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Discussion Starter #1
I'm tired. I spent all day on a ladder 11 stories in the air, I came back to the office and had to do some research on slates, now I need to get out a few estimates so the work can come back ;)

I was about to go to sleep but I guess I am not the only one up. A customer who's house I was at the other day sent an email looking for his estimate. I replied, check your fax in a half hour. That was 15 mins ago. :)

Time to get cracking!
 

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Grumpy said:
I was about to go to sleep but I guess I am not the only one up.
My office phone rang at 10:25 last night. Reflexively I answered it. It was a customer with a question about my most recent invoice (he was going to leave a message). I think he was a little embarassed at first but after we chatted for 10 minutes he hung up happy to have reached me in person.


Be careful today Grumpy. Fatigue is rarely your friend.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Up at 7 am with 5 hours sleep, which is not enough for me. Shower, shave, 8 am phone calls and paper work :)

The rat race continues. I've got only two estimates today so I should catch up with all my paperwork by the end of the day.

Tomorrow I take my state roofing liscense exam at 7:30 am, which means I have to be up at 5 to be there ontime and clean. From there I am going to repair someones sagging gutter and then I have to meet with customers to pick out shingle color. A full 8 hour day for me... After which I have to get ready for a night on the town. My presence is requested/required by my future wife and her best friend. I guess I have to keep her best frien'ds husband company while they girl talk.

Sunday... Sunday I get to work some more. I have a pile of non essential paper work that needs to be organized, and perhaps dealt with.

The point of this lengthy rant is I work damned near all day. I'll burn out pretty soon, when does winter start? I need to spent a few days on my couch with a beer or 12.
 

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Grumpy, Welcome to business start-up, I think that most of us began this way. Right now you're working so hard that you aren't spending much money so soon you will be able to hire help.
The first thing that I did was call all of my payable accounts and get all of my payments due during the second week of the month and get a bookeeper. At the end of the month I would take her a box of reciepts, bank statement and my checkbook and let her go at it. Cost $35. a month, my time, priceless.
Second, I hired a bright guy with some experience for $10./hr. with the promise that if he applied himself he would be a superviser and make good money later. 6 mos. after that I bought a used van for $3500. and he was on the road with an $8./hr. helper. Business was picking up but having him out there lightened my load by about 30%. I was finally able to get a full nights sleep.
Today there are times, like right now, when I find myself looking for something to do. I guess I could expand some more but I don't feel like dealing with the hassle, I cover 4 counties as it is. I could sell and retire but at 53 all of my friends are still working and I'm afraid that I might just become a barfly like some of my customers. Maybe I'll just go down to the lagoon and do some fishin' this afternoon and think it over.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Teetor. I agree business tart up means long hours but I reformatted my computer and server wednesday and thursday, which took ALOT of time.

Winter is coming and I can relax and focus on what to do in spring, and get my computer systems all setup for multiple users (remote sales) then when I return from my honey moon in April I will rip up the market with myself and hopefully an additional salesman. After about July I hope to have an office very near my house.

From that point the search for a very qualified office MANAGER will begin. This manager will lighten my load incredibly. Scheduling, billing, answering phones, making calls, paper work paper work paper work.

I think these are realistic goals.
 
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Grumpy,

Set some regular hours for yourself, it will pay off big time. Years ago I designated Thursdays for my invoicing, payroll and payable. We don't cut a single check on any other day. Funny how all my subs quickly learned to finish their jobs and have invoices submitted no later than Wed. That leaves me Mon-Wed in the rat race, and Friday is my job visit/organization day.

I limited new client meetings to two per week which keeps the backlog of estimates in control. I have even grown to limit the hours which I will meet customers, it works for me, but probably not for a service contractor.

Start up is obviously different, but anything that is keeping you up late at night should be scheduled or outsourced, it only took me 10 years to figure that out, but it has paid off in quality of life and revenue. Looking back now, there is no reason I couldn't have taken control from day one.
 

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Grumpy - You big cry baby! :cheesygri

All those days as an employee when you thought, when I become the boss...

He He! Welcome to the rest of your life :Thumbs:

It's crazy, but it fun huh?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I tried to catch up on all the nitty gritty today but I was so worn out my brain kept telling me sleep sleep, so I slept for 3 hours.

Evenings are prime real estate in my schedule so it would be hard to tell a customer I can't see them in the evening. When I ask a customer when they can meet me the first thing they always say is "Evenings are better." I absolutely LOVE the ones who say mornings or afternoons :)

Guest is right though, I used to schedule certian activities when I had a job, for example mondays were for catching up on my paper work and Wednesday mornings I did call backs. I forgot all about that scheduling structure I had for myself. I gotta start reserving some time in my schedule to stay structured.

Mike yep, I am a big cry baby! Your catching on! If I didn't ***** and moan I'd just pop like a pimple from stress. Once I find my groove, I'll be ok. I'm also stressed because I'm still spending savings, so I am putting alot of pressure on myself to perform and earn some cash.

Things are going well and I should break even on my startup investment in 3 weeks max.
 

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Hang in there Grumpy! Sounds like you have a plan, just stick to it.
I don't understand how this works but at times when things are really starting to look bad something always manages to come through to save the day. Just stay focused on the goal and remember that only 10% of what seems important really is.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I shocked the hell out of the yellow pages guy when he asked my long term plans and I laid out the next 25 years of my life.

LOL only 10%? Since I stress on which way the roll of toilet paper is facing would that be in the 10% or 90% category? :) This stressing over everything is something I got from my father.

I'll be fine, just like I said I need to vent or I build up and pop like a pressure cooker.
 

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Grumpy said:
ISince I stress on which way the roll of toilet paper is facing
LOL. I like mine against the wall, not over the top. :cheesygri
 

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More stress for Grumpy, I like mine over the top so that I can reach it easily, to heck with what it looks like.
Seriously, Grumpy, if you inherited stress problems you need to get over them unless you want to look at the dark side of the grass in your 40's.
I have the advantage of growing up in the Bahamas. No problem, Mon.
 
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"evenings are better" That means daytimes are doable.

Agaian, I know you are in a service business and probably need to cater more. I never ask the customer when they want to meet. I tell them what is available. When they ask for an evening meeting, It is usually several weeks out, my weekday schedule is usually pretty flexable.

I had my absolute worst customer last year, when I was done with the project, I went back and looked at all the red flags. Guess what? Our initial meeting was a late evening meeting, so I went back through my proposals and client lists. All my favorite clients took time off work for our initial meeting, nearly all the projects I did not get were evening meetings.

People don't go to the doctor at night. I figure if this client is seriously considering a major remodel or custom home, they can certainly afford to take some time out of their schedule.
 

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The guest does bring up a good point: I firmly believe we create are own problems, or as I am fond of saying we are really all responsible for creating the hell that we live in. Whether his point can be applied to all circumstances is subject to evaluation, but the real lesson to learn is that we often create our own problems, and with some analysis you probably will find you can tweak a little change to create a big effect in your life. Often what we percieved to be such an intergral issue can turn out to have been all in our heads.

Once I find my groove, I'll be ok.
I have no doubt about it.

I'm also stressed because I'm still spending savings, so I am putting alot of pressure on myself to perform and earn some cash.
Yep, there is no better motivator in sales than fear. You want to see a salesman double his productivity, just watch what happens after he finds out his wife is pregnant, or his kid is accepted into an expensive university... suddenly those unreachable goals that ******* salesmanager set for you are easily within reach!

Enjoy it Grumpy. I have always enjoyed the start-up stages of a business the most. While it is your butt on the line and you are in the middle of it it sucks, but someday when you are successful and counting your easy money you will look back upon how fun these beginning days really were.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
"evenings are better" That means daytimes are doable.

Who is this unregistered guest, who gave me two pearls of advice in one topic?!

Mike I have always pushed myself out of necessity. The more I ear, the more I spend. I suppose this is somewhat natural, but it's also natural to relax when you are in your comfort zone. This is why I like to invest. I buy tangibles that will appreciate, which leaves less spending cash at hand. I'd rather buy some gold or real estate than a car or clothes I don't need.
 

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Grumpy, Sounds to me like you are on the right track to become wealthy.
I mentioned this once before, it's a book called "The Millionaire Next Door", a really good read.
When I sell the business and retire my goal is to buy a Porsche 9** although that new Bentley looks pretty cool too. A brand new car, just for me with all of the toys that I want. I may just go to Germany to pick it up so that I can wring it out on the Autobahn. You always have to set that next goal.
 

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Teetor. I bought the audio edition of that book. It kinda disgusted me. I tossed it out literally after chapter two.

All I got from that book was this: make as much money as you can and don't spen any of it.

I highly recommend "Think and Grow Rich", as it is my business bible.
 

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Grumpy, You should have followed it through, it has lots of good tips many of which I have followed. Much of it is good old midwestern common sense which I learned from my mother and grandfather (Indiana) and was practicing well before the book was published.
When I was 35, I owned 2 homes outright, a nice 34 ft. boat, a bass boat, new cars, 1/4M in investments, kids went to private schools and much of that was accomplished by many of the principals in that book. Jimmy Carter and luck played a few parts as well.
 

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I wouldn't consider that book a guide to wealth. I take it as more of a study of wealth in America and to be used to reveal that a lot of the wealthy got that way along paths that are very counter to what most Americans have been lead to believe is the path to wealth. That probably has something to do with Grumpy's reaction to it, it is extremely counter to what most people without money believe how people with money got it and live.

I can easily understand both of your reactions to that book, there are definitely some lessons to be learned from it, however it runs very counter culture to the typical get rich gurus books that you find overflowing in the bookstores today, that appeal and cater to Grumpy's generation.

Grumpy - it is definitely worth a read for you, even if for no other reason to become aware of the principals endorsed by the author so you can guide yourself away from them, or be able to draw from them as things change as you get older and may find that some of those principals begin to have relevance. I found great value in the book just from a perspective of understanding your customers. It definitely demonstrates why not to judge a person by their appearance and that just because your customer has wealth doesn't necessarily mean he will approach spending it in the stereotypical manner you might expect.

Going in the other direction Teetor subscribing to that books principals too strongly might be showing as you stated you want a 911, but are waiting till you retire. From everything you have posted here a 911 today doesn't sound like that much of a financial stretch. Don't put off carnal pleasures too long or you might not live to ever enjoy them. Toys are the rewards you can enjoy today for your hard work you did yesterday.

Since we are talking about books, I'm sure you both have read Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't want to live over my head but I do want to enjoy the efforts of my hard work. I want all the toys in life that I deserve... who determines what I deserve? I do by how hard I work to acheive those goals.

I want to be wealthy and I want to look wealthy. I don't want to be wealthy and drive a beat up old pick up truck, wearing some dirty pants and drinking beer with no flavor... This was a case study of "Mr Bud" from millionaire next door. I want to drive a $40k truck and drive up to my $million home but I want to be able to afford those things comfortably, and I will in time... without burning my credit.

Mike I have the audio for rich dad poor dad but haven't listened to the whole thing quite yet.
 
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