Throughout our our entire lives we are told that if we work hard at something, anything, it can be obtained.
Working hard doesn’t necessarily mean forcefully exhausting yourself in a repetitive motion. You could work hard to take a wall down by smacking your head against it… but I can guarantee as hard as you push yourself, and as much as you believe… you’re only gonna end up with a headache.
You may ask, what does a guy that lives check to check, scraping by every week, know about success? And I’d would say to that… your exactly right! I know absolutely nothing about success… but what I do know a whole lot about is… failure. We’ve all heard the saying involving a wall, and shit. Well, I can tell you that I have thrown a lot of shit over the years… and it doesn’t stick to walls so well.
Many moons ago, a lifelong friend, who was a natural born mechanical genius, and me, who figured out enough to get by, from being forced to fix all the stuff that I broke… fully restored one of my motorcycles. It was an extreme task from the beginning, but by the end, people would pull up to me on the road and tell me how pretty she was.
I had grown up with my father owning and building bikes. Triumph, Norton, Moto Guzzi, you name it. Needless to say, since I was a kid, motorcycles have been a huge part of who I am.
I have forever been dreaming of working for myself, or at very least not despising how I make a living for the rest of my life. I thought, we should start a business… building and parting out motorcycles.
I was pretty excited when I presented this to my friend. In my head it was sure fire, and if he we were on board…it would have been, but he wasn’t. He didn’t want anything to do with it.
So, all by my lonesome, I started out breaking down motorcycles for their parts, selling them off on the internet. Believe it or not, when done the right way it can be very lucrative. There are so many bikes out there without paperwork… which to most people makes them useless. If you can’t register it, and put it on the road what good is it? I would buy that bike… let’s just say for $200… then I’d sell two parts off that bike and make back the $200. Then I was left with a multitude of parts to sell.
There’s a little more to it, but that’s the gist of it. I would also polish, and restore certain parts. Not everything sells quick though, and before I knew it… I was sitting on a stockpile of parts. On the upside I barely put any of my own money into the stuff. When I would sell, I would buy more.
With the help of shows about middle aged men creeping around in barns… which would be like the most amazing job in the world… the market for anything and everything became more and more flooded. Soon everybody’s junk was worth money… and all those extra parts, that weren’t big expensive sellers… they weren’t worth selling because there was 50 guys selling those same parts for anywhere between $5-$50 each.
Now I put a lot of research in to what I was selling, so I had no problem making money off of a few things. But after so long I was buried in shelves full of parts that had no use. Motorcycle frames, engine covers, engine components, wheels, handle bars, even a complete chopper front end. It was so much work, for so little, and I began to not like working on my own bike, or even riding anymore.
I was spending all my free time working, I was getting burned out. Tired of breathing in metal shavings, dealing with idiots online, and the difficulties of shipping. I started to feel as if I was underneath a pile of junk. I walked away… once in awhile perusing a Matchless engine cover, or playing with an old Amal carburetor, I’d start to dream a little again, maybe sell a part or two. But the return wasn’t what I what I was putting in, and I felt defeated. I failed.
Throughout the ups and downs of this whole little venture, I constantly thought to myself that if my friend was there I would have been successful. That he could have filled the gaps, complimented the areas where I fell short.
I spent a lot of time thinking for the next few months. Re-examining where I’d been, where I wanted to go. Then one day I sat down and started writing… a couple months later… I had written my first book.