Thursday, November 19, 2009

Looking back

Well it's been a year since I left the job I held for 27 years, I was not really ready to go , but they were ready for me to leave. I never collected a cent of unemployment.

My career was designing, and making custom gas permeable contact lens, but it was shrinking field, with Lasik, and disposable contacts there was less every year. The Dayton area had 6 labs when I started, and there is only one left, and they are struggling to stay open. So I didn't bother looking for work.

We had been doing concealed carry classes in a spare room of the house, well really the only bedroom in the house had it's own outside entrance, we moved the bedroom into the living room, and converted it to a classroom, it was tight but it worked. It was really tight the time we had a class of 11 with 5 instructors

We had just had the training building built, when the job ended, and I kicked into gear, and finished the inside, which we had in use by December. Many thanks to Dana for the interior framing, and rough in wiring, and Jim helping hang the ceiling drywall, and Debby for helping with the paint. The 2 days before the first class we looked like a bunch of one armed paperhangers, trying to get it as far along as we could. We had it over 90% done when the students got there.

When spring rolled around we continued the work on the range and had it done by September. We built a target shed, and this fall installed a generator, for just in case. I finally after 16 years got the majority of the house painted, it needed it when I moved in. May even get it done if we get a few nice days. So in addition to training, I have kept myself busy.

Temptation reared it's head in the spring, a nearby Instructor charges around $35 less than I do, and runs from 75-90 people through a very basic class, I mean by basic, one of his students went to buy a gun, and when the dealer ask if they wanted a revolver or semi auto they didn't know the difference, but the guy was making around $7000-$8000 a day. So I was tempted to try the same thing, and make some real money.

We do an average of 6 to 8 students, and I pay another Instructor to help me, we also provide loaner guns, ammo, snacks and beverages, and sometimes lunch. We also provide a pretty detailed information crammed student packet, that isn't free.

But knowing it might be all the training most of my students would get, decided to continue what we were doing, and while not making nearly as much, I know we have a quality product, and give as much one on one training as is possible.

I have been able to acquire a few new or newer shooters, but have sold several to balance out the expense.

I didn't get to take as much training this year, a one day trip to TDI, a defensive Knife class, and Dave Grossmans Bulletproof Mind seminar, that was all I could fit in. I keep thinking the more I learn, the more I can pass to my students. I did make the annual NRA meeting, it fell the same weekend I had to go to Salt Lake City to renew my Utah Instructors License, so it worked out.
I did meet the Governor of Ohio, at the BFA fundraiser, which was kinda cool

It's been a good year, at times scary, but have managed to to pay the bills, and keep the lights on. I was taking 4-6 Zantac everyday, but have only had about 6 in the past year, so the acid reflux left about the same time the career ended. I don't dread each day anymore.

The training is a business, and I have made a sizable investment in it, but it is also a passion, and it is the passion that drives me. My motto has been from day one "Training first, money second", whether it's a single student or 10.

I'm looking forward to what the next year will bring.

1 comment:

Julie said...

well done on what you've achieved in your first year (and on having the guts to give it a go) ... here's to continued success for many more years ...