I work for my family’s winery. I’m helping my folks retire and I’m drinking some fine wine, but that’s not helping my kids much. The winery’s business plan was a little optimistic and now we are all looking for extra work in the off-season to make ends meet.
I’m very grateful for what I have in these tough economic conditions. I just want to make that really clear. My wife’s employment is stable and I think the winery will be in the black this year, so that’s good. But I was making ~$6k a year more working for a custom home builder, and that seems like a very relevant chunk of money given daycare, etc. Things are tight.
So I’m hoping to supplement my income in the off-season with a bit of home repair and light renovation work (I’m not quitting the winery). I’ve got the skills. For some reason I always beat myself up because I always dabbled and never got a trade, and always felt unprofessional. Then we built our winery and I did all the plumbing, built all the cabinets and the tasting bar, did most of the electrical, did a good bit of framing, poured concrete, drywall, paint, barn metal. . . . and yeah maybe I’m a generalist, but man there’s a lot of stuff I’m comfortable doing. I kind of started to feel like I’d always sold myself short.
I think working for a builder was demoralizing that way because I always able to compare myself to top-notch specialist tradesmen. We did $2-$3 million homes, so yeah, I rubbed shoulders with guys who were really good at what they did, and I always felt inferior because I did something different every day, mostly change orders and punchlist stuff, and just thought of myself as an amateur.
Ok enough bleeding heart nonsense. For you guys who do small stuff, like one man and a truck kinda thing: how did you get started? What sort of work did/do you take? How did you get your name out there?