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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/note-to-duck-19830028.aspx

Subject:  Note to Duck Date:  11/9/2003  1:15 PM
Author:  sutton Number:  8983 of 15017

Duck:

Here are some late thoughts.

Thought number one: are you after the money, or the prestige, or the self-satisfaction, or is this all for the kids? Or, are you just bored?

Thought number two: if it's the money, “the best work is on your own desk”. What Charlie Munger meant by that is, go with what you know. Yeah, yeah, I know, computers suck. You know what? My field sucks, too. So did my dad's. So does Charlie M's. Look: the NY Times ran an editorial a few years ago that I cut out, and still have around somewhere. The headline was something like 'So, you found your dream job? Stop yawning'. One point was, if you're equipped to do it, and have earned the credentials, then almost by definition it's both easy and boring. The other point was, it's surprisingly hard to earn $100 outside of your field.

So, if it's the money, then your job is to either suck it up and smile – it's for the kids, after all – or learn to live on less (you don't need me to quote the post where you're surrounded by all the computer equipment, do you?). Either way works, but both require you to stop whining.

If it's for the prestige: a self-storage unit doesn't do it.

If it's the self-satisfaction, then that leads us to lots of existential stuff best left between you and Mrs. Duck.

If it's for the kids: fuhgeddaboutit. At their age, they're best served by your being at home. Grilled cheese sandwiches. Trips to the library. Kites at the park. You get the idea.

If it's because you're bored (sigh) here are a few more thoughts (/sigh). Take them for what they're worth. As they say, free advice is about worth what you pay for it.

*****

For no good reason, I've been interested in the economics of self-serve car washes. (It's probably for the same reason that some people like Babylonian pottery). For reasons I'll go into in a minute, I've been thinking about it pragmatically recently, and here is my back-of-the-envelope pro forma (much of which is taken from http://www.magicwandcarwash.com/default.asp?key=startacarwash_carwashtypes )

Presuming a four-bay wash, site fully developed.

Cool stuff:

All cash. No accounts receivable. No bad debts. Customer loyalty. Revenue from day one. Morally impe