View Full Version : Why did we all get in this business ?

08-29-2000, 05:47 PM
I thought this would be an interesting topic,what did you do before you got in the lawn service industry,and why.this ought to be fun.

08-29-2000, 06:24 PM
I work as a EMT Paramedic in Charlotte, I have 6 years (God willing) until I retire. I started my business 4 years ago to prepair for my post-medic plans. I enjoy working outside, have never worked at a desk, have always been my own boss (even in EMS), so this is perfect! :D

08-29-2000, 08:13 PM
Been mowing for twenty years.US Army before that.Got a few more years till my little girl goes to college. Gona buy a Freightliner and hit the road when that happens.

08-29-2000, 08:17 PM
This is what I've always done. :D


08-29-2000, 08:29 PM
I went to college for four years with a major in Criminal Justice and planned to look for a police job after college. I worked every summer running a mower for a local lawn and landscape companies and really liked the work, but the paycheck was another story. I always had thoughts of starting my own lawn care biz, since the work was enjoyable and the owners of both companies I worked for were making good money. After graduation I looked for some police officer jobs with little luck, then I took an office job which I hated. So oncethe spring of 1999 came around I decide I would give the lawn care biz a whirl. I was a definate scrub at first with my 21" Craftsman in the back of my Ranger, but I worked my a$$ off and have moved up the ladder pretty fast. Starting this business was the best thing I ever did, I love it


SJR Lawncare
08-29-2000, 08:36 PM
I started out working for a lawncare/landscaping company 7 years ago as a summer job, worked there for 6 years, learned the ins & outs. & early this spring I quit my job & went on my own.(My old boss & I are still friends & help each other out.)

08-29-2000, 08:46 PM
Ryan similiar story went to school got out with an economics degree hit the office seen and hated it! worked for others since I was 15, 16 long years later and I'm doing it for myself. Luv it

08-29-2000, 08:50 PM
I have never had any other job besides Lawn Care. I started when I was 14 because I told my dad that I wasn't going to get an inside job(like at McDonalds or something stupid like that). So he lined up a few jobs and I have grown greatly since then. I also did dock and lift installation for 3 years. Got a lot of clients for that through my mowing business, this last spring we(3 man crew) put in 154 docks, and about 280 boat lifts. Have any of you done this work? Very hard, but definately the best paying you will ever run into. I dont think that I ever made less than $60 and hour personaly, usually averaging around $80. Now I am 19 and heading off to college, but my dad keeps cutting my 45 lawns for me in the fall until the snow flys and in the spring until I come back. As far as dock work, I sold out. All my equipment: winch, several hundread yards of logging chain, and lift dolley. I also sold my name list for $1,100.

08-29-2000, 08:50 PM
Been the bus. for about 12yrs. before that I worked for a large computer company int the design engineering group working on layout of printed circuit boards. I started cutting lawns with my then future brother in-law on saturdays and evenings. It was something I always wanted to do. When I turned 16 I wanted to get a truck and a mower and start then. But Mom and Dad sent me to college to get a big job with a computer company. That was in 1980. 20years and 2 degrees later. The second in bus. mgmt. I'm doing what I always wanted. Don't get me wrong college was very worth while. But I think where would I be now had I skipped college and gone into business at age 16 when I was already making more money than most of my friends. Oh well thats water over the damn thanks to my brother in-law I'm back in the bus. and he went into financial planning.

08-29-2000, 10:11 PM
This is all I have ever done. I started mowing lawns in high school, for extra money. A friend and I did them together, everything 50/50. He wasn't too interested in working, and our schedules were starting to conflict. We decided to split up. We split the accounts, each used our own equipment. By the time I was a senior, my grades were failing. Why did I need to study when I could make $75 every day after school(late 80's). My buddied had to work all week at a minumum wage job to get that kind of money.

I was addicted to money, (still am). My grades were very poor. I was never a great student to begin with, but this lawn mowing thing really pushed me over the edge.

I decided to take a year and work, to get my act together, and had planned on attending college the next fall. I was going to do the lawn thing, and find a part time job to hold me through the winter.

Well, I went full speed ahead that summer, to see what I could do. After all was said and done, I made as much that summer as my cousin that had just graduated from college and was working as a chemist.

I thought that I would hold off college another year, to continue working, and stockpile some money. Well, each and every year I made more and more, and college never happened.
I am happy with what I am doing, although I have my bad days. This has been the only job I have ever had. Never worked for anyone else. Never filled out a job appication, What is a job interview?

All in all, at times I wish that I had gone to college. It is an experience that can never be taken away from you. It would be nice to have something to fall back on, just in case.

One thing that is not particularly related to the topic, but bothers me. Many people seem to look down upon me, I am still the neighborhood kid that cuts grass. I have had people offer me jobs, and think that I am lazy when I turn them down. They think that I am the dumb kis that couldn't make it to college, and just cuts grass. What they don't know, is how wonderful it is to be your own boss, not to have to punch a time clock. They don't realize that I decide how much I want to make, not a penny pincher.

A friend that is in another unrelated business sees things like I do. While the college grads think we are the dumb ones for not getting an eduication, we think that they are the dumb ones for working for the man.

08-30-2000, 02:01 AM
I started in high school and did well 8000.00 in 1988 for summer work. Then I listened to the "smart" people. Went to work and did this and that, wound up a firefighter, a low paid one at that. So I started mowing a few it has turned into a good thing for me. I like it. I like the money. Nuff said!

Eager Beaver
08-30-2000, 06:51 AM
Worked as an Senior Engineering Technician in a major corporation designing and calibrating carbs for Mercury Marine and Kohler. My brotherinlaw worked for a tree company and every once in awhile he would do side jobs and I would come over and give him a hand on the weekends.Always loved working outside however was spending 8 hours a day in a dyno room or traveling to Wisconsin or Florida .After watching him stump grind one day I knew that no one was doing this in our area so I purchased one myself. I did this partime in the evenings and weekends when time allowed.
Well to make a long story short the company went threw some downsizing and new management and the future wasn't looking bright so we started looking for other areas to work as my wife also worked for the same company. My wife got a job for the State of Michigan with good benefits for the family and I started to work full time at Stump Grinding and since have expanded to snow removal and lawn maintenance. Its been a long road with a lot of bumps but we are still here and are always learning something new. This Site has helped tremendously with all the advice that is avalible.

08-30-2000, 07:40 AM
While in high school I worked in a nursery. While in college I worked as a groundskeeper. I knew I wanted to work for myself all along. One year me and a partner started this. Since I have bought the partner out. I am in this for the money but I also get great satisfaction seeing a job well done. I like this because I am never in one place for a long time and most days am doing something different.

Eric ELM
08-30-2000, 08:33 AM
Karl, "Southside" started a thread on this way back called "What did you do in your past life", I think was the title if anyone wants to see a big ole thread on this subject. He also started one later on http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=612 with 18 replies.

AGG Lawn Maintenance
08-30-2000, 08:54 AM
I went to a vocational school in my Freshmen year of high school for Horticulture after taking tests to see what I liked. I became a member of the the FFA(Future Farmers Of America) We had tons of contests to see who the top Landscapers were in the state on a high school level. I placed 3rd in the state in landscape design 3 years in a row. 2nd in the state in plant id 2 years in a row and 1st in the state my last year. I also have a host of other awards. I started a business right in high school when I was 15 with two partners who were brothers. One which was out of school and one that was my age. The oldest brother did work until we came out of school then pick us up. As you can imagine all the kids had jokes. After our Senior year we all split up. I kept right on going and remain the only owner in AG&G Lawn Maintenance. I kept the name and registered it to give them an in your face. Travis AG&G Lawn Maintenance

Ground Rules
08-30-2000, 10:19 AM
Still a Systems Analyst/Technician during the day. I do my Lawn and Landscaping evenings and weekends. The latter is a passion I've been doing for myself, friends and family for about 12 years. This season is my initial venture to make it serious. I am anal about quality, service and customer relations. It has been very difficult keeping both priority's but there is nothing better (yet) than working for yourself in a field you love.

08-30-2000, 10:36 AM
Like Ryan I went to college and received a degree in Criminal Justice. Got out of college got pretty far in becoming a police officer, then decided that was not what I wanted to do. So I went and got myself a desk job working as an environmental paralegal. After a year on the job one of the attorneys bought a new house and mentioned he needed to have his grass cut and that he had no clue nor desire to do it. I said heck, why not so I said I'd cut it. Lawn care and landscaping is the only other job I had ever had during high school and college (except for a short stint as a short order cook) so I knew what to do. My biggest problem was pricing. Well that was 6 years ago and I'm planning on going lawns full time or at least the better part of full-time next year! :D Oh yeah, the pricing problem is AOK now! ;)

08-30-2000, 05:07 PM
Plumber, Refrigeration Mechanic, Marine Corps, Warehouse Manager, and several other second jobs: delivering pizza, grocery clerk, things like that. Left all excpet the Marine Corps because of the creep I worked for. Got into this bus. during college (easy to work around class schedules) and ended up dropping out as a junior when things took off. I know I'm a bad example for my children, but I don't want to be an engineer anyway. Have a second job now as a Deputy Sheriff. Pretty cool stuff but I'd have hell to pay with the wife if I went to work for 25K after all we went through to get this far.

08-30-2000, 08:03 PM
I'm still trying to figure out why I started this business.

08-30-2000, 09:46 PM
This is the only thing I ever done. I started out just to make a few bucks when I was 10 and I haven't stopped scince.

08-30-2000, 10:15 PM
I started my undergraduate work planning on becoming a doctor. I got real close to making it into med school but couldn't quite cut the mustard. Boy am I glad. To think of all the pain staking hours studying and pulling 36 hr. shifts. Instead I went back to school and started on a second degree in Plant and Soil Science (first degree in Biology). I started my business this past spring and things are looking great. I have one more year of school then look out. My brother who has his MBA plans to come on next year. This will allow me to concentrate on the field aspects while he does the business end.

The reason I decided to get into this is because I grew up working on my parents farm. Though I hated it I had an appreciation for the outdoors and the potential money to be made as an independent business man. My parents are well off as a result of their grueling hours in the field. I also had a fondness for plants and spent a lot of time playing with mom's flower beds. Eventually I put two and two together and here I am.

08-30-2000, 10:35 PM
I was sitting around on day wondering how i could really torture myself. Punish myself for all the bad things i have done in my life. Valla I am in the lawn biz

08-31-2000, 12:16 AM
Well hears my story.Though out high school I took Horticulter aced the cource was working for a bbq joint
and cuttung gr*** on the side(And i mean just cutting gr***with a push mower),and working on my hot rod..after i graduated i hade to make a choice,cut g***,(teacher had me a great job and i turned it down)hot rod,or food,So i went with my pasion...Fast cars.really fast cars mainly looking at mine .do you know how expensvie all the toys are? So off to a parts store to get Really good discounts......13 years later It came down to $$$...the customers grips( all about price) see we were the highset store in town but sold the best and sold a lot of product.Parts,lifts, compressor..just any toy you could possiablly want.and did i mention that discounts on tools were very ,very, good.But i guess the thing that done it for me was i was talking this talk selling at the price and was defending a major company that i was a number...since i left I get called sir all the time people really apprecaite what i do for them and let me know about it......and you know i my not do this forever but right now i wouldf rather mow gr***
than deal with the retail customers and 350 phone calls a day...the money it not the biggest thing to me anymore . LOVE NOT HAVING ALL THAT STRESSS but i will imitte i miss that A.C. OH and hey thanks for all the post i have really enjoy reading them.

[Edited by BUSHMASTER on 08-31-2000 at 03:19 AM]