I NEED YOUR ADVICE (please!)

[Note: In case you’re wondering, this post is a follow-up to this (which has been getting a lot of comments). I will try my best to respond to each and every comment you post, BTW]

OK… in my last email and blog post I left you with a cliff hanger and I’m sorry if you have been feeling upset with me for not revealing that “really big request”.

Anyway, I’ve been feeling reluctant to talk about something. But it’s long overdue so here goes…

When I first started sharing my Excel knowledge online in 2011 with Launch Excel, there was no way I could have guessed how many times my videos would be watched.

And as you may or may not know, the last time I posted a new video to the Launch Excel YouTube channel was 4 years ago on January 16, 2013. I stopped posting new videos because my life situation had changed and I no longer had enough time to share more Excel knowledge by carefully crafting video tutorials and blog posts.

So when I last checked my YouTube channel in January 2017, it was showing that my 31 videos had been watched a total of 2,038,283 times. That’s about 2 million views more than I expected to see!

YouTube Views - 2m Launch Excel

Then I started catching up with the 600+ comments that have been posted on my channel (as well the comments on my blog) and I started to realize that my videos have really helped a lot of Excel users worldwide.

YouTube - Likes/Dislikes/Comments for Launch Excel

So here is what I have been holding out on for years…

I’ve been:

  • Nicely asked
  • Strongly encouraged
  • Pleaded with…

To share the accumulation of what I have learned over the last 14 years mastering Microsoft Excel in the workplace, so that newcomers to Excel, as well as those with some existing knowledge, can be much more productive and feel less frustrated with Excel.

And I’ve been asked to do this by posting more Excel tutorial videos and articles online, as well as by creating full Excel courses to take you from beginner to advanced level.

For YEARS I’ve resisted doing this

I found myself not having enough time to commit to this.  After moving half way around the world from England to Singapore in 2013 with my family (wife and two young kids) there were many things we decided had to get done first, like find a suitable place to live and settle our kids into school.

And for many years I found myself too busy with work commitments such as when I did a brief secondment to a buyout firm, and when I worked with technology startups helping them with operations and finance. While the work I did was very interesting and varied (I covered companies in cosmetics, food ingredients, medical instruments, fish farming and education), there was a little voice in my head that said “you should be working on Launch Excel now”. Yet for years I resisted because there were always other things to take care of.

Oh, and one other reason I didn’t take any action? I am a bit of a perfectionist.

OK what I mean when I say “I’m a bit of a perfectionist” is that I don’t want to go half-way or half-hearted with anything. When I commit to something I want to give it my all, and make sure it’s the best I can do.

And another part of my perfectionist identity was very worried about negative comments from critics and skeptics.

How I’m Trying to Learn From the Past

Before I set up Launch Excel in 2011, I often had worries such as the following:

  • Would anyone like my videos and articles?
  • Would people dislike my voice or presentation style?
  • Would viewers be confused by what I explained?
  • Would the material I posted be forgotten in the ocean of how-to stuff out there on the web?

But I still went ahead and set up Launch Excel.  And it ended up having an impact that I’m just now coming to terms with.

Over the past 6 years I got a ton of comments like these from people who found Launch Excel videos useful:

“Many thanks please make more excel videos!” – ndelpurg

“Your voice is really soothing and clear. Thank you for your tutorial.” – S. M. Ho

“Wow, you are a type of excel Jesus, thank you” – Armoricalex

“Excellent demonstration thank you very much” – Tolan

“Dude that was AWESOME! You gave me the ultimate weapon!” – Milan

“I wish I knew about this earlier. I spent literally days cutting and pasting, so I could use data in a pivot table. Bravo!” – Bjmsj

“Wow I’m really impressed of the power of macro’s. When my teacher tried to explain this to me, it was all Chinese for me. Your explanation is super!! Thanks a lot!!” – Yannick

“Thank you for your awesome video, your instructions were very clear.” – Liztra

“You ROCK!! Thanks for the tips, and your time, I appreciate it.” – Tom

There were a few critics too, and what my inner perfectionist realized after reading their comments is that I don’t need to worry about whether everyone likes what I have to offer as long as enough people benefit from my teaching that I can help to improve their lives in some meaningful way.

In fact I now value negative feedback because this is often the best place to work on improvements. So my inner perfectionist takes comfort by saying to me that negative feedback shows me how I get better as I go along, rather than being a reason for me not to start at all.

So I’m Seriously Considering Doing This

Despite my worries, existing commitments and perfectionism, I am seriously considering sharing more about how to use Microsoft Excel. And I want to do this by creating full-blown online Excel courses that you can take in the comfort of your own home or office.

I know that when I started using Excel over 14 years ago, there were so many things I didn’t know that I didn’t know. I would have LOVED to have someone experienced take me step-by-step through what’s possible in Excel.

And because Excel is so widely used around the world (Microsoft estimates 1.1 billion people use Excel in some way) I think I could make a useful contribution to many people’s lives – especially to YOUR life, if I started creating online Excel courses for you.

If I Do This, It Will Be A LOT of Work

I’m really excited to share my knowledge in Excel with you, but I’ve been around long enough to know that my small projects quickly get out of hand and turn into big ones!

So I only want to create online Excel courses if there’s enough interest.

Here’s what I want you to do. If you support the spirit of Launch Excel and have gained anything from my articles and videos, I’d really appreciate you giving me an opinion.

What I want to know from you (please reply in the comments section below):

  • What do you think?
  • Should I do this?
  • Would you be interested?

Your feedback and thoughts are absolutely the fuel that keeps me going.

And I don’t want to even think about doing this unless there’s enough potential interest.

Anyway, if you have a minute, please leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

It would mean a lot to me, and I’ll do my best to respond to each and every comment.

Talk soon,
Victor Chan

Victor Chan
Victor runs Launch Excel to help you master Excel and VBA. He has used Excel a lot since 2002. He's a Chartered Accountant (Fellow of the ICAEW) with a Masters in Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Cambridge... and has a passion for teaching others. Enjoy his tutorials!
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Showing 50 comments
  • Rune Eriksson
    Reply

    If it feels right in the gut, just go for it! That is what I learned over the years. All kind of small problems can always be ironed out during the path, if you really are commited to it! Just my 10c. Best regards from a cold Stockholm

    • admin
      Reply

      Hey Rune! Thanks for your 10c. Good advice on the small problems being ironed out later.

      Best regards from a humid Singapore

  • Larry Bryan
    Reply

    Always interested in following interesting excel postings and/or tutorials.

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Great to hear that Larry!

  • Rahul
    Reply

    Yes you can start.

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Thanks for your support Rahul.

  • Mike
    Reply

    your program helped me 5 years ago. Since then I’ve learned a great portion cause I deal with excel everyday. I now have begun to make code in VBA. So I personally am not interested.

    However I would recommend it. There’s a growing demand for business minded people, especially accountants. The ability to use excel is almost a must now.

    • admin
      Reply

      Yes I agree Mike, the ability to use Excel seems a must in most workplaces.

      It’s great that you have started using VBA. That opens up a whole big field of possibilities!

      Thanks for your comment

  • Arvind
    Reply

    Yes, You should continue with launch excel. It has a great potential considering number of users using excel.
    It excites me a lot to learn excel and implement it in my core areas. I learn everyday from great teachers on becoming awesome in excel.

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Thanks for the support Arvind. I’m really excited to hear that you like learning about Excel and want to become more awesome.

  • Randy
    Reply

    Would love to see you do this. I am always looking to continue learning more about Excel. Really looking forward to this happening.

    • admin
      Reply

      Randy I’m glad you are really keen to continue learning more about Excel, and are really looking forward to this happening!

  • Michael Oloishuro
    Reply

    Excel is becoming the main tool even for Reasearch people and for new employees, it is becoming a necessary skill.
    Michael

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Yes Michael, I think that’s true. Some of the scientists / researchers I worked with in Singapore use Excel a lot more than I expected. And they were often keen to learn from me about how to use Excel smarter.

  • Michael Oloishuro
    Reply

    I learn something new on almost every day basis in Excel. I enjoy learning excel anytime. I come across assorted assignments as I assist colleagues. Currently trying to learn more on Excel VBA.

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Thanks for the extra info. Excel VBA is a very exciting field!

  • Angela
    Reply

    Yes definitely go for, I love learning new things in excel it’s such a great tool

    • admin
      Reply

      Hey Angela, I’m grateful for your support. And yes I agree Excel can be a great tool!

  • bulent
    Reply

    Hey Victor, I really appreciate you and your works. Please , submitt more templates on project management.

    regards

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Hey Bulent, I’m grateful for your appreciation. I’ll keep you posted on new developments.

  • Roger Williams
    Reply

    Hi Victor,
    I have missed your hints over the past few years and still Launch Excel as a data base when struggling.please get back to it 🙂

    • admin
      Reply

      Hey Roger, I remember when you joined my email list a few years ago. Nice to hear from you again. Yes I’ll be getting back to creating more Excel content soon!

  • Stanton Sanders
    Reply

    Victor; if you can make the time please move forward with Launch Excel. I work in the manufacturing world, and thanks to you I have become sort of the go-to-guy for excel forms and tools. This is because I have been able to use your teachings and adapt them to what I am being asked for. Excel is always changing. The way that you present your topics is so much easier to understand than Excels help files. I always succeed with your presentation topics and end up with trial and error efforts with the help files. I just want to thank you for your time and efforts with Launch Excel.

    • admin
      Reply

      It’s great to hear that you have become “sort of” the go-to-guy for Excel forms and tools. I will continue making more easy-to understand tutorials in Excel – and hopefully one day soon you’ll become THE go-to-guy for Excel, period!

  • pietro
    Reply

    Hi Victor,
    I’m working in financial industry.
    I’m a financial advisor and fan of Mathematica but I never learned Excel and I hope to do so in the near future with you.
    I’m particolarly interested in optimizatione and simulation.
    Please send me information about Launch Excel.
    Best

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Hi Pietro, welcome to Launch Excel. I think Wolfram’s Mathematica is the pinnacle of technical computing, it’s a very powerful package. In its own way Excel can be technically powerful, however I think a key feature of Excel is how widely it’s used and how quick it is to create a wide range of applications in Excel.

  • Rebecca
    Reply

    I think it is important to have training videos that are available to people wherever they may be. Personally, I have used Excel for years but still always learn something new depending on the needs of my organization. I have recently started incorporating PowerQuery into my worksheets and it is an invaluable tool.This is the direction that business is heading in – we need a straightforward way to handle a lot of data and Excel is still proving to be the go-to tool for that.

    • admin
      Reply

      Thanks for your comment Rebecca, I think for better or worse Excel is going to be the go-to tool for a lot of data analysis for many years. I think there has been a recent trend for software applications (especially online) to replace one specific feature of Excel, yet for flexibility and ubiquity I don’t think there will be anything like Excel … at least not for years

      Look forward to more interactions with you!

  • Benny
    Reply

    Hi Victor,

    I would love to see more of Your efforts !
    In my search for ways to use Excel more effectively or how to execute certain actions I found Your lessons amongst the best there was to find on the net.

    So yes, I look forward to new lessons, examples, templates, …
    All the best !

    • admin
      Reply

      Hi Benny – I am very grateful that you found my lessons to be amongst the best there was to find on the net. With Launch Excel v2.0 here, I will be looking to create even more lessons and examples and templates

  • Joseph Kiwanuka
    Reply

    Oh Victor, please do I am interested

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Hey Joseph – thanks!

  • John Styevens
    Reply

    Hi Victor;
    I’m an instructor and could really use the information. I don’t have time to go to class but I could always find time at night to learn at home. I would be very pleased if you went forward with your plans.

    • admin
      Reply

      Hi John, yes learning at home at night is a solid option if there’s no time during the day to go class. That’s what I like most about online material – it’s accessible whenever you want as long as you have an internet connection and computer.

      With people like you counting on me, I’m definitely going to go ahead with my plans

  • Greg
    Reply

    Yes Victor, go for it if it feels right. It would be big job especially if your working full time. I was confident with Excel before I saw your videos but then you took me to a whole new level. There is a whole lot more to learn, even if I had no use for it, I would practice off your videos as an educational tool. Best of luck.
    Regards Greg

    • admin
      Reply

      Hey Greg, nice to have your support! I’m hoping to keep making new stuff so you can keep leveling up

  • Axel
    Reply

    Hey Victor,

    I had been following you before but wondered why I no longer receive any of your Excel articles/blogs/videos, etc. Glad that you are back now. Go for it!

    Pushing you forward,

    Axel

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Hey Axel, I hear you loud and clear – and will definitely go for it! Thanks for your support.

  • Mike Lathim
    Reply

    Yes there those who do not always have access to a classroom learning environment or to any form of formal training, except what they can find on the internet. To that end you video and emails fill a very large gap.

    I also have a question from time to time on how to do something. your video and email are saved then when I have a need I just do a search for the answer.

    To answer both questions yes the are needed and yes I do have an intrest.

  • Mary Ndaba
    Reply

    Hi Victor,
    I have been waiting for a course like this, and especially where the tutor interacts with you one-on-one. I currently got an actuarial internship in a big insurance company back here in Kenya and I desperately need Launch Excel!! I want to learn more than is expected of me, make myself more marketable. In the long-term, I want to do actuarial consulting. What other way to earn trust from your clients other than be good at stuff like Excel and other software?! I think courses online would be an awesome deal. Plus I would recommend it to anyone!! You are great at Excel Victor, share it with us. And…being your own boss is damn sweet!! All the best, I look forward to the lessons.

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Hi Mary, it sounds like you are someone who plans ahead and keeps working. I applaud your direction and perseverance, keep going with your actuarial internship and career.

      Thanks for your support too, it means a lot to me. I will keep going with Launch Excel to help you and others you recommend it to.

  • Bill Speizman
    Reply

    Under the ITOTKO (It takes one to know one) heading: “my small projects quickly get out of hand and turn into big ones!” You’re singing my song.
    Absolutely you should do what you propose.
    I have read only a few comments. So someone else may have sent this already.
    Time is money. I urge you to make some charge–even a nominal charge. Your wife and kids are giving up their time with you when you create videos for us. We should pay some interest on their loan. Even just $5.00 per view. That amount won’t exclude anyone and it would be an opportunity for us to say a tangible “Thank you”. Plus it could pave the way to financial freedom for your family.
    Which would give you more time to help us. LOL
    Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer Givers and more and more Takers in the world today. YOU are a Giver. $5.00 a pop would also give us a chance to be Gs instead of Ts. {Assuming there is a payment mechanism on YouTube.)
    Go for it!
    Bill
    P.S. I recall you phoned me when I signed up years ago. Unheard of these days.Thank you.

    • admin
      Reply

      Hi Bill – yes I remember when you signed up! I’ll keep looking for ways to give, as well as find a way to make enough online to support this endeavor. Hopefully one day soon it will be financially stable enough for me to make it a full time activity.

      Great to hear from you again and let’s keep the conversation going! Look forward to hearing from you again soon.

  • Mahammad Rafi
    Reply

    Hi,
    Thanks for your understanding, by sharing of your knowledge through videos,
    These videos are really helpful for do as smart work in daily activities

    Iam following and practicing yours vedios,
    Thank you very much

    Mahammad Rafi

    • admin
      Reply

      Hi Mahammad, thanks for following and do keep practising from my videos. Thanks for your comment

  • Michael Noble
    Reply

    Victor, once again, this is all about you, not us. You have been given a gift, the question is, not that it is hard work or the amount of time it takes, but will you not share your gift to help others? You have to have an inner passion that rives you to help others and then you have to set the boundaries necessary in your life and then start giving.

    Freely you have received (your gift), freely you should give to others. All the comments should tell you what we think you should do, but ultimately you need to decide.

    Please don’t do it if you think we want it, you do it because you WANT TO do it. Be yourself.

    • admin
      Reply

      Michael, thank you for reminding me that I have freely received a gift. I think your words are very encouraging, and I have come to the conclusion that in order for me to help more people I will continue with Launch Excel because I want to. Thanks for your encouragement and clarity

  • Sue Reed
    Reply

    Always interested in more insights into how to better use Excel. Go for it!

    • Victor Chan
      Reply

      Hi Sue – thanks for your comment!

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