Seems there is a lot of interest in becoming an operator of amusements lately. I've been asked a lot of questions about my job in the last 6 months. Seems odd, but it is cool there is interest in this. Just paid a city license and put my old licenses in a frame, 17 years of doing business. Wow. Time has flown by. Also been around this business for my entire life but started to have a working knowledge in it for about 22-23 years. I know that is a minuscule amount compared to many I call on when I question some of my decision making.
Part of what made the journey fun for myself was to learn a lot of this on my own. There was no internet telling me all the 'secrets' when I was starting out. Seems odd that people are asking such personal questions about ones way of living so publicly now. Either way, I'm happy to be part of the community and ultimately am a supporter of anyone who wants to join the operator ranks. It's good for the overall scene to have a variety and more accessibility to games for everyone involved. Coin op was the norm in the 80s and games that can not be emulated on a console are making a come back, although at a much higher price, they are still being desired.
In closing I will say that, operators that I have known for 10+ years help one another out because we mostly know that they have exhausted every resource before they ask for help. Also having a long term relationship helps. New operators tend to try to get in touch with me only with a "help me" attitude and not, I tried "x, y and z. and I can't get there." That is probably the biggest reason I tend to keep to myself on these topics or be very general. Herbert has a good point above and I have been burned for being honest with people whom I thought were friends in the business. Lessons learned. Good luck future ops!