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View Full Version : Anyone else go to college...then once graduated did lawn care...


Storm the Patriot
09-09-2009, 07:49 PM
Anyone else go the route of getting a 4 year degree from a university or college, then decide they wanted to do lawn care? That is basically what i did...im wondering if anyone else did, and if they have any thoughts on the decision they made...pros or cons.

4.3mudder
09-09-2009, 07:58 PM
Im doing the opposite. I started out with a lawn business, still doing it, and going to school at the same time. Almost done with Sophomore year.

mowerbrad
09-09-2009, 08:06 PM
I'm doing what 4.3 is doing except I will probably be in school longer. Right now I'm getting my paramedic license (2 years), then I will get a degree in business and law enforcment (4-5 years) and then possibly get a degree in fire science (1-2 years). I got a lot of work ahead of me.

4.3mudder
09-09-2009, 08:10 PM
I'm doing what 4.3 is doing except I will probably be in school longer. Right now I'm getting my paramedic license (2 years), then I will get a degree in business and law enforcment (4-5 years) and then possibly get a degree in fire science (1-2 years). I got a lot of work ahead of me.

Whoa, I plan on getting my bachelors and that's probably all. Hopefully all goes well.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-09-2009, 08:13 PM
I don't have a business yet, but I'm a college freshman and planning to major in accounting and as soon as I graduate with a Bachelors I will start my Landscape Maintenance company that I have been building a business plan for about a year now. I'd really like to start it for 2010 but I'm not sure if that will be the case.

citygreenlandscaping
09-09-2009, 08:16 PM
I own a pretty successful company, active duty army, and going to school. Plan is to get out and keep the company going strong. My Net Profit is high enough to get out of the army now and not take a pay cut. Still going to work on getting my MBA. I think there is a lot of room for a larger company to get even bigger. People always ask so what are you going to do when you get out of the Army I tell them landscaping and the laugh at me. Low and behold I make more on the side then the will in five years. Kinda funny how that works.

RHill
09-09-2009, 08:35 PM
Wow, Mowerbrad, I did just the opposite as you, i got a degree in business, also got a degree in law enforcement and work (still do) in law enforcement for 21 years, also went to school and got my Paramedic license and was a medic for 8 years. I then started mowing about 18 yards on the side.

sandy creek
09-09-2009, 09:21 PM
I did, got a BA in business mgmt, and making more money than I ever did working for anyone else, best decision I have ever made.

LewisLawn
09-09-2009, 09:35 PM
I got a 4yr deg in elm education couldn't find a job locally teaching and found a job cutting grass for an old high school classmate...making 7 bucks an hour and kid on the way wouldn't cut it...worked for fuure father n law on the side starting cutting all the lawns of the condos he owned finally got a job teaching but as time went on picked up more places to maintain 8 years later i make more in the afternoon cuting grass then i do during the day teaching, but have to keep the teaching job for insurance, medical "benefits" and retirement,fuure plans include early retirement and manage my lawncare company while others work for me....only time will tell

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-09-2009, 09:40 PM
I own a pretty successful company, active duty army, and going to school. Plan is to get out and keep the company going strong. My Net Profit is high enough to get out of the army now and not take a pay cut. Still going to work on getting my MBA. I think there is a lot of room for a larger company to get even bigger. People always ask so what are you going to do when you get out of the Army I tell them landscaping and the laugh at me. Low and behold I make more on the side then the will in five years. Kinda funny how that works.

I tell my buddies that after college or during college I want to start a landscape maintenance company, and they laugh, "Dude that's b*tch work, you don't make any money," they obviously have no idea of the profits you can make with landscape installs or irrigation installs. They're just messin around but it's what pushes me to do extremely good at college. I wanna graduate as soon as possible so I can get out there and prove them wrong!!! Another one of my really good friend's was rippin on me because I told him I wanted to own a landscape maintenance company and will do whatever it takes to make my take home pay $250k in a year, he said, "All you do is work now, and to make a rediculous amount of money like that you'll have to work even more and have no life outside of it, all I want is enough to support a family and have a decent truck and be able to race once in a while." I basically sat there in disbelief and said, "Why would you not want to be rich?" I got no answer. But anyways, people like me and basically all the legitimate business owners on here do this for one reason. Make money. That fuels America and that's why were the best. :usflag:

PTP
09-09-2009, 09:41 PM
I didn't get a four year degree but I did get my associates degree along with a commercial pilot's license. There are a lot of things that I wish I would have done differently but, honestly, I can't say that I regret my decision to run a lawn mowing business instead of flying.

1993lx172
09-09-2009, 10:44 PM
Started mowing when i was twelve and I'm now going for a degree in architectural sciences with a focus on residential drafting and design while mowing on the weekends. I cut on Friday when I get home (around 12:00-1:00) and part of Saturday (I'm leaving about half a day so that I can get homework done or go canoeing) then that leaves Sunday until 4:00 to get anything that I didn't get done on Saturday. I cut my roster to eight of my highest payers so I'm trading volume for profit. I've got them timed so that half need cutting one week and the other the next week.

Smithco Lawncare
09-09-2009, 11:14 PM
Im a senior in high school. Plan on 4 years of college and taking over Smithco Lawncare, make it a lot bigger and stronger

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-09-2009, 11:30 PM
Im a senior in high school. Plan on 4 years of college and taking over Smithco Lawncare, make it a lot bigger and stronger

Is it your dad's company right now or something?

GallucciLandscaping
09-10-2009, 12:12 AM
Im currently a junior in college and studying accounting, but my plans are to continuing growing/taking over our family landscaping business. The problem I run into most often is: balancing school and landscaping. My dad made me a 50% partner this year so I feel even more obligated to do the business thing but am spending a bunch of money on college so I don't want my grades to suffer. Anyways, my heart has been and always will be in the landscaping industry, so my accounting degree is a fall back plan.

Mckenzie's Maintenance
09-10-2009, 12:53 AM
well I have mowed basically since I got my driver's license...starting with family and friends and eventually grew to at the top to like 15 or so...I tried out for the basketball team in high school made it through 2 stages of cuts and not the 3rd cut and started mowing a little more.

I mowed all through high school and college (4yr BS in Business Administration) glad I got a truck when I turned 16.

I actually have 4 accounts that I have had for 12 years.

I enjoy mowing and being outside....I work for a fortune 500 company now and I pretty much hate managing other people...gets old very quick...

want to make the plunge to full time but still debating...for 2010 season or 2011 ....with the economy like it is I really like the stability of a full time job...

anyway 4yr degree for me....sorry to babble

RedMaple Lawns
09-10-2009, 01:13 AM
Yeah...

I have a Bachelor's in Political Science and teaching certification only to find out what I really love to do, lawn care and landscaping. I hope to find a job as a writer (newspaper) and keep my company part-time until I'm making enough profit margins to operate it full time.

I have a question though...
For those of you who have gone through schooling only to come out a "landscaper", how does your family react? Needless to say, mine is doubtful of my future as a lawn care and landscape business owner...it's a drag...but I know if I keep my head on straight and make smart decisions I will be rewarded down the road. Just curious...

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-10-2009, 01:20 AM
Im currently a junior in college and studying accounting, but my plans are to continuing growing/taking over our family landscaping business. The problem I run into most often is: balancing school and landscaping. My dad made me a 50% partner this year so I feel even more obligated to do the business thing but am spending a bunch of money on college so I don't want my grades to suffer. Anyways, my heart has been and always will be in the landscaping industry, so my accounting degree is a fall back plan.

Wow, what a coincidence. I'm majoring in Accounting but I'm a freshman. My dad doesn't own a landscaping biz, so it makes it more of a challenge to get it started :). I think I'm gonna utilize both skills and basically have two professions, CPA, I'd like to eventually own my own Accounting firm, Accounting Consultant almost if you will and own a landscape maintenance business. I really want to start my landscape maintenance business before I'm done with college, so that after I graduate I'm not broke and trying to look for a job and when I do get an Accounting job I'd still grow my business.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-10-2009, 01:22 AM
Yeah...

I have a Bachelor's in Political Science and teaching certification only to find out what I really love to do, lawn care and landscaping. I hope to find a job as a writer (newspaper) and keep my company part-time until I'm making enough profit margins to operate it full time.

I have a question though...
For those of you who have gone through schooling only to come out a "landscaper", how does your family react? Needless to say, mine is doubtful of my future as a lawn care and landscape business owner...it's a drag...but I know if I keep my head on straight and make smart decisions I will be rewarded down the road. Just curious...

I would also like to know yall's family's reactions.

Storm the Patriot
09-10-2009, 06:31 AM
some good answers here...basically my story is i went to a university got a communications/history degree..got out..and worked a couple different jobs...always thought i would enjoy doing lawn care...my dad is a retired teacher who did handyman work, and we always did some side jobs, decided to go full time into the property maint/home improvement business...

gargoyle7417
09-10-2009, 09:00 AM
I worked in a office after I got out of school - I needed more money so I picked up a few yards, pretty soon I had 23 yards so I was working 7 days if it rained I used sick days to cover and take care of the yards I did this for 5 years - I was laid off due to the economy and decided to do this full time. 2 years have gone by since then - I have 97 customers and I work from Mon - Fri/ 7 - 3/ April - October, I make 3x's as much and I love it

My wife says I'm in a better mood since I worked for the "man", there's no on-call rotation,, use to have to carry a blackberry for a week and if someone had a software issue I would have to log on and correct the problem - this sucked especially Friday nights at restaurants or when I was out with my friends, there's no politics - things are simple - and my number one goal is to keep my customers happy - this is the best job

MarcSmith
09-10-2009, 09:05 AM
Yup.

started as marine engineering, then went the Hort route. BS in Hort..minor in business. Worked well for me...

heybruck34
09-10-2009, 09:32 AM
Bachelors in Accounting, Masters in Tax, CPA, Real Estate Broker's License here. When I come home from work I cut grass to relax. I enjoy it and have a niche business in my neighborhood only. I do everything from mow & blow to full service. I also do landscaping installs. I'm busy enough to have some good cash flow coming in, very profitable since I have no overhead, but not too busy like the other gentleman who had to use sick/vacation days to cover.

I've never advertised and rarely accept work out of my neighborhood. It's worked well for me for 6 years now. I've thought of doing landscaping full-time- I think the accounting/business background would be a huge advantage but still like the office work and the dual incomes.

I'm honestly suprised at the number of students and accounting grads- I thought I was a rare breed.

I guess CPA stands for "Certified Pesticide Applicator" on lawnsite, not Certified Public Accountant.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-10-2009, 01:05 PM
Exactly what I did - except I grew up with a landscape nursery operation so I had some background in 'green' work before starting this venture.

I love working for myself and playing with 'green' things. Hated being told what to do and how much I should get paid. Will never go back full time to the rat race....

heather lawn sp
09-10-2009, 02:23 PM
BSc (agr) horticulture 1977, I think my degree is older than half the guys here, followed by business degree. This is what I wanted to do

jr_golf
09-10-2009, 02:49 PM
I'm going to school and mowing on the side. Getting bachelors in technology, then will be getting my masters in industrial engineering.

clinicalengineer
09-10-2009, 02:49 PM
Started off in electrical engineering, switched to biomedical engineering. I work at the hospital 5 days a week repairing and maintaining equipment. Then in the evenings and on the weekends I take care of my lawn accounts. I bank my paycheck and live off of my lawn accounts.

I more or less use the lawn cutting business as a stress relieving hobby and reason to buy toys which make money.

E.L.Co
09-10-2009, 03:28 PM
I hated high school not because dat dare learnins stuuf was hard by no means but i had to assist $$$ around the home. I love what i do and the time off...i make good money and drive a nice truck. i can party on fridays and take the family to red lobster on sundays. I am envied by some and hated by others. College bound kids piss me off because most dont have to pay for it and think there better than me. My 3 high school sisters will all get great careers after college if i have to pay for it myself. I was the sacrificial lamb...
id rather get certified for irrigation than do heart surgery, drink keystone with the boys than wine with my esteemed colleuages:drinkup: i dont want to work for the man but be the man. And i dont want handouts because thats where sucess stories become so inspiring. If you wanna be a couch potato then by george be the best damn one in the world. Do what you have fun with, pay your bills, and crease smiles on the faces of others that is how you measure sucess and a degree is just paper when you think about it. Knowledge and happiness is priceless:):usflag::drinkup:

mobileboy
09-10-2009, 03:32 PM
I went to school at Auburn University and graduated with a forestry degree in 2003. I started cutting and doing small landscape installs in 2007, and have built the business steadily since. I have a pretty steady stream of calls coming in off of word of mouth, and am seriously considering going full time in 2010. The office job is killing my spirit! lol. I fell like a rotten pile of dung until I get home and load the trailer. I love the service industry. It's simple, rewarding, noble work.

My family is not thrilled about my dreams of going full-time. I have a very stable, well-compensated position right now with unbeatable benefits. It wouldn't worry them so much except that I have 2 young daughters to take care of.
:usflag:

MarcSmith
09-10-2009, 03:42 PM
mobile,

you can get a good job with benefits which might make you happier. I was plenty happy doing my own thing and even working for another company but once my kid got older. the demands of work took their toll (working too many weekends, long hours ect) and I ended up finding a nicer job, less pay, great bens' but most important more stable hours...My quality of life and that of my family is much better now...

in this economy I would not recommend to any one to willingly leave a full time job to start-up a landscape company.

Keep it on the side and use it for a diversion and extra income... just limit your jobs so it doen't take over your life and overwhelm you.

E.L.Co
09-10-2009, 03:48 PM
mobile,

you can get a good job with benefits which might make you happier. I was plenty happy doing my own thing and even working for another company but once my kid got older. the demands of work took their toll (working too many weekends, long hours ect) and I ended up finding a nicer job, less pay, great bens' but most important more stable hours...My quality of life and that of my family is much better now...

in this economy I would not recommend to any one to willingly leave a full time job to start-up a landscape company.

Keep it on the side and use it for a diversion and extra income... just limit your jobs so it doen't take over your life and overwhelm you.


good advice, at 18 in this economy i cant find a job that pays enough haha mobile your lucky keep the benefits health insurance and retirement plans dont exist in the world of the self employed

mobileboy
09-10-2009, 04:01 PM
All true and all good points, but the 'grass is greener' call is always powerful when one becomes tired of a situation, job, etc. My area has not been as hard hit by the recession as many. There are still jobs to be had, but not wanting to give up the current benefits is what keeps me here.

If I had to pay for the level of insurance coverage I have now for my family out-of-pocket, I'd be broke in 3 months. It is the cost of this life I suppose.

MarcSmith
09-10-2009, 04:19 PM
retirement plans dont exist in the world of the self employedDon't be so narrow minded. all of those benefits do exist, but you must do the planning on your own...

Just because you are self employed doesn't mean you stop saving for retirement...or stop having vacations, or holidays...Its harder to do, but it can be done...

brucec32
09-10-2009, 06:03 PM
Business degree, 6 years working for corporations. Decided being my own boss and working outdoors was a better way. Factoring in free time and freedom of action (which translates to spending less on personal services, home improvements, meals, etc), taxes on additional income above mine, etc, it's not really a huge sacrifice in terms of lifestyle. I feel sorry for people chained to a desk about 48 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, and their 1.5 hour commutes in rush hour. Especially as most have to sit there and take #$#@ all day and live in constant fear of the pink slip. No wonder they sell so many anti-depressants.

141 woodmann
09-10-2009, 06:26 PM
Went to a private college, earned a four year degree in business management, worked for two fortune 500 companies when I got out. Looked out the window all the time at the landscapers and knew that I didn't belong inside a big brick building. I thought I should be working for a big company because that is the "normal" thing for college grads to do. Not for me. I had to be back outside. My brother-in-law started his business when he was in high school, graduated with a civil engineering degree, kept his business, quit the engineering job, now making more than he could have working for someone else. The money is good but knowing that any problems you have are your problems. You and you alone are responsible for every action of your business. That is why I love doing this. Only advise I can give you is, Do what you love to do.

Dan85
09-10-2009, 06:35 PM
Glad I'm not alone. Associates in public policy, bachelors in environmental design (urban planning). Job in landscaping.

Started working for a landscaping company when I moved out to the area for school, stayed on until after graduation (5/09) and here I am still, since I have yet to find a job related to my field of study. However, I really do enjoy the work and the industry. I'm thinking about possibly going to grad school for landscape architecture, but we shall see.

Now...when do those loan repayments start...lol

- Dan

citygreenlandscaping
09-10-2009, 07:00 PM
I tell my buddies that after college or during college I want to start a landscape maintenance company, and they laugh, "Dude that's b*tch work, you don't make any money," they obviously have no idea of the profits you can make with landscape installs or irrigation installs. They're just messin around but it's what pushes me to do extremely good at college. I wanna graduate as soon as possible so I can get out there and prove them wrong!!! Another one of my really good friend's was rippin on me because I told him I wanted to own a landscape maintenance company and will do whatever it takes to make my take home pay $250k in a year, he said, "All you do is work now, and to make a rediculous amount of money like that you'll have to work even more and have no life outside of it, all I want is enough to support a family and have a decent truck and be able to race once in a while." I basically sat there in disbelief and said, "Why would you not want to be rich?" I got no answer. But anyways, people like me and basically all the legitimate business owners on here do this for one reason. Make money. That fuels America and that's why were the best. :usflag:

For sure, I am about to brake $222,000 in contracts in my first year plus good hard scape jobs booked out tell 2010. I don't have time to spend with the family, but the turn around is in 2 years I can do what ever I want. It takes drive and motivation. This is the US you can do or be what ever you want. So your firends saying your crazy will all work for someone and you will be happy. I am in this to take over the world of landscaping. I have a tried and true product. One day who knows maybe a frachise in the making. It's up to us on how big or small we want to be. Don't let anyone bust your balls. The world is your oster brother.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-10-2009, 07:45 PM
For sure, I am about to brake $222,000 in contracts in my first year plus good hard scape jobs booked out tell 2010. I don't have time to spend with the family, but the turn around is in 2 years I can do what ever I want. It takes drive and motivation. This is the US you can do or be what ever you want. So your firends saying your crazy will all work for someone and you will be happy. I am in this to take over the world of landscaping. I have a tried and true product. One day who knows maybe a frachise in the making. It's up to us on how big or small we want to be. Don't let anyone bust your balls. The world is your oster brother.

Damn!!! $222,000... That's my dream!!! I'm willing to do anything to make that much in the first year!!!! If it means sacrificing 2-5 years or how ever many years it takes to make even more money, I'll do it, I don't care!!! I'm gonna get a lot of crap for this but I could care less what you all think, while your spending time on vacation or whatever I'll be taking your potential accounts and rakin it in. :usflag: There needs to be a smiley with money $ign eyes. Keep poundin down on the jobs man and you will have a franchise before you know it.