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My Retirement Story: I retired at 39. By retired I mean I left my successful, but very high stress career behind. Why? The pressure I put on myself and family from that career was killing us (definitely killing me!) My career at that point involved corporate strategic placement and business development consulting in the healthcare market. Dog eat Dog stuff. I was making good money but it was burning me out. While I loved doing the job and solving the puzzles, I found I could no longer handle the physical stress. I decided to leave that all behind and do what I enjoy instead of what makes the most money. I decided to build a business for myself, instead of helping others build theirs. I paid for college by working as a carpenter in the summers so I thought why not do something like that again! I obtained a Contractor License in California and began looking at the market to find my niche. I do not do any of the real labor, I hire others for that. I needed margin to succeed. To make ends meet I started picking up houses, fixing and flipping them. I learned a few of the the tricks and made some money but lacking the key contacts hurt my success. My goal was to develop "A lifestyle business" that allows me to work as hard or as little as I wanted. Finally I located an opportunity, identifying a poorly served segment, Disability Remodeling, and set out to build a business. My company now remodels homes for the disabled, mostly of late for veterans in San Diego County working directly for the Department of Veteran Affairs. Most business people detest working with the Government because of the bureaucracy and slow pace, but that is the barrier to entry that I love. The secret to success is to master the rules of working with the funding entities and fight to streamline the operation down lean and mean. My lifestyle business earns me a nice living, on my terms and time table. I work at home, as hard as I want and earn as much as I need each year. But I guess I am not yet fully retired since I still work 20 to 25% of the year while still pulling in 6 figures.
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