30 May Essential Craftsman by Scott Wadsworth: An Over 60 Influencer
When I landed an interview with Scott Wadsworth, I was totally stoked. He’s a worldwide influencer with subscribers spanning the globe and also as close as my office. And when I met him, he did not disappoint.
Scott Wadsworth is a very personable, multi-talented carpenter with skills in blacksmithing, welding, building, land surveying and more. He runs the Essential Craftsman YouTube channel with nearly 425,000 devoted subscribers and close to 40 million views. A fairly new channel, he launched January 2, 2016 and shares information on craftsmanship, the tools, and history. On May 15, 2017 he added a Facebook page where followers can peak into his personal life, win prizes, and register for his Blacksmithing course. So how’d he get started?
As a kid growing up in a rural area, Scott loved building forts, boats, bridges, and dams. In school, he performed well in math and science and found physics intriguing. He also loved to read. “I’ve been a voracious reader since about seven-years-old. I read Robinson Crusoe at an early age and was hooked on reading after that.”
In high school, Scott became a skilled musician and started a band with a few friends. He continued playing with his band at Oregon State University while majoring in engineering. “I had this illusion I’d be a musician. I did very well with that and even played for President Carter.”
Upon leaving school, Scott had the choice to become a traveling musician or to settle down. “I had an epiphany that this [music] was not a life that would be a route to happiness and when my jazz bandmates were recruited by Disneyland, I stayed behind and married my high school sweetheart who has been my wife for 41 years.”
“Looking for a career, I went back to my love of carpentry because I liked building and as I think just a little more carefully, I knew my dad approved of this though he did not do much of it himself. It was a natural propensity for me.”
A high school welding class was Scott’s only formal training. He also learned a lot working in four different states with 100s of people. “I think mostly what I know has come by experience coupled with reading. When you learn to read you learn to love to learn. I wasn’t content with knowing what to do. I wanted to understand why it was what you do.”
Scott and his family followed opportunities in the industry, moving to four different states while raising four children. “I enjoyed a career in construction in Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, and Las Vegas. In 1994 while in Las Vegas, my oldest son was approaching junior high school, and I did not want to raise teen boys in Las Vegas. I did not want to expose them to the [rampant objectification] of women and decided to pick up my family and move back to Oregon. My wife agreed with me, so we left and lost a considerable income in the process that we never achieved again, but it was worth it.”
More than 20 years later, Essential Craftsman Youtube came about because Scott’s son Nathan felt his dad had a talent and a voice that deserved to be shared. “So when it came around that Nate kept saying to do this, I didn’t see any value, but I decided to listen.”
The next big YouTube project will be building the spec house. This will be a full-time effort for 18 months. About 200 to 300 videos will come out of it. Meanwhile, followers can turn to Essential Craftsman Facebook for contests and personal updates. Most recently, Scott gave away a high end, 100+ year old anvil on the Facebook page. “Everything civilization required emerged between the face of an anvil and the face of a hammer. It connects [us] with life as it used to be.”
With the transition from full-time craftsman to online influencer, Scott says his life has changed dramatically. When Scott worked his craft full-time, he usually began working at 5 a.m. “I now spend a lot of time in the office responding to emails. My interaction with people even here in Douglas County has taken a different tenor. My wife has helped me remain balanced because social media fame is not real in the way that people’s lives are real.”
His favorite part of being an influencer is the impact he has had on young men. Scott got choked up just thinking about the many amazing relationships he’s formed through a shared love of carpentry. He helped promote a GoFundMe for Nick, a subscriber whose daughter was diagnosed with cancer. He’s helped many others decide on major career and life decisions. And several have shared that Scott has been the dad they never had.
“When you get to be 60, you think all of your most important days are behind you. As a carpenter, you’re about 30 percent as productive as before. I had resigned myself to being as good of a granddad as possible, and now I’ve expanded my impact.”
Want to know more? Learn all the ways you can connect with Scott at https://essentialcraftsman.com.