Over the years, I have had a handful of people come up to me and tell me how great it would be if they owned their own shop and how rich I must be. What?! Where did these people get the idea that self-employment is so great? It might seem like the coolest thing ever, but it certainly has its downfalls. Let's dispel some myths, shall we?

Myth No. 1: You make your own hours
Sure, I can decide which 12 hours a day I am going to work. But, if I decide to play hooky, I just pay for it later.

Myth No. 2: You get to build the baddest vehicles
Yeah, for someone else. I drive a beater Pontiac Sunfire that I traded for a bodydrop. The time for a personal project is just not there.

Myth No. 3: You're rich
Okay, as large of a chunk of money that you may give me to work on your (insert vehicle here), I have to give the IRS 35 percent of the profit, buy parts, and pay rent with the rest of it.

Myth No .4: Companies give you free parts to build your own vehicle
This is sometimes true, but there isn't any time to build my own car (see Myth No. 2), so that doesn't matter.

Here's the kicker though...

Truth No. 1: You do what you love-
Yes, I do!

I would not trade this for the world! What I do is truly a labor of love. I am a "starving artist" and I wouldn't have it any other way. Getting paid to play and learn with every job that comes through the door is the best. Working long hours and weekends does suck, but at the end of the day, I look forward to waking up and starting it all over again. Sure, there are a few bad days and not everything goes as smooth as it should, but that could happen at any job. It's just that here I am in control. And the side effect of all the effort that I put into what I love most? Friends. Oh no, this is not another "friends make the world go around" column.

Honestly, the most unforeseen bonus to what I have been fighting for almost 10 years now is the newfound friendships. I can't think of one show that I have been to lately where somebody didn't come up to me just to tell me that they like my work or just to say "hey." That's how I met Mike Alexander. He was a little drunk and I was a lot sober (or maybe he was a lot drunk and I was a little sober.) But regardless, here I am, telling you guys a story in Mini Truckin', the very magazine that just a few years ago I could only hope to see something that I worked on in the show coverage.

Now I have Lowlife Mike living in my spare room (we'll see how that pans out.) It really has been worth all of the heartache to get here, and I want to thank all of you who have gone out of your way just to say "hi." And those of you who I have not yet met, make sure you kick a rock in my path next time I walk by you at a show.Thanks,Max