Written by Molly Frazee; Financial Strategist
Since the pandemic has begun, we keep hearing the term "pivot;" how businesses must get creative in order to adapt amid this massive upheaval. While there have been many devastating impacts of COVID-19, I encourage you to keep working to find the positive that can come from this. I'd like to share with you a story of one such glass half-fuller.
Finding a Passion
During the initial shutdown, a sole proprietor carpenter out of New England had to halt all projects as they were primarily interior jobs within residential homes. Once the weather allowed, he was able to generate new work on exterior home improvement projects. The spring and summer months felt "normal" with regard to the amount of work, at times even busier than in previous years. Despite the stability, he found that he wasn't passionate about the projects he had going. Without question, he was grateful to have them, but he realized his status-quo was no longer enough for him.
Then, he had a request from an old contact to convert her cargo van into a mini mobile-home for her and her young son to enjoy camping trips and other adventures.
A couple of years ago he had converted a school bus into a mobile home for his own adventuring, and she had seen his work at that time.
For three weeks, he outfitted her van with solar power, seating, a bed, a propane cooktop, and plenty of storage. During that time, he remembered how much fun converting his bus had been and couldn't wait to get out of bed to work on the van each morning.
Making a Change
With the pandemic and travel limitations, the road trip vacation has made a resurgence. People working from home have been exposed to the ability to work from anywhere. Indoor activities are still limited, and people have been filling that void with a fresh look at the great outdoors. With all of those factors contributing to a growing market for the niche-type work of converting vehicles into mobile living space, this carpenter turned to us for help in looking at the numbers. Together, we looked at known costs, reviewed on a national scale what the ticket prices are for various sizes and amenities for the vehicle conversions, and discussed his financial goals. We built a projection and outlined the risks and how those would be mitigated.
He has now refocused his business to the type of work he loves and in doing so, has found himself more motivated and more empowered each day.
Simon Sinek's famous question of "why" may be popping up in your mind more often these days. Don't be afraid to ask it. Let all the change that has been thrown at us the past 8 months give you a new perspective. What parts of your work make you excited to get out of bed? How can you pivot within your business, not only to survive, but to be happier with your day-to-day than you were before?