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View Full Version : My life unfolding into the future (follow me through)


GraZZmaZter
11-25-2008, 02:12 PM
Now as some of you may or may not have heard, I'm selling my lawn biz. Basically I'm burnt out on doing things how i have been for the last ump-teen years(manual labor) and need a break from it. Ive got a truck to plow with this winter, than ridding myself from all clients. Selling off all equipment in the meantime.

However, i have no intentions on leaving the green industry at all. I'm going to make the transition of making money with my hands to making money with my mind...

Here are my short-mid range goals.

1 year from today (9-25-08):

* pay off all debts from being in biz..
* Begin school at Michigan State University for Landscape Design?Horticulture
* continue working a 9-5 and doing side jobs for extra money until school homework schedule overlaps

2-3 year plan:

* continue working 9-5 jobber..
* build credit score as high as possible
* finish my degree from MSU
* re-evaluate what exactly i want to do with degree..
- work for another company at their offices
- work from home as essentially a sub-contractor for design work and garden/plant advice
- take more college here in Flint for Small Business Administration
a. 1-2 more years - start another company

Long term:

8-15 year plan:

* be partially/fully retired and sail off into the sunset!


What do you think? I'm 32 and i have a 4 year old daughter, a new house, a new life with my family and i will enjoy obtaing these goals. Their will be ups and downs and possible restructuring/changes made to this plan.

Won't you all come along for the ride and give me all your input. I will give regular updates with new posting: FIRST UP - Read Next Post

GraZZmaZter
11-25-2008, 02:20 PM
First up...

I am taking the MSU extention class for Master Gardener ... It starts Jan 09.

Until than i will study my books for 3a 3b certification (turf-ornamentals) and take the tests their also b4 spring..

Thanks!

Lawnworks
11-25-2008, 05:44 PM
A degree isn't magic. Most of the successful companies owners I know of HIRE people w/ degrees b/c there lack thereof.

If you are tired of manual labor, you should have hired employees... that takes care of that! This then leaves you w/ an incredible amount of time to study and take classes... and also to keep your current clientel and decent stream of income... probably alot better than working a $10 an hour 9-5 "jobber".

I think school is basically a waste of time unless you get a a degree to be a certified landscape architect.

Smallaxe
11-26-2008, 07:38 PM
I agree with Lawnworks. Being much older than you I too am considering partial retirement and am looking to knock off manual labor. If the client base is worth anything turn it over to someone that can continue to build it while having a vested interest in the income.

Your expertice can build a new business that works together with your replacement to find jobs that you hopefully design. Strategies that help new customers create and pleasant outdoor living environment that is cost effective , yet profitable for you and your associate.

Design is tricky, like singing. Either you have a popular voice or not. I can never design because what I prefer and enjoy in a landscape involves gardening more than anything. How many people enjoy gardening? [Too few] I have a knack for pruning, planting, etc. so folks are pleased and trust my judgement with that. Designing - NO. :)

The old adage - "Do what you are good at" comes to mind here. good luck.

topsites
11-26-2008, 08:06 PM
Well...

The degree is all right, I'm super cool with that and I hope you succeed there.
As someone already said these things are no accident, now you'll need to apply yourself
or the whole thing will just be another big waste of time but wait wise guy...

Because I think that's part of what makes us, what decides later where we are,
is the earlier years, our choices and our decisions there somehow drop us off at
a point in the road later in life that also at some point in time no longer adapts
itself to change.
It is thus that unless you make that decision to really work hard at it now,
while you still have a little time left, that something might still come of it.
Take this not as nay saying, take it as a warning:
Don't mess it up this time boy, it could be your last chance.
And when I say could I mean it probably is, mess this one up there may well be no more.
That Michigan State is a nice college, a degree from there will mean a little of something.
So do it right.

Now, on that retiring in 8-15 years bit :p
Well, erm...
Just, you know, do the best you can.

Peace

PHS
11-27-2008, 08:26 AM
I can never design because what I prefer and enjoy in a landscape involves gardening more than anything. How many people enjoy gardening? [Too few] I have a knack for pruning, planting, etc. so folks are pleased and trust my judgement with that. Designing - NO.

Have you been following me around :laugh:?

Grazz, If design is your passion then do it. If you're just looking for a non-labor job think carefully before you make that commitment.

NC Greenscaper
11-27-2008, 08:47 AM
Now as some of you may or may not have heard, I'm selling my lawn biz. Basically I'm burnt out on doing things how i have been for the last ump-teen years(manual labor) and need a break from it. Ive got a truck to plow with this winter, than ridding myself from all clients. Selling off all equipment in the meantime.

Why are you burnt out. What part of what your doing doesn't provide you with satisfaction? Is it the work or the lack payback for the work?

However, i have no intentions on leaving the green industry at all. I'm going to make the transition of making money with my hands to making money with my mind...

Here are my short-mid range goals.

1 year from today (9-25-08):

* pay off all debts from being in biz.. (Good Idea, no matter which direction you go)* Begin school at Michigan State University for Landscape Design?Horticulture
* continue working a 9-5 and doing side jobs for extra money until school homework schedule overlaps.

How is the job situation in Michigan right now? Is it that good that you feel confident you can land this type of work while going to school.

2-3 year plan:

* continue working 9-5 jobber..
* build credit score as high as possible
* finish my degree from MSU
* re-evaluate what exactly i want to do with degree..
- work for another company at their offices
- work from home as essentially a sub-contractor for design work and garden/plant advice
- take more college here in Flint for Small Business Administration
a. 1-2 more years - start another company

Long term:

8-15 year plan:

* be partially/fully retired and sail off into the sunset!


What do you think? I'm 32 and i have a 4 year old daughter, a new house, a new life with my family and i will enjoy obtaing these goals. Their will be ups and downs and possible restructuring/changes made to this plan.

Won't you all come along for the ride and give me all your input. I will give regular updates with new posting: FIRST UP - Read Next Post

I liked alot of your plan to I got to the part about a four year old daughter, new house, wife and a new life.

I would take all this advice with a grain of salt. Because none of us know you or your situation. But I like the advice above that hire employees, then work your education into your schedule, and begin to transition your company into design if thats the way you want to go. Good Luck

AGLA
11-30-2008, 11:43 AM
I did pretty much what Grazz wants to do when the local landscape economy hit a wall in the early 90's. I sold my half of a landscape company, looked for a designer job in more thriving parts of the country, and finally decided to get a degree in landscape architecture.

A few things that I learned along the way and since are these:

A Master Gardener's Certificate is completely worthless in the real world. It is a program designed to recruit volunteers to look things up to answer questions at county extension programs (fact, not snotty analogy). They provide short courses to give a person some very basic knowledge in order to have a clue of understanding someone's question and to be able to provide a general answer or look up a general answer. There is a requirement of a certain amount of volunteer time to get the certificate and the "Master Gardener" title is forbidden to be used professionally. Only do this if you are looking for some basic horticultural knowledge - it won't really help you get a job. I have worked in several companies where it actually is looked at as a negative.

I would rather see you take basic college courses (English, math, biology, ...) at a community college until you get in a degree program. That will save you time and money in getting your degree.

The next thing you need to get a better understanding of is what job opportunities are created by what degree. Most of us have assumptions of what those are without really knowing what they are. You really want to be sure of what they are before you commit the money and time into getting that degree.

Another thing you have to watch out for is the conflict between school schedule and work schedule. While most colleges offer night and weekend classes, they are far less flexible in classes specialized for degree programs. Many degree specific courses require others as prerequisites and are only offered at one time during one semester (sometimes every other year) and may have more time commitment than your typical one hour lecture. This is particularly true of landscape architecture.

It seems that your ultimate goal is to get into other successful companies, seeing how they do it first hand by participating in managing it, and then apply that knowledge to running your own company. This all hinges on your ability to be able to get that insider job. That can be tough. You have to have something to offer that works well for the company that you want to work for. A degree alone won't get you that.

One of the biggest unforeseen problems that I ran into when I came "back home" with my degree in landscape architecture was that there were very few landscape architecture offices within an hour of where I live. The alternative was to work for landscape design/build contractors. The problem there is that it was very easy to design and sell out the entire year's production capability in a few months. That makes it really difficult to land a full time job as a designer without having project management (lining up materials, organizing the crews,...) and on-site supervisor (working foreman) skills to make you worth having around.

If you can put together those it will get you a job. Add office skills and marketing abilities and you might get deeper into the office and a more intimate knowledge of how that particular business operates. You have to be very company first in your attitudes and actions to get "in" the office. If you are too close to the guys working for the owner, you'll be left on the outside when it comes to a working knowledge of the operations of the company.

If you can get work as a landscape construction foreman, it will help you get work for a landscape design/build. Having had a mowing route won't help. Without that experience in managing people, you might not get hired since most companies can not support someone as only a design/sales guy. Most contractors don't find a need for a plant scientist (hort degree) because it does not often get them more work or increase production.

You will need to work for a medium sized company to get into their operation of their office because smaller ones don't need extra help in there and bigger ones have specialized office staff. You'll need one that is big enough to need management help and small enough to use you as part of that management.

My advice if you do this, is to work for successful companies that do what you want to do and more than one of them in order to see different ways of doing things. Different things are only successful under certain circumstances. Without seeing differences, you won't recognize that.

I wound up working in civil engineering offices as well as design/build landscape companies (got my degree at 35). Now I do full site planning for commercial developments in an engineering office as well as having a landscape architecture office on the side doing residential landscape plans. I have a secure job with benefits and can pick and choose my landscape design projects on the side with very little overhead.

No one is going to score your pay on any degree or certificates that you hold. An Associates Degree is almost worthless in our industry other than the basic improvement it may give you in your ability to write, speak, or do basic math. A Bachelor's Degree takes 4-5 years and will get you into interviews that you otherwise might not get (especially in landscape architecture offices - no degree = no interview). You either have to go all the way, or put the time and effort into gaining experience working for others.

I scraped through the time and expense and basically came out of it having to restart my career with school debt. There was no instant pay off when I got done. It all worked out, but it was not easy.

GraZZmaZter
12-03-2008, 02:00 PM
It appears, after briefly skimming through the posts that i may have failed to mention a BIG point which factors majorly into my decision to go with these goals.

IM JUST BURNED OUT!!

Respectfully to all of you, i more-than-likely have been in this industry for more years than most ... 22 ... and I'm 32 ys old. Even before mowing lawns i remember going door to door with a shovel in the winter to make some bucks. Just need to do something else for a bit.

Than within the last few years i have been doing landscape projects and have built a pretty nice portfolio. It just appears to me i hit alot of brick walls and have to turn projects down due to lack of experience and knowlege of the industry. More aggrivation..

I tried going to school while running a biz, but it would never get my full attention because of all the focus i would need for business matters. I still work 12+ hours a day, its just that my energies need to be refocused at this point... into other avenues.

I appreciate all the comments ... keep them coming

JimLewis
12-10-2008, 04:16 AM
Grazzmaster, sorry to see you go. Always enjoyed you being an active LCO and member of the site. I am sure you'll continue here on LS to some degree. But still sorry to see you shut down the biz.

Overall, I think your goals are good ones. Some of the things you mention, I wish I could go back and redo but I am in no position to do that. I got too big of a ball rolling to ever take a step back like that.

Specifically, I like the idea of taking landscape design classes and even more, I like the idea of taking more business classes. My major in college was Business Admin. but I dropped out my Sr. year. Still less than a year away from graduation. But I have no time and little reason to go back now. Plus, most of the things I would have learned in that last year, I've already learned now - I just learned them all the hard way - which really sucks. I wish I could go back in time and really LISTENED to my business professors. What I did learn in the college of business at my University, I've used many times. All the classes I took on accounting, business law, business computer related classes, etc. - I've used things I learned in every single one of those classes. But all the stuff they taught in the Sr. year classes, like I said, I ended up having to learn the hard way. Which isn't fun. Would have liked to get a "heads up" before I made a lot of the mistakes I've made. But it is what it is.

So needless to say, I think you're smart to focus on these things before you really jump back in and make a go of it.

The other thing you said that I really think is key is the credit score thing. If I could go back in time that's another thing I would have changed before I started my business. Because good credit can really make a big difference in this business. It helps you manage cash flow. That's the key thing. Without it, you're at a huge disadvantage compared to firms that have it. And corporate credit is all still related to your personal credit. So I think you're wise to make that a big priority too. Very few companies are really successful without it.

I wish there was a way you could figure out how to do all this without spending so many years away from the business. But I can't argue with your plan. I think, overall, it's a very smart one!

GraZZmaZter
12-14-2008, 03:00 PM
Jim - Thank you oh so much.

I actually have my company sold now, and it just so happens that i mentioned your name to the father-son team i sold it to. At last I've spoken with him, he had already been oh here and poked around. I specifically wrote your name down on a piece of paper along with some others that i feel are industry leaders. I am also working with them in the spring to get the ball rolling in the right direction.

I am definitely not leaving the industry totally, or shutting down my LS name. I will talk with you all soon!

JNyz
12-16-2008, 05:53 AM
Good Luck!

GraZZmaZter
04-05-2009, 08:37 AM
Update time ...

I was working at a friends oil change biz for a coupla months. He had to cut my hours do to lack of patrons at his shop, and at min. wage i just didnt see it being worth my time anymore. So i havent seen a paycheck sence last Dec...

I bought another house and have been using savings to live and work on the house. We redid almost all the walls in the house (all will be done eventually) New carpet was installed throughout and we are waiting on pergo for the rest of the flooring. We put in a slider door and started on the windows. Landscape design is mapped out outdoors and a deck is in the works for the front and back of the house..

Im working with another LCO in Ann Arbor currently and really enjoy the job. Its around an hour drive each way, but the job makes it worthwhile. We started cleanups last week and should be full into mowing season in a few weeks.

Still plan on attending MSU this fall and staying where im at for at least a few years..

Oh and my daughter turns 5 Apr. 21st!

Shep...

DoetschOutdoor
04-05-2009, 10:08 PM
So how many accounts did you have when you sold? Is it really better to be driving an hour each way (thats alot of money and opportunity cost) than to be running your own show?

Lawnworks
04-06-2009, 07:51 PM
Damn... I do almost 700k a year and I have NO education. I could not afford to take the time to get an education now. You were working for minimum wage??? good lord man.

EVM
04-06-2009, 08:12 PM
Get a job working for verizon, in the install service field, but only if it is union in your area. It is a really nice job to have, trust me.

PatriotLandscape
04-11-2009, 04:28 PM
Damn... I do almost 700k a year and I have NO education. I could not afford to take the time to get an education now. You were working for minimum wage??? good lord man.

I hear ya. having a degree will not make you a better businessman. nothing you can't get from seminars anyway. it is tough to transition from field labor to manager but that is the only way you really grow your business.

i know i'm struggling with it now.

Lawnworks
04-11-2009, 07:19 PM
I hear ya. having a degree will not make you a better businessman. nothing you can't get from seminars anyway. it is tough to transition from field labor to manager but that is the only way you really grow your business.

i know i'm struggling with it now.

Exactly! Workload delegation = more profit. I am struggling as well, I have two mowing crews, but I am having a problem finding someone to run my landscaping crew.

AGLA
04-12-2009, 07:48 AM
My observation after having worked in a lot of roles from behind a lawn mower, to having my own small maintenance/contracting company, to the inner office of a couple of larger landscape companies is that the biggest limitation on a company's ability to grow is the owner's ability to manage help. Another observation is that much of that is inherent in the individual and while you can sharpen that with education and experience, most of that is built into the individual.

You see it all around you. Guys with big companies who know far less about plants or design than some smaller struggling guys. What they can do is manage people, usually through a powerful persona. They happen to be in the landscape business, but you could pretty much yank them out of it and put them in a different business where managing people is important and they would still thrive.

You also see lots of guys who try to grow by adding services through collecting equipment. They start by mowing and grow to a crew of three or four. Then they buy a dump truck, then a skid steer, then a hydroseeder, ..... and five years later they still have three or four guys and a lot more overhead.

One of the common misconceptions that I have seen is that a not so good people manager thinks he can hire someone to do that for him. It seems to make sense, but I have noticed that good people managers don't seem to stay working for people who are not ... and we are right back to where we started.

Denial of this is very common, but there are tons of guys out there who realize it and shift their focus on working with the size (in manpower) company that they are comfortably capable of managing. Many gross huge amounts with very few well managed people. You get in a rut when you try to run your company as if you can manage more people than you actually can. Too many services, too much diverse equipment, too many accounts, and too much overhead will make you bigger, but not necessarily make you better.

Understand yourself and your own capabilities and make the business plan adjust to that. Most people early on try to adjust to some other successful persons business model which just might not work with them. Some keep chasing it forever and never "get over the hump".

GraZZmaZter
04-12-2009, 03:47 PM
I don't understand why someone would try to pick apart another person's life ... that is an obvious sign of incompetence on your part...

You see, all this thread is, is a story im creating throughout my current updating situations. Ive offered no advice, asked for no help, opinions, credit. Im just sharing a transformation of someone who has been in the business for a very long time from a very early age. Take it for what it is folks...

If you dont have nothing positive to say, move along and save the other kind people on this site and myself wasted time reading your garbage. I dont care what you think i SHOULD do or what i SHOULD HAVE done. This is my life and ive made these decisions and just like a business plan, my life has evolved and changed .. but my goals remain true, regardless of what crap you have to say...

Lawnworks
04-12-2009, 05:15 PM
Sorry man... we were only trying to help. Remember you are the one that has failed. It might help to listen to others that HAVE NOT failed.

Lawnworks
04-12-2009, 05:16 PM
My observation after having worked in a lot of roles from behind a lawn mower, to having my own small maintenance/contracting company, to the inner office of a couple of larger landscape companies is that the biggest limitation on a company's ability to grow is the owner's ability to manage help. Another observation is that much of that is inherent in the individual and while you can sharpen that with education and experience, most of that is built into the individual.

You see it all around you. Guys with big companies who know far less about plants or design than some smaller struggling guys. What they can do is manage people, usually through a powerful persona. They happen to be in the landscape business, but you could pretty much yank them out of it and put them in a different business where managing people is important and they would still thrive.

You also see lots of guys who try to grow by adding services through collecting equipment. They start by mowing and grow to a crew of three or four. Then they buy a dump truck, then a skid steer, then a hydroseeder, ..... and five years later they still have three or four guys and a lot more overhead.

One of the common misconceptions that I have seen is that a not so good people manager thinks he can hire someone to do that for him. It seems to make sense, but I have noticed that good people managers don't seem to stay working for people who are not ... and we are right back to where we started.

Denial of this is very common, but there are tons of guys out there who realize it and shift their focus on working with the size (in manpower) company that they are comfortably capable of managing. Many gross huge amounts with very few well managed people. You get in a rut when you try to run your company as if you can manage more people than you actually can. Too many services, too much diverse equipment, too many accounts, and too much overhead will make you bigger, but not necessarily make you better.

Understand yourself and your own capabilities and make the business plan adjust to that. Most people early on try to adjust to some other successful persons business model which just might not work with them. Some keep chasing it forever and never "get over the hump".

That is a pretty keen observation. I think you are right on the money. I think some people are willing to take more risks and depend more on people than others.

AGLA
04-12-2009, 08:27 PM
Grazz,

I'm not picking apart your life. I'm adding an observation to the overall subject brought out by the last couple of posts by Lawnworks and Patriot.

I'd go further to say that I don't see anything negative about these observations. There is nothing that makes someone who can manage dozens of people (which I am not) better than someone who can manage only a few. Most of us can't manage a lot of people which is only a problem if you (or me, or someone else) try to run your business as if you can. There are tons of very successful landscape companies that don't have a lot of employees.

It is really about making the best of what you've got and not worrying about trying to be like some other company.

I don't know if you are a guy that can or can not manage a lot of people, so I'm not judging or criticizing you. I'm just sharing these observations with anyone who is following this thread and its twists who may want to ponder them. They can think about them as it might apply to their situations. They may agree or disagree, but at least it is something to think about.

Lawnworks
04-12-2009, 09:35 PM
But as far as profit goes, the more work the you can delegate the more profit you can make. I know other factors come into play on this general statement such as maintaing costs and debt; and maintaining labor costs and efficiencies.

AGLA
04-13-2009, 07:24 AM
Also remember that delegating requires managing those that you delegate to. If you can't manage people well, you can't delegate well either because it is the same thing.

That is the thing that I see lots of guys not understanding. The "denial" that I mentioned in my first post earlier in this thread is when guys who can't manage a lot of people expect that they can hire that out. I don't think you can based on what I have seen. The reason is simply that you still have to manage those whom you delegate to (which is more difficult than managing laborers).

If you are not a people manager, think what you are expecting. You essentially expect someone to come into your company with knowledge and skills on how to manage it and work for wages for someone who is not able to do that on his own. Someone with that skill set is simply not going around looking to take someone else to the next level and let them keep the profits.

It is not reasonable to expect someone who can run a company better than you to come and work for you. In reality, it just does not make sense.

Lawnworks
04-18-2009, 11:51 PM
Also remember that delegating requires managing those that you delegate to. If you can't manage people well, you can't delegate well either because it is the same thing.

That is the thing that I see lots of guys not understanding. The "denial" that I mentioned in my first post earlier in this thread is when guys who can't manage a lot of people expect that they can hire that out. I don't think you can based on what I have seen. The reason is simply that you still have to manage those whom you delegate to (which is more difficult than managing laborers).

If you are not a people manager, think what you are expecting. You essentially expect someone to come into your company with knowledge and skills on how to manage it and work for wages for someone who is not able to do that on his own. Someone with that skill set is simply not going around looking to take someone else to the next level and let them keep the profits.

It is not reasonable to expect someone who can run a company better than you to come and work for you. In reality, it just does not make sense.

AGLA there is truth in what you speak. Delegating people is the key to incredible success.

To me, learning how to delegate is MUCH more important than getting an education. And I think delegating can be learned... I don't think it is something you either have or don't have. I can see a person that is a control freak and a perfectionist having a hard time with this, but other than that it is just coming to realization that if you can hire capable and competent people the job can be done correctly. With the economy the way it is, I have had the opportunity to hire great people.

AGLA
04-19-2009, 07:05 AM
It can be learned, but we all start from some point of ability to get people to do what we want. That original point of ability to lead can be grown through learning, but like a good pair of track shoes learning only improves on your own capability.

I think that many of us think that authority replaces ability. Meaning that because you own the company people will follow you like a general. Authority to lead does not translate into ability to lead. In order to delegate, you have to be an able leader.

I don't expect this to make sense to people reading this because I have years of watching people live through exactly what I'm explaining without realizing it.

I stand by the notion that your (generic your) company growth (in terms of work force) is limited by your own personal ability to manage people.

Lawnworks
04-19-2009, 04:02 PM
It can be learned, but we all start from some point of ability to get people to do what we want. That original point of ability to lead can be grown through learning, but like a good pair of track shoes learning only improves on your own capability.

I think that many of us think that authority replaces ability. Meaning that because you own the company people will follow you like a general. Authority to lead does not translate into ability to lead. In order to delegate, you have to be an able leader.

I don't expect this to make sense to people reading this because I have years of watching people live through exactly what I'm explaining without realizing it.

I stand by the notion that your (generic your) company growth (in terms of work force) is limited by your own personal ability to manage people.

I think you have to realize that some one is capable of doing whatever you need to be done. Some people just cannot except this fact. Nothing wrong with those people, but they will run a weedeater for their whole life. It also seems like you have to hire the right people in the first place. You have to have people that are motivated to work and please you.

I have 2 maintenance crews and 1 landscaping crew. I was running my landscaping crew until a week ago. It is amazing what competent person can learn... and quickly. If you can find the right people, delegating is not too hard. And with the economy the way it is, good folks are easier to find.

Fourstar Lawnscaping
04-22-2009, 09:41 PM
Grazz good luck to you in collage if need any help with your accounts we are over here in Lennon about 15 minutes south west of you.

Thanks Bill Fourstar Lawnscaping (810) 240-7318

GraZZmaZter
04-28-2009, 10:38 AM
Who FAILED??? What exactly did i fail at? This coming from someone who doesn't think education is important. Running a business is a constant re-education of yourself. If you haven't figured that out yet, i feel for you my friend. If you just focused your thoughts on what you need to do to be a better businessman and just a better human being all-together, you would be surprised. Don't try to dig up dirt that isnt there on other people to make your own inadequacies dissipate ... they wont. Furthermore ... DID I ASK FOR HELP? Did i ask to listen to you? Right there tells me your probably some insecure little puke that runs around trying to look/act cool because you own a business... Well anyone can own a business for 10 bucks... your not cool.

Like I've already said folks ... don't respond to this post ... or any of my posts for that matter if you don't have anything good to bring to the table. I don't have time for people on here acting like kids.

Bill, thank you so much for the kind words. May your 09 season be the best and most profitable for you yet!

GraZZmaZter
04-28-2009, 10:43 AM
And AGLA... I dont even understand what your saying half the time ... LOL! WOW, your out there bro! Good laugh!

Humor is vital to a full life..

FDuce
04-28-2009, 11:10 AM
* continue working 9-5 jobber..
* build credit score as high as possible
* finish my degree from MSU
* re-evaluate what exactly i want to do with degree..
- work for another company at their offices
- work from home as essentially a sub-contractor for design work and garden/plant advice
- take more college here in Flint for Small Business Administration
a. 1-2 more years - start another company



This will probably cause you problems. If you are working for a company full time they will most likely make you sign a non-compete agreement...preventing you from doing on the side the same thing you do for them.

David Gretzmier
04-28-2009, 12:25 PM
Grazz- I've been following this and I'll jump in- try to remember you asked for folks imput on your first post. I'm hoping you have success at whatever you do. but take it from a guy who has also been in the green industry for 25 plus years- I have went from the grass cutter guy, college, Accountant, to owning and managing a million plus multi service landscape install/maintenance company, and currently a growing near 1/2 mill landscape lighting/holiday lighting company. AGLA is absolutely correct in all his advice. I have an accounting degree, and while the 4-5 years of business classes taught alot of marketing, management, finance, and lots of other book stuff, in the end, Burn out is self inflicted. I was burned out on lawn cutting with 2-4 guys. I was burned out quickly being a tax accountant. I was burned out owning and managing a million plus company. all of them -I was burned out dealing with the work and clients expectations of that work verses my personal satisfaction from any of that work. The money was quite good at all of them.

Burn out is your bodies' reaction to the job satisfaction you receive. I had to find something that gave me great job satisfaction and a profit level to support myself, my wife, and 4 children under 12. You may be in a financial position to shop work, attend class and to remodel you house, but I have never been quite able to do that. try to remember I spent 5 years in school to be a CPA, spent about 100 grand of my and my parents money on college 20 years ago, and I thought that accounting is what I wanted to do since year 2 of college. I burned out on that after 3 months in the tax field. College is a very expensive place to find yourself while you earn very little money getting by. I would reccomend you spend the summer contemplating why you spent 22 years making folks happy mowing, and if landscape design is gonna make you happy. because ultimately what you should be doing with your life is something that is only 2 things, 1, it makes you satisfied at the end of almost every day, and 2 you are satisfied financially where you are or going with that job.

I just spent about thirty minutes of my time posting, picking apart MY life to try and help you . you can bash if you wish, or learn. your choice.

and also, I've enjoyed your posts over the past 7 years or so.

dave g

AGLA
04-28-2009, 01:13 PM
Clearly, you do not understand me at all, Grazz.

Somehow you are reading into what I have written a lot of hostility directed toward you that is simply not there. Somehow you think that I'm calling you a failure. I don't know why you are jumping to those conclusions.

All of my comments are responses to what others are discussing. All of my comments are about observations of our industry in general and none about you specifically. As an open messageboard (not your personal blog) a lot of people are reading these threads to see a variety of opinions, observations, and advice for their own situations. Everyone's input goes into the mix. You can agree, disagree, enjoy, or hate people's comments, but all of it has potential benefit for someone somewhere. That is the whole purpose of industry messageboards.

Lawnworks
04-28-2009, 10:38 PM
Who FAILED??? What exactly did i fail at? This coming from someone who doesn't think education is important. Running a business is a constant re-education of yourself. If you haven't figured that out yet, i feel for you my friend. If you just focused your thoughts on what you need to do to be a better businessman and just a better human being all-together, you would be surprised. Don't try to dig up dirt that isnt there on other people to make your own inadequacies dissipate ... they wont. Furthermore ... DID I ASK FOR HELP? Did i ask to listen to you? Right there tells me your probably some insecure little puke that runs around trying to look/act cool because you own a business... Well anyone can own a business for 10 bucks... your not cool.

Like I've already said folks ... don't respond to this post ... or any of my posts for that matter if you don't have anything good to bring to the table. I don't have time for people on here acting like kids.

Bill, thank you so much for the kind words. May your 09 season be the best and most profitable for you yet!

If you want a pat on the back... just say so. College cannot teach you how to run a business. It cannot teach you common sense, it cannot teach you how to relate to people, and it cannot teach you to be financially responsible. Why do think so many business owners do not have college degrees?

Some of the advice on this thread has taken people tens of years to understand(myself included). You should re-read this thread. It is for your own good.

Lawnworks
04-28-2009, 10:47 PM
And AGLA... I dont even understand what your saying half the time ... LOL! WOW, your out there bro! Good laugh!

Humor is vital to a full life..


You need to examine your own ignorance. AGLA's posts have been humble and very truthful. He is not "out there." Any successful business owner can relate to every single one of his posts. AGLA's posts have been an inspiration to me.

You seem to be looking for a job, not a business. They are two totally different worlds... you need to figure which one you want to be in.

The JOKE is on you... remember, you are the one working for $6 an hour. I have never even hired anyone for such a low amount!

GraZZmaZter
04-30-2009, 11:47 AM
David ... i really enjoyed reading your response. It is appreciated whole-heartedly. I agree that being "burnt-out" is my reaction to the level of satisfaction i thought i was receiving. I still find immense pleasure in doing any type of lawn work .. i.e. mowing, edging, aerating, fert, etc... standing back and looking at what i just completed. A sense of pride overcomes me. As a matter of fact, that's what I'm doing now and will be for the next few years for another lawn service.

To understand me any further you need to know that i have a very active imagination and the creativity in me leaks out to other areas of my life. I play several instruments, have played in bands around michigan, draw, write songs & poems, and create things. Even all of the other hobbies and side activities I'm involved in, i approach with an open mind and a creative twist. Bottom line is, i get way more satisfaction and an overwhelming sense of pride when i play with dirt, loose materials, blocks, and plants, than i do with any type of lawn service. So maybe that will clear up any inconsistencies in my posts.

I'm also very anal when it comes to things i enjoy, and i love knowledge. I guess those are the two biggest reasons Ive decided to go back to college. I want to know everything i can behind the science of landscaping and horticulture. I mean, i can run a business, i can make money at it .. good money. I could trudge along doing side landscape work as my knowledge allows me and learn that way. Hell, i taught myself lawn care that way! I just don't want to .. this is what i want to do and that's what I'm doing.

It just seems that there are allot of comments telling me what i should do or should have done. Comments about how much i make, the course I'm taking, etc... That's what i was getting at. Are those really productive comments? I mean, I'm open minded enough to realize you can learn from anyone. I approach every situation i can on a situation-by-situation basis with enthusiasm and energy and i don't see how knocking someone's path, work ethnic, hourly wage, or just plain calling them ignorant is helping...

GraZZmaZter
09-25-2009, 12:18 PM
I guess i opened myself up to some critisizing when i started this thread. I guess sence i was leaving the industry, i should have expected more critics than i anticipated.. well, guess what? Im back, and i have no intentions of leaving the helm of the ship that we call ownership ... it was a bad time to jump ship (month or so ago) but my job in A. Arbor wasnt working out ... was going broke working there... so i dove in and have been blessed enough to keep the phone ringing enough for me and the daughter to eat... Im only mowing 2 times a week .... mon and wed ... and have filled in the rest of most weeks with landscaping. Recently its slowed down around here, but thats to be expected with fall approaching. Thats my current status ... bombs away!!!

Smallaxe
09-25-2009, 10:23 PM
The "business" needs to provide 'X' number of dollars for us through the winter... then we realize... There's no Better business... :)

GraZZmaZter
10-08-2009, 11:20 AM
Really, their isnt ... landscaping will always be a necessity..

GraZZmaZter
10-08-2009, 11:23 AM
How did this thread end up here by the way????