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fragged8
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« : November 25, 2012, 05:46:01 AM »

hiya

  I know its not just me this happens to but how do you guys keep yourself going
when your enthusiasm levels are at zero and work takes forever to do because you
would rather be surfing the net or drinking coffee or finding some other task to
take you off the sewing ?

 Rich

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« #1 : November 25, 2012, 07:50:28 AM »

I was kicking ass and taking names at the start of this year. I was sewing early in the morning, take a 2 or 3 hour break for an afternoon snooze and then get back at it till 10 PM. I was so backed up on orders I had to sew 6 and 7 days a week. And I loved it. I actually looked forward to going to the shop.

Fast forward. I had a stroke a couple months ago and since then I have to kick my own ass to get me into the shop to sew. I feel fine, have energy but have no drive or motivation to go to the shop to sew or pattern. Alot of this I know is the issue of not being able to stay focused and that is a brain issue that needs work. If I am correct, Mike has had the same problem. After his stroke he had little drive to sew.

I have such an immense amount of respect for so many of you that do this 40 hours a week for a living. One of my problems is that I do this work in retirement. I have a pension I am collecting and my wife is gainfully employed so therefore do not need the income ( it is very nice though ). That really is hard to overcome. Many of you do this for a living and if you do not work you do not pay the household bills. I have often wondered what drives guys like Dennis, Gene, Doyle, Ed, Paul and the rest who have been doing this work for dozens of years and still get up everyday and head to their shops to sew. And what really amazes me is that all of them seem to still like their jobs.

For you Rich I believe you have hit the burnout phase and now it is a matter of getting refocused and getting back on track.

Chris
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« #2 : November 25, 2012, 07:54:52 AM »

I go sailing and fishing for a while. The worst thing is  being in a hurry to get something done. The more I hurry the longer it takes and the worse the end product is, then motivation really plummets. Luckily my financial needs are such that I can sew part time and still keep afloat.  
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« #3 : November 25, 2012, 08:13:34 AM »

I did at of fishing back in may then other projects csne up aroung thbehouse and i got more work do to i havnt been fishing sence. I still get  in a funk and  hris is rright in the concentration thing. It somtimes hard to stay focused and not mess up. Bill come arounf snd i get motivated real quick like it or not. Once im sewing i like it i in in a zone.
« : November 25, 2012, 05:49:01 PM MikeM8560 »

sofadoc
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« #4 : November 25, 2012, 08:59:44 AM »

I have often wondered what drives guys like Dennis, Gene, Doyle, Ed, Paul and the rest who have been doing this work for dozens of years and still get up everyday and head to their shops to sew. And what really amazes me is that all of them seem to still like their jobs.
In a way, I'm actually MORE motivated than I was in my 20's. Because I've reached the point in my life where I no longer have to hustle for every little job just to pay bills.

I used to feel like I couldn't turn ANY job away. Now, I pick and choose what jobs I want to accept. I've learned a lot on this forum, which has improved my overall organizational skills immensely. I wake up every day with a definate plan, whereas 20 years ago, I was literally "flyin' by the seat of my pants".

But drive and ambition are often fueled by financial need. Since I'm financially sound, I lose focus when I'm stuck on a job that turned out to be a lot more tedious than I anticipated. I might spend a full day on a job that I would've busted my balls to get done in half a day in 1980.

So my enthusiasm is as high as it ever was. But now, it is a "mellowed" enthusiasm.
HAKUNA MATATA ;D

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Darren Henry
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« #5 : November 25, 2012, 10:41:32 AM »

Quote
how do you guys keep yourself going
when your enthusiasm levels are at zero and work takes forever to do because you
would rather be surfing the net or drinking coffee

Some people have advocated a brief break to do some thing just for you,and take your mind off the pressure. I 've never had much luck with that.Sure the boat was in the water and there was beer in the cooler on a lovely day----but the other side of my brain was abusing me like that fat bi-polar prick I work for now.I couldn't enjoy it.

What helped me more was to close the shop,lay on plenty of good food and drink and do some project that I had been wanting to do that was something to be proud of and that I took pride in. For example:one time I got tired of getting nothing more than cheap furniture repairs, "oh,can't you just stitch the old top up and get me another season",garbage jobs.[Pretty much like what I do now  :'(] So I built my sister a deacon's bench from scratch.I phoned my niece and got their hall measurements and a nice visit. Laminated the pine panels that would be the ends . Saute ed some shrimp and had a little drink,while that dried. Framed it all up and stained it. BBQ ed a steak and opened a small bottle of wine while that dried. --- Basically I made a party out of doing what I do. At the end of the day my sister had a lovely Christmas present coming to her (note I said "small" bottle of wine),because I was focused on that one task, I had given my brain a break, and the shop was now associated with good things in my sub conscience. I kicked butt the next day--- to the point that the old lady ( we were still living together) had to phone and remind me to come home. I thought it was around 5,  :o oops,8:30.

Life is a short one way trip, don't blow it!Live hard,die young and leave no ill regrets!
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« #6 : November 25, 2012, 03:05:24 PM »

Oh, I find it's getting more difficult as I get older/worn out/burned out/jaded.  Used to be that I could take a weekend off, do something for myself, and get back to work all ready to get stuff done.  Anymore, I hit the burnout phase more frequently and it takes longer to get out of it - and I don't have any strokes (that I know of) to blame.   I find that good money is no longer a great motivator, though I'm not independently wealthy.  What helps keep me going is an appreciative comment from a customer.  More and more I feel like I need a new gig - or a new twist on the old one. 

June

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields
Mike
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« #7 : November 25, 2012, 05:55:42 PM »

What helps keep me going is an appreciative comment from a customer.  More and more I feel like I need a new gig - or a new twist on the old one. 

June
my dad used to say the same thing he was a painter wallpapered plasterer, he liked yhe  praise better then the money,now I know what he felt like.  I find it harder to get started each day ,,,,, I could drink coffee on my patio all; morning
.

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« #8 : November 25, 2012, 07:48:07 PM »

I find I lose my enthusiasm when people haven't paid me! still waiting on one customer and it been 3 months now...as long as I don't think about it, I feel fine...but my wife won't let me forget it, she constantly asks about it and I finally had to tell her to stop, because it is hurting me more to stress than it is to not have that 300 bucks....I have seriously considered taking said customers project out to my burn pile and telling them I sold it just to prove a point!
sofadoc
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« #9 : November 26, 2012, 07:26:44 AM »

Lack of enthusiasm........is it mental? Or is it physical? Little bit of both?

There have been times lately when I feel like I have no energy. It seems like every time that it gets to the point where I'm ready to make a doctor's appointment to see if there is anything medically/physically wrong, I'll get in a job that's both fun and profitable. Suddenly, I have plenty of pep.

Most of us on this board have been doing this work for a long time. And while we still enjoy doing it, we just don't get that warm, fuzzy feeling anymore. Sometimes, a perky young customer will see all the work piled up in my shop, and say something like "Wow!! You must be excited!!"  I try not to do an "eye roll" in front of them.

I mentioned on the topic about "Burnout" that about 10 years ago, I decided that I wanted to do something else with my life. I closed my shop, and got a regular job. Within 2 months, I was back in the shop with a renewed vigor.

A few years ago, I traded my old Juki LU-562 to a young man who was just starting out in the business. He told me later that he parked that machine in his bedroom the first night, because he just couldn't stop staring at it. There was a time when that machine looked that good to ME, too.

Magic Johnson scored the winning bucket as time expired in his very first NBA game. As he is excitedly jumping up and down, and hugging his teammates, the sage old veteran, Kareem Jabbar whispers in his ear "Ya know, we got 81 more of these".

Do I wish that I still had that "new machine" feeling? Sometimes.

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
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« #10 : November 26, 2012, 02:59:48 PM »


Some people have advocated a brief break to do some thing just for you,and take your mind off the pressure. I 've never had much luck with that.Sure the boat was in the water and there was beer in the cooler on a lovely day----but the other side of my brain was abusing me like that fat bi-polar prick I work for now.I couldn't enjoy it.

What helped me more was to close the shop,lay on plenty of good food and drink and do some project that I had been wanting to do that was something to be proud of and that I took pride in. For example:one time I got tired of getting nothing more than cheap furniture repairs, "oh,can't you just stitch the old top up and get me another season",garbage jobs.[Pretty much like what I do now  :'(] So I built my sister a deacon's bench from scratch.I phoned my niece and got their hall measurements and a nice visit. Laminated the pine panels that would be the ends . Saute ed some shrimp and had a little drink,while that dried. Framed it all up and stained it. BBQ ed a steak and opened a small bottle of wine while that dried. --- Basically I made a party out of doing what I do. At the end of the day my sister had a lovely Christmas present coming to her (note I said "small" bottle of wine),because I was focused on that one task, I had given my brain a break, and the shop was now associated with good things in my sub conscience. I kicked butt the next day--- to the point that the old lady ( we were still living together) had to phone and remind me to come home. I thought it was around 5,  :o oops,8:30.

Works for me too- http://www.upholster.com/upholstery-forum/index.php?topic=8860.0

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kodydog
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« #11 : November 26, 2012, 09:57:08 PM »

Ya know Peppy, I was just thinking the same thing. Sometimes you gotta take a break from the old routine and try something different. Maybe that's one reason why I took a job with another upholsterer. I work with some interesting caricatures that not only challenge my creative juices but also spark my intellectual worth.

I also bought a fixer upper last year and have spent many weekends working on it. Although its a lot of work its a nice break from the same old routine. And after a long weekend fixing up the old house, its nice to settle back into the old upholstery routine.  
« : November 26, 2012, 09:59:45 PM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
http://northfloridachair.com/index.html
gene
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« #12 : November 27, 2012, 09:41:54 PM »

Check out these two guys. It gets pretty 'real' toward the end.

http://vimeo.com/33359230


gene

QUALITY DOES NOT COST, IT PAYS!
limey
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« #13 : November 27, 2012, 10:20:18 PM »

Quite some time since I responded to a thread, having spent the last eight? months recovering from hand surgery. Not being able to use my left (dominant) hand for most of that time meant I had to tell my clients to go elsewhere as I was not sure, and was not guaranteed a recovery from my surgeon. However, I feel capable enough now to continue and have begun taking on projects, only to realize my strength and energy levels are way down. I am 56, not old, but after 40 years doing the same thing, I am having second thoughts about how much and what to agree to. My kids are well educated, and should not want for much, my wife has a career and is financially independent, and I am so thankful for that. Personally, after losing two younger brothers in the space of the last 18 months, I take each day as it comes. My neck aches from standing at the bench (known as military neck my doctor says) and affects my hands and shoulders, with stretching and a little exercise I can manage. I do my best to keep to others demands and schedules, but explain that while I will give all I can to produce as good a job as possible, it just might take a little longer.
I once read that two famous 20th century philosophers (Wittgenstien and Popper) pronounced that they learnt more about life as apprentices to cabinet makers than they ever did in university.  To be able to look at a finished item, find satisfaction in its form, and to be appreciated for your skill, is a position very few people find themselves in. Sure, we run into our fair share of whiners and occasionally create our own problems by biting more than we can chew, but in today's world I am just glad to be able to produce something tangible and say "I did that."  A forty hour week is an illusion for most self employed folk, I know I put way too many hours in for my own good, but I am making a serious effort to be frugal with my time, plan better, and try and get the right amount of sleep. Lay off the microbrews, and walk the dog. Not saying it is working, but Hey!
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« #14 : November 27, 2012, 10:52:04 PM »

Limey, happy to hear you're regaining some use of that hand.  I remember now when you said you'd be out for a while with the surgery. 

I guess one BIG problem I have is that very many customers don't see the work as I do.  Just today I was asked to give a quote on some boat upholstery.  Not all of it, mind you - just a few cushions here and there though all of them need recovering.  Now I should just look at the job, quote, take the money, deliver the job and run.  But I've yet to give a quote.  The boat was dirty/rusty/un-cared-for.   How can I put my best into a set of cushions to be set in in the midst of that?  I don't even want to give a quote.  I'd prefer to never see that boat again.  This is a business and I shouldn't care, but I do.  I'm sure you furniture guys get the same with pieces you put your heart and soul into, that ends up coming back with cigarette burns or cat scratch rips.  It wears on you.  I can handle the poor man with limited funds to spend on his pride and joy, but it doesn't take much to clean or protect what you have until you can afford the other upgrades.  It has very little to do with money.  I suppose it's a different way of moving through life.  What's important to me isn't so important to many of my customers.

June

"Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people."

     W. C. Fields
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