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What would you do differently if you could do it all again?

I would've started a bank.

"What mistakes did you make"
I started a machine shop instead of a bank.

"Piece of advise for your younger self"

Study finance, learn to use money as the primary tool for your business, not physical labor and time.

When you put it in terms of what would you have done instead of starting a shop for profit-

If I would have stayed in the military for a decade or more, lived on base the whole time and put most of my income towards rental properties I'd be worth ten million bucks today. I could have the same shop I do now, but just for fun, to make whatever I wanted.
 
I started my shop at 24 in Jan of 2010 after watching the company I worked for fall apart. I believe that made me overly cautious when it came to growth/spending money. I wish I let the rains go a little more and let the business grow a few years ago rather than now with all the stuff going on in the world. the business is doing fine but I think I could be in a better place business wise if i just let it ramp up instead of holding it back.
 
I saw the 1974 and 1980s recessions......anybody with debt went under........I recall the car strip "Magic Mile of Motors".....every yard empty ,I knew one truck and machinery yard a lot of the stock was sent for scrap......1980s was worse ,it lasted years ........people I knew would ring me desperate for a "hundred grand so I dont lose everthing"....In 84 scrap steel was so low ,the yards wouldnt start their cranes ....you had to have a tipper........In 84 I got a whole railway tender for machinery .....400 ton of machines for $400.
 
make things a lot of dumb people can buy or things dumb people can produce.

But especially, as mentioned above, Go in to finance.
 
I was 3 1/2 years into a 4 year electrician apprenticeship program, I quit to go racing! What a dumbass! Indy Cars and top level Sports cars. I traveled the world, won the Indy 500 and the 24 hours of Daytona and various championships. Now I am to old to go racing and wish I had that union electrician's pension.
I know an older guy who wears his NHRA drag racing champion ring. He works part time because he never saves for retirement and talks a lot about stuff he did 40 years ago.
Sometimes he’s clearly pretty worn out by it, but get him talking about the experience and his eyes light right up every time. Not a lot of stable career guys I know who can get that excited about something still. I asked him once if it was worth it and he didn’t have to think about the answer, of course it was.
 
I would have partners that actually did something. That is rather than bullshit all day with no pay customers or friends. or play on the internet all day. I had both.

I would work fewer hours.

I would charge more.

I would have no partners. Much happier now I'm out on my own.
 
As soon as you can, go after medical, defense, communications work and stay away from automotive, household consumer product work. Make an effort to make your own product. Learn the difference in charging what something costs to make versus what someone is willing to pay for it.
 








 
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