A difficult choice
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19-11-2014, 12:07 AM
A difficult choice
So here's the thing. 3 years ago I started a business. This took place while I was married. However, it became incredibly successful. It was something I enjoyed, but didn't quite make the money I really wanted to. I dissolved it for my marriage to make time. That failed. I thought about restarting the business, but then... interesting things happened.

As time has progressed, and as I've demonstrated to various auto communities of the restorations I've done, I've had a lot of people ask, "So when are you going to fly out and work on my car?"

At first, I took it as a joke. Today, I spoke to one gentleman, someone who I consider both a confidant in the business world, and someone as a friend, and someone who shares the same passion for the marque of cars I work on.

I asked him if he was serious, and he was dead serious. He wants me to fly out and work on his car. I asked him what the demand is and he said he's sick of shipping his car to a mechanic for the car he works on. These are things I'm perfectly comfortable in working on, but many are not, and few mechanics seem to want to work on them.

I've put out some feelers and the demand seems quite real.

I'm now divorced, single, and in that exploratory point in my life where I am once again pursuing my passions. Now, I'm not done with my restoration yet, but once I am, it's a heavy consideration to bring my business back for this very thing. I've now tacked down 10 years with the company I'm with, but while the money is good, and while I'm good at it... it's no longer my passion. My passion lies within the auto world.

Since I was a child, my dream has been to work on exotic cars. Last year, I hit that milestone. I bought one, I'm restoring it, it's going smoothly and I feel like I'm on cloud 9. I feel like the only thing that would really solidify that would be to work on them for a living.

I am in a difficult place because I have seriously HUGE anxiety issues. Running my business put an enormous emotional strain on me, full of anxiety. My customers were happy. I was happy, but I was always anxious and worried. I realize they were happy, but still, I always felt like if I fucked up that I was just the worst. Though I have yet to experience negative feedback, it's always in the back of my mind because I hate disappointing people.

So here I am tonight, having one of my favorite cigars and a glass of scotch, full of anxiety and serious concern, but at the same time with a huge amount of motivation and curiosity, "Can I do this?"

What if I started it as something on the side to see where it goes? What if I decided to try it, and if I fail, then it is what it is? What if I give it a go? I'll never know till I try, right? I don't know what to do. The idea of it all makes me super nervous, but excited at the same time. Like a life goal completed, a possibility of a dream to be real. I never thought it was a possibility but the demand seems real after talking to numerous people in the world of the marque I work on. I simply do not know what to do.

I hate having anxiety issues. TTA has been like a family to me. I figured I'd bounce it off of those that mean a lot to me. I'm quite serious when I say that it makes me nervous as hell as to the idea, and it's a large monetary risk. I don't know what to do.

Official ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please pm me with prayer requests to his noodly goodness. Remember, he boiled for your sins and loves you. Carbo Diem! RAmen.
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19-11-2014, 01:39 AM
RE: A difficult choice
Can you find a way to mitigate the money risk aspect? Some way to ease into it? Start small & grow is pretty much *the* rule of small business.

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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19-11-2014, 01:45 AM
RE: A difficult choice
(19-11-2014 01:39 AM)morondog Wrote:  Can you find a way to mitigate the money risk aspect? Some way to ease into it? Start small & grow is pretty much *the* rule of small business.

It's possible. I already have the tools. The largest expenses are travel.

Official ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please pm me with prayer requests to his noodly goodness. Remember, he boiled for your sins and loves you. Carbo Diem! RAmen.
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19-11-2014, 01:56 AM
RE: A difficult choice
(19-11-2014 01:45 AM)Logisch Wrote:  It's possible. I already have the tools. The largest expenses are travel.

Ja, what I mean is, can you grow it while you're working your current job somehow? Also get clients to pay expenses for travel or find clients who are close by?

Good plan IMO is to try and do a bit of a forecast - money flow etc - get an idea of how much you can get coming in, be realistic about number of customers you can expect etc, how long it'll be before you turn a profit...

We'll love you just the way you are
If you're perfect -- Alanis Morissette
(06-02-2014 03:47 PM)Momsurroundedbyboys Wrote:  And I'm giving myself a conclusion again from all the facepalming.
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19-11-2014, 04:56 AM
RE: A difficult choice
I agree, a slow transition if possible.

Make them pay to fly you out. Take some time off work. Go and do one job. See how it feels.

If you are prone to anxiety, you are prone to it. You can't let it paralyze you. Take it as a given, ok, there is the stupid anxiety again. It is only as important as you let it be.

This is your dream job, so don't let anything deter you from getting at least your feet wet and accept that one job. If you don't, you'll be one of those people who spend half their lives thinking that they missed the boat when they had the opportunity to follow their dreams. That is a sad state. Don't go there.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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19-11-2014, 08:05 AM
RE: A difficult choice
(19-11-2014 01:56 AM)morondog Wrote:  
(19-11-2014 01:45 AM)Logisch Wrote:  It's possible. I already have the tools. The largest expenses are travel.

Ja, what I mean is, can you grow it while you're working your current job somehow? Also get clients to pay expenses for travel or find clients who are close by?

Good plan IMO is to try and do a bit of a forecast - money flow etc - get an idea of how much you can get coming in, be realistic about number of customers you can expect etc, how long it'll be before you turn a profit...

Yeah definitely. Much of this stuff can be done over a weekend. Fly in on my days off, work, fly back, go back to work. Insurance is a big concern, however.

(19-11-2014 04:56 AM)Dom Wrote:  I agree, a slow transition if possible.

Make them pay to fly you out. Take some time off work. Go and do one job. See how it feels.

If you are prone to anxiety, you are prone to it. You can't let it paralyze you. Take it as a given, ok, there is the stupid anxiety again. It is only as important as you let it be.

This is your dream job, so don't let anything deter you from getting at least your feet wet and accept that one job. If you don't, you'll be one of those people who spend half their lives thinking that they missed the boat when they had the opportunity to follow their dreams. That is a sad state. Don't go there.

True, true. I managed to deal with it on my last business, it'll just be more. But if I let it stop me I'll just never know what it was like to do it.

Official ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please pm me with prayer requests to his noodly goodness. Remember, he boiled for your sins and loves you. Carbo Diem! RAmen.
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19-11-2014, 08:58 AM
RE: A difficult choice
Both Dom and morondog have given good advice.

Random thoughts from a guy who owns a small business.

Sounds like you fill a very small niche and your customers are happy to pay you for your expertise, leverage this.

Have a fall-back position plan, a safety net if you will. In your current employment is there a possibility of cutting back hours? Do you have a relationship with management where they would be willing to give you some flexibility?

Your comment "it became incredibly successful. It was something I enjoyed, but didn't quite make the money I really wanted to" gives me pause. How can it be both incredibly successful and yet not make the money you wanted? Doing what you love but not being able to pay the bills doesn't work for long but you know that.

Sit down and work the numbers. How much do I need to make to keep my current lifestyle? What's the minimum I could live on? morondog touched on this. If you can't charge what you need then this won't fly.

Be clear on how taxes and insurance would change for you. Don't skimp on hiring/having a good accountant and attorney.

"I am in a difficult place because I have seriously HUGE anxiety issues. Running my business put an enormous emotional strain on me, full of anxiety. My customers were happy. I was happy, but I was always anxious and worried. I realize they were happy, but still, I always felt like if I fucked up that I was just the worst. Though I have yet to experience negative feedback, it's always in the back of my mind because I hate disappointing people."

Every start up goes through this, I did. But anxiety is a great motivator. Also, working for others can cause anxiety as well when you worry if you're going to be laid off or if you'll get the bonus or raise you deserve etc.

If you fuck up running your own show you can do something about immediately, make it right for your customer. Nothing is more appreciated than having someone stand behind their work. Nobody's perfect and there will be unhappy customers, expect it and prepare for it.

I have always been of the opinion that if you have to work then being your own boss is the way to go. The satisfaction that comes from creating a business that is all yours is priceless. Done right there is no upper limit to how much you can make while doing what you love. There are trade-offs of course. There is no time clock for one, you are always on call. You will be both President of the company and head window washer. Nothing you do will be harder than managing your employees, restoring an auto that parts are no longer available for will seem like a cake-walk compared to dealing with an unhappy employee. On the flip side having a customer rave about your work to others satisfies the soul.

Sorry for the rambling, I'm just spit-balling here and hoping to help you make the right decision for yourself. If you want you can always PM me, I've been on my own for over twenty years.

I wish you the best.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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19-11-2014, 09:00 AM
RE: A difficult choice
I say go for it! Do it in a smart manner, start small, client pays travel expenses, has to fit in with your other schedules, etc

or have them ship cars to you?

But chase your dreams! Follow what brings you joy.

Dont just follow a dream, chase it. Live life to the fullest. You only get one go on this rock- make it a great one.

live life fully and wide open!


"Life is a daring adventure or it is nothing"--Helen Keller
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19-11-2014, 09:05 AM
RE: A difficult choice
Cool beans on the idea. Car guys - REAL good car guys are always in demand. I have run into people who do nothing but fly around the country only doing pinstripes on cars and bikes, and they make a decent living at it. And I've run across guys who specialize in a tiny make and model of one kind of car and are quite successful.

Exactly what do you specialize in? What kind of cars?

We have enough youth. How about looking for the Fountain of Smart?
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19-11-2014, 09:09 AM (This post was last modified: 19-11-2014 09:13 AM by Logisch.)
RE: A difficult choice
(19-11-2014 08:58 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Your comment "it became incredibly successful. It was something I enjoyed, but didn't quite make the money I really wanted to" gives me pause. How can it be both incredibly successful and yet not make the money you wanted? Doing what you love but not being able to pay the bills doesn't work for long but you know that.

Because I was constantly busy and got to do something I enjoyed. It made money, but not a ton. To me, it was something I loved. If I'm doing something I love, I feel that is success. Keep in mind, it was something I did on top of the job I have now, so it was just extra, and something fun. Something like this at some point would need to pay the bills (and I think it would just fine).

(19-11-2014 08:58 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Sit down and work the numbers. How much do I need to make to keep my current lifestyle? What's the minimum I could live on? morondog touched on this. If you can't charge what you need then this won't fly.

Valid point. I will need to see what it is going to cost for travel, insurance, how much I'd net, etc.

(19-11-2014 08:58 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  Be clear on how taxes and insurance would change for you. Don't skimp on hiring/having a good accountant and attorney.

Already have a great accountant who helped me with my last business. Attorney is a valid concern.

(19-11-2014 08:58 AM)Full Circle Wrote:  If you fuck up running your own show you can do something about immediately, make it right for your customer. Nothing is more appreciated than having someone stand behind their work. Nobody's perfect and there will be unhappy customers, expect it and prepare for it.

I have always been of the opinion that if you have to work then being your own boss is the way to go. The satisfaction that comes from creating a business that is all yours is priceless. Done right there is no upper limit to how much you can make while doing what you love. There are trade-offs of course. There is no time clock for one, you are always on call. You will be both President of the company and head window washer. Nothing you do will be harder than managing your employees, restoring an auto that parts are no longer available for will seem like a cake-walk compared to dealing with an unhappy employee. On the flip side having a customer rave about your work to others satisfies the soul.

Sorry for the rambling, I'm just spit-balling here and hoping to help you make the right decision for yourself. If you want you can always PM me, I've been on my own for over twenty years.

I wish you the best.

This is all good info, thank you.

Official ordained minister of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Please pm me with prayer requests to his noodly goodness. Remember, he boiled for your sins and loves you. Carbo Diem! RAmen.
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