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Metering technician for utility company
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a super cush job making over 6 figures. I want to quit and start my own business because it is boring and I don't know if I can last another 20 years. My wife is not thrilled. Any advice from anyone who started their own contractor business? I'm in process of getting c10.
 

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Not crazy at all. I had a good job that I could’ve kept for 20 years possibly would’ve made pm in 5 years but it didn’t really challenge or fulfill me. The dream was to run my own shop. No regrets except for some of the mistakes I make/made as a business owner.

I also have a cousin who is more like my brother that makes 6 figures and I think he actually works about 10 hours a week since the pandemic hit. But he’s not satisfied. He is in the process of looking for a business to buy.
 

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Retired EC and Fuel distribution contractor
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If you follow your dream and it doesn't work out, are you and your wife going to be okay? What's more important, your dreams or your wife's concerns?

Personally, my dreams eek out 1st place.
 

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There is nothing worse in the world, well there is but, then to work 40 years hating what you do. At the same time the benefits, pension etc sure makes those jobs attractive. 6 figures is nice but if it is horrible then I say go for it. The problem is if it doesn't work out what will you do?

I would suggest staying where you are at and try picking up some jobs here and there and see how it works out. If your wife adds to the family income that will help but if you are the sole supporter you may have to bite the bullet at this stage.

Maybe you can make a lateral move somewhere within the company
 

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Life is about the journey, not the destination. I can pick out the guys at work who are miserable, and can't imagine what hell they're living every day.
 

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Estwing magic
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You have to keep the lady happy and you have to keep yourself happy. Lucky for you, time is on your side. Take some business courses and do your research first. There are guys here who started with side gigs. There are also guys here who have a real jobs and do side gigs and are content to stay that way.

I have a friend who did the opposite of what you want to do. He quit contracting and got a maintenance job. He kept his van and tools and does part time contracting. I help him out sometimes.
 

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36th year apprentice & Floor Sweeper
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I’d keep the six figures and ditch the wife.
 

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Metering technician for utility company
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Discussion Starter #8
Not crazy at all. I had a good job that I could’ve kept for 20 years possibly would’ve made pm in 5 years but it didn’t really challenge or fulfill me. The dream was to run my own shop. No regrets except for some of the mistakes I make/made as a business owner.

I also have a cousin who is more like my brother that makes 6 figures and I think he actually works about 10 hours a week since the pandemic hit. But he’s not satisfied. He is in the process of looking for a business to buy.
Thanks for the response I'll have to see. I have the world's most boring job. Pay and benefits are good though
 

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Metering technician for utility company
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Discussion Starter #9
There is nothing worse in the world, well there is but, then to work 40 years hating what you do. At the same time the benefits, pension etc sure makes those jobs attractive. 6 figures is nice but if it is horrible then I say go for it. The problem is if it doesn't work out what will you do?

I would suggest staying where you are at and try picking up some jobs here and there and see how it works out. If your wife adds to the family income that will help but if you are the sole supporter you may have to bite the bullet at this stage.

Maybe you can make a lateral move somewhere within the company
Thanks, this is exactly what I'm doing right now. Just going to.pick the occasional side job and see how it goes. Still have to grown my confidence a bit also.

My wife works (wife for now) is a bankruptcy lawyer so if I'm not busy due to the economy she will be busy. It's a good scenario. We have savings and low expenses we can make it work. Feel like I would be happier just doing small jobs. Just getting burnedout. Thanks for your response.
 

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Metering technician for utility company
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Discussion Starter #10
If you follow your dream and it doesn't work out, are you and your wife going to be okay? What's more important, your dreams or your wife's concerns?

Personally, my dreams eek out 1st place.
It's a tough one. She's not happy about the idea, but my mental health is more important.
 

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Metering technician for utility company
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Discussion Starter #11
You have to keep the lady happy and you have to keep yourself happy. Lucky for you, time is on your side. Take some business courses and do your research first. There are guys here who started with side gigs. There are also guys here who have a real jobs and do side gigs and are content to stay that way.

I have a friend who did the opposite of what you want to do. He quit contracting and got a maintenance job. He kept his van and tools and does part time contracting. I help him out sometimes.
Good point. I may be fine just doing little side jobs. I need something to keep my mind active. The grass is always greener on the other side.
 

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Good point. I may be fine just doing little side jobs. I need something to keep my mind active. The grass is always greener on the other side.
Plus, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

I think you are making the correct decision. If your work pics up ... then reassess.
 

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I have quit a high paying job for the same reason. I was bored out of my skull. I would suggest putting aside sufficient capital to operate the business at a loss for at least a year before quitting. It takes a while to spin up.
 

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Metering technician for utility company
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Discussion Starter #14
I have quit a high paying job for the same reason. I was bored out of my skull. I would suggest putting aside sufficient capital to operate the business at a loss for at least a year before quitting. It takes a while to spin up.
Thanks, I just plan on maybe picking up some side work and see how it goes. Do you regret your decision? How big of jobs were you starting with? I just plan to do little residential jobs to start like putting in plugs and simple things. I live in the bay area so I think there is plenty of work around. Thanks for replying and your advice.
 

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I'll agree with most, do side jobs first and learn what is involved when dealing with customers.
Sometimes boring and getting paid is better than the BS/drama and not getting paid.
Got burned a few times, but did manage to get some satisfaction by other means.
Always get enough of a payment up front to cover the cost of materials, that way when they burn you, all you loose is your labor cost.
 

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Do you regret your decision? How big of jobs were you starting with? I just plan to do little residential jobs to start like putting in plugs and simple things.
I had no regrets about quitting that job. When I quit that job I was working as a software engineer. I went on to do several more software engineering jobs before I changed professions and became an electrician. Worked as an electrician for ten years before I opened my own shop. I had plenty of savings so I was able to handle starting up without any problems. I do mostly residential jobs. They are the easiest to get and actually pay better (per hour) than big jobs.
 

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Some say if you don't quit the regular job you'll never put the effort necessary into building the business because you're not in a sink or swim position - you don't have to swim if your nut is covered. OTOH you can't do this tomorrow - you have to have a plan. Money in the bank. Tools and equipment. You eed a contractor's business attorney and a contractor's accountant, not just anyone with the titles attorney and accountant. Type of corporation is important. Written business plan. You're going to need a banking relationship. Any clients lined up? Do you know how to not work for GCs, or if you must, how to deal with that as their plan is to screw over every sub possible for their profits? Do you know never to work for real estate agents or lawyers? There's another ongoing post within the last 2 days of a successful contractor offering free advice, hit em up!

 

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Metering technician for utility company
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Discussion Starter #18
Some say if you don't quit the regular job you'll never put the effort necessary into building the business because you're not in a sink or swim position - you don't have to swim if your nut is covered. OTOH you can't do this tomorrow - you have to have a plan. Money in the bank. Tools and equipment. You eed a contractor's business attorney and a contractor's accountant, not just anyone with the titles attorney and accountant. Type of corporation is important. Written business plan. You're going to need a banking relationship. Any clients lined up? Do you know how to not work for GCs, or if you must, how to deal with that as their plan is to screw over every sub possible for their profits? Do you know never to work for real estate agents or lawyers? There's another ongoing post within the last 2 days of a successful contractor offering free advice, hit em up!

Cool, thanks for this! A lot to consider. I have no plan yet. Just a thought at this point. I will definitely contact that guy. Thanks!
 

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Cool, thanks for this! A lot to consider. I have no plan yet. Just a thought at this point. I will definitely contact that guy. Thanks!
You got it. Remember, Edison never failed, he only figured out 875 ways not to make a light bulb. But Edison had one JP Morgan to cover his experiments, you don't.
 

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Don't kid yourself, there's really no way to know whether you'll like being a contractor until you do it, all in full time. You can maybe get some idea mucking around with side work but it's just not the same.

You can make more contracting, you could wind up about the same, and you can make less or even lose everything, but bet on this, there will be more stress.

As a meter tech for a power company, you are in a related field but really your work is so much different from electrical service or construction work. It's hard to predict if you'll sustain an interest in the craft and trade once you've mastered the basics. You might like it or hate it or like it for a year then get bored with it.

It's not unusual to get an itch around your age, that restlessness is just life and by itself might not be a good reason to upset the apple cart at this point in the game.

I am not from California, but I believe they are like most states, to get licensed you have to work as an apprentice for 4-5 years making relatively low wages before you can get licensed, invest some capital, and spin up a contracting business, so if you quit your job and started an apprenticeship tomorrow, you'd be looking at probably 10 years before you are at a break even.
 
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