WYWU Road Report: Finding Colors Worth Flying

In 2010, an old friend found the motorcycle frame I’d been looking for. Dale (in the opening image with my “Mistress”) came across it and knew I wanted to build a big rigid-frame chopper. It took ten weeks to build and thirteen weeks to get a title. Thanks Georgia.

Long before my obnoxious nine-foot Honda-powered Harley had me scaring women and children, it was just an idea in my head. Why not? It’s way cheaper to build and rebuild than to buy most stuff new. I ended up with around a grand invested into something that fit me like a glove.

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My 1978 Chevy Good Times Machine, the official road dog of the WYWU: Working Your Way Up podcast.

Over the years I’ve owned more than fifty cars, trucks and vans. I’ve also had close to a dozen motorcycles and one piece of crap scooter that I can’t even give away. This van is number seven for me. Maybe it’s lucky. Maybe it’s part of something bigger.

I’ve got friends who’ve tried to get me to fly their colors and ride with their clubs, but I always pass. I’m not crazy about riding in large groups, especially when alcohol is involved. Mostly I just don’t like the idea of committing myself to any group that doesn’t fully represent what matters to me. Nobody has offered me colors I’m willing to stitch on my back, so I made my own.

new wywu logo 2The new WYWU logo is a picture of my SM55 vocal microphone with some old school pinstriping ideas. I sent them off to my designer who blew it out of the water. The colors were specifically chosen for the van and and give me a vibe that suits my soul. If I was a Transformer like Bumblebee, this is probably how I’d look.

These are the colors I’ll fly.

WYWU is about taking what you have and building a future with it. It’s about getting maps to the minefields we all have to cross, directly from the hand of someone who’s already way ahead of us. The job market is changing. People need opportunities. If good options aren’t presented, good options can’t be chosen. Podcasting gives us a voice and it gives me a choice.

Back in 2012 I had another idea…

What if I could make a living online and preserve what was left of my knees and back? With blogging as my entry-point to becoming a content creator, I formally flung my over-confident ass into the interwebs. I’d been studying online business since the mid-90s and felt pretty confident in my ability to ramble on for hours as a nearly-perpetual source of content, but my content pit wasn’t bottomless.

It turns out I only get to tell the same tired stories once or twice in print before I have to retire them. Without actively working in the industry, the pickings get slim quickly, even after so many years.

After my career in audio helped drive me into a near-divorce experience, it went away, along with the studio I built and two houses we’d renovated. I had to step away from my beloved mix position to work on my relationships within my home. It was about four years of hell and cost us everything, but we tore up the divorce papers and fought our way through. I equate sacrifice under extreme conditions to a plane dumping unnecessary weight, trying to improve its chance of landing in one piece. We dropped a lot of weight from 2009 to 2017. It’s taken a while to get my bearings and prepare to take off again.

Landing back in Georgia

When my wife and I decided to work things out, we also made a long-term plan for our future. I would find my perfect online niche and she would begin planning for how we would bring guests to the bed and breakfast she’s always wanted. We figured out how to make it work for both of us. I work from home most of the time so operating a business like that would have minimal effect on my schedule. (Meaning we get to have gardens and chickens too.)

office shot 1
How the office looked when I found it.

Step one with the new place involved getting me a functional office. We had a 12×24 storage building on the land when we bought it that was converted into my current workspace. Yes, that’s right. My office is actually a storage building, but it works fine for now.

Over time the concept evolved to include building me a new office with excellent acoustics so I can listen to Dark Side of the Moon as often and loud as I want. All together we’d eventually have a private resort with the best mixing room in the south. She gets her dream, I get a continuous pipeline of face to face interviews with audio engineers who’d like a peaceful place to develop immersive show files or mix with Atmos, or just fish for trout all day. WYWU will still be on the road regularly, when we aren’t hosting mixing sessions and interviews at home.

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Office renovations (round one) included a seemingly irrational wall of glass, an acoustic cloud over my mix position and a whole lot of reclaimed barn wood.

And, even though we landed in the serene north Georgia mountains, I need these road trips. WYWU is the mission, the niche, the best use of whatever soup is swirling inside my head. I’ve trained my whole life to podcast and didn’t know it until July of 2018.

Beyond that, I’m looking for some specific sponsors to provide podcasting rigs like mine to other potential podcasters. I’d love to help set others up with new gear and show the home studio crowd another source of revenue. (Maybe even help develop a podcast network)

And now a word about my van…

This van gives me the opportunity to break monotonous routines that inevitably cause me to become brutally unproductive on a monthly cycle. The “yet-unnamed” van will be accompanying me on the journey as I work my own way up into the podcasting world. Over time I plan to build her out as a functional mobile living and workspace as a cheap option for the folks who can’t just buy anything they want.

The van also represents my childhood memories of dad’s old Dodge Tradesman with his own custom mural. Nothing ever fit me like a van. This one is going to take shape over time to become a showpiece. I’m going to work my own way up and document the process.

We also got another dog. My dog of fifteen years, Asia, died last year, waking up a bit of depression I hadn’t dealt with in a while. Sunny does well in the van. She’s got her own story. I’ll get into that one another time.

The big picture

I’ve decided that 2020 is the year to show, not tell. If you’re good at something, don’t do it for free. So I’m not. WYWU is the culmination of the last 30 years of my life, wrapped up into a time capsule, capturing a moment that will outlive me.

Rabunshire is the name we’ve given our home. Rabunshire Media is the tag we’re hanging on any digital content we produce up here. The site will also feature our progress as we turn five acres of mountainside into a private retreat, serving as bait, to bring audio engineers up here… So I can capture interviews for WYWU and own my niche. I think it’ll work. I think this is everything I’ve been searching for.

I think I’ll fly these colors.

One thought on “WYWU Road Report: Finding Colors Worth Flying

  1. Pretty awesome. Glad you fought to keep your marriage, much respect for that. Glad to see you grow and do what you enjoy. Will definitely make a trip to see yall this summer. Love the van and the guy on the motorcycle is really good looking.😁✌

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