View Full Version : Get out there and mow before I flick your ear, you little twerp!

05-30-2004, 01:32 AM
Get out there and mow before I flick your ear, you little twerp!

That's what I would hear from my dad 20 years ago. I'm 32 now.

The summer I turned 16, my dad said I needed a job, he wanted to know what I wanted to do. Typical teenager, said... "uhhh dunno". He decided he'd put an ad in the local paper, "Lawn mowing -- $10 / hour".

Got my first call the next day, still have that same account, 16 years later.

Over the years it's been an up and down battle. I went to college for 3 1/2 years, then dropped out after I figured out I could make more money mowing grass that I could taking a chance with a business degree.

There's been setbacks, headaches, sore shins from wearing shorts and trimming sandburs.

At one point I was up to 135 properties, 6 guys, 2 trucks. Did that for 3 years, then realized I didn't want to be an employer anymore.

3 years ago I told my wife (5 year anniversary this July) that I was going back solo, if I can't make any money, it's time to do something else.

I dropped back down to 35 commercial accounts, all on contract, 16 of which are on contract year-round with the snow removal included.

I figured I'd do the contracting this way, now I'm basically a salaried employee of 35 bosses. I've got my budget from working over the years, and since it's the same 35 accounts, I can keep pretty accurate records from year to year.

Last year I picked up the local school district, which is 5 schools, about 120 acres of mowing. It doesn't pay as well as some of my commercial accounts, but it's all guaranteed money, and this year I got a 3 year extension.

I've hired my dad, he runs my tri-deck mower on the open fields at the schools 2 days a week, and I've got an uncle that's a pastor, he does the trimming at the schools.

As for me, right now I'm running 85+ hours / week when it isn't raining, and netting WAY more money than I ever did with 2 full crews running.

Now I'm the one that gets to say "Get out there and mow before I flick your ear, you little twerp!" :)

05-30-2004, 11:00 AM
Sounds like its paid off, great. Good Work.

CSRA Landscaping
05-30-2004, 04:43 PM
85+ hours! Yeesh ... glad that you enjoy it!

07-04-2004, 01:30 PM
Sounds like you have what I need! Good help, I am in the process of growing myself. I have goals to meet and they include what you found to be unsatisfying. It sounds like happiness is more important to you than the ego of having a large buisness. It's the happiness that made your profit margin go up, I think a positive attitude attributes to positive increase. I am a christian myself and I like that your uncle is a pastor working for you, I try to surround myself with good people also.