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Just starting allows me to pull from your experience. Knowing what you know now what would you have done differently in your process? Not just in layout but in spending, planning, and startup.
 

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I started the hobby with little money and big visions when I was 14, so I spent many hours thumbing through magazines and day dreaming. Little did I know that I was focusing my desires at the time so that, as the years passed, I had a pretty fair idea of what I wanted to do, so I lost little in the way of big mistakes and biting off more than I could chew.

If I were to start over, I would change only one thing, when the money was there to spend, I would resist buying it---whatever it was---until the next pay period. That way I could really think about where it fit into my ideas for my layout. It's a lot easier to sell off a boxcar or two at a loss than it is to sell off a whole fleet that just doesn't fit your idea for a layout, all because it looked cool at the time you bought it.
 
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