Talking to my friends that are in the business said if they sold everything they own they still would be in debt. Most of them would be over 100 grand in debt. The reason why this topic come up we were talking about retirement and many of these guys are screwed they have to keep working. What happened to these guys they sunk themselves into deep into debt the building boom contractors were buying up new shiny iron like it was going out of style. Now they are well over half a million dollars in debt with payments of 25 to 30 grand a month These guys are litterally worth more dead than alive they owe so much money invested they are not making any return the way the economy is they are not making any profit just enough to pay the bills. I think some lessons to take from these guys mistakes is don't get greedy buying more equipment to do more jobs all at the same time. Stay small scale have a full size machine and a mini along with 1 truck. I need a career change I'am 34 and stuck in a hole that I can't climb back out, the frustration at my job I have now is reaching the boiling point, I need to find something else to do in 2011. Some days it feels good just to scream the "F" word out loud. I should have never been talked out of working as a equipment operator 5 years ago. I would like to try a crack at the mini excavating business but is it really worth it ? Do I want to end up like the other contractors ?. Currently every day I feel like punching somebody because the frustration from work.