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View Full Version : Are you really your own boss?


1MajorTom
06-26-2004, 08:22 PM
I got to thinking the other day, and I always hear, "oh, I don't want to work for the man, I want to be my own boss." I know in our situation though, it sometimes doesn't feel like it. It feels so much like a regular job. There's no waking up on a Thursday and saying, "let's skip work today and go canoeing." We just can't do that. 19 lawns are on the schedule every thursday, we just can't miss it. We are so routine oriented, it's crazy. We carry such a full load that there isn't any leeway for taking time off. Honest to God it's like waking up to a 9 to 5 job, we know every day it's the same thing week in week out.
Sure, we can set our own prices, choose our own customers for the most part. But once again, we can only "play" boss to a certain extent, because we can't become too high and mighty when choosing customers, or else we won't eat. Anyone else out there that's carrying a full load without employees that sometimes feel like they are punching a time clock?

RedWingsDet
06-26-2004, 08:24 PM
im my own boss, but customers are also my boss! customers come first, then me. well school, customers, then me and my freetime!

Woody82986
06-26-2004, 08:32 PM
I am my own boss but I still get my weekends off and I am looking forward to the day a year or two from now when I am no longer part of the crew and I sit in the office all day and take phone calls and do estimates. Then I might be able to take a half day off and go fishing.

odin
06-26-2004, 08:33 PM
i know my situation is different from you and matt ..jodi ..im in the position i can tel any or all of my cilents to jerk off.

RedWingsDet
06-26-2004, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by odin
i know my situation is different from you and matt ..jodi ..im in the position i can tel any or all of my cilents to jerk off.



LOL. im sure we can all say that, but will we be in business after that? i think not. lol you must have a ton of business rolling in! or won the lotto!

Kelly's Landscaping
06-26-2004, 08:40 PM
Exactly what you said Odin In fact a few weeks ago we did just that we told 5 of them in one day to go F them selfs. And in one bold move 90% of our complaints were gone for the lost of 3% of our clinets and less then .5% of our income. Yes we work our butts off but it is our choice in fact today I blew off a 1000 dollar seeding job because I felt it was time I had a 2 day weekend.

odin
06-26-2004, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by PremierLandscaping
LOL. im sure we can all say that, but will we be in business after that? i think not. lol you must have a ton of business rolling in! or won the lotto!

Nope i have a uaw pension and a lifetime of schew investments ...i can go completely out of biz if i so choose to ...in fact im in the process of selling now ...wife and i will live our remaining lives in palermo sicily ..were we will raise our twin daughters who are 21 months old.

BOTURF
06-26-2004, 09:08 PM
yes jodi this is first time since 1993 that i feel like this is like any other job , iam like you as i have so many lawns to do on certain days and customers can almost set there watch as what time i will be at their house , i have thought honestly about leaving this biz after this year but i know it would be hard working for the man after working for your self for so long..... and to be honest i dont think i would be able to find another job that pays as much as this one . Plus if it dont snow after leaf cleanup we do get alot of free time to ourselfs

kootoomootoo
06-26-2004, 09:21 PM
Telling a new sale expect to see us sometime in the next three weeks feels way better than
being expected to be there on a certain day every week. I feel your pain.

fga
06-26-2004, 10:15 PM
it feels sometimes like a job i might of had before, but being my own boss, I make morepayup payup for less hours. ofcourse i have 80 people to answer to if i stay home........

PMLAWN
06-26-2004, 10:25 PM
We all have the same boss--- The canvas of dead presidents---

Odin, I too had some schew investments- Red hat, Aol, Sun micro, and my favorate U S Air.. So I work harder for my boss today.
Thank God for real estate.
" I owe, I owe, so it's off to work I go"

txlawnking
06-27-2004, 12:07 AM
Jodi, sounds like you need to take a vacation, But before you do, Hire yourself a bussiness manager pay them some sort of wages and cease to "work for your self" other wise you own a JOB. I personally enjoy actually cutting grass, But I'd also like to be wealthy, and I'll never accomplish that " working for myself". Read Robert Kiyosaki's "Rich dad Poor dad" it completelly changed how I looked at employeement , business' and the world. The less I work the more I make.

TROTTMAN
06-27-2004, 12:55 AM
Think of it this way, you can be your own boss in another business and make $20 an hour, or stay in the LS and make $50+ an hour.

imograss
06-27-2004, 09:24 AM
I don't have A boss. I have 60 of em.

Gene $immons
06-27-2004, 10:04 AM
The book "THE E MYTH" Posed this question:

Do you own a company?

OR

Do you own a job?

I absolutely cannot tolerate being behind a mower for more than a few hours a week anymore. There is simply too many administrative tasks to be taken care of. Once I turned daily work over to the employees, the business has shown growth.

Then, its not a problem to take a day off every once in a while. The work is still getting done.

LwnmwrMan22
06-27-2004, 10:33 AM
I'm salaried.

Salaried from 32 different companies. Some employ me for 6 months, some employ me for 12. Some pay me on the 5th, some on the 15th, some on the 30th, and some not for 45-60 days.

I look at it as I'm my own "boss", in the fact that if something comes up that I can't get to a yard on a certain day, MY "bosses" are okay with that.

If I worked punching a time clock and showed up to a warehouse or sales meeting an hour or two later / earlier than what I was planning to when I woke up that morning, I'd have some problems.

With MY accounts, most don't even care if I show up a day or two later, as long as everything keeps looking good. I'm all commercial, I don't have anyone sitting in front of their TV, looking out the window saying "when's that $#%# going to cut the grass?".

Don't get me wrong, I keep a schedule or I'd lose ALL sense of sanity, half the time it's the only way I know what day it is. :)

There's no way I'd punch a clock and HAVE to be on time / schedule.

This year it's 7 days / week for me, no vacation.

My son is 2 years old and I wanted to get most of my debts paid off by the end of this year. Next year I raise my prices 5-10% and drop 25% of my accounts. I realize this doesn't look right to some, but the time that I'll get to spend with my wife and my son will mean MUCH more to me than the money I could be making.

EastProLawn
06-27-2004, 10:37 AM
Originally posted by imograss
I don't have A boss. I have 60 of em. You took the words right out of my mouth. LOL

dfor
06-27-2004, 10:39 AM
Jodi, you put it pretty well about the hours and not really being able to take much time off. It does feel like a regular job for the most part, but I look at as; I'm not making money for some other company. I'm making it for myself. I like what I do, but could never do this for another company. Even though it would be the same routine, it just wouldn't be the same. (if that makes any sense).

Randy Scott
06-27-2004, 12:02 PM
Personally, no employees means no free time. There definately is some babysitting to do with employees, so it has it's drawbacks. It also has it's good points.

Without employees, you merely have a job. YOU HAVE to be there 24/7. Plain and simple. The new and younger to middle aged people in this line of work are the slaves to it. The "odin's" of the world are not really a good statistic to include here (no offense odin). I would say you merely do this work as just something to occupy your time and that you enjoy doing. You worked hard and invested your whole life and now deserve to call all the shots.

This season is the first time I've been able to do a few things for myself. So far I've done a couple thousand square feet of paver's at home and a retaining wall with steps project. I still have more to go. I couldn't have done this during the week when I had a little time away from the desk without employees. Currently, I still need to withdraw almost completely so I can manage the paperwork and customer relations. It's tough to do but it has to be done. I'm only one person and cannot continue to spread myself so thin. Adding another employee will hopefully get things running smoother. It's actually making the business suffer. I love doing the manual labor but has come to the point that I need to RUN the business before it runs me into the ground. Employees are good and bad. I feel the good will outweigh the bad. It's different for everyone though, I realize this.

odin
06-27-2004, 12:53 PM
Originally posted by Randy Scott
.

. The "odin's" of the world are not really a good statistic to include here (no offense odin). I would say you merely do this work as just something to occupy your time and that you enjoy doing. You worked hard and invested your whole life and now deserve to call all the shots.

.


No offense randy ...first few years i was in the biz in a partnership with my brothers it was more involved ...so i got out when it became just how much money and trying to figure ways to expoilt workers they would hire... attention to quality work wasnt the number one goal any more ....got out started my own company and like you said i love the working in this biz and spending the money on my daughters .

So yes id very much agree with your accessment ...now my brothers on the other had ...greedily got in hock up to their eyeballs ...all tho they dont work alot in the field they are stuck ...them big hydro seeder and big truck payments have to be met...me i was happy just makeing really good money and enjoying the work with no stress what so ever .....to each his own i guess .

Liberty Lawncare
06-27-2004, 04:16 PM
Only 37 bosses (customers) right now. I hope to get more than 1/2 of sunday off next year. This is my first year full time for myself. I work harder and more hours for me than my old boss. It is all worth it I know if I contonue to bust my azz and find a couple of good employees in a couple years I may be able to get a good amount of time off. With money to make the most of the time off.
Eaven though I work so hard now I used to work hard for my old boss and was treated like crap. Work harder for yourself and be happy knowing the money you earn is yours not some @#*$!@$ wacko you are makeing rich.

Rhett
06-27-2004, 05:09 PM
Jodi I think it is that time of year. Seems that I worry about getting thru the weekly schedule and when I do it is time to start all over. Even feel guilty about taking Sunday off. I have a couple of part time helpers but there is no way I would let either one loose with my equipment. Just looking forward to Jan and Feb so I can regroup. Will be looking at ways to become faster with out losing quality. Going to be dropping some of the starter accounts that I have had for three years concentrate on the more profitable ones.