“There can be no high civilization where there is not ample leisure.” – Henry Ward Beecher (Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit, 1887)
After 20 years of putting up with my amateurish Christmas lighting, KFF insisted on having our house done “properly” this time.
She found a young man who would light up the palm trees just the way she wanted and take the lights down again when the merry season had passed. A nice man in his mid-20s, he has one helper during setup and does the take-down himself. He works in a T-shirt. He owns one pickup truck, two ladders, and a handful of hand tools. His advertising is, apparently, limited to the Yellow Pages and word of mouth. And this past season, by my good estimate, he took in a net total of about $90,000.
“I probably should do something in my off time,” he confided. “But it’s kind of fun just hanging out at the house, taking vacations, and so on.”
So how much down time does he have? “About seven months,” he quickly admitted. That leaves, by my calculations, five months of work — during which he works nonstop for only two. (“56 days without a break,” he said proudly.)
This is a business that is 3 years old. Ninety grand in take-home pay, and he hasn’t even considered hiring extra help.
My old friend PP did even better than that installing pools on Long Island. A summertime moneymaker for the two of us turned into a profitable lifetime business for him with a little TLC.
If you are capable of providing good and reliable service, there are opportunities out there for you to make good money working part-time or seasonally. You’ll need very little to get started (transportation and a few tools) aside from the emotional and financial stamina required to survive while your reputation builds.
Sun Belt states are best, because they are generally full of fly-by-night operators and shoddy workmen. Show your customers that you care and you’ll be successful in no time.[Ed. Note. Mark Morgan Ford was the creator of Early To Rise. In 2011, Mark retired from ETR and now writes the Palm Beach Letter. His advice, in our opinion, continues to get better and better with every essay, particularly in the controversial ones we have shared today. We encourage you to read everything you can that has been written by Mark.]