Finding a new and unusual job?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
Have decided to go back into sales after several decades out - if I can find a job like this:
1) Extensive driving. Been wanting to travel a lot - why not get paid while doing it? 
2) Maybe do some installations and service myself.
3) Invest about $60,000, plus or minus a fair amount, and carry some inventory here. 

Been self employed for 25 years but weary of aquarium maintenance. 
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,839 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Never invest earned money to secure a possible job, that's not sound financial planning, especially in aquarium maintenance, too narrow a field for opportunity, not that I'm an expert in that field, just using common sense.

    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    IMHO, "investing earned money to secure a possible job" can be one of the best possible financial planning decisions.  Obviously, the type and scale of the investment has to make sense, but spending on things like education, tools, networking, relocation, etc can significantly increase earnings for a lifetime.

    I read softdowns post as he currently does aquarium maintenance, but is tired of that and is thinking of doing something like route sales.  Not sure how much it's still done, but there used to be lots of people self-employed selling confectionery, tools, industrial supplies, etc.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,049 admin
    When I was young (some 50+ years ago), route sales were pretty common. From the Fuller Brush man, to vacuum cleaners, shoes, milk for home; tools and light equipment like Snap-on and Mac tools, presses, jacks, pressure cleaners, etc.). Much of that seems to be "gone" these days.

    Driving truck (delivery, long haul, etc.), vehicle maintenance/equipment maintenance, etc. can be quite lucrative in the "oil patch" regions (long hours, overtime, etc.)--But Americans in general, have seem to lost the desire to move to where the work is.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/staying-put-why-americans-arent-moving/

    California is a beautiful place to live--And lately, a great place to leave...

    Employment and housing conditions are very localized conditions--And choosing where to relocate (or stay put) will change your job opportunities. Add economic cycles on top of that--And you have inrush of new jobs and employees, then a market crash of some sort a few years later (like in the Dakotas).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Wheelman55Wheelman55 Registered Users Posts: 61 ✭✭✭
    Been self employed doing this same thing for decades. It’s called an “independent manufacturers rep”. All commission based. Basically you put together a quiver of non competing companies, in a territory where you are the only contracted seller, then go out and sell. You’ll earn commission from sales that your territory generates. Commissions typically are paid 30 or more days after the invoices are paid for. 

    Meaning you get the order in June for ASAP delivery, your vendor ships the order in July with say 60 day terms, invoice gets paid in September, you get paid in October.

    All selling and traveling expenses are paid by you. There are no benefits. From experience, it takes 180 days before you know if you are going to make it financially. It’s not for the faint of heart, however it’s worked well for me over the past 40 years.
    Building Off-Grid in Terlingua, TX
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,839 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Perhaps I miss interpreted the aquarium maintenance as a possible new venture, I have however known some who bought into get rich  schemes such as Nutralife, only to be left with the inventory they purchased to enter the scheme. Sales requires talent, you either have it or don't, I sold cars for many years as a curber, was quite successful based on honesty, tried a used car lot but was a miserable failure because I had to be dishonest to make a sale.

    A friend who worked as a financial analyst for major airlines gave me advice when I was in my 20's, he said you will make all the money needed to retire will be after age 35, when you will be taken seriously, another point made was never become a landlord, too unpredictable. His advice was followed, I spent 15 years traveling the world on a motorcycle, working as needed, started working full time at 38, retired at 55 but in reality as "retired" I do more work now than ever.

     Being self sufficient is a full time job, not 100% yet, perhaps never will be, but do produce ~ 80 of what I eat, so a start. Spent the last 3 days on the Kubota tractor leveling fields for rice, all done now, all that's needed is rain, back to taking care of my goats, cattle, chickens and fish, obviously he didn’t define retirement. :/
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
    Been self employed doing this same thing for decades. It’s called an “independent manufacturers rep”. All commission based. Basically you put together a quiver of non competing companies, in a territory where you are the only contracted seller, then go out and sell. You’ll earn commission from sales that your territory generates. Commissions typically are paid 30 or more days after the invoices are paid for. 

    Meaning you get the order in June for ASAP delivery, your vendor ships the order in July with say 60 day terms, invoice gets paid in September, you get paid in October.

    All selling and traveling expenses are paid by you. There are no benefits. From experience, it takes 180 days before you know if you are going to make it financially. It’s not for the faint of heart, however it’s worked well for me over the past 40 years.
    Yes - that is pretty close to what I have in mind. Don't even know where to start looking to be honest. 

    I usually have rental income and I could sell my Denver home for a significant amount. Half the issue is boredom to be honest. I feel best, by far, when working with a manageable challenge.

    I did sales for a decade and was extremely good at it when I could believe in my product and the companies service. The recession of 1987-1993 quieted my enthusiasm for awhile. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    When I was young (some 50+ years ago), route sales were pretty common. From the Fuller Brush man, to vacuum cleaners, shoes, milk for home; tools and light equipment like Snap-on and Mac tools, presses, jacks, pressure cleaners, etc.). Much of that seems to be "gone" these days.

    Driving truck (delivery, long haul, etc.), vehicle maintenance/equipment maintenance, etc. can be quite lucrative in the "oil patch" regions (long hours, overtime, etc.)--But Americans in general, have seem to lost the desire to move to where the work is.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/staying-put-why-americans-arent-moving/

    California is a beautiful place to live--And lately, a great place to leave...

    Employment and housing conditions are very localized conditions--And choosing where to relocate (or stay put) will change your job opportunities. Add economic cycles on top of that--And you have inrush of new jobs and employees, then a market crash of some sort a few years later (like in the Dakotas).

    -Bill
    .
    There are well paying oil field jobs almost on the other side of the state - last I checked. Been considering looking into that. I could live in an RV while up there. I've driven over a million miles, don't mind doing it. Problem lately is that I keep doing over 2000 miles in two days which knocks me out for awhile. The challenge is interesting but the repercussions do present. 

    I'm really in the mood for travel. A lot of travel....by car or truck. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just a thought... if travel by road is the thing, how about moving the car itself?  There are a lot of folks who move south for winter, north for summer.  Some of them can't or would prefer not to drive back and forth, but want the car at each end, and someone trustworthy to make it happen.  Maybe there's already an app for that.  I dunno.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    Just a thought... if travel by road is the thing, how about moving the car itself?  There are a lot of folks who move south for winter, north for summer.  Some of them can't or would prefer not to drive back and forth, but want the car at each end, and someone trustworthy to make it happen.  Maybe there's already an app for that.  I dunno.
    Interesting idea. Could be a tad seasonal. I could do professional driving for sure. So long as I don't have to put up with passengers like a taxi driver. I'm too inquisitive for one thing. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Blackda3Blackda3 Registered Users Posts: 6 ✭✭
    On a recent camping trip, I met a woman who worked for Enterprise Car Rental, and did something very similar.  It sounded like certain destination cities would have an over supply of cars and needed drivers to relocate them.  She seemed to appreciate the solitude while listening to audiobooks.
    1996 LX450; 2017 Aliner Explorer: 3 x 105 Ah AGMs; 2 x 140w Kyocera panels connected to a Bogart TriMetric and solar charge controller; Remote deployable system of two/three additional Kyocera panels connected to a Victron MPPT 100/50 Solar Charge Controller.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
    Last I heard returned rental cars paid minimum wage. A bad deal considering the inherent risks of being on the road. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Make an app.  Raise $billions in P.E., cash out for $billions more in IPO.  Or drive the car for min wage (until it drives itself).  Sorry, I didn't make the rules :neutral:
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
    Been self employed doing this same thing for decades. It’s called an “independent manufacturers rep”. All commission based. Basically you put together a quiver of non competing companies, in a territory where you are the only contracted seller, then go out and sell. You’ll earn commission from sales that your territory generates. Commissions typically are paid 30 or more days after the invoices are paid for. 

    Meaning you get the order in June for ASAP delivery, your vendor ships the order in July with say 60 day terms, invoice gets paid in September, you get paid in October.

    All selling and traveling expenses are paid by you. There are no benefits. From experience, it takes 180 days before you know if you are going to make it financially. It’s not for the faint of heart, however it’s worked well for me over the past 40 years.
    That is the logical thing to pursue. This seems to be a good place to start: http://www.manufacturers-representatives.com/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwrpLoBRD_ARIsAJd0BIWxrvHSPYXFmWn6HiTOI6-uqXKHxmYtuhc_Ym8az-azZ24CVvRT_q4aAiMPEALw_wcB
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    Make an app.  Raise $billions in P.E., cash out for $billions more in IPO.  Or drive the car for min wage (until it drives itself).  Sorry, I didn't make the rules :neutral:
    I've made at least ten times minimum wage for decades now. Why in the world would a skilled person work for minimum wage? Why would someone suggest working for such insulting wages? 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I agree.  It's just that driving a car from A to B is a common skill, unlikely to offer a high wage.  Lots of cab and Uber drivers find it tough to even get to minimum wage.

    I don't know what snowbird driving gigs pay.  The people hiring seem to be fairly well off, so maybe they pay better to get someone trustworthy?

    Route sales likely can be better $, if you can get the right products and territories.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    I agree.  It's just that driving a car from A to B is a common skill, unlikely to offer a high wage.  Lots of cab and Uber drivers find it tough to even get to minimum wage.

    I don't know what snowbird driving gigs pay.  The people hiring seem to be fairly well off, so maybe they pay better to get someone trustworthy?

    Route sales likely can be better $, if you can get the right products and territories.
    I considered transporting boats for people.  A large problem is licensing and insurance for a new comer.  It would be easy to lose money for that reason. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 3,617 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Probably a fair bit of competition from skippers with lots of offshore sea miles under the keel too.  The ones I know of tend to also do teaching, charters, and/or sales as well, so I have to assume it's tough to make a consistent living just doing deliveries.

    A guy I know with a barge business built it to use a separately powered boat to push the barge to avoid having to get whatever CDN equivalent to USCG 100 ton masters licence, so I assume that part is non-trivial.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,448 ✭✭✭✭✭
    We did a few deliveries because we knew the people and were out cruising already. Once got paid 10K to deliver from Cartagena to Key West. That was a nice income that kept us out cruising another year :)
    Short of that, you need the documented hours of experience for a "six pack" license. The test itself is not that hard.

    The other way to do  a similar delivery business is to read the great John Rains book "Passagemaking Handbook" It really is a primer for delivery boat skippers and crew. It also had some great info for owners on how to write the contract for their boat. A fun read also for armchair sailers.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
    I was referring to trailering boats over the road. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,448 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Over the road is easy except for those pesky overpass heights ;)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,184 ✭✭✭✭
    edited June 16 #22
    My S2 load was 14' and kept me wary. Encountered an off highway underpass that said it was 14' and elected not to try  my luck.

    Weight is easier than height I think. I was relieved when the trip was over. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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