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-   -   Tired of my trade. Don't think i want to do it anymore (https://www.contractortalk.com/f11/tired-my-trade-dont-think-i-want-do-anymore-115709/)

maleko 03-29-2012 02:40 PM

Tired of my trade. Don't think i want to do it anymore
 
Carpenter by trade with my GC license. Range of work is from Remodeling to kitchen installs, decks, trim work etc..

Been on my own for about 15 years now. I love being my own boss, I have no employees, Have a handful of friends in the same trade that will work with me when more than one person is needed. I help them as well if I'm slow, its a great tradeoff.
I just can't pinpoint what has me so bothered by my work. Im just fed up with everything. Im slow as crap at one moment , the next moment I'm so slammed. I know thats what comes with being self employed it all has its ups and downs.
I take a ton of pride in everything i do. If its ripping down drywall or installing a high end kitchen I always give my best.
I have never advertised ever. All my work has come from referrals, which is great.

Im just don't want to do this type of work anymore. Im ready for a change. What do i want to do? Have no freakin idea.
I just know the feeling i have that i want to do something else.

My area its 50/50 Some of my buddies are slammed some are dead in the water. Customers just don't seem to care anymore about quality of how much pride you have. Its the BOTTOM DOLLAR and thats it...

There will be times i go a month or so with no paycheck, Then ill get a nice big one. I know thats part of being your own boss.
Just tired of it. Im ready to just quit and try something new.
Is this bad to think this way?
SO sorry for the wall of text. Just needed to ramble on.
Im single , no kids have nothing keeping me where i am etc.
I want to just pack up and go somewhere new and start over.

Ugh time for a beer....

Gary H 03-29-2012 02:57 PM

Your comment of no check for a month or so, you don't live in Michigan do you? I have at times thought of doing something different, but the lure of cool tools keeps me in debt and in construction. There is no way i could do something different then construction, unless I was in the SEALS, then I would get cool weapons to play with.

goneelkn 03-29-2012 02:57 PM

Man does that sound exactly like me. The whole situation is EXACTLY like mine. Been thinking about what else i want to do, and havn't come up with anything. I do still enjoy the work part of it, but some customers!!:censored:
Then the next one is happy as heck. Part of being the boss and taking pride in your work i guess. Like so many threads recently, less and less people care about quality anymore. Post what you come up with!!
That's my rant.

Gary H 03-29-2012 03:02 PM

I maybe the odd one here, but I really like the long periods of no money. I used to blow every dollar, now I learned to become a great saver. Periods of no work sucks, but I always have my stash. When there is work, I will bust a** morning to night, because I learned from experice that tomorrow maybe the begining of another 6 month run of no work or just food money.

Warren 03-29-2012 03:13 PM

Go hire a few employees. This way you will always feel responsible for keeping them working as well. I feel the same way as you do about 50% of the time. I love what I do, but after almost 30 years, you feel burned out. The best it gets for me is starting a big new challenging house. That's when I feel the most satisfied. The last 3 years have been a roller coaster. When work is booming, I never have time to think about changing careers.

jb4211 03-29-2012 03:14 PM

I think it's normal to feel the way you do. I also think it's great to have an outlet such as CT to vent from time-to-time.

Before you hang-up your tool belt, kick around the thought of restructuring your business. This could re-light the fire.

You could start teaching the trade. Still keep your business, only start an apprentice program were you actually teach the trade. They're not just employees, they're students.

Do consulting work to HO's who can't afford to hire you to do the actual job. This can be as involved as you wish.

ok, now it's your turn to think of some ideas. :laughing:

TNTRenovate 03-29-2012 03:26 PM

I would consider what it is that really bothers you to do and farm it out. If you have dry spells that keep you from a pay check for more than a week or so, I say, maybe it's time for a little advertising?

Hire some guys and let them do the work and you manage the projects. This way you can still dictate the quality, but not have to bend your back doing the work. And when you are sick of the office or sales, strap on the belt and put a few days in on the site. I haven't been doing this long enough to be tired of it yet. I am sure that there will be a time, but not yet!

maleko 03-29-2012 03:38 PM

Thanks for the replies...

I even have a few customers who wrote very highly of me on Angies List

A got quite a few calls from that, Not one worked out. About 75% of the Angies List crowd REFUSED to pay upfront any amount of money. They all wanted to pay when the job was 100% done. Uhh Nooo . They wouldn't even cover the cost of the material. Just one example of the dips *hits around here.

Ive been lucky Ive never been stiffed on any job. Always got paid, Always have great relationships with my customers etc..
Im just tired of the trade I'm in and dealing with all the crap that comes with it.

SO if you look at my past, to me it looks pretty good. I just can't see the future the same way, This is my problem

jb4211 03-29-2012 03:46 PM

Consider hiring someone to deal with the "crap". In other words, become your own employee.

duburban 03-29-2012 03:55 PM

I can totally relate. I'm young, bounce around working with different guys or myself. When its slow and cold its a real mental drag. I just applied to Architecture school, and got in. You could take the steps out if you want and keep your skills as an asset to carry you to the next thing.

You wanna talk about a viscous cycle? Ask someone thats been in the film industry for at least 15 years. Man do they have it bad.

TheItalian204 03-29-2012 04:26 PM

Do home inspections.Get famous. Kick Holmes' ass.

Spaint90 03-29-2012 04:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maleko (Post 1465226)
Carpenter by trade with my GC license. Range of work is from Remodeling to kitchen installs, decks, trim work etc..

Been on my own for about 15 years now. I love being my own boss, I have no employees, Have a handful of friends in the same trade that will work with me when more than one person is needed. I help them as well if I'm slow, its a great tradeoff.
I just can't pinpoint what has me so bothered by my work. Im just fed up with everything. Im slow as crap at one moment , the next moment I'm so slammed. I know thats what comes with being self employed it all has its ups and downs.
I take a ton of pride in everything i do. If its ripping down drywall or installing a high end kitchen I always give my best.
I have never advertised ever. All my work has come from referrals, which is great.

Im just don't want to do this type of work anymore. Im ready for a change. What do i want to do? Have no freakin idea.
I just know the feeling i have that i want to do something else.

My area its 50/50 Some of my buddies are slammed some are dead in the water. Customers just don't seem to care anymore about quality of how much pride you have. Its the BOTTOM DOLLAR and thats it...

There will be times i go a month or so with no paycheck, Then ill get a nice big one. I know thats part of being your own boss.
Just tired of it. Im ready to just quit and try something new.
Is this bad to think this way?
SO sorry for the wall of text. Just needed to ramble on.
Im single , no kids have nothing keeping me where i am etc.
I want to just pack up and go somewhere new and start over.

Ugh time for a beer....

thats what i just did, but i also hated the town/area i was working in. people sucked. there were no waves..i had a really good thing going. cant say people jumped on the bottom dollar but i dont see life as something you should live just for the money. Put all my tools/ladders on the van. Moved to an area i really like, im starting out from scratch as far as building a business goes but at least im happy.

Trust your instincts brotha! your not happy with no kids/ anything keeping you tied down. Go out and find it.

just my .02 tho

Sampietro 03-29-2012 04:57 PM

I can definitely relate to some degree. As stated from other poster am very thankful for CT not just for all the info and advice but posts like this. It is nice to know that their are others that feel the same way. Not that I am unhappy with my trade just have to much time to think about what else I could do. I have only been slow for a few weeks and have a few bids out right now so I can't really complain. One is for 15 replacement windows. I gave them the quote and got a look like I just killed their dog! I told them to get a few more quotes from other company's. They said I am the fourth company they got prices from and was the highest. I know for a fact that my price is at least 1/3 less than the company I sub for. I guess what I am saying is how can a legitimate company do jobs for so cheap and how can I distinguish myself from them? Especially on jobs like replacement windows?

Buffinator 03-29-2012 05:13 PM

HGTV is ruining it all. An important question to ask though is, how was that beer?

WarnerConstInc. 03-29-2012 05:57 PM

Like a free therapy session here.

Man up and deal with it.

kcremodeling 03-29-2012 05:59 PM

I don't know if hiring on am employee is the answer, especially if you are having trouble keeping yourself busy.

When I had employees I would constantly be worrying about having enough work to keep them busy. This might be a good thing for someone who is not already marketing their business as much as they can. For me, I could not do any more marketing than I already am so the only real leverage I have is to lower my pricing. :no:

parkers5150 03-29-2012 06:00 PM

you nailed it already:thumbsup: if you truly have no obligations... then you owe it to yourself to try out a place you've always wanted to try out:thumbup: Lifes' short start livin on your terms

katoman 03-29-2012 06:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maleko (Post 1465250)
I just can't see the future the same way, This is my problem

Sorry to say, but you are right. The whole business of contracting is and has changed.

Today they push DIY to the HO. Very few care about quality and fewer can afford it.

Materials like wood are no longer what they were also.

Government regulations/fees are making it near impossible for the small contractor.

If you decide to change careers, don't leave it too long. There comes a point of no return - too many years in it, too old, no other skill set. Who will hire you?

I would consider perhaps self employment in another field. There are many to choose from. But the switch is tough.

Tinstaafl 03-29-2012 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by katoman (Post 1465338)
I would consider perhaps self employment in another field. There are many to choose from. But the switch is tough.

Ay, there's the rub.

The first problem is that once you've had a good taste of being self-employed, it's very difficult to go back to being an employee for any length of time without firing your boss.

Second is that it's relatively rare for anyone to have a strong enough secondary skillset to be able to switch without taking a major hit both in terms of income and quality of services provided (assuming you have a conscience about that).

What one can do is to generally stay in the same field, but begin placing emphasis on a different subset of services. No sudden switch, but a gradual changeover that lets you gain competence and confidence in doing types of work that you've previously avoided.

With discipline and a Grand Plan, you can gradually switch to doing something completely different without taking much of an income/quality hit at all. But the biggest problem is deciding what you want to do when you grow up.

I still haven't figured that one out. :laughing:

Gary H 03-29-2012 06:32 PM

My grand plan was to live on the beach and surf all day. Maybe do some Point Break stuff to keep life interesting.


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