Many people ask me why I don’t appear to get burned out with all the stress that comes with starting, growing and running a company for 15 years. Note that what appears on the outside might not be the same on the inside. My “secret” is to let go of the work week by having a weekend hobby to take my mind off of work topics. For me, I picked up the hobby of vintage stereo and tv restoration.
How did I go from e-commerce to fixing vintage Grundig stereo consoles? About five years ago, one of my millennial employees was excited about vinyl and I invited him over to look through my former roommate’s forgotten vinyl collection. Looking through his records, I was inspired to try restoring a hand-me-down stereo in my awesomely low-height basement. And that day, the HiFi Clinic dream was born!
After reading restoration blogs, watching YouTube videos and staying at a Holiday Inn express, I got hooked on the style, sound and tactile feel of the stereo consoles from the late 1950’s and throughout the 1960’s. I also realized that there were quite a few of these old beauties up for sale on Craigslist. So I started collecting them for a song and a dance to save them from becoming landfill for 1,000 years. Good deed for the decade, check!
While scouting for another stereo console, I stumbled upon a Zenith CRT TV from the late 1950’s and felt that this might be a good next challenge for my restoration skills. The TV had sound, but no picture. Nonetheless, I was willing to give it a try. I’m still working on that one after a year, but I will not give up until I can watch the Super Bowl on it!
I’ve also been inspired to find tape decks and standalone receivers and vintage amplifiers and all kinds of other vintage electronic equipment. It’s been an amazing experience bringing the old stuff back to life and having something else to think about, besides work. Plus it has the added cross-over benefit of a discussion topic where others can enjoy without feeling that they have to talk work with a leader. Here’s my office stereo console:
Finding a hobby that focuses my attention elsewhere during the weekend keeps me sane for the inevitable 15 year grind. When I return to work on Monday’s, I’m more refreshed than ever and have some great stories to tell my colleagues.