I own Bobcats, trenchers, a dozer and several skid steer attachments and never got into the business. All I do is maintain properties I own, and the occasional cash or barter job. My main money maker has been repairing equipment, so the machines provided valuable experience to practice repairs and making hoses. As for operating I agree that finding a place to use the machine and doing it is important. I used to watch others do their jobs when I was younger to get ideas. Generally I could disassemble and rebuild a machine before I had any real experience running one. My first skid steer was a trade for trailer tires I cleaned and mounted. Once I had assembled the skid steer (Mustang 1700) I set out to figure out how to run it. After almost 25 years I never had the heart to get rid of that machine.