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One year ago I was coming from what I considered to be a rough year. But I felt that the future looked bright. Well of course January 20th a bright future seemed lost with the loss of my shop.

Tree Heat Fire Gas Pollution


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My goal going into the year was to have a 50% increase in my business. At that point, it seemed not only impossible, but could I have the stomach to basically start again from scratch. Actually, with my family heritage, quitting really wasn't an option. But because of financial complications from my recent divorce, I got none of the insurance money from the fire. So everything was just scraping enough together to buy a few tools to work with. Make a few projects to earn some money to buy a few more tools.

One thing I did have in my favor was customers. Although I had to turn down a few projects, I had as much work as I was capable of handling. Through the course of the year, I got a new tablesaw and found some deals on many other tools. There are a couple other things that I want, but I am pretty much fully functional now. My plan is to start building a new shop in the spring.

Right now my focus is on my biggest show of the year. I had to miss it last year. I believe that was the main reason for not reaching my goal. It's a 10 day show from the end of January through the 1st week of February. I am putting together my best display ever (as I see it).

Business wise, I feel I had a fantastic year. Of course on the tax forms you figure your profit/loss statement and all of the other forms. But sometimes it is good personally to see the basic information. How much did I make versus how much I spent. I personally was thrilled that after buying many tools and a pickup (only $3500 for the truck), I only fell short $147 of breaking even. I did have my biggest sales year ever.

My goals for this year? It will be helped by the fact of having help for the first time ever.

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My 1st goal is to generate my biggest year ever. With the winter show coming and being able to have 3 stores displaying my products, I believe it's a real possibility.

My 2nd goal is to rebuild the shop. Small attached garage is very limiting.

The 3rd goal is to finish replacing my tools that are needed for maximum efficiency. Successful small businesses many times have to work smarter as well as harder than corporations.

Today I mark my 3rd year of being on Lumberjocks. As I say on my website, I am a very proud member of this community. The knowledge I have gained here is priceless. I only hope that I can help others here as well.

For all of those who read this, please share your woodworking goals for the year. Whether it's your first project, or maybe you finally make the Maloof rocking chair that you want (hint…Andy).

Best wishes to everyone, I hope 2015 will be great for woodworkers everywhere.

Thanks for reading.
 

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Congrats to you, Monte.
On so many fronts….
I hope that 2015 is all that you want it to be & then some!!!

My WW goals for 2015….
Besides, actually having the time and motivation to spend in "The Lair"....
Is to complete a few projects, working IN my shop….
As opposed to just working ON my shop.
 

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With your amazing talents and craftsmanship Monte, I have all the confidence in the world that you will have your best year ever!

My main goal regarding woodworking is to learn more and embrace the electric as well as the old school.
I thank you for your inspiration and support, all the best Monte, keep up the great work!

Happy and healthy New Year!

Joe
 

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Monte, You continue to be an inspiration to all of us with your work ethic and 'never say die attitude'! Wishing you and Elena a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

I've sold all my rocker wood but it is still on my wish list.
 

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Happy New Year - it looks to be onward and upward for you from this point forward. We could all take a few lessons from you and your don't ever give up attitude. Best to you in the coming year and all those that follow.
 

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When one door in life slams shut on you, others open up. You, my friend, are a survivor. I would never ever count you out. Good luck, good health, and good blessing to you and yours in this new year. I have learned a lot from you over the years and a lot of it wasn't woodworking!
 

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Great story of determination and will power in the true American tradition! I have doubt you will achieve every one of your goals and even surpass them. Thank you for sharing your story-we can all find inspiration in your spirit.
 

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Hey Monte…

You have proven what I have always believed…when a person wants to accomplish something and is motivated enough and has the determination it can and will be accomplished…No excuses…! You are definitely doing this.
2015 will be a fantastic year…..
 

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Monte, I read of your shop loss shortly after you posted it. Sir, My congrats go out to you and yours for an amazing 2014, & no doubt an even better and stronger 2015, my friend!! Isn't it amazing how we can seek strength from such storms life throws at us, & we get back up, brush the dirt off, hold our chins up, & say "Who's ready for round 2?" Keep truckin' Monte! You're doin' an amazing job of winning the battle!! Happy New Year!!!
 

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There's a quote I've seen posted all over the interwebs (mostly on motorcycle sites I frequent) but I'd say that after what you went thru last year, you made me think of it once again…

"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "HOLY CRAP….WHAT A RIDE!"
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.Oh, and since no one else has said it, I will … Nice pic of you and your daughter! :)
Happy (and prosperous) New Year to you and yours !
 

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Go get 'em, Monte! Your attitude and hard work are paying off, and I join the other LJs in wishing you and Elena all the best for 2015. Looking forward to seeing "The Phoenix" shop rise again.
 
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