deep state of grief, I don’t know what to do with myself. So I found myself just — I shut the email off. I didn’t open any social media pages. I just spent the day editing videos for my next course. And it wasn’t like that I was being insensitive about the fact that — it was because of the grief. I needed to do something to get and stay focused on to keep my mind somewhat off of it. I found that once I got into the groove — and this is nothing new for me but it just stood out here because of the circumstances — that I was in such a state of peace during that time because my mind was quiet. I was just focused. I had some very peaceful music playing as I often do when I’m here at my desk. And it was just that. There was no noise in my head. Do you know what I mean?
John: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. The head trash stuff that gets in the way. Yeah. I’m really sorry to hear that because your dogs, those pictures of them wearing the ties coming out of the dog salon and stuff, I mean I know you were really close.
Seth: Those guys were my life. We still have one left, Hercules. He’s the black one in that picture that you’re talking about. He’s the one with the black coat. Because that can, again, get taken way out of context, I’m not being racist here. His coat is black. You have to be so careful these days about what you say.
So Ralphie, who’s been such a big part of my life, he was the original dog in the original social media picture. We had updated it some years ago with him and Hercules, that’s the other dog on my lap, because we got the ties. So Ralphie and we also had his mother, Xena, who’s not in that photo. They were only a year apart in age. They were getting on. She was almost 17. He would’ve been 16 this coming Halloween 2019. They lived a good long life. But of course, it’s heartbreaking. He was such a big part of me both publicly and also privately in the home. It took such a big piece of my heart away, John. I honestly don’t know if or how I’ll ever truly recover from it. I don’t think you ever do. I think you have to go on in life.
John: Yeah. But you remember all the good times that you had and I mean all those crazy stories and the silly times and the ties and the things like that. I mean it’s a family member. But that’s really cool that, yeah, you were able to find peace and get in that groove and just — you’d be able to make other people’s lives better. So in a way, a little bit of your loss fuels so many people’s gain, which is really powerful.
Seth: Yeah. It really helped me. And I hope that everyone out there who’s listening has their version of something that they truly love to do. Because this is where I decided earlier this year to triple down on just creating courses and videos because I was finding, as often been the case throughout my career since I started my business, which was in 2003 originally, there have been so many times where I have — not I felt. I knew. I’ve known. I was spreading myself way too thin, right? I love the shiny new toy of course. I get ideas and I think, “Oh, this is a great idea. Let’s run with this and let’s run with that.” And next thing I know, it’s like — what I love to say about multitasking is there’s really no such thing as multitasking. What it means is that you’re highly unfocused on a lot of things.
John: And then nothing gets done.
Seth: Exactly. Then I was listening to a Gary Vaynerchuk video. And in that video, he said something. I’m paraphrasing, of course, but it was something like, “A lot of us are good at a lot of things.” But basically, the message was, “If you truly want to succeed, you have to find that one thing that you’re really good at, that you’re better at than any of the other things that you’re really good at. And you triple down on that one thing and you run with it.”
Earlier this year, I was just in that place where I knew I was spread too thin. One thing I was trying to build was frankly not going well. And just looking back, it had been more than a couple of years since I had been trying to put this vertical together. I was like, “No. It’s just not working.” And I heard the Gary Vaynerchuk video. And just to be clear because I know somebody there would go, “Well, what do you mean it’s a video? Were you watching it?” Actually, no, I listen to videos a lot in the background while I’m looking at and working on something.
John: Gary Vee is not a looker. So you can listen to the video just the same.
Seth: Exactly. Yeah, there’s nothing you really need to see. It’s usually just him talking and cursing, which is fine. I love his message. But I don’t need to see him to get the message. I just need to hear it. I really sat down and it wasn’t just one sit down. It was a probably over a series of time where I kept racking my brain thinking, “All right. What’s my answer to that? What’s my version of that?” Then once it hit me, I was like, “I can’t believe this wasn’t that much more obvious the first time I asked myself the question.” There’s no question. The one thing that I love to do more than anything else that I do, the one thing that I’m better at than anything else I do is not bookkeeping. It’s creating videos that teach people bookkeeping. And other things, not just bookkeeping but productivity at large. It’s creating educational videos based on productivity software. And it’s showing people how to be more productive, more efficient, more effective in anything that you’re doing that involves any kind of software.
What really lies underneath that, which is how I was able to get to that core when I really thought about it, was that a lot of people can be very knowledgeable in a subject. That doesn’t mean you can teach it, right? The trick to being able to teach something effectively is understanding it from the other person’s perspective. Probably the most important thing — I was just thinking about this the other day. The most important thing that makes a teacher a good teacher — and this is frankly what I feel is one of my superpowers — is having the ability to see it in a sense through somebody else’s eyes, but most importantly and most specifically, to understand what they’re not seeing. Because if you understand what they’re not seeing, then you know where to shine the light, so to speak. And that’s when you get those aha moments out of your students, out of your audience. And that’s what I love about teaching. Especially when I’m doing it with Zoom, which is what I use to log in remotely with people, and if they’ve got their camera on and I can practically, literally see the light come on in their eyes because they just got something because of that one little tweak I made and how I explained it, that’s the most rewarding thing I ever get to experience in my whole life, John.
John: That’s fantastic, man. That’s really cool. That’s really cool. I’m so glad you found it. Because when we met several years ago, you were mostly doing the bookkeeping. Yeah, you were creating some content, but that wasn’t really where the magic was. And now it is. Bulletproof Bookkeeping for QuickBooks Online. Yeah, man, I think that’s fantastic.
Before I wrap this up, though, it’s only fair that I allow you to ask me two to three rapid-fire questions if you would like since I so rudely started out firing away at you.
Seth: Oh, okay.
John: It’s your turn, man. Ask away anything you want.
Seth: I want to ask you one of the questions that you asked me last time around. Star Trek or Star Wars?
John: Star Wars. Yeah. I never got into Star Trek. Yeah. I just — I don’t know. But only the first three. After that, I haven’t seen any of the other ones. So I don’t want to ruin it.
Seth: All right. Favorite pizza topping?
John: Ah, that’s a good question. Yeah. All the meat and, yeah, pepperoni, sausage, ham. If I have to just choose one, it’d be pepperoni though. I’m just pretty classic.
Seth: Okay. Yeah. I’m totally with you there. There is a place near where I grew up on Long Island in Commack called Branchinelli’s, later changed names to Emilio’s. But they used to have — they called it the special pizza, and it had every possible topping.
John: Oh, wow. Wow. That sounds —
Seth: It was all the meats, all the veggies, everything.
John: All the veggies. Yeah. I mean there can be some veggies on there. That’s for sure. I’m not anti-veggie but usually at three to one ratio, meat to veggie.
Seth: It probably it was something like that because the meat definitely stood out. Their other specialty was white pizza, which is one of my favorites. But it’s very rare. You don’t see that at very many places. And even when you do, it’s often not that good. It seems like it’s hard to get that one —
John: Right. And by white pizza, you don’t mean Caucasian pizza? You mean it’s Alfredo sauce. People know that like —
Seth: Right. Yeah. It’s not racist, okay? Let’s be careful. It’s because it’s got ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese and it’s white. That’s the color of the pizza. Somebody out there is going, “Why is it got to be white?”
John: It just is.
Seth: I had another question for you, another rapid-fire. Cheeseburger or burger?
John: Oh, cheeseburger. Yeah. Put cheese on that thing. Yeah, for sure. As many calories as I can get into my face is possible.
Seth: Well, you’re very lucky because from what I remember seeing you, you don’t look like somebody who suffers from eating too much. You look pretty thin.
John: No, no. I appreciate that. Yeah. But I certainly do. It’s definitely a good pastime. That might be one of my other passions, I guess. Well, it’s definitely ice cream for sure. But that works, man. This has been great, Seth.
Seth: Have me back anytime, John. It’s always a blast talking with you.
John: I mean everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Seth in action or connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. While you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread that who you are is so much more than what you do.