Soliloquy of a burnt out craftsman ........... (worth a read) - Paint Talk - Professional Painting Contractors Forum
CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY, IT'S FREE!
Go Back   Paint Talk - Professional Painting Contractors Forum > Painting Forum > General Painting Discussion

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-12-2009, 09:54 AM   #1
fixes grumpy old house
 
jordanski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: seattle
Posts: 67
Rewards Points: 75
Thanks: 1
Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
View jordanski's Photo Album My Photos
Default Soliloquy of a burnt out craftsman ........... (worth a read)

hey guys,

this one is for everyone out there having hard times stayin' busy in this new economy or just feeling a little depressed trying to keep up with all we have to do to keep moving forward in this business...

me, I'm doin' okay business-wise, nervous about the future, but definitely a little depressed and way overworked these past 5 years...

this is actually something I wrote on another board in response to a remodel guy who has lost the spark, havin' trouble gettin' out the house and gettin' to it, and he is thinking about hanging it up for good... I think at one time or another we've all been there, I certainly have... and I wrote something that I needed to get off my chest and after reading it I was like Damn, that's something to be proud of... and if you're having a time with the grind I think it might do something for you too...

lessee, lemme paste er in there, yeah.... here it is:

I'm glad you brought this up as I've been thinking a lot about this myself and have something to say. I hope some of you out there can take something from this...

We are all gonna have a tougher time staying busy the next year or two. I'm okay but one of my best friends (a damn fine painter) is teetering on business failure and losing his house, he has a wife and a baby girl. A lot of guys are failing... if you have business booked you are one of the fortunate ones...


I think it's messed up some of you guys are saying he should hang it up without having much to go on or even knowing the man well (or maybe you do, i dunno). To quote the great Buck O'Neill "you can't know what's in another man's heart".

I've felt lousy two winters in a row, hate working by myself, especially the hour of set-up and hour of break-down... Spent months rehabbing a sore lower back this winter... medicine ball, p.t., chiro, swimming, core exercises...

after 3 months, thought I was good, picked up two 5 gallons at the same time and was ****ed for two weeks... spent all winter worrying will I be strong enough for the real burly work I have booked for may and june? so lucky to have some coin saved and haven't worked since halloween. gettin' slim tho... I think sometimes about hangin' it up and going back to school, but....

I'm hitting 5 full years in business in may... sometimes the money is king, sometimes (though not in a couple of years) I've lost my shirt learning how to bid, what not to bid on, what is T&M, what isn't... sometimes I had to do undesirable jobs out of necessity, many times I was learning on the fly and needing to do something totally pro and perfect on my first attempt, hoping I researched enough, knowing the HO will be home in 8 hours and there better be shiny progress, relying on my math and tenacity...

Sometimes I get exhausted, 5 years, biggest vacation was a week in northern NM visiting the old man and a bunch of holy native sites and hot springs. 5 years, seems like 7 days a week keeping up, learning to be my own accountant, lawyer, sales rep, lead generator, closer, housekeeper, truck mechanic, handyman, document writer, math geek, gravel bag hauler, tool repairer, foreman, and on top of that teaching myself the ins and outs of a half dozen trades by trial and error, doing learning jobs at a discount. Effin' HUSTLIN'.

Sometimes after 5 years I get exhausted when I think that all my money goes to power tools, all my creative energy goes to building a better tool bucket (etc.), and most of my worries are associated with taking on other people's problems for a living, cuz they can't shim out a ceiling or brush cut latex or take down plaster over a $1000 floor...

Sometimes I just don't wanna take all this complex **** home with me in my brain every night, sometimes I just wish I could tear out blackberries with a crew of guys instead... I've been so busy, stressed out, tired, and pre-occupied at times... and I'm definitely not gettin' rich and the train of future investments seems never-ending: pump jacks, website, air scrubber, laptop, new biz cards, newer truck, new tile saw, new $400 hepa vac, $1000 for new EPA lead certification, new batteries, paint brushes, advertising, self-paid health insurance, the ins./bond re-up, paying a lawyer to polish my contracts, taxes, and **** this I just wanna take my girl out and buy her a pretty dress, go to mexico for a month.

and then, on the flipside, I remember that I have taken houses that look like they should be torn down and made them look immaculate... I have protected another dude's little girl from getting lead poisoning... I have actually contributed as a member of a community and improved it... I protected and sheparded someone's investment away from those who might steal or defraud them...
we can come home at the end of the day and show our lady a picture of something real we built that day that will probably still be standing on the day that we meet our maker.... what do you think the guys that write computer code all day come home to talk about?

and I remember that I used to be a crazy talented fine dining cook who made garbage money and had to take **** from idiots who knew nothing of my trade... I remember that I may not be getting rich but I'm definitely not making some greasy tool ****head rich from my labors... and I don't have to take **** from some weasel bad hair manager with half my intelligence and a tenth my manhood. I don't have to wear polyester or laugh with scumbags senior to me when they make a ****ed up racist or sexist joke... in fact, if I pick my clients wisely, I don't have to take **** from anyone! my idea of a morning meeting gets to be talkin' about power tools and hot girls with clayton & marty down at the lumber yard... how sweet is that?

I'm not a salary slave, I do not have to conform to your immoral business world, dress or cut my hair as you dictate, or listen to your bull**** if I don't want to... if I work late it is because I have decided to... I do what I please and I make **** happen...

I am the one who got away....

now, we do as contractors have to jump through a few hoops and sell-out just a little to be legit and work within the system... the days of being a 100% cash-and-carry punk rock cowboy livin' off the grid are coming to a close, they are hunting such men in this century... they are just too free, not shackled enough with credit cards and debt and worry and all the things that keep your head down, keep you subservient, apolitical, and pre-occupied with making money...

but we are self-employed, with real skills that will survive anything that happens in society, we build real things that you can touch or drive your kids to... we can help people protect their homes and preclude them from getting ripped off, just by showing up and doing our job... every house you remodel for a working family is one less that will be destroyed by a home depot contractor or a moonlighter or hack or scumbag...

so, as far as I'm concerned, we are socially relevant, we build the world we live in, we don't have to wear monkey suits, and we can listen to Jimi Hendrix, The Flying Burrito Brothers, or the Wu Tang Clan at our job IF WE DAMN WELL PLEASE!!! the best women dig a man who can work with his hands, and we aren't working for some satanic company that is getting rich off of wars or third world child labor... and we are usually well compensated for our skills, with the prerogative to charge more as our skills increase...

so I'd say we are just about as free as any other mother ****ers in this country or anywhere else in the world for that matter... what do you think cement masons in Turkey get paid? I'll give you a hint, they would rather leave behind everyone they know and be a graveyard shift security guard in toronto... we are all SO lucky to be Badasses who just happened to be born here...

and that, my man, is why you pick up your tool buckets every morning...

- jordan

one idea... if you're burned out here's an idea, save up some money and take a two week trip down to Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic,

spend a couple of days just chillin'... talk to the porters and the street sweepers and the house painters and the carpenters... make a new friend... then ask him how many kids he has... he will say 4 or 6 or something like that... then ask him if you can see where he lives... (shack)...

then spend the next week helping him build a new, bigger cinder block home with a simple pitch frame roof, no pipes, no wires, definitely no permits.....
buy the trowels, hammers, materials, cement, everything... it won't cost you much...
then finish that bad boy... take a picture of it... leave all the tools behind, walk away and get on a plane... I bet you'll have a whole new perspective on the value of your skills when you get back...

best of luck sorting your head out my brother....

Last edited by jordanski; 04-12-2009 at 11:23 AM.. Reason: eh, too personal
jordanski is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to jordanski For This Useful Post:
painting247 (10-31-2009)

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. PaintTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-12-2009, 10:18 AM   #2
PNITEX
 
JAYJAY's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: MN
Posts: 307
Rewards Points: 250
Thanks: 32
Thanked 14 Times in 13 Posts
View JAYJAY's Photo Album My Photos
Thumbs up

And the award goes to......


I believe he has been awarded a "sticky," or at the very least nominated for one. Very nicely put my friend.
__________________
"A little prep, a little paint, makes the carpenter what he ain't" -darch
JAYJAY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2009, 10:31 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
vermontpainter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 14,407
Rewards Points: 2,000
Thanks: 3,091
Thanked 5,929 Times in 3,434 Posts
View vermontpainter's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Jordan

Great post. Raw, brutally honest and from the heart.

There is nothing harder than the first 5 years in business. Each year is harder than the last. Especially when you push yourself constantly out of your comfort zone.

Its a series of plateaus each year. Once you summit one, you see the next, and its more challenging than the last. Alot of guys choose to stay right where they are, because each time with the next ascent it takes more time, money and energy to achieve it, and the return is always speculative - you don't know until you get there what it will be like.

Hang in there. The paint trade needs guys with instinct, drive and passion.



__________________
Scott


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
vermontpainter is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 04-12-2009, 11:32 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
CApainter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Posts: 14,754
Rewards Points: 2,648
Thanks: 11,223
Thanked 9,646 Times in 5,485 Posts
View CApainter's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Man, you summed up the freedom we all are capable of having, regardless of what we do to survive. Great motivational read!
CApainter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2009, 11:38 AM   #5
Renegade Mod
 
Wolfgang's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 10,287
Rewards Points: 294
Thanks: 7,476
Thanked 8,692 Times in 4,065 Posts
View Wolfgang's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Wow! The first 5 years of starting my business was brutal on me. I decided early on that all my earnings would go to tools and equipment, I dont think I took any type of salary for about 2 years. I remember doing jobs I didnt want to do, working for customers I didnt want to work for, and being constantly exhausted. I learned from so many mistakes about bidding, customers, and purchasing equipment that was nice to have but not really needed so early on in the game, I could write a book. But , if I had to do it all over again, with what I've learned, I'd do it the same way.

Scott is right about plateaus. Setting realistic goals was something I adhered to then and do to this day. In the past 2 years, I've had 4 sick days, 3 personal days, and no vacation. I keep telling myself I need to slow down personally but with the jobs coming in like they are, its going to be another year like the last. I dont mind it so much, but the time will come to turn over some of the reins to others...a big step for me.

The drive, the passion, the self-satisfaction is what keeps me going. This last fall and possibly this year will be the measuring stick for many contractors. Those who work smart, work realistically, and have any sort of control, will survive. The rest will be like so many others I've seen throughout the years....
Wolfgang is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2009, 12:28 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: natchez ms
Posts: 121
Rewards Points: 75
Thanks: 7
Thanked 8 Times in 7 Posts
View graybear13's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Well put , Brother.
graybear13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2009, 08:17 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Nw, Alabama
Posts: 504
Rewards Points: 500
Thanks: 137
Thanked 43 Times in 39 Posts
View boman47k's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Second good thread I've read today. Seems like the old CT before this past winter.
boman47k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2009, 08:25 PM   #8
The Lurker
 
MAK-Deco's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Outer Rim of Chicago
Posts: 3,514
Rewards Points: 2,000
Thanks: 99
Thanked 290 Times in 207 Posts
View MAK-Deco's Photo Album My Photos
Default

nice read for sure...

Makes me happy that I still take that family vacation every year with wife and kids and still take a three or four weekends a year with me and wife alone.. Its good to have that break mostly in the form of being able to let go mentally.
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
MAK-Deco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2009, 09:17 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
aaron61's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: clearwater,fl
Posts: 6,326
Rewards Points: 2,030
Thanks: 3,034
Thanked 4,211 Times in 2,057 Posts
View aaron61's Photo Album My Photos
Default

IYou express my feelings very well
__________________

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
aaron61 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2009, 09:32 PM   #10
Eddie
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dublin Ireland
Posts: 63
Rewards Points: 75
Thanks: 16
Thanked 5 Times in 3 Posts
View eddie's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Fantastic you are so right in what you posted you are what I am
eddie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-13-2009, 01:56 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Marion's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW Virginia
Posts: 173
Rewards Points: 150
Thanks: 102
Thanked 27 Times in 21 Posts
View Marion's Photo Album My Photos
Default Good Post

Thanks for sharing that with us. We all need a lift at times.
__________________
Best regards,
Marion
Marion is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2009, 05:32 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
GMack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 551
Rewards Points: 514
Thanks: 28
Thanked 138 Times in 61 Posts
View GMack's Photo Album My Photos
Default

There's no question that there is some great technical information to be absorbed here on paint talk and other boards but, for me, the inspiration we get from a post like yours trumps all . . . makes me want to go out today and keep one foot in the air at all times, kicking a$$ all over the place.
__________________
GMack
GMack is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2009, 05:16 PM   #13
I'm Colour Blind
 
mistcoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 1,630
Rewards Points: 1,008
Thanks: 817
Thanked 473 Times in 329 Posts
View mistcoat's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Fncking Hell!!!
That was the Poodles Undercarriage
I'm in quite a bad way at the moment regarding coming home each night and doing quotes/estimates... I detest doing it, cannot be bothered. I got a couple of months work in front of me anyway, I don't need more work Yeah right!!!!

Certainly made me sit up and think Jordanski, I'm now Fired Up!!!

Thanks for that

I'm also thankful for being in a position to take time with my Wife & Girls when they have school plays, sports days etc., (NO... the wife doesn't have sports days, don't be stoopid) and tomorrow one of my girls birthday's. All going out for the day together.

Thanks again man
__________________
If we all are here to help others , then what exactly are the others here for?

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

mistcoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2009, 05:18 PM   #14
I'm Colour Blind
 
mistcoat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 1,630
Rewards Points: 1,008
Thanks: 817
Thanked 473 Times in 329 Posts
View mistcoat's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JAYJAY View Post
I believe he has been awarded a "sticky," or at the very least nominated for one. Very nicely put my friend.
I second that Emulsion
__________________
If we all are here to help others , then what exactly are the others here for?

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

mistcoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2009, 07:24 PM   #15
fixes grumpy old house
 
jordanski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: seattle
Posts: 67
Rewards Points: 75
Thanks: 1
Thanked 7 Times in 5 Posts
View jordanski's Photo Album My Photos
Default

Certainly made me sit up and think Jordanski, I'm now Fired Up!!!


---- wicked man ----

you guys have the best bloody slang on the planet...

saw this bird under the strobe light and she was a right looker, but got her in the light and she was a mingah! got a lot of friends here from the Zim via england who are always cracking me up with that ****...

I love when Ali G asks Posh how is she recovering from spinal mingingitis! that's about the funniest thing I've ever heard...

what part of the UK you from?
Jordan
jordanski is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
what is this painting worth? fisis General Painting Discussion 87 01-09-2010 09:55 PM
Is it worth it? Workaholic Tools, Supplies and Equipment 6 02-20-2009 09:16 PM
If you have too much work, don't read this. JTP Business, Marketing, and Sales 16 01-22-2009 10:49 PM
Read any good books lately? Bender Business, Marketing, and Sales 20 01-11-2009 12:39 PM
Craftsman Exterior Repaint JDPaint Surface Preparation and Application 2 11-09-2008 05:32 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:35 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Our Pro Sites Network
ContractorTalk.com | DrywallTalk.com | ElectricianTalk.com | HVACSite.com | PlumbingZone.com | RoofingTalk.com