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Kitchens #5: I'll never get it done!

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Blog entry by dennis mitchell posted 2623 days ago 970 reads 0 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Hardware Part 5 of Kitchens series Part 6: Installed At Last »

I’ve just been swamped. Thought I’d catch you all up even if i don’t have photos of the kitchen yet. I’ve had a ton of installs to do and have gotten pretty tired of the cheap prefabs so I’ve decided to start building kitchens again. Yesterday i installed the cabinets of the kitchen I’ve been blogging on. I still have the doors to hang and crown to install, but had to pull off to get to another job. I’ve been turning down lots of work so I’ve finely given in and decided to hire some help. Actually my bad back probably had more to do with the decision. So in my spare time I’m trying to learn how to be an employer. Its hard just gathering the information. I found a web site with a new business “wizard”. So after filling out my information it opened up to show me an over load of government sites I needed to know about. Too much information. I even when down to the bank to get a loan to buy a new 7X14’ trailer just to deliver cabinets. I’ll was hoping to find a way to make a living with the rustic/artistic stuff, but that just isn’t happening. Just putting one foot in front of the other. Hopefully I’ll be slowing down some soon.



21 comments so far

View David's profile

David

1970 posts in 2721 days


#1 posted 2623 days ago

Dennis -

It sounds like you are working really hard. I sure do like your rustic / artistic work. I do hope that niche opens up for you. I know your kitchens have the same craftsmanship although not as satisfying as letting the creative juices flow. Hang in there!

-- http://foldingrule.blogspot.com

View frank's profile

frank

1492 posts in 2788 days


#2 posted 2623 days ago

Hi Dennis;
—-well I’m glad to hear that the work is going good!

I know what you mean about the other stuff as concerning the ‘junk’ that is massed produced and then sold ‘as is’ to folks who think they are getting ‘quality’. I guess this is the woodworkers nightmare of how to equations, of physics and geometry equals ‘quantity’ or ‘quality’! Whenever I visit the ‘plastic container’ at HD, I am always amazed at the content of where this thing we call ‘wood’ has gone.

And then in the hiring of help, one also has to spend the time to raise the workers level of craftsmanship up to your own, while always realizing that after all that time spent, they may just learn the ropes enough to go off and do it themselves.

Great blog story Dennis….!
GODSPEED,
Frank

-- --frank, NH, http://rusticwoodart.tumblr.com/

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2882 days


#3 posted 2623 days ago

Dennis,
Keep on plugging away, you’ll get there someday.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View woodspar's profile

woodspar

710 posts in 2682 days


#4 posted 2623 days ago

I wish you could get some help for your back – that has to be a real bummer – I imagine you have been through all of the various medical and alternative techniques that are available in your area. I hope you can mend soon and balance your work load and your quality of life.

Some seem to think more “things” are better than a few quality items.

Maybe they don’t check or don’t know to check that the cabinets that they have spent good money are not made well. Too “busy” maybe.

Unless/until they run into a guy like you, Dennis, they probably don’t even know what good quality is…

-- John

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2675 days


#5 posted 2623 days ago

I guess there could be worse things happening to you besides being swamped Dennis. Being busy is good but being to busy can be stressful too. I sincerely hope you find the time to keep up with your rustic furniture… actually, you MUST make the time. It will put your other efforts in a better perspective I think.

Good luck growing the business. Having owned one myself for 25+ years I found that as it got bigger, I was pulled away from the things I enjoyed doing and got bogged down running the thing… getting new work to keep the emplyees payed, dealing with employee problems, scheduling, bookkeeping, meetings, meetings, meetings… arg. After many years, and the cost of a marriage, I downsized it dramatically… and finally got out. It simply wasn’t worth the stress. Remember why you’re trying to make that money. Set goals, keep your focus on those goals… and absolutely keep private/family time a top priority.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2882 days


#6 posted 2623 days ago

Very good advice Chip.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2675 days


#7 posted 2623 days ago

Thanks Dick. A lesson learned… at a very high price.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18614 posts in 2743 days


#8 posted 2623 days ago

just add some pictures of your rustic wood to the top of their bill … they’ll say “wow.. what’s this??? ” and the word will start to spread.

Good luck with the hiring/expanding business. I guess, as always, there’s the “good news/bad news” components of any venture.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2675 days


#9 posted 2623 days ago

Deb, that is a terrific idea. (Dennis, hire Deb as your Marketing Director!)

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2897 days


#10 posted 2622 days ago

I am very reluctant to expand and don’t have any plans for an empire. I will hire someone who wants to learn woodworking, but I’m not interested in anyone who just wants to make the big bucks. My business plan consists of just getting by financially and at every chance, try something new. Guess I’m easily distracted. I’ve spent too many years getting 60 hour paychecks and never seeming to find the time to enjoy it.

View Jeff's profile

Jeff

1011 posts in 2676 days


#11 posted 2622 days ago

Dennis, I wish this was 10 years ago… I’d love to learn from someone who wanted to teach woodworking vs. hire someone just to get it done. Best of luck with this endeavor and take care of that back!

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 2897 days


#12 posted 2622 days ago

Guess I should add that it is very importain for me to pay a fair wage. If I expect an honest wage I should be willing to pay one.

View Bill's profile

Bill

2579 posts in 2744 days


#13 posted 2622 days ago

I wish I was closer Dennis, working with you would be an education! But, right now the commute would be a killer! haha But, to learn from a mentor, that would be great.

I admire your stand on the fair wage. Too many others out there take advantage of their workers by getting them as cheaply as possible. On the flip side, their products are not of the same quality either.

Hang in there and keep working and thinking about it. Things usually have a way of opening up opportunities and working out for the best. I am sure you will find the right solution soon.

-- Bill, Turlock California, http://www.brookswoodworks.com

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2829 days


#14 posted 2622 days ago

Dennis, have you ever checked out HGTV PRO web site they have calculators, forms, just about everything a guy needs to get started, even forms to keep track of hours your employees work and you work. When you go to the site I think its in the upper right hand corner, the link that is. Give it a look, Its HTVOPRO.com at the top of the page it says toos, click on that, they have all sorts of tools you could use, all downloadable and free, sheathing calculator,rafter length calcul., cost calc.,draw request calc., concrete volume calc., estimater calc.,% of completion spreadsheet, draw request tracking form progress payment reminder,standardized chart of accouts, customer comment cards, cost sheets. well you get my drift. and its all free and easy.downloadable. check it out. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Chip's profile

Chip

1904 posts in 2675 days


#15 posted 2622 days ago

I guess I am a dieing breed but I still believe that if someone does quality work for a descent wage they will be successful. Just hang in there Dennis and keep believing in yourself. No matter what, you have the right combination of great talent and outstanding character.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

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