Author Topic: Who knew?  (Read 3739 times)

MasterStache

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Who knew?
« on: April 13, 2019, 04:09:35 AM »
Since I semi-FIREd back in July 2017 my means of earning some side income is through carpentry work (I am a little like MMM in that manner). It's been fun because I'll work for a few weeks, make some decent money, and then take several months off. And I really enjoy the work. I will readily admit it is much more satisfactory than engineering ever was for me.

Anywho I am knee deep in a master bath reno for friends of ours. I've got another master bath renovation lined up afterwards. After that a referral is wanting me to build them a deck. Our neighbor wants me to help him build a small deck for the front of his house. Our other neighbor wants me to do some drywall work. I never really considered myself n entrepreneur but I feel like I've got quite the little side business going, especially now that I am being contacted by referrals. Who knew I probably could have left the cubicle life much earlier and started this little side hobby. ( :   

ysette9

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2019, 10:13:40 AM »
How cool! I keep hearing accounts from people who FIRE and then find themselves making money in ways they would have never expected. If only we knew that before and could have pulled the plug earlier. But maybe it is the easy self confidence that comes from knowing you are FI that attracts those side gigs. Who knows?

MasterStache

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2019, 09:18:05 AM »
How cool! I keep hearing accounts from people who FIRE and then find themselves making money in ways they would have never expected. If only we knew that before and could have pulled the plug earlier. But maybe it is the easy self confidence that comes from knowing you are FI that attracts those side gigs. Who knows?

True that! It reminds me of one of MMM's articles from a few years ago.
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2015/04/15/great-news-early-retirement-doesnt-mean-youll-stop-working/

Malkynn

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2019, 09:48:04 AM »
Yep.

My career sky rocketed when I "semi-retired" and cut back to only 2 days a week.

Suddenly I had time and motivation to network, take on unpaid projects, take courses I had never been willing to take time off of work for, etc, etc.

Once I basically stopped caring how much my was paid for the effort I put into things, it became a lot easier and comfortable to generate income.

I downshifted very early on due to a serious injury, and oddly, it's been the best thing that could have happened to my career.

SwordGuy

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2019, 09:54:32 AM »
People are desperate to find competent, honest, capable folks who will do work like you're doing --  when the economy is booming.   

That's because all the pros are all working on bigger projects and don't have time for regular folks.

And when the economy isn't booming, the pros are desperate to find regular folks who need the work done.

soccerluvof4

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2019, 04:16:05 AM »
To Swordguys point this really is one of the reasons I wish I would of learned a trade or at least be better at one of them. Right now is a great time to take advantage and do exactly what the OP is doing if Fire'd. I know so many people that have projects there sitting, waiting to get done one could really do well for themselves.

MasterStache

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2019, 04:59:26 AM »
Yeah I was just telling my DW how right around tax time I seem to see an influx of work.

FIREby35

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2019, 06:46:50 AM »
This is my life - but as an attorney.

Starting a business is much easier than most people imagine. Especially if you do it like this. Take a project, quote a fee, do the job well, leave a happy person behind, get a referral, rinse and repeat.

The author of the Millionaire Next Door has another one called, "The Millionaire Mind" which argues owning a business is one common way for people to achieve wealth and freedom in their lives. Even a small business that doesn't look like much to outsiders can generate a lot of cash.

Congratulations on your discovery. Now you can relax even more about money.

Bateaux

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2019, 07:53:18 AM »
I'm pretty handy with carpentry.  I have most of the tools and will look for some cash jobs in FIRE.  My buddy a RETIRED plumber just spent time with us at our Florida home.  He demanded we swap out an old hot water heater while he was there.  We put in a 50 gallon with the capabilities of an 80 gallon.  His phone rang constantly.   It was old customers wanting something done at their homes.  He has a selective few he'll help out.  Makes his traveling cash that way.

MasterStache

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2019, 01:42:24 PM »
I'll be honest and tell you I am floored sometimes at what "chores" some of the folks I do work for will pay someone to perform. For instance, one of the doctors at the hospital my DW works at bought a house and hired me to redo the master closet, install ceiling fans and do a shit load of painting. He tacked on a new basement floor before I finished the job. He lives in an area where yards are very small. His backyard has a nice in ground pool with about 4 strips worth of grass to mow. He asked me what he should do with it and stated he was going to hire someone to come take care of it. I mean, buy a damn weed wacker and be done with it in 5 minutes. It just made me laugh.

jfer_rose

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2019, 03:29:06 PM »
I'm considering quitting my current relatively high-paying job to learn carpentry, so this is encouraging! I don't currently have any skills in the area but I have lots of interest. I read
"Designing My Life" and tracked how I feel vs. how I spend my time and noticed that I felt the best when I was creating with my hands.

How did you gain your skills?

Hikester

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2019, 06:11:22 PM »
Jfer, I think community colleges offer carpentry classes.

jfer_rose

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2019, 06:19:45 PM »
Jfer, I think community colleges offer carpentry classes.

Yes, that's true! I'm exploring enrolling in a local program but I'm also exploring apprenticeship so I was curious how OP gained skills.

Blindsquirrel

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #13 on: April 22, 2019, 06:42:48 PM »
   Well, as a long time landlord and house flipper, if you show up, (on time and sober is a bonus) you have 80% of the competition beat out of the gate.

Jesstache

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2019, 09:03:27 PM »
   Well, as a long time landlord and house flipper, if you show up, (on time and sober is a bonus) you have 80% of the competition beat out of the gate.

Really, just anyone calling you back ever, let alone in a timely manner would be nice a lot of times.

MasterStache

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2019, 05:01:20 AM »
I'm considering quitting my current relatively high-paying job to learn carpentry, so this is encouraging! I don't currently have any skills in the area but I have lots of interest. I read
"Designing My Life" and tracked how I feel vs. how I spend my time and noticed that I felt the best when I was creating with my hands.

How did you gain your skills?

Most of my skills were obtained simply by doing. We downsized into a fixer upper over 4 years ago and I've completely renovated nearly the entire house. I have an old college buddy (still a working engineer) who is burned out and wants to start learning some carpentry skills. He has asked to tag along on some of my projects.

That same doctor I was talking about earlier actually said he felt like he was insulting me asking me to do little things because I used to be an engineer. I explained to him that I would much rather be doing that carpentry work than sitting in a cubicle. The sense of pride and accomplishment I get from the work I am doing now is way beyond anything I ever felt staring at a computer and clicking a mouse all day long.   

jfer_rose

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2019, 07:31:50 AM »
The sense of pride and accomplishment I get from the work I am doing now is way beyond anything I ever felt staring at a computer and clicking a mouse all day long.   

1,000 time this! Thanks for your response.

LifeHappens

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2019, 07:52:04 AM »
   Well, as a long time landlord and house flipper, if you show up, (on time and sober is a bonus) you have 80% of the competition beat out of the gate.

Really, just anyone calling you back ever, let alone in a timely manner would be nice a lot of times.
Yes to all of this! If you 1) answer your phone 2) show up and 3) actually complete the job you will never lack for work.

MasterStache

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2019, 01:38:43 PM »
   Well, as a long time landlord and house flipper, if you show up, (on time and sober is a bonus) you have 80% of the competition beat out of the gate.

Really, just anyone calling you back ever, let alone in a timely manner would be nice a lot of times.
Yes to all of this! If you 1) answer your phone 2) show up and 3) actually complete the job you will never lack for work.

Yeah I've heard some horror stories about contractors. This is just a fun hobby for me that has blossomed into a decent paying side gig. I'm not out to screw anyone. Everyone I have done work for is either a friend, family member or a co-worker of my DW. My brother still has a handyman despite me pleading that I would be happy to help. He has started to hit me up more for smaller projects as he saves up for larger renovations. I cut him a good deal ( :

Also anyone I do work for I always make suggestions on ways they can save energy. I typically find myself swapping light bulbs, replacing thermostats etc. I find folks really appreciate the extra input.

FIREstache

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2019, 04:28:06 PM »

Sounds interesting.  The whole permit and inspection part would turn me off, but then liability is an issue, so you need to protect yourself.

MasterStache

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2019, 05:26:22 AM »

Sounds interesting.  The whole permit and inspection part would turn me off, but then liability is an issue, so you need to protect yourself.

I don't really do anything that requires a permit/inspection. I was asked to build a deck and turned it down due to the whole permit/inspection thing and logistics of the project. Painting, swapping carpet with tile, building bookcases etc. aren't permit required jobs.

Malkynn

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2019, 07:07:36 AM »

Sounds interesting.  The whole permit and inspection part would turn me off, but then liability is an issue, so you need to protect yourself.

I don't really do anything that requires a permit/inspection. I was asked to build a deck and turned it down due to the whole permit/inspection thing and logistics of the project. Painting, swapping carpet with tile, building bookcases etc. aren't permit required jobs.

Those small jobs can also be extremely hard to find professionals willing to do them.

LifeHappens

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2019, 10:05:59 AM »

Sounds interesting.  The whole permit and inspection part would turn me off, but then liability is an issue, so you need to protect yourself.

I don't really do anything that requires a permit/inspection. I was asked to build a deck and turned it down due to the whole permit/inspection thing and logistics of the project. Painting, swapping carpet with tile, building bookcases etc. aren't permit required jobs.

Those small jobs can also be extremely hard to find professionals willing to do them.
Yes. They don't pay well enough for most people trying to make a full time living.

former player

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2019, 10:22:10 AM »
   Well, as a long time landlord and house flipper, if you show up, (on time and sober is a bonus) you have 80% of the competition beat out of the gate.

Really, just anyone calling you back ever, let alone in a timely manner would be nice a lot of times.
Yes to all of this! If you 1) answer your phone 2) show up and 3) actually complete the job you will never lack for work.

You will also always get repeat work - I'm a small time landlord and own home renovator, and I'm lucky enough over the last few years to have built a roster of good local help.  I'm polite, friendly, precise about what I want, give as much leeway on timing as I can, don't quibble over bills (which are always reasonable anyway) and pay immediately.  My relationships with these people are my most valuable assets as a property owner.

SwordGuy

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2019, 08:49:40 PM »
   Well, as a long time landlord and house flipper, if you show up, (on time and sober is a bonus) you have 80% of the competition beat out of the gate.

Really, just anyone calling you back ever, let alone in a timely manner would be nice a lot of times.

So very true!!


On a related note, I just got a letter from my usual plumber.  He's quit taking new customers because he can't find a reliable receptionist to man the phones!  He's cut back on customers because he wants to give good service.


I bring him regular business, referred  others to him, and buy a lot of houses from his sister the realtor, so I made the cut. :)

Hula Hoop

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Re: Who knew?
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2019, 03:14:11 AM »
I have a feeling that this will be me once I pull the plug on my FT job- but my potential future side gig would be an English teacher/translator rather than carpenter.  As a native English speaker with a professional background and English teaching experience from the past, I get the feeling that I'll never be out of work here where I live in Italy if I want to work.  In fact, my best friend (also an English speaking foreigner) makes a pretty OK living doing exactly this freelance.  Problem is the work is not 'steady' and I'm currently the breadwinner for my little family so it's pretty scary to pull the plug on my FT gig to start freelancing.