View Full Version : hanging it up and keeping my day job

10-01-2008, 09:31 PM
I've been doing freelance landscape work since last December to earn a few extra $$$ to finance my equipment habit. After several months of good hard work for loyal customers, I earned enough to:
- put up a small shed to hold my stuff
- buy a couple of pieces of equipment on my wish list
- get some safety gear (like boots for example)

Growing season is over, and my wife and kids actually miss me when I go out on lawn jobs directly from my day job and don't come home until after dark.

I am hanging up the trimmer and leaving the landscaping work to people who deserve & need the money more than I do: legit licensed lawn services and maybe some neighbor kids who are willing to push a mower for $25 bucks, which is pretty much all I charged even with string trimming, edging, and hedge trimming and clean up thrown in.

This all started with charity work where I volunteer to do something in the community 'cause I have equipment most homeowners don't. A couple of the recipients of my volunteer services were all but begging me to do it for money, I refused for a awhile but finally gave in. Since they needed the help to begin with I didn't have the heart to charge them what I thought the commercial services are getting.

Anyway, I feel good about what I did for other people, and earned a few bucks the hard way. I have huge respect for people who do this for a living full time, it's real hard and you won't get rich at it. I will keep up the charity work now and then just to keep the Stihls exercised.

For the record: I NEVER did tree work other than a little limbing with my pole saw. Real tree work is for people with the equipment, training, and insurance to do it right and they deserve to get paid properly for it.

You can find me in my backyard splitting wood or in the garage fixing up my chipper. Stop in for a cold one.

Mike Leary
10-01-2008, 09:58 PM
Stop in for a cold one. :drinkup:

Nice thread/post. :)

10-01-2008, 10:01 PM
Nice thread/post. :)

i agree also

Kennedy Landscaping
10-02-2008, 12:22 AM
Sorry to hear that, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Just part of business I guess.

lawns Etc
10-02-2008, 05:59 AM
Good for you I wish I could afford to quit but I have created way too much debt \

White Gardens
10-02-2008, 01:01 PM
It seems if you want to really do it right you have to dedicate your-self 100%into landscaping if you're going to make it work. It's tuff to do when you have a day-job to contend with.

Sorry that it couldn't work for you, but every situation is different and just like I tell others, you have to do what you have to do, period.

It's always something you can do as a hobby too, so it's not like your going to be giving it up completly, you just might only do a couple of jobs a year.

10-02-2008, 05:04 PM
Good luck to you. I'm 19 and I decided last year to go full swing into this biz. I think that you can make a good living off of this type of work, but you have to be willing to give your all! For instance, I'm still a teen, and when my other teen friends are out having fun, many times I have to be working instead of having fun. If you have a full time or even part time responsibility other than this line of work, well it probably won't work out. Like I said, have fun doing this work for fun, because that's the way I see it, doing something I love to do.

10-03-2008, 03:17 AM
So what was the problem were you getting to much work or was it because you didn't have the energy. If you were getting to much work then thats a good thing. Its a sign then ;-)

At the same time you should have time for your kids.

10-03-2008, 07:20 AM
Thanks for the replies. I don't feel bad for quitting. I started out doing it for fun and goodwill type jobs and it just pulled me in. I made enough $$ to achieve my goals and I am satisfied.

I got out while it was still fun and I was able to get 3 good customers through the growing season. They have plenty of time to find someone else before next spring.

Regarding the amount of work: I could have taken on a lot more just by word of mouth. I put my own limit on my work time. Business is good around here. Every night on my way home from work there are at least 2 or 3 landscaper trailers in my neighborhood with a crew working.

I would rather leave this line of work to people (like most of you) who do it full time and are making a go of it. I'm staying on the forum 'cause I like equipment and the kind of people who work with it.

10-08-2008, 07:26 AM
On the way to work yesterday, I drove past a place that I finished up last week and snapped this picture. They got Yard of the Month in their subdivision, partly thanks to me! The picture doesn't look as good as the real thing. Also, the brown patch of grass in front was not my responsibility. I did all their hedges, curb edging, and trim.

I plan to call them and ask if their garden club is going to send me a bonus check for making the neighborhood look so good.

White Gardens
10-08-2008, 10:33 AM
Looks good from the pic, are you sure you want to keep your day-job???

10-08-2008, 08:54 PM
what I thought the commercial services are getting.

While I do agree that some charge a ridiculous price, you might be surprised as to what some of us who work for a living charge...
Although I dare say at $25 you are 5 bucks below my minimum but really the only overhead differential here is a license and some taxes.

Because I see it all the time, dudes come in, sweep through the place doing a crappy job then charge a high price to boot...
These guys are raking in $90-120 an hour and I'm like, for WHAT?!
It frustrates me to no end, this is part of the problem with the economy today.

And in that sense I am glad you were there, generating some good old fashioned
competition for these spoiled brats run around acting like money grows on trees.
Further, if you ever felt you were too cheap, I hope you were and I further hope
you drove a few more of these high-priced jokesters out of the business lol.

Because to those of us who realize and accept that we'll never get rich,
we find our satisfaction elsewhere, it's not all about the money either.

Peace out.