Starting CDL School

A Career Change

Monday, October 18, 2021, I begin a two-week commercial driver's license (CDL) course to help prepare for my Class A CDL at a local trucking company. The course will finish the first week of November and each day I'll begin at 6:00 AM until at least 2:30 PM. This includes Saturdays and Sundays.

Currently, I am a digital marketer and website developer. In early 1996, I began designing websites and after a few employment stops, started my LLC in 2007. Over the years I added more and more digital marketing capabilities to provide many of the products and services my clients have enjoyed. I built websites, created and managed email campaigns, created and manage social media campaigns, created graphics for online and offline purposes, helped edit audio and video files, and a whole host of other technical digital tasks.

It has been a wonderful 25-year experience and I still enjoy the work very much but with what appears to be rough national and regional economic times ahead, my family has agreed that income from my efforts has not been enough to sustain the anticipated challenges of rising inflation.

So with my family's blessing, I have decided to leave the digital marketing/website design industry as my primary focus. I will, however, continue to serve the clients I currently work with. To continue full-time in digital marketing would mean:

  • I have to begin charging my existing clients a lot more; about 3 times more. OR
  • I seek out a much different type of clientele (with big pockets) and then I likely would need to be available 24/7 to properly serve their needs. This is not appealing to me.

And I am actually too old to get a job in my industry. Most employers are willing to sacrifice the knowledge, education, and experience from someone like me for the youth and inexpensive labor of those coming out of college. So I am increasing my income with this career change.

Therefore, on my wife's urging and recommendation, I began researching what it takes to professionally drive a semi truck, what commercial driver license schools are available in the Tucson area, and what life on the road might look like to me, my family, and for my current clients.

What I discovered, commercial driving reminds me a lot of my service in the military more than 23 years ago. I will be solely in charge of safely operating a large vehicle over hundreds of miles a day delivering cargo to people around the country. To me this is significant and noble work and work I want to do the rest of my working life. It will not be easy but I am familiar with the fortitude required of it.

To my family, commercial driving will mean a lot of time away from home but I will be earning good pay. We will be able to pay off our auto loan and mortgage within about 5 years, increase savings, and participate more in our retirement plans.

For my current clients, I will still be able to provide the same services they have come to rely on. However, with an erratic schedule and being on the road we will all have to be more proactive in scheduling tasks and requests of each other; knowing that I won't be able to respond quickly like I typically do.

Shortly after I receive my CDL, I'll be on the road for weeks at a time. My days will likely be 14 hours a day and each day will have its own unique schedule. One day I could be off duty in Atlanta by 3:00 PM and the next in Dallas or Omaha at midnight.

I may loose a client or two should this schedule become too much for us to work with (hope not!) but my family will more than double our income and I will find new purpose and motivation to serve.

So wish me luck as I work to earn my CDL.

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