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JimLewis
06-18-2008, 11:29 PM
I was thinking about something this evening while I was in the grocery store shopping for dinner. This guy in a nice suit walked in and was close to me. He noticed my uniform. Chances are good he noticed my truck outside. Most people around here recognize our company pretty well. And I kind of tried to walk away without seeming rude, just to avoid conversation. I did this without thinking. Just a natural response these days, I guess.

I guess what I was thinking was, "Here's some guy in a suit thinks he's Mr. Vice President of Widgets, Inc. and is all full of himself and is probably considering asking me about landscaping or some project he wants a bid on. He'll probably start talking to me any minute if I don't get away. And he'll probably think he's doing me a big favor by considering using our company because he's Mister big shot and I'm Mister landscaper. And the last thing I really need right now is to have to act fake like I am excited to meet him when in reality he probably can't afford us and isn't really doing me any favors like he thinks he is. I better run...."

And as I walked away, I had to pause and consider what I have become. What happened to the days when I used to be so excited to meet new customers - any time, any where. I used to get excited about people I'd meet in public who approached me about business. Now, I just see them as a possible annoyance and someone who probably can't afford what we charge and someone who is probably just a waste of my time.

How did I get so jaded? Especially in a year like this when we really do need all the business we can get. What am I doing shunning people off like that? I mean, what I was thinking was probably true. We are a little too expensive for 75% of the people I meet with. And we have a pretty well established business. Almost 200 year-round maintenance accounts and another $750,000 worth of landscape construction business each year. It's not like I'm really desperate for work like I used to be when meeting people like that excited me. But should that matter? Why have I lost my zeal? How do I know that guy didn't have a million dollar property and was really looking for a company like ours? Shouldn't I still be just as excited as ever to meet a potential new customer?

I've been doing this 12 years now and I dunno. I still enjoy giving bids and signing up new customers for big jobs. But I have definitely lost some of the zeal I had back when I started.

Do I just need an attitude adjustment? Am I becoming snobby? (God forbid) Anyone else ever feel like this?

Just thinking out loud here. I'd love to hear from others who have been at this a long time.

Sweet Tater
06-18-2008, 11:36 PM
Sounds to me instead of Mr Vice President of Widgets being full of himself some one else needs a reality check. My business is nowhere near the size of yours but it seems when some one starts doing so well they tend to get full of themselves.
Adjust that attitude and check on reality, we are in a service industry and no matter how you look at it or business relies on people , we need them. JMHO

jaybird24
06-18-2008, 11:39 PM
I know the feeling all too well. My wife tries to keep me from being too crass, but I get sick of people thinking I'm available 7 days a week to discuss their needs. If they call during business hours, I'm on my game and enjoy meeting and closing the deal. I even enjoy just giving advice if I know they can't afford to have us do the work. Once I'm done for the day, mentally the light is off, I don't mean to be rude to people, but they are not going to get my best attention at that time.

JimLewis
06-19-2008, 12:28 AM
Yah, maybe that's all it is. Like you, I am on top of my game all day long. But at night or on the weekend, I just wanna watch a baseball game or listen to the pastor or whatever. I guess it didn't used to bother me so much back when we were totally desperate for any work we could get. But now that I am not that desperate it just seems like an annoyance when someone talks to me about work outside of my usual workday.

JimLewis
06-19-2008, 12:36 AM
Sounds to me instead of Mr Vice President of Widgets being full of himself some one else needs a reality check. My business is nowhere near the size of yours but it seems when some one starts doing so well they tend to get full of themselves.

You may be right. I definitely know a lot of business owners who are very full of themselves. And that's really not my personality. I am pretty humble most all of the time. I try very hard to be.

I don't think it's as much a matter of me being full of myself or thinking I'm better than someone else. It's just that I've seen and met with those types of people hundreds and thousands of times. There are a lot of people around here who think they're rich and can afford what we do. They always seem excited for us to get together and then I get to this nice house that's still half empty because they have nothing left after the house payment. Then I tell them how much it's going to cost for a sprinkler system or a new landscape or whatever and then all of a sudden it hits them, "Oh crap! This guy ain't playin. I had no idea a sprinkler system cost that much!" .... "Um....thanks. We'll call you back." And I never hear from them and just wasted my time again. That's like 75% of the people I meet these days.

I just see so many people like that every week that I think I start to just pre-judge people before I even know for sure if this person is like that or not.

lawnman_scott
06-19-2008, 12:41 AM
Sounds to me instead of Mr Vice President of Widgets being full of himself some one else needs a reality check. My business is nowhere near the size of yours but it seems when some one starts doing so well they tend to get full of themselves.
Adjust that attitude and check on reality, we are in a service industry and no matter how you look at it or business relies on people , we need them. JMHO
I would have to agree. Maybe he just noticed that you were dirty and wondered why someone would go to the store before taking a shower. With that said, I do tend to ignore some people who stop when we are working hoping they will just go away. I think you reach a point where you need them less and less.

topsites
06-19-2008, 12:59 AM
But could it be...
The long line of folks who came before, and I mean the long line of them...
Let me cut this short, we know who and what I'm talking about.

Couldn't be any of that, years of this, could it?

Ah yes, the anger...
It got me bad, real bad...
It just wouldn't stop, seems like no matter what I did here came another...
One day I got so tired of it, I had tried everything and nothing worked.
So I decided to get even, in more ways than one.
I did that until it stopped, in my case a few years.
I just couldn't take it anymore.

They don't bother me no more, I mean hardly any of them ever even try it anymore.

And when it stopped, once I seen that it had stopped and cold, my own attitude changed.
I don't act like this anymore, not at all, but they know somehow, isn't that something?
A few still call or come around, but they 'get' it in some sort of order,
like they're reading my mind... Strange, don't ask me...

Some of it has to do with how I am set up now, how I do things, that
tends to prevent most of it pretty much automatically, but it took
going through that nonsense, for me to get to where I am now.

The only part I wonder about is, if there's a better way than going for the throat...
I never found it.

Lawnut101
06-19-2008, 01:11 AM
For me, I guess the way I see things is, that if you don't give everybody a shot, you may not know what you are or aren't missing. That guy could've been your new favorite customer. Or he coulda been another pain. I'm new to this biz, but I give everyone a shot.

Liendeni
06-19-2008, 01:27 AM
I don't think you need an attitude adjustment or are full of yourself or you wouldn't have even written this thread. I think you just took a moment out and questioned why you were being the way you were...and its simply because this is what you have become.

Its up to you to change....if you see something wrong with it. Maybe you are just bored. Like you said...your not hurting for the work...and therefore the drive is gone. Sounds like you make good money and you are now to the point where a lot of people get when they get what they want (ie. Money)...they say to themselves, "Now what?"

Money very seldom makes people happy....those who don't believe that...have never had any. Maybe instead of looking having a goal of only getting the biggest accounts....you might change it to simply having the best customer relations.

Doesnt' sound like those big accounts have done it for you.

But then again....I really dislike people so ignore everything that I just said.

whoopassonthebluegrass
06-19-2008, 01:31 AM
Jim:
I'm right with you, man. I've been dealing with so much drama these days with crap equipment and bad weather, that I can't hardly seem to keep my head above water.

If I see my phone ring and I don't recognize the # - instead of hoping for a new client, I find myself hoping they DON'T leave a message!

And I used to answer my phone all the time - whereas now I don't even take it out of the truck. As far as I'm concerned, if I'm not in the truck, then our doors are closed for the day...

This work isn't nearly as fun as it used to be...

jaybird24
06-19-2008, 01:50 AM
That's some good advice there. Direct your passion towards another aspect of the business, might work. I know a long weekend vacation helps me a lot, some days I put a message on my voicemail saying I will be out all day, and will be back tomorrow. It gives me a break to actually get a full days work in without the inevitable phone time. If you make yourself available to everyone all the time, in time it becomes expected, most customers want it now, it is up to us to help them realize we are humans and will do things when we can. We will do it, just not always when they think they want it. I've found as I get older I enjoy meeting new people and learning about them, I just don't like people knowing much about me, especially what I do for a living. I try to make a point of not talking to people about they're work, they live it 5 days a week, it's probably not what they want to think about on their time off either. Don't get me wrong, I love my work, and am passionate about it, but I have other interests, with very little precious time to enjoy them.

milkie62
06-19-2008, 02:41 AM
If you have a name on your shirt you are advertising and people may assume you are available to talk.I worked at a buddies marina part-time and would sometimes wear my uniform if I took my boat out on the river after work.We were a respected marina and people would come up to me with problems or questions.Well if I did not want to be bothered I would make sure I had an extra shirt with me.

JimLewis
06-19-2008, 02:55 AM
Maybe he just noticed that you were dirty and wondered why someone would go to the store before taking a shower.

Um...I hardly ever get dirty and was perfectly clean. I was in nice blue jeans, a nice embroidered collared polo shirt, and my company hat. Nothing dirty. In my position, I basically give a few bids, run errands, and stop by a job site for a few minutes. That's my day. I have to stay clean because I am typically giving estimates or going to the bank, stuff like that.

I appreciate everyone's feedback so far. Thanks. Just trying to think this all through.

coolluv
06-19-2008, 06:49 AM
In my humble opinion, I think a business is like a marriage. When you start off your in the honeymoon stage for a few years, maybe 3 to 5 years. You know what I mean, you don't burp or fart or pick your nose in front of your new bride and the sex is great. You've got the eye of the tiger, your hungry for success. Then after that when you start to see that your dream is becoming reality and you made it this far and the pressure of survival gets less intense it becomes just another day at the office.

You come home from work and the wife has put on a few pounds, not the hard body you married. The sex goes from once a day to once a month. :laugh: Its the same with a business. I'm not saying your arrogant, but thats what happens to most successful business owners. They think, look how smart and great I am because of the success I have enjoyed. You start to look down on everyone and life is not exciting as it was when you were struggling trying to make it.

What usually follows this mentality is that they take their eye off the prize and the company slowly goes to sh%%. I don't have enough time to say everything I would like to say, but I will leave you with this.

Its not because of your superior intellect that you are where you are in life. Its because of the grace of God. Pride comes before the fall.

Dave...

DaughtryLC
06-19-2008, 07:24 AM
I would have to agree. Maybe he just noticed that you were dirty and wondered why someone would go to the store before taking a shower. With that said, I do tend to ignore some people who stop when we are working hoping they will just go away. I think you reach a point where you need them less and less.

I agree! My wife and I talk about those days when I jumped at a new customer. Now a days when someone calls I find myself giving a long sye and saying Damm! Its usually those who call after my season is started.

paponte
06-19-2008, 07:27 AM
I think it's just years of being in the business, growing it and getting to the point where you are. People seem to think we are 24hr operations, and loan officers for their projects. I don't blame you one bit Jim. If someone wants to talk with me concerning business, call me on my business line. Not my cellphone, and definitely not before or after business hours. I'm not married to my business, I am married to my wife and kids. We do have lives too.

jeffex
06-19-2008, 07:59 AM
Jim, I think coolluv is partially right about the marriage refference. You sound like your at a plateau in your business. A successful plateau I might add!!! Just like the marriage finding the spark or passion becomes difficult when you've been there and done that. Right now there is a guy/gal staying up late plotting and planning on how to get to where you are now. They are hungry and will take that call and are nervous about their bid. Its just the circle of life or business thing. How you get the spark back is just like a marriage too. There is someone out there who thinks your customers look good to them and they would like to move in on them. We all face that ! I 'm a small business intentionally. I still have one of my very first lawns. Its a crappy lawn that I have improved but the customer just wants it cut and couldn't care less. I have thought about replacing him many times but I keep him as a reminder of how and where I started. Humility is just GODS way of reminding us of being thankful. Get a beer and chase your wife around the house .... I call it a caveman holiday! helps re-set the clock!

TPnTX
06-19-2008, 08:14 AM
If one of your employees lets say a salesman or a manager had that attitude, how would you feel about them.

Carolina Cuts
06-19-2008, 08:37 AM
I'd chalk it off as .... "having one of them days....... a bad attitude day"
Hell, I get my period 2-3 times a month :laugh::laugh::laugh: ..... real moody... don't wanna talk to anyone or anybody about work.....

topsites
06-19-2008, 09:12 AM
In my humble opinion, I think a business is like a marriage. When you start off your in the honeymoon stage for a few years, maybe 3 to 5 years. Then after that ...
You come home from work and the wife has put on a few pounds, not the hard body you married. The sex goes from once a day to once a month.

Its not because of your superior intellect that you are where you are in life. Its because of the grace of God. Pride comes before the fall.

Dave...

But you're a funny guy, too...
Great sex for 3 to 5 what did you say, years?
L O L

Has put on a few pounds?
What, like 10 or 20?
L O L

Sex going from once a day to once a month?
All right, I'm out of big LOL's but insert that here please.

That one day reality sets in, yes we're right on track there, just never took me no 3 to 5 years to see it.

And this thing with pride, fine, agreed, but to a point.
If I left things up to everyone else then they step all over me in their endless quest for the top and I end up down at the bottom and it's always this "down, boy down" stuff that never ends either. So once I'm down at the bottom what do I feel, because that's what we're after here.
Yes, I am sure in the terms of the compromise I can see what you're saying...
And it's one thing to work for less than 60 an hour, that I have no real problem with.
But pulling weeds by hand for $5 an hour?
Give me a break, too.

larryinalabama
06-19-2008, 09:39 AM
One thing Ive learned in life and running several business, working for the MAN, is that you cant please EVERYONE. The problem I have is I live in small town USA and can not afford to be known as a jerk either.

johnnywill08
06-19-2008, 11:02 AM
i feel that...... my favorite part of the biz now is opening the mailbox and pulling out the checks..... i let my guys handle the mowing and at this time of year don't really want to do anything but work on my own house at my leisure. i could make a lot more doing it all myself, but my guys are so good i rarely get complaints and i'm content to collect the checks. it's actually got me a little depressed. thinking about getting into landscape design school and working for someone else (while the biz makes money for me as well).....

dougmartin2003
06-19-2008, 01:28 PM
I think it's just years of being in the business, growing it and getting to the point where you are. People seem to think we are 24hr operations, and loan officers for their projects. I don't blame you one bit Jim. If someone wants to talk with me concerning business, call me on my business line. Not my cellphone, and definitely not before or after business hours. I'm not married to my business, I am married to my wife and kids. We do have lives too.

thats the problem that pisses me off, people think they can call anytime in the day or night or any day, i run also own a computer repair business here in town and you would be surprised how many calls we get late at night or on a sunday,hell even had people call on holidays, thinking we where open. even had people come by my house, thats where i draw the line, and tell them i cant help them untill the shop opens the next day, and i tell them do not come to my house if its about business. sometimes you just wanna quit or really hurt some people. or maybe im getting old and just dont wanna be bothered

k911lowe
06-19-2008, 01:33 PM
I was thinking about something this evening while I was in the grocery store shopping for dinner. This guy in a nice suit walked in and was close to me. He noticed my uniform. Chances are good he noticed my truck outside. Most people around here recognize our company pretty well. And I kind of tried to walk away without seeming rude, just to avoid conversation. I did this without thinking. Just a natural response these days, I guess.

I guess what I was thinking was, "Here's some guy in a suit thinks he's Mr. Vice President of Widgets, Inc. and is all full of himself and is probably considering asking me about landscaping or some project he wants a bid on. He'll probably start talking to me any minute if I don't get away. And he'll probably think he's doing me a big favor by considering using our company because he's Mister big shot and I'm Mister landscaper. And the last thing I really need right now is to have to act fake like I am excited to meet him when in reality he probably can't afford us and isn't really doing me any favors like he thinks he is. I better run...."

And as I walked away, I had to pause and consider what I have become. What happened to the days when I used to be so excited to meet new customers - any time, any where. I used to get excited about people I'd meet in public who approached me about business. Now, I just see them as a possible annoyance and someone who probably can't afford what we charge and someone who is probably just a waste of my time.

How did I get so jaded? Especially in a year like this when we really do need all the business we can get. What am I doing shunning people off like that? I mean, what I was thinking was probably true. We are a little too expensive for 75% of the people I meet with. And we have a pretty well established business. Almost 200 year-round maintenance accounts and another $750,000 worth of landscape construction business each year. It's not like I'm really desperate for work like I used to be when meeting people like that excited me. But should that matter? Why have I lost my zeal? How do I know that guy didn't have a million dollar property and was really looking for a company like ours? Shouldn't I still be just as excited as ever to meet a potential new customer?

I've been doing this 12 years now and I dunno. I still enjoy giving bids and signing up new customers for big jobs. But I have definitely lost some of the zeal I had back when I started.

Do I just need an attitude adjustment? Am I becoming snobby? (God forbid) Anyone else ever feel like this?

Just thinking out loud here. I'd love to hear from others who have been at this a long time.

from an old pro that still likes to talk to people.take a vacation every year.even if its only a week.its amazing what it does.my first ten years i didn't and then,like you ,i didn't want to hear it.you sound like a people person that's just getting burnt out.take some time off and relax or take your uniform shirt off when shopping.

Charles
06-19-2008, 03:34 PM
I don't think you are becoming jaded. I think you are realizing what many of us realize after being in this biz for quite some time. Some may notice it from the beginning and it really not bother them which is the "Class" society we live in. Really doesn't matter that you may make more money than this guy. He is in a suite and you are not. This guy in particular may not be having any negative thoughts toward you. But you sense he is because so many do in your many years of experience.

landscaper22
06-19-2008, 08:37 PM
Jim, I know where you are coming from too. I have found that I have that attitude sometimes. Most of mine is because I am very busy and have so many problems with finding good help. With this heat in the south, I just want to get done and get home. I have already changed the focus of my business. However, so many people (potential customers) do not understand why I no longer take on seasonal work or one time jobs. People do think they are doing me a favor when they call me, then I feel like I let them down when I explain I am too busy to take on seasonal work. Sometimes I find myself saying "I hope they don't call me". I am at the point where about 90% of the calls I get are "weeded out" without me actually looking at the property. Some may say that is not a good thing. Maybe some of it is burn-out, I don't know.
I don't really think your attitude is bad. Just don't get like so many contractors do and not return phone calls. And don't get to the point that you are not dependable. That is one way to get a bad name. Even if you know you do not want the job, always return the call and politely turn down the job (Well that advice is not so much for Jim, but more for everyone on the site.) Being a little jaded (for lack of better wording) is not all that bad. You are a busy man.
I also think that our attitude changes with experience. After dealing with more tire kickers, cheapos, etc, I get to the point where I can size people up quickly. I believe that is what you are doing, rather than being jaded. It's just part of life I guess.

Toy2
06-19-2008, 08:44 PM
Jim it appears you have been to the top of the mountain with your business.......now its all down hill!!!!!!

Happened with my ex-boss/drug addict....built a huge business out of 8K, and the only thing in this life he wants is: "To have the baddest car at the light".

Now I see his wife all alone with his child driving around the city, see him driving alone in his "bad" vehicle......what a waste of life......

Coolluv hit the nail on the head as well!!

Charles
06-19-2008, 08:49 PM
Jim it appears you have been to the top of the mountain with your business.......now its all down hill!!!!!!

Happened with my ex-boss/drug addict....built a huge business out of 8K, and the only thing in this life he wants is: "To have the baddest car at the light".

Now I see his wife all alone with his child driving around the city, see him driving alone in his "bad" vehicle......what a waste of life......

Coolluv hit the nail on the head as well!!

He has the "baddest car at the light". I would say he reached his goal. Maybe he is happy:laugh:

HOOLIE
06-19-2008, 08:49 PM
Probably had more to do with it being 'off hours' and like you said, you need to have time to shut it off.

So what are you some sort of local celeb over there Jim??? :laugh: Next they'll be wanting autographs...

AL Inc
06-19-2008, 09:14 PM
I feel the same way Jim...I don't know what to call it, jaded, burnt out, lost some of my passion for the biz...I don't know. I'm here in my 14th season as my own boss, and I really do feel I have lost interest in the business. I used to eat, drink, breathe and sleep the landscaping business. This season and last have been a struggle for me and I guess the stress of it all has taken a toll.

As for not wanted to talk business in the market, I stopped wearing my company t-shirts (with logo on the front and back) and had collared golf shirts made with just a small logo on the front for myself. I got sick of talking to people on line at the post office or while I was buying a cup of coffee. Sounds ass backwards, I know, but my best jobs come from referrals, not from someone who was behind me at 7-11.

Toy2
06-19-2008, 09:29 PM
"Baddest car at the light in Waco, Tx" I would say he has reached his goal!!!!

Problem is you can take the scumbag from toilet, lucks out in business and move him into a better home and he will always resort to his beginnings!!!

Wouldn't trade my life for his!!!

landscaper22
06-19-2008, 09:37 PM
I feel the same way Jim...I don't know what to call it, jaded, burnt out, lost some of my passion for the biz...I don't know. I'm here in my 14th season as my own boss, and I really do feel I have lost interest in the business. I used to eat, drink, breathe and sleep the landscaping business. This season and last have been a struggle for me and I guess the stress of it all has taken a toll.

As for not wanted to talk business in the market, I stopped wearing my company t-shirts (with logo on the front and back) and had collared golf shirts made with just a small logo on the front for myself. I got sick of talking to people on line at the post office or while I was buying a cup of coffee. Sounds ass backwards, I know, but my best jobs come from referrals, not from someone who was behind me at 7-11.

Yeah, you will most likely land the job every time with referrals. Being stopped at 7-11 is usually a waste. I have seen lots of times when some average person on the street stops me or approaches me while eating lunch and they just want to chat about the lawn care business. They always mention something about gas prices, or they ask "How much do you charge to cut a yard?" Or "Do you cut grass?" Or they want some advice on their yard. :dizzy:
I almost hate for someone to ask me what I do for a living. Why is that usually one of the first questions people ask when you meet them? Maybe it helps them put you in a "category". I am going to start telling people I am in Landscape or Property Management. Then when they ask me if I cut grass, I will say...No, I create and manage landscapes.

JimLewis
06-19-2008, 09:39 PM
As for not wanted to talk business in the market, I stopped wearing my company t-shirts (with logo on the front and back) and had collared golf shirts made with just a small logo on the front for myself. I got sick of talking to people on line at the post office or while I was buying a cup of coffee. Sounds ass backwards, I know, but my best jobs come from referrals, not from someone who was behind me at 7-11.

Thank you. That's what I was trying to say, you just said it better. That's the point I was trying to make is that my best jobs come from referrals or people who found our website and were super impressed with what they saw. People who I meet in public rarely turn out to be big jobs for me. So I've just learned to go fishing only in the holes that have the big fish. And the other holes seem like kind of a waste of time nowadays.

fitzg2md
06-19-2008, 09:44 PM
I agree that when wearing any form of uniform, you are representing your company to the public...along with all the lip service that requires.

Most companies (almost the entire food service industry) requires their employees to take off their uniform after their shift is over. Of course this is different, but it may be a small step in separating work from the rest of life.

Now, the whole "what do you do for a living" conversations that you have with new people you meet in everyday life will still be there. But those rarely bug me. Im not really selling, just talking with someone on a friendly basis...and those can be the best customers in the long run!

jaybird24
06-19-2008, 09:54 PM
We quit advertising 8 years ago, too much price shopping and wasting our time. Almost 100% of our work is from referalls, I love it because they usually know we are not the cheapest, but they want quality, and are not shopping around. In fact we don't even have a phone # in any books, just our mobiles and of course on the trucks. Weeding out customers is part of the business, any business really. Sure when I started out I was gung ho about checking every job and landing it. In the process I was doing a ton of work and not making much. I never want to go through that again. It made me drink too much, and lose touch with who I was. We need time for ourselves in life. I don't want my epitaph to read " worked himself to death".

h400exinfl
06-19-2008, 10:19 PM
You're jaded. But you've earned it, and you were dinner shopping. It's not like you shunned someone at the meet and greet of a landscaping class for rich folks. You had every right to behave that way at that time. I'm jaded too.

h400exinfl
06-19-2008, 10:21 PM
BTW, I worked at UPS for the christmas season years ago, and they made everyone remove their work shirts before leaving for the day. I always thought that was a great idea.

johnnybravo8802
06-19-2008, 10:55 PM
Sounds to me instead of Mr Vice President of Widgets being full of himself some one else needs a reality check. My business is nowhere near the size of yours but it seems when some one starts doing so well they tend to get full of themselves.
Adjust that attitude and check on reality, we are in a service industry and no matter how you look at it or business relies on people , we need them. JMHO
You said it for me. I've seen the same thing with other large businesses. They won't even wave when you pass them and I'd help anyone. I've been told that I'm way too nice and I get taken advantage of a lot. I never thought I'd see the day when being too nice was a problem!!!!!;)

johnnybravo8802
06-19-2008, 11:00 PM
But could it be...
The long line of folks who came before, and I mean the long line of them...
Let me cut this short, we know who and what I'm talking about.

Couldn't be any of that, years of this, could it?

Ah yes, the anger...
It got me bad, real bad...
It just wouldn't stop, seems like no matter what I did here came another...
One day I got so tired of it, I had tried everything and nothing worked.
So I decided to get even, in more ways than one.
I did that until it stopped, in my case a few years.
I just couldn't take it anymore.

They don't bother me no more, I mean hardly any of them ever even try it anymore.

And when it stopped, once I seen that it had stopped and cold, my own attitude changed.
I don't act like this anymore, not at all, but they know somehow, isn't that something?
A few still call or come around, but they 'get' it in some sort of order,
like they're reading my mind... Strange, don't ask me...

Some of it has to do with how I am set up now, how I do things, that
tends to prevent most of it pretty much automatically, but it took
going through that nonsense, for me to get to where I am now.

The only part I wonder about is, if there's a better way than going for the throat...
I never found it.


Huh??????:confused:

mcclureandson
06-19-2008, 11:12 PM
I feel exactly,100% the same almost every single day. I probably do about 2/3 the business Jim does (250k/year in commerical maintenance - 450k/year installs) and unlike Jim I do still get myself quite dirty from time to time.

I can't tell you how many times I've been stopped in the grocery store, nursery or big-box store either after work or during the day...

I've been asked about bare spots in their yards...drainage issues...broken sprinkler heads...plantings etc...and not one of these people have ever been looking for anything other than some free advice or a cheap solution to their problems.

And the majority of these people cannot afford our services...I know it before they even begin to speak because YOU DONT BUILD A BUSINESS OFF CONVERSATIONS IN THE CHECK-OUT LINE.

Our prospects comes from custom builders, pre-qualified direct marketing, personal referrals etc...and I'm always excited and willing to speak at length with these people. Everyone else is simply wasting my time and assuming I am poor, desperate and willing to work for next to nothing.

I don't think that's being "jaded"...it's having respect for yourself as a business owner and KNOWING your target market and acting accordingly. I simply cut most of these conversations short (politely) and explain we don't do residential maintenance (or whatever other service their asking about).

Toy2
06-20-2008, 12:00 AM
I know when I was a Firefighter/EMT we were told to remove your shirts before going into any business after a shift, or end up having to help someone......so maybe that's your problem....your a walking billboard!!!!

Have a huge flower shirt as a back up, you will look like a tourist!!!