View Full Version : I Have Had Enough!!!

10-30-2002, 02:22 PM
Alright fella's-- I have gotten to the point were I can't take working for the man anymore. I read all these post's people struggling to make a living in this business, but I will tell you this, it beats the hell out of making somebody else money! I will take less money to be happy. I currently have 40 GOOD customers and plenty of equipment ( 2- 60" Lazers, 1- 52" Toro, 3- Trimmers, 2- Blowers). I would much rather deal with my own headaches than to deal with somebody else's. So let me have it, give me your .02. I would love to hear what you guys think (good or bad). Thanks for letting me vent a little!

10-30-2002, 02:29 PM
I make a decent living on approx 30 accounts, 1 fewer Lazer. Do you feel as though the 40 accounts dont bring in enough?

I'd say go for it! Jump right in! But why are you waiting till winter to quit you "day job" ? I'd wait till March and go full time then? No?

10-30-2002, 02:31 PM
I would love to do that...my problem is insurance..4 kids and Im a diabetic..I need the (man) to pay for some of the medical expences...but hey Im a teacher I get 3 months off to mow on my own each year....and I love it

10-30-2002, 02:32 PM
It really depends on your situation personally. Do you have a wife? Does she work? How much does she make? Do you have kids? How many? What does your retirement plan look like at work? It really looks like from the business side you are ok. Have to agree with TLS; just tough it out and in March tell the man to take this job and shove it.

10-30-2002, 02:34 PM
Ooh! It sounds like someone had a bad day at the office! :p Man, on the serious side, I say GO FOR IT!
Just have a good game plan, and a backup to go with it. With what you have in equipment, make t work for you. Let others make YOU money. You provided the sweat, effort, and time that purchased that equipment, do it for yourself. That is what capitalism is all about. I have NEVER heard of anybody becoming a millionaire, by working for someone else. It's the American way. Is it exploitation of other people? No. They have their choices, and if you treat them right, an they enjoy working for you, then it's helping them out as well. Good luck with it.

10-30-2002, 02:34 PM
I can understand your frustrations with working for someone else. Owning your own business is rewarding in that how well of a job you do translates to how much money you make. It is also frustrating for some working within someone elses system or someone elses way of doing business. So, going full time with your lawn care business should be rewarding, however there are some important things to understand before you do. First, if you have a family it is a tougher situation. With your current full time job you have a dependable pay check, if you make the jump it will be less dependable. Drought, poor economy, underbid, stolen equipment, sickness or injury, etc...

Its hard for anyone to tell you whether or not to go full time without knowing ou situation. If i had 40 good accounts lined up and your equip. I would do it. But I dont have a whole lot to lose, no wife or kids to take care of.

Good Luck

10-30-2002, 02:36 PM
To answer the Questions:
No Wife
No KIds
Have a nice house
Have 52x30x14 brand new pole building

My plan was to make it till spring, but I am very frustrated lately. I am sure I will hold as long as I can.

I appreciate people responding-- it really does help!

10-30-2002, 02:36 PM
How many accounts can you turn out in a week during school??? I usually have 25-30 depending on the year with one of those a H.O.A. condo complex.

10-30-2002, 02:53 PM
Sig, I would have thought that you were out making money for you already with all of that equipment. That must be rough to have two full time jobs. It sounds to me like you are a worker and that is good. Whatever you do not rush into it without a good plan and a nest egg to fall back on if things don't work out. I am not saying they will not but I just don't want anyone to get into a situation were they have no backup plan nor any money to cover them if things don't take off right away. I wish you the best.


10-30-2002, 03:11 PM
Hey Gravelyman and others:
One of my issues is I have had a part-time guy working during the day while I am at work. Problem is he is not me, he does pretty good work, but doesn't work as much as he could, thus we have missed cuts during the season, that costs me money. Now, it gets dark so early, I am a weekend warrior. I will not be a solo operator, I know from past experience, it is so much more efficient and profitable to have a helper. I manage 5 people at my current job now, so people management is not an issue for me. The biggest thing at this point in my life, is I want to do work that I enjoy, right now I do something that pays me well, but that's about it. I have a nice 401K started, so I will roll that to an IRA or something on that course. Even with thwe pathetic snow season last year and not so great grass season this year, I still did pretty well. I had to turn down a lot of extra work, because of my tight schedule. I have no problem working 12 hours a day 6 or 7 days a week if I have too, trust me I do it now!

scott's turf
10-30-2002, 03:17 PM
I always thought that teaching and lawn care made a great combination. You get out early enough to do some work and you have the summers off to work. I would keep both if benefits are important to you . Possibly get a helper that can work for you durring the day. It may be a little more stressful but it would allow you to bring in more work and money. It sounds like, with your equipment, that you must be grossing quite a bit already. I would imagine that you are netting more than you make teaching too. The benefits and retirement packages are expensive though so figure that in before you make any decisions. Good luck.

Bob Minney
10-30-2002, 03:17 PM
I agree with holding out to march. Make the decision that you are going to quit (march 1 or whenever) it can help make the BS more bearable when you know the end is in sight.
That or quit and find a no brainer until spring, something to ease the stress in the mean time.

10-30-2002, 07:58 PM
Same situation as you, Plus I have to go on call!
STRESSED is not the word. Work in the sun all day till dark
seven days a wk. I hope to go full time next yr. Just a little chicken
to give up the benefits.:dizzy:

10-30-2002, 08:23 PM
Similar feelings here..........
Worked for another LCO last year and part of this year.. got tired of his cr** and working harder than he was for a small portion of the pay!
Bought my own equipment and I'm off !!!!!
My full time job sucks.... but been there for 8+ years, so it's tough to consider walking away completely in spring, but it's tough to know I can make money and deal with my own headaches instead of someone elses.
Personally, I'm thinkin of goin' all out in the spring and keeping the current full time job as part-time..... we'll see.
All my equipment (except the Lazer) is paid for (no loans (except the Lazer)) And I have some savings as a safety net..... Not sure where I'll find myself come April!!!

SIG.... by your comments about work, I'd think you worked where I do.:D

10-30-2002, 08:30 PM
This is exactly why I do this full time. :)

10-30-2002, 09:01 PM
aint nothin quite like being your own boss.nothin easy about it but its the most satisfying:)

Randy Scott
10-30-2002, 09:05 PM
Originally posted by SIG
Alright fella's-- I have gotten to the point were I can't take working for the man anymore.

So what the h e double L you waiting for. Pump yourself up and drop the job and give 'er. Everybody talks the talk but are afraid to walk the walk. The only thing you'll regret is not doing it soooner!!!!!!!!!! Good luck. :)

10-30-2002, 09:39 PM
I'd wait till March to make a move.

First I'd do a bit of research on the financial side.

Make sure your licensed, "legit", paying taxes or are ready to pay taxes, have insurance, etc.. Cause you don't want to quit your full time job to do lawncare full time and then run into all kinds of overheard that you may or may not be paying right now..

Get your financial life in 100% tip-top shape. Save your paychecks over the next couple of months to have deep savings... If you mower, trimmer and blower broke today, would you be able to go out and buy new right on the spot or would you have to finance it and are credit cards eating you up personally?

I'd make a "6 month plan" for Nov, Dec, Jan Feb march and april.. Start it now for week of November 3rd.. and put together a plan of how much you need to save to be sure..

Cultivate your customer base in the off season and keep trying to get new customers, but don't lower price at all cause then you are working for nothing.

Try to do a time-management study on yourself.. Do you know how long it takes you to do each property AND how large each property is in size and how much trimming, edging, etc there is for each? Do you just toss out a bid of $28 or is that bid based on a system of fact?

Consider your benefits and see what you would need as far as health insurance, etc.. get that all going incase on March 1st you have some crazy accident on your first job and now you are screwed..

Then go for it.

I'd love to be able to do it myself.. I'm getting my own book in order as I write this. <G> I hope to join ya!


dr grass
10-30-2002, 10:53 PM
I was going to school for engineering in the military. than the constant nag of people telling me what i need to do, and what i should and shouldnt be doing really got to me. so i got out as soon as i could, and never worked for anyone again.


kenneth parsons
10-30-2002, 11:45 PM
Here's some more great advice!

1) Purchase all 10 of Bill Phagans books for $390 @ www.greenindconsulting.com

2) Don't do anything till you've read all of them

3) Then spend the remainder of the winter cultivating new business

4) When you have completely replaced your current lousy paycheck and have solid, written, "profitable" agreements with all your clients, burn up all your sick days and accrued leave consecutively while servicing those contracts.

5) Laugh all the way to the bank and enjoy making the outdoors great!

P.S. Retiring after 20 years in military on 8 Nov, Solo in busiuness for 13 years. Wife "was" a school teacher, now the mother of 2!

10-31-2002, 02:35 AM
SIG - I feel for you. That's why I got in this business in the first place. I was so pissed off and depressed at my stupid job that I finally just couldn't take it anymore. I remembered my Unlce telling me that if I was ever without a job and needed to make some $ in the mean time, just to put an ad. in the paper and start mowing lawns.

Well, I did. I took all of my sick leave and vacation and put an ad. in the paper. Within 2 weeks I was making what I had been making at my job so I just quit. Within another few months I was making a lot more! WIthin a few months I was making double. And just up from there. Course my job wasn't much. A dead end job for $8 an hour. So it wasn't hard to make that up quickly. But point being, you can make the $ you need to in this business if you want to.

Cut them loose and you'll have the incentive you need to build your business even bigger. Although, depending on your situation, I might wait until spring.

Read the thread below too for info. about how to make $ in this business year-round.

10-31-2002, 11:51 AM
Nothing worse then dreading work each and every day. Do what is best of you but look before you leap. I wish you the best of luck in your decision. Please keep us posted.


10-31-2002, 12:40 PM
I have been "looking" so to speak since the spring, but like many have said I wanted all my ducks in a row. You are also right, it sucks dreading getting up and going to work everyday. I call it the Golden Handcuff Theory. They give you just enough to keep you around. I am ready, as ready I think as anyone can be. So we shall see what happens. I want to Thank everyone who responded, it really helps to get some positive feedback from people. THANKS!!

10-31-2002, 12:48 PM
Go for it man! Jump in with both feet, go at it hard and fast. But do wait till March to quite your job, then on your last day be the worst stinking employee you can possibly be, then laugh all the way home, hop into a truck, and go mow!
Good luck


10-31-2002, 12:54 PM
I don't like to burn any bridges, you just never know who might want to send you work. In fact the Owner of my company is one of my customers!! He is a very fair man and I know he will wish me the best. BTW, my regular job is not related to Lawn Care at all.

10-31-2002, 01:33 PM
Hello all - I'm a new member to both this site and PlowSite.com and the info on both is great. I'm in the same boat SIG. I started a company a few years ago here in NY and still kept my full time job. Me and my partner started it as a part time thing and he got fed up with the man and got into it full time 2 yrs ago. Now that we've grown the business I'm getting out of my full time job and going to work for myself with him. Am getting married next fall so the insurance thing will be covered by her. I've been doing 2 fulltime jobs it seems for the last 3 yrs or so and just can't keep it up anymore. Plan on spending my winter getting the business better organized (between any plowing) and going after contract accounts, than in the spring I'm making the jump. No more commute to the desk to be told when and where to go and when I can go fishing and hunting.

10-31-2002, 02:13 PM
Good Luck-- Brother 1

11-04-2002, 07:54 PM
Love cuttin grass, i`m a student, live at home have a commercail ztr, wb , sthil trimmer, landscape trailer, Make 3 times as much as my freinds workin at grocery stores, got some commercial contracts. goin for 3 big school contracts thinkin of buyin a kubota next year. This is the best move i ever made.

11-04-2002, 09:31 PM
The thing is, you need to be happy, right?

Hey, money can be an issue, but I can tell you so many stories about people I know that took a higher paying job. Yeah, it was great at first. Then, they raised their standard of living. Same stuff, just bigger, faster, shinier, ect...

Then the stress set in. The "man" demanded more and more and more. The bills piled up. Then hatred of work set in.

I can say I have plenty of problems being self employed. ( I am a single father of four!) BUT... I never dread getting up and going to work. Well, maybe a little if its cold and wet:blush:

Hold on 'til March and go with your gut feeling. You know what you want to do, now...

Just do it!

11-05-2002, 12:38 AM
Originally posted by CMLLawnServices
Love cuttin grass, i`m a student, live at home have a commercail ztr, wb , sthil trimmer, landscape trailer, Make 3 times as much as my freinds workin at grocery stores, got some commercial contracts. goin for 3 big school contracts thinkin of buyin a kubota next year. This is the best move i ever made.

Isnt that sweet? Doesnt it make it even more worth your while? to hear your friends scoff at you for being a "lawnmower" then you casually mention how much you earned in the past week? I know its not the way I should act, but man its fun! It never ceases to amaze my girlfriend that I can pull in anywhere from $150-$450 of profit in a day. Dang its fun! Its one of the reasons I love this job, not only do I enjoy it, but I get paid to go have fun! Can you ask for anything better?


03-17-2003, 11:28 AM
Well to anybody who read this when I first posted it....I finally gave my notice. This is my last week of working for the "man"!!!! I want to thank everyone who gave me some moral support...now let's see how it goes????

03-17-2003, 02:02 PM
Congrats. Now the real work begins. Only for yourself this time.

03-17-2003, 02:22 PM
Welcome to the club Sig. lol
Good luck and remember you love your new boss.

03-17-2003, 06:21 PM
So this is it! Making the big step! Lemme tell you something, go read Proverbs in the Bible, it talks about three things really, Wisdom (attaining it and using it) Women (the types to marry and the types to avoid at all costs) and Godliness. In there it promises time and time again that if you have wisdom (which is the application of your collected smarts, also known as Common Sense) you will be rich on earth. This promise is made hundreds of times. So go read the proverbs, learn from them, I did, and I am now 21 with over 100 accounts in my business and doing well.
And most important, remember to have fun!


03-17-2003, 10:02 PM
The 27th is my last day at the prison! :D

Things will be tight , but I'm not regretting it one bit.

That last week will be the longest one of your life, I know mine is!

Its a shame so many employers treat good people like ****, so as they have no other options but to risk everything they own to earn a living just to be happy and survive.


03-18-2003, 08:26 AM
I have to say, my employer has been very supportive. They gave me the contract for our office and told me the door is always open if things don't work out. Can't ask for much more than that. I don't plan on ever working for somebody else again!!!

03-18-2003, 09:27 AM
Originally posted by SIG
I don't plan on ever working for somebody else again!!!

Well actually, you will be working for many people, but in the end, all the money ends up in your pocket. Remember, each client is actually your boss although you have the leeway to dictate some matters. ;)

03-18-2003, 09:44 AM
Up until now, you've been working for wholesale wages (what your position will support). NOW you're working for retail wages (whatever you decide). Don't forget that you are the boss. Cancel your cable, put the golf clubs in storage and go beat some bushes.

Holloway Lawns
03-18-2003, 10:24 AM
I work for TDCJ as a Correctional Officer and work 12 hour shifts 4 days on and 4 off. I keep this job because it is steady pay and the health insurance. I would love to leave it and do my own thing but just can't

03-18-2003, 10:25 AM
Scraper.....I agree 100% with you, but now I determine how I deal with the problems that arise, and they will be my problems, not somebody else's. I don't mind dealing with my own headaches. I've been maintaining around 30 properties for the last 3 years part-time, and let me tell you, that is a headache in and of itself. I feel a real sense of relief. I have been on both sides of the fence as far as self-employment/ employee and given both a chance in my life, I am going back to self- employment and will NEVER LOOK BACK!!

Pro-Cut Lawns
03-18-2003, 10:38 AM
Just yesterday, I gave my notice. I have spent the last 12 years in a management position with this company, and built my business part time over the last 4 years. Am I nervous? Yep. But I've never felt so good about the future in my life. I figure I can sit behind this desk and do what I've always done and get what I've always got. Or, put my future in my own hands. I have been on the phone and beating on doors and things look up every day. I had planned on going full time last year, but came up with every excuse in the world to wait another year. No more. More is lost by not taking a risk than can be gained by staying in the so called "comfort zone."

Good Luck to you!!!

03-18-2003, 10:46 AM
Pro Cut Lawns.......Congrats to you as well, What you just said sounds almost word for word what I have gone through...I don't feel so alone out there, even though you are hundreds of miles away from me. Good Luck to you as Well!!

Gr grass n Hi tides
03-18-2003, 07:47 PM

I am more proof that you're not alone. I've been in a VERY high stress office job with do or die deadlines every single week for the past ten years, and it's hard to make ends meet on my salary.

My lawn business gets off the ground this week.

I had an amazing day today: at the post office in the middle of the afternoon I bumped into a guy I know but have not seen in a number of months. He owns a restaurant & after I told him about my venture he said come on out and give me a price....let's do some business! I just happened to have a box on my front seat filled with my brand new company hats & shirts, so on the way out I gave him the first hat - hot off the press.

Then, I drive two minutes down the road to gas up & while I'm standing there with the pump in my hand another guy that I know just an acquaintance really & have not seen in a while walks right up and says hi. He's a local LCO, so I give him the scoop. He says "look.....you'll do very well at this around here I'm sure......I've been in it 13 years now.......just return all calls.....if you ever need anything give me a ring."

Like swampbeast said, read the good book, because none of us are ever alone. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in things and forget that. I need reminders just as often as the next guy.

03-18-2003, 10:32 PM
ive always said ,if you are going to work for min. wage work for yourself for min wage. noone telling you what to do.. i am a lot happier...