Benji Naesen: Lanterne Rouge co-host, Gamer, YouTuber — The Hard Way (2024)

Benji Naesen 5:16

We're talking about those days. So back in the day, roughly 2005 ish is I think when we were talking about this, I was aided back then. So I was born in 1997. I'm now 25. And, yeah, my mom came home with a magazine with PCM 2005, I think attached to it. I had already seen it once before because I was playing football at that time, as like a as a hobby in like, competitively, well, competitively at that age. Let's, let's not pretend it's too high up either. I was one of the best footballers of that day. No. I ended up I think seeing that game from the son of one of the coaches there that was driving me to to the actual football pitch. And after that, I was like, oh, cool game. And then my mom came home with that magazine. And I was like, oh, yeah, addiction has started. And ever since it's kind of started going up and going out because as a kid, it was kind of I know about some Bonin, I know about digital bears of the world, which shall bear hadn't really broken through that much. Yet. At that time, it was more tumbling that was really at the highest was of his eye. Idol. He was an idol in Belgium, in Flanders. And that game made me usually play with the riders that I knew and gradually made me know more about other riders that existed and other teams that existed and I started watching more and more races outside of just the I don't know of law that embodies or bad Tour de France genre of racing. And by the time it's 2010, I was I was watching most of the races. But I'd say that 2014 is when I went into crazy mode and started watching the the 2.1 race is the one that one race is next to all the top races as well. So it took time, it was a gradual approach. But I'm addicted and I can't get away from it anymore.

Andrew Vontz 6:58

Was the game at that. So you got the game on CD ROM, what were you doing going into AOL chat rooms to learn more about how to play the game. Now,

Benji Naesen 7:07

I'm actually a single player person in that game, most of the time, and it just I started my career mode on it. I think back in the day, I love to play with like lotto eventually also with McCune and so thought of in the in the late 2000s. And I gradually got to know more and more people in it. And afterwards you. I think, when I started my YouTube channel about pro cycling manager in 2015, there was already a Skype group which I was in which had quite a few active people that were like all playing PCM all the time. So I fit right in. And eventually, I ended up making together with a few authors from that Skype group, a Discord server, because Skype was limited to like 20 people. So every single time, and this is bad, this is a horrible feel like a horrible personnel. But every time you had a new friend, you have to ditch one of your old friends to make sure that he would fit in those 20 people in the chat group on Skype, which is horrible. But a discord didn't have that limit. So we started growing on, I think we made one of the biggest PCM communities, if not the biggest, which was PCM world, which I left about three years ago, because they became a bit too toxic to my taste. But I feel like there's still a lot of great people in there. And I'd love to catch up with a few people in there. But hey, that's how communities are started when it comes to games, I

Spencer 8:24

guess. And we've got, like, one or two people listening who don't know what Pro Cycling manager is. Obviously, this is one of the more popular I'm kidding. I mean, I don't think I've ever played it. And like I could, I can't imagine anyone more into pro cycling than myself. But art, like just explain it to us for a second. Are you usually like putting a team together? And then you're watching the races? Or are you like actually pedaling the bike in the game? How is this working?

Benji Naesen 8:54

So it's a a PC game. There's also a PlayStation and Xbox game these days that is separate from that. But the PC game is where it started for me. And you jump into that you can choose between just controlling a team and a race, you can select existing teams. Or you can also do a career mode, which is basically you go through seasons with an existing team. Or you can make a custom team of writers with a certain budget, which is also kind of fun if you want to try and Bogosian the role in the same team, for example, in a custom team that's available, and then you have to go through the races. You're not actually on your bike, by the way, it just controlling with keyboard and mouse. And yeah, you basically have to try and get as many victories as possible. You're not actually like it's not like FIFA, where you control the rider directly where you say to the left to the right, on Pro Cycling manager, that's possible, but it's more to management type of the game that's more important, if that makes sense.

Andrew Vontz 9:48

Got it. So Benji, if I'm doing my math correctly, you were about 11 years old, I think are 10 or 11 years old when Tom Bonin wrecked his Lamborghini going I think like 200 miles an hour possibly high on cocaine. Do you remember that happening? And how did your parents explain that to you?

Benji Naesen 10:10

Wow, I think I think we just made a lot of jokes about cocaine during that period. I think outside of that it was just the humor behind it. There was nothing too serious about it. I do feel like John Bolton had a bit of an evolution in the media where he was so much in the media during his top days that the second it started going a bit sideways in his career, that he got so much criticism. And it started moving towards the moments where if I talk to my grandma, right now, she's like, Autumn born, and he always has to be the center of attentions on TV and so forth. But in reality is just because media cover those people so much, because they were at the height of their, of their progress at that time. And I think I didn't know it wasn't explained significantly. I just knew that it happened. And I still enjoyed the cycling to be fair.

Andrew Vontz 10:57

When did you get into writing code and doing development?

Benji Naesen 11:02

I think my my dad was a journalist back in the day. He still does it relatively, quite a bit. But his journalism kind of moved away from doing it from a for an existing firm in Belgium to having his own journalist website. And I saw him writing the code of that website. And I was like, that sounds pretty cool. And then at school, I realized that I'm sure that French, and that I'm sure that German and that I'm terrible at chemistry. And then I found the exact study that didn't have all three of those, which was basically going into coding. So part of the reason that I went into coding is because I was terrible at chemistry.

Andrew Vontz 11:40

And then what kind of development or coding did you do during your career? And how long did you do it for him?

Benji Naesen 11:46

So initially, it was website development that I was into, which was basically, at first when I was, like, 1314 12, maybe I don't know, dot dot age, probably 1413. I was looking into YouTube tutorials on how to write HTML, CSS, and basic JavaScript. So your basic web development, websites making and so forth. And I think that gradually grew throughout the years to the point that when I started doing this study, I realized I wasn't a good coder, which is not a good thing, if you want to be a good coder, and actually work in this space. So I, I was the kind of person that didn't study a lot. But if I did study, I would be able to do it. So I used one week of my time to study for like seven days straight. How would you go with every bloody tutorial I found on like the theory of it, because that was where I was lacking, I could write code because that's basically looking up on the Internet, what the specific code is that I need and just writing it over. But the theory behind it is what I was missing in, it took me a bit to get the hang of that. But then I got actually suddenly really good at it, because I actually put time into figuring out the theory behind the scenes, because that's the thing that a lot of people I think don't get when it comes to coding is that the basics of coding is the most important because once you get the hang of how a certain language a programming language is made, what the certain parts of the programming and ramming language and what the manners are in which you program certain things, then switching a language from one programming language to the other is not overly difficult. There are some different principles, but the basic state is same. So once you get those basics, it's it's relatively straightforward. So I don't know. Eventually, I ended up actually following proper studies that went into proper coding. And I eventually had an internship at a company in Belgium gold studio hyperdrive, where I was a JavaScript developer full stack JavaScript developer. And that was both web development and mobile development. And I did that with my youtube channel about pro cycling manager on the side.

Andrew Vontz 13:57

And at what point did the Pro Cycling manager notoriety become noticeable to you? I guess

Benji Naesen 14:05

that's a difficult one because like I'm the kind of kid that had multiple YouTube channels as a kid that most of which failed.

Andrew Vontz 14:13

Can you say more? Just to hit pause there Can you say more about what did you try before the Pro Cycling manager stuff started to get some traction?

Benji Naesen 14:20

I had a channel about Minecraft for a second which crazy stuff wasn't wasn't a long time because at the time I was still having like a squeaky voice on YouTube which I'm glad it's not findable on YouTube anymore. There is not a single clip on there and I love it

Spencer 14:37

would be worth a lot of money if someone could find that they would be

Andrew Vontz 14:39

making NF t

Benji Naesen 14:42

if I have if I have to be honest there's there's often one multiplayer video where I'm in the background with my voice as like as like a child so the squeaky voice is still there somewhere in one spot. So if anybody finds it well, congrats because it's really difficult to find. But next to that I had a channel about A Game, Best game of all time, no pro cycling manager, Lord of the Rings battle for Middle Earth, which was like a strategy game about Lord of rings, loved it. And I had his YouTube channel without commentary where I just did speed runs of the game as fast as possible, try and get through it. And there were videos which hit 20 25k views, but then my youtube channel got deleted because I used a six second clip of Nibley crossing the line on a Tour de France stage. And that was apparently not happy by Ahmadi sports organization, which I shouldn't have done that, but I was a kid, so I didn't realize it. And that channel was gone. And then I had a bit of a depressed period of like all my channels ago. And then I restarted Vinci, so you just 2015

Spencer 15:43

logged in one day and the video, it's not like the video was taken down your channel was just gone from that.

Benji Naesen 15:51

There's been a whole evolution of like how copyright stuff happened on YouTube. And now there's like a strike system where you have to get multiple strikes for your channel to be deleted, and so forth. But back in the day, only, I only needed one, I was gone. So this was like the 2014 2013 periods or 2012, whatever. So really early on, and yeah, I don't know, maybe it was good, because then I could focus on my studies a bit. And afterwards, I went more into the PCM type of content for my next gentleman.

Andrew Vontz 16:21

And so how are you balancing making the Pro Cycling manager content playing the game, which I'm assuming you had to put a lot of time into to continue to excel at it. And then your studies is beginning a career?

Benji Naesen 16:35

Well, I'd say that I was still the kind of person that didn't study a lot and probably should have studied a bit more. Because I had those periods where I didn't study throughout the year. But then when it comes to exam starting I had every single hour of my day focused on setting Otherwise, I wouldn't make it. But throughout the year, I did find time to do so because all my free time was pretty much going into to gaming and creating content from gaming to the point that I probably wouldn't be playing a game if I couldn't make content from it. Which is maybe a weird thing to say. Because I kind of had the idea of like, what's the point in playing this game if I can't share my experience in it, which is a weird mindset to have. And let's say with pro cycling manager back in the day, I probably spend an hour and a half on a video, which was not a lot of time for a video, which is low effort when it started because I was like, Oh, this is just recording and then you put it online. But no, then I started editing my videos and freaking out figuring out what people wanted to see and how they wanted to see it. And I'd say that evolved throughout the period that now I would be spending, I think at least seven to nine hours per Pro Cycling manager video now because three or four hours of recording, then two hours of editing, then half an hour of re editing it to make sure that it's really fast paced, no pauses where people could be like, oh, let's turn it off. It's a bit boring. Got to try and make sure that people watch as long as possible. And yeah, that has worked, which is good.

Andrew Vontz 18:06

And you talked briefly about some of the toxicity within the discord server, I think. And you of course, you mentioned you had your channel, get one of your channels get deleted at one point, living a life in such a public way from such a young age. Were there other things that had an impact on your identity? Or were you ran into situations that were emotionally challenging?

Benji Naesen 18:31

Yeah, I, when I was a kid, I wasn't the most fit guy as in. When I was a real child. I was super fit, I played football and so forth. But after that when I was about I don't know what age I was, I think I was about 13 or something. But my dad had a medical issue to the point that he was two months in coma, which was because of like a medical mistake, but I'm not gonna go too in depth into it. They like the wrong procedure or something because they thought it was a completely different thing than it was. I don't know if it's an honest mistake or not, or how how that works. But anyway, my dad wasn't going out for two months. And I kind of like fell into this pattern of not going outside anymore, playing video games until the until the late night. And I basically became overweight throughout that period. And while my dad after those two months, got back he recovered, he woke up from his school off to do mom's, which is still a miracle to this day. I'm really happy that that happened. It was the best day of my life that he woke up there. But it was also not necessarily the best thing for my own life because well that he woke up was good, but that period wasn't great for me. Because it had dropped me into like a lifestyle that's unhealthy and I never really got out of that until like two or one and a half years ago, which it doesn't really limit you that much in your personal life. You still have your friends. I wasn't necessarily getting bullied at school because of it and so forth. But I started noticing that it was limited in me when it comes to my self confidence when it comes to the stuff I do online and so forth as in I hadn't shown My face on YouTube until two years ago, I wasn't that into. Yeah, a lot of stuff when it comes to me in person. And I've noticed that limited me. And eventually I decided on November 23, which was my birthday on 2021 to actually do something about it. And that was a very good decision. I can certainly tell you that.

Spencer 20:27

I listened to you at your like urine lantern Rouge podcast episode, you were saying that you were like, couldn't sleep the night before your guys first Youtube episode or the episode you recorded because you were so insecure about just people seeing you on camera, I definitely know that I know the feeling you're describing. But that's pretty amazing that you've gone from that just in 2021. And then now you're, you're kind of like a Belgian TV star, like you're on terrestrial television, and Belgium. I mean, that's, that's dingy. That's an amazing journey and jump that you've made since then.

Benji Naesen 21:04

I'll be honest, I'm proud of my character development, if I can call it that. It's kind of like a character in a TV show that found his way out of his shell is in the sense that it's true. When we switched to a video podcasts, which was at the start of 2021, we switch to video podcasts. And that was a big step for me. Like, it wasn't just one day of notes, it was like three days of barely sleeping before that episode came out. And I'd go as far as saying that in that first podcast, if you look really closely, and this will sound really lame. But I swear I kept the exact same posture in front of the camera, because it felt like it made me look the dentist on camera that day, which is crazy to think about in hindsight. And it's throughout the year after that, that I gained a lot of confidence because people don't care. People don't care what you look like on a podcast where whether Yeah, they just want to hear what you have to say. And that's the beauty of it. People are really supportive online, despite the opposite being shown sometimes. And I'd say that kept increasing throughout the last couple of years to the point that now I, I've, I don't really care anymore. I don't really care if if someone says something like, If someone says something about my weight or something on a video, also, because of the fact that I've lost 20 kilos in 2022. That's a major confidence boost as well, because I know I have control of it. I think that's a major thing there. And because of that, whenever someone's criticizing my weight or something, I'm like, Well, I did something about I'm still doing something about it, I really don't care about your opinion on it. And I, the only feedback that I truly care about is the feedback that I know is right. Let's say I love constructive feedback on the podcast as well. Because that can make stuff better on content as well, that can make stuff better. The kind of ignorant feedback that's like, I don't care what you post that's not really constructive. You can't do much with that. But the feedback that hurts the most is, for example, when someone says I had to Scotland at the start of I think it was in the middle of 2022 somewhere, where 2022 was the year that I went full time into company creatorship in January. And I had just one comment that says halfway through the year, I on my personal YouTube channel where I uploaded Pro Cycling manager videos, but didn't upload that much because the podcasts became the main thing. And that Coleman was, I'm kind of disappointed in the amount of content you've been able to produce having gone full time. And that really hurt because I didn't know, I felt like I could have maybe done more. But on the other end, the podcast was the most is the most important part of what I do. So it just, it was a bit painful to see that common because like, Ah, maybe I could have done something about that.

Spencer 23:56

Ya know, I've it's always the stuff that's nagging you in the back of your head and you're like, maybe I should be putting out more YouTube content and then the words kind of like, oh man, you're destroying me with your passive.

Andrew Vontz 24:12

So Benji, what was going on when you made this decision that you wanted to lose weight number one and number two, you also made this switch in your career around the same time. So what happened? Why did you make that decision? And why was that the moment to do it?

Benji Naesen 24:30

Well, I'm, I'm gonna use the name of this podcast in this in this segment to make you feel better. But let's say that at that time, I was feeling like I could continue doing what I'm doing I could continue being overweight and limit my content limit my life to to what it is now and just keep going what it is now. But I could also try and overcome that try and do something about it. I was in my mind with the with the sentence of like, when I'm 50 I don't want to look back at my 20s and feel like I regret At what I've done there feel like I didn't get the best out of myself. And that mindset is really what changed it for me. And there's some people that helped out with that there's YouTuber called Matt Lane fitness, which is a friend of mine that really helped me out with the mindset of getting into actually changing something about my fitness, and working on that. And I basically started writing on Swift every single day for like, almost almost every single day for six months, which did a lot. And then I started having more busy periods when it comes to work. And yeah, basically, you could say that instead of staying the way I was, I chose the hard way and actually did something about it.

Spencer 25:38

I mean, your life was so I'm a super fan of the landowner's podcast. So I know everything about Benji's life. But you I remember my early days, when you were still working full time as a developer and doing the podcast, you were saying, like you finished work at like 12:30am. And you had done so little exercise that day you like watch circles around your living room, just to get your step count it, I mean, that's an intense schedule you're keeping like, I can't imagine trying to stay fit. While working, you're probably working from like, six, seven in the morning to midnight. And that's a hard grind.

Benji Naesen 26:15

I almost forgot about that. Like, there were days like 2021 was probably the most brutal year of my life in the sense of like, being busy because it bunkhouse became prominent throughout that year. And I still was working a full time job as a developer trout, that but I had in the back of my, my mind that I was going to eventually have to go either part time or jump completely into the cycling thing. And halfway through the year, I told my work well, I'm probably going to be leaving soon. And I told them, I'll give you guys until the end of the year to finish my projects, but then I need to go. That's kind of what and they were super supportive. So your hyperdrive best company I've worked at then again, only company I've worked. I swear my day looks intense as in some days, I was sleeping five hours, four hours, which is probably not healthy. But I knew that it was for the better. I knew that. If I struggled a bit during that period, it would all pay off in the end. And I think it did. I do think it had like consequences on my health for a bit during that period, I was getting more sick. Towards the end of that year, I had a few hospital appointments throughout that at the end of that year and some health scares. And in the end, nothing serious. So no worries about that. But just the stress that came with that was pretty severe. But yeah, in the end, I ended up going full time in January 2022, which was, in hindsight, a very good decision. And I made sure before that moment that I was already financially securities. So to make sure that stress didn't follow me throughout the other year.

Andrew Vontz 27:49

And Benji, once he made that decision to that you were going to lose weight that you were going to become more fit and that you were going to transform your health. I think a lot of people have the intention to do that they have that insight. And then it it falls apart for a lot of people. Have you had moments when it's been hard to stick to that commitment, or has it been relatively smooth sailing for you?

Benji Naesen 28:14

I'd say that I'm always pretending that I instantly changed my mind in November 2021. And it all started going gloriously? Nah, it's more that I tried it multiple times before that moment, the year before the same year, two years before that tree is before that every year, I'd be like, come on, I need to do something about it. But I feel that it changed for me once I entered into 2022, where I had more time available, where I could spend that time both on sleeping a bit more both on working on my health, and both on creating other content, where I basically feel like time allowed me to do it. I feel like time is something that is completely underestimated because a lot of people have have long work hours a lot of people have work hours that are throughout the day. And working out in the evening after work is not that fun either having to do it before work not that much fun either. A lot of people have have children, they need to take care of like Spencer boy here. And I think underestimated is the value of time in your life. Because because I had the time. I was like might as well spend some of that time getting myself better without necessarily the opportunity cost of other things in my life, if that makes any sense.

Andrew Vontz 29:36

Yeah, completely. Another question that I have. I'm thinking about the decade that I spent it as a journalist and part of what I would do almost all the time, whatever experience I was having, I was always thinking about could this become a story? Could I could I transform or sell what I'm experiencing and turn it into a story with or if I was curious about something? Can I get somebody pay me to pay me money to go do this thing that I'm curious about. And given that you're producing so much content, and it's about things you care deeply about. I'm curious, how do you go through your day to day? And are you ever able to turn that off? And how does making content about the things you love the most, and your own transformation? Just inform your experience of life day to day.

Benji Naesen 30:24

It's very difficult as in I'm, I'm the kind of person that I'm a content creator, and hard to the point that everything I do I try to make content of which is sometimes a pretty unhealthy lifestyle. Because everything that happens, I'm like, How can I make content of this? Oh, I'm cooking something, how can I make like a small cooking show of of Benji tries to cook something or like a cooking challenge, again, against another PCM. YouTuber, that was an actual idea on the table at some point in 2022. So there's so much like small ideas, but I feel like the most important part is that I keep the essence of what I'm doing completely quality. And I'm the kind of person who started a lot of like side quests and never really finished those side quests. So it's, I've tried to like make sure that I focus on the on the main quests that I'm doing. And leave those side quests either start them and see if the first thing is fun, before uploading it. And if it's not not fun than digital, the entire idea. But also, I think, when it comes to my life, I, I tried to divide it now into when it comes to like my personal life and my girlfriends as well, I try to keep that somewhat out of content, if that makes sense. While I don't really have that much in my life outside of cycling, and my personal life outside of that, it's not like I've got major hobbies, like, I don't know, I don't go surfing every now and then I'm not happening. It's also cycling my sporting hobby. So it's kind of all the same. And I did have a bit of struggles when it comes to confidence. Like I said, when it comes to being overweight, and so forth, then that caused me to not create content about my first year of weight loss because I've lost 20 kilos in 2022. But I didn't make content of that, because I wasn't proud of how I looked on camera of how the way I was on camera and so forth. So it really came to the point that now at the end of 2022 going into 2023. These are the moments where I found that confidence that I do feel like I'm I'm proud of what I've done in 2022. And then I can make a next step as well. And I followed that with content because I uploaded a video about my first FTP test. There's other ideas on the table, I've got an extremely long roadmap of videos planned for the next year, based on a monthly upload schedule, because I a podcast is still super important and will remain that way. So it's kind of I want to just make quality YouTube content as I can next to the podcast and see that channel grow as well.

Andrew Vontz 32:54

Benji, I have so many questions about what you just shared. I would love to get into some of the mechanics of what it takes to put out the volume of content that you're creating. And also how you're thinking about the future, I'm sure that there are certain aspects of strategic planning that you just can't give away. But what is the day like for you? What parts of this process are you personally working on? And what's your vision for what you wanted to do over time?

Benji Naesen 33:22

I'd say that, well. It depends on what kind of day because there's days that I need to be at races, there's days where I basically sit at home and focus on content, mainly, but I think it also depends on which day it is because sometimes I'm working on PCM content, sometimes I'm working on actual cycling content, sometimes we're working on podcast content, but let's say we we upload about 200 podcasts a year. So most of my days include at least the podcast recording, which is basically directly after the race ends, we want you to raise we make sure we take notes and and know what we're talking about. And then afterwards, directly after the reasons we jumped, me and Patrick jump on an audio recording website thing that we basically start recording our podcast. And that takes about 45 minutes to an hour sometimes half an hour if it's like a sprint stage in a in a UAE tour or something. But then it goes to the editor because in like year one, we basically shared editing Patrick and myself where we both did have the editing throughout the year dependent on whether it's fit best with me when it comes to work during that period or whether it fit when his time zones and so forth. It all depended on that it has now moved in towards the factor that we've got someone that does the editing for us Patrick's wife does a lot of work behind the scenes and really should deserve loads of credit for for what happens in NRCP as well because she does quite a bit of editing as well, if not all editing when it comes into podcasts these days. So, major shout out there and I feel like I didn't know I just completely lost the question.

Andrew Vontz 35:04

No, I think you're answering a lot of the question. Follow up about that. Now that Patrick's wife is editing the video that probably helps accelerate your production velocity, what platform are you doing the work on like that earning work.

Benji Naesen 35:21

When it comes to the editing work, Final Cut Pro is the one we edit with. We record stuff on. I think Zen caster, I know you guys were used Riverside, I don't really know what the major differences are, it looks pretty much similar to me, we've had some issues with Zen caster a few times are out. But if we have one issue in a year, I think we can be pretty happy with the software that we're working with. And there's other things in the planning as in, we are testing out whether we can do live streams of podcasts, for example, directly after the race so that we kind of save time when it comes to the other thing as well, because we'd have like a person that's producing the live stream and like switching to the visuals on screen, but also, that would be up directly after the race instead of two hours after the race or two hours and a half after the race. So what are your major step forward, and there's plenty of other things that could change to increase the velocity of the content we make. And maybe there's also things we can do during the race when it comes to content then expansions of more when we are together make more content about Patrick and myself making doing stuff throughout the year, because there's some moments throughout the year where we're gonna be together. And during those moments, it's good to make some content together because I feel like a lot of people care about what we say about cycling, but they also care about what we do outside of that just having fun on video. Like we you spoke about average Rob as a YouTuber earlier. Great YouTuber. And like I spoke to, to rob a few times throughout 2022, great guy as well. But I feel like magic I myself, we can also do like cycling challenges on YouTube, and so forth, and stuff like that in the future. So there's some some fun sh*t there. Like we're both not great cyclists, but we could probably still still buy our way into one of the money somehow.

Spencer 37:10

No, I actually would love as a fan that I would be super interested that like you guys went to Hungary for this year to tell you last year. And I was really curious, I think I talked to you, maybe a month or so before you went. And you know, my personal anxiety would be going to a race, and then you miss the right units, it's almost like you're so close to the forest, you can't see it, that everything's happening and you're not able to actually absorb it and break it down. But I would have loved like content of you guys just like hanging out in Budapest and and kind of like you're exploring, like the friendship side of of your work versus just the analysis. But how did you find being on the ground? Did you think it added an element to the coverage Did you just find it to be a pain in the butt because Wi Fi is inconsistent and hard to nail down sometimes when you're on the go,

Benji Naesen 37:59

or it's a mixed feelings towards it. Because on one hand, I feel like when you get too close to the race, it's very difficult to keep track of everything. Because if you're actually going to raise in the bus, so on and so forth, talking to riders, talking with people from the organization, talking with fans, by the side of the road, there were quite a few other lrtp fans by the side of the road as well in Budapest. So that's, that's great that you can communicate with the people that watch your content as well. That's one of the most beautiful parts of what we do. And there's the opposite side of the coin that if you're there, you're not watching on television. So you miss a lot of stuff, like loads of stuff to the point that we had to rewatch certain parts. Before we were able to actually get started with the broadcast because we need to make sure that we say everything that happened on the broadcast then. Then we also had like an Airbnb with the internet or I don't even want to talk about it. The internet was so terrible that we we literally had to buy like SIM cards with data on it to be able to use mobile data instead of the Wi Fi in the Airbnb that supposedly had great Wi Fi, which it didn't. It was a mess. But the podcasts were online, it took us quite a bit to get it uploaded, but the people didn't see it. And that's the most important part.

Spencer 39:10

And sorry, Andrew, you thought I was gonna talk. And I

Andrew Vontz 39:13

did, I thought well, I was watching his lips. Spencer and I have worked together a lot. You know, we're kind of new and working with guests together. But we have a lot of fun. I just one of the things that jumped out at me. And one of the ideas that I'm having right now is I think it would be really fun if we got Benji and Patrick together with us at an event in the United States and did something together. So I'll just throw that out there. I think it would be. I think that'd be interesting and a fun thing to do. And as I'm thinking about that, Benji, I'm curious, do you how do you think about cycling in the United States and what's going on over here? Spencer and I were just talking on a podcast yesterday. I don't know if it's out yet or not. But we were talking about the cyclocross where World Championships. And actually would love to know if you think wow, potentially took a dive like how did he blow that sprint number one? And number two, you know, we talk a lot about like, what's going on with gravel? What's going to happen over time? Is this a flash in the pan? Is that ever going to have a viewership at the scale that road cycling? Does globally? But what's your take on what's happening in America? And do you have any interest in it?

Benji Naesen 40:29

Well, first of all, I'll start off it, me having limited knowledge on what happens in cycling in America in the first place. But I will say that it's really unfortunate that there has been so many organizers having trouble organizing their races in America, like California has gone, I think, as Utah still exists.

Spencer 40:46

Now, that's good to know.

Andrew Vontz 40:49

Every year we're gonna have a race in my home state as well. There used to be a tour of Missouri, it's also gone. Crazy and tour to Trump. Good race.

Spencer 40:56

Oh, yeah, the Tour de Trump, who can forget?

Benji Naesen 41:00

Maryland class was a good one last year, I'd like to see more American races, I'd love to see them. But I don't know the finances behind it. I don't know the reason why they financially weren't able to set it up anymore. I remember there was some some reason for it. I just don't remember what the reason was.

Andrew Vontz 41:19

Well, Benji, it's primarily because for the most part, no one cares about cycling in the United States. I mean, we care about it a lot. And there definitely, I think there's a subset of people who care about it a lot. But I just think from a marketing point of view, yeah. You

Spencer 41:34

know, I would push back, I think the tour California was pretty popular. I mean, that was a big event in California. I think the main problem is they just lose money. Like even let's say, yeah, the roadsides were packed with people. They just, I mean, I think in Europe, maybe the cost of just closing the roads or I mean, also a lot of European races lose money. I mean, how many races make money? It's like the Tour de zero? Yeah, maybe a couple of classics, Flanders classics races. But those races in Europe, they just they eat the loss on it, because they're owned by organizers who run the races that make money. So it's just me, can you imagine what it costs around the tour California to close off roads across that whole state have been

Benji Naesen 42:15

as I'm recording this, we're a few days off from what happened in Turkey when it comes to the earthquake. And I was supposed to be at the top of Antalya, the organizers invited me to be there. And I heard this morning, actually, that if the earthquake happened a day later, that the tour of Antalya organization would have been doomed, that they wouldn't have been able to survive, because they would probably wouldn't have been able to get the refunds and so forth. So it's crazy how how fragile it all is when it comes to the individual organizer, because these are the the organizers that don't have the whole batch of races in there that actually need to make sure they financially survive every year to organize their races. And it's unfortunate to see it happen have goals, like what happened there. And on the other end, it's also just it just gives a different perspective on how fragile every small organizer has to be to get these races going.

Andrew Vontz 43:12

So based on your answer, Benji, it sounds like you currently you have you don't have deep knowledge about what's happening in the United States. And they're just there aren't a lot of races that are on your radar that are interesting to you.

Benji Naesen 43:25

You'll like crits a lot is what I always keep hearing. Like

Andrew Vontz 43:30

we've got the crick guy right here. Have you seen Spencer's biceps and like 2012

Spencer 43:35

I'll share some I'll DM you some photos, Benji,

Benji Naesen 43:38

Belgium, Brits or American Grit.

Spencer 43:43

I mean, Belgian kermis is much better. I mean, it's a much better race that like actually should be embraced in the US crits only became popular here because it's so much easier and cheaper to close down a block. And it's you can make a little bit of money because you could sell a couple ads, you could sell food drink. So you could make money like Tulsa tough makes money as an organization. So I think it's just like it's more of a necessity than a preference.

Benji Naesen 44:12

Okay, now of course the Belgian kind of messy, you've got the free tour by the side of the road, which adds a bit more spice to the love of the race, but

Spencer 44:19

it's it's definitely a handicap this little bit because crits used to happen a little bit more like Tyler Farrar raised crits but you can't really go from racing American country criteriums to then being a professional road racer. It's just you're not the races are way too short. You're not getting the same skills. So my advice is if you're a young American don't race crits go to Europe and race in Belgium or Holland or Spain and get out of here

Benji Naesen 44:46

would would you say that we see the likes of a swift Academy for example, doing wonders for Australia who also have difficulties getting riders into will tour. Would you argue that that could also be a thing for Americans

Spencer 45:01

Probably I, I talked to Patrick, and another Australian about this, but I mean, Australians are pretty tough. There's like the grip there. I don't I mean, if you think about why, why are there Australian professional cyclists like it's not overly popular in Australia. They hate cyclists on the roads. It's really far from Europe. And I it's almost like that distance helps them because there's only one way to make it, it's to get to Europe. I feel like in the US, there is talent, you know, they could know swift Academy could be good, but Americans just have a hard time kind of making that jump in the way Australians do it for reasons I'm not quite sure of.

Andrew Vontz 45:38

Well, I also think that if you're a very talented young athlete in the United States, you dare development systems for sports that have a much higher financial potential. But when

Spencer 45:49

you say the same thing about Australia

Andrew Vontz 45:55

honestly, I mean, those sports don't, yes, you can make a good living a living the I think we all would say if you were the best at it, yeah, you're making a good living. But an elite rugby player is not making a salary on par with an NFL player or a major league baseball player or an NBA player. So I think

Benji Naesen 46:18

that would you say that there's a factor of trying to find people that could inspire a new wave of new people in other sports as in for example, we talked about with Rob Lynch coming from a ski jumping background, I think he's also has a something with skiing under his under his belt, like, do we need to find someone that is really bloody good that comes from a background of a different sport and American rower or something that goes into cycling to like hype up the wave of new youngsters? Or do we need Simmons to break through?

Andrew Vontz 46:50

I think Simmons has

Spencer 46:52

issues but could help. What were you gonna say, Andrew?

Andrew Vontz 46:56

Yeah, I would, I would ask perhaps a slightly different question. And this is, this is something I've been wanting to ask you, Benji. Because I mean, part of what we've seen happen with sport and with content in the past couple of years. There's, of course, the f1 series, right on Netflix, which has transformed interest in that sport. Now we're seeing that same production company take on other sports that are of course doing a Tour de France series. They also now have a tennis series. I don't know. Have you watched the tennis series that they did? That's on Netflix?

Benji Naesen 47:28

I have not. I've watched a part of the f1 series, though, because I also was trying to get into f1 when I had a bit of free time in 2021. No, 2022. I didn't have the free time in 2021. But I didn't know when it comes to the Netflix series. I hope that it's good. I just have some fears. I do too. Yeah. I feel like they're gonna try and manipulate certain stories. I've already had a, I don't know if I'm, well, they didn't help me sign an NDA. So I'm guessing I'm allowed to tell you it is. The box the box, I think it was it was it wasn't called box to box themselves. But like UK production company contacted me for if they could use one of my tweets in a TV documentary. And it was me saying that David go do is basically your Martin, but without the philosophy before the Tour de France. And I'm pretty sure that that I already can guess where this was going to go if they use that. So I was like, you can you can hire me to say the same thing on screen, and I'll do it. But using just the tweet out of context, probably not.

Andrew Vontz 48:33

Yeah, yeah. I mean, I just think about when I think about how you make cycling, more popular. I've always been into cycling. I've been into bikes with gears since 1988, which is pretty pretty early in the United States. It wasn't a very popular sport. At that point in time, Spencer and I both come from the middle of the country where I would say, cycling is less popular than on the coasts. And it's just generally a less popular sport in the United States. Although from a participation point of view, it's very popular. It's just a competitive side of the sport that's not as popular and I think it's about telling stories that people from other sports can relate to so it's drawing them into those storylines, and you have to surface them in a way that's accessible. That's part of what again, Benji and I were talking about. This YouTuber average Rob has a video with Remco ovenable, who's one of the very best cyclists in the world he's a world champion to date has been portrayed in the media as is kind of like this robo. You know, Yvonne Drago type athlete, he's done something, things in races that are a bit questionable. But that video for me showed this human side of him that was, you know, it was pretty funny. He has a lot more personality than I've seen. And the reality is the media in the United States just doesn't cover Remco you never see anything that shows any of his characters. So the only way you're potentially going to be Interested in this guy who's a world champion and one of the very best in the game right now is if you're a very core athlete, following races and all you're seeing is him and a peloton doing the thing he does as an athlete. So I think you have to couple character, high tension, high drama storylines, and content off the bike to draw people in and the Netflix series might do that, or it might not. But to me, the way forward is better storytelling.

Benji Naesen 50:27

I agree. But I feel like when it comes to the last few topics we spoken about next to the Netflix thing, there's also so many documentaries coming out, I think young, went out Quickstep, as D works on the women's side. Now there's one being rumored for Mark Levin, there's on Netflix as well, which could be interesting. I feel like Netflix is gonna be that, that a way to get into the sport for people that aren't necessarily hardcore fans of the sport. And it might even trigger hardcore fans of the sport by using storylines that aren't really the reality, but could get more people into the sport, which I don't know, it might trigger me. But if it brings more people in, I'll say hi, and I'll be happy with it. But when it comes to the other documentaries, I feel like that might be more for defense of the sport. For example, I'm actually working together with the company that is working on the Quickstep thing as one of the analysts on screen for that series. So I look forward to hopefully not being cut out of the final version of it.

Spencer 51:21

Do you think I'd say what's right? Is team produce stuff. Like to me what's interesting about drive to survive is Max Verstappen just being an asshole, and like so unlikable, and the fact that him and Ricardo hated each other. And that Gunther Steiners chewing people out. But if your team produced, you're not going to include any of the good stuff, like I almost wonder if like, is this team produce stuff? Just, it's for fans of Quickstep, and it's it's unusable to anyone else.

Andrew Vontz 51:51

The quick seven Oh fight.

Benji Naesen 51:54

The pillow fight has to be in. But I think there's a combination because like the Quickstep one is made by an external company. And I spoke to them cool, I think a week ago, which is like, the shows already completely edited and so forth. And he has no clue what's in it. He hasn't seen it has seen nothing. I've seen more of the show than Remco which is I won't complain. But um, I would say that. I don't know. I don't know what the relationship is between our production company. And Chris step. I don't know what the relationship is between the Amazon people that follow Yambol I have no clue. I feel like Netflix will probably have a one of the views that is more the uninterrupted by the team. Because based on the public knowledge, the teams didn't really have too much, say on what is recording and what is not recorded. In reality. Probably at some points. There were some themes that said no, okay, let us let this athlete alone is crying in the corner. Okay. Like maybe that happened. But we don't know that. I think it's difficult to know is difficult to know I. For me, it's more that I just want to see more people in the sports. And if a TV show about a team, which is from a fan point of view, or whether it's from a beginner to the sport point of view, or whether it's from a hardcore fan point of view, with some like things like the movie star show where it actually got into the bad things about this stuff behind the scenes as well. As long as it gets people into the sport. I'm happy.

Andrew Vontz 53:25

Yeah, the movie star documentaries and other ones are Docu series. Spencer and I have talked about quite a bit. I really enjoyed it. And also, it was so emo in such a such a downer series. I mean, if you're a hardcore cycling fan, you definitely enjoyed the complexity and the dynamics, but I mean, even the music they chose, it was just, it was such a downer. But I'm curious. But go ahead, Benji.

Benji Naesen 53:49

I also say that I think we also underestimate what kind of added pressure that it gives to athletes behind the team. If those TV shows are being recorded, like at Quickstep and and yumbo, and so forth, it's probably somewhat by the teams selected over what part is going into the into the thing I'm not certain about that, I'm just guessing. But when it comes to more of a star, I feel like a lot of the bad stuff was shown as well to the point that I wonder if that mentally affected some of the riders, if there were riders that were like, I would like pressure up to their elbows, because of the factor that everything they do. Everything they do wrong will be hyper focused on in a TV show and so forth that is used by many in the sport. Now I also want to just jump back to what you said about the demo earlier. I actually made them gold for the first time as a part of working on that Quickstep thing and I can only say that he was definitely super friendly. And like I was there just prepping my stuff that I needed to say on the documentary and so forth. But Allah Felipe was the kind of person that directly said hi to every single person in the room at AIMCO took an hour of his time to do sit there and talk with me about stuff throughout the season and so forth. So this was two days after he got married or something. So it's kind of crazy that he was there and not on like a honeymoon. Well, unless you wanted to do it with me want to complain, but

Spencer 55:16

he could feel like the world class memes before that. Yeah, exactly. I feel like you carrying Remko like a baby.

Benji Naesen 55:25

Jesus Christ. The media talks about writers in a certain way. And, like, let's be honest about that media tries to get clicks with certain writers, what they do and so forth is the same on YouTube and so forth. It's everywhere. But in reality, we got to remember that these riders are humans as well, and probably not exactly the same as the way they are portrayed on the internet. I do think that certain riders have had an evolution throughout it. For example, with Aramco I think that he changed a few a few ways throughout the last couple of years. Maybe that's media training. Maybe that's him just being more mature over the years. You don't know that. But yeah, I don't know. I have no clue where I was going with that point. But I'll just end it there.

Andrew Vontz 56:07

Benji, what about pro cyclists who are also YouTubers, for example, I've gotten into hurry Sweeney's YouTube channel, who's an Australian writes for lotto, I actually, I really wasn't familiar with her before I stumbled across his YouTube content. He's really into cooking. And I find his content to be quite interesting. And it just shows this slice of life behind the scenes of, hey, this is what it's like to be a pro cyclist. And he's just a guy, I'm assuming with. I mean, maybe he has a DSLR. But whatever. He's got a really simple setup, he makes relatively simple videos, I find them to be compelling. I don't think enough of that content. It's getting in front of the average person who might have interest in the sport. But who else do you think on the YouTube side is doing interesting content?

Benji Naesen 56:53

I'll be honest, I look at a limited amount of pro cyclists as YouTube channels. That being said, I know Harry Sweeney, I watched a video of him very recently, last week, or something talking about like fueling and so forth, for four rides, which was really interesting. And I love to see a bit of a behind the scenes when it comes to stuff like that. There's also like MPs doing a lot on YouTube right now, I'd love to see that. Because there's also the fact that so many cyclists are moving towards the latter part of their career. So they need to start thinking about what comes after, I need to start thinking about can I actually make like a YouTube channel that fuels my income for the next couple of years, so that I don't necessarily need to jump into a DS role instantly, or that I don't need to become a baker or something after my cycling career, whatever. Whatever the dreams are of these cyclists. I like it, because it's obviously great. The more content for people to watch, the better it is for the sport, in my opinion. I would also say that I would love to collaborate with like a pro cyclist that has a YouTube channel, for example, like me, a guy that's still relatively overweight, an amateur dude, like myself versus a pro and like a little video to see what the differences are, how crazy the differences are, would be a funny video, I'd love to do that. It is very difficult to kind of connect with those, those riders from my experience, personally,

Spencer 58:17

would you ever go to like a camp, like just go to like a January training camp and like Benji's out on the rides, or would you think that's like uncomfortably close to the subject that you're talking about? During the year,

Benji Naesen 58:30

I don't mind doing that. But I feel like I might not be at that level yet to be able to get the most out of that. It's like I'm just starting with my journey of from a sh*t cyclists to a not so should cyclists. And maybe next year, I might be at a level where I'm like, comfortable of riding in the wheel of a professional for like three minutes and don't die. That kind of that kind of thing, because I also want to do stuff that I know I'm capable of doing. And one of the things that's on my list for this year is ride with a pro. But I won't be able to stay in a wheel of professional for more than five minutes if they're writing decent wallets. Let's be honest about it. So if I want to make longer form content out of that, it needs to be in a later part of my own fitness journey, because I'm not there yet.

Spencer 59:15

Just do the episode in Holland. No climbing.

Andrew Vontz 59:18

Yeah, no climbing Benji that's making me think of another YouTuber. I don't know his last name, but his YouTube handle is Tristan takes video. Are you familiar with him? I'm not. Okay. So he's, he's also in Australia. And I believe and he lives in Andorra. And he goes, you know, he goes and does training rides lots of behind the scenes footage with pros. And he also did the I don't know what it's called. But there's a bikepacking race in the Atlas Mountains. That's 1000 miles. So I'm watching his documentary about that right now, which is excellent. So that's, you know, potentially one to check out. You talked about your weight loss journey. You talked about getting into cycling. What have you learned from This period of time when you've been on this journey, and what have you found works for you and keeps you motivated and that you're enjoying that you're doing.

Benji Naesen 1:00:08

I think the biggest thing is that you don't need to expect instant gains either. It needs to be a gradual mindset of like, okay, I'm here for the trend I'm not here for in one week, I want him to have lost 20 kilos, it's impossible. And let's be honest about it. It's more of in a year, I want to have lost X amount of kilos. And whether that goes up for a bit this month and goes down more next month. I won't be disappointed if it goes up this month, for example, because I've learned over the last year and I'm in control of it. So the control is somewhat what I learned over my own way. And the factor that you always have to keep the long term mindset in your head. And next to that, what have I learned from my personal journey? I think I I think I'm currently learning a lot when it comes to the cycling side of things. Like I'm trying to create my own legs with workouts. ziti rides aren't that hard to make? Like it's, it's the same bloody? What's every single second of that ride? But when I'm going into like intervals, and so forth, how many minutes should I do an interval to get better at my 10 minute power, for example, that kind of stuff, I'm kind of looking into that at the moment to try and see how I can get better in certain ways and what the best ways to do that are. And I think I'm learning a lot when it comes to what it takes to be a professional cyclist as well, because I'm just trying to be a decent cyclist, like, not even an average one. Like just under average, I'm trying to be dad, these guys are riding what's like crazy on these climbs, like, I can't imagine how, what a lifestyle it requires to get to that level.

Spencer 1:01:44

That's interesting, because there's not I don't try to imagine like an American NFL content, like content creator being like trying to live like an NFL football player. You know, it's like we in cycling, I you know, it's easy for me to kind of understand, like the Watts they're doing. But if we think about mainstream sports, there's not many like British soccer writers who are like, and I lived like a premier league footballer for 12 months, it's, it must give you a kind of a unique insight that you didn't have before.

Benji Naesen 1:02:13

Yeah, I think so as well. And it's also not just the inside, but a feeling of more groundedness. And it helps maybe with staying a bit more humble as the podcast grows, and so forth. And realizing that throughout the years that you'll know, you're never going to know everything. I'm never going to know everything when it comes to the stuff I say on the podcast. And writers can point it out people that watch your podcasts can point it out. I'm never going to consider myself before I started podcasts to be the All Knowing person. And it helps with keeping myself at that. And I think that's also important staying as humble as I was like before I started this podcast, does that make sense to get away? But Patrick,

Andrew Vontz 1:02:55

before you do your your world tour contract?

Spencer 1:03:00

Well, protein level maybe

Andrew Vontz 1:03:03

protein Yeah, starting in the Second World Team,

Spencer 1:03:05

you said something to me last year, I think about all the time you're like I can say something, it's not the law. Because people can get so upset with things you say about a race or takes you my habits like it's not legally binding. I can say whatever I want. And you might be able to disagree with it. But it's it's just a great philosophy I find myself thinking about all the time.

Benji Naesen 1:03:25

That's the beauty because like, it would be really boring if everything I said on the podcast was correct, because then everybody else would also know that it was correct. And then you have no discussion. It's good that I sometimes say something stupid by accident, then that people can point that out. Because then I get to learn from that. And sometimes other people get to learn from what I say. So it's a it's a good fun, and it also drives discussion within the community because I one of the best things about doing a podcast is that the people that listen to the podcasts that watch your podcasts can also communicate with you and have a two way communication, whether it's in the comments, whether it's in DMS on Instagram or Twitter, whatever, I try to respond to much, but it's getting quite difficult recently. But it's fun to hear other people's perspectives on stuff I say.

Spencer 1:04:12

And I just have a so last year, it's kind of an amazing story. You go from your child playing pro cycling manager, you know, be like, I don't even know if there is an analogue in the US where someone just played Madden, and then they ran an NFL team, but you went from playing pro cycling manager and then you were hired last year to be kind of a strategic mastermind behind the jumbo visas. Season. Let's well just say strict. Well, let's go with it. Okay, but yeah, you know, and they had a lot. It's not, they had great success. That must have been in some ways to fill in for you. And then you made it public of maybe a month ago that you decided to not renew your contract with yumbo. And instead you just wanted to focus on content creation. And I think specifically correct me if I'm wrong, but you writing content, you know, out in the world, it kind of your own fitness journey. I mean, can you talk about like, what was that like to work for yumbo? And then what was it like to leave it and to why you're doing it? Why is it so much more fulfilling to create content, you know, for when

Benji Naesen 1:05:16

it comes to just a few. When it comes to the jumbo thing, I'd say that it was in like, February and so forth. 2022, where I got like a call from Matt nzme on, he was interested in someone doing video analysis for Jumbo visma. And he knew that I knew sh*t about cycling, and that I could also edit videos. And I realized that Patrick was probably equally as good, if not better in certain areas for that than myself. So we we teamed up to do that, as a consequence, obviously, with a neutrality clause in the contract to make sure that we don't, yeah, we do need to remain honest on the podcast, and so forth, without saying anything, pro yumbo visma, necessarily, as a consequence of working with them, if that makes sense. Like we're talking to same stories as we did before. And they were okay with that. So we kept on forward with that, and it was a learning experience. But I know, it's weird. I kind of learned throughout that period that while it was successful, like we did for the classics, and the Tour de France, and there were some successes as a consequence of some work we did for Jumbo visma, I would say that, I kind of started realizing I could use this time to make content for more people than just a few people behind the cycling team. And I enjoy that idea more. Because I feel like there's an opportunity cost when it comes to my own content. And even when it comes to the podcast, even some time that could be spent on that by working with teams on other stuff. And that's not just working with teams like other stuff that's not necessarily creating extra content for our viewers of podcast on my own channel.

Spencer 1:06:55

And did you find just the work with the jumbo, I mean, it's kind of a funny thing. You I've been thinking about this myself, like, financially, it's almost better to make content for the fewest people possible. Like, you know, if you have a job, basically, as an analyst, for one, you work at a hedge fund, you're a hedge fund analyst, and that's a well paid job. Like the more people you then start to try to talk to the harder and harder the economics become. But it can be less fulfilling, you know, if you're just creating content for yumbo, maybe that's not as nice, as you say, because there's not people enjoying that. And it's just the team.

Benji Naesen 1:07:31

I can already say that the finances that I've secured for my personal content on my own channel in 2023, will be higher than any work I've done for a cycling team in 2022. So I think there's some overrating in that regard. I think for me, it wasn't I didn't do it for the money. I did it because I wanted to add a small thing on my CV that said, this guy worked for Jumbo visma for a year. And whatever they did throughout that year is a is a bonus. But video analysis technical consultancy throughout the year started a video analysis, but it grew more into tactical consultancy throughout the year. I think Patrick spoke about it already on this podcast a few months or weeks ago, I can't remember when he came on this podcast. But um, yeah, just in general, there's, I think there's more potential with my own content, more lasting potential, then if I would have continued doing this for another year, if that makes any sense.

Andrew Vontz 1:08:31

Yeah, Benji. Sorry. Go ahead, Spencer. I

Spencer 1:08:34

was just gonna say that makes sense. And then you can go ahead, Andrew.

Andrew Vontz 1:08:37

Thank you, Spencer. So Benji, something that you talked about when you were on Spencer's podcast, about that career transition, and you talked about it a bit today, is that you wanted to have more control over your time. So you could focus on your health and things that were truly important. And you could make the content that you were most passionate about and where you you saw really the highest financial potential as well, as you have been on this path, both with your business and with your personal life and health. How has your time management been and as you add more things, you continue to have the control over your time that you wanted to have at the start of this journey, because I hear you talking about, wow, you've got a lot of stuff going on. It's really high potential. And I think all three of us know and you've talked about, when opportunity knocks sometimes you just have to put your head down and grind. So how are you continuing to keep balanced and stay focused on your health in the midst of this?

Benji Naesen 1:09:37

I'll be honest, the last month I've been really stressed about this because I've been really stressed about getting able to release the content on my personal channel next to what happens on the podcast because the podcast is the is the main focus than my own side content. Next set my own content next to that is what I try and focus on for the rest of my time. And that content includes my own personal training, which kind of helps if you're getting paid to ride my bike that that's useful. But I would say that I've also just recently had a lot of stress when it comes to being able to upload my videos in time because like, I feel like uploading every two weeks is a bit, not much on my channel now. And I want to try and evolve that into more towards the end of the year. But it also sometimes just need to step back and need to look at the bigger picture and then look at what I've been able to do in the last year and what I'm currently doing. And then I'm like, it's understandable that I can't upload more than once in two weeks at the moment, which it sucks. I'd love to upload much more than that I loved for people to have more content than that, but it's just not happening right now. So I guess I just have to accept it and try and better it over time in the suppose a step is I can technically afford an editor from this point onwards for my personal content. But the issue is, I don't like giving away creative control and like to rely videos on the pro cycling manner of imagery videos are fine, you can have it, whoever wants it can edit those videos, like they can cut it in pieces and put small transitions into it. And then make sure that it's kind of snappy, just similar that it was before. But some I'm willing to give some creative control to the editor as well. But when it comes to my personal in real life content, I want it the way I want it. And it's very difficult because I feel like I'd be spending a lot of time explaining how I want it and not being happy about it more than the time for editing it would be

Spencer 1:11:31

yes, it's something Andrew and I talked about when we first met actually, is it more work to give your work to someone else to edit than just doing it yourself. It's a hard calculation to make. And Benji, I just Andrew wants to do an event with you and lantern or Patrick in the US, I would love to do one in Europe, specifically the UK, I just want to give a little bit of time here to tell you to tell us why the UK is such a great country and why you enjoy splitting your time there. between Belgium and the UK.

Benji Naesen 1:12:06

Well, my girlfriend lives here. So that's an easy solution. That's an easy reason that I spend my time here a lot of the time, but I also don't live here officially yet. That is something that we'll try and work through in the future. To make that happen. I think that's likely going to be the case that I need to get the admin ready. So I can actually live here full time or something. But that's not the case yet. Why am I going to UK when everybody's leaving the UK? I don't know. I it's worth it. I'm guessing from my perspective for other people might have been worth leaving. Now. I might have tweeted a few times that the food is shut out here. That's mainly to trigger people because it works. And that's always enjoyable. But I can't complain. I girlfriend cooks amazing food. And that's the most important part.

Spencer 1:12:52

It does get dark at like 330. Why? Why are they? Yeah, it's so weird.

Benji Naesen 1:12:58

There's so many things about it. Like it gets dark really early. They call sandwiches something completely different than in farmers. I'm not okay with it. Belgian fries are 10 times better than the chips they have over here. Tea is basically flavored water. There's so much I can talk beans on toast who invented that that's to be illegal, human torture that

Spencer 1:13:24

is these are all solid points. On a more serious note, do you find that maybe your money you know, just as let's say you're a content creator, you're gonna make about the same money wherever you live, it's a unique part of your job. Do you find that? Like maybe the quality of life for the same income is higher and Northwestern mainland Europe than in the UK? Or have you noticed any? Maybe there's no difference at all?

Benji Naesen 1:13:48

I don't know yet. Um, my life is expensive in both areas. I feel like I feel like a lot of people are struggling in both areas, whether it's Belgium or the UK. And that there the crisis of like, the amount of money people need to spend for the basic necessities in life is outrageous. Unfortunate to be in a situation where it doesn't hit me as hard as the average people I would say in these countries. But I don't know. Is there a main big difference between the two? I wouldn't necessarily say so. Like I couldn't go to a different country like, I don't know and probably pay less taxes than I do in in Belgium right now. Because that not that hurts a lot like Ouch. But hey, I'm okay with it. And it's not the most important part in life money. It's it's more to the experiences that you have is more important, if that makes sense.

Spencer 1:14:45

Is that That's very that's a very healthy and good view you have is Is it a trend in the YouTube community to move to tax havens like Andorra or Monaco?

Benji Naesen 1:14:56

I don't know if it's a trend. I think some people do it. I think some people do it for other reasons than just like Patrick's main reason that he moved to Andorra is because the dude was recording cycling podcast set 3am or something every single night when he was living in Australia, so he needed to go to Europe. And if you have the choice, why not select a region that has beneficial in other areas as well? I wouldn't have to think 20 times about that. But when it comes to me personally, I'm living in Europe timezone is not an issue. girlfriend lives in the UK. I don't necessarily. I value the being around the people that I love more than getting a bit more. Yeah, benefit in that sense.

Andrew Vontz 1:15:43

I think the lesson learned here is sometimes you'll just have to eat beans on toast to get what you want.

Spencer 1:15:50

No philosophy.

Andrew Vontz 1:15:54

Well, Benji, it's been awesome to have you here. I've we could go on for hours. And in fact, it'd be great to probably do a part two, because I know there's so many cycling specific things that would be great to to cover in a part two. But thanks for being here today. Thanks for all the cool content that you make. And thanks for what you shared. And if people want to find you, where do you send them? Where would you like them to go?

Benji Naesen 1:16:19

I'd say just hop on to Twitter, Benji Nosson, my name or YouTube you'll find me on both of those and Instagram as well. But let's be honest, I'm most active on Twitter and everything I do shows up on Twitter anyway. So that's probably the main area where you can find all of my content kind of centralized.

Andrew Vontz 1:16:36

Awesome. Thanks for being here. Yeah, thanks for talking to us.

Benji Naesen: Lanterne Rouge co-host, Gamer, YouTuber  — The Hard Way (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Edwin Metz

Last Updated:

Views: 5860

Rating: 4.8 / 5 (58 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Edwin Metz

Birthday: 1997-04-16

Address: 51593 Leanne Light, Kuphalmouth, DE 50012-5183

Phone: +639107620957

Job: Corporate Banking Technician

Hobby: Reading, scrapbook, role-playing games, Fishing, Fishing, Scuba diving, Beekeeping

Introduction: My name is Edwin Metz, I am a fair, energetic, helpful, brave, outstanding, nice, helpful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.