Brutal honesty. Despair to follow.

http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7575301
JP
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Thanks Jay, That was entertaining but also reaffirming the truth. I'll probably watch it again when I get home. Marc
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Sad, but also too true. Joe G
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Where are those guys fron??? I did not recognize the accent! '~)
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They're from Comgenland, just around the corner and three doors down - on the left.
P
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Beautiful. I can't understand why this seems so familiar. Oh well, back to the garage to make some more custom furniture kits that I am sure the world will love.
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MY GAWD..... I laughed myself silly watching that. With almost 30 years of self employment in construction, I cannot tell you how many times I have had that conversation with a "lead carpenter", crew chief, or just one of the numb nuts.
I can't imagine any example on that subject being more spot on. Those guys hit a home run with every damn sentence.
NOT ONE of my amigos, NOT ONE, has made it doing only custom cabinetry (or any other kind of specialized woodwork) on their terms. Those that stuck to their guns and "didn't want to build crap" all went broke to a man.
Being trained as a carpenter and being damned proud of my skill set 35 years ago, it was horrifying to me (and yes, I spent all of my savings gearing up with equipment) to find out I made more money rehanging a poorly fitting door than I did installing a brand new one. I made more money building a deck than I did cabinets. It was a sour pill for me, to swallow, no doubt.
Today, although I would love to be the guy in the hat with the dreams of connecting to the ancient cabinet makers of yore by doing only projects I like, that just isn't practical. I make 10X the money fixing a tile roof leak than I do installing crown molding in a few rooms (probably the whole house!). And people are significantly less critical, too.
Since folks these days are shocked at the price of cabinets, I let them go find the ones they want, then quote them an installation price after I see the drawings. Lowes/HD does the design work, collects and dispense the money, arranges transportation and delivery, and are responsible for all design errors. I am the good guy. I go out with a helper, install the cabinets, and if they have to order additional pieces (fillers, replace a damage door, shorted trims, etc.) I get to charge for additional labor charge above my quoted price. I am at no risk at all unless I drop a cabinet, and if they don't like their design in execution, it isn't my fault.
I make my money getting people out of jams these days, not necessarily because of my carpenterial skills. I would rather be that guy in my shop, surrounded by all kinds of cut wood waiting for assembly while I cut that last 32nd off a piece of trim for a perfect fit. The smell of freshly sanded wood, the drying glue, and the romance of the whole picture of being a dedicated craftsman that only does what he wants is quite alluring. But money for me these days is all in specialized repairs or installations.
That scene was genius, Jay. You bet that will see a lot of linkage from me to my buddies. I will be more than sure that my buddies that have pissed away retirements, personal savings, racked up huge loans, crushed their family resources, and all the other things they did while in business get a chance to see that. It might just ring a bell.
But at 21, I was that guy in the cap.... wow....
THANKS!
Oh yeah.... your post title is perfect, too. *despair*
Robert
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<Interesting post snipped>
The phrase "starving artists" was based on fact...
Bill
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Bill wrote:

But if there's no suffering, it's not art.
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On 3/16/2011 12:18 AM, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Agree 100% with your assessment, and the following is in no way directed at you (that would be the mother of "preaching to the choir"), but to those who will quit before getting started, based on just the possibility of "despair", as illustrated.
If you work it right, and long enough, you can have the last laugh, and a dollar or two to boot, instead of despair. ;)
Granted, it is not often that the uninitiated get to see what can be a startling difference, and not often that you can even find folks who even care, but therein lies one of the secret(s) to not tripping over "despair":
#1: ALWAYS work toward the goal of putting yourself in a position to pick your clients ... NOT vice versa!
CAVEAT: You can't advertise your way into this position, you can ONLY do it by word of mouth and referrals.
In that regard, had the opportunity recently to present a client, mid job, a very sharp, stark, contrasting dose of reality with regard to the difference in QUALITY of the work done by a well respected residential construction "trim carpenter" with years of experience on high end homes; versus the work done by experienced, accomplished "cabinetmakers" who put quality and pride in what they do above all else ... <Leon and I, even if I have to say so myself>
We did all the kitchen cabinet work and, to save time for me to devote to supervising the rest of the project, and the client money, I had a hot shot trim carpenter do the cabinet work in the den and two bathrooms of vanities, doors and drawers.
The STARK difference, in just the drawers alone, was enough to cause the client to scrap and swallow the cost of all (23) of the bathroom drawers done by the trim carpenter, and to pay rebuild new drawers for the bathrooms " ... just like those in the kitchen!".
<those "domino" drawers in a recent thread, crafted by Leon>
Again, in that regard, I can guarantee that this client has friends and family who have not only heard about this, but can also pay the freight ... eventually the chickens from the eggs laid on this job, as with every job, will come home to roost, which brings us to the other, and most important, "secret":
#2: The REAL, and ULTIMATE, challenge is in being economically smart enough to still be around to take advantage of it.
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I love those drawers ...
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Best regards
Han
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You have to admit though, the drawers had a visual aspect to them not unlike dovetailed drawers, but certainly a more unusual and visually noticeable appearance. You could say that the client was almost committed to having the bathroom drawers redone just to make them match.
Nothing like promoting yourselves into a little more work and profit eh? <g>
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On 3/16/2011 11:25 AM, Upscale wrote:

True ... but it was not the visual aspect that did it. You only have to handle both to appreciate the difference, which you could do blindfolded. AAMOF "They feel more like furniture" were her exact words.

Name of the game ... helps keep away "despair". :)
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wrote:

Pride in your work is what it is all about. I currently have a customer in waiting with no rush for me to begin my 4th installment of modifications in her kitchen, she is willing to wait. Her husband worked with his father, a cabinet maker, when he was young and they remodeled kitchens. He has the tools and equipment to do it himself but he sees the difference in my work and gives his wife cart blanc when it comes to their kitchen.
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In wrote:

an old saying comes to mind from all this. The Bitterness Of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten. I have several clients(interior designers) that have gone elsewhere over the last 32 yrs to get work done. Everyone of them has returned and will wait til I can get to it. In 32 yrs I've never had a job returned, ever. I even went 15 yrs with an UNLISTED phone number. And Swingman is right, word of mouth is the only way an artist/craftsman can find his niche' and work it.. The only thing I would add is always bid it high, you can always come down, but going higher is always more difficult. A client will tell me to do it the way i would do it for myself. I tell them thats not he way they want it done, because I don't get paid when I do it for myself.<g> For those that have acces to binary groups, look for artist defined
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No kidding! Can't tell you how many fence building jobs and interior paint jobs I have done in between what I like to do.
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The same guy made another video as well, detailing a conversation with a prospective client. That, too, is quite entertaining.
http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7582361/I%20would%20like%20to%20hire%20a%20custom%20cabinet%20maker .
JP
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On 3/15/2011 7:16 AM, JayPique wrote:

Moral of the story:
You can't be a one trick pony.
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