Here is a Facebook post from August that I forgot to include the website. I must say I was quite overwhelmed by people's response and how it resonated with them.
Here is the original post:
Today, August 19th, 2015 is a big landmark for me. Today is the day that I ship out the first guitar that I have built here in the new shop. It’s taken me the past three years to arrive at this day. Three years since I left a regular paying job to embrace the chaos of doing things on my own. Three years of setting up shop while taking on as much repair work as I could to keep the lights on. All the while, squeezing in build time when I could.
So what’s the deal with the wine bottle? I know it’s a pretty tacky photo, but I bought this bottle 10 years ago while I was living in Santa Cruz, CA. It cost me $40 and I told myself that I wouldn’t open it until I had built a guitar out of my own full-time shop. Today is the day I get to open it and see if it has aged as well as I have. Today also marks the 9 year anniversary of being married to my wife. Here’s to many more years on both fronts ...
So it just goes to show you that chasing down your dreams is a lifelong journey, not a destination. As cliché as that sounds, you have to be in it for the long haul or face the stark reality of disappointment. I have been building and repairing guitars for over 12 years. All you can really do is put in the hard work everyday and hope that you are making the best use of your time. The combination of making the correct decisions and a little luck will guide you along your path.
It is hard not to compare yourself to others and feel like you are never going to "catch up" or "get there". But the real battle is within. Challenging yourself everyday and putting in the work day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute, not giving up no matter what.
People focus on other's success but do not realize all of the unglamorous hard work that it demands. Success is sexy. Doing the grind work is not. They say, "he's got it easy." It is the daily grind that will get you "there" eventually. Or it doesn't. But know that you at least gave it an honest shot with everything you have. Always keep in mind that some people will always have it better than you and others will have it worse. Most likely much, much worse. Maintain perspective. When I get down on myself (which happens quite a bit when you work alone), I get back on track by just doing the work that I know needs to be done. There is no point in wasting time worrying and feeling like things aren't going your way. As writer Ryan Holiday states, The Obstacle is the Way. Every little thing I cross off of my daily list (see excerpt below) is one step closer and that adds up to something bigger over time.
I am thankful where I am and how far I've come, but I still have a long way to go and I'm OK with that. But I am hungry for progress. Time to keep chipping away at the next build.
Details on the first two builds:
Below are performances by Ken Bonfield that we shot here at the shop on the Kalliope 001 and Rogue 005 (pictured above, left to right). Nine videos in total on two guitars. Also note that Rogue 005 is available to demo here at the shop so please contact me if you are interested in checking it out. I have really enjoyed the variety of players that have come through the shop and played for me so far. It has been awesome and I'm looking forward to what lies ahead.
PS - The title of this post may be misleading. I depend heavily on the generosity of family, friends and clients to support me and my work. I am truly grateful for all of you.