Lloyd Butler, CCIE #38524
850 Hours + 30 Lbs.+ Cut Bait = CCIE# 38584 I finally got My CCIE!!! The whole beginning of the year had been nuts for me! First my mom got real sick in Jan, and was placed in an induced coma, then once she came out of it, she was unable to come off the ventilator, so I took a week off from work. During that period our VP, at my job, who I had been working closely with, died in a freak accident that just left me in utter shock. To make matters worse, 2 weeks before the exam, it was thought that my wife had some form of chronic illness in her lungs (sarcoidosis or cancer) and the doctors wanted to have a biopsy done. 2 days before I had to leave for San Jose, during the biopsy, they punctured her lung, which caused complications and left me ridiculously shaken! It was like I just could not catch a break! But by the time I left for SJ, though I was a ball of nerves, my wife was properly diagnosed with the sarcoidosis (treatable with steroids) and my mother made a miraculous recovery (she is now back at her original nursing home, no longer on the traech) whew! Well, on the plane, my laptop, that had all my study material crashed!!! I was like, what the hell else could go wrong?!?!?! Fortunately, I was able to finally recover it that night; that I could at least prep on Sun and Mon (last minute prep, like Brian Dennis was recommending). On to the test...? I got in there, crazy nervous, but just did my best to be cool. First question, I nailed in like 8 minutes, so I was starting to get my wind under me?until Q2?then Q3! Before I knew it, I had burnt up nearly 35 min on these 2 questions! I began to FREAK OUT!!!!!! But then I remembered Brian words, that sometimes you have to ?'cut bait'? (in addition to his words about just going to call it a day and go to Great America with 50 Cent in that video!!! Lol!!), and that is what SAVED ME! I was like, "Lloyd, just leave those 2, and MOVE ON!"? And that was what I did. Suddenly, I was on a roll! Q4 thur 7! On Q7, I realized that part of my solution was dependent on Q2, so I circled back to it, and what do you know, I figured it out and BAM; (2) Qs solved at once! So, from what I could tell, I had about 9 of the 10, verified (although I was not sure if I had broken a requirement in one of them), and I went into the config lab. As it turned out, I did not have time for all the Qs, due to some self-created trouble-tickets I made for myself. But I did my best to verify what I had done, and by that time, the exam was over. Again, using the 'cut-bait' method; being mindful where I was in the stream of time within my lab, and being willing to press on, if the solution did not fully manifest itself. I cannot believe how valuable this method would be for me, and as to how it really was the difference maker in my pass or failure. While I had felt good about the TS and the Config Labs, overall I was still not certain if I had done enough to pass and was sort of down. I did believe that if I did fail, though, that it would have not been by much, as for the most part, I understood everything that was being asked of me. If anything, I just needed to get better with Time Management and the mental pressure that comes from an exam like this. By the time that I was about to board the plane, that night, I kept hitting the refresh button, to no avail (no response from Cisco with my results). This led me to speculate, though, that maybe I did pass, because the first time I failed I got a response almost immediately that I did not make the grade. At any rate, as I was preparing to board the plane, in comes the email alerts! I quickly jumped online, to find out that I had passed!!! Thanks God! And that was it! I guess, all in all, the biggest thing I learned, was to really work to stay calm under pressure, and the value of 'cut bait.' I truly believe that was the difference to me passing the lab. This is my story. I am so glad to be done! So glad to have my life back! 850 hours, 30 extra pounds, with a generous dose of Cut Bait. That was what it took for me. Now I gotta work to shed the 30 pounds!!! :-) Thank you INE!!!!! I could not have done this without you! Brian D., again, you were the difference maker for me! Thank you so much for your training and assistance throughout my journey!