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It seems like forever since I’ve had a chance to let my thoughts pour out onto the keyboard and eventually find their way into print. With the new guy John putting me to work answering your emails (which is fine and good), I never get to write editorial anymore. I wonder when he will no longer have to carry the “new guy” moniker anyways. Sorry, on to my reason for typing. Recently, there has been something quite foreign happening at Bio Kustumz that I really wanted to share, but of course John made me thumb-wrestle to earn my right to not answer emails this month. Good thing that my thumbs are double-jointed!

So check this out, somehow I’ve managed to find the time to actually work on a vehicle for myself. No, I’m not ’bagging a car that we bought or chopping the roof on one of my Buicks that will just find its way into the hands of the first eager friend gripping a handful of cash that isn’t enough to cover my time invested let alone the parts cost. I’m talking about a complete ground-up build for myself. Amazing! I can hear you all whispering to yourselves now, “How does he find the time? I wish I could do that.” But of course, the most important question here is “What are you building?” Now this has little to do with where this story is going, but it would be selfish of me to keep that information from you; after all, you did take the time to read up to this point. I’m building an ’86 Toyota 4Runner 4WD long-travel desert truck. I know it’s not what many of you would expect, but it is a minitruck right? Of course now the technical guys are screaming for more details, but guess what? You’ll have to look on Facebook if you want to see what’s going on.

The reason why I wanted to share this with you is because for so many years I thought that it was impossible to find the time to build something for myself without the business side of things suffering horribly, and I know that there are many of you who also share that same feeling. Well, I’m here to tell you that it IS possible, and yes, it is a fine balance of time and finances. The first trick was getting totally caught up with all the stupid projects that were just waiting for time to work on them. This was the toughest part for me because I don’t like to tell people “no.” I have always been willing to help out a friend with his project; I would just chock it up as a “side project” and pocket the cash. The problem ended up being that I simply ran out of time for anything new, even actual shop jobs. In hindsight, this mess isn’t something that happened overnight, it took many years to create such monumental chaos.

Clearing up work time is an obvious one, but the biggest thing I changed is my attitude toward weekends. I used to tell customers they can come by any day that works for them because I was working 7 days a week anyways, but now Saturday and Sunday have become off-limits. I have two days a week that I can work on my truck uninterrupted, and I am going to take full advantage of that. I do miss those days of working past midnight (it was somehow fun working till the wee hours of the night trying to get a truck to a show), but I am getting too old to torture myself like that anymore. Wait, I know where I can find some extra time! I’ll just figure out a way to tell the wife that I’m not going to work on her truck anymore!

I can’t tell you how many times through the years when I’d ask other shop owners how they find time to build themselves projects. “You just gotta make time” was always their response. That sounds too easy and I never really understood what they meant, but now I completely understand. So, here’s to more personal projects!