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$200 for 5 Desks

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Vigilante

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Many years back, I bought an office suite. I had several employees, but in my own private office, I had the old school mahogany desk with a credenza and all of the accessories. I spent a few thousand dollars on it. It was nice. Big chair, fat guest chairs, fake rubber plant, everything. Then the shit hit the fan. I might have been able to sell it, but when the shit hit the fan the last thing on my mind was liquidating furniture, and I sure wasn't going to try and move it just because it was worth something on Craigslist. I think if memory serves I left it there.

I posted photos on the forum a few years back about a vacant floor on the office building I used to have an office in near Minneapolis. In it's day, the office was incredible, the brainchild of some high flying .com CEO likely during the boom where money grew on trees. The office had putting greens all over it, huge community rooms where you know foosball tables were, and undoubtedly cappuccino was sipped over strategy discussions before they lost it all. By the time I came upon their desolate memorial of an office, it looked like one of the final scenes from the movie Boiler Room. I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of dollars they spent on their offices while they churned through millions of OPM before they succumbed to their lack of CENTS.

Have you ever seen Jeff Bezos original desk? He BUILT IT from a door he had.



Visit Amazon's offices today, and you will see all the desks are now manufactured to emulate this. As rich as Bezos gets, he never wants the employees to forget the origins and heritage of Amazon.

When I sold my company in October, they bought the assets of the company. All of them. Down to the tape dispensers. I still have the office and warehouse which I kept, knowing I'll want it for the next one. However, aside from a few folding tables (literally) there's not much in there right now.

So tomorrow, I am figuratively having Jeff Bezos desk delivered. I could go out and buy a great new office suite, but whom exactly is it I would want to impress with that? I'd rather keep it simple. 10 years from now, I am not going to care what furniture I and my future employees sat at in my makeshift warehouse office. I won't care what rental car I had in Cleveland, what hotel room I stayed at in New York, or what flight I took to Los Angeles.

I learned at Walmart to be ruthless with expenses. Spent money where you need to, and conserve where you can. Pass up the things that don't matter so you can participate in the things that do. If my choice is $3,000 worth of office furniture vs. $3,000 worth of advertising, I will take the advertising. If the advertising goes right, I will be able to buy what ever furniture I want, but it's hard to barter furniture for advertising if you run out of cash.

So I have 5 desks coming tomorrow. They're actually really nice, and will do exactly what we need them to do. I will enjoy them, because I bought all 5 for almost nothing. And they match, so it won't look like I bought them on a street corner.

I'll try and post a picture if I get around to it. Sam Walton didn't build Walmart by spending all his money on stupid shit. If a door desk was good enough for Jeff Bezos, it's good enough for us. I am saving the capital to spend it where I need to spend it. I learned what was important long ago, and a corner suite with a putting green isn't even on my radar. I'd rather be sitting on a beach with the money in the bank.
 

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MidwestLandlord

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Many years back, I bought an office suite. I had several employees, but in my own private office, I had the old school mahogany desk with a credenza and all of the accessories. I spent a few thousand dollars on it. It was nice. Big chair, fat guest chairs, fake rubber plant, everything. Then the sh*t hit the fan. I might have been able to sell it, but when the sh*t hit the fan the last thing on my mind was liquidating furniture, and I sure wasn't going to try and move it just because it was worth something on Craigslist. I think if memory serves I left it there.

I posted photos on the forum a few years back about a vacant floor on the office building I used to have an office in near Minneapolis. In it's day, the office was incredible, the brainchild of some high flying .com CEO likely during the boom where money grew on trees. The office had putting greens all over it, huge community rooms where you know foosball tables were, and undoubtedly cappuccino was sipped over strategy discussions before they lost it all. By the time I came upon their desolate memorial of an office, it looked like one of the final scenes from the movie Boiler Room. I wonder how many hundreds of thousands of dollars they spent on their offices while they churned through millions of OPM before they succumbed to their lack of CENTS.

Have you ever seen Jeff Bezos original desk? He BUILT IT from a door he had.



Visit Amazon's offices today, and you will see all the desks are now manufactured to emulate this. As rich as Bezos gets, he never wants the employees to forget the origins and heritage of Amazon.

When I sold my company in October, they bought the assets of the company. All of them. Down to the tape dispensers. I still have the office and warehouse which I kept, knowing I'll want it for the next one. However, aside from a few folding tables (literally) there's not much in there right now.

So tomorrow, I am figuratively having Jeff Bezos desk delivered. I could go out and buy a great new office suite, but whom exactly is it I would want to impress with that? I'd rather keep it simple. 10 years from now, I am not going to care what furniture I and my future employees sat at in my makeshift warehouse office. I won't care what rental car I had in Cleveland, what hotel room I stayed at in New York, or what flight I took to Los Angeles.

I learned at Walmart to be ruthless with expenses. Spent money where you need to, and conserve where you can. Pass up the things that don't matter so you can participate in the things that do. If my choice is $3,000 worth of office furniture vs. $3,000 worth of advertising, I will take the advertising. If the advertising goes right, I will be able to buy what ever furniture I want, but it's hard to barter furniture for advertising if you run out of cash.

So I have 5 desks coming tomorrow. They're actually really nice, and will do exactly what we need them to do. I will enjoy them, because I bought all 5 for almost nothing. And they match, so it won't look like I bought them on a street corner.

I'll try and post a picture if I get around to it. Sam Walton didn't build Walmart by spending all his money on stupid sh*t. If a door desk was good enough for Jeff Bezos, it's good enough for us. I am saving the capital to spend it where I need to spend it. I learned what was important long ago, and a corner suite with a putting green isn't even on my radar. I'd rather be sitting on a beach with the money in the bank.
Great post! That's my style as well.

For years now, when it comes to spending money, I ask myself and my employees this:

"How does this help us sell?"

If there's no answer or the answer requires mental gymnastics to try and rationalize it, then we should spend as little as possible (if it's even needed at all)

The last 10 years my desk has been a used piece of kitchen countertop set on top of 2 filing cabinets to hold it up.

I also tell employees that we run "lean and mean"

I then define that as "we stay lean so we have the money to stay mean"
 

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Vigilante

Vigilante

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Also... "How does this help our customers?"
On the first day of my employment with Walmart corporation they made me sign my signature on a wall underneath a Sam Walton quote that said:

"Anything that I work on that isn't in the best interest of the customer is a waste of my time"
 

Andy Black

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@Vigilante's signature is: "Because I can..."

I'm sure @Vigilante has the money to get fancy tables, but he's mature enough to not gaf whether people are impressed with fancy or not.

That's what "Because I can..." means to me.
 

Andy Black

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On the first day of my employment with Walmart corporation they made me sign my signature on a wall underneath a Sam Walton quote that said:

"Anything that I work on that isn't in the best interest of the customer is a waste of my time"
That should be a plaque on everyone's wall. Thanks for sharing that!
 

G-Man

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Some companies take a totally different path than you, Vig.

We've currently got strangers from Craigslist and OfferUp coming to carry out everything that isn't nailed down. We've even got a spinning prize wheel from when employees used to get Amazon gift cards for, well, having a pulse. I've still got a drawer full of 1oz liquor bottles that I got as a prize for I-don't-know-what. Yesterday, I took a Dolly of old employee awards and training manuals for make-work jobs out to the dumpster.

Ask me which path I wish had been taken.
 

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jpanarra

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Dang, following this thread for sure!

Love this lean mindset.

Now I'll be honest all of my efforts has been remote, and nothing has been established in a office yet so I don't really have any experience. When would you recommend to consider moving from a remote type of business to an office?
 
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Vigilante

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Dang, following this thread for sure!

Love this lean mindset.

Now I'll be honest all of my efforts has been remote, and nothing has been established in a office yet so I don't really have any experience. When would you recommend to consider moving from a remote type of business to an office?
When you have to. Ruthless expense reduction.

I have used Regus offices in the past. Turnkey, and you can find small ones.

We used mini storage for a long time before getting a real warehouse.

I'd rather be sitting at a beach under a tree working remotely than sitting in an office anyway.

Automate what you can. Outsource what you can. Keep physical business assets as low as you can. Keep costs as variable as you can. Keep employee head counts as low as you can towards zero.

The old dream was to build an empire. The new reality is the guy/gal with the lowest operating expenses can do a lot of things differently.
 

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Very inspirational!

I've just watched the video the other about a millionaire businessman who occasionally practices being broke by limiting his expenses to minimum and living of minimal wage for an extended period of time. This, in his opinion, helps him stay sharp between the ears when financial situation goes downhill and kind of prepares him for one of the worse scenarios if his business goes bust.

I think being resourceful and somewhat immune to consumerism is a huge asset. Most people overlook it and take for granted, but when you stop and contemplate about it, it's very valuable no matter who or where you are.

Thanks for sharing and best of luck with your next venture!
 

minivanman

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We do this in business and every day life. I had all the high class stuff and the 3 story house with the prick of a dentist for a neighbor. My best friend & business partner came to see our 'new' house (1957) for the first time and his words were..... "W T F??? Why are you living here?" I explained that we love the house and the neighborhood is free of rich people that probably aren't rich but living in debt. While he doesn't understand and needs to live the estate life that costs a boat load of money, he doesn't say anything more. We went back to our roots and are happier than ever. Walk in to our house and you think you took a time machine back to 1968. By the way, in The Twilight Zone they had flat screen tv's in the 1960 episode Eye Of The Beholder so they are not exactly out of place. :)


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkzwLvVFRSE
 
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rogainer

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I did the same thing with my office. I didn’t care to spend the monthly salary of an employee on furniture

I got 9 white tables, and 4 black desks with partitions for $90 total on Craigslist

30 monitors (computer workbenches and duals for technicians) for under $300

Cheap swivel chairs from Ikea.

Ended up being really trendy anyway




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

MJ DeMarco

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Bump for anyone who missed this while at the conference. (Like me)
 

rollerskates

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Terrific thread. I'm sitting at a $5.00 yard sale desk. And it's not a crappy particle board desk either, it's a solid wood vintage piece that's more like a writing table. I love it, and it's going to be my desk forever.
 

rogainer

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My above post was about our new office, however I just found a picture from 2016 of our first office.

- Laminate floor that was going to get thrown away from an insurance job I did when I laid floors
- Desks and chairs on the left were free on the side of the road
- Shelves were $15 each on sale at Home Depot
- All the monitors were used throwaways
- 6ft ceilings with no windows and plumbing pipes that interrupted phone calls with every flush

WHATEVER. IT. TAKES.

IMG_2362.JPG
 
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Andy Black

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I have a cheap table. I regret getting a cheap chair though. Time to upgrade that, or get a standing table.
 

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rollerskates

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I have a cheap table. I regret getting a cheap chair though. Time to upgrade that, or get a standing table.
Me too! Although, I'm going to get a memory foam cushion to make do for now, the seat has become hard as a rock. :clench:
 

Scuur

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I like to use Doors as a desk. Having the door handle drilled for the monitor wires is great. You can also easily find them free. Generally, I'll call a local construction company, that's near the end of there project. I'll ask if they have any leftover temp doors and saw horses that are in good shape.




20180219_163354.jpg
 

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Andy Black

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the desk doesn't matter, the computer is where its really at. Don't skimp on the computer.
I’m trying to do my work from my phone now-a-days...
 

luniac

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My PC can barely run windows 10. 32gig storage and 2gig of ram. Headphone jack is broken. It is great if you have ADHD because it won't let you multitask and get distracted.
bruh... with ur specs u can get a preassembled one for 500 bucks that will destroy ur current one.

are you a masochist?
 

jon2089

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bruh... with ur specs u can get a preassembled one for 500 bucks that will destroy ur current one.
bruh... with ur specs u can get a preassembled one for 500 bucks that will destroy ur current one.


I purposely downgraded so I couldn't play any games on it. I was playing Battlefield 3 on near max settings dual monitor when I last was gaming.
 

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