|Just a caddie to hold 2 yogurt containers and some brushes|
There have been other benefits, mostly my time has been my own. Even when I had a really bad job I knew it would be over when it was finished and I could go on to something else, always hunting for that next great job.
I did most of my advertising through Home Shows, that one opportunity to "be on stage" and allow the public to compare me with the competition. I learned the retail trade because of these Home Shows, the space is very expensive. I learned that the worst possible thing I could do was to sit at a table and wait for them to approach me. Mostly I sold a service, sort of renting me and my crew out to remodel your home and this could cost thousands of dollars.
I learned that there was a market for those who couldn't afford or didn't desire their homes torn up and rearranged. They liked me, wanted something from me, just not the whole big job.
So I got to thinking, wouldn't it be nice if I could create a product? Maybe something that would be an advertisement in itself? Something that would help with the ever increasing cost of doing Home Shows?
I started pretty simple. My very first goal was to create something that would feed me during these four day shows. I had incentive. I told myself "no lunch" until I made a sale! At the time I was importing lumber from the Fiji Islands (I could blog about that for awhile!) and I had made some kitchen cutting boards and clip boards out of these exotic woods. I also made some little toys, something that might attract kids and get their parents to linger. Well, it was a hit and I ate well that first day but completely sold out my meager inventory on the opening night! If I had only had more I could have paid for my space!
Over the years my interests changed and I would be into other things, one year doing nothing but decks and outdoor living, another just kitchens and another I was into bathrooms but I always had a product, something to sell off the floor. The last few years when I got into steel I could quadruple my space costing me over $3,000 for the very long weekend and pay for it entirely with "stuff" that I brought for sale!
I got in the habit of making my hobbies pay for themselves. If I liked it maybe someone else would too?
And then I could sell it allowing me to continue. My first welder was just a little guy costing me about $300 and on principle I refused to buy a better one until I could pay for the first one through the sale of something I made. In less than one year I bought the one I have now for $2,400, all paid for with a $300 dollar machine!
I still have that attitude. It was something developed over time and is just a part of me now. In a forty year career I can often go look at a job and find something of mine already in someone's house. That is nice too!
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