Sergei Boutenko

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since May 19, 2014
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Recent posts by Sergei Boutenko


Some of you know me and some don't. My name is Sergei, I'm an author/filmmaker/YouTuber and a lot of other things. I've been uploading to YouTube since 2007 and living the dream as a full-time creator since 2009.  For the bulk of those years nobody knew how to describe my career choice (myself included). This lead to countless awkward/clumsy conversations with acquaintances, family, friends and strangers. I suspect most people just thought I was lazy and didn't want to work a "normal" job like everyone else. At least that's what my in-laws told me right before we got into a three and half year feud, which almost destroyed my relationship with my wife (don't worry, we're much better now).  

Eventually, I got comfortable with being mis-understood and learned to brush off the dis-satisfaction of others while pushing forward and pursuing my goals of building residual income, creating value for others and being maximally free. As I built, my efforts were rewarded with view counts, free products, open doors/opportunities and even a little money.

Then something crazy happened... Something in society shifted rapidly and YouTubing became cool. Around 2017/2018 I started hearing people (especially 13 to 25-year-olds) say things like: "I want to be a YouTube Influencer when I grow up." I've certainly heard adults say this too, but it seems more consistent from younger generations. Even my in-laws changed their opinions about me and apologized for not understanding what I was trying to accomplish. This felt AMAZING, I'm not going to lie.

Long story short, my mind was/is blown from this 180-degree turn of events.

And just when I thought it was going to be smooth sailing, all my winning stopped. Social media platforms implemented ever-changing rules and regulations, which cut off access to my audience(s). Access that I worked really hard to amass. For example, despite having 196,000+ subscribers on my channel BoutenkoFilms in 2023, my viewership is pathetic and much worse than it was years ago (when I had a measly 13,000 subs). I've noticed this trend across YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Tik Tok and Kickstarter.

This is stressful and completely deflating. So, after 16-ish years, I'm quitting (at least in the full-time capacity).

Before I go, I want to tell the truth so that future creators can have the opportunity to consider all of the pros and cons of such a career. Hopefully this will help folks make better, more educated choices as to what YouTube is and how to approach it. Two days ago, I published a new video doing just this. I'll link it below for those interested.

I'd like to emphasis that it's not my intension to dissuade or discourage anybody, but rather to share my experience. I've been thinking about this for a long time (years) and finally realized that I miss the real world. I'm sick of being alone all day and staring at computer screens.  So, I'm restructuring my life (effective immediately) to be part of the physical world again. And so far it's going really, really well! 🚀🕺🤸‍♂️

10 months ago
Hello Everybody,

It's Sergei Boutenko in the house. Look at me go, I'm posting on the Permies cooking forum for the first time ever. 🕺 I have some news to share... Last year I stared a foraging cooking show called: "Wild Edibles Test Kitchen." The premise of this show is very simple: I harvest one wild edibles per episode and then turn it into a tasty/healthy meal.

I hope to accomplish a the following goals with this show:

1.) Dispel fear and show folks how they can safely/sustainably incorporate more wild food (mostly common weeds) into their diet
2.) Walk my own talk more and improve my skills as a wild crafter/cook
3.) Help myself and others save money on groceries (while at the same time eating more nutrient-dense food)
4.) Feed myself and my family while also working and earning a living

As this is a very knowledgeable plant/food/gardening community, I'm curious to get your feedback on the show.  I'm putting my ass on the chopping block (sort of speak) with the hope of creating better value for my viewers.  This project is very much in its infancy and I could use some help working out the kinks.

A few hours ago, I published episode 7 (Prickly Lettuce Soup with Bacon). Give it a peak and tell me what you think!

10 months ago

I just started a wild edibles mini series on YouTube with this simple premise; harvest one plant, then make a delicious recipe with it. Currently, I'm two episodes deep. I'm interested in your thoughts and criticisms. Dare I say that on the Internet?🤪 LOL

Episode Two:

1 year ago
My friends and I used the global lockdown to build a mobile sauna! As always, I filmed everything and made a detailed (probably way too detailed) how-to video about the construction process.
The movie below depicts how you build a mobile sauna in 45 simple steps. Just kidding, there is nothing easy about making a transportable banya out of a rusty/crusty vintage horse trailer.
But, we did it anyway. Warning, this movie is long! Given the overall length of the production, I’ve included video timecode in the YouTube description to help viewers skip around easier.

Happy holidays Permies!

3 years ago
Here's a fun weekend project, which you can do while you're at home:
4 years ago

I have a fresh project in the works called "30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge for Busy People.” The title more or less describes what I’m planning. I’m going to publish a new, feature-length video and eBook that will efficiently guide folks with crazy work/life schedules through a month-long green drink cycle.

The new 30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge for Busy People will be just like the previous challenge, but completely different. What I mean by that is this: the framework of the month-long challenge will remain the same, but the guts (i.e. all the recipes, ingredients shopping lists, tips and tricks, etc.) have been modified to benefit people who want to lead healthy lives, but don’t have a lot of time to spare for cooking and food preparation.

30-Day Green Smoothie Challenge for Busy People is currently raising funds on Kickstarter. If you want to see another healthy challenge come alive, head to Kickstarter and pre-order your eBook & movie HERE

New Challenge Green Smoothie Challenge

Previous Challenge Green Smoothie Challenge

4 years ago
In September of 2016 I published a YouTube video on my channel called "SPRINTER VAN CONVERSION: My DIY Setup for Less than $1,200.” The video was a big hit. It blew up and remains my most viewed clip to date. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a quick summary; it’s a virtual tour of my first-ever, minimalist van build that discusses some simple/practical design choices. You can watch the video below if you like.

After publishing the video, my inbox exploded with emails. I must’ve received at least a thousand thank you messages and who knows how many more notes with follow-up questions. Long story short, I understood that people found my thought process helpful. So, three years later (almost to the day), I decided to shoot another video about van build number two. Hopefully this movie will be useful to folks who are looking into getting a van and/or people that want to optimize their current vehicle.

I know that van builds are a personal thing and don’t expect everyone to agree with my designs. Thus, I invite you to treat my video like a CD, listen to the tracks you like and skip the ones you don’t.

4 years ago

Question, where do you live? And would you like to be in the movie? I could sure use an authentic Finnish perspective. If you're close to Washington, I'd be happy to travel and interview you, otherwise we could film something on Skype? Shoot me an email: if you dig.
4 years ago

Your message put a smile on my face. Especially the Canadian protest part. It's true, in America we think we rule the world. This of course is just an illusion. :-) Plants don't know that we the people created borders. They just grow in the way that nature intended. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me!
4 years ago

Wowza, you're fast! Looks like you watched my video thoroughly! Yes, the forest in North Oregon is bursting with berries right now. The huckleberries, thimbleberries, and watermelon berries are especially abundant this year. In terms of the gooseberries/currants, you are correct. Typically, gooseberries have woody thorns and currants just have little spikes, that said, it was a mish-mash of thorns and spikes out there. :-) Given that both berries are in the same family, I wasn't too picky. Interesting that you still have strawberries over there, ours went out of seasons in early July. Thank you also for the lead on twinberry. I intentionally left that one uncategorized to restate the importance of not eating unknown plants. I plan to study up on twinberry soon.
4 years ago