July 19, 2022

Where Cyber Meets Content Creation with Henri Davis

by Hacker Valley Studio

Show Notes

Henri Davis, CEO of TechTual Consulting & host of the TechTual Talk Podcast, comes to Hacker Valley this week to talk about his history with cybersecurity incident response and the content he currently creates with the TechTual Chatter Youtube channel. From interview tips, passion vs creativity, the intersection of cybersecurity and content creation, Henri walks through the path his career has taken him on, as well as imparts advice on those looking to follow a similar journey.

 

Timecoded Guide:

[00:00] Explaining incident response’s role in cyber 

[07:15] Henri’s journey from incident response to TechTual CEO 

[14:04] TechTual Consulting’s content about interviews & breaking into cybersecurity

[23:43] Marrying passions together within your career path

[29:54] Career path advice, cybersecurity vs content creation

 

Sponsor Links:

Thank you to our sponsors Axonius and AttackIQ for bringing this episode to life! 

Want to learn more about how Mindbody enhanced their asset visibility and increased their cybersecurity maturity rating with Axonius? Check out axonius.com/mindbody 

AttackIQ - better insights, better decisions, and real security outcomes. That's why we partnered with them to create free cybersecurity trainings! Check it out at academy.attackiq.com

 

If you could explain it to someone who has never been in a cybersecurity incident before, what is it like from the beginning of the incident through to closure?

While the majority of Henri’s work revolves currently on content creation, Henri’s background in cyber has extensive involvement in incident response. Incident response, although vital for today’s cyber industry, is sometimes misunderstood, even by cybersecurity practitioners. Henri explains that incident response is something you don’t see the usefulness of until you do it, and that attempting to work through an incident can feel like dealing with a car crash; you always have a risk of something like this happening, and it matters how you prepare for it.

“An incident is like a car wreck. A wreck is something that you have a potential risk for, but you drive with insurance hoping that if it does happen, you know what to do. And even though it happens, you're still not prepared for the actual wreck.”

 

How are you hoping to help people, especially those breaking into cybersecurity, with TechTual’s content?

Henri’s focus on TechTual has given him an outlet for content creation and he hopes to use that platform to consistently help others. With the pandemic creating many jobless and job searching people, Henri saw an opportunity to focus on cybersecurity and IT content and assist outsiders looking to transition into the cyber industry. From tips about interviews to assistance with resumes, Henri often covers the basics with the mission to empower others, no matter their background, to embrace the ever-expanding industry. 

“My goal is to say it's okay. Everyone has a starting place, everyone has to start from somewhere. Just build your skill set up and eventually, you won't even have to have your LinkedIn profile open for work.”

 

When you find something that you're passionate about, and then you find another thing that you're passionate about, how do you marry those two together?

A marriage between passion is definitely possible, especially when looking at someone like Henri, who combines his love of content creation with his experience in cybersecurity and his passion for helping others. However, Henri is realistic in explaining that there’s a give and a take to the decisions made around your career path and how passions impact that. Henri recommends choosing a career path not just centered around passion, but instead focused on providing for yourself and your family. When your needs are fulfilled with your job, your passions and hobbies can grow and turn into legitimate projects in your life.

“If I was just by myself, I could just bet on myself, I always bet on myself. When you have that family aspect to it, you have to kind of weigh your options and see when the time is going to be right, and how you can do that.”

 

What is that one piece of advice that you would have for somebody that's looking to take one path in their career journey, but they have many paths before them?

During episodes of TechTual Talk and TechTual Chatter, Henri focuses heavily on career advice, especially when it comes to making the right decisions in your career journey and behaving professionally during the interview and job search processes. When asked about advice he would give, Henri explains that prioritizing logical paths and being honest in the work you do will always have a positive impact on job prospects. For example, lying in the interview process can lead to long term dissatisfaction between employee and employer, and building a career without a logical path is never a strong foundation for anyone’s future.

“What is the most logical path for you right now? Which one is the lowest barrier to entry for you? What's going to take care of you, or whatever your situation is? Try to do that first, and then reserve time for your passion.”

---------------

Links:

Keep up with Henri Davis on LinkedIn and the TechTual Consulting Website.

Check out Henri’s podcast, TechTual Talk, and his Youtube Channel, TechTual Chatter.

Connect with Ron Eddings on LinkedIn and Twitter

Connect with Chris Cochran on LinkedIn and Twitter

Purchase a HVS t-shirt at our shop

Continue the conversation by joining our Discord

Check out Hacker Valley Media and Hacker Valley Studio



Transcript

Hacker Valley Studio  00:07
Who says tech can't be human?
Henri  00:12
If you're passionate about something you like then, I think you can probably gain that passion, but it's hard to just go off money for a long time if you don't like what you're doing. Ask anybody. You see it. If you're not in love with it no more, it may be time to do something else. 
Hacker Valley Studio  00:30
Welcome to the Hacker Valley Studio podcast.
Axonius Ad  00:36
We get it. Another vendor running another podcast ad, trying to get you to check out their product. Instead of explaining to you what our amazing sponsor Axonius does, we've brought in an Axonius customer to fill you in. Take it from Jason Loomis, Chief Information Security Officer at Mindbody.
Jason  00:55
The sheer excitement of my team to have visibility into what's in our environment, and have it all in one location is just— I can't express how important that is for us.
Axonius Ad  01:06
Want to learn more about how Mindbody enhanced their asset visibility and increased their 
cybersecurity maturity rating with Axonius? Watch the video at Axonius.com/Mindbody.
Chris  01:18
What's going on everybody? You are in the Hacker Valley Studio with your host, Ron and Chris.
Ron  01:31
Yes, sir.
Chris  01:34
Welcome back to the show.
Ron  01:36
Glad to be back again, with a fellow cybersecurity practitioner along with a fellow content creator. We had to bring in an amazing guest for this episode, and our guest is Henri Davis. He is the host of the TechTual Chatter YouTube channel and also the host of the TechTual Talk podcast. You can find it on your favorite streaming platform. Henri, it is a pleasure to have you on the show. Welcome.
Henri  02:03
Thank you, guys, for having me today.
Chris  02:04
Absolutely, we had to have this conversation. We’ll talk about content, your background as a 
cybersecurity practitioner, but I figured we would start with the cyber. One of my favorite subjects within cybersecurity is incident response, but I believe that some folks have a weird concept of what incident response really is. In a nutshell, what would you say incident response is, for everyone out there?
Henri  02:30
Yeah. So, in layman's terms, the way I try to typically explain what incident response is, I kind of make a correlation to firemen, paramedics, cops, kind of like an incident has happened on the scene, and now you're calling in the people that you need. So, within the cops, got the detectives, and you got the fire inspectors, and then, whatever happens with the paramedics. It's kind of what happens like on a network side, you kind of get all the different business segments together to get requisite information to kind of see what's happened once this thing is actual a live incident.
Ron  03:02
I like that. Let's go further in that comparison. When you’re in the incident response role, what position do you play? Especially when you're looking at the firefight example, but also in incident response.
Henri  03:16
Sure. At my last company, I probably would say, I was like a glorified incident response project 
manager, in a sense. The funny thing is before doing that role, you don't see how useful that is until you actually do it. I was responsible for— Pretty much you have to have a high-level overview of the incident. What's happening? Do we have any vendors involved? Is it internal? What's the level of it? L1, L2. What's the severity of it? Then, we need to say, "Hey, okay, who are the business units that we need?" Do we need engineering? Do we need IR team? Do we need our operations team? Pretty much any team that we need, if they're involved, or something that they have access to. We have to make our meetings and pretty much keep tabs and update something, as well as seeking out information while the other guys are doing the dirty work of getting all the information from their end that they need. 
We have to make sure that at a high level, the people that are way above my paygrade understand the gist of what's happening.
Chris  04:31
So, I've been the incident commander in many incidents, and what it almost sounds like is that you're an extension of the incident commander. We used to have someone that would, not only take notes, but also take action on like, "Okay, this needs to happen here." So then, you can have these spin out rooms with people focusing on specific aspects of the particular incident. Would you say I have that right? Do you have an opinion on whether that's the best way to run an incident or not?
Henri  04:58
Yeah, definitely. I agree because also, we will have, at the end of those powwows, next steps. I would follow up on the next steps and see what's happening, getting information from them. I think, even though I wasn't in my last company long, I did get to do the first incident. It made it easier for me just based on what was happening in the actual case that I had a background in Sec Ops. So, being familiar with that terminology, asking the right questions. What do we got? What are we going to do? When do we plan to implement these changes to prevent the things that are found in this incident to cause us any issue? Granted, it was something found in internal scanning, it wasn't a full blown external threat.
Ron  05:41
I like how you all have been incident responders, and it almost sounds like in an organized way, where you have an incident commander, or someone responsible for making sure the action items get taken care of follow up. But for me, I never had that. I was always that person that's just been a firefight and almost a chicken with his head cut off. Henri, would you say that you found yourself were going to organizations like that? Or would you say that your experience has been where incident response teams that you've worked on have been well-structured?
Henri  06:10
I think I've experienced just about everything. One particular time I was on a call when I was working for another MSS, we were talking to our clients and they got hit by ransomware, and they were on there like chickens with their head cut off, they didn't know what to do. That's because probably on their end, they never thought they would get hit by ransomware and didn't have their disaster recovery plans in place to figure out what they were gonna do if it happened. So, I've experienced that, I've experienced being instead of the person that is the incident response manager, I've been the person that was tasked with, "Okay, hey, we messed up on our end with your loved ones. I need to rework the events that popped for this incident and see what they did wrong. Give me a detailed plan. I mean, pretty much what you would have did and what we missed." I've had to do that part too. So, I would kind of say I've 
been involved in different areas, I still haven't gotten to do the fun stuff, the forensic stuff yet. Like, that's what everybody likes, but I definitely say its been a mix of organized and organized. So, I mean, I think it's pretty good to have a balanced overall experience.
Chris  07:15
Yeah, for those that haven't been in an incident before, it is really disorienting. We were just talking before the podcast about your affinity for boxing. I'm a big MMA guy, so is Ron. I've trained quite a bit in different martial arts, but it's those punches that you don't see coming that really just rock your bill. You're like, "Whoa, what happened?" You're trying to orient yourself to where the attacker is coming from, and it's just like that when you're in an incident. You know something bad happened, but you don't have all the details. You don't know where you're at, in this particular attack, and you're trying to pull all these things together to figure out, "Alright, how do I move forward and protect myself?" And obviously, you want to eradicate that threat, but if you could explain for everyone out there that has never been in an incident before, what is it like going through the beginning of an incident all the way through closure? Give us an example of what that might feel like for folks out there.
Henri  08:11
I say it's like chaos. I'm trying to think of what a regular person may say this might be, but the first thing that popped in my mind when you ask that question is— I thought about it because I've had maybe one big one, I'll say maybe it's like a wreck. A wreck is something that you got a potential risk for, but you drive with insurance hoping that if it does happen, you know what to do. But even though it happens, you're not prepared for what happens in the actual wreck. My first ever wreck involved going off adrenaline, getting hit, and getting out my car I running to the side of the road because when I got hit, my car, I was in one lane, got hit, and my car kind of ended up in both lanes. For whatever reason, I don't know how I was able to know this, that a car behind me could possibly hit me. I just got over there and then started making the calls and then, from start to finish, I got to get your police report, file with a claim, with the insurance, and then, kept up on them when they go to do the adjustments for my car and getting the money. I would say it's like that. Every company has a risk appetite, some bigger than other. When it happens, it's like, "Okay, we definitely weren't prepared for this," or, "Okay, this is bad, but we were ready. It still hurts, but we'll get through it." I think my first experience dealing with the big incident that I kind of forewarned everybody in the organization that could possibly happen, but that's another story. I say we handled it pretty well start to finish, we figured it out and they made the changes and I don't think that same thing ever happened again, even after I left. Hopefully, that was a good comparison, to compare it something like a wreck. I think everybody may experience a wreck like that.
Ron  10:02
Yep. Everybody experiences that in cybersecurity, outside of cybersecurity. Hopefully not too often, but yeah, I will say it's just like that. And when you are experiencing a wreck, something that was catastrophic or destructive, whether it be in the organization or not, you deal with a lot of personalities. When I watched some of your content, you talk about etiquette and coaching and how to do things better. I even saw in one of the videos that you were talking about not lying on a job interview, which I thought was pretty interesting and insightful for maybe those that aren't in cybersecurity. But when you're looking at the personalities, when dealing with an incident, how would you describe them?
Henri  10:43
I think everybody has different personalities. You got the gung ho person, the person that's kind of laid back, the person is kind of in between. I think that's where that part comes in of incident manager, or someone else, whoever is in control of this, it's like, 'Hey, how do I get all these different personality types to cooperate and do we need to do for the business, so we can make sure we're not losing money?" I think that's the biggest thing, and kind of what I witnessed with those. Making sure everybody has their deliverables on time, because that's a big one, too. It's like, "Hey, man, we're still waiting on this. What's taking you so long?" And that could actually be the holdup of why you're wondering like, what actually happened, when they want to get that RCA on an actual incident that happened.
Chris  11:29
Let's talk a little bit about the stuff that you've learned in your career and how you apply that to creating content, right? You were telling me that you really started with boxing content, but now, you've transitioned from doing boxing content to being more focused on cybersecurity and things like that. What has that journey been like for you? Tell us a little story about that.
Henri  11:51
Yeah, it's been pretty interesting. I've always been a person who's been helpful, even before I actually made an official business out of this of coaching others and resumes, doing what I do now. I've always been a person who's trying to help. And so, when the pandemic happened— Actually, in the pandemic, I had my first child, so that's probably also part of it, too. I was like, "Man, what else can I do to help me out and expand my brand and just make me more marketable as well?" I started with the channel  because I had a lot of those failures, if anybody goes back and watch some that boxing content, the quality is not the best, but that journey of taking this seriously, from day one. I mean, I still got a ways to go, I even want to get better with my production and everything, better mics, you name it. But from day one, I think people saw, "Hey, this is a guy that is taking this seriously, and he's trying to make sure 
he's giving us valuable information." I was never really too much concerned with growing my channel the fastest to get all of the subscribers, obviously. I really just focus on: Hey, am I putting out valuable content for people to come back and watch? Is this content going to help people? Is it going to answer some questions they have? Because one of the other reasons I started is because when I was trying to get into cybersecurity in 2013, all the way until I finally got in early 2017, that gap of time, I didn't really have what we have, with all that content as far as YouTube and all these different boot camps, any of that stuff with LinkedIn. I didn't really have that. So, I want to be a medium for people to where they don't have to even come buy my coaching, or anything like that. I put out enough blogs and free stuff to help them at least be able to do something with their career. There have been people that have messaged me on LinkedIn, or commented on YouTube that say, "Hey, this content really helped me in the job interview. Thank you for this." And so, those are the sort of things that actually keep me going. I don't have to focus on silly clickbait stuff to get people to tune in and stuff that can actually help people improve their life. I think that's one of those things that keeps me going.
Ron  14:04
Love it. When you are creating content, I'm sure that you have some goals in mind. Maybe it's helping people break into cyber through resumes, or better interview tactics, or negotiation. How are you hoping to help people with your content and what you're doing today?
Henri  14:22
Yes, it's the same. I've just been kind of restructuring. Believe it or not, I get like a lot of the topics that I may want to talk about from Twitter or LinkedIn, YouTube, because you'll see a lot of the same conversations going on over again. Like, you brought up not lying on your resume, and I'll just touch on that quickly, just because I'll go a step further. Not lying on your resume or lying in your interview. With the pandemic, we've seen an uptake in different people interviewing for jobs. They're not going to work and therefore, it's a different person that gets the job, and that person sometimes ends up getting fired because they can't do what they impress the interviewers with it. When you combine that with lying on an interview, it just goes all wrong. I've seen people who get fired super fast for probably have an entry level skill set, but trying to get senior and principal level roles, possibly just for the money. So, my goal is to say it's okay, everyone has a starting place, everyone has to start from somewhere. Just build your skill set up and eventually, you won't even have to have your profile open to work. Your skill set will be so good to where you'll get an influx of email messages every day. It's funny, because while we're talking on this podcast right now, I just got InMail for a role, which I was actually talking about that specific vendor in my latest LinkedIn post.
Chris  15:42
Interesting. When you look at folks that are looking to go into these jobs— Ron and I have witnessed firsthand someone completely lying in an interview, and we were able to really detected during that interview. It's a crazy story that we'll have to share another day, but when you look at folks that are trying to survive, they're trying to survive, they're trying to climb that ladder, and they're trying to maybe even get that position at the perfect company, the perfect role. What do you think are some of the tenants that you would tell that person to go into that interview and show their best self?
Henri  16:17
I like to tell people to kind of show that passion and that confidence. What I've experienced with my clients is that a lot of them actually already have all the skills and everything, they just don't market themselves correctly or aren't confident in themselves. I try to tell people," Hey, if you're going to be in cybersecurity, you have to exude confidence in the interview, simply because that company wants to put their information in your hands." If you're not confident in your answers on what you can do to protect it, or get it back if something happens to it, why would they hire you? So, I would say confidence, passion, be truthful. You can always misdirect questions, to where if you don't have experience, or a lot of specific experience in one thing, you could bring up what you have experienced a lot and try to correlate the two. I've seen people do that as well, like they may not have all the best experience in this, or they may be pivoting from a whole different career field. Focus on transferable skills and build that bridge to show them, "Hey, I do understand what you're talking about. I put in the work, I did my labs, I did my projects. I understand the stuff and I did similar things, even though they're 
not cyber related." I think it really just boils down to the biggest word, it starts with a c. Confidence, and then building off that confidence, but also just being truthful. Sometimes, people want to embellish. I mean, you can maybe embellish a little bit, or at least as far as wording on your resume, but you have to understand it. One time I had a person, hey ended up getting a free consultation on me, which I don't even know how that happened one time, they had a resume, I think somebody made it for them. And they were embellishing so much. They had Splunk! and something else on there, but I had to ask them if they knew what that was, and they said, "No." If you're gonna lie on your resume, at least know what the stuff is that you're lying about on it.
Ron  18:00
Yeah, there's a huge difference between exaggeration and then just a flat out lie. 
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Ron  18:48
One thing that you brought up was passion, having the confidence but also having the passion in what you're doing. I'll be honest, a lot of people that I've spoken to, or even tried to mentor in cybersecurity, had no passion for the industry. They had a passion for everything about it; the lifestyle that you could live, maybe some of the money that you can earn, the opportunity to learn frequently, but when it came to the technology and the ideas and domain, they just weren't really that passionate, but they were okay with doing the things that it takes to be successful. What kind of advice do you have for those people, whether they're getting started or already in the field? How do they double their game and upgrade their minds to be a better practitioner?
Henri  19:32
Yeah, that's actually a good question. Because when you were saying about like, they like everything what it could do for me they start thinking about professional athletes so I can see the boxers that love boxing and I can see the ones that don't it's not the access all educated yourself. I think it's the same way you know, 2020 health pandemic, we've seen an influx of a getting the tech and get six figures, right so everybody wants to get the money and stuff like that. So that's what they're chasing. But like one of my recent He has ideas about like, kinda like, you know why I quit my last role. And then, one of my latest podcast episodes with a shout out to Shamika. She's a cyber threat intelligence analyst for Twilio, we were talking about how like money isn't really a deciding factor. Because, you know, there are all types of jobs like now we're in a level where you can pay like a lot of money. And I could just not be doing anything all day with a lot of money and not be satisfied and say, “Hey, I'm going to quit,” and you know, the person who just wants the money, they probably won't quit, but they won't realize until five years later that, “Hey, I didn't learn anything and my skill set. Now I can't move on.” And so, for the people like that, I mean, you could potentially keep on doing the same roles, but if you want to progress, you got to find some type of technology and tech or something that you're passionate about, even if we use someone's social media and our phones. Maybe it could be something social media related that you dive into tech later, or even cybersecurity later, a certain product, you learn how to protect that you like, if you're passionate about that, something you like, then I think you can probably gain that passion. But it's hard to just go off money for a long time. If you don't like what you're doing, as anybody. You see, if you're not in love with it no more, it may be time to do something else.
Chris  21:07
100%. I mean, that's good advice for anybody in really any industry. Look at me, right? I really loved threat intelligence. Threat intelligence was my favorite thing to do. Was I a huge fan of doing things like vulnerability management? No, it really wasn't my particular bag, but then, you go to something like creating content. I love creating content, having great conversations with people like you about cybersecurity, your background, what you do in the space, the nuggets that can apply to everyone out there. I can do this till the cows come home, and it definitely shows through. People see the passion and the love that I have for having these conversations. What is that piece of advice for someone to find out what it is that really speaks to them? Whether you're talking about cybersecurity, technology, or really in any industry, how do they find that that path that they're most passionate about?
Henri  21:55
Hmm, that's a good one. Because I heard a little bit, when you started talking about that content, I've been getting that itch as well. I like what I do, but you know how sometimes it feels like you were born to do something. I get that itch, too, because I've always been a talker, I've always wanted to start a different type of podcast, I used to be a musician, there's that added part into it as well, just doing things like this. Truth be told, I think for someone to find that something that they feel like they're really good or have a knack for, that they're born to do it. I love to bring my guy up every time I'm in a podcast episode, man, I name drop one of my guys all the time, because he's 20 years old and now he's cloud detection engineer. But that is a person I met two years ago, who is talented and has a knack for doing this. He wants to teach, he's always working on something, trying to help people. I'm not as good at doing the helping part in the sense that I don't have the time to do the technical content per se, as 
much as he does. But if you can find something that you have a knack for, that you're naturally good at, I think you're excelling your career even earlier than just trying to chase something just because gonna pay you a lot of money. I think from what I've seen in my career span, I think that's the advice I would give somebody. If you're getting something, that's cool. Get right there, I'm all about get in where you fit in. But then, start researching stuff and see if you like that, see if you can network with someone who does it on a site like LinkedIn, or whatever. I like to tell people all the time now, YouTube, type in a day in the life, those are some of the most search videos on YouTube that let people know, "Hmm, I would like to do that," and then go from there. See if you would actually like it, shadow somebody. I think that's one of the ways where you can find out if that's something you really want to do.
Ron  23:43
There's something that I'm really picking up on that you and Chris were both saying. Y'all were saying, "I love cybersecurity, incident response, threat intelligence." And then when you said content creation, it almost sounded like there was a different inflection, a different level of excitement and joy. So, I'm going to pose you two a question, both of you. When you find something that you're passionate about, and then you find another thing that you're passionate about, how do you marry those two together? How do you separate the two and decide which one that you want to focus on? Let's start with you, Henri.
Henri  24:21
I mean, I think that's what I've been doing now, slowly putting the work in, making better quality content, getting the value up, and just learning all I can about it. I mean, I've stepped into a different business. I don't even like to call myself an entrepreneur, but technically I am. All different aspects of what I've been putting work in, for these past few years, is starting to pick up. I mean, something else I've been working on in and out of content creation, I think one of my other goals, when I was doing coaching and all this other stuff, is I wanted to get black people jobs, right? And I already know I have a skill set. A friend of mine I was like, "Man, we could start getting to some contracts, especially with some consulting, right? And I just also want to have my own company doing that, even just as another way to help people. I know exactly what type of talent we would need, or who I would need to hire, to do this type of thing and to help them do that. But I think with the constant thing, I think if we could do it 
monetarily, it's kind of like, "Hey, can what I'm doing now sustain me and my family?" Is it gonna be enough? How much do I need to do that, to where I could probably walk away from everything? I think that's, for me, it is like that. If I was just by myself, I could just bet on myself, I always bet on myself. When you have that family aspect to it, you got to kind of weigh your options and see when the time is going to be right, and how you can do that. I think that's my answer for that.
Chris  25:45
See, Ron, how are you going to ask this question at the very tail end of the conversation? This is a whole subject unto itself, we definitely need to have an episode specifically for this. But to make a long story short, when you look at what you're currently doing. Let's say it's bringing you some job satisfaction, and then you find something that just speaks volumes to you. And it's just, like, "I just want to do X, Y, and Z." One of our favorite books, we haven't talked about it as much lately, but we used to talk about it really early on in the podcast, but it is Cal Newport's Be So Good, They Can't Ignore You. It's a great book about being great at what it is that you're doing, because passion isn't going to get you the job alone. Passion isn't going to get you a career by itself. It's about passion, combined with practice. Being able to do that thing, and provide value to others. So, I feel like, if you're doing something that you'd like now, but it's not maybe the best thing in the world, but you can combine that thing, or maybe even some of the sub skills that you gained during that career, and transition it into something that you absolutely love to do, and you can make a living off of it. I think that's one of the best things in the world that can happen to somebody. Because number one, a lot of folks don't think it's possible. A lot of folks think that, "Oh, wow, I've built all these skills in this particular industry, there's no way I can leave it, because then I'd have to basically start over." There are creative ways. I think being creative is the way to make that pivot into something that you absolutely love. You can provide value to folks, but also be able to take care of your family. What about you, Ron?
Ron  27:25
Nice, I like that, and it makes me think. My answer is starting to shift a little bit based off of the answers from both of you. So, what I'll say is, it makes me think that you have to have that excitement, that passion, but you also have to index on your energy. Where are you going to devote that time? Henri was talking about his content and putting more time into, and also being a business owner. Those are tradeoffs that you have when you go down a new route and explore a new passion. So, I would say, assess the tradeoffs, look at what you have to devote to it, and see if there's a way to combine the two. Or, just separate and focus on the thing that you're most passionate about. I am passionate about a lot, and I have to actually tell myself not to look at things on artificial intelligence a lot, because I'll go down a rabbit hole without any intention on doing something with the knowledge that I gain.
Chris  28:24
Yeah, but I think you could easily go down that rabbit hole of artificial intelligence and just learn it, right? Or, is it the fact that you're learning about it makes you want to do it?
Ron  28:33
Exactly. It makes me want to do it, and then, it makes me want to go to a subscription, put my credit card information in, and then sign up for a newsletter and never go back to it again.
Chris  28:45
Yeah, yeah, I can't remember which President it was, but they said that, make a list of all the things you could ever want to do in your life, your top 20 bucket list items, and once you make that list, take the top five of them, say, this is what you're gonna do, and then throw the rest away. I think that's kind of the trade off that you have to have, when you have these big, hairy, audacious goals in life. I'm going to do these things, and there's nothing that's gonna stop me from doing that. I feel like if you have too many things on your list, you will get distracted. What do you think, Henri?
Henri  29:18
Yeah, that's definitely the case. I mean, I can say that even with people trying to pivot into cyber, like, they start trying to pay to the audience, different things people talk about. So just focusing on like, one goal, learning that and then learning the next thing. It's hard to learn two things, I have to tell myself there, too. I really struggle with staying on task, or I'm doing one thing, "Ooh, that's shiny over there. Let me go do that and then come back." So, I have to tell myself that all the time and give myself a timeline or something like that and say, "Hey, I need to work on this, man. Let me go ahead and finish this." If I make it more urgent for myself, I get it done, which I'm trying to get out of that.
Chris  29:54
Right. What would you say is that decision logic for choosing that path, whatever it is? Maybe it's going down a certain path of cybersecurity, maybe it's a certain way of creating content, maybe it's the content itself. What is that one piece of advice that you would have for somebody that's looking to take a path, but they have many paths before them?
Henri  30:15
I don't like to use word easy, I'll say: What's the most logical path for you right now? Which one can you eventually do after? Or let's say: Which one is the lowest barrier to entry for you? What's going to take care of you, or whatever your situation is? Try to do that first, and then reserve time for your passion. I kind of got a lot of flack for this on Facebook a couple of years ago by telling people, don't go to college and chase your passion, get a degree that's gonna make you some money and chase your passion. People got mad at me for that, but I was just trying to explain that I see a lot of people that have got these expensive degrees, and have jobs that are trying to pay them $20 an hour. What's the point? You could do that as a passion along with your job, or you could do that later. Just get something that can sustain you and your family, because that's what we see now. In 2022, gas is about $5 a gallon, even out here, right here in Texas. So, that kind of stuff is not gonna sustain the family. I would say do what 
you have to do so that at least that you take care of yourself and survive. Really, this go passed surviving, to thrive. And then, focus on that passion.
Chris  31:22
Love that. Great advice for someone out there looking to make a difference in their life and the lives of others. Henri, thank you so much for hopping on with us. For those that want to stay up to date with you, your podcasts, your coaching groups, what are the best ways for people to do that?
Henri  31:38
So, you can find me on all social media at TechTual Chatter. You can follow the podcast at 
TheTechTualTalk.com. It's on all streaming platforms. If you follow me on social media, I have a link in my bio that takes you right to everything, whether you want some coaching. I didn't even bring up if you're interested in getting into cybersecurity, I actually wrote a book called The TechTual Approach to Breaking into Cybersecurity last December, that book is in the link as well. Short, good, quick read with a lot of advice on pretty much everything to help you hopefully start your careers. There's stuff that I still do in my career in that book, and they'll help you out. Or you can find me on LinkedIn at Henri Davis.
Ron  32:23
Excellent. We'll be sure to drop that in the show notes for everyone to stay up to date with you. We really appreciate the great conversation, Henri. With that, we'll see everyone next time.
Hacker Valley Studio  32:34
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Representation Without Technicalities with Mari Galloway

August 11, 2022 Hacker Valley Studio

00:00:00