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This is just a rant, probably with no particular point. Its been just about 1 year since I re-started my contracting business. Licensed since '89, but took a few years off to pursue another career goal, which didn't pan out. So I'm back. And the business environment here is greatly improved, but still a tough market. Lots of folks have lots more equity than they did in '89, when I started my remodeling company.
So where am I after (almost) 1 year? I traded in my small Toyota 4x4 work truck for a fullsize pickup, with a trailer. Also have a small Toyota 2WD truck now, just as a backup. Great improvement in work vehicle situation. Tool upgrades? Definitely. During the year I picked up a slew of great tools - Bosch tablesaw and rolling stand, Bosch sliding compound miter saw, got all my finish nailers rebuilt, lots of Bessey clamps, door-boring jig, new belt sander, portable planer, drywall texture gun for small patches (I do a lot).
Office? Been working on setting up a small office in my garage, I'm about halfway there, when my daughter got married and left a spare bedroom I can convert. A friend said he has a fax machine I can have for free, once he digs it oug. Built a tool-storage room in my garage also. Got started on a workshop in the backyard (very small, 120 sq. ft.) The shell is completed, the rough wiring is done, ready for insul. and sheetrock.
Am I ready to blast-off? I really don't know. Why did I mention burnout? During the year, these negatives came up: My daughter, who was my jobsite helper and office manager/phone call organizer, got married. (Couldn't be happier for her - but the business took a negative impact from her leaving). My health took some hard hits - back problems, pulled tendon in my right (working) arm. Getting harder to keep going. Financially I'm a lot closer to being out of debt (other than mortgage) than I've ever been, but still no money in the bank, to speak of. Also, as my business has picked up, my wife's business (and income) has declined. Not related to my business, just a coincidence.
Today, I'm feeling burned out. Been working steady, but things slowing down right now. Lots of tire kickers, but no takers. Buried under half-finished personal projects, money a little tight (a couple of recently completed small jobs out there are unpaid, I should be OK once the money from those comes in) and a little depressed. Just hard to keep the positive outlook, and the forward momentum sometimes.
There, it feels better getting that off my chest!
"he...never charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too" - Mark Twain