It’s April 2012. A start of a new lunar cycle, as there is a new moon tonight. So today I feel good. I get a bit strange on a full moon. ;) I have been wandering around semi-lost in the chasms of thoughts of what I am going to be doing in my shop from the present until the day I can no longer lift a finger. I have been trying to determine a goal and then create a plan to complete that goal. There is a saying, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
I have made a decision. I have arrived at the present by always doing what interested me. I love what I do and I want to become more of a master of my craft. I have always loved metal and wood and I am going to continue just what I have been doing.
What set me off to wandering was a desire to explore a way to become productive enough with my shop to create a viable retirement business. I am sure anyone who is good at shop work has done the same. I have run several successful businesses and for a few years worked as a professional business consultant for HVAC contractors. I love running a business.
But what I have just done is answer for myself several of the very first questions I used to ask my HVAC clients when I started to consult for them. “What exactly is your purpose in operating your business?” and “Tell me, what part of your business do you enjoy doing the most?” From there we could both see what the real goals should be for the owner.
The reason I was working with the contractors was to help them take the step from a one-man and a toolbox, do it all operation (not literally one-man but of that mindset) to a fully functional and larger business organization with many people doing what they do best.
The company I directly worked for had set a goal (with the guidance of Anderson Consulting) that we wanted to work with fewer but larger HVAC contractors as our product dealers. My job was to grow the best of the small dealers into larger customers for my company.
Today I am on the back side of growing a bigger business. Like I said I love business activity, but today I love working with the tools even more. That’s why “artist” has taken on a new light in my mind’s eye. I have a new slogan, “Do what I love for those who love what I do.” So I want to stay on the creative side of the business. Everything I make will be for sale if I don’t give it away. I’m not about collecting my own work if someone wants to pay to have it for their own enjoyment. That will be the extent of my manufacturing activity. No mass production, advertising or hard core business supply and demand. I break even with The Hobbyist Machine Store so I will keep it open. It will serve as the commercial outlet for what I produce.
Finally, my inspiration is John Bentley (The Engineman). John is about my age but somehow managed his time to produce exquisite dimensional art. I don’t intend to duplicate his work but hopefully his skill and attention to detail and finish; also his wonderful photography. His shop and tools are inspirational too, no more than what is required but highly refined. I’ll bet he has had hundreds of requests to sell his beautiful creations.
I have a few tooling and bench work changes to make to accommodate my comfort needs, but I too intend to become devoted to producing quality dimensional art as long as I am able. My website by that name will become my finished art showplace; coming soon to a browser near you.