View Full Version : Living the dream

Ax Man
03-31-2003, 07:51 AM
As a Western NY farm boy, life was full of work.
We lived near a ski area, and as a teen, began to enjoy that sport, working for a seasons pass, and race fees.
So when it was college time, I picked a ski school a couple hours away.
One of the first guys I met there was a joker/ party monster named Jeff.
We were friendly for the first year, Beers etc. but after the second year started, we hung out more. His Dad had a small outfit on the Connecticut border, and he was taking Landscape Design.
I met his Dad, a great guy, very likable, who was also a top notch ski instructor. He told me his yearly plan.
Work hard in the summer/ski hard in the winter.
Sounds kind of appealing huh?
Jeff and I are still great friends, his Dad just finished his 40th year of ski teaching too.
Well back to the tale.
After college, my Dad hooked me up with a construction job near West Point, and fortunately for me they ran out of material for a couple of weeks (steel framing)
So I went to help Jeff.
It was so much easier, and more fun doing that kind of work, that I ended up buying a old 48 bobcat from them a couple seasons later.
My starting setup was:
82 Toyota diesel p/u
bobcat wb
redmax blower and trimmer
I had about 3500 in the bunch.
I put ads in a couple small publications in Rochester NY then made some flyers, cruised the neighborhoods I thought I could handle and talked to a couple real estate agents.
Before I knew it, I was busy!
I made plenty of mistakes in those days, (and still pull a bonehead move occasionally) but was/is it ever fun!
I have worked in Rochester and it's suburbs, Lake George Saratoga region, and now am comfortable back at the farm, working locally.
I sometimes think it would be fun to work a more ritzy area, but then you have to pay to live there. So here I am in my local niche.

What do I have now?
81 F350 dump (mint, new cab fresh paint etc.)
12 foot trailer, ramps on both ends
various trimmers, saws edgers and blowers
bobcat hydro wb
Walker ghs w/ 52 sd
Billy goat loader
hand tools galore
House and Garage in a great country setting
family to come home to

With just me working, I support my self, wife and 3 kids.
Thats all I want!

12-30-2003, 10:54 PM
Boy, that's a great ending!! I had a Landscape Maint. biz for 20+ yrs, many employees, trucks, equipment and headaches to go along with it. Sold out in 1998, went to work for new owner for last 4 yrs, then started up my own spray service in april of this year. In just 9 months I have produced more net spendable income working by myself than any one year of my past business ventures. There is a beauty of working solo, though it takes it's toll... 100% of one or 1% of 100? I choose the prior for now! In 4 years I'm taking off for a 5 yr circumnavigation of the world in my sailboat, so hope the body holds up that long.


12-31-2003, 03:34 PM
Awesome story-keep it up