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GTLC
02-14-2004, 10:09 AM
I am so sick of putting up w/ the crap I have to put up w/ from my friends at school. What I am talking about is when they see me, they tend to crack some dumb ones and say mean things like "you might be a redneck if you spend four thousand on a lawn mower" Once again I tell them it is a business expense but they still give me crap. Whenever I talk about something not even related to the green industry they just say "why don't you just get a Lazer Z" and laugh frantically. I always say that I make a bit more money then they do, and most of them don't even have jobs. I do make a much bigger chunk of change then they do ever since I got the outgoing freight manager job at a local trucking company.

Has anybody ever had this problem, especially teens in particular, and if so, any suggestions to a good retaliation saying?

paponte
02-14-2004, 10:13 AM
Not that bad, but I would get jokes cracked once and a while. I started at the age of 14 in lawncare. They would call me Edward Scissorhands and junk. Boy did they shut up when they saw me with my evey new toy that came out. After a while they realized I was making some serious cash for a kid, and were asking for jobs.
Bought my first truck when I was 15. I wasn't even old enough to drive the thing. The same people laughing at me, were the first ones to ask for rides everywhere.

Stick to your guns kid, it will pay off in the long run. :p

GTLC
02-14-2004, 10:21 AM
Yeah, I am just maybe gonna wait till I save up a thousand bucks, then get it all in 20 dollar bills, then the next time they give me a hard time I will just whip it out and say "money talks" I think they will shut up after that.

1stclasslawns
02-14-2004, 10:21 AM
n1alx,

You need to realize that you are older then your years, and one to be admired. You have a small business that is making a profit it is something that your friends do not have, some of them don't even have a job as you have mentioned.

Your friends are doing this partially because of jealousy, and immaturity. DON"T tell them that though, it will just make things worse.

I am 40 years old and work as a full time firefighter 24 on and 48 off. I still have to put up with the same stuff you are putting up with. Get a stiff upper lip, buck up, and take it you make a joke out of yourself, laugh at their jokes. Dont take it personally. If you show them it bothers you they will keep on, if you let it roll off like water on a ducks back they will let up.

Its all a part of growing up.

Jim

Lawn Dog2001
02-14-2004, 10:34 AM
If you plan to stay in this line of work, you better get used to it. Landscaping/Lawn Care is a very humble profession.

I originally went to Penn St for Psychology. I had already started my own company while I was in college. I realized pretty quickly that I was already making more part time in this business, than a starting psychologist. So I quit after one year.

It ended up being a great decision. But I still have relatives and in laws that think I am down on my luck because I cut grass for a living. Even though I do so much more than that.

I have one aunt out of state who offers to get me a job every time I talk to her. I tell her the same thing every time, "As soon as you can find me a company to run, that will equal what I make now, and give me two months off per year Im there".

Point is, if you enjoy what you do, dont worry about what others say. Just laugh all the way to the bank! :D

GTLC
02-14-2004, 10:42 AM
Yeah Jim I understand. Oh well, at least when you are in the firehouse it is a big brotherhood, I realized that when I did a job shadow w/ the Burlington Fire Department. 24 on/48 off. I might become to be a career firefighter somewhere when I get out of college. I also went to teh Vermont Fire Cadet Academy last summer. A little off topic, but it's good to know there are a few firefighters out there.

paponte
02-14-2004, 10:44 AM
[QUOTE]Point is, if you enjoy what you do, dont worry about what others say. Just laugh all the way to the bank! [QUOTE]

Agreed 100%. My mother STILL asks to to this day when I am going back to school. I have been there, I wore a suite and tie to work everyday. i have worked for the man, and got measly $50. week raises. After being in the lawn care business, I will NEVER go back. Yes there are downsides, but then again there are in any field you pursue. I just find there are many more upsides than down.

As far as flashing $1K around in school.... not a good idea! ;)

BrianK10
02-14-2004, 11:16 AM
I used to get it all the time from people in school a few years ago. Now everyone see's the truck I drive, and the money that I'm making, and now they want to work for me. Funny ain't it?:cool2:

Brian

GTLC
02-14-2004, 11:27 AM
lol I forgot to mention this to Brian. First, they give me a hard time about it for about 8 months, then I mention that I might be getting an assistant or two to help me, and now half of them who gave me a hard time in the first place really regret it b/c they want to be my assistant!

DLCS
02-14-2004, 11:27 AM
I heard this quote long time ago, don't know where, "if you enjoy what you do, you never have to go to work".

I wouldn't worry about what the kids at school think, it just shows their ingnorance. Also, don't flash your money around, that just brings you to their level. :)

iowapride
02-14-2004, 11:35 AM
I went thru the same problem when I was in high school. I started my business when I was 14. I heard it all. The one that made me mad the most was that everyone said my parents bought me all my eqipment and truck. I had a 2 year old Ford Ranger when I was 15. As I became a senior and people saw I was making good money, I actually lost good friends because of jealousy. And it wasn't because of an ego problem or anything because I never act better than anybody or act like I have more money. The best comeback I have come up with so far is something to the fact of this: So I took a risk in life. By just saying this that really shuts them up and makes them think.

brucec32
02-14-2004, 12:00 PM
For about 10 years after I started my mom kept suggesting various careers that I could go into. Now she's starting up again since she thinks I'll soon be too old for this.

Truth is, most corporate cubicle slaves can't understand wanting to do anything for a living that makes you sweat or get dirty. They just put in their 60 hour work weeks (with commutes), take guff from the boss, take time off only when the boss lets them 2 weeks a year, worry about being 15 minutes late to work, live in their cookie cutter tract home on 1/5th acre, and think they're doing well. So they will just not understand a different way of life like this.

STAN1366
02-14-2004, 12:01 PM
You can't let what others say bother you. These comments either come from ignorance or jealousy. Both are THEIR problems, not your's. It might even help take the wind out of their sails if you can poke fun at yourself. It let's them know that they can't get to you and soon they'll knock it off. As for looking into a career as a firefighter and doing your lawn business, both are very rewarding. I started mowing lawns for a few neighbors when I was 12 or 13. Didn't go to college(I don't recommend this to you) and had quite a few trade type jobs till I was 28 when I joined the FDNY. 22+ years later and though I could have retired I won't. I still enjoy doing both. Good luck

dkeisala
02-14-2004, 12:10 PM
Lawndog2001 said it best "the is a very humble profession". Most people view lawn care/landscaping as something you do because you don't know or can't do anything else. They see it as an unskilled profession. While this is true for many aspects of our work (trained monkeys could probably mow a lawn), there is an enormous amount of knowledge that one must acquire in order to stay in this business. After seven years, I still learn something new everyday and this is just one of the reasons I enjoy doing what I do. Running a business, I don't care if it's Microsoft (Bill Gates never graduated from college) or a lawncare business takes talent, skill and courage.

I would venture to guess that the vast majority of individuals posting on this site are in the lawn care business out of choice and not because of desperation and lack of skill drove them to it.

In the past I've had to swallow my pride, I was embarrassed to be out there struggling to get by mowing lawns. I mean, you look around at some of the low life scrubs that are in this business and you know that's what people are comparing you to. Finally decided to say "screw that, I'm not one of those other guys, I'm here by choice, I love being self-employed, I've done very well for myself, I run a professional business with great looking commercial equipment, what do I have to be embarrased about?"

So as far as those other kids at school - what are they, busboys, burger flippers and drive through attendants? - next time they talk about your $4000 mower, tell them "great comment, I'll take fries that"!

Sean Adams
02-14-2004, 12:10 PM
Don't ask me why I thought of these lyrics....

"Jealousy and envy reign, never want to see you get ahead...."

When I was in college I had friends from different countries. They all told me that the landscaping profession was a very respected profession in their country. Obviously, it is not the same here in the states.

That aside, owning and operating your own business takes a special kind of nerve and quality and you should be nothing short of proud.

Remember....

If it was easy everyone would be doing it.

tiedeman
02-14-2004, 12:14 PM
Good point Sean. I have a lot of customers that used to be from Puetro Rico and their number one thing that they always talk about was the amount of personal attention and quality service that their landscapers gave them. To them they were like God

brucec32
02-14-2004, 01:41 PM
Originally posted by dkeisala
Lawndog2001 said it best "the is a very humble profession". Most people view lawn care/landscaping as something you do because you don't know or can't do anything else. They see it as an unskilled profession. While this is true for many aspects of our work (trained monkeys could probably mow a lawn), there is an enormous amount of knowledge that one must acquire in order to stay in this business. After seven years, I still learn something new everyday and this is just one of the reasons I enjoy doing what I do. Running a business, I don't care if it's Microsoft (Bill Gates never graduated from college) or a lawncare business takes talent, skill and courage.

I would venture to guess that the vast majority of individuals posting on this site are in the lawn care business out of choice and not because of desperation and lack of skill drove them to it.

In the past I've had to swallow my pride, I was embarrassed to be out there struggling to get by mowing lawns. I mean, you look around at some of the low life scrubs that are in this business and you know that's what people are comparing you to. Finally decided to say "screw that, I'm not one of those other guys, I'm here by choice, I love being self-employed, I've done very well for myself, I run a professional business with great looking commercial equipment, what do I have to be embarrased about?"

So as far as those other kids at school - what are they, busboys, burger flippers and drive through attendants? - next time they talk about your $4000 mower, tell them "great comment, I'll take fries that"!

Hey, none of this, including landscaping and pesticide work, is Rocket Science. But by your way of thinking Airline pilots are just highly paid bus drivers.

There's doing something , then there's doing something well and fast. The former a "trained monkey" can do. The latter is a little more complicated than that. A hard working young man can clear $60,000 working alone mowing lawns in the right situation. A trained monkey type might produce $20,000 . Somewhere in between is a lot more know-how, training, and experience than you're giving them credit for.

The difference here and in other countries is that in America, language skills are mistakenly assumed to be more valuable than other skills. People who do things with their hands like tool and die work, plumbers, mechanics, electricians, etc are often considered to be "inferior" to a guy who makes less money flapping his gums in an office somewhere. And because our foolish educational system discounts trades and pushes people into one of only two paths, college or nothing, it's assumed that if you don't have the college type job you're capable of nothing .

Way too many people confuse a silver tongue with intelligence.

I find it sad and pathetic how no matter what level people are at, they find the need to consider someone else below them.

alpine692003
02-14-2004, 01:46 PM
It's the same for me in Van, Canada as well..

My parents told me what a joke this business is, its doing nothing and I should stay with my job and focus on policing.

I told them I'll be running the business and joining the police force in 5yrs when IM READY!!

KenH
02-14-2004, 02:00 PM
I went thought the same thing 21 years ago. You know what??? At 16, I owned a ski-boat. I am now married, own my own home, have 2 kids, wife doesnt work, i have the winters off, just put on a 4 car garage, and am in the middle of a concrete pool install....Who is laughing now???

Dont worry what other people think. If you enjoy doing what you are doing, and are good at it, the rewards will reach you 10'fold. Just always give it your all.

dkeisala
02-14-2004, 02:07 PM
I can't tell if brucec32 is arguing or agreeing with my point? And airline pilots? Planes pretty much fly themselves these days, bus driving probably takes more skill. All I was saying is that there IS a misperception out there about what we do but it's without merit. You can't let people pigeon hole you and in our society, people are trying to do it all the time.

alpine692003
02-14-2004, 02:09 PM
Hey KenH - I was interested in putting a concrete pool as well :)

I reallylike that :)) What are some good books on that?

installing concrete pools.

LawnsRUsInc.
02-14-2004, 02:21 PM
I will never say that no one gave me a hard time about my carrer choice but if they did id dont even know because i didnt care. Everyone always aked if the could borrow five buck, ten bucks while i was in school they knew that i made money unlike 90% of them Know at 21 i have 2 of the kids i went to school and they work for me, they dont make more than me but soon as you get older it will inspire people to try to achive what you have. As far as family members or in laws asking why i do such a carrer choice they really dont. My parents are always happy with what i do and they are the ones that promoted me to achive what i have and do. My father makes 6 figures and his line of work gets slower during the winter months and he plows for me and he enjoys it. After school i hired employees from the spanish desent and the guys i went to school with know where iam at and where they are at when they see my crews driving down the street and the equipment i own is more than what there house is worth, if they even own one"LOL". So stick with it budy, stick to your guns it will only make you stronger. DONT LET THEM KNOW IT BOTHERS YOU BRUSH IT OFF YOUR THE BIGGER MAN IN THE END

Good luck, Jason

KenH
02-14-2004, 02:32 PM
Alpine----Take a look here:
http://www.ofoto.com/AlbumMenu.jsp?

I posted some pics of the project. Actually, the co. who is installing mine, offered me a job designing/pricing pools, so if you have any questions, either email, or pm me. Im doing it now on strictly commission.

dgram8
02-14-2004, 03:06 PM
Just remember you will always have a job working for yourself. I work for a company and also for my self . Juust ordered a West Coast Chopper paid cash for it save my income from my lawn care bus. I was always told the man with the most toys wins.

promower
02-14-2004, 03:57 PM
post some pics of your bike when you get it, I love choppers someday I will have one to.

Carolina Cutter
02-14-2004, 04:21 PM
Don't worry about it. Just think of this......if you do things right and grow the business, one day you will run into these people when you are older and some of them won't even have a job and you will be sitting pretty. Trust me............it's has been that way for me. Life is what you make it.:cool:

sodzilla
02-14-2004, 04:31 PM
I graduated in '91. My senior year I only needed a few credits to graduate so I went to school in the mornings and worked in the afternoon. I worked at car dealer doing rustproofing and detailing. I made a whopping $4.50 an hour. Then I got a job at a body shop also $4.50 an hour. I would work for 6-8 hours a day and make aprox. $32 a day. Looking back I wish I was smart enough to mow lawns then.

sheppard
02-14-2004, 04:43 PM
Here is my opinoin ( keep in mind I just finished 3 glasses of very good red wine...Woodbridge Cabernet).

I'd offer that all teen are basically idiots...unable to put together a solid rational thought that would stack up to any serious scrutiny. If YOU are a teen just take comfort that you are far above the adverage intellectual level of your peers.

Stop hanging around idiots...it were's off on whoevert is nearest.

Cordially,
Sheppard

broken leg
02-14-2004, 04:55 PM
When I worked for the power company they would make comment's like what kind of push mower do you use and I would tell them I did not have a push mower everything I had was self propelled. They would all laugh and crack jokes at me. Now they call me and want full or part time jobs. Remember who has the last laugh.