I took a different route. By mid 2006 i could see the handwriting on the wall and pared it down to just myself. When the recession hit over the winter of 07-08 i was ready. In that single year the work in this area dropped off by over 50%.
The big boys in this area were dropping like flies. Their overhead was so high that they couldn't survive in a lean environment. I stayed small, hunkered down, and diversified.
It was a bit of a scramble to survive. Every business depends on repeat customers. Most of my customer base was middle class. I lost almost every single one of them because they had hit their debt limit and their generative capacity ws so badly degraded.
I had to completely redevelop my customer base to the wealthy.
They've been good. Every year they call back and have more work for me. It's not great ... but it's a living. I was never in it for the money anyway. After twenty years of doin' the 7:00 - 3:30 thing i was bouncing off the walls. I needed a change. I needed the freedom (and responsibility) of being being my own boss.
I come and go as i please. No regular schedule. As long i've met my commitments to the customer my time is my own. All told ... i probably get three months vacation every year.
Now that there are more days behind me, than there are ahead of me, time seems a much more precious commodity than any amount of money that could ever be earned.
Anyway ... that's just me. I don't see the point in knocking yourself out 60 - 70 hours a week unless it's to provide timely service to the customer during the busy spring season.