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Discussion Starter #1

Here's a Handyman who runs a you tube channel, giving a his opinion on why he likes the self-employment route as opposed to the business route.

Thoughts?
 

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That is a fair perspective, but it is his perspective. While there are tons of jobs that I can do by myself, there are many more that I need help with. I probably could fish from a basement to an attic by myself, but it is easier with two people. I could dig a trench by myself, but why not get a helper to do it, etc.

What he does with his "profits" will vary with each jurisdiction. I think real estate has always been a good option; I have several holdings and plans for more. At some point those holdings will generate more income then from other sources and the likelihood of them diminishing is remote, however with this market (bubble or not) it is expensive to get into.

Cheers
John
 

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I worked by myself for 10 years or so and wired 6000 sq.ft houses etc. It is tough but I didn't want to deal with employees. I now have 3 employees but I am getting out of the business at years end. One of my guys will take it over-- I am giving it to him-- no money..... I know I 'm crazy but ....
 
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I've been on my own for 30+ years. I always thought I'd be an azzhole to work for. It would be nice to have a second set of hands sometimes.
 

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I agree that its simply his perspective, and not the opinion of everyone. But a lot of what he says lines up with my thinking.

There's 2 questions that I think can help people figure out where they fit in best:
(1) how much do you like that actual work
(2) how well do you handle stress.

Personally, I like the work and I have a low desire for unnecessary stress in my life.
 

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I think he is a bit of an idiot.

Nothing wrong with working solo and nothing wrong with having employees. If you are going to have employees you need to run your business properly, and that means charging what you need to hire quality people and take care of those people.

He degrades helpers, saying something along the lines of "They cost money". Yes genius, yes they do. And what you do is you charge the customer for the helper. That charge should cover their burden and YOUR PROFIT for employing that person. His comment that "Affordable" workers all don't have a vehicle, they don't take their lunch, they all have a criminal record. His small minded attempt to state his position is a bit of a joke and only continues to push the idea that the trades should be a fallback for the idiots of the world.

He continues on talking about how college and high school kids don't want to do manual labor. Well... With "F" sticks like him denigrating a whole generation of people and providing such paltry wages that even fast food places pay more, he is only attracting what he wants to see. He is drawing in the he can't tolerate because he is intolerable.

He just seems to really lack any actual business acumen. I say it is a good thing this guy doesn't have employees and helpers, his ass would probably get beat justifiably by the employee.

A business with employees is no different than when you fly solo... You charge more than what it costs you to be in business.
 
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Yeah, I didn't agree with the "employees costing you too much" mentality either. Employees are suppose to produce money, not cost money.
 

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Discussion Starter #8

Here's another one I liked. For the most part it's pretty accurate.

I don't agree with everything he says, but I think he puts out a lot of good content. Worth the watch if your just putzing around, and lots more on his channel.
 

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That is a fair perspective, but it is his perspective. While there are tons of jobs that I can do by myself, there are many more that I need help with. I probably could fish from a basement to an attic by myself, but it is easier with two people. I could dig a trench by myself, but why not get a helper to do it, etc.

What he does with his "profits" will vary with each jurisdiction. I think real estate has always been a good option; I have several holdings and plans for more. At some point those holdings will generate more income then from other sources and the likelihood of them diminishing is remote, however with this market (bubble or not) it is expensive to get into.

Cheers
John
I got sick of going up and down a ladder a hundred times when a helper could hand me a tool or materials in 2 seconds. There are many other examples... pulling wire, fishing wire, clean up, loading tools, etc etc.
 
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Hackenschmidt
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I watched about two minutes. Although I do feel there's something you can learn from everyone, I might watch this guy's drywall repair videos, but I doubt he's going to have business insight valuable to me.

What I really wonder is, is this guy making money on YouTube?
 

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Chief Flunky
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I worked by myself for 10 years or so and wired 6000 sq.ft houses etc. It is tough but I didn't want to deal with employees. I now have 3 employees but I am getting out of the business at years end. One of my guys will take it over-- I am giving it to him-- no money..... I know I 'm crazy but ....
Not really. Our company buys others. Million dollar businesses so we might pay for estimators.

The trouble with businesses like yours is first look at your book value. The tools, trucks, etc. What is the depreciated value, not the appreciated (emotional) value? We’re talking EBay prices here.

Now look at the client list and potential income stream minus the lead sales/buyer/knowledge guy. What’s left? That’s what someone is buying. Honestly you often see businesses turning a million dollars a year or more that aren’t even worth half a million. And often if the key guy leaves they can’t make any money at all so you are just buying assets at clearance prices. If you all drive your own trucks and mostly your own tools and are all independent contractors just pooling your resources on the business name, sales, etc., then the “business” as such really is pretty worthless. They say the most valuable asset a business never owns is the people and that’s absolutely true in most modern countries.

So it might not be “giving” much away. Businesses are often shocked and disappointed at the size of the check.

Was recently involved in evaluating one. The business was really just an engineer going around selling power factor correction systems and maintenance contracts. He contracted out all the labor. So in the end what we were buying was some maintenance contracts and a client list. Not worth the millions he was asking so he could retire. His wife divorced and left him penniless except the business that the lawyers claimed was a lot and his health was failing. We were looking at maybe a couple hundred thousand.
 

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Petulant Amateur
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I have a helper that I share with another contractor. Sometimes he’s available, sometimes he isn’t and sometimes I book him for Saturdays. He’s good for wire pulls and anything where I need a guy in the sky and a guy on the ground. He’s also really smart and can do almost anything after I show him once. He’s pretty well the perfect apprentice.

There is part of me that says I should line up more work and keep him going full time. Then I think about the added responsibility and the frail economy here and it ain’t gonna happen. When Covid19 first started, I sat on my ass for two months. I couldn’t keep myself going so I’m not going to trick myself into thinking I need an employee now that business has gone into hyper speed.
 

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Not really. Our company buys others. Million dollar businesses so we might pay for estimators.

The trouble with businesses like yours is first look at your book value. The tools, trucks, etc. What is the depreciated value, not the appreciated (emotional) value? We’re talking EBay prices here.

Now look at the client list and potential income stream minus the lead sales/buyer/knowledge guy. What’s left? That’s what someone is buying. Honestly you often see businesses turning a million dollars a year or more that aren’t even worth half a million. And often if the key guy leaves they can’t make any money at all so you are just buying assets at clearance prices. If you all drive your own trucks and mostly your own tools and are all independent contractors just pooling your resources on the business name, sales, etc., then the “business” as such really is pretty worthless. They say the most valuable asset a business never owns is the people and that’s absolutely true in most modern countries.

So it might not be “giving” much away. Businesses are often shocked and disappointed at the size of the check.

Was recently involved in evaluating one. The business was really just an engineer going around selling power factor correction systems and maintenance contracts. He contracted out all the labor. So in the end what we were buying was some maintenance contracts and a client list. Not worth the millions he was asking so he could retire. His wife divorced and left him penniless except the business that the lawyers claimed was a lot and his health was failing. We were looking at maybe a couple hundred thousand.

That is mostly true. The only real value IMO is the trucks, tools and materials in stock. Still worth a pretty penny, esp the 2014 Van but I will keep the pickup, and the old 2001 work van which will probably stay here for his use. If I need to use the tools or van I can. I can't wait to get the crap out of the basement..
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I have a helper that I share with another contractor. Sometimes he’s available, sometimes he isn’t and sometimes I book him for Saturdays. He’s good for wire pulls and anything where I need a guy in the sky and a guy on the ground. He’s also really smart and can do almost anything after I show him once. He’s pretty well the perfect apprentice.

There is part of me that says I should line up more work and keep him going full time. Then I think about the added responsibility and the frail economy here and it ain’t gonna happen. When Covid19 first started, I sat on my ass for two months. I couldn’t keep myself going so I’m not going to trick myself into thinking I need an employee now that business has gone into hyper speed.
I hear you bro.

After having given it 2 go's already, seeing the highs & lows, going from having tons of work lined up and a full-time employee to back working alone again on several occasions -- I feel what this guy is saying. Seriously. The rollercoaster ride takes a toll on you.

If I ever go full time again, I think I will give some serious consideration to keeping it small instead of building a well oiled machine.
 

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Hackenschmidt
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After having given it 2 go's already, seeing the highs & lows, going from having tons of work lined up and a full-time employee to back working alone again on several occasions -- I feel what this guy is saying. Seriously. The rollercoaster ride takes a toll on you.

If I ever go full time again, I think I will give some serious consideration to keeping it small instead of building a well oiled machine.
I won't discuss it too far on the public forum but I will say this. There's more than one road to Rome, you can make or lose money with a one man operation or a 100 man operation. IMO it is a mistake to think the main difference between a one man shop and a 100 man shop is the number of employees.

Scale changes everything about a business. A one man shop, a two man shop, a four man shop, and a 100 man shop are totally different animals.

If simplicity is a high priority, IMO most people most places are going to be better off overall finding a good job than as a one man show contractor.
 

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I think @splatz is right. The tough part is what is the "dollar value" of that intangible yet important thing called stress. For most people that "stress value" needs to be looked at like an expense; the higher the stress the higher the cost. So if you are making $1K a day profit, but are "stressed out", you need to quantify that value for that $1K daily. If you are making $100 a day profit and no stress, then you might be pretty close to the same "value".

Now if you have the ability to make the $1K a day profit with no stress, then that is awesome!

Cheers
John
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If simplicity is a high priority, IMO most people most places are going to be better off overall finding a good job than as a one man show contractor.
You post some good stuff dude. I enjoy reading most of it.

As far as this ^^^ post. I definitely agree. Maybe I would even add that "Finding a job you enjoy" is the most stress free and simplicstic way to go.

But for some guys it's hard to ignore the hustle. It's like it's inside of them --- even if they try to ignore it or pretend like its not there. So just being happy with a job in those situations doesn't really cut it.
 
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