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That's it. I have had it.(38 posts)

That's it. I have had it.moneyman
Apr 1, 2003 7:29 AM
Sixteen years in the financial advice business. A slew of licenses, designations, continuing education, etc., etc., etc. The last three years being the captain of my own ship, owning my own practice. Three years of clients whining, compliance demanding, and markets tumbling. Three years of fees going down, down, down while service requirements went up, up, up. I asked myself every day why I continued to stay in this job, this entire line of work, which contributed an incredible sense of frustration bordering on despair.

I asked myself what I would do if money were no object. That was easily answered in one word - bicycle. I'm too old, fat and unmotivated to race professionally. I can't afford to be a mechanic, as I am paying college tuition for one daughter with another coming up in two years. In addition, I am a lousy employee as I cannot stand people telling me what to do.

The solution? Buy a bike shop. So I did! A store in Fort Collins, CO. I can't tell you the name yet as per the sales agreement, but I can tell you it is a going concern, generates a decent profit, is in a great location, has long-term employees and a strong clientele. It specializes in high-end bikes, road and mountain, and I'll keep it that way. I have thought long and hard about all the pluses and minuses of changing careers and of owning a bike shop, but in the end the two-wheeled way won.

I'm so stoked! I can't wait to show you pictures!

$$ (I'll have to change that ($$), too)
Coolcarpe_podium
Apr 1, 2003 7:35 AM
It's always good to hear about someone going for it. I hope everything works out well for you. I'm completely envious as I type this in my light gray cubicle...
yup...you must have the same cubicle I do (nm)ColnagoFE
Apr 1, 2003 8:01 AM
yup...you must have the same cubicle I do (nm)TheBigM
Apr 1, 2003 8:05 AM
My cube's beige... very soothing.
At least you get a cubicle...biknben
Apr 1, 2003 8:36 AM
I'm stuck working in an open room with two other guys. Noisy, annoying, no personal space.

My clothes (I commute) are upstairs in a co-workers closet.

I'll take a cube of any color please.

Moneyman...I often day dream about doing what you are making your reality. Best of luck!!!
at least...merckx56
Apr 1, 2003 9:00 AM
no one has done this to you!
I'll post the pic now! I'm a dumbass!(nm)merckx56
Apr 1, 2003 9:01 AM
Ohhh! Good IDEA! Much quieter than balloons.Kristin
Apr 1, 2003 9:24 AM
And much easier on the pharynx.
on the what? That almost sounds dirty! me likey!(nm)merckx56
Apr 1, 2003 10:46 AM
I'll be a costumer!PT
Apr 1, 2003 8:08 AM
Are we allowed to guess the store? My bet is Rock 'n Road on College near CSU. It's my favorite stop when visiting Fort Collins.

Good Luck!

PT
A costumer? How are you gonna dress him?(nm)merckx56
Apr 1, 2003 8:57 AM
Moneyman...you live my lifePaulCL
Apr 1, 2003 8:14 AM
In the financial advisory business for 15 years, three kids, one wife and tired of the markets, the whining, the compliance, while my frustration has grown, my income has dropped. Of course,my wife keeps spending in the 1999 version of my income.

I'm jealous. Need a partner?? You're not quitting your day job, are you??
Congratsgodot
Apr 1, 2003 8:18 AM
Congrats on the shop. I'm also guessing that it's Rock and Road.

I live in Fort Collins and would love to stop driving to Boulder for cycling purchases. Just had really bad luck with the quality of service from the local shops, especially Lee's.

Please post the name and location when everything is finalized. It would be nice to stop by and meet you.
I Hope...Jon Billheimer
Apr 1, 2003 8:23 AM
...everything works out and that owning a bike shop doesn't end up depriving you of all your riding time. You know the adage about "the mechanic's car"?:)- On the other hand I sure as hell don't blame you for wanting to get out of the financial management business.
Too BadDan Q
Apr 1, 2003 2:27 PM
It sucks that he is joking. I was hoping on Rock and Road too. I think the owner Rick is one of the biggest pricks I have ever met inside of a bike shop. Lee's though has always treated me ok. You should give em' another chance.
Too Badgodot
Apr 1, 2003 3:34 PM
I've given both Rock and Road and Lee's numerous tries, and always leave frustrated. Think it's to the point now that I go in there with a bad attitude, so there's little hope of a happy shopping experience.

It's really too bad this was a joke, I'd love to stop mail ordering and driving to Boulder.

What groups do you ride with in town?
Unfortunatly NoneDan Q
Apr 2, 2003 5:39 AM
I left Ft. Collins last fall for graduate school in Austin TX. I mostly spent my time riding with friends, CSU cyclists, and former REI employees. I am anxious to graduate and return to Colorado although most likely it will not be to Ft. Collins. Do me a favor on your next ride and realize just how great the riding around Ft. Collins is. I have to drive my car from the house now just to go on a road ride because the roads (and drivers) are so bad.
re: That's it. I have had it.gtx
Apr 1, 2003 8:19 AM
Good for you. Buying an established shop with "a great location, long-term employees and a strong clientele" is a great way to start. I'd recommend making an effort to keep your employees happy and to be present in the shop, helping on the floor as much as possible. I've worked at many shops and would say the troubles at most of them could be traced to a lack of owner presence and communication/relations with the employees. Good luck!
Good thing for you bike customers don't whine!SnowBlind
Apr 1, 2003 8:42 AM
Seriously,
best of luck, you got big brass cahones for doing it and you deserve to suceed!
If I am ever in the area, I will drop by and try whine till I get a flat fixed for free.
"But when I bought it the saleman said it would *NEVER* flat!"
You're doing this to GET AWAY from whining customers???Silverback
Apr 1, 2003 9:18 AM
I admire you for taking the step, but if you approach the bike shop from the standpoint that customers are whiners and "service requirements" are bad things, you may be in for a surprise. High-end bike buyers don't go back to shops with that attitude.
You are my hero!scis
Apr 1, 2003 9:20 AM
Today's one of those days I feel like leaving at lunch and never going back to work. At least someone out there is living their dream. Personally, my dream is for my wife's business to become successful enough that I can quit my job and work from home with her. Oh well, since I can't do that yet I guess I'll have to return to the office after lunch. Best wishes to you with the shop!
Best of Luck,TJeanloz
Apr 1, 2003 9:39 AM
Having seen both the finance world (though not the retail side) and the bike shop world first hand, I can only offer the best of luck to you. The Front Range of Colorado is a fun market to work in though -- and it should be an interesting change of pace for you regardless.

I could write a long essay on the do's and don'ts of bike shop management, but I don't want to overstep my bounds and give unsolicited advice. Suffice to say that there are a lot of little things that can make your life a lot more profitable and mildly easier.

I'm sure you know that it's a tough business, a labor of love, and one of the best ways to lose a fortune. At the same time, probably one of the most rewarding jobs in the world -- working at the bike shop was probably the best career move I'll ever make.
re: That's it. I have had it.koala
Apr 1, 2003 9:39 AM
I had a fantasy that I did exactly as you have. I also said to myself that if it ever happened I would have somebody I trusted to run it so I could ride as much as I wanted, testing all the goodies as thy came through the shop.

Best of luck and much happiness in your new venture, I am truly envious!
Good For You!RJF
Apr 1, 2003 10:04 AM
Congrats on having the balls to take a chance, and on having the courage to seek out happiness.

Don't listen to the nay-sayers. Good luck to you!!
re: High-end customers and pofits do not mix. nmlav25
Apr 1, 2003 10:19 AM
I would be more likely to believe this if...Charlie Amerique
Apr 1, 2003 10:25 AM
...it had been posted on March 31st or April 2nd.

I remember quite well when you posted (on MTBR Passion) that you were leaving the life of servitude for personal fame and fortune. How you were shaking off the shackles of "da man" and moving into a world where you were your own captain.

Now, head hanging down, bloodied, bruised and beaten you crawl. tail between your legs to Ft. Collins to become a bike shop owner.

Have you learned nothing from the trials and tribulation of Slarti?? He now stands (barely) as a broken man. Scarred for life and his dreams of stardom shattered like a champagne glass on New years night.

Turn back, return to the light and be blessed that you can "handle" other people's hard earned money. You find new and exciting ways to invest it and even more creative ways to tell them that they'll have to eat Kraft Dinner and cat food for the rest of their lives.

I tell you now, get thee past April Fool's Day and post this message again, lest a bolt from heaven (or somewhere else north of the border) strike thee bald!

CA
Is that a pic of Frankenstein's ass? nmLon Norder
Apr 1, 2003 12:27 PM
re: Congrats from a shop employee!teoteoteo
Apr 1, 2003 10:38 AM
Happy for you. As a guy that always toiled in jobs I hated I gave up $$ and followed my passion of bikes when I took a shop job in 1997. I moved from Dallas to Austin as I loved the riding and the people.

It's been a bit up and down but I wouldn't trade it. Sticking to my guns has brought me to the realization that time,patience, and passion are on my side now.

The shop allows me to dabble in my writing pursuits and disappear to France for a month. My only bit of advice is embrace your employees and empower them to be confidant that you will back them up. Good shops are a reflection of quality starting from the top. Be the first to sell a 200 bike or a 5000 one. Do the little things you feel that may be "below" you.

Give your employees a voice and a name. If you have the best damn wheel builder, bike fitter, struggling author than tell the whole world about them. Let the employees pick a specialty and set aside a paid hour per week for them to study and keep current.

Create schedules conducive to riding. This year I proposed "bike-thirty" to my shop. In essence it's a split shift that allows a bike ride during slow or off hours. A perfect refresher for tense and potentially surly employees.

I have a lot of opinions on the subject of employee relations I'd be happy to share. Feel free to mail me if you'd like.

teoteoteo@hotmail.com
I work in Ft. CColorado Ron
Apr 1, 2003 10:49 AM
and live in Loveland. Once you can let me know which shop you own, I'd be happy to stop in. Good luck and congrats. Ron
That's it. I have had it. (Most of you) Have been hadmoneyman
Apr 1, 2003 10:51 AM
With tremendous respect to my good friend Dalerider1, who perpetrated this same ruse to the good people of MTBR.com four years ago, I say to you,

Gotcha!


Happy April Fools day!

$$ (still)
I don't get it.RJF
Apr 1, 2003 10:55 AM
Aren't April Fool's jokes supposed to be funny? I'm not sure I get what was funny about that. Pantani having his ears done, now THAT is funny. White shorts banned -- funny again. I'm changing careers? Not funny. Maybe I just didn't get it.
How to make a small fortune..Spunout
Apr 1, 2003 11:17 AM
Start with a large one, and then buy a bike shop.

I had that message loaded and ready to go, but chose to cancel it because I didn't want to break your dreams down. Hmpf. Shoulda sent it anyways!
Not funny!RickC5
Apr 1, 2003 11:53 AM
I agree with RJF, your initial post was in bad taste, as you were stroking most of our fanatasies and now you tell us it was all a ruse. Boo! Hiss!
Now there's a good one liner in there somewhere. nmKristin
Apr 1, 2003 2:08 PM
YOU DOG !!PaulCL
Apr 1, 2003 12:03 PM
You played with our emotions! You "supposedly" did what we all want to do....ooh...that one hurt. You got me. Since we are in the same business, it really hit home for me.

Happy April fools day...
some advice....Frith
Apr 1, 2003 2:34 PM
first of all...Congrats on following your dreams...few have the courage you do. Secondly I won't profess to know anything about how to make a good LBS profitable, except that everyone in here can tell you what they don't like.
Anyway if you wanna hold on to that nick you could do worse than to stock a decent selection of those child carrier tow things. My LBS is making a killing on them. Get yourself a good supplier and a good range of models. People are tripping over themselves to get their hands on these things...I won't pretend to understand why.
some more advice....Frith
Apr 1, 2003 2:39 PM
In order to preserve your dignity and not appear foolish always read ALL responses before posting a message on April fools day. damn!
Great to hear!! All the best!! [nm]bent_spoke
Apr 1, 2003 8:38 PM