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Odds of Hanging On

The odds of hanging on depend on your level of craftsmanship, ability to market yourself, and flexibility. So start doing those deep knee bends. Just kidding—different kind of flexibility.

Note: that was just a humorous example. Please don't actually make a life-size steel replica of Honey Boo Boo, age seven. Please? (Source)

It's important to learn to work with clients, because they're the ones signing the checks. Even if a life-size steel replica of Honey Boo Boo, age seven, is the last thing in the world you want to forge, when it comes down to it, this is a business, and if you want to last in it you can't afford to sit around refusing work and feeling artsy all day.

The economy is another thing to consider. Tough times don't equate to numerous wrought iron fence orders. 

However, many areas of the country, such as Northern California and New York, are still building. People in these areas purchase historic homes, which need authentic-looking decorative elements. Specializing in one field or time period may set you apart from the competition, but it may also limit your clientele. Just something to think about.