from a debate on the framebuilder email list:

RS typed: "i realized that the challenges i faced had to do..."
SW typed: "But the bar that he set for _himself_ included..."

i think a point i am/was making is overlooked here.
it is this: i had no right being in business for myself
when i started. i WISH i could have unrung the bell
at age 24? and either stayed in england much longer
and/or tried to work for other builders/shops for a good
long time so i would have a foundation on which to start
my own gig. i would never repeat the the process i went
through and have advised against it all through the years.
it works/worked for me in the end owing to serendipitous
reasons rather than framebuilding ones. i have no kids.
i live in a town with a low cost of living. i had no real
ambition to ever succeed commercially. all i ever wanted
to do (once i entered the frame "world") was to know more
about fine road bicycles and to be able to make them.

having live abroad when i did was a mighty fine experience
for a middle-class suburban kid. it was a life-altering time.
but don't misconstrue any of my posts with these soundbites.
i started my business too soon. i knew nothing. and it took me
at least 5 years and 500 frames made under my own name
to realize how little i knew and how much value there is to
working in industry and getting MUCH more adept at "this"
before i set my bars anywhere.