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Leaving NASA to Start a Handyman Business: My Journey to Pursue Fulfillment in Home Services

Introduction

As a 37-year-old husband and father of three young children, I thought I had it all. I had a six-figure salary, a stable engineering job at NASA, and a beautiful home in a quiet suburb. But every day, I felt like I was drowning in a sea of monotony, my soul aching for something more. I yearned to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and the wind in my hair (well I can assume how the wind would feel if I had hair!), to work with my hands and create something tangible. So, I took a leap of faith leaving the security of NASA to embark on a new adventure: starting my own handyman and home services business. And let me tell you, it's been the most rewarding, fulfilling, and terrifying experience of my life.


The NASA logo on the side of a building
The NASA meatball logo on the side of one of the spacecraft assembly facilities.

Leaving NASA to Start a Handyman Business

You might be thinking, "What?! Why would anyone leave a job at NASA?!" And trust me, my friends and family had the same reaction, and on many days so did I. But despite the prestige and security of my job, I wasn't happy. I spent most of my days sitting in front of a computer screen, rarely interacting with people or using my hands to build or fix things. I craved something more tangible and fulfilling.


Finding My Passion

Although I didn't have any formal handyman training, I have always had a knack for fixing things around the home. As a mechanical engineer, I have a natural curiosity and motivation to understand how things work and find ways to repair them when they break. With this experience, I decided to start my own handyman business. Although it was a steep learning curve at first, I quickly adapted to the physical work and managing a business. With each successful repair and renovation, I've felt a growing sense of pride and fulfillment in my work.


Prior to my transition from an unfulfilled life at NASA to starting my handyman and home services business, I found inspiration and guidance from the Side Hustle Nation podcast, hosted by Nick Loper. Nick's podcast is all about helping people turn their passions into profitable side hustles, and it really resonated with me. His interviews with successful entrepreneurs and experts in various fields helped me gain insights and ideas for starting and growing my own business. If you're looking for inspiration and advice on starting your own side hustle or small business, I highly recommend checking out Nick's podcast at SideHustleNation.com.


Combining Education and Services

One of the things I love most about my job now is that I can expand into educational resources and home inspection services for my customers. It's not just about fixing things - it's about empowering people to take care of their homes and prevent problems before they happen. I plan to offer education on DIY projects and maintenance tips through articles, organized plans, and YouTube instructional videos (coming soon!).


In the next couple of months, I plan to become a certified home inspector. This will not only broaden my knowledge and enable me to provide more comprehensive guidance to my customers as a handyman but also allow me to expand my services to include home inspections in my community.


Building Trust

Throughout my journey, I have realized that building trust with my customers is crucial. As a handyman, I am invited into people's homes, sometimes they are present and other times not. Given that many of my clients work from home and have small children or pets, it is essential that I prioritize creating a comfortable environment. Establishing a sense of ease and comfort is crucial for building trust with my clients. Therefore, I prioritize effective communication, quality work, and reliability. Listening carefully to my customers' needs and concerns is essential, and I make sure they feel heard. Moreover, I try to establish a friendly and personable rapport with them by sharing stories and cracking jokes. Creating a comfortable and relaxed environment allows my customers to feel at ease and comfortable with me.


A man standing on the beach holding his daughter wearing a business t-shirt of "The Nerdy Handyman"
Enjoying some family time knowing darn well I need to work on these legs and a tan!

Conclusion

Leaving behind a successful career as an engineer was a daunting and uncertain prospect, but it ultimately led me down a path of fulfillment and purpose. I discovered that happiness doesn't always come in the form of a prestigious job title or a hefty paycheck. Sometimes, it's found in pursuing what truly ignites our passion and sets our souls on fire. So if you're feeling stuck in a job that leaves you unfulfilled, remember that life is too short to settle. Take a leap of faith and explore the possibilities that lie beyond your comfort zone. Who knows? You might just find that your true calling is waiting for you on the other side.









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