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#787 - HVAC Craftsman Carves Out Woodworking Income

2019-02-26

This heating and air company sales rep had all but given up on his childhood love of woodworking. But after a six-year break and a random Instagram post, he found his interest rekindling.

Side Hustle School features a new story EVERY DAY of someone who started a hustle without quitting their job. You’ll learn how they got the idea, how they overcame challenges along the way, and what the results are.  

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Twitter: @chrisguillebeau

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
Are your work out more fun and will, if they are, then I want assigned to the doors India with Michelob Ultra I'm looking for anyone and everyone who makes working out a blast. That's you! It's a team altered outcome for transport, awesome, perks like teenager gear and more that's team alter at that time to end nobody's nursery openings residents, twenty one plus, if it'll routine altered, I can listen to daily life. Open ribbon ensured responsibly, atypical about you like using those Missouri. And as much money as it was to read about my little pony now realised that we still out there and all that now that I'm almost ninety years old, I didn't actually have a burning desire to go out and collect them again. It was just a little black in the path. I was like, ok, great also for a brief time. I wanted to be they want to encourage you to ask yourself. There is something you like to do, your younger you let go of. Is you gruff and might want to rediscover?
not everything we did and our days of youth is worth rediscovering. I mentioned in a recent episodes that I liked my little pony when I was a kid. I was a big fan of my little pony and when is it, was to read about my little pony now realise that were still out there and all that almost ninety years old, I didn't actually have a burning desire to go out and collect them again. It was just a little glass in the past and I was like ok great also for a brief time. I wanted to be a professional baseball player. It was mostly when I was ten years
all, I did when the tea Ball League and BP at age ten, but then I retired, and took my talents to the world of video game. So, as I said, not everything is worth revisiting. I'm not gonna have aside hustle as a baseball player or my little pony collector, but some things are. Perhaps there might be one for you and when you rediscover it, you just might find it could work as an income generating project now. So we talk about you're on the show and that's what today's featured case study uncovered this heating and air companies sales Rep had all, but given up on his childhood love of woodworking, but after a six year break in a random instagram post, he found himself rekindling interest in our urgent extra eighteen thousand dollars a year on the side, doing something he enjoys I'll. Bring you that story right after this message for our sponsor
when James bear it was still in high school and took a woodworking clasped. The junior college, next door and loved it enjoyed shaping and bending would learning how to create a beautiful finnish and talking with the other members of the community who came by to use the facilities but, most importantly, he loved building things that would last with his passion in mind. James Finish school and went straight into the world of work. He took a job in a cabinet shop in the Bay area, so we could spend his time rubbing shoulders. Professional craftsmen, he started off as a lowly apprentice, cleaning glue off the machinery and sweeping the floors, but solely began to work his way up the ladder more responsibility here, the more he learned about craftsmanship and the inner workings of a small business at this point is likely
in a different direction for a while. He took a few years to travel the country and live in different places before settling in Boise Idaho. There he began raising a family and took a job and sales for heating and air company once settled James felt he had this woodworking itchy needed a chip away at the offer to make pieces of furniture for his friends, you didn't have any desire to turn it into a business. He just wanted to make pieces that would delight those friends and family for years to come. It wasn't long until you, Himself spending is evenings and weekends in his garage. There was now a workshop. He noticed something funny happened every time he made something her friend. They would come by to collect their furniture, and they would ask strange questions like how much do I owe you for this or why are you making these four free there good enough to sell? After not, people had asked these questions? James seriously began thinking about turning this passion,
checked into a business, but the real catalyst came when he shared a few pieces on Instagram, a friend who worked for a Tri state magazine was looking for local businesses to write about. She saw the furniture and got in touch to ask if they could write a for paid spread about him when the peace was complete. She asked James. What's your business name and website, he realising it
quickly set something up. Jameson is wiped, decided on the name of Mahogany House woodwork because, while it just seems logical and simple, and also they had to decide ripen since they didn't actually have a name or website to build the site, James enlisted the help of one of his web developer. Friends due to his small budget, they worked out a profit sharing system. His friend would build the site and do a monthly amount of digital marketing and then take a percentage of whatever sales came in online. Although the magazine article didn't attract as much attention as it hoped James felt like it, the business was up and running, it would be worth pushing it further to see what he could earn. He focus its efforts on to product lines. They kept these distinct with a different Microsoft for each one. The first is the wood cutting board store where James creates custom cutting boards to order, because these are smaller projects and less. Intensive he's able to make more of them per month. The second is Boise Custom Furniture were James, creates unique, larger pieces of furniture like tables and cabinets. These jobs often earn more money, but are also more time
and labour intensive, and you too, that time intensive nature of wood working and the fact that he was still working irregular job James made the decision early on that he wouldn't do all the work himself. He didn't want the businesses grow to be limited by the amount he could create each month, so he hired a part time workers from the community to work with him around fifteen hours a week on projects. James also works around fifteen hours a week on running and growing the business. By dividing his products into those two categories and splitting the workload he's able to generate about fifteen hundred dollars a month in profit, so eighteen thousand dollars a year on the side, he found pricing to be the most difficult, but also the most interesting part of his business. His philosophy is that, if you're converting most of the people who visit your
side into customers and you are offering a totally unique service. Your prices are too low, so he would slowly increases prices until he reached a conversion rate of around sixty percent which, by the way to me, is still extremely high. So maybe he's got some room to go higher. There's a question James uses to determine the quality of his work. He asked himself. Will this delight the customer? And if you can't answer and honest yes, it goes back to the chopping block. Literally, his advice beside US law is to not let your ego get caught up in your business, be willing to change, be willing to move with the market. Ultimately, it's your customers demand that will determine whether your work is worth paying for so way to give people what they want. James put a lot of effort into mixing his sight us with family life. He regularly has his kids help out in the workshop doing non machinery based jobs, his eight year old daughter, who James says is already a hustler. Doing our jobs to earn more money for herself at some point he wants to
more larger pieces and expand into a bigger workspace, but for now he's happy creating pieces that last for his customers, all over the country, So there is a definite lesson about pricing her. I love at what he said about how your converting lobby, Come to your website really high conversion rate, but you're not saying anything, that's totally unique. Maybe your prices are too low and, like I said, if he has a conversion rate of sixty percent that still pretty high, I mean granted, We now have a ton of traffic in the people that are coming are already clearly interested in buying the chopping blocker or whatever it is, but still you know that's pretty amazing conversion rate, so perhaps he does still have an opportunity to do more. There although was interesting that he actually has two different micro sites for the two brands or the two product lines. One is called the wood cutting board store is Boise, Custom Furniture and both of these
lines are organised together under the business name of Mahogany house, woodwork and there's a couple different reasons. Why do this or why? You would not do it just like anything else in life there are pros and cons for him. He liked the idea of just kind of craving some separation, and if you come to the wood, cutting board store. That's all it is now it's wood cutting boards. All the time where is obviously with custom furniture, probably involves a lot more back and forth quotes. You know, conversation customers, whereas with the wood cutting Borgias go and buy, it is not. The right way are wrong way to do it. It's just a matter of preferences and how this kind of fits in with the rest of his lifestyle and what these goals are in, and you know how much profit as you trying to make verses. How much of it is a lifestyle business so again lots of pros and cons, but so much flexibility? That's what the role of scientists tell us all about this
a one size fits all ratify what works for you that doesn't add pressure to your life, but actually helps to alleviate some of the pressure, which is what sounds like has happened, hearing in multiple ways, from being able to revisit that love of woodworking and also get paid for it. You know that's pretty good I do hope you enjoy. The story is always. Inspiration is good. Inspiration with action is better shuts. Who today are at sight of school dot com, slash, seven, eight, seven coming check out his business, see some photos of their work and don't forget to come back to Morrow or if you're subscribed just keep listening is the episode come to you crazy how that works. Thank you. So much. My name is critical about this is side US school. From the onward projects.
Transcript generated on 2020-04-27.