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rhoads56

Video stuff, and lutherie mentorships

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Hey guys...

So, I have two things for you today :D

Firstly, we have reached the funding requirements to produce a documentary on my 10th Anniversary Series of guitars. I'm building ten guitars, similar to my PG GOTM winning Shark Guitar from a number of years ago... think of these as Shark v2.0 :)

These are going to be very high end guitars, and you can see some of the specifications here:
http://boutiqueguitars.com.au/

I ran a crowdfunding campaign to raise the necessary extra funds, and it has around 5-6 days left to go, so if you'd like to be a part of it, check out the link below. HD, widescreen 1080, Bluray with a DVD option too, plus a number of perks and upgrades :)

http://www.pozible.com/project/173550

=====================

The second thing I'd like to announce is a mentoring program.

Building a sustainable guitar making business is hard. You know how it is. All the luthiers I talk to comment on how it is very difficult to compete against the big brands. The economy. Their location, etc etc, but it doesn't need to be like that.

I didn't have anyone help me out in the beginning, it was all just pure hard work, taking risks, failing, and getting straight back up again. It took a while, but I worked out what works, what doesn't, and how to find so much work, to the point it's so second nature to me now.

I wished for assistance when I started out. Hell, I asked so many luthiers and the answer was always the same. Rejection. They all thought that sharing ideas, advice, and assistance would just be breeding competition between us. But, I don't want to be "one of those guys". We don't compete against each other (as luthiers), we compete against the big box machines pumping out substandard, soul-less products. We all have something unique to offer that the big boys can't, but can we see that in ourselves? How do we get that across to the general public?

I like helping people, and I LOVE to know that someone has taken a bit of assistance from me, and built it into something awesome. Sometimes, we just need a push, or that little bit of confidence to make a mark. Sometimes it takes a real butt kicking, to make a change that scared us previously. I've got a nice big pair of shoes for that.

We won't be doing any building tips, or construction methods. This will be purely "how to market your business, and find awesome customers". It is assumed you already know how to build, you just need help selling yourself and increasing your output.

So that's where I'm at now. I want to be that push. I want to be the one that makes the change for someone. I want to help some of you kick some goals. Show you the secrets, open the books, and let the knowledge flow. Paying forward, for the awesome career Ive been granted. Make 2014 THE best year, for a handful of guys that want to step up.

However, this isnt a free for all. There are some requirements. You'll need to be already charging for your services (either building or repairs). You'll need to have made those steps into becoming a full time luthier (you don't have to have achieved that yet). You'll need to be the type of person who is driven. I want to work with eagles, not turkeys!

Everything is going to be done online. You'll have access to a private group where we can share ideas, download documents, and report in. There will be a bunch of one on one strategy sessions over skype or phone to really nail where you want to go and how to get there, plus group calls where everyone is on the line at the same time.

So, if you've started a career in lutherie, and want that helping hand, Im there for you. I can't help everyone, but I can make a difference. Just shoot me an email, I'll send you a questionnaire, and we can get the ball rolling: guitars @ ormsbyguitars.com

First round of submissions close December 4th, as I have time booked off to call everyone on the 6th and 7th. If you miss that cut-off, that's cool, we can arrange a time later on. The program will start around March 2014.


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Very cool Perry! I especially like the the use of the terms: art & heirloom in the video description. That is the way I approach my projects. I often describe it as building "fine functional furniture".

The mentoring program is very appealing to me. As a full time luthier with an artistic background, most of the time I am scratching to keep the bills paid... The proverbial "starving artist". For me, it's usually either feast or famine. The new shop was a must to take it to the next level, but added a new set of expenses. My Achilles heel has been justifying taking on "paying jobs" (kitchen remodels etc..) to make ends meet.

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It shouldnt be like that Doug. We are artists, if you want to call it that, but we are also tradespeople, and experts in our field. A plumber, earns more than every luthier Ive ever met. An electrician has $500 in tools. A gardner even earns more than most luthiers. If those trades can provide a six figure income, then mine can too!

I used to think I was lucky being able to earn good money in this business. But Ive realised it mostly came down to damn hard work... in the RIGHT areas... that made the biggest impact on my business. Luck, then could be viewed as "well that wouldnt of happened if I didnt already do this other thing previously..."

Breaking down what I do, and have done, into tiny sections, analysing each one, and breaking them down even further, really helped me understand what it was that worked, when it worked (this is important), and how to repeat it. Ive gone as far as profiling clients to work out how to tell what a client is like, within 30 seconds on the phone, to best serve that customer.

You have an awesome product. You definitely have a good eye for design. You should be killing in mate. But Im going to go out on a limb here and suggest... or ask... you probably sabotage yourself a little bit from time to time? There are most likely a lot of times you lose focus?

Where Im at: I planned out all of 2014 last month, week by week, what I will be doing. There is a little wiggle room, but essentually my years is booked. I didnt go into 2015, but I have the work booked. From there, that gives me a big picture, estimated income levels, and a week by week plan. That then gets broken into month long blocks. So, I know when, what, and where to order from (not too early, not too late), I know when payments are coming in for runs, courses, special guitars, etc, and adjusted those to suit a fairly even cash flow, and then set periods of R+R to look forward to.
As each month approaches, I then break each week into halves. It only takes about 5 minutes to do a month. Then I know when jobs need to be done, group similar things together to save time, etc.

I work with long term goals (3 years), medium (1 year), 9 months, 6 months, 3 months, 1 month, and weekly targets.

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