Sheet Talking Episode 7: Oz Excel on Fire

Follow Oz on YouTube at @OzduSoleilDATA and on LinkedIn:

Sheet Talking Episode 7: Oz Excel on Fire

What do Excel Experts and Sheets Experts talk about?

Find out in this episode of Sheet Talking

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Follow Oz on YouTube at @OzduSoleilDATA and on LinkedIn


[00:00:00] Oz Excel on Fire: Excel was just a tool. I saw myself as a really good commissions analyst. I did a lot data cleansing. I was not aware of Mr. Excel. I didn't know people could have an entire career based around a tool.

[00:00:14] Andrew: Excited today. We're talking with Oz from Excel on fire. Has been in this game. Twice as long as I have, and not just that he has been creating a career teaching Excel to many people. He's coming from Excel. I'm coming from Google sheets and where our Venn diagrams. Uh, collide and come together is spreadsheets. But not only that, we're also both on YouTube and we're also both teaching. We get into, I think one of the most interesting conversations I've ever had about where people might get stuck and why they get stuck in app script. It's something that's been on my mind very recently he came up with some very interesting reasons why people get stuck in app script.

[00:00:59] Andrew: I learned a lot from this conversation . And I hope you enjoy this episode of sheet talking

[00:01:03] Andrew: For two decades you've been a Excel master?

[00:01:08] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah, I've, yeah. I've done a whole lot of things, including, I've played bass for five years and now yes, I do Excel. Um, yeah, I, uh, wow. Yeah, there was a layoff in 2008 and that kind of launched me into this direction of Excel and I left the band that I was in at

[00:01:39] Andrew: the time.

[00:01:39] Andrew: You got laid off from a band? No, no, no, no.

[00:01:42] Oz Excel on Fire: I, I laid, I got laid off from a regular day job. These are two separates. Got it. Right, right, right. But at the time I was in a band. Mm-hmm. And, um, yeah, left the band. Had to figure out what I was going to do next. Didn't feel comfortable putting so much time into playing bass when I needed to figure out money and life.

[00:02:06] Andrew: I mean, it's a very similar story. Not, not a similar story. I did not play bass and I didn't get laid off, but 2008. Mm-hmm. Uh, you know, the, a recession, uh, huge problem in the world. And you started, you dived into Excel. Um, and in 2020, a pandemic, huge uproar and chaos around the world. And that's when I started Better Sheets.

[00:02:29] Andrew: Um, it, it always seems like from, from the ashes come a new life, right?

[00:02:35] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And we don't always know what it's going to be.

[00:02:41] Andrew: Honestly, I was super reluctant. I was, for two years, I've been running better sheets for three years and for two years I literally was like, I don't wanna be the Google Sheets guy.

[00:02:49] Andrew: Like, it was legitimately what I did not want written on my epi as an epitaph on my grave. I, I did not, I kept saying this to my friends and, and people who are like, oh, you're doing Google Sheets now? I'm like, no, no, no. I please don't write. Here lies the Google Sheets guy when I die. Like, I don't want that

[00:03:11] Oz Excel on Fire: Uhhuh Uhhuh.

[00:03:13] Oz Excel on Fire: Wow. And, and you came along after all of the Cause, um, when there was the layoff, I didn't even have Excel on my resume. But you didn't, I didn't see the point in it. Hmm.

[00:03:31] Andrew: Wait, you didn't see the point of, well, I mean, this is a completely different time, right? 2000, wait till 2000 eight's. Not that different of a time.

[00:03:38] Andrew: People use it. Yes. It's, it's a huge business part of people's, uh, business. Why wasn't it even on your resume?

[00:03:47] Oz Excel on Fire: Because I was working in customer service. I had spent time as a commissions analyst. Excel was just a tool. I saw myself as a really good commissions analyst. Hmm. I did a lot of data cleansing. I was not aware of Bill gelling, you know?

[00:04:10] Oz Excel on Fire: Mm-hmm. Also known as Mr. Excel. I didn't know people could have an entire career based around a tool. So I am one of the first in it few today who can do that, but in 2008, no. I, um, and then, I don't know when YouTube started. Mm-hmm. Um, You know, we definitely, I don't think we had Google at the time, or at least not in any kind of mature way.

[00:04:43] Oz Excel on Fire: So the world was very different in 2008,

[00:04:46] Andrew: the internet world. Yeah. It was very dis um, dissociative. Like we, you had, you didn't have strong internet communities, you didn't have those trails. You, you know, it seems like you blazed that trail. Um, you got on YouTube when there wasn't anyone you got on Excel when there wasn't spec specifying Excel and excelling at Excel.

[00:05:10] Andrew: People didn't necessarily do or they did, but they, as you said, as part of their job, you were a good worker in your job and you happen to use Excel.

[00:05:19] Oz Excel on Fire: Right, right, right. And I see the trailblazers as Bill Gellin, Mike Gervin. Um, there were some websites that I eventually found. That, uh, the people don't do Excel anymore.

[00:05:40] Oz Excel on Fire: Um, but they wrote book

[00:05:41] Andrew: now. We, the people that you looked up to and, and you saw they were writing books. Like you could go to Barnes and Nobles and buy a book on Excel and, and you're like, oh, here's this author. So you're like, this is the way, this is the way to create and, and make money, right. And, and have form a career.

[00:06:01] Oz Excel on Fire: But that came way later, way later, you know, um, I think, uh, after the layoff, people did start, uh, calling and asking me Excel questions. Hmm. Um, doing little trainings for 10 people, but I still didn't see it as a career. Right. That still took a while.

[00:06:27] Andrew: That doesn't seem like a career, like to everyone and anyone.

[00:06:31] Andrew: The signs of a career are not like, Someone asking you a question, like one person asking you a question. It the same thing is like, so I, I wanted to bring this up because I think it's hilarious and like we're, I think you and I are on the same wavelength about this. You are, like you, you've expressed on your YouTube or somewhere in your about section, you're like, you are welcome to send me questions, but they must be like short, concise and have an example because mm-hmm.

[00:07:04] Andrew: It's so hard to get good questions and like be able to answer people, right? Like, right. I, I do get a lot of questions, but they're not in the form of like a, a question that I can actually answer. Um, and so in, in, in your fir in, in this pre sort of ooze of career, those individual questions don't seem like they'll add up.

[00:07:29] Andrew: It doesn't seem like this never seems like it's gonna be a consistent thing because. Is it also the case? I don't know if you found this, when someone asks you a question and you answer them, like very, very, very few people ever have another question. It's always different people asking different questions.

[00:07:48] Andrew: Does that, is that the same? Yeah.

[00:07:50] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah. Um, and that's the mess, the, the kinds of, uh, questions I get through a, a DM or email. Yeah. It is a question. And I can appreciate how you describing this because Right. One person and a question does not seem to be something to build a career on.

[00:08:17] Andrew: I'm like, I, I would love, okay, like this is sort of just me always like putting it out in the world and saying like, this is what I want.

[00:08:24] Andrew: This is what I would love to have, is I. Always love seeing someone's progress. And it doesn't, this doesn't mean like, I'm gonna make money. This doesn't mean I'm gonna make like upselling them in any way. It literally is just a joy, and I would absolutely love it if like I answer someone's question and then like a week, a month later, a week later, it does literally the timeline doesn't matter, be the next day.

[00:08:48] Andrew: They ask another and they're like, okay, based on this, I did X, Y, and Z that worked, but now I'm in this new thing. Now this could give, this could be, you know, abusive, abused, and, and very bad because they're just like, I don't know these, all these steps and I need to ask you all along and string you along.

[00:09:04] Andrew: But I love when I can see someone's progress, when I can see like, oh, I've, I've watched this video, this video, this video, and then I got to this fourth thing you didn't answer yet. Can you answer this? I'm like, yes, of course.

[00:09:16] Oz Excel on Fire: Oh my God. Wow. Wow. I love that. Yeah. Okay. Okay. And, and I can see that now. I haven't had that experience.

[00:09:26] Oz Excel on Fire: Me neither. What has

[00:09:27] Andrew: I would love,

[00:09:28] Oz Excel on Fire: huh? I'm Oh, oh, you would love it. Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah. Like

[00:09:33] Andrew: those are the, I would tell

[00:09:34] Oz Excel on Fire: wonderful things. Yeah. But what I have appreciated mm-hmm. Is when I've taught somebody something and they've, uh, like there was a photographer who took one of my workshops when I was back in Chicago and to find out later that she was selling a house and using Excel to help manage a bunch of stuff around selling the house mm-hmm.

[00:10:03] Oz Excel on Fire: And moving from Illinois to California. Wow. She took the concepts and ran with them. I love that. Yeah.

[00:10:13] Andrew: That's great. Yeah, exactly. Like just a little bit of like seeing people's progress, seeing that there. Doing something with this knowledge. Right. And it's not just a transfer of knowledge, it's like a, we, we want transformation of someone that, oh, now that I know these tools exist.

[00:10:31] Andrew: Mm-hmm. Can I play a different tune? Can? Okay. These are all the buttons on the, on the not machine. Oh my God. Musical instrument. Right. These are all about Right. Lemme go play. And, and it doesn't have to be like a, that, that's funny that your example is like, oh, someone sell sold our house. Cuz that's ave it seems like in the grand scheme of things, someone who's like, oh, I'm selling my house and I happened to, happened to use Excel because I, I love it.

[00:10:56] Andrew: I, I learned Excel. That seems to them like a small thing, but to us we're like, oh my God, this is great.

[00:11:02] Oz Excel on Fire: Like, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I had a, and that's the, yeah, that's the empowerment, that's the word I like. Somebody's empowered to use Excel. To get something done in their life, something real that matters.

[00:11:18] Oz Excel on Fire: Absolutely.

[00:11:20] Andrew: That, uh, empowerment is literally like the, the best word for it because it, it, it, it is a external thing, right? It's not us doing it. We have like transformed this person to see this in a different way. Right. That's very,

[00:11:35] Oz Excel on Fire: yeah. Yeah, it is. And yeah, like,

[00:11:39] Andrew: it, it's so few and far between. It is a separate individual questions.

[00:11:46] Andrew: And I also wanna come to this point is unfortunately with people asking a single question, that's also this one particular fault that I fall into all the time. I want to, I almost sometimes need more context. I don't need to know. I don't, I don't need to know the whole sheet. I don't need to know. Mm-hmm.

[00:12:08] Andrew: Everything you're doing to answer most questions, but when there's like a business logic or a business sense or something you're trying to do and you, and you go down that path and then you get stuck when you get stuck there, sometimes I want to answer the question so that as if not to solve your problem, but to never have that problem in the first place.

[00:12:27] Andrew: Mm-hmm. Hmm. Okay. And that's hard to do with like back and forth. That's why I like work live workshops myself. You do live workshops, right? And training as well? Yeah,

[00:12:37] Oz Excel on Fire: I do live training and I do have recorded courses on the LinkedIn library and I try to, well, you might be getting into, part of my underlying philosophy around training is to train people real world and not just show 'em the plumbing of X lookup.

[00:13:05] Oz Excel on Fire: But let's look at some of the gotchas, some of the weird things that happen in real life, the weird ways that data comes to you. Maybe you can't do a butt naked X lookup right now. Maybe you've gotta do something else to set yourself up to do a next lookup. Or maybe you have to wrap the X lookup in an if for something.

[00:13:29] Oz Excel on Fire: Um, cause especially since I've done so much data cleansing, um, just straight out of the box stuff doesn't work and I want to let people know, okay, you get out there, there's gonna be weird stuff and I'm going to set you up as best I can so that you can be successful and whoop this thing and be victorious.

[00:13:57] Oz Excel on Fire: Right.

[00:13:57] Andrew: You, you'd like to whoop crap data,

[00:14:00] Oz Excel on Fire: right? Hell yeah. That's right. What did crap data ever do to you? It has given me long hours. It has. Uh, one time I paid a sales rep too much money and then his director had to call, get on a conference call and say, here's what happened. Um, that's done. All kinds of things.

[00:14:26] Andrew: Oh my God, that's crazy that you mm-hmm. But that is like, uh, but only once. Never again. Nope. Um, right. Like that's an interesting take. Right? That, and, and an interesting and probably better take than most people have is like, there is crap data. Like the reality is that there's crap data. The reality is you are going to encounter these errors, these problems, let's talk about them.

[00:14:54] Andrew: Right. Let's, let's deal with them Yes. Before they happen or understand that they will happen. And those frustrations don't have to continue. Your frustrations don't have to turn into being stuck. Is that it? Like, okay, you're going to run into this, but like, oh, we can do these three things around. Yep,

[00:15:13] Oz Excel on Fire: yep, yep.

[00:15:14] Oz Excel on Fire: And, and, um, I've seen a lot of times where people will either put stuff off until one day, but one day never comes. Um,

[00:15:26] Andrew: yeah. We feel like we're gonna be a superhero on Monday, next Monday. Mm-hmm.

[00:15:31] Oz Excel on Fire: Right? Yeah. Or um, they just completely just give up on it, you know? So I've been in the empowerment business around Excel.

[00:15:44] Andrew: You're in the empowerment business. That's great.

[00:15:46] Oz Excel on Fire: Yes. That that's good. Yes. Yeah, it does. Does this, this is

[00:15:51] Andrew: a weird thing and maybe, maybe it's hard to answer. Because I don't necessarily know the answer to this either. What I'm about to ask is, okay, do you, you you teach Excel vba, right? No.

[00:16:04] Oz Excel on Fire: No, you don't. I do have a very basic V B A course.

[00:16:09] Oz Excel on Fire: Okay. Um, on, on LinkedIn. Um, but I don't like the mindset of coding. But anyway, let's get to your question before I go off

[00:16:20] Andrew: on a tangent sheet. But I mean, you, you have, you have tutorials about it. You, you, you use Excel, vba a and mm-hmm. I've used it a lot. Yeah. I, I, I started on Excel vba before I knew Google Sheets.

[00:16:31] Andrew: This was like more than 10 years. This was like 13 years ago. I, I learned Excel v b and then I switched to Sheets cuz uh, the company I was at, I went to a new company and they had Google sheets. So, um, same with Google Sheets. It has, uh, app script. Um, and you just mentioned, you, you literally just mentioned, you're like, okay, when people get frustrated, they, and get stuck.

[00:16:52] Andrew: They stop like, I find that far more happens in code, and maybe this is to your point of, of the mindset. You don't like the mindset, but like what do you think is it that makes people stop? What, what is, and I know this, this, this really crazy question cuz I don't know the answer to it. Is it like, like what, what if somebody's trying to solve something and they're going down the route of coding and then they get frustrated, they get stuck and then they stop.

[00:17:22] Andrew: Like they weren't stopped. They were stuck. Not stopped, but like what is it that makes

[00:17:26] Oz Excel on Fire: people stop? So my first thought is, you mentioned coding again. So are you talking about coding or Excel? But then another part of me says it doesn't matter when stuck is stuck. So how do you want me to answer that?

[00:17:43] Andrew: I sort of get these questions in, in Google Sheets when people start to learn app script, they'll, they'll try app script in some particular way.

[00:17:50] Andrew: And same with me, when I was learning Excel V B A, like I was using Excel and I happened to ha have to use Excel, VBA A and then get frustrated inside of that. So coding inside of sheets or spreadsheets. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Well,

[00:18:06] Oz Excel on Fire: I like to address people individually. And do you think

[00:18:12] Andrew: this really is like a, everybody has a different reason?

[00:18:15] Andrew: Yes.

[00:18:16] Oz Excel on Fire: Yes. Cuz I've seen people who don't wanna be doing Excel. Yes. Um, yeah, there's one guy, the. The president of this startup company, he warned me that the guy who's gonna be in charge of this tool that I was building, he wanted to be in sales. He wanted to stop doing data. Mm-hmm. So he kind of would drag his feet.

[00:18:45] Oz Excel on Fire: Uh, I dealt with somebody who, in a previous job, had an entire IT team supporting her, but now in this small boutique firm, she had to be the IT team and she did not want to do that part. She wanted to do like Excel, um, right. Formulas, that kind of thing. But setting up processes, cleaning data, checking data quality, wanted, no parts of it.

[00:19:21] Oz Excel on Fire: Um, and then there are the people who just don't know. Like the photographer that I mentioned earlier, she didn't know Excel had dropdown lists or had all these complex functions and you could string formulas together and build entire tools. She loved it once she knew new, uh, so, so when people get stuck, it's all kind of things.

[00:19:50] Oz Excel on Fire: But then there was the one time I saw somebody in a Starbucks and I peeked at her computer screen cuz she had excel open and I sensed maybe she could benefit from a basic formula. Mm-hmm. Or maybe V lookup if she was up

[00:20:12] Andrew: to it. You were glancing very hard if you saw that. Well

[00:20:17] Oz Excel on Fire: it was my guess cause, cause of the way she was dragging stuff, I couldn't see detail.

[00:20:22] Oz Excel on Fire: That is what I, when I introduced. Right. So I introduced myself and offered to help and she said, no, I get paid hourly, so the longer this takes me, the better for me. So there was that. Um, so I've seen great. Right? And then just to sheer overwhelm, one nonprofit that I tried to help, they had data on different computers and even the data in one computer was in different files and in different folders.

[00:20:56] Oz Excel on Fire: And I said, okay, I can help you all but next time, but you know, when I come back, please have everything at least on one computer. Files different. They never did it. Different computers. Right. Um, cause they had gotten to a point where the nonprofit had, oh, excuse me. They had gotten to a point where the nonprofit.

[00:21:25] Oz Excel on Fire: Was successful. Hmm. And now they needed more than to tell a, an inspiring story, and then somebody reach in their pocket and give 'em a hundred dollars. Now they needed to start applying for $20,000 grants. Now they need data, but they weren't prepared for what it took to just get the data all in one place, all stacked up, remove the duplicates, separate any columns that needed to be separated, whatever.

[00:21:59] Oz Excel on Fire: They just were overwhelmed by it. Yeah. And I showed up as a volunteer who was going to help them clean their data and get what they needed out of it. I was not there to go around from computer to computer and, and sweep all this stuff together in one pile. Mm-hmm. So, um, I stopped.

[00:22:23] Andrew: But you brought up so many good points.

[00:22:25] Andrew: Mm-hmm. I mean, and, and these aren't like, now, like looking back, I know you initially started, you're like the, everybody has their own thing. But I think these are some great broad general things, right? One, the, the first thing you said, you're like, some people just don't want to. Right. It's if they are, if, if they come into a problem and they just don't want to, oh, and, and it's not that they don't want to code and they don't wanna do app script, they don't wanna do Excel bba.

[00:22:54] Andrew: The point was they don't wanna do Excel, they don't wanna do Google Sheet. They don't want spreadsheets at all that well data that is such a limiting factor down the line. And yes, a hundred percent every single moment that they get frustrated, they won't continue. They will just stop. That is a good point.

[00:23:12] Andrew: Right.

[00:23:13] Oz Excel on Fire: And then, right. And I feel like they are due some respect. Um, because I don't want to change the oil in my own car. You know, folks will tell me how easy it is and how I can save my own money and how cheap the oil filter is and everything, how easy it is to change the oil filter. I don't want to do it and I am not gonna be shamed into doing it.

[00:23:40] Oz Excel on Fire: Right. And so when I've seen people who don't want to do Excel, but they've been saddled with it, I've got a lot of empathy for 'em. Cause, um, they're not stupid people. Like the guy who wanted to be in sales. Mm-hmm. That's where he wanted to shine,

[00:23:57] Andrew: right? The reluctant. So there's the, there's, this is a little shade of difference, right?

[00:24:03] Andrew: It's like someone who doesn't want spreadsheets at all. But then there's someone who's like, I don't mind working with spreadsheets, but I don't want to, but I don't want to work. Like, there's the people who are like, I don't want spreadsheets at all. Then there's like, okay, I don't mind spreadsheets, but I don't want to do them.

[00:24:19] Andrew: But then you, you brought up like, I think a more common problem I, I'll call it a problem, but it might not be a problem, is hourly pay, people are being, are billing per hour. There are certain departments in companies that even though, even though their mandate might be to keep costs down and raise profits, right, they're gonna be like, well, if we somehow have 10% of the man hours that we need that we are account budgeted for next year, we're gonna lose them.

[00:24:57] Andrew: So like, we always have to do the hours. And like that is an interesting heart and, and it's a little, uh, almost insidious I would say. Like, it, it's, it's like I don't want to do it because it's going to. Uh, I don't know how to explain this cuz like, I don't understand this either. Like, maybe I do understand it because I did churn better sheets originally.

[00:25:22] Andrew: I was like, oh, I'm going to save people time. I'll give you shortcut. Learn these shortcuts, do this faster, do this in shorter time. Save time, save money. Mm-hmm. I did say that early on I was, I was down that rabbit hole. But then something happened in the last year where I was like, oh, I realized we're just gonna spend time here.

[00:25:42] Andrew: Like, w people spend eight to 10 hours a day in spreadsheets. Even if you save them 30 seconds or five minutes or an hour, they're still gonna spend eight to 10 hours in spreadsheets. So let's just make this experience better instead of like faster, because then faster then you're gonna be doing more work in that eight hours.

[00:26:04] Oz Excel on Fire: Well, you know, and this is something else that I've. Talked about, and it's frustrating is, um, yeah, if I have some eight hours of work ahead of me and I know all these shortcuts, and these shortcuts saved me five minutes outta my eight hours, you know, I, I'm not a shortcut fan. I've seen people use 'em and use 'em.

[00:26:33] Oz Excel on Fire: Well, I don't because, you know, like one project that I had, trying to figure out how to put 14 empty rows between like a column of 2000 values, and, um, the person who needed the help, she threw this out in a forum and some people came back with V B A code. She didn't understand the V B A code. She didn't use it because she didn't, she, she couldn't be responsible for it.

[00:27:06] Oz Excel on Fire: And so I thought about how can I do this for her in a way that both she and I can understand it. And it took me two days to just think about the most effective way of doing that. But once I did, boom, it was easy to implement in about 10 minutes. Mm-hmm. Um, so, you know, keyboard shortcuts wouldn't have helped me shorten that two days of just thinking.

[00:27:37] Andrew: Yeah. Like with a good thinking time, there are some weird problems that you're like, why do you even need to do this though? Um, yeah. Like, do you find Yeah. That's it. So it's interesting that people will get stuck and stop when it literally, their career. And their paycheck depends on them stopping, right.

[00:28:00] Andrew: That they're not going to learn to code because they want to build those hours. They, they have a bus who needs to build the hours, their company needs to build the hours, but also on an individual basis, they need to build the hours.

[00:28:12] Oz Excel on Fire: Right. Right. Well, and and that was one example of somebody who said, yeah, the longer this takes me, the more hours I can build.

[00:28:21] Oz Excel on Fire: But there's a lot of that stuff is error-prone. Cause there was one guy who, he would get all these names and some of 'em are all caps, some of 'em are, are right, some are in lower case. Um, and he's retyping them one at a time. Making mistakes, having to redo stuff, and then he'll mail stuff out and it's still wrong.

[00:28:51] Oz Excel on Fire: And now he's got a call, um, from somebody who's agitated with him. So he benefited from me, showing him the upper function, drag it down the column. He almost fell out of his chair. Right? Because now, um, there is a time saving, huge time savings, but also the increased accuracy.

[00:29:22] Andrew: A hundred percent,

[00:29:24] Oz Excel on Fire: right? Yeah.

[00:29:25] Oz Excel on Fire: Right. Because man, you get like, and this was like one of his, so his main job was customer service and taking calls and he was supposed to be doing oth this other thing. Like in between calls or whatever time he could find. So this was not his primary job. He did not have an hour a day to retype all of these names.

[00:29:53] Oz Excel on Fire: Um, you know, like a solid hour. So it would take him a week to do this. Right. And then that created other problems. So you do need the time, um, and the increased accuracy. So that did, that did help him.

[00:30:16] Andrew: Right. We don't think of time that way so many times so often. Mm-hmm. Um, as you just said, you know something that's going to take, let's say two hours.

[00:30:27] Andrew: We know it's gonna take two hours, so we're gonna, you know, put it on a calendar, but we're never gonna put like two hours on our calendar. We're gonna say, Especially something that can be broken up into those little bits. You're like, okay, I'm just gonna spend five minutes a day on this for the rest of the week.

[00:30:43] Andrew: See how far I get and then I'll calculate there. But those five minutes includes like 10 minutes beforehand to be like, oh, where was that sheet that I needed? Like do that on. Then the 10, 15 minutes afterwards that you're like the context shift to the next thing, you're like, oh, and I also have to note how many did I do in that five minutes?

[00:31:00] Andrew: Um, yep. And so something that can take two hours, you will almost never do in two hours. It will be right as you said, two weeks and might not even be done. Then you're like, oh,

[00:31:13] Oz Excel on Fire: right, and, and is done. And then you ready to wrap it up and say, oh damn. But that, like, I just found one that's wrong. And how many others are wrong and what's at stake?

[00:31:27] Oz Excel on Fire: That's a big deal. What's at stake? Um, cause if it's small stakes, Just move on big stakes and somebody's going to call and be mad and say, you people did it again, and I'm sick of you now. Things have to be right. Yeah.

[00:31:50] Andrew: Do you find that people, speaking of stakes, so do you find that you have some questions, you're like, why would you ever need to do this?

[00:32:00] Andrew: You mentioned one, you're like the 14 rows you had to insert. I I, I get this sometimes when I'm like, in what way do you ever need to do this? Many times people are like, how do I do this in, uh, VBA script or, or app script? And I go, why would you ever need to do that in VB F script? And I realize, you know, one reason they might be asking this is because they're like, oh, I just wanna learn and here's this like example that I just happened to run into.

[00:32:27] Andrew: Um, but sometimes I'm just like, just insert 14 roast. Have you, do you get that at all?

[00:32:36] Oz Excel on Fire: Well, um,

[00:32:37] Oz Excel on Fire: I don't get into why do you need to do this? Um, I get into the why so that I have enough for me to go forward and help 'em. Mm-hmm. Um, cause sometimes y can get into, uh, sensitive information or they've got data from another source. Mm-hmm. That, uh, this is how it showed up. Um, they've broken some data out of A P D F.

[00:33:16] Oz Excel on Fire: You know, I had an early problem where I had, uh, got data out of A P D F and the stuff that I needed was bold. But there was all kind of other stuff inside these cells right? Now, how do I split out just the bold text? Wow. Um, yeah. And it's, it's one of those things of, in this world of data cleansing that I find so exciting is I had to do that one time mm-hmm.

[00:33:48] Oz Excel on Fire: In all of the years that I've been doing Excel, but it taught me, right. I did learn about V B A because at the time that was about the only way to do it was with V B A. Um,

[00:34:03] Oz Excel on Fire: so kind of, kind of lost my train of thought here, but

[00:34:08] Andrew: you, you took this very, uh, obtuse problem that you had and it, it taught you something. Right. I find that too, that someone is just, when they ask this like crazy question and I, I sort of. I, I cringe at it in a good way. I'm like, why would you ever need to do this?

[00:34:24] Andrew: And I want know the answer. I'm not asking why, why do you wanna do this? And I, and I don't wanna know the answer. I'm not, and it's not like hand waving. Right. Okay.

[00:34:32] Oz Excel on Fire: Gotcha. Gotcha. So we are, we're on the same page now. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:34:35] Andrew: That's a good point. Like

[00:34:37] Oz Excel on Fire: that cause yeah, because it is fascinating, you know, when somebody's got a header that's split across three columns or, or three, three different sales and they need to be put together and, and other stuff needs to happen around that.

[00:34:53] Oz Excel on Fire: I find it fascinating. Yeah.

[00:34:58] Andrew: When, when somebody runs into a weird problem and you're like, oh yeah. I mean, yeah. The one that comes to my mind is, uh, and, and I, I sort of could sense what the issue is and there is an, there is. The problem was they were like, okay, I have these people using my sheet and they keep adding columns, but I don't want extra columns.

[00:35:22] Andrew: They keep adding the columns, but they shouldn't be adding the columns. And I keep going into the sheet and deleting the extra columns and they're, and they're like, how can I do this programmatically? And so I had, I was like, literally, I was like, I, this is Craig. You can't just like ask them, just don't have any columns.

[00:35:39] Andrew: Like this is a very personal, uh, a personnel problem between people. Like just ask them, don't add columns. But then I was like, well, let me actually answer this question instead of being, you know, snarky here. And I ended up figuring out how this is like a total weird thing and this probably happens to you.

[00:36:01] Andrew: I ended up actually learning what the on sheet change on change. Does, uh, trigger. Okay. So instead of like, it's not an on edit trigger in sheets, it's on change. And then I like had to research what the, what is this and what are all of the changes that could occur that this is triggered. And I was like, oh, this is the answer.

[00:36:22] Andrew: And I was like, oh, I actually learned that part of it. Now the person mm-hmm. Asking me the question, didn't learn that, unfortunately, sort of, I could have, you know, been more boisterous and put it in a nice, wrapped it in a nice YouTube video and said, you know, here's all of the things you can do with this other trigger.

[00:36:41] Andrew: But like, I didn't want to use this example because I was like, no one's ever gonna run into this because they're just gonna ask these people don't add columns. What I ended up the, the, the like exclamation point and the like happy face on this is, I literally had no idea how I would ever implement this.

[00:36:58] Andrew: I was like, I now know this thing. Why would I ever use this in any sense? And then I released in, uh, on April Fool's Day, April 1st, I released Vizi Calc, uh, inside of a Google sheet. I, I built Vizi Calc and I ended up using exactly what I learned to make it so you couldn't add columns. And I was, it was like a Easter egg joke kind of thing that when you added a column, it would delete it and then give you a message out of memory.

[00:37:26] Andrew: And I was like, so happy. Wow. That like, I used this super obtuse reason, like, and I learned this thing and I used it, but in a funny way. Yeah.

[00:37:39] Oz Excel on Fire: Wow. Wow. Right. All right.

[00:37:44] Andrew: But I, I feel bad though because like, you okay. Maybe I shouldn't feel bad. You can tell me if you feel bad about this or not. When you learn these things and you're like, okay, like I learned this.

[00:37:58] Andrew: And I can sort of transfer this little piece of knowledge, but do it doesn't really Right. Like they get their problem solved and they move on. Right. Like, you, you get better all the time, right? Mm-hmm. Every day. Mm-hmm. You're getting 1% better. Yeah. I feel bad about that sometimes. I'm like, I get a lot of questions and I get a lot of re ways to like use this power and it gets better and better and better.

[00:38:23] Andrew: And I'm like, oh, but like we're, we are in the empowerment business, right? We want you to get better. Mm-hmm. So, like Right. How do you, um, balance that?

[00:38:32] Oz Excel on Fire: Well, I like being in a situation where I've dealt with a lot of different clients, uh, students or just regular folks that ask me all kinds of questions.

[00:38:45] Oz Excel on Fire: And yeah, some of it can be really obscure or a one time very specialized need. And I will think about it and see if there's some piece of it that can be useful. Mm-hmm. Um, maybe not the whole thing, but you know, how can you filter something and grab only the columns that you need after you've done this filter?

[00:39:14] Oz Excel on Fire: Um, versus that guy who asked me that, he was a, um, a realtor who had all this data and had all kind of other stuff going on, but I was able to peel out those couple of things and show those in a video. Um, but yeah, if something is too wild, then no, I don't turn that into a video. But yeah, I do learn and um, it may show up somewhere else, somewhere else that has more.

[00:39:50] Oz Excel on Fire: Widespread need. Mm-hmm. Yeah.

[00:39:56] Andrew: So you keep it, you, you're like, okay, I, I did that. Great. Keep it, put it in the tool belt. Um. Mm-hmm. I forget a lot of things though. There's people who ask me a question and I, I have a video about it that I did the whole thing. I did the research, I made a video and I forgot that the answer was there.

[00:40:16] Andrew: Oh

[00:40:17] Oz Excel on Fire: my God. Right. And that's a beautiful thing though, is, um, I have had to refer to my own videos or a book that I wrote, and there have been times where I've gone to do a search online and then one of my own videos pops up, oh, I did this four years ago. I love it. Hallelujah. So part of how I think about my YouTube channel is as a repository.

[00:40:49] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah. You know, and, um, so that has, um, you know, like there's a whole bunch of ways of thinking about a YouTube channel and growing a YouTube channel and, um, tags and stuff. But, um, I think about it is sharing knowledge and creating a body of

[00:41:13] Andrew: knowledge. Yeah. Yeah. Like every video is like a volume in a, in a, not just a bookshelf, but a library.

[00:41:20] Andrew: Right? Yeah. Yep. I, so sort of something you, you mentioned that. You said, okay, if you have an obtuse or obscure question, you'll, you'll try to figure out, you know, that that other frame for it to make it a video. And, and I fell into this trap myself early on where every single question, instead of answering the question and then making a video, what I would do is I would just answer the question in a video and then release that.

[00:41:54] Andrew: And I realized probably a little too late, like two years late, too late, I'm like, yeah, like that person is going to frame that problem in that way, but others aren't. So you'll see a lot of questions, a lot of videos, and a lot of videos in better sheets. A lot of videos on my YouTube that are like, this person asked this question and here's the question.

[00:42:18] Andrew: And then people don't find it. People who are asking almost that same question or like, they use a different word, they'll use a different phrase. They'll frame it in a different way. I had a friend who literally was like, I was looking for this problem. I found this video for it. Uh, you should make a video about it.

[00:42:36] Andrew: I said, I did make a video about it. Here's the video and it has a different title. And they're like, oh, you should title it differently. I'm like, well, no matter what I title it, someone's gonna have it wrong somewhere.

[00:42:47] Oz Excel on Fire: Right. Yeah. And that is a challenge that I have a lot, uh, is I'm showing something that I'm sure a lot of people can get used from.

[00:42:58] Oz Excel on Fire: Now how do I describe it? Yeah. And um, so it could be, uh, a multi-step solution to something, or it could just be, I need a. A dropdown list that will only show me the values that are relevant to the previous dropdown list. Ah, that's called Dependent dropdowns lists. It's called cascading dropdown lists.

[00:43:33] Oz Excel on Fire: Now what do I do so that this can be found? Because when I needed such a thing, I did not know I could use cascading dropdown or depending dropdown. So I think about that a lot and it is hard, and I don't have an answer for how to do that. I do try to put things into my video descriptions. Mm-hmm. That will help a search find such a thing.

[00:44:04] Oz Excel on Fire: And I use the tags, but the title, trying to make a concise title that's

[00:44:11] Andrew: hard. Yeah. It's also called, there's so many phrases for this, right? Double dropdown, uh mm-hmm. Like, yeah. Or the problem, right? It's, you don't even know that the, the dropdown or couple dropdowns are the solution. You have a problem and you're searching for that problem where the dropdown isn't even in the, in your vo vocabulary.

[00:44:34] Andrew: Right,

[00:44:35] Oz Excel on Fire: right, right. Um, right. One

[00:44:38] Andrew: way that I tried to get around this, and I think I failed terribly by the way, uh, spoiler, I think this way fails terribly, is that I framed it in a way where like, you don't know what is in the video. Like, uh, for example, I have this like idea of, um, I wanna go, I just wanna go through version history, like, like show what you can do in version history and how you can use it.

[00:45:07] Andrew: But a video called, You know, some, some buzz, like five ways to use ver spreadsheet version history is just gonna be like way too long and way too, no one's gonna watch that. Mm-hmm. But if I call it like spreadsheet time machine, I'm like, maybe just the people who are interested in spreadsheets are going to watch this and then realize oh's about version history.

[00:45:30] Andrew: And it's like this, uh, completely other word, like other phrase that just doesn't relate to the thing, but it, it relates it to it, but it's not like problem solution, right? Mm-hmm. And, and again, I failed at that too.

[00:45:43] Oz Excel on Fire: Well, it is, it is tough. It's tough and, you know, um, with what we do, because, you know, conditional formatting, the fine duplicates, okay, that can be pretty straightforward.

[00:45:56] Oz Excel on Fire: But then there's so many other things that aren't so straightforward, but they are a common need.

[00:46:03] Andrew: Right. Uh, oh my God. There's like so many words. Get, get duplicates, find duplicates, detect duplicates. Like there's so many words. Mm-hmm.

[00:46:11] Oz Excel on Fire: Mm-hmm. Right. And um, there was one thing, uh, it slipped my mind. There's something else that, oh, fuzzy imagine.

[00:46:22] Oz Excel on Fire: Yes. I, it took me a while to come across that as a formal term, something that I had been doing for years. I just called it like, I gotta get this stuff matched up and it's not matching up. Right.

[00:46:39] Andrew: Non exact matching, like, it's probably better word than fuzzy matching. And then, oh, it's actually a term, right?

[00:46:46] Andrew: Yeah.

[00:46:47] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah.

[00:46:48] Andrew: Oh man. Yeah. That, that's tough. Right? And, and it's very in. Okay. So it's actually very inspiring that you still find it tough. I thought, like, I always think other people have figured this out or they're, they'll have some personal path that they just taken. They're just like, this is the way I do it.

[00:47:08] Andrew: My original idea and thought was just take the words that people are asking, but I realized again, two years too late, but I realized, oh, the reason they're asking me this is because they typed this into Google and they didn't find the answer. So actually their words are wrong. Oh. Uh, their words are right to, for me and I, cuz I can figure it out.

[00:47:29] Andrew: But there's a vast majority of other people who are, have some other phrase that they are finding the right answer and they're not coming to me. Yeah. And so like, okay. Do, do you have, do I have, I kept thinking, I'm like, do I have to just create a list of synonyms and then run those through like tube buddy, uh, uh, keyword, ah, keyword volume checker and, right, right.

[00:47:58] Andrew: I once did, okay. So I did a translator. I tried to do this sort of, I tried to create a sheet where all members, all better sheet members could add to it what they were searching for, and then if they didn't find anything, and then I would go in and I would translate that to the thing that they needed to know.

[00:48:15] Andrew: So they would say something like, non I, I need to find the match, match of two word, uh, match of a word, but I don't want the entire word matched. Any, any three or four character matches fine. Oh, and I would go in and I would write, that's fuzzy matching. So then you would get this sort of volume of, of words and questions and things, and then you could easily find this translation.

[00:48:41] Andrew: Unfortunately the word Google translator is not a good word. Not, not a good phrase for that, not a good title for that, cuz that has a whole different meaning. Google, Google Translate. But like, wow. You know what? That I, I don't know how to say it. Like, translate for Google so that you find the right answers.

[00:48:57] Andrew: Right? Like, there's gotta be another word for doing Google

[00:49:00] Oz Excel on Fire: translate. Yeah. And then I wonder if these large language models might help in that regard. We will see.

[00:49:11] Andrew: Yeah. Can they take all of the words that you might use and compile it into, oh, this is what you mean, what, this is the actual intent. I'm mm-hmm.

[00:49:22] Andrew: I'm, I'm, uh, doing a lot of SEO lately and so I'm, uh, working with Google in, uh, search intent and. Boy, golly, that is hard. And I don't know how, how, uh, AI or or large language models are doing this, but they're, they're doing something that I find incredibly difficult. Like yeah, Google seem, you sort of have, and I don't know if you do this at a as well, like, um, you, you find a phrase that you want to, um, rank for, and then you go and you see what Google has actually there, and you're like, wait, this is, this is not the right intent.

[00:50:00] Andrew: Or, or, oh, this is the intent that people have.

[00:50:02] Oz Excel on Fire: Mm. Oh my God. But yeah. But you know, something is, I don't do that. Mm-hmm. I focus on creating a body of knowledge. Um, and being a data person, I'm mildly embarrassed to admit that I don't do a lot of data. Um, yeah. Cause I could do keyword searches and stuff and get guidance on what kind of content to create or how to, uh, make titles or make, uh, searchable descriptions, but found myself distracted and playing more to an algorithm rather than helping people.

[00:50:57] Oz Excel on Fire: Mm-hmm. And it's not an either or. There is a lot in the inner join. Right? Yeah. Um, but I, my videos don't start off with a keyword search. And once I've done the video and uploaded it and I'm doing the, um, the tags and stuff, I don't spend a lot of time on that part. Right. And, you know, maybe my channel could be bigger or it would've been, uh, as big as it is faster.

[00:51:31] Oz Excel on Fire: Uh, but I've consciously decided not to go down that rabbit

[00:51:37] Andrew: hole. Yeah. That, that's interesting, right? Is choosing that path is completely up to you, right? You're autonomous. Yeah. You have a pure autonomy here. Um, yeah. And originally, you know, I, I saw this, these, again, I, I follow some SEO practices and then I'll go and I'll look at all of the, uh, low, low, uh, low competition vol, high volume, and I'll look at that and then I'll go, oh my God, this is so boring.

[00:52:10] Andrew: I just go, oh, can't I just like, make a funny video that's gonna like, just make people enjoy spreadsheets more? Like, can't I just go off and, and it's this, Winding path, right? I, I haven't found a good footing. I'm very insecure about this. I'm very much like, I'll try this sort of as a month on, month off kind of thing.

[00:52:32] Andrew: I'll, I'll go hardcore on like, okay, here's the five things I need to do this month, and then next month I'm like, okay, no, I want these projects done because these are so much more fun and interesting. Like viscal, like not a single person, I think on a month-to-month basis is ever searching for viscal and wants a working version of Viscal.

[00:52:52] Andrew: Like, so making viscal inside of a Google sheet is not what was is not optimized for search. It is, it is purely optimized for joy. The people who understand this 40 year old tech, this is 40 year old technology, they don't even need to know what it did. Right. So, yeah. Right. It is a, for me, it's a winding path.

[00:53:17] Andrew: It seems like you've, um, Found your sort of

[00:53:22] Oz Excel on Fire: place though. Well, yeah. And it's, uh, it's taken a while. Mm-hmm. And when I talk with people who wanna start a YouTube channel, I ask 'em what's their reason? Uh, because it is different if you're trying to make significant money off of ads, uh, versus like professionally being known and showing that you're relevant.

[00:53:53] Oz Excel on Fire: Um, and then there's, you know, building a body of knowledge. And that's how I think about my channel. Um, yeah. You know, see people with five videos and that's their whole channel and it's because they want to, you know, attract gigs. So they have five videos that shows, Hey, I am a dynamic speaker. Hire me to speak.

[00:54:21] Oz Excel on Fire: Right. You know, they might not need a whole entire channel and keyword searches and everything, and some folks will probably, uh, hate me for saying that or tell me I'm wrong or I'm a damn fool. Uh, but I stand by it. Yeah. I mean, it could

[00:54:38] Andrew: be a, putting a book in a library is like a video, or it could be like writing an entry in a diary.

[00:54:44] Andrew: There's a lot of Yes. People who do that and they're not necessarily creating foreign audience. They, they are. Right? Mm-hmm. They're putting it out in public. But it is for them to have this captured, edited version of what they did. Uh, Casey and Einstein even talked about that. He was like, I'm, he, he talked about how thankful he was that he has this capture of what he was doing on that particular day when he was doing this daily blog.

[00:55:12] Andrew: He's like, yeah, yeah, not all of them are great. Not on the good. And sure the, the fame and the views and the money is great and all, but like what he does not regret is having this captured moments, these captured, uh, entries in a diary of what he was doing that day. That, and, and people can use YouTube for that.

[00:55:33] Andrew: Right. I, I, uh, I think of about seven years ago or so, I was having a conversation with someone and they had some videos on YouTube and I was like, the, these are great videos. Why are they have only like five views? Um, and they're like, oh, I, I just used YouTube for hosting. I'm like, what? Just video hosting?

[00:55:53] Andrew: I was like, that's not what YouTube is like. And they're like, that's all I use it for. Like, okay.

[00:55:59] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Now it'd be another thing if they were mad that didn't have a million views in the ad, revenue was breaking in. Right. You know? But if that's their goal and that's it, and they're happy, then all we can do is respect it.

[00:56:19] Andrew: Yeah. I, I like, and I actually do respect all of the professionals on YouTube, and I don't know if this is a real genre, but I, I've just discovered and I've like, created this genre in my own head where, uh, it's people who are, they're, they're not necessarily looking for like massive viral videos and they're not necessarily in exactly like you're doing, not necessarily tagging appropriate, like.

[00:56:46] Andrew: Not a pro 120%. Right. They're not like figuring out the, like title, the tags, the description. What they're doing is they're trying to help others be more professional in their profe. They're, they're, they're showing off their profession. Um, yeah. Some of them are breaking out into popular YouTube channels, like Legal Eagle started as a channel to help people get through law school.

[00:57:13] Andrew: Ali Abdal CH started a YouTube channel to help people get through medical school, their city, uh, city Beautiful. Which is, it's just a city planner sharing, uh, his professional view, uh, professional viewpoint on policy. And then it turned into like a much bigger and better YouTube channel. Yeah. Yeah. And all of the Google sheets and all of the Excel, uh, people that I know also, Same.

[00:57:35] Andrew: We wanna sort of share our profession, our career, our work, and out of all of this, I think only one has had that like breakout, which is not even on YouTube, which is on a TikTok, miss Excel, which totally went off on a new thing. And it feels like there's a set of professional, um, blue collar YouTube channels, I would say.

[00:57:56] Andrew: I don't know what the good, huh,

[00:57:58] Oz Excel on Fire: word for that is. So, so how did your channel start?

[00:58:03] Andrew: Well, I had other channels before this, so I mean, I started Oh, oh, so better sheets, the channel. Started, I was taking, I had already built a library of videos and I was continuing to add to that and I would just take a video that was in my library, put it on YouTube, and I didn't do it in any particular, uh, structure or any particular cadence.

[00:58:23] Andrew: And that sort of ruined me for a year or two years. Cause I was like, I'm putting out a lot of free content and charging for this like library and I'm not really getting the views that I thought I would get. I, like, I was not optimizing for TA tag titles. I, I was literally just taking the video and putting it on YouTube that I had already created for someone, for a member for the membership.

[00:58:45] Andrew: Um, which is a totally a fine, just like you were saying, just a totally fine strategy. If you don't care about the views and you don't care about the channel, YouTube channel, you just care about the membership. And I did that for two years. It was also a side project at that time. Since then, I've taken a completely different strategy towards YouTube doing more theory sharing more.

[00:59:08] Andrew: Outside of individual how-tos, trying to get more perspective around spreadsheets in general on YouTube. And then when you get into the membership, it's much more hardcore, like tutorials, step-by-step template sheets. Um, but before I had better sheets, I had already done a couple of YouTube channels. One was a travel channel, uh, called Travel Bites, you with a friend of mine hosting and I would do all the editing and everything else other than hosting.

[00:59:37] Andrew: And then I also made a comedy cha, like a comedy sketch channel about food called Fork. You? Mm Okay. Okay. That was just my comedy friends. We would just make these weird, very weird videos that were like just our sketch comedy sort of thing. And it was always about food cause mm-hmm. I'll fork you.

[01:00:01] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah.

[01:00:02] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah. All right. All right. So that was your start, your, your early days. Mm-hmm. Yeah. And so how is your philosophy or mission different today? Um,

[01:00:20] Andrew: well, I, so, so I cha so I originally was like, oh, here's like our unique view on this thing. So travel, it was like our unique view on travel. I had worked on cruise ships for five years.

[01:00:31] Andrew: I had this very, uh, weird way to travel where it wasn't like going to the top, top tourist destin, it was the top tourist destinations, but like something with an interesting story inside of that that's not necessarily well publicized. Um, and then with the food, it was just like a comedy first kind of thing.

[01:00:54] Andrew: And we just, I had this. Stupid phrase for Q with a q, uh, f o r q. And it was just, we gotta do something with this, um, with better sheets. Um, it was really a holistic view of spreadsheets. I didn't wanna be a, um, oh my God, I don't know what the phrase is. I didn't want, just like the question and the answer, the problem and solution.

[01:01:27] Andrew: I thought that there was a much, there was a much more inter interesting, nuanced, uh, way to help people work in spreadsheets than just solving individual problems and also far beyond tips and tricks. I, I saw. And, and now there's, oh my God, now there's like a thousand channels, especially on TikTok and short form on YouTube that are these tips and tricks that aren't really tips or tricks.

[01:01:55] Andrew: They're like, this is how you use goo Google sheets, or this is how you use Excel uhhuh. Like that's not a tip. That's, that's just how you use it. Um, I don't want to go beyond that. I wanted to get past that a little bit.

[01:02:07] Oz Excel on Fire: Right. And so that's how you started your Excel channel was with that thinking?

[01:02:15] Andrew: Um, no.

[01:02:16] Andrew: When I started it was just, oh, I'm gonna take these vi It was literally, I'm gonna take these videos that I, I was already producing. Okay. Dozens of videos. A, a week or dozens a month, like five to 10 a week. So I was like, well, I need a promo. I just needed promotion in the, where people are searching for Google Sheets, I need to be there.

[01:02:39] Andrew: So YouTube was just number two after Google. Right.

[01:02:44] Oz Excel on Fire: Right. Okay. So that's how you started, that was your thinking when you started. And so has your fundamental mission changed? A

[01:02:55] Andrew: hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. When I, and, and also I was very much, and I, I sort of mentioned, sort of mentioned this before, it's like, it's very much about like tips and tricks and trying to get you to like, go faster, um, get through things.

[01:03:11] Andrew: Solving problems, I thought was like getting you through this thing and we'll get through it. Um, now I see a much different approach that it's like, let's just, and I mean, I, I sort of lucked out in the name Better Sheets is instead of getting through it faster, let's just make our experience better. Uh, we're going to be here for eight to 10 hours no matter what.

[01:03:38] Andrew: Um, I'm. The people who are members and the people who are, uh, working in spreadsheets are people who, yes, they ha they don't just happen to use spreadsheets. They're using spreadsheets as the, as the core and the center of their business. They're, they're using it to run their business instead of just forecasting.

[01:03:57] Andrew: Originally they're operating their business from spreadsheets, which is Right. Sort of two sides of the same coin. Yeah.

[01:04:05] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah, yeah.

[01:04:07] Andrew: And then there is a huge amount of, or I thought there was, there would be a huge amount. There is a lot of, um, people who are creating templates and creating, creating sheets to, for others, uh, this is, this includes, this includes bosses.

[01:04:23] Andrew: Or even anyone who works at a company who's creating sheets for other people to use. Mm-hmm. But it also includes freelancers, agencies, own business owners who are like, I use this sheet and I also want to monetize this. I wanna sell this as well. So there's a lot of sheet sellers as well. Not, not as many as I thought,

[01:04:40] Oz Excel on Fire: but there are a lot.

[01:04:41] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah, yeah. There are some. Yeah. Yeah. And, um, you know, I started my channel, well it started with sriracha reviews and there's even a really early one on how to tie a bow tie. And then, um, I made videos that I would have as unpublished because somebody asked me about something. And so I made him a little four minute video with the solution and put that on the channel.

[01:05:16] Oz Excel on Fire: It never was meant to be anything. Uh, but then after a while I had. So much content to where I didn't feel comfortable starting a whole new channel. Um, so yeah, so basic helping friends with stuff. And then there was, um, when I decided not to go back to a regular job, then I saw I need to create content to show my knowledge and that I'm relevant.

[01:05:49] Oz Excel on Fire: And then I started teaching people and that's when I found that a lot of people were bored with classes that they took. Um, the classes they took didn't prepare 'em for the real world. They could do basic conditional formatting or do a basic if statement, but the world wasn't that simple. So I started to inject some fun and real world challenges into what I do, and that has been part of my underlying philosophy moving forward and is still today.

[01:06:30] Andrew: And in addition to that, I actually just noticed something on your channel that I absolutely love and I wanted to ask you about. This is, you, you now are like, maybe you only have two, you have Excel challenges that you are, you have Bill J in and you have Chandu. Mm-hmm. Who's like, you've challenged them and you have, and they have to like work through something then and there because like, I think you are inspired or, and Victor

[01:06:57] Oz Excel on Fire: Momo.

[01:06:58] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah. Sorry. Okay. Victor Momo. He's one of them. Yeah.

[01:07:02] Andrew: Okay. You have three then? Um, yeah. Where like, you were inspired by the Excel eSports? No.

[01:07:08] Oz Excel on Fire: Um,

[01:07:08] Oz Excel on Fire: Well, maybe slightly,

[01:07:10] Andrew: but like, the point is though, like your challenge, you're like, oh, you need to like work through this and like understand the w the how, not not the how of like, dot, dot, dot, but the thinking behind it, you were like, I wanna show like inside thoughts.

[01:07:25] Oz Excel on Fire: Right? That's the main focus. Um, the main motivation.

[01:07:32] Oz Excel on Fire: Cuz there are so many things that we do, uh, and we do it alone. Mm-hmm. Editing video, um, learning a baseline or writing a baseline to orig an original song. I found myself doing that alone so much. And then when I would take classes, there would be the instructor and all these other bases and they would, it felt like do something at us.

[01:08:01] Oz Excel on Fire: Not with us or Right. Anything empowering. Um, and I often wondered when, say, Chuck Rainey, this famous basis, who's played with Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, he's on the Sanford and Son theme. What goes through somebody's mind when they say, okay, here is what I'm starting with and I have to write a baseline.

[01:08:27] Oz Excel on Fire: Mm-hmm. I would love that kind of thing. Um, editing video, I've been editing video for a long time by myself. I don't see anybody else's process and then excel. So how can I give to people something that I've always wanted in all these other lonely pursuits? Hmm. Well, how about give experts. A challenge that they can solve mm-hmm.

[01:09:02] Oz Excel on Fire: Is not about tripping people up. Um, how can I bring people into the mind of, I'm going to get a solution and here is why I did this step and here's why I did this other step. Oh, let me undo this one because I see that I now want to go in a different direction. Um, I wish there was more of that kind of thing.

[01:09:30] Andrew: Yeah. And it's very hard to manage that, right? It's very hard to Yeah. It's title it to, to sit through that. It, it's against the YouTube algorithm, which is not, algorithm is like searching, but rather as you get viewer intention, uh, retention. Right. And unedited video is, is is sort of blasphemy. And, and that's what sort of tripped me up too, is I mm-hmm.

[01:09:52] Andrew: Wanted that and I wanted to remain raw so that, especially sort of same mindset. I saw these edited videos and I had to pause 'em when I was learning to code Ruby on Rails. There's a four hour course, but it took me 72 hours to get through it because I was like pausing every 30 seconds and be like, okay, I gotta type that out.

[01:10:15] Andrew: Oh, I wanna type that out. Oh, I wanna type that out. And I realized, oh, edited videos are great to see the whole thing. But yeah, they, they missed the point and so, So maybe people are gonna cringe at this, but I don't edit videos, so in member, in the Better, better Sheets membership, I don't edit videos. If you remember, you go see the entire video from start to finish.

[01:10:35] Andrew: I might pause it a couple times, but like mm-hmm. It's a screen recording of the whole thing. So it's really step by step and even the steps that are just like, oh God, what do we do here? Um, makes for a very poor viewer retention in total,

[01:10:50] Oz Excel on Fire: but the people watch, I think. Yeah. And I'll appreciate it. Yeah. And I don't even worry about that stuff.

[01:10:57] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah. Viewer retention and all this stuff. And, and there's one metric that I see only because it sh pops up on the screen when I look. Um, and I'll post a video and then I'll see this metric. This video is performing fourth. Yes. Out of your top 10 after eight hours, know, it has me start to think, what did I do wrong?

[01:11:31] Oz Excel on Fire: What? Oh, it's, it's, it's doing great. If it's fourth or number one or something, or you know, if it's performing eighth. You know, I don't like being in that mindset. I am sharing knowledge and empowering, so retention and all that stuff. I, I don't, I hate that stuff because here's one thing is I know how I consume video.

[01:11:57] Oz Excel on Fire: So let's say that there's a seven minute video. Um, I might watch the whole seven minutes once, but then I might be doing searches way later. And then I might watch the first two minutes and realize, wait a minute, I've watched this already. This is not gonna help me. So I get out. So is that hurting somebody's analytics because somebody dropped off after two minutes, or I know this video will help me and it's the second half that I need to watch for a refresher.

[01:12:34] Oz Excel on Fire: There again, I'm hurting somebody's analytics. No. And then I've watched like six hour Senate hearings. It'll take me three days to get through the six hours. Yeah. But I've watched part of it on my desktop, part of it on my laptop. Mm-hmm. Over three days. Watch the whole six hours. Is that hurting somebody's analytics because, They can't piece together that I got value and did watch the whole six hours.

[01:13:06] Oz Excel on Fire: There's nothing to show 'em that, so I just leave that stuff alone. I hate it.

[01:13:14] Andrew: I, I also think the Senate Hearing Commission YouTube channel is not caring about the analytics. I think they're optimizing for, oh, we're a public service and we need to put this out to the public. It really depends on what you optimize for, right?

[01:13:29] Andrew: If you're optimizing for joy, optimizing for happiness, optimizing for, Hey, if you want to come see how you do this, come see how you do this.

[01:13:38] Oz Excel on Fire: Right?

[01:13:40] Andrew: Yeah. You can only optimize for one thing and you gotta be right. You just have to be intentional and truthful to that one thing and everything else falls off and

[01:13:49] Oz Excel on Fire: Right.

[01:13:49] Oz Excel on Fire: And I, and I guess, you know, you could optimize for multiple things as best you can. Mm-hmm. Um, You know, and videos have to be found somehow. So I don't discount this type of talk, but I keep that as a low priority because I want to empower people. And then I also recognize that my style of video is not for everybody.

[01:14:18] Oz Excel on Fire: Um, and that's okay. Yeah. You know, so, you know, and, and that even gets into like business stuff. When do you ignore the metrics? When do the metrics tell you to go something against your values or suggest you do something illegal or shady or something that's not so easy to replicate? I don't know what message, cause I've had, right?

[01:14:48] Oz Excel on Fire: Cause I've had, uh, when I was writing a blog, I had a few blog posts just go wild. Mm-hmm. And I knew why they went wild. And it was because of things that I can't do every week. Like if I get some six person collaboration and a few of the six people have huge audiences that come in, I can't do that every week.

[01:15:19] Oz Excel on Fire: Or I do something really, uh, offbeat. I can't do a steady diet of that. Like a birthday cake is great today, but you don't want to have birthday cake, breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Right. Or even uh, after dinner every day. So all of those things I think about. Um hmm. In how I approach creating content and ignoring the analytics or, and then there are times where the analytics show something where you need to dig and not take it as face value.

[01:16:06] Oz Excel on Fire: But what happened here, right? Um, with, when I, when I was a commissions analyst, we had some weird spikes in commissions and the vice president of sales says, wait a minute, this person was among my worst sales people last year, and now look at these numbers. So he asked what's going on? And then I was able to find some correlation between purchases and a national sales exam that happened quarterly.

[01:16:47] Oz Excel on Fire: Hmm. Oh, but if we had started saying, oh my gosh, here is the turnaround award gone from the bottom to the top. Here you go. Now here isn't even a bonus. And then, then it drops back down. God, okay, what's happening? Oh, here is the national exam that's coming up. People buy a whole bunch of study materials and after the exam they drop off until the next exam, next quarter.

[01:17:18] Oz Excel on Fire: So, you know, we gotta be really careful with

[01:17:22] Andrew: metrics. So. Interesting. Yeah, I mean, there's like a, there's a lot of spikes on a lot of companies whenever, uh, there's like a Kardashian tweet and they're like, mm-hmm. Yep. Yeah. Their, their sales chart goes like this, boom. And then it's still going up and to the right, but there's this weird spike in, and it's like, you can't repeat that every week.

[01:17:44] Andrew: You can't repeat that every day. You can't repeat that. Right. Sometimes. Right. Um, right. So, like, I did want to, before we leave here, I have a couple questions for you. Very important

[01:17:57] Oz Excel on Fire: questions. Okay. Very important. All right. Do I need to go put on a bow tie?

[01:18:03] Andrew: Yes. No. Not that important.

[01:18:06] Oz Excel on Fire: Okay. Okay.

[01:18:07] Andrew: Alright. Uh, what, where do you start?

[01:18:10] Andrew: A one or b2?

[01:18:11] Oz Excel on Fire: Definitely not a one. What Definitely I might start in D five. Depends on what I'm doing, but you know, It depends, but definitely not a one. I don't like having this order that I have to deal with. Um, not, so there's a couple of things. There's just the visual clutter I feel in that corner. Mm-hmm. And if I need to put something there, I already have the room to just start typing.

[01:18:51] Oz Excel on Fire: I don't have to insert a columnar

[01:18:53] Andrew: role. Yeah, that's good. You need the space just for space alone padding, but also, cuz you probably wanna put something there anyways. Yeah, yeah. Um, what's your favorite

[01:19:04] Oz Excel on Fire: one person? Oh, okay. Okay, go ahead. What's your favorite person? Are you

[01:19:08] Andrew: an A one person? Me, uh, I, I'm like 50 50 I, oh, oh.

[01:19:13] Andrew: You know some, okay. So sometimes the public perception makes me, uh, start an A one cuz I realize like in a video, If I need to, like in a video, you don't have the entire spreadsheet as you're like canvas. You really sometimes need to like, keep it within the view port, so I know. Okay. I need to start an A one.

[01:19:33] Andrew: Um, and I've started starting an A one in videos more, but depends, it's like 50 50. Okay. Okay.

[01:19:43] Oz Excel on Fire: And I'm a zero 100. Alright. D five.

[01:19:47] Andrew: You're a D five gun. Um, which, which gets into the realm of like, uh, Dungeons and Dragons D five. So maybe, oh,

[01:19:55] Oz Excel on Fire: okay. I didn't know that. All right, so you had another question. What was that?

[01:19:59] Oz Excel on Fire: Yeah, what's your favorite formula? Well, formula of function.

[01:20:03] Andrew: Function, uh, formula function. Excel. Excel function. Sorry. It's Google Sheets formulas. Excel functions. Right. Oh, oh,

[01:20:10] Oz Excel on Fire: okay. All right. Um, for me, I feel like count a. Hmm. Doesn't get much love, but that thing is a workhorse.

[01:20:23] Andrew: What, what do you mean it doesn't get love?

[01:20:25] Andrew: Like you mean like count? Like count If gets more love than count A or count all

[01:20:30] Oz Excel on Fire: like, well, like, um, X lookup gets love, uh, the dynamic of raise, field filter so much. Um, and, uh, you ask folks what is their favorite function. You might get some ifs or even aggregate, but count A is a workhorse. I use that so much.

[01:20:58] Andrew: That's so interesting. Yeah. Yeah. Fil filter does get, I, I don't think filter gets a lot of love. It's in my top five filter's, definitely my top five. But that's an interesting thing, right? Count all. You use it so much and people don't reference it enough. And I think now

[01:21:14] Oz Excel on Fire: count all is a Google Sheets

[01:21:16] Andrew: thing.

[01:21:17] Andrew: Oh, sorry. Count A is not count all. No, it's count A. No Google Sheets too.

[01:21:22] Oz Excel on Fire: Count A counts the non empty sales in a range, right?

[01:21:29] Andrew: It it's the same thing in, in Google Sheets. I just call it like count all, like count everything that's there. Not things that are not there. I just call the count all for some reason.

[01:21:37] Andrew: Okay. Even though it is a account. What does the A stand for?

[01:21:40] Oz Excel on Fire: I don't know. Yeah. You get me thinking about that now. I've never dug into that. I just call

[01:21:46] Andrew: all I, I literally, what other word would ever count? Automatically out.

[01:21:53] Oz Excel on Fire: We had to find out a cadabra. Yeah. See it's very magic. Yeah. All right. So yeah, count A is my favorite

[01:22:06] Andrew: function.

[01:22:08] Andrew: It's good. Yeah. And you use it a lot. Very similar reason why the if formula in Google Sheets is my favorite is that it's underappreciated. It's that thing that I just use all the time. It, it creates pure magic inside of sheets. It creates sort of a fake automation that you don't have to get into coding.

[01:22:28] Andrew: You can put little things inside of sheet, uh, inside of cells and use the if function, um mm-hmm. Similar idea there. Now, uh, do you have any favorite tip? Like, this might be not answerable, but it's, it's okay. Like is there an, because it's a lot of your babies, right? Even though you might not go to like tips and tricks in Excel, is there something that you love expressing to people and, and giving them this one thing inside of Excel?

[01:23:03] Andrew: Or like one

[01:23:03] Oz Excel on Fire: tip.

[01:23:04] Oz Excel on Fire: One thing I love and love to share all six of the joins in Power Query. Mm-hmm. Because from day one is this, you know, cuz we kind of can get into what's beginner, intermediate, and advanced skill. But I remember when I was barely using Excel in the early days, I was saddled with every month match up these employee IDs with the names.

[01:23:38] Oz Excel on Fire: Hmm. That would be an outer join. Hmm. I wish one that existed and that somebody could have shown it to me. Um, yes, I was a beginner, but that was painful every, every, every month and I would have hundreds of rows of data and, um, I didn't know about V lookup. I wish I would've known that then, but right now, if I could have automated that stuff with Power Query using a join, oh my gosh, yes.

[01:24:18] Andrew: But it's interesting that it's all six joints. That's, that's a really powerful thing, is no, not just one exact formula that's going to like, solve this. All of these problems. It's that, this, it's, it's a six of them. There's six joints you need to know, sort of each one has its own particular powers. It's almost like, uh, captain Planet right?

[01:24:36] Andrew: Has all of the individual planeteers, right? Mm-hmm. All of the Power Rangers are a group. This, this group of joins have this power, but each individual power is good in each individual sort of different circumstance, but all together you need all of them. So you can conquer anything.

[01:24:53] Oz Excel on Fire: Oh, conquer anything.

[01:24:54] Oz Excel on Fire: Yep. And I think too about, um, a big problem we had with some shipments that had gone out more than once, and some that hadn't gone out at all. When I was working through and solving that problem, I would've loved to have had an anti joinin. So that's why I like, I love when I have an hour to focus on all six joins.

[01:25:24] Andrew: Yeah. That, oh my God. That is a common problem that a lot of people don't know. The solution of that I actually have to like, figure out every time is Yeah, here's these two lists. What up appears on neither, uh, what appears on one list and not the other, and one what appears on one list and not the other.

[01:25:38] Andrew: Yeah. Like that's a powerful mm-hmm. If you can solve that quickly, you're gonna be doing a lot of good work.

[01:25:47] Oz Excel on Fire: Yep. Yep.

[01:25:49] Andrew: Alright. Thank so much Oz. Uh,

[01:25:51] Oz Excel on Fire: you know, make sure that's, that's all of the, that's, that's the end of the, uh, very important

[01:25:55] Andrew: questions. Yeah. That's the, well the last important question is where should people find you, uh, Excel on fire, on YouTube here.

[01:26:02] Andrew: We'll have a link in the description. Um, yep. Is there anything else on YouTube channel to push

[01:26:06] Oz Excel on Fire: people through and primarily LinkedIn.

[01:26:10] Andrew: LinkedIn and how do, yep. We'll put a link. We'll put a link to your LinkedIn to Yep,

[01:26:16] Oz Excel on Fire: yep. Connect with you. AZ Dule.

[01:26:18] Andrew: Yeah. Alay on LinkedIn, Excel on fire. But yeah, your channel was called Excel on Fire, but you're like, yeah.

[01:26:26] Andrew: Is your username or handle, did you take Excel and Fire or is it still like Oz Gile?

[01:26:32] Oz Excel on Fire: It might be something like Oz Data Excel. Mm-hmm. So, I don't remember, but yeah, I did get the personalized handle. But a hundred

[01:26:41] Andrew: percent if you just type in Excel and Fire Excel on, and also in a description, I'll put a link. Yep, yep. Excel on fire. Yep. Yep. Find it, enjoy it. And it's not just, and I know people are gonna be coming to, uh, better sheets for Google Sheets.

[01:26:56] Andrew: Vast maturity are Google Sheets, but a lot of people are coming from Excel, and I wanted to make sure that this, like I. Sheet talking was about spreadsheets, not just Google Sheets, and not just Excel. Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. Um, so I think a lot of people are gonna come find this and need more Excel, and I also want to push people to make sure to watch those Excel challenges you have going.

[01:27:19] Andrew: Mm-hmm. And you just started recently on them. I mean, yeah. Even if it, even if you like Google Sheets and you work in Google Sheets, I think seeing how a professional thinks through problems is just great in ev in any spreadsheet setting.

[01:27:33] Oz Excel on Fire: Yes. And, and any learning setting. And that's, you know, I, I'm a teacher, you know, um, and I've been a student of a lot of things and I think about good teachers and disappointing teachers.

[01:27:53] Oz Excel on Fire: Um, and then there is the typical way of teaching. So some of my videos early on were. I'm gonna show you something now I've shown it to you and let's me summarize what I showed you and see you in the next video. Okay. Um, yeah, that's common. But then I was getting bored. Mm-hmm. And then when I talk with the students who say that they've had boring, they've had enough boring, then it was time to really let go and have some fun and draw from my, you know, experience studying improv at Second City.

[01:28:36] Oz Excel on Fire: And, you know, we all watch movies and so yeah, I start adding music in and, and transitions and twists. So just having fun.

[01:28:48] Andrew: Hey, thanks for watching that video. Watch here for all the episodes of sheet talking here on YouTube. And over here, watch the latest video from better sheets. Enjoy. Thanks for watching.

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