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View Full Version : Doubting Tom's when you decided to take the plunge?


capnsac
01-09-2008, 12:23 AM
Hey everyone, I wanted to get everyones two cents on the question. When you started your lawncare business were there a lot of naysayers telling you that it is a hard business, and that they have seen so many people start a lawncare business only to fail? I for one have had this problem from just about everyone I have come across, even a friend of mine who has his own lawncare business saying its too tough. His reason for this was because he will bid a commercial property only to have it underbid by 15 dollars and lose the account.
I am just getting fed up with the piss poor attitudes people throw out there, and it makes me want to succeed that much more. :weightlifter: I won't rub it in if I do, but I will gladly say that I am not going out of business anytime soon. I hope I'm not the only one who is having/had this problem before.

topsites
01-09-2008, 12:37 AM
Yeah...

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

That stuff goes on for some time, but I'd have to say it was the fighting part angered me the worst.
To me everything else was weak in comparison, to this day I hold a deep resentment on that note.

capnsac
01-09-2008, 01:59 AM
Yeah...

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

That stuff goes on for some time, but I'd have to say it was the fighting part angered me the worst.
To me everything else was weak in comparison, to this day I hold a deep resentment on that note.


The sad part is some of the naysayers are my own family. This is how my family has been though throughout my life, whenever I have wanted to do something off the norm they have doubted me. They say they are only trying to warn me, and that they hope the best for me. It is the inflection in their voice that tells me what they are really trying to say though. I have to be upbeat though, I have a big hill to climb, I just want that grass to start growing.

hackitdown
01-09-2008, 08:59 AM
Most people just looked at me like I was being foolish.

It is hard for most people to understand why anyone would want to deal with the heat/cold/bugs/poison ivy/PITAs/noise/sweat/risk/low pay/hardwork.

Come to think of it, it is hard for me to understand...

Grits
01-09-2008, 10:14 AM
You will ALWAYS encounter people like this. I did, and still do. Mainly from family. I believe it is because they think they are looking out for you. But they don't have a clue. It takes a different kind of person to have big dreams and actually try to follow through with them, this is what some people don't understand and they will never understand. Just take what people say with a grain of salt. Don't argue with them, just let it go in one ear and out the other. Don't let negative people bring you down.

zz4guy
01-09-2008, 10:34 AM
Some of my friends thought it was stupid and that I couldn't make a buck doing it. But they had to eat their shorts at the end of the year when I showed them the money that came in :laugh:

Only thing you can do is IGNORE them.

People who say that so many people fail in this biz need to define "failure."

If you quit in two years because you lose interest, does that really mean you failed? Not in my books, especially if you made good money.

crazy4green
01-09-2008, 01:34 PM
i still have in-laws telling me lawncare isn't a real job even after found out he made less than me everyyear and has a so called real job as manager at same place for 15 years. guess the point is forget about them it is a hard biz but if you work hard you can be on top

Exact Rototilling
01-09-2008, 01:39 PM
There is a level of risk in stepping out. In my family those who have a very low risk tolerance tend to be the biggest naysayer. Thankfully my wife is very supportive except she wants to take time off for vacation in the middle of the summer. ;)

I really wish I had done this earlier. I admit I listened to a family member far too long who was nothing but 95% discouragement in starting any kind of service industry company. "Just get yourself a decent time card punching job and be done with it already." "Go back to school yet again", "You can't make decent $ doing this, can't compete with kids with mowers, tiller might fall out of your truck, this could happen - that could happen."

Guess what - Warren Buffet didn't get to be where he is today playing it safe. Warren Buffet or Donald Trump didn't get to where they are by getting a secure gov't or civil service job with good retirement and playing it safe.

I believe many people think of small business ventures and they automatically think of how most small businesses fail. When I was in high school I wanted to have my own business. Most said just pick 12 hours out of the day 6 to 7 days a week and there you go. Truth is - Lawncare is a fairly ideal business that doesn't require a missive overhead to get started.

I refuse to go with the herd and shuffle off to a regular job. I've been self employed in another area since 2001 which provides me a huge advantage with a flexible schedule and income base. I'm a free spirit independent thinker and I refuse to conform to what family might think is best or right. I'm 100% committed to making go of this. As long as there is food in the grocery stores, banks are open, gas stations open and I'm able bodied I will stick with it.

mattmus4357
01-12-2008, 09:46 AM
I started when I was 16 out of the bed of my truck. My mom thought I was stupid and kept telling me that I needed to get a "real" job. Then when I wanted to expand and get new equipment before last year, she wouldn't help me with a loan because she just new I would fail. So I got my dad to help me. I shut her up at the end of the season by showing her that I made $20,000. So now I'm gearing up on season 3 and setting my goals for at least $30,000-40,000. Not bad for and 18 year old.

Midstate Lawncare
01-12-2008, 09:59 AM
They are all jealous! They always wanted to own their own business, but never had the stones. If you get tired of their crap, tell them that they are jealous b/c they have to work for someone else and you don't.....then smile and walk away.
And your friend doesn't want you to start up b/c you will be more competition for him, and will be the guy who underbids by $15. payuppayup

Jason Rose
01-12-2008, 11:13 AM
Don't feel bad... I have very little encouragement from anyone either. Actually my parents (well, my mom anyway) still hound me to get a "real job", and I'm almost 29 years old!

The bashing of my business gets old, yes, especially when it comes from your own family... But they kinda laid off the last couple years. MY mom and step-dad thought they needed to FIND me a "real job" and there was openings at the place my step-dad works. They took it upon themselves to get applications, pretty much make a resume for me, and even set up an interview. Mind you it was a decent paying job, for this area (started around $14 an hour) But it was shift work, insane horrible hours, toggling from days to nights every 4 to 5 days, 12 hour shifts.

In sitting down with them and really making a point, I showed them my "budget" which is mostly my BILLS and also what I take in. Even if I were to sell off most of my equipment and accounts, my bills were still more than I would have been making at this new job. Great, I would get to work horrible hours, and still be poor too, yay!

It came down to this point, and I think this finally put the nail in the coffin on the "real job" topic. I asked my mom, who HATES her job, would you rather do what you are doing now, that you HATE for, lets say $12 an hour, or would you rather do something you ENJOY and possibly make less, or possibly more... Even though this work (lawncare) IS stressful, especially with a very full schedule, and it's hard work and out in the elements all week, I'd still much rather be doing this than sitting in a building all day!!!

Midstate Lawncare
01-12-2008, 01:17 PM
It came down to this point, and I think this finally put the nail in the coffin on the "real job" topic. I asked my mom, who HATES her job, would you rather do what you are doing now, that you HATE for, lets say $12 an hour, or would you rather do something you ENJOY and possibly make less, or possibly more... Even though this work (lawncare) IS stressful, especially with a very full schedule, and it's hard work and out in the elements all week, I'd still much rather be doing this than sitting in a building all day!!!

Preach brother Rose!!! I'll :drinkup: to that

M&SLawnCare
01-12-2008, 02:47 PM
To be fair to the naysayers this business is hard to last in and the vast majority fail at it. The competition is often times crazy (how many posts do we see about people complaining about the local kid or Mexican working for 5$ an hour?) and our income is very dependant on weather conditions. So they have good reason to be concerned when someone they care about joins this field.

That said if your really willing to work hard at this, have done your homework and really feel your ready for it, then just take the risk and do it. Its your life, not theirs, and you have to make the decision for yourself. For a business this field has very little overhead, which makes it easy to try without many risks if you fail. Their will always be that 9-5 job waiting if you need it down the road. That pretty much how i explained myself and now that things are going fairly well, I don't hear much about it anymore.

"It's better to have tried and failed than never tried at all, but it's even better to have tried and succeeded "

capnsac
01-13-2008, 02:19 AM
thanks for all the replies and words of encouragement. I am glad that others have gone through what I am going through right now, and that you are making it big just as I hope to be. I can't wait for that grass to start growing and start to make my own way.

jaybow
01-13-2008, 02:42 AM
The sad part is some of the naysayers are my own family. This is how my family has been though throughout my life, whenever I have wanted to do something off the norm they have doubted me. They say they are only trying to warn me, and that they hope the best for me. It is the inflection in their voice that tells me what they are really trying to say though. I have to be upbeat though, I have a big hill to climb, I just want that grass to start growing.

I know what you mean. People looked at me like I was crazy when I said I was starting a lawn service. This will be my second year in the buisness. My first year I was really only part time because I was still working another job. This year I will hopefully spend more time on the buisness. I really enjoy working outside.I think it can be a hard buisness but I think you can make something big out of it if you set your mind to it.Do as many services as you can to keep money coming.One weekend I even painted the interior of a rental one of my customers own.The bottom line is if you see other big landscaping companys in your area you can do it to.Good luck and God bless.

Big C
01-13-2008, 04:37 AM
I'm pretty sure Sam Walton had naysayers......we all know how that ended up!!!!!!!

mslawn
01-13-2008, 09:33 AM
My family thought I was crazy when I quit my job over 8 years ago to do this. After the first year I never heard another negative word from any of them.:rolleyes:

Paradise Landscapes
01-13-2008, 10:43 AM
"It's better to have tried and failed than never tried at all, but it's even better to have tried and succeeded "


We constantly catch alot of flack having to hearing it from both sides of the family. I made mistakes in the past. I believe we all do. I made a few really bad choices in my business that cost me, now I'm back to square one with a better plan. This time, I have my padawan learner wife who is very supportive of me, sees my vision and wants to run the lawn maintenance side of Paradise Landscapes.

The above quote only keeps me and my wife going stronger. The more negativity we get, the more stronger willed we become. We are a team.