I lost my job
On June 6, 1996 my boss showed up at my job location. He told me I had one month until my division was shut down and I’d be let go.
I was in my 50’s.
When I called my girlfriend (now wife) she said, “That’s great – now you can start your own company.”
I had dozens of reasons why starting up a new company without capitol was a bad idea.
On the other hand, I had this cute, optimistic girlfriend that thought I could do anything. If she believed in me, I figured I’d better plow ahead and fake it if I had to.
With no money and a couple of friends, I started Specialty Doors & Automation in November of 1996 (it took 3 months to get a California contractor’s license).
It was a company that would repair or replace commercial doors. We rented an old, funky garage that leaked like a sieve when it rained and had no A/C or heat.
Our first job was to replace a bearing on a roll-up door. We were so excited when we got our first $250.00 job.
Then we realized that we didn’t even own a ladder.
The ladder was $300.00
Well, things got better over the years and after 12 years in business, I turned the company over to some key employees that helped us grow the business to $3 million in annual sales.
In 2004 we started an online division which is where I happily spend my time.
A friend of mine called it, “Selling shit you don’t have.”
Today, our company has 10 employees, 7 of which are sales and technical.
All of us share one common ingredient – we were all laid off, fired or replaced by companies outsourcing work to China.
We’re a bunch of losers that have all increased their previous income from 50 to 100%.
We have 4 websites and continue to “sell shit we don’t have” to the tune of $4-5 million a year.