[QUOTE=cabinetman;541118]A profitable niche might be without the stress and physical demands of shop work, but rather consulting and mentoring with online clients and local shops.
Ha! the secret is out. Cabinetman gets paid by the post. Based on the number of posts he has logged he must be wealthy by now.
Just kidding, keep the posts coming Cabinetman.
Seriously though, the stress and physical demands of running a woodworking shop can be considerable. I didn't realize how much stress I was under until I retired and let my last employee free. It was like removing a huge weight from my shoulders.
I taught myself how to do a lot of things during my career. Cabinetmaking, furniture making, door building, carpenter work, timber framing, CAD designing and Sketchup.
In my experience, actual shop work does not pay well unless you are involved in a production type of situation and have trained employees who can carry out their assigned duties. You have to have employees to duplicate your efforts. I spent many years developing my drawing and design skills and I have found that design work pays very well compared to what I could charge for my other skills. For example, I was a darn good carpenter in my day, but the hourly wage I could demand would only be $25- 30 per hour unless I was management. But if someone came to me to do design work they would not even blink when I said my rate was $75 - 80 per hour. That could be the difference between blue collar and white collar?
Another thing to consider if you have a stand alone shop, just rent the thing out and go fishing.