Author Topic: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice  (Read 3995 times)

hophead

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I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« on: October 31, 2016, 12:14:34 PM »
Hello MMM.  I was a regular user a long time ago, but I haven't been around in a few years. Some of the best life advice I've ever gotten came from this forum. I feel like I'm in a serious life rut at the moment, and I decided to come back for some wisdom.  I'll warn you ahead of time, this will probably be a long post, but I'll keep it as simple as I can.

Basic Info-  I'm 38 years old, married, with 3 kids. Ages 10,8,5.  We live in a semi-rural community in the Northeast. Extremely cheap cost of living. We're both very tight with our families, and all of our relatives live within 90 minutes of where we are not and we see them all the time. Both sets of parents are in their mid 60's-early 70's and there are a lot of cousins that are close to our kids. 

I've been at the same company for 11 years. When we moved here for the job, I thought we'd be here 5-6 years, tops. It's a decent community, low crime, ok schools, and my kids have a lot of connections here now. My wife started working at the same company a couple of years ago. I only make 55k and my wife makes 35k. Good benefits, decent 401(k).  Live close enough to walk to work, doctor, dentist, all errands are within 5 minutes of our home.  We live on a good street in a nice neighborhood.  Our house is big enough for us, but certainly needs some updates.

I just don't feel settled here and wonder if it is time to move on, but can't find enough reasons why we should go. I don't have any advancement opportunities at my current company, and there aren't any other companies in my field around town. If we moved for me to jump a step up the ladder, the increase in pay would probably be no more than 25%, and it would almost certainly be somewhere with higher cost of living. I only owe 84k left on my house, but it's only worth about 130k. My wife and I would both like the kids to be closer to a city with more culture, but that obviously costs more money. Moving sounds like a nightmare right now. No one can sell a house in our town because the market is flooded here.

I've been interviewing for positions to get experience and see what's out there. I've had a couple of offers, but one wasn't enough pay and the other wasn't a good fit after looking more into it. We like being this close to our families, and I've read a lot from people that regret not spending more time with parents and family when they had the chance. I would definitely like to make more money, but that would certainly mean more hours, stress, and time away from my own kids. I don't make much now, but the job is pretty low stress 70 percent of the time. I have a gym where I work, I can go home or workout on my lunch, and everything is right here.

I also worked in the brewing industry for a short time prior to having kids. I brewed on a professional level, and I have a friend who currently brews for a well known commercial brewery not too far from us, and he is trying to convince me to open our own small brew pub in our town. I guess this is where the mid-life crisis part comes in, HAHA.  This guy is really smart, and even though this is a tough business to get into, part of me wants to take the chance and start writing a business plan with this guy. I could stay at my current job while we tried putting things together. We've been meeting a couple of times a week, looking at buildings for sale, and talking to potential investors.   This would be the risk of my life, but I feel like I'll regret it if I don't try to follow my dream.

I guess that's enough of a start. As you can see, I'm a mess. I encourage any life advice or questions I need to think about that I haven't mentioned. I'll continue adding to this as we go along.  Thanks in advance for all the MMM wisdom that will come my way. I've missed this place!


DebtFreeinPhilly

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2016, 01:07:10 PM »
I am in a similar boat..where do you go from here? You go where you are most happy. Happiness is what makes life great. You seem to be happy being near your extended family, so don't move. You live in a decent area with a low cost of living, so don't move. Your job is good but doesn't make you happy, so move.

I like Moustaches said in finding a retiring brewery owner who you could apprentice for or going to work at your friends work for a few years. Have you looked at brewing in your garage on a large scale to enter into some shows or fairs?  If you're in a rural area, go find an old farm that you can rent the barn out for a couple hundred buck a month. Start brewing in there. I'm just throwing out ideas...

IMO, start small, go slow, learn the business, then jump in fully. Good luck!

hophead

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2016, 01:12:02 PM »
I think you should definitely pursue your dream of starting a brewery.  One thing that I saw in your story that worries me is that you work at the same place as your wife.  I've thought about doing that several times but came to the conclusion that it could cause conflict in the marriage, a lack of alone time from your married life, and also the risk that you could both lose your jobs simultaneously.  Having your own thing is a much better situation.  The first step in owning a brewery though isn't necessarily taking your life savings and starting your own pub.  Why don't you work at a brewery first and learn everything about the business?  Some of the more successful business owners take this route by finding an owner that is old and close to retiring and then go apprentice them for a few years, and then take over the business afterwards.  You could also work with your friend at the large commercial brewery for a while to make sure you still like the industry.

I am in a similar boat..where do you go from here? You go where you are most happy. Happiness is what makes life great. You seem to be happy being near your extended family, so don't move. You live in a decent area with a low cost of living, so don't move. Your job is good but doesn't make you happy, so move.

I like Moustaches said in finding a retiring brewery owner who you could apprentice for or going to work at your friends work for a few years. Have you looked at brewing in your garage on a large scale to enter into some shows or fairs?  If you're in a rural area, go find an old farm that you can rent the barn out for a couple hundred buck a month. Start brewing in there. I'm just throwing out ideas...

IMO, start small, go slow, learn the business, then jump in fully. Good luck!

Thanks for advice so far. Just to clarify what I said in my OP- I have professional brewing experience and I've worked in the field before. I also got back into it part-time a few years ago when my kids were young. The beer side of things don't worry me at all because we both have a lot of experience. It's the running a business side of things that we don't have as much experience with. I think that's a harder thing to do as an apprentice. I like the suggestions though.

If you were to look at the rest of my post and ignore the brewery dream for a moment, what are the thoughts on me staying put or moving? 

Dicey

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2016, 01:15:34 PM »
You have a problem all right, but it may not be the one you think it is. You make $90k a year combined and live in a low COLA? If ever there was a candidate for the Shockingly Simple Math lesson, you are it. Suck it ip, salt it away and then do whatever you want for the rest of your life. Quitting now to get into a saturated, trendy business? That ship sailed when you decided to have three kids.

Hell yes, this is a mid- life crisis, but it will pass.

hophead

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2016, 01:18:17 PM »
You have a problem all right, but it may not be the one you think it is. You make $90k a year combined and live in a low COLA? If ever there was a candidate for the Shockingly Simple Math lesson, you are it. Suck it ip, salt it away and then do whatever you want for the rest of your life. Quitting now to get into a saturated, trendy business? That ship sailed when you decided to have three kids.

Hell yes, this is a mid- life crisis, but it will pass.

Haha.  You're probably right. When you add in my significant debt, you're even more correct. Well, we both still have major student loans (like over 60k combined).  We don't live in an expensive place, but we still don't have any money. Part of it is kids, and part of it is bad management. I should really dive back into this place and get a handle on finances ASAP.   

This is why I like this place. I'll hear a lot from both camps.  Thank you. 
« Last Edit: October 31, 2016, 01:20:26 PM by hophead »

sonjak

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2016, 01:47:45 PM »
You have a problem all right, but it may not be the one you think it is. You make $90k a year combined and live in a low COLA? If ever there was a candidate for the Shockingly Simple Math lesson, you are it. Suck it ip, salt it away and then do whatever you want for the rest of your life. Quitting now to get into a saturated, trendy business? That ship sailed when you decided to have three kids.

Hell yes, this is a mid- life crisis, but it will pass.

Haha.  You're probably right. When you add in my significant debt, you're even more correct. Well, we both still have major student loans (like over 60k combined).  We don't live in an expensive place, but we still don't have any money. Part of it is kids, and part of it is bad management. I should really dive back into this place and get a handle on finances ASAP.   

This is why I like this place. I'll hear a lot from both camps.  Thank you. 

I agree with Diane.  You've created a situation where you have less options (between kids & debt).  If you don't have any money due to bad management, one of the worst things you could do would be to start your own business.  You need to develop those skills first to create more options and do something different. 

Metric Mouse

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2016, 02:26:49 AM »
  If you don't have any money due to bad management, one of the worst things you could do would be to start your own business.  You need to develop those skills first to create more options and do something different.

Totally agree with this.  Clear out the personal debt before you even begin to think about plowing into a business.  And I would ask about your potential partner's finances - it could be telling before you start a business relationship with them.

As for staying put vs. leaving;  I would stay put. Knock the fuck out of that debt - it'll give you a goal, something to work towards, something to focus on when you feel 'boxed in'.  Once it's gone, you can apply that same drive to starting a brewing business, and you'll be on much more solid ground financially.

SU

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2016, 02:51:57 AM »
No one can sell a house in our town because the market is flooded here.

I'm just going to extrapolate wildly and guess that in a town where there's a surplus of housing, there might also be a shortage of people with incomes that allow them to drink boutique beers. Yes there might be a core of non-moustachians who are willing to spend money they don't have on beer they can't afford, but are there enough of them to support your business?

From your description of your job and lifestyle, it sounds like you have some time and ambition to spare, but perhaps the way to do it is to treat it as a sideline/hobby until you've developed your product and tested the market.

soccerluvof4

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2016, 08:51:11 AM »
Stay put! get your financial situation in order , then take a risk. Right now imho it would be irresponsible to do otherwise unless the situation was one that really improved your situation which you haven't presented.

Psychstache

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2016, 09:23:01 AM »
You sound a little like my father when I was younger. When my sister and I were junior high/high school kiddos, my dad left his stable but boring job to go into business for himself with a friend. They both had experience in the industry and had always dreamed of being in business for themselves (a large part of their reason for coming to this country).

Due to factors 100% outside of their control, their customer base took major hits in a short period of time and things spiraled downhill quickly. Our family no longer had the cashflow to sustain the middle class life we had and service personal and business debts. Cars got repossessed. We lost our house. Parents were so resentful with each other that they got divorced. Not a great way to end my high school career.

I moved out when I went to college and didn't really talk to either parent for several years bc I was pretty resentful that they would gamble a comfortable stable life without making sure they were on solid footing first. My sister still has some scars about it and cut off contact with them for almost a decade before finally reconciling.

Just an anecdote, but when I read your story I hear someone who is on track to win the game at a slow and steady pace and has too much at stake to risk it on a capital intense business.

hophead

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2016, 09:51:21 AM »
You sound a little like my father when I was younger. When my sister and I were junior high/high school kiddos, my dad left his stable but boring job to go into business for himself with a friend. They both had experience in the industry and had always dreamed of being in business for themselves (a large part of their reason for coming to this country).

Due to factors 100% outside of their control, their customer base took major hits in a short period of time and things spiraled downhill quickly. Our family no longer had the cashflow to sustain the middle class life we had and service personal and business debts. Cars got repossessed. We lost our house. Parents were so resentful with each other that they got divorced. Not a great way to end my high school career.

I moved out when I went to college and didn't really talk to either parent for several years bc I was pretty resentful that they would gamble a comfortable stable life without making sure they were on solid footing first. My sister still has some scars about it and cut off contact with them for almost a decade before finally reconciling.

Just an anecdote, but when I read your story I hear someone who is on track to win the game at a slow and steady pace and has too much at stake to risk it on a capital intense business.

Wow. This story got my attention. Sorry you went through that, but thanks for sharing. I would definitely be starting small and the plan would be to stay at my other job until it was no longer possible, which would hopefully mean we are busy and doing well. I would definitely be minimizing risk by not dumping a ton of my own money into it. If we weren't able to fund it without doing it that way, than I would never jump in.

I really appreciate the responses on both sides so far.

Rhoon

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2016, 01:06:05 PM »
My $0.02 for what it's worth.

- Keep the stable job for now
- Kill off that debt
- Side hustle the micro brewing till you create enough demand for it that you can either
 - A: Get a bank/silent partners to finance the business
 - B: It generates enough for you to quit your day job without the need for a bank

As for the stay/go for the living area, I would stay. Sounds like a nice, small quiet town and while I'd normally advocate moving away from towns with no advancement future, it sounds like you may have your own path with a micro-brewery. You can always work on taking your kids on vacation to larger cities to get more culture.

Food for thought: There's no such thing as family or friends in business. Make sure you and your business partner(s) have your own lawyers and everything is spelled out in the articles of incorporation.

arebelspy

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Re: I think this is a mid-life crisis- Need Advice
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2016, 09:16:15 PM »
I was a regular user a long time ago, but I haven't been around in a few years.

MOD NOTE:

...is that so?

If you are who I think you are, please PM me and let me know why you aren't straight up being disingenuous here.  Either account is fine.

Assuming I'm right, you probably already know my opinion on the cause of your mid-life crisis.

Locking thread, for now, pending that discussion.
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