Dear 43 Things Users,

10 years after introducing 43 Things to the world, we have decided we have met our last goal: completing the incredible experience that has been 43 Things. Please join us in giving one last cheer to all the folks who have shared their goals with the world, as well as all the people who have worked at The Robot Co-op to build this incredible website. We won a Webby Award, published a book, and brought happiness to a lot of people.

Starting today, 43 Things users can export their goals and entries from the site. Starting August 15, we will make the site “read only”. 43 Things users will still be able to view the site and export their content, but we won’t be taking any new content from users. We hope to leave the site up for folks to see and download their content until the end of the year. Ending on New Year’s Eve takes us full circle.

It has been a long ride (one of our original goals was to "build a company that lasts at least 2 years” - we beat that one!) While we wish the site could live on, it has suffered from a number of challenges - changes in how people use the site, the advertising industry, and how search engines view the site. We wish the outcome was different – but we’ve always been realistic about when our goals are met and when they aren't.

As of today, you will be able to download your goals and entries. See more about that on the FAQ page. Thanks for 10 great years of goal-setting and achieving.

- The Robots.

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Iron Man in Fredenberg Township is doing 37 things including…

Own my own business

40 cheers


Iron Man has written 6 entries about this goal

I know that my time on here has been quite scarce for the last six months, (although I do check in fairly regularly to see how y'all are doing)

So I’m writing this to let you know what’s been taking most of my time.

Ever since the end of the school year, I’ve been down at the shop quite a bit. I’ve been making some necessary changes to make the company more profitable, without losing our competitive edge. I even had to do the hard part of the job, and make some personel changes. We’ve taken on some bigger jobs (one that will net us $19,000 itself), and more custom work too.

The timing of all this was good, because toward the last two weeks of the school year, I was informed that they would no longer offer face to face art with the students (good bye teaching), and most of the high school classes will be online (this is something I predicted the day we got the internet in the school thirteen years ago). They will only have four full time high school faculty next year – all the rest will be using a community member at minimum wage to babysit in the comp lab, while the students take their coursework online. The elementary, however will remain untouched, as they need the face to face teaching more (though all students need that).

Anyway, the timing of all this worked out perfect for me. Here is a link for some pictures of the shop

This was the first goal I ever had on my list.

I can now officially mark it as completed. As of this afternoon, I am now officially the owner of RHC Plating Inc. (formally known as New Dimension Plating). We are still going to be doing business under both names for a while, till the transition is more complete in the minds of our customers. We have actually been running it (and getting deposits, and paying things like bills and payroll and such) since the first of December. Now I can actually say that I own it.

I have someone who is running the shop part of the business (business partner), and I have been able to run the office type things from my home, via the computer from 200 miles away (technology is awesome). I still have to make trips down there of course to deal with some things personally. I also deal with the personel issues. Unfortunately, I already had to do the dreaded duty of letting somebody go. Also I have been going out to drum up more business. And hire more people too. I actually have a lot to do.

We still have the old web site for NewDimensionPlating, but I won’t place the link here, lest the robot deletes me for spam, or commercial useage. If you’re smart enough though you’ll know that all you have to do is add a dot com to the name.

We plate everything from the covers for BEAM central vac systems, trigger guards for Wheatherby guns, frames for Marvin Windows, to fire engine parts for three different companies. We also do custom work for bikes and antique cars.

I completely forgot to post this one

we signed a purchase agreement about two weeks ago. At this time we put our earnest money into an account. Now it’s a couple small details, and then waiting for the SBA to be approved.

This is one reason my periods of time on here have been brief as of late.

I was out of town for a few days working to make this goal a reality

We got a great accountant. He’s energetic – a real go-getter. He’s well connected in that town too. He has a lot of experience in business, and has some great ideas.

He recommended us to a good couple of bankers. These guys are ready to give us an awesome package, especially after seeing how far a business like this can go, and what all it can encompass. They really liked our business plan and three year projection. We are now on a fisrt name basis with the presideant and vice president of the bank. They have already started the paperwork moving.

Our lawyer is really on the ball too. He got the paperwork started already too. In about two weeks or so we will be a corporation. The guy shoots black powder rifles too, and his son is a huge history buff. We invited him to come up and join us for the shooting competitions at the “Forest City Stockade Big Timber Mazewaukins Ole Tyme Frolic” this August. Forest City is only about a half hour away from where they are at.

The owner who desparately wants to retire, was almost skipping for happiness. He’s glad to see that things are moving along so quickly and smoothly. He wants to be able to get on with the rest of his life. He will be going to southern India the middle of this August. He hopes it all to be either done or close to being done before he leaves.

We are in a kind of daze over how fast this is now happening. I personally haven’t even had the chance for the reality to sink in. I can talk about it, but it’s hard to believe that it’s true.

This is going to happen here soon.

I will be primarily an investor. Someone I know is buying a metal plating shop. It’s the only one in Northern Minnesota, and he’s already getting contracts from places all around the country. He’s been in the business for over 30 years, and is well known for quality. Therefore when he left his last place to come up here and buy this one, much of his business followed him.

There is one place in southern Wisconsin that makes fire engines, and they buy about 35 to 45 thousand dollars per month in plating. They just contracted with this place last week.

Mike (the operator, senior partner/investor) figures that the loans for the business will be all paid off in less than two years.

My only job to perform for this business will be the “sphincter squeezer.” What that means is I have to come in and make unplanned, unannounced visits to make sure people are doing what they are supposed to be doing, and make everyone tighten up their rears. It’s easier for me to do it, because Mike has to work with them every day (although he tells me just what each person is doing and not doing).

Basically it works this way. He tells me ahead of time what’s not happening the way it should be. Then I go in and make like I’m venting to him about “Why aren’t these things happening the way they should be!?”

The money that comes in from this can be reinvested to create the other business I’ve wanted to start, but can’t because it takes alot of initial investment.

A so called "real Business"

Most of my cousins own their own businesses, and so did my dad. Whenever the family gets together they ask me “when are you going to get your own business?” I tell them that I already have one. I have a small blacksmithing business. It’s legal, registered, and I pay taxes on the darn thing. They tell me that it doesn’t count, cause I only earn about $5000 a year from it. I still have to work a regular job. The blacksmithing is just a paying hobby. I like the freedom I have though to go off into the woods whenever I want. I don’t have to stay behind and be ready to wipe employees’ noses.

But I was thinking lately though: to have a “real” business, where I pay someone else to run the show, all I would have to do by way of job description is to show up at odd times, unannounced, and make everyone tighten their sphincters. Then I would be able to have more freedom.

Iron Man has gotten 40 cheers on this goal.


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