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View Full Version : HELP with an arguement with my parents


Ben's Landscape
07-27-2009, 10:49 PM
I want to go into the green industry full time. Go to school for landscape architect and biz management.

My parents fee that I should not go into the cutting biz because I have capabilities for bigger jobs. Since i have a 4.0 GPA right now.

I want to get into the commercial mowing, Snow removal, Irrigation, Design and matiance of properties.

They feel that i am wasting my time and I will not make any money in the field!!!

How can i change there minds. I love cutting grass. I like running the mowers and equipment. I like this field of work.

I say if you like your job then it isn't considered work!!

Please give me any impot on this ongoing argument.

sharpcuts
07-27-2009, 11:41 PM
From what I've seen landscape architects aren't exactly starving. I say if you like what your doing & can make a good living, go for it! Just think about it this way, is this something I want to do for the next 30 years. If that doesn't sound appealing, better reconsider. Parents mean well, but they don't have to live your life. Not to say you shouldn't listen to their advice; you should. But the decision is yours & you will be the one that lives with the consequences. I don't beleive in parents making life decisions for you. You wouldn't let them choose your wife for you, even if it was a better choice!! If you were just gonna mow grass for a living, I could see their point

Ben's Landscape
07-27-2009, 11:43 PM
Do you see my point of gettin into snow removal, irrigation and other jobs?? I was also thinking of getting into tree work.

2low4NH
07-27-2009, 11:43 PM
depending on where you live you can make a good amount of money. design pays very well in some areas and very slow in others parts. you wont be making six figures a year unless you do everything right and want to deal with the headaches of having a large crew. i do landscaping/masonry and i do very well for myself when the economy is good. right now im scratching for work. if you like your job and truely want to do this for the rest of your life then show them what you could do. talk with the big companies in your area and get a feel for how they do it. most of the big companies here also have a retail store to sell supplies to the homeowners

Ben's Landscape
07-27-2009, 11:46 PM
I live in RI. Where are you located??

sharpcuts
07-27-2009, 11:53 PM
Just make sure you don't "over diversify". You need to decide which services your gonna provide & focus on it. Do like 2low4nh suggests & talk to the guys that are doing the kind of work you want to do.
Your parents probably have the common perception that all guys in this industry are either rednecks or hippies. Network with some of the guys on here that have businesses like you want. A lot of them have a degree in one thing or another.

Ben's Landscape
07-27-2009, 11:56 PM
Ive already tried to talk to guys that own companys. I have gone to there shops and they have either told me they would call me or they would not talk to me because i am only 17.

So i have been gathering all my info from this great site.

Jay Ray
07-28-2009, 12:30 AM
When you go to college take a double major like landscape architecture and enough liberal arts that you can get into law school later, just in case you want might want to.

Lawnut101
07-28-2009, 12:42 AM
Only you can decide. Keep in mind that you can succeed at pretty much any kind of work that you do as long as you are driven. I am 19 and my parents are fully in support of me. That really helps, and it would be hard to do it all myself. But if your driven it can be done.

Ben's Landscape
07-28-2009, 12:47 AM
My parents have support for me. It is just that they want the best for me also. I think that this field has a lot of potential with commercial contracts and big residential jobs. I feel that there is definatly money to be made in this field.

Lawnut101
07-28-2009, 01:10 AM
My parents have support for me. It is just that they want the best for me also. I think that this field has a lot of potential with commercial contracts and big residential jobs. I feel that there is definatly money to be made in this field.

Well having their support is a good thing. And yes there is money to be made, but it's takes a while to generate the cash flow. Equipment is expensive, there are all kinds of cheapos out there, and there are some crazy customers. It looks like you have a good start with the equipment you have. Keep picking up work. Snow removal is probably the best money in this business, but it's not super reliable as far as an income. It changes from year to year.

JimLewis
07-28-2009, 03:50 AM
I say listen to your parents. I make pretty good money in this business. Probably better than 95% of LCOs and Landscape Contractors. But still, I know if I had gone into another industry or career and put in the same amount of time, dedication, and effort - I could probably be a lot MORE successful financially, be able to enjoy a lot more time off, and not have quite as much stress.

Honestly, at 17, you really have no idea what you want to do. You might THINK you want to mow lawns, be a landscape architect, etc. But you haven't had enough experience to know how great anything else could be. Is it fair to say most of your work experience has been in this field up to this point? So of course you're going to think this is great - it's what you know best. But I bet if you got a feel for several other kinds of careers you might find that your dreams change a little as you get a few more years and experience behind you.

Unless you have total screw-ups for parents, I say listen to them. Parents just want their kids NOT to make the same stupid mistakes they did. They want their kids to keep their options open - knowing there may be way better things on the horizon that they just haven't thought of or experienced yet. You never know what could happen! Maybe you go to school and begin studying landscape architecture as your major and then meet a girl whose dad is a stock trader. So you get an intern at his firm one summer and by the end of the summer you find you just LOVE the rush of a stock trading floor and the big ticket trading deals going by all the time! Or who knows? There are a thousand different amazing things you could do with your life. You gonna just settle in on the one you've known before you even have anything to compare it to or have even had much time to think about it?

Don't be so anxious to anchor yourself down to only one thing so quickly. Live a little, first. Go to college. Get an education. Meet people from different backgrounds and learn more about the world and all it has to offer before you lock yourself into this. If you go all the way through college and still want to do this; fine. What do you lose? It's not like college is boring. College life is a blast! You're gonna make so many new friends and meet so many girls it's just awesome. Why are you so anxious to just start a career and get so serious right at the beginning of your life. Live a little first and settle down with something later when you've had more time to REALLY consider your options.

delphied
07-28-2009, 07:50 AM
Keep your GPA and try to go to the Air force or Naval academy. Its free and when you graduate you are guaranteed flight training . Flying a jet is the best piece of equipment in the world to operate. I would never recommend this full time for anyone with a 4.0 avg.

Roger
07-28-2009, 07:52 AM
I see a confusion and a mixture of ideas on the proposed actions and path. On one hand, I hear a desire for doing lawn service work (e.g. cutting, snow, ...), and on the other hand, I hear a desire for landscape architecture. Despite both working with plants and growing things, these are two worlds apart.

Landscape architecture is a non-trivial, highly intellectual demanding, and requires the a very creative mind. The "washout" rate in colleges in these programs is very high. Only a few elite ones manage these programs.

If you want to be task-oriented and be a field worker, then the lawn service is where you need to be.

If you believe you have the intellectual capacity and creative mind for designing, managing major projects, and doing much work in an office, then working through the landscape architecture program is a great place for you.

The two mindsets and career goals are miles apart. My suspicion is that your parents see great things for you, and are concerned about starting down the road of lawn service work. Those who follow this path at a young age are a dime a dozen -- takes little (no?) education, no special skills, no training. On the other hand, those who are successful in a landscape architecture program are unique, have very few peers, and are able to do very well as a professional career person.

... take it from somebody who has been very close to the architecture programs, and has done lawn service work for many years.

2brothersyardcare
07-28-2009, 08:08 AM
my dads a carpenter and dose construction hes also a great mason but he says it best. you an do things the easy way going 2 school and sitting in a office for the rest of your life or you can work in the field and own your own biss. i love this biss this is my 4 year and it rocks my 21 sucks but i love this biss. alot of people on my moms side thinks im nuts but my grandpa supports me and so dose my grandma. my parents dont care wat i do but they want me 2 go 2 collage they dident and see how bad it was.



plush this is 1 of my longest post and bet it makes scene hahaha

punt66
07-28-2009, 08:11 AM
my dads a carpenter and dose construction hes also a great mason but he says it best. you an do things the easy way going 2 school and sitting in a office for the rest of your life or you can work in the field and own your own biss. i love this biss this is my 4 year and it rocks my 21 sucks but i love this biss. alot of people on my moms side thinks im nuts but my grandpa supports me and so dose my grandma. my parents dont care wat i do but they want me 2 go 2 collage they dident and see how bad it was.



plush this is 1 of my longest post and bet it makes scene hahaha

college? Lawn care is perfect for you!

eatonpcat
07-28-2009, 08:14 AM
Good points Roger...

I don't know of any parents that would object to their child going into college for a degree in landscape architecture. It is a well respected and can be a quite lucrative career.

Good Luck and go with your heart... You're young enough to start pursuing your dream and as you mature/age you can still tweak your education as required to maximize your potential. If all kids put as much thought into their future as you appear to be doing, I think this country would be much better off.

Pennington Lawncare
07-28-2009, 08:17 AM
I think you are a born natural to the lawn care industry. The dead give away is your spelling ability.

LouisianaLawnboy
07-28-2009, 09:06 AM
I'm like you. I just graduated with a 3.5 GPA and with over 27 credits. I like the green industry and plan on building my company to be eventually self-sufficient. I'm entrepreneur before an LCO. I don't plan on physically running my business forever, but eventually I would like to do just the management part.

I know some people will slam me, but I don't care. This is my dream.

"Without a vision men perish"

You get what you aim for.

fl-landscapes
07-28-2009, 09:22 AM
4.0 and you haven't figured out how to use spell check...and it's their not there thoughts...........busting your chops:laugh:

IN2MOWN
07-28-2009, 09:27 AM
Listen to your parents. I know you dont think they know everything but most parents do. Go to college and get your first 2 years of basic classes out of the way. If you still want to do what you do then start your major. If not move on to something else.

Youre 17. You have NO clue what you are really thinking. Thats not an insult but just reality. I used to be the same way. I really wish I would of listenend to my parents. It turns out parents DO know everything.

As I parent myself I can testify to that.

LawnTamer
07-28-2009, 09:56 AM
I want to go into the green industry full time. Go to school for landscape architect and biz management.

My parents fee that I should not go into the cutting biz because I have capabilities for bigger jobs. Since i have a 4.0 GPA right now.

I want to get into the commercial mowing, Snow removal, Irrigation, Design and matiance of properties.

They feel that i am wasting my time and I will not make any money in the field!!!

How can i change there minds. I love cutting grass. I like running the mowers and equipment. I like this field of work.

I say if you like your job then it isn't considered work!!

Please give me any impot on this ongoing argument.

Listen to your parents. Go to school, even if you stay in the lawn biz, have something different to fall back on. Lawn service and landscape improvements are luxury items, in a down economy, (which we are facing and likely to face for a long time) luxury items suffer. Try your hand at other things you may like.

TheUfan
07-28-2009, 11:08 AM
Listen to your parents. Go to school, even if you stay in the lawn biz, have something different to fall back on. Lawn service and landscape improvements are luxury items, in a down economy, (which we are facing and likely to face for a long time) luxury items suffer. Try your hand at other things you may like.

This is good advice. Go to school. You may not get a second chance to do college. Life happens to everyone and it hasn't happened to you yet. You have a bright future ahead of you. It may or may not be in the green industry. You can still run a lawncare biz while in school. I may be biased here but a biz degree is a good choice but you may want to start out in general studies before you make a degree commitment. Broaden your views and see what else is out there. Take it from someone who graduated with too many credit hours, enjoy college and enjoy life. Grass ain't going anywhere but up.

WhitneyLawnServices
07-28-2009, 11:23 AM
That is what I am going to go to school for. I currently have a 3.55 and i am in the top 20% of my class. People seem to think that this business is merely for people who can not get into college, however there are many big landscape architecture firms near me, and they easily bring in 6-7 figures without having to really fight for work.

heather lawn sp
07-28-2009, 11:54 AM
Get in touch with the school you want to apply to and get there with your parents. Arrange a 2 hour time block with the dean of the faculty and discuss the life of landscaping and landscape architects. You may be ready for it or you may find it's not a good fit.

hackitdown
07-28-2009, 02:46 PM
College is the best time of your life. Stay in school, party, make friends, and chase the endless upply of women at school. Get the degree in Landscape Architecture. Work summers mowing. You can do it all, and keep your parents happy.

I still regret dropping out just to make some money. Stupid.

Greenboy24
07-28-2009, 03:56 PM
I'm a few years ahead of you so I can relate, This is not my dream job however I do enjoy it very much. Im 20 right now and also a full time student. I run what I consider to be a very successful company that allows me to make enough money spring through fall to pay the enormous 50k tuition bill each year.
My goal is to continue this through the remainder of school so that I can get out debt free as I am now and start my life.
When I graduate I will further evaluate everything and decide what exactly I want to do. I may sell the company or I may keep it and hire the correct people to run it as I pursue some other interests that I have....or I may even just leave it for my brothers...who knows...but for now it works so I'm not going to change anything.

I would suggest that you just build your company now and attend school, make enough money so that you can get a great education and come out of it debt free. At that point you will have a helluva a lot more life experience and work experience and will be able to better decide what YOU want to do.

If mowing remains your passion than I would say go for it and put all your efforts into your company. If you reach that point and decide while you like the work but think you would have more fun working for one of the companies that you networked with through school that has nothing to do with the green industry then go for that instead.

You parents are proud of you, as they should be, a good student who also has his own company and a promising future no matter which way he goes. They just want you to be happy and fulfill your potential.

It takes a lot of work to make decent coin mowing lawns. Everyone has there own passions in life and as long as your happy that is all that matters. Not everything is about money. There are a lot of things in life that are far more important than making bank (although it never hurts)

Best of luck with your decision

AJ

Roger
07-28-2009, 09:39 PM
.... Go to college and get your first 2 years of basic classes out of the way. If you still want to do what you do then start your major. If not move on to something else.

.....

....

I would suggest that you just build your company now and attend school, make enough money so that you can get a great education and come out of it debt free. At that point you will have a helluva a lot more life experience and work experience and will be able to better decide what YOU want to do.

...

Things may have changed, but these two suggestions don't fit reality for a Landscape Architecture course. As I stated earlier, I was close to LA education for several years. But, I have to say it was more than a few years ago.

First, architecture course work is unlike other major courses of study. The very first semester is crowded with architecture and design courses. There is no such thing as "first two years, and basic courses ...." Sometimes fifth year students (yes, LA is (was, at least) a five year program) are still taking "core courses." In other words, the basic courses are often scattered over the entire tenure of the program, not mostly all packaged into the first two years. I know many other programs for majors are designed that way, but not architecture. The school wants to know for certain if the student is made of the material for the entire program. The first couple of years in the architecture program is where the majority of the "washout" happens. By the third year, most who remain will be able to complete the five year program.

Second, the idea of working and taking an architecture program is beyond human reach. Students in these programs are nearly 7 day/week students, very long days. Every afternoon is studio work, four hours every day. The evenings are spent doing the prep work for the classes taken in the morning. All students are at the architecture building all day, every day. Saturdays looks like the same bee-hive of activity. Major projects are scattered throughout the semester, often calling for all-weekend work, and all-nighters to reach completion.

Like I stated in my first post, the washout rate is very high -- 95% in some programs. So, suggesting going through the program, and then deciding on whether to advance a career as an architect is not in the realm of possibilities. The first two years of architectural course work will put the student in contact with the faculty, and they will know, from experience, who is fit for the entire program, and who should find another major. There are so many one-on-one associations with the faculty during studio times, and all faculty are available during design reviews to witness each student's work. Nothing is hidden very easily.

Greenboy24
07-28-2009, 10:10 PM
I don't know much about architecture classes. I'm at Bentley university to get my masters in biz with their 5 year program....

Even if architecture is a crazy workload I still think it would be doable but you would need to plan EVERYTHING and stick to your plan, in the spring and fall you would prob get a frazzled (I know I do) with the overlap of work and school.

You would need to create a school and work schedule and stick to those schedules. Schedule some classes for night and on the days you do take classes take multiple classes not just one or two a day...My current school schedule is 2 days (17.5 credits) a week, but I'm at there all day from 9-9, that gives me five days to work and do my school work. Really need to make the most of your time....It is hectic not going to lie...

All I'm saying is never say never. I don't care what it is you want to do, if you really want something and you put your mind to it you can do anything. So if he wants to go to LA school and keep growing his business I think he can if he has the passion and motivation for each.

iceman563
08-02-2009, 02:06 PM
I'm 21 and thought the same as you. luckly I kept going to school for a finance degree. B/c I've got 130 lawns a week to cut. And all the mowing is find. But taking the time to bill everyone sucks. in 2 years i bet i'll have 200 lawns and I'm gonna be spending 1 week a month billing(mailing bills, accounting, recording checks, calling people who don't pay). keep going to school if nothing else do it for the health insurance cause 2 weeks ago a took off my finger with a grinder. but the hospital put it back on just fine and my pocket book is fine too cause i'm a full time student and have that health insurance

golfnpreacher
08-02-2009, 05:25 PM
I didn't read all the replies, so forgive me if I am duplicating something.

I believe there may be a compromise position. Assuming the goals you've stated, look for a college that offers a line of study that will help you achieve those, unless your parents oppose you seeking that line of study. btw - I can't see anything wrong with a business mgt degree.

Now, while you're a student, why don't you "sell" yourself to a LCO that is already doing what you desire to achieve? Not just cutting grass, but the whole picture. This provides some hands on training as well as an "up close and personal" look at the working side. You might discover your love is short lived or you might discover your love is your passion.

SangerLawn
08-03-2009, 12:20 AM
This is going to sound dumb but…I would bring up the economy and the constant changing of technology. I have several friends that went to collage and bragged the entire way through telling me how much money they were going to make…now they cant get a job but the grass is still growing. I am working and making a very good living and they are not.

I agree with the other post about getting a double major so you have something to fall back on. You will be happy and so will your parents.

Lawn Care by Cody
08-03-2009, 12:55 AM
Yea man I'm the same as you 17 and working my butt off and i want to go college for landscape architecture and start my own business... at first my mom didn't want me doing it then she seen how much money i bring in and how much some of my friends who are older and landscape bring in and it changed her mind

Roger
08-03-2009, 07:17 AM
Cody, ... very short-sighted view.

growinggreen
08-03-2009, 10:58 PM
I say definitely go to college. You can cut lawns while at college and build your business. I'm going to school for landscape design at the University of Tennessee. But I can tell you that as you grow older your perspectives will change. Two years ago I never would have thought i would be in the position that I am in now. Money, while it is a very important issue, is not the most important thing you should worry about. You should be studying to do something that you will like. Four years ago when I was your age I was a completely different person than I am now (had a 4.0 in highschool also). College will be good to you. You will learn alot about life and it will put things into better perspective for you. If you think that you wanna landscape for a living, then go to school to be a landscape designer or a landscape architect, or maybe even study horticultural sciences. Your parents know quite a bit, they've been on this planet alot longer than you or I have. Best wishes and good luck for the future

Kutz Lawns
08-04-2009, 04:50 AM
I think you are a born natural to the lawn care industry. The dead give away is your spelling ability.

Jeeezus Christ, I was thinking the exact same thing reading all these genius posts from college grads no less, damn we're in trouble!

g21
08-04-2009, 12:11 PM
Ben,
I'm a father of 3 boys, 21, 23 and 25. I know where your parents are coming from. They only want the best for you. The thing that you have to get used to is that no matter what you do or who you marry, odds are, it will probably never be good enough...sorry, you'll understand when you're a parent! But here's what you have to do. First, I would find the most successful landscaping firm in Rhode Island, (if that's where you at) maybe even a coupleof them. Pick companies that have beautiful facilities and real professional operations. Explain your situation to the owner and ask that he allow you to bring your parents by to see what you goals and real aspirations are. I bet he will not only agree to give your parents the royal treatment, but you will make him feel like a million bucks that you're using his business as a benchmark for success! The firm I used to work for (Environmental care) in California has a headquarters that looks like IBM. They do over 500 Million dollars a year in landscaping and maintenance. All started with one man and a lawnmower. Honestly, it will be real easy for you to sell them on the fact that you can build a truly successful comapny and life for yourself in the green industry. Here's the hard part. Doing it! I've told many other young kids like yourself in this site that are in or coming out of collge and have decided to go into this industry. You have an incredble opportunity to take your education and make it work wonders for you. Take business classes and accounting classes that will help you become a smart and disciplined businessman. Cuting grass or plowing snow is just the bi-product of what you will be doing. You will be selling manhours! As many of them as possible! Just read all the posts on this site...how many times do you read someone asking - "how do you cut this lawn?" or "how do you edge this walk?" Hardly ever! They ask, "how do you get more work?" "how do you price out commercial jobs?" "how do I figure out my manhour rate?" Notice the pattern? They're all business questions. If you convince your folks that you're going to take your education and make a commitment to start a company doing something that is going to make you happy, and committ to being the very best at it...to build a company that will grow, create jobs, infuence families and become an organization that they will be proud of...I guarantee they will support you and stand behind you every step of the way. Reach out to your folks, spend the time to get their blessing, and trust me, they'll be you biggest asset for the rest of your life!

Best of Luck!
Tommy