Well guys, I am finally getting my schedule and projects under control. But I am still busy working 7 days a week to catch up.
For the last couple of weeks I have been knocking off work between 10 and 10:30pm. Working from 7am to 10pm sounds like a long day but it is short compared to the previous 3 months that I was working 7am until 1 or 1:30am.
There were two instances where I worked from 7am one morning until 11:30 the next night with only about a 1hour nap. I find that working like this starts getting dangerous and I make more mistakes resulting in some do-overs. This is highly counter-productive. A 30 minute nap at dinner break helps keep me going.
I had been trying to figure out what to do with my business concerning more help. I sub some things out on my jobs, but I was thinking about an employee.
However, there are a couple of problems with this. First; I work as a remodeling contractor that can do everything from design to rough construction up through fine woodworking and finish. Finding someone that can or will work from one end of the spectrum to the other is nearly impossible. Guys that are good with general construction typically cannot do fine finish work. Guys that do fine woodwork and finish just will not do general carpentry.
Second problem; I am changing my business plan. I intend to step out of the remodel and more into the internet to deliver information and product to the woodworkers. Hiring someone that is looking for stability in the trades and then letting them go is not fair to them.
What I have discovered…
I can only run one business at a time. I can either run my remodel business, which includes custom woodworking, or I can start my business catering to woodworkers, which also includes custom woodworking. But I found out that I can’t do both. Running a business is too time consuming let alone running two or running one and starting another.
I share these things because I know that this will give people something to consider as they think of running their own business.
As I was pondering a solution to my dilemma, a contractor that I have done work with in the past called and offered me a position in his company. His shop guy had left a month earlier and he decided he couldn’t do without one any longer so he gave me a call.
I would be functioning as shop support for the guys in the field. With remodel there is always something that needs custom made, modified, or repaired. This is exactly how my shop supports my own remodel business and this is how his shop functions and provides custom shop support to 5 guys in the field.
This was a solution that I had not thought of. I was not looking for work or a job and it was just a dream opportunity that landed in my lap. Most guys would die for an opportunity like this and so I did not pass it up. His offer was more than fair and the big bonus for me was cut and dry 40 hours a week. This means controlled work hours so I can have time to share with woodworkers.
I quit taking work and dumped my remodel projects but I kept the built-ins. I am working on 2 big projects of my own to get them cleared off the plate so I can focus on my site again.
I am now hitting a point where I can take the time to start sharing the experience of those projects in my blogs. There is more time invested to write a decent blog than many people realize, and it is time that I have not been able to spare. With my new work situation, I should be able to get back to sharing.
It May Seem Crazy…
After working my own business for so many years it may seem crazy to take a J-O-B but for me it is a relief to share the work burden with a crew of great guys. The company has a good reputation and the same guys have been working together for many years. They are a positive and talented group that work to keep a good thing going. I feel privileged to have been invited into this company.
This situation actually frees my time from doing design work, sales, and eventually shop work for my projects late into the night and will allow me to focus on sharing more with woodworkers. This has become my new passion and I look forward to being able to do it even more.
You heard it first here at LJ
That shows how you guys rate in my book. I will share more details soon.
Your Friend in the Shop,
Todd A. Clippinger
Share the Love~Share the Knowledge
-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com