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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I still have my day job in the corporate world but have tinkering more and more with my side business as the days go on. Hopefully one day, this "hobby" will become a reality and I'll be able to leave the soul-wrenching hell that is corporate America.

Curious when you guys decided to commit to your contracting business? What changed in your life that you felt like it was the right time to go out on your own?
 

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I worked for a local builder for 2 years, was off of work for about a month after a hernia surgery. When I was ready to go back to work the company laid off me and several others. I had been thinking about starting my own business and the timing seemed perfect. I went for it and it's the best decision I ever made. I enjoy my work about 1,000 times more now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I worked for a local builder for 2 years, was off of work for about a month after a hernia surgery. When I was ready to go back to work the company laid off me and several others. I had been thinking about starting my own business and the timing seemed perfect. I went for it and it's the best decision I ever made. I enjoy my work about 1,000 times more now!
I love stories like that. Reminds me of when I got fired from a job a couple years back for pushing my CIO to think differently. Before I even officially left that company I had a job offer elsewhere for lots more money at a much better company. That CIO has since been let go and the company has been bleeding money for about 18 months now. Karma!
 

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Average Joe
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I took the plunge right out of University.

Options:
-Graduate school
-Work for someone/somewhere/doing something
-Do what I know, on my own.

The economy and the general realities of business were the deciding factor. This industry will never die, our utility will never be replaced (peaks and valleys aside).

The freedom of entrepeneurialship (is that even a word :blink:) are quickly overshadowed by the burdens/responsibilities...but I wouldn't change it for anything in the world...at least not in the foreseeable future.

As a word of friendly advice...don't let the romantic notions that you may have fluttering around in your head undermine the harsh realities of breaking out on your own. Do your homework.

I'm such a buzz kill :laughing:

Prosperity to you :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Heritage, good for you for having the foresight to go out on your own from day 1.

*Entrepreneuship. You almost had it ;)
 

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The freedom of entrepeneurialship (is that even a word :blink:) are quickly overshadowed by the burdens/responsibilities...but I wouldn't change it for anything in the world...at least not in the foreseeable future.

As a word of friendly advice...don't let the romantic notions that you may have fluttering around in your head undermine the harsh realities of breaking out on your own. Do your homework.
Agreed!

I was woefully under-prepared for the change from corporate desk job to business owner/salesperson/builder. Needless to say, we had a rough first year. Now, I certainly learned a TON along the way and I have no doubts that we'll be much more successful this year, but there are days when I wish I had remained at my desk for an extra year (even though I absolutely hated it) to provide myself with decent income while studying, training, networking, etc. Don't discount the preparation time, and definitely put aside enough money to get you through in case things don't take off quite as expected.

Good luck to you and your endeavors!

Kyle
 

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Finishing Carpenter
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Where is my stapler?
Oh sorry, I borrowed it- couldn't find my hammer tacker :laughing:

Went out on my own full time a year ago December. Got laid off during the economic downturn, and absolutely no one was hiring. I have the tools, a very understanding wife, and an existing one-man corporation sitting idle from my days in film.

There are highs and lows!!!!! be prepared for the mental game. The high's out weight the lows - having customers pay you extra because they like your work. Driving home on a friday after busting your butt for 12 hrs, check is in your pocket, singln along with Journey on the radio- man it doesn't get better than that :)

Lows? HO's wife flipps out, shreaks and yells. "Designer" sending you all over he*& and changing her mind- HO's who like to add "just one more thing" when its time to pay. HO's who watch too many "fix-it" show's on tv and think that they can negotiate you down to minimum wage.

Watch out for clients who will "pay you for materials" after you buy them and arrive on the job site. (I haven't done that, but I've been asked)

Do NOT fix up another trade guy's mess! I got bit on that (my inexperience) it came out good, but wow! If you do want such a job, let the HO know that all the other guys stuff is coming out, period.

HO's who already have someone to do the job (they don't tell you) and are just using you to see if the other guy's quote is close. Not a lot you can do, read the business section of this forum, great advise there.

Get yourself a website, and post some pic's of your work. This has given me several jobs this year, and it cost me $50 bucks for the site, and I will do some work on the web guy's cabin later on this summer.

Be legal! get your licenses, WCB, Liability. Pull permits everytime! reputation is everything.

good luck!

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Watch out for clients who will "pay you for materials" after you buy them and arrive on the job site. (I haven't done that, but I've been asked)
Interesting dilemma I keep hearing about from other contractors. I've implemented a solution for it on my site. Would love your feedback once I have a beta version up.
 

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I still have my day job in the corporate world but have tinkering more and more with my side business as the days go on. Hopefully one day, this "hobby" will become a reality and I'll be able to leave the soul-wrenching hell that is corporate America.

Curious when you guys decided to commit to your contracting business? What changed in your life that you felt like it was the right time to go out on your own?
I got sick of corporate zombie drone mindlessness and the HR personality police so I went into construction.

I got sick of working for cheapskates and d-holes so I started my own company.

It will take me years to get back to what I was making in corporate, but I'm about 1,000 times happier.
 

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There are highs and lows!!!!!
No kidding!

Highs: being the last trade to show up on the job, but the first trade to finish and still get so few punch items that the superintendent says not to worry about it.

Depositing that big check you got after three months of work.

Lows: disconnecting the toiled that the homeowner neglected to mention that he had just used it and clogged it to hell. Talk about a hepatitis A moment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I got sick of corporate zombie drone mindlessness and the HR personality police so I went into construction.

I got sick of working for cheapskates and d-holes so I started my own company.

It will take me years to get back to what I was making in corporate, but I'm about 1,000 times happier.
Sometimes I wish I wasn't making the $ I am today. It would make the transition that much easier.
 

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been in design / build my entire 28-year career and counting, since i graduated from a military college and got shipped abroad with the navy seabees. served my contract, started a business, and never looked back but for a 2-year stint in business school when i got distracted by a young lady with her sails pointed at wall street...glad i missed that ship.

love what i do and couldn't be happier. and for a lot of reasons. but...

...best advice i can offer are the words of a friend who moved to vermont to get away from it all. "if you love vermont, don't move there." why you love that hobby of yours and having to do it to feed your family are two different things. in the world of jobs there are no greener pastures and i've witnessed the construction industry crush the passion of many a harry-the-happy-hobbiest trying to escape their own baggage.
 

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The company I was working for shut down the entire office.. so my weekend job that I did for extra money became a fulltime gig.. 4 years ago. Just finished my best year ever and this year is off to a good start too. (knock on wood!)

I have more fun doing this even though I make less money than I did sitting at a desk. I don't feel like I sold my soul.

But make sure you run it like a business.. otherwise you'll find you won't be around long.
 

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I was a super for a large builder. I put in for my vacation 3mo in advance.
As it got closer and closer to my vacation , I got more and more calls from the VP of Const. telling me I should reconsider my vacation because things were too busy. I finally told him " I was looking for a job when I found this one, I am going to find another one, I QUIT."
Next day I made a phone a call and had a house to trim.
 
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