The best way to make money if you want to run gear for yourself is to do it as a side job. Have a steady job during the week and run your stuff on the weekends. Kinda sucks because you could be going 7 days a week, but it's the best way to double dip. After a while, you might be able to take the leap to self employment full time. My dad and I ran a business a few years ago but I took on an apprenticeship running iron, last 2 years I've worked have been great. Without getting into too much detail, if you factor in our pension and health benefits that is part of our wage package, I've made $100K+ the last 2 years and my job is over as soon as I hit the gate every night. Lots of hours, though, at some point you're on the wire for whatever they want and I never tell anyone no when it comes to working overtime. I moved around a lot on that project, they just kept me going as long as they could because I wouldn't turn anything down.
Now, with all that said, I really miss the dirt business and running my own gear. I actually just got laid off a couple weeks ago as the job I was on is coming to an end and I'm out pounding pavement for a new gig. Since I was in the hoisting business for the last couple years and found out the money is awesome, I'm turning a blind eye to the money and headed back to the dirt side of things if I can. I'll take a bit of a pay cut to do what I want, it's not always about the money. However, it still pays pretty well to be on a dirt crew if you're busy 10 months out of the year or so. Just set some personal goals for yourself and go from there. I've seen a whole lot of the industry because I was willing to not turn down an opportunity and I wouldn't change that for anything. But you do have to chase what you want and I know that better than anyone. Invest in your future with some sort of training, that's our biggest push down here. We have a training site that we pay for as members of the Local. Since I'm off for another month or so before things really fire up, I took the opportunity to go over to our training site and get in a blade. Nothing better than playing in the sandbox with the ultimate machine, running a grader is a riot.
Go hard, go fast, or go home