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About Dave Corbin

Working for you is FUN!

Dave Corbin, founder and president of Corbin Manufacturing and Supply, Inc., has had a long career helping others start successful businesses, and has founded or served as a director in a number of other firms, from software development to marine electronics, rental housing to publishing.

His resume includes a brief period as a bank director, several years as a Navy electronics specialist involved in communication, navigation and countermeasures (with special award related to development of an ECM device during late 1960's), National Merit Scholarship 1963, founder of Teletron Communication Electronics, Inc., FCC 1st Class Commercial radiotelephone licensee (now called "General Class") with Shipboard Radar endorsement, former FAA avionics technician, owner with his wife Katherine of Corbin Software, Corbin Computers, Tombstone Gun Grips, and Corbin Rental Homes (CR Homes), and writer of a number of books and several hundred magazine articles (published in electronics journals, firearms magazines, trucking industry journals, and commercial fishing magazines).

His shooting experience includes a lifetime of firearms collecting and experimenting: everything from trap shooting as a teenager to building muzzle loaders, making minature cannons and designing wildcat cartridges. He was awarded the Navy Expert medal with .45 auto (and subsequent stars), shot on a Navy pistol team, and enjoys benchrest and experimental firearms, practical pistol and combat firearms competition, metallic silhouette, trap shooting and black powder matches. He loves the wild and scenic areas of Oregon, Colorado, Missouri, and has spent years working with big game hunters and guides of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and other hunting areas to solve problems of bullet performance in the only true laboratory test that matters: actual field conditions.

Some of Dave's favorite guns

Dave relaxes at the piano, develops business and engineering software, and writes technical articles and books, as well as websites for his own businesses and for clients. He and his wife Katherine work together in the businesses, and enjoy traveling together on business and vacation trips, often visiting firearms and ammunition factories, museums, and personalities, to research for books and articles. Their three children are grown: Mary Beth has a career as a human resources manager (including several years at the Federal Reserve in two branches), Cynthia is a registered nurse, and Christopher has worked in metal machining, electronics QC inspection, and is currently living in Medford, Oregon. Mary Beth's children Alex and Andie plus Cynthia's daughter Jennifer make Katherine and Dave triple grandparents.
Dave often tells clients that he believes one of the big secrets to a happy life is to find a way to make a living that is so enjoyable you look forward to each day as if the work was a hobby. "You can't really be a work-a-holic if it isn't work to you," he says. "After all, which is more fun, staring four and a half hours every evening into a TV set while the meter runs on your life, or spending that time helping other people get something they want and, in the process, learning and earning a little more, yourself?"

"As long as this time is vocation that could be considered a hobby, and doesn't intrude on your family life in a negative way, work should not interfere with other aspects of a fulfilling life. The first priority is family, but there's no problem with a second being the way you provide for them. That's also a stalking horse for the need to know why you exist, and what good you are doing in the world. If you like your work, and your basic values are reasonable, then the odds are high that your work will be good for everyone it touches. It may even serve as a good example for your competitors!"

He believes that the "Golden Rule" is probably one of the best guides to life, and offers the following advice to friends and clients alike:

Dave says... If you do your best, think of the other person's needs, and deal with honesty, then the vast majority of people with whom you deal will get as much from every encounter as you do, in a fair and equitable trade of values. That is the basis for a successful life, company, or economy. It is the way lasting relationships can be achieved: whenever there is unfairness or inequity, the books always remain open, waiting patiently to be balanced while interest silently accrues. These moral accounts eventually will be closed: it is in our own best interest to treat other people well from the beginning.

Bullet swaging offers a pleasant, easily learned skill that can provide enjoyment to others when they purchase and use the interesting product of your labor. Others benefit because you are able to make something that did not exist before. They are willing to give you a better than usual price for a better than usual product. Fair and equitable trade it is, but in a business that you would probably be just as willing to do for yourself, as a hobby. This is the point: our lives are spent so heavily engaged in making a living, that it would seem the best thing to make that living by doing something enjoyable.
Those who say, "I wouldn't want my hobby to turn into a business and spoil the fun!" seem to have their priorities flawed: where is it written that the main thing you do in life besides sleep can't be fun? Not every second of anything is fun, of course: even the most relaxing hobby has its moments of hard work (for instance, who would ever go fishing if the only part was dealing with the fish guts?). It isn't realistic to think every second of any long term activity is pure pleasure. But a few fish guts don't spoil the trip unless you really don't enjoy fishing very much in the first place.
If you are concerned about failure in any venture, just ask yourself, "What's the worst thing that could happen?". Imagine it just happened. Now, what will you do to recover? Once you have thought that through and come up with your best answer, then consider what rewards you might reasonably expect if things go well.
Balance the worst against the best. Could you handle the worst? You already know your solution: is it too high a risk compared to the possible reward? If so, find some other thing to do and don't worry about this one. But if you think, "Yes, I could handle the worst likely thing: I wouldn't like it very much, but it wouldn't kill me.", then maybe you SHOULD do it.

And what about failure? What happens if what you do doesn't work?

Think about the much-used example of Thomas Edison, who tried hundreds of things that did not work before hitting the jackpot with one that did. He did not consider those hundreds of attempts to be failures. Each one eliminated one more material, one more process, until eventually the one that worked remained for him to discover. He believed that one learned as much from an attempt that does not give the desired result as from the one that does. He believed in himself. He had confidence that eventually he would prevail. What others would consider failures were just stepping stones to success in his mind.

There is no failure for a person who learns from each attempt. The next attempt is modified so that the same mistake isn't made again. If you keep going forward, eventually you get somewhere. It may not be the place you set out to go: it may be a lot better! If you set humanly possible goals, no matter how high they may be, and keep climbing even if you slip back now and again, eventually you reach them. One of the best features of the custom bullet business is the vast amount of information and experience available to you before you even start. The majority of people who embark on that journey are successful, because they are not starting from ground zero. They are starting with decades of experience available in books, on the web, on CD-ROMS, and of course with equipment already tested and proven so they don't have to develop both the bullet and the tools to make it.

People who have not been as successful as they would like usually tell you that any goal you set isn't possible. Of course there are goals that make no sense, goals that are not really goals at all, but just fantasies. Saying your goal is to have vast wealth is a fantasy because it doesn't include any means of getting there. But if you include being the world's most successful salesman, and begin working on ways to do it, then your fantasy has a means attached to it. So you might say that a goal is a fantasy with a plan.

Your goal should match your personality and ambition. If you are lazy, tend to put everything off for the slightest reason, are uncommonly fearful of possible failure, or have other more specific attributes that conflict with what you need to do to reach your goal, then you have to work on your personality (difficult but not impossible) or think about another goal more suitable to you.

If your ambition is fantastic as long as the work is still in the talking and planning stages, but suddenly evaporates when it comes time to begin the hard work, then you will have to adjust the height of your goal to match the distance you are prepared to run. A pole vaulter won't go very high if he can't motivate himself to take more than a few faltering steps before sticking the pole in the ground. On the other hand, the goal might inspire you to greater ambition if you really want to reach it. I've found that most people do not fail so much as give up before reaching their goal.

What is interesting about goals is that when you do reach them, you may find they look a lot different up close. In fact, they may not look like the place you thought you saw at the beginning of your journey. Sometimes, just recognizing that is the key to knowing when you've arrived, and what to do next. If there is one universal secret to success, it may well be the following:

Don't think about trying something.
Losers try things: winners DO things.

If you say you are going to try it, you are leaving open the option for failure. Once you've decided whether you could handle the worst thing that might occur, you convert it from failure to a tool for learning how to succeed next time.

Don't TRY to do your best: DO your best.

You'll be a success from the moment you start looking at life this way.

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