That's what Mack Crook Jr. of Anniston found after he got a degree in architectural drafting from Ayers State Technical College in 1976. He first had to go to work installing windows and closet organizers before a roofer he met advised him to get into that business.
Crook, who now owns Mack Roofing, said he didn't know that much about roofing, but he knew how things were supposed to fit together.
He said a friend let him tear off that roof and put on a new one, and the job went OK.
"The only thing I didn't like about it is taking the old roof to the land fill and unloading it off the truck," he said.
Crook said he was introduced to four workers who became his crew, so, with a little advertising in the late 1980s, his business took off.
"It was booming. I was doing work for the government," among other clients, he said.
However, as sometimes happens with one-man businesses, this one became unwieldy to manage. During a time in the late 1990s, Crook said, he had 23 men working for him. It was as if he had too much success.
"I thought I wanted it, but when I got it I didn't want it," he said, noting that a sunup-to-bedtime schedule prevented him from enjoying relaxing lunches with his wife, Regina — the way they did on a recent Wednesday. The couple has three children and live in Anniston.
Crook shut down the roofing business about 2001 and started the Faith Christian bookstore that used to be near the Anniston Wal-Mart. The family business operated until the property was needed for a new road.
Today, Crook has found a happy medium — four to five days of work per week with a three-man crew.
He said his favorite part of the job is getting his work organized each day and then actually doing it. "I like to work and sweat," he said.
He's not wild about getting up early in the morning, and he also doesn't like having employees he can't depend upon, for whatever reason.
"There's nothing wrong with drinking beer," he said, "but you can't do it all day long."