27 when I started and I had a connection who was a carpenter contractor doing Wendys Restaurant roofs and figured I could get in doing them as a side job.
In the interim, I slipped off a ladder and shattered my left foot, fractured my right heel and broke my left leg and my left hand. Ouch.
Well, the GC I had my eye on had a small falling out with his regular roofing contractor and asked if I could put a hot tar roof on a Mobil Gas Station Mini-Mart and detached car wash building.
Crapola!!! I was still in a wheelchair for 3 months total time. I needed someone to do the work for me, so I subbed out a friends company and had them do my jobs until I healed up enough to work again.
Nope, I had to tackle them all as a full time occupation. This was with my brand new 400 gallon Airoil Tar Kettle.
Then what did Wendys do, right after I hot tarred my first several restaurants?
They switched specs to Duro-Last and I wound up getting certified in the mid-80’s. Business took off really well from that point, but I had to travel all over tim-buk-too to keep up with the ever growing list of GC’s I had begun relations with.
Around 1991, a good friend lost his job as an electrical engineer, who came from a roofing family, (His Dad was my Superintendent when I was in the Union for 8 years), and i made a job for him by creating a residential division.
Around 1998, I got tired of always traveling and playing catch-up and slow-down with GC’s scedules, so I took the reigns of the residential division, just at the same time my friend decided to leave and start his own company, while recruiting all but 2 of my shingle employees to come work for him.
Now, I just do enough to stay busy and pay for 3 mortgages, (4, if you count the ex-wifes), and enjoy spending time with my new wife and my 5 year old son.
I love it, but the ups and downs are a M’er F’er on the mental swings.