Experience is an expensive and effective teacher
You know how it is to learn from experience, don’t you? Most people call it the School of Hard Knocks. You try and fail. Then you try and fail some more. It’s a good thing when you learn a little better with each failure and get ever closer to success. But you may be like me. Some hard knock lessons seem to last forever.
You know how good it is when you can sit down and talk to someone who’s been through the wringer a few times? You get the benefit of those hard-knock lessons without having your butt kicked. You can’t put a price on that kind of information.
Pull up a chair
I’m not an old codger by any means. But I’ve got 20 years of experience running a business from my home. I say I’m an accidental entrepreneur because I didn’t intend to start a business. I only needed a job. I also needed a flexible schedule. I started my “business because everyone said: “You’ve got to work for yourself if you ever want to really succeed.”
I had a truck, some tools and DIY handyman experience. What I didn’t have was any clue how to really be an entrepreneur. I could have worked less and made more money flipping burgers than I did those first years in my business.
The hard knocks made me go looking for knowledge. I learned enough to be profitable. My wife — The Artist — joined me in business a few years later and we eventually became a faux finish (painting) specialty company. We still make our living with our hands in paint. We’ve learned a lot about running a home-based business along the way.
Not many people knew what faux painting was when we closed down my handyman business to specialize in faux. We spent thousands of dollars on training and travel. We were among the few top faux finishing companies in the Kansas City metro. Our training kept us ahead of the market trends. So we survived when others didn’t. Our market shifted during the economy crash. Our primary work is not refinishing kitchen cabinets.
And we’re still looking forward, thinking about what comes next for us.
Books, blogs and videos
I tried and failed big as a real estate investor. I lurched into a couple of network marketing “opportunities.” I lost that money too. But not nearly what I did in real estate.
I kept looking for something that would be the next thing for me. I finally admitted to myself that I’d always dreamed of writing a book. I talked about it for weeks until my wife said, “Just sit your butt in a chair and start already!”
So I started. And I finished it. And I published it. My “book” page on this site tells how I took my years of hard-knocks home-business entrepreneur lessons and wrote them down. And, by the way, I wrote it in plain language, like a conversation over coffee or a few beers.
I started this blog and website to promote my book. And now my wife and I are working on another pivot. She’s starting her own blog, podcast and YouTube channel. I’ll be working with her for technical support.
And I’m making some changes to what I do in this space as well. I discovered an idea I want to take and develop. I’m going to use this website, blog and YouTube channel to show a behind-the-scenes look at what we go through to change from a home-based service business to an online business.
I think you’ll see a less formal style. You’ll see a wider variety of topics too. I’ve tried to keep the focus narrow–entrepreneurship and home-based business advice. You’ll probably find some random topics popping in from time to time. (No cat videos though.)
You can sign up for my newsletter if you’d like to keep up with what’s going on as I try to make this change in direction. My newsletter members get more direct and personal insight from my hard-knock lessons than I list here.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope you connect with me in whatever way you like best. I’m going to keep moving forward. I’d love to share the experience if you’re moving the same direction.