First, I am truly touched that y’all take the time to help a (wishy-washy) brother out with advice…

James - Yes, we did. Health issues were a factor then, along with what I’ve said earlier on this thread. And then it was the recruiter thing before that… I’m busted…

Shane, what can I say. Read your post 4 times. I hear you, friend, and you’re right. You, Dice, James, benn, and MANY others have been so inspirational and motivational, friggin amazing… And I think I do pattern my business style after ya’ll…

And yes, I went thru Dice’s website and learned a lot, both technically and about the business side of things. His site actually inspired me to do mine in a similar manner. Yes, it took a lot of time, at the time. But not anymore, it’s done. And that article he wrote in The News about which jobs to take and such was great…

You’re right though, I am a perfectionist. And I can’t rest until everything (about the biz) is 100% squared away… It’s like a cloud over me when there are things left to do…

And I do like being small. People ask me, when you gonna hire people, get trucks. I’m like –naaah…

Since we’re this deep into this topic, let me share this. I hope this translates on the net…

I started this biz somewhat different than most owners, I think. Six months before I opened this biz, I quit that civil service job I mentioned earlier and stupidly opened another HVAC biz with a PARTNER! At the time, it was the thing to do. My civil service boss was a complete ass, and the new partner and I had went through trade school together, and got along OK. He’s 10 years younger than me, but a sharp tech. Headstrong with lots of attitude, a go-getter. After graduation. we went our separate ways, but would see each occasionally at the parts house. One day we passed each other on the road, pulled over and talked, and decided to open a biz together. We were both CLUELESS…

My wife was prego with my son at the time I quit the govt job and opened the 1st biz with dude. She was freaking out (I can’t believe she didn’t divorce me)…

Dude was BIG into wanting to do new construction. I grew up all on the service side in this biz and really wanted nothing to do with ductwork or new construction at all. You can see where this is going…

I did ALL the administrative stuff required to open the biz, I passed the Master exam for the mech license, etc, etc. He sat back and waited till we hung out our shingle. He was already basically unemployed at the time. (isn’t hindsight 20/20?)…

So he’s out bidding new construction jobs and getting nowhere. We’re putting systems in 40 year-old houses that didn’t have central anything, and you know how bad that sucks…

Three months into it, neither of us are having much fun at all. We had totally different as on where we should focus the business. Me – all service, him – all new construction…

At the 4 month mark, (July) he tells me he wants to buy me out! Wife’s still prego, really freakin out now! We went back and forth, yada, yada. Truly was the end of the world at the time…

Anyway, I decided to let him buy me out and start over. BEST DECISION I EVER MADE!!!!!!!

He took subsequently took out the biggest full-page ad in the phonebook. “We beat any competitor’s price” it says at the top (doh!)…

In the 3 years since, he’s had judgements against him by the Employment Security Commission, bounced his employee’s pay checks, had to replace burned carpet in customer’s house when red hot El’s popped of the reefer line out of the closet on an AH replacement, fix big water damage on a high $$ house from an attic install with no 2nd pan, his S-corp has been administratively dissolved by the state, etc.etc.

I digress…

So I took the buyout money and opened this biz right back up. Sink or swim in the middle of peak summer season. It was easy – did it in 1/3 the time it took the 1st go-round…

I say all this not to argue or justify, but so you kinda know where I’m coming from. Y’all may think I’m nuts…

The idea of having a partner was OK (all things considered). It was the thing to do at the time, and we ran with it. Having it blow up on me 4 months later was a blessing in disguise, but I had to what I had to do, and quick. Couldn’t go back to the old job (I went out with a bang, if you know what I mean).…

I never really had a burning desire to be self-employed, to be the boss, a sole proprietor/ owner. But now that I’m here, I don’t mind it. It has brought to a new level of understanding, made me grow up. I knew I was smart enough. And I can maintain this and make it work…

But with retirement and family in mind, I can’t help but wonder if I’m really using my available resources effectively? All that paper I have ain’t doin’ squat for me now, but it travels well with civil service employment. Get me?
In summary, the best way to describe it, is that I was ½ way up the govt’ ladder in all regards, and going well towards the top, and I jumped off…

But I learned a HELLUVA lot since that jump, buuut….Is the grass greener? Is there an easier/better way?…

Sorry so long & thanks…