UNICUS – ADJ; only| sole| single| singular| unique; uncommon| unparalleled; one of a kind
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When I was a teenager, most of my free time after school was out, I spent working at our family owned auto body shop. Back then it was messy jobs, like cleaning the bathrooms, office, sweeping the floor, taking out the garbage, and cleaning vehicles after they were repaired to get them ready for pick up by the customer.
When I was around 14 I was finally allowed to start working on cars, again, jobs that the other employees did not like, like sanding, masking, and other boring jobs. I was slowly given larger tasks to do. When I was 15, I bought my first write-off. It was a 1969 Datsun Pickup that rolled over. Now I was starting to have fun. Our body shop was only about a 15 minute bike ride from school, so after school I would ride to the shop to work.
When my dad and I went home for dinner, afterwards we went back to the shop, there was always something to do there, you could never get caught up. I loved it, could not wait until the weekend, because I would have all day Saturday and Sunday to work, make money and work on my projects.
I was 15 when I finished fixing that 1969 Datsun rollover, with my fathers help. I sold it for a little under a thousand dollars. By the age of 17, I was doing collision repairs and painting complete automobiles.
Then I started to buy write-offs and fix them up and sell them. I also bought Chevelles, had a 1965, 1966 and 1967. They all needed restoration and when they were done I sold them.
When I graduated high school, half a semester early, I went to work full time as an auto body mechanic. I was addicted to working, all day, nights, weekends, I just loved it and the money too.
When I was in my early 20′s my father started up an automotive appraisal company doing work for insurance companies, after selling the body shop. He wanted me to join him, but I wanted to try something different.
I seen a new trend, companies starting up and selling aftermarket auto body parts and business was booming as the parts were so much less expensive than OEM parts. In 1984 my father borrowed me the seed money to start my own business, marketing aftermarket auto body parts and tools, wholesale and retail, some imported direct from Taiwan, others, from places all over North America. Around 1986 I was importing “Dash-Caps” replacement covers for cracked dashboards from the USA. I was selling so many I made a deal with the manufacture to have exclusive rights to sell them in Canada. I sold the company in 1988 and went to work for our family business as an automotive insurance appraiser. I was an appraiser for 21 years.
When I owned my own business I loved to create my own advertising (text and graphics) that would appear in newspapers, magazines, fliers and I even created my own catalog, loaded with graphics and had it professionally printed. Back in those days, you didn’t have ready access to computers, it was all done with Letraset and drawings. Then in 1985 a friend of mine was selling computers and plotters. He created a flier for me and I was blown away watching it being created on a plotter. Right then I knew, I wanted to get into computers.
My first computer was a Tandy Color Computer back in about 1985, then my new hobby took off. I was hooked on computers and software, and I really liked desktop publishing software. Over the years lots of my money I earned went into computers, printers and software. In around 1997 I purchased Photoshop 4.0. Today I use Photoshop CS4, and that is one of my favorite pieces of software I use on a daily basis. I also use Jing Pro and Camtaisa Studio daily to create projects and tutorial videos. Since leaving the insurance industry, I plan on getting some sort of gig in the computer industry.
Some words of wisdom a friend of mine was given by his father when he was really young were; “Find something you love, then figure out a way to get paid for it.”
That’s my plan!
Update: July 01, 2011
I landed a gig in the Internet industry, an Internet company that builds “community software.”