PDA

View Full Version : What should i do


sodgod
10-29-2004, 11:03 PM
I am currently a junior in high school and trying to balance school and work. Usually school comes second. This spring i plan on having my truck an trailer. Over the last 2 years that i have been seriously into landscaping, i've started to get all the equipment i need. I have about 18 weekly accounts for mowing and want to expand that to about 30-35 next year. I can't get enough of the biz. I dream, live, and breath it. I also do landscape construction which is about 40%, and feel that I know what i'm doing (not braging just feel confident). I have set myself a very good reputation and want to keep growing. My parents on the other hand wold like me to go to college, and if i did it would be for landscape contracting. I've worked so hard for years to build where i am now and i'm staring to think college isn't right. Do i keep building and reach my goals, or stop work for 2-4 yrs. and start over. I really don't want to but how do i convince the parents that what i'm doing now is going to be successful. I have a game plan set up, my reputation, and a sh** load of work ethic. Working is fun to me, its all i want to do. Mommy and daddy havn't layed things out on a siliver plater for me. I've worked for it. throw your opinions out!!! i wanna hear them

48" encore wb
33" troybilt wb
2 5hp push blowers
2 straigh shaft echo SRM-210 trimmers
5hp chipper
22" hedge trimmers
backpack blower
earthway drop and broadcast spreaders
22" dethatcher
3hp edger
10" brick saw
one dad that lost his garage

shepoutside
10-29-2004, 11:28 PM
Well.........

Stay in school !!! Knowing the biz, is a little more involved than just doing the work. It's a little hard for you to understand, because living at home, you are not probably in tune with what it costs to live, and you may not have everything you need to be able to price everything, to be able to support yourself, and grow. Yes, I have no doubts your good, and you work hard. But you have time, and it's a lot harder later, to go back, and get the education that you can get now. Take courses in anything, and everything that has to do with the biz, and you will be that much better off, down the road. Your Doing well P/T, so keep doing that, but learning how to do " the business end" of things, will give you a head start in just a few short years. I've seen many with you "work ethic", but because they don't know how to run a business, they fail, and end up working for a wage. I'm sure that's not what you want'd to hear, and it's just my opinion, but Ive seen many with great dream, but not the knowledge to follow it thru. You Have the drive, now learn the rest, and when it's right, you will be sucsesful !!! Good Luck !!!!

mtdman
10-30-2004, 11:38 AM
Do what makes you happy. School isn't for everyone, and if you can manage to get off the ground at an early age you'll have a tremendous advantage over other startups. You can always take classes in the offseason, see if there's anything you are interested in or if school is for you.

However, when I was in hs I wanted to do about a million things that were unrealistic. Try to have a grounded approach to your future, don't get too starry eyed over lawn care and landscaping. Be realistic and honest about the business.

Good luck.

HOOLIE
10-31-2004, 12:58 AM
While education is a valuable thing, being out in the real world is an education in itself. I think a lot of people would be better off to jump from high school into the working world. Then you'd get a taste of what lines of work interest you, and you could enter college a few years later and major in something you KNOW will benefit you. A lot of my college buddies majored in accounting. About half of them quit their accounting jobs after a year or so, they were "good" in accounting in college, but the reality of going in to work day after day and being an accountant was boring to them. So then they're looking for another line of work, with no other background but accounting.


One scenario, you could work at your business for a few years after HS, maybe have enough employees working for you where you could afford to go to college and still run the company.

mtdman
10-31-2004, 01:25 AM
While education is a valuable thing, being out in the real world is an education in itself. I think a lot of people would be better off to jump from high school into the working world. Then you'd get a taste of what lines of work interest you, and you could enter college a few years later and major in something you KNOW will benefit you.

I agree. I wish I had spent some time growing up first in the real world before I went to college. I believe I would have made far better use of my education, and known what I wanted to do with it. College and higher education is great, but you need to know what you want to do with it as well.

Jamesgateslandscaping
11-01-2004, 10:31 PM
Im a senior in High School and love landscaping too, I have more work than I know what to do with, the town absolutely loves me. I plan on attending the Thompson School at University of New Hampshire. They have a great landscape management. After that I am going to UNH manchester for business. Don't start a business without an idea how. If you can get a good education, why not slow down for a few years than explode when your done college and make 10 times more than you would if you didnt have an education...just my thoughts

BMFD92
11-02-2004, 08:15 PM
I agree with JamesGate, I feel that college seems to be more and more important and if your going to bid on a job for a high end property manager, im sure that they would like to see any type of management degree with there bid but then again that doesnt make that guy the better company

The Yard Barber, Inc.
11-02-2004, 08:35 PM
hey man i am in the same position. i am about to be18 nov 5 and i have been landscaping and have had a landscape business since i was 16. I have 47 yards and i love to work also, not only are there 4 year programs but there are great 2 year programs too. i see that you live in NY, i live in NC. maybe you can look on cfnc.org or collegeboard.com and get some info on many different colleges. Well i hope that my info was helpfull and let me know what you decide maybe we can help each other out sice we are the same age and in the same position. email me sometime!! Andrewbarber_oo7@hotmail.com

jim dailey
11-04-2004, 11:14 PM
I am currently a junior in high school and trying to balance school and work. Usually school comes second. This spring i plan on having my truck an trailer. Over the last 2 years that i have been seriously into landscaping, i've started to get all the equipment i need. I have about 18 weekly accounts for mowing and want to expand that to about 30-35 next year. I can't get enough of the biz. I dream, live, and breath it. I also do landscape construction which is about 40%, and feel that I know what i'm doing (not braging just feel confident). I have set myself a very good reputation and want to keep growing. My parents on the other hand wold like me to go to college, and if i did it would be for landscape contracting. I've worked so hard for years to build where i am now and i'm staring to think college isn't right. Do i keep building and reach my goals, or stop work for 2-4 yrs. and start over. I really don't want to but how do i convince the parents that what i'm doing now is going to be successful. I have a game plan set up, my reputation, and a sh** load of work ethic. Working is fun to me, its all i want to do. Mommy and daddy havn't layed things out on a siliver plater for me. I've worked for it. throw your opinions out!!! i wanna hear them

48" encore wb
33" troybilt wb
2 5hp push blowers
2 straigh shaft echo SRM-210 trimmers
5hp chipper
22" hedge trimmers
backpack blower
earthway drop and broadcast spreaders
22" dethatcher
3hp edger
10" brick saw
one dad that lost his garage

I am going to sound like an adult. I am going to side with your parents. You have the rest of your life to work. You will only be this age, once, in your life. They are going to let you study what you want. What is better. Once you have that degree, no one can take it away. Get the degree in what you want to do, and what could be better. You will never be this age again. You will always kick yourself for not at least trying. Listen to your parents, they have been around the horn at least once. At least give them that much respect.

dog245
11-05-2004, 12:38 PM
Jim I agree!

Guys I am the old man that has 5 children and have to do lawn work as a side to raise my children.
Enjoy the next few years. After you get that business degree you can still stay in the lawn/landscape business. It wasn't that hard to get those initial accounts, so think about how easy it will be after college.
You sound like a go-getter who isn't afraid of tackling a challenge. It's just my advise, cause as I'm sitting here, I'm recovering from severe back surgery. I don't know how many of my customers will be there next year. However, I do have a great 18 y/o son who is trying to pull up the slack for dad.
My point, be the boss with the business experience and degree to back it up.
Cause the older you get, the harder it gets!

Oh yea, keep a few of those gravy accounts to keep your skills sharp or hire someone now to help you out while your in college to keep your account base.

jim dailey
11-05-2004, 03:12 PM
Jim I agree!

Guys I am the old man that has 5 children and have to do lawn work as a side to raise my children.
Enjoy the next few years. After you get that business degree you can still stay in the lawn/landscape business. It wasn't that hard to get those initial accounts, so think about how easy it will be after college.
You sound like a go-getter who isn't afraid of tackling a challenge. It's just my advise, cause as I'm sitting here, I'm recovering from severe back surgery. I don't know how many of my customers will be there next year. However, I do have a great 18 y/o son who is trying to pull up the slack for dad.
My point, be the boss with the business experience and degree to back it up.
Cause the older you get, the harder it gets!

Oh yea, keep a few of those gravy accounts to keep your skills sharp or hire someone now to help you out while your in college to keep your account base.

Dog245, I couldn't agree more. Your story sounds so familiar. I have 5 children, and then 6 grandchildren. I went into this on my own. I had retired from the government at age 39. That lasted for 3 months. I was bored to death. I went into the residential construction business. That lasted 18 months, then I got hurt severely. Came out of that after 3 1/2 years. There was my golden oppurtunity. A guy that I had grew-up with was getting out of the residential end of the lawn maintenance business and going into the commercial end of it. He gave me a list of 14 customers...I landed 13. I was on my way, with a p/u, 21 incher, weedwacker, 2 barrels and a rake. I was king of the hill !!! Now, 14 years later, I have 71 accounts: 68 residential and 3 commercial. I have an 18 year old nephew working for me full time, and another part time. I am "up to my eyeballs", and loving it. The only complaint I have is that I have no time to myself. BUT, I don't know as I would change it. I love everyone of the customers that I have. I couldn't ask for better ones, and I am certain they would say the same about me. I actually look forward to going out and working for these people each and everyday. But, then there are the problems:
I am 55 years old and have an artificial left ankle from my construction days. It gets sore real early and is heck to try and use first thing in the morning. I can always tell you 2 days ahead of time when it is going to rain or snow. It has put extra stress on my right leg, which tires even sooner.
I have to spend bad weather days away from work. I hate to work in the pouring rain. Drizzle is OK. I am ambitious and hate for wasted days.
I look around me and see those that I grew up with, who have college degrees, and I definitely see the difference. It has taken a few years for it to show up, but it is there. YES, they are members of the corporate world, and YES I have it "made in the shade" with my own business, BUT, I am always conscious of"the difference a degree makes".
IF I had it to do all over again, yes, I would have gone to college. I grew up in a time when the DRAFT was in effect. I didn't move fast enough, and GOT drafted. Off to combat, and then travels all over the world, in a green uniform. BUT, I enjoyed the most of it, got to see places that most other people will never experience and made friends from several different cultures. Now that I am older, I often wonder what it would be like to do a days work without all of the physical aspects...BUT...then...all of my peers always comliment me on my physical stature. Something that I have always been proud of. I would personally be very disapointed in myself if I had gone the route of the overweight desk-jockey. Sorry, didn't mean to offend anyone with that comment.
I hpe to cash in on my business in the next couple of years, but to always keep a hand into it. Plan on only calling in sick the night before I pass away. What a hoot that would be.

John B Laidlaw
11-12-2004, 11:38 AM
While the College of Hard Knocks is good for some, especially those that have the resilience to take disappointment, college is the way to go. You can be a very good technician in your vocation, but what you need to be is a business man that can wear many hats. Do you know marketing? Accounting? Law? Human Resource? College will teach you to, at least, have a working knowledge of these areas. Knowing how to read a balance sheet, Guerilla Marketing, contracting law, state and local regulations, employee relations, and on and on... Listen to the wise men here. You wouldn't go out to a job without the right tools, right? Knowledge is the best tool there is bar none! Good luck!

SodKing
01-04-2005, 10:29 PM
Im a senior in High School and love landscaping too, I have more work than I know what to do with, the town absolutely loves me. I plan on attending the Thompson School at University of New Hampshire. They have a great landscape management. After that I am going to UNH manchester for business. Don't start a business without an idea how. If you can get a good education, why not slow down for a few years than explode when your done college and make 10 times more than you would if you didnt have an education...just my thoughts

Though the Thompson school is fine, get a four year degree in Plant Biology from UNH (Durham), you also have to minor in Agribusiness managment or finance. Better that that I would suggest a BA in Business Management/finance from UNH Whittemore school of business and a BS in Plant Biology or a minor in landscape management from T-School and your horizons will be greatly expanded. Go to school, enjoy, study hard and you never know where your path will lead...

UNH '89 BS Plant Science
minor Agribusiness Finance

Jamesgateslandscaping
01-04-2005, 11:12 PM
I plan on doing the 2 years at thompson and transfer to UNH manchester for business, I dont want to run a business into the ground because I did not know what I was doing. I have a solid start now and don't want to mess it up, I will get a business background no matter what.
Thanks
James

Carolina Cutter
01-05-2005, 03:32 PM
I am going to sound like an adult. I am going to side with your parents. You have the rest of your life to work. You will only be this age, once, in your life. They are going to let you study what you want. What is better. Once you have that degree, no one can take it away. Get the degree in what you want to do, and what could be better. You will never be this age again. You will always kick yourself for not at least trying. Listen to your parents, they have been around the horn at least once. At least give them that much respect.


I kick my self sometimes............but I will say that everything that I know about running my business I have self taught......seemed as though I took an interest in reading and studying after school but thank God I did.

Markf
01-05-2005, 04:41 PM
Listen to the crowd that says get an education first. It is very difficult to go back to school at night when you are older. (Your tired, children and wife need your attention, repairs on the equipment and house, etc.) My own son, sgoalie23, is like you, same age, hard worker and good work ethic. He knows that he may not want to do this the rest of his life. He'll be attending Fairfield University, School of Business and get his degree. Luckily for him, he can commute to the school and keep his business growing. My suggestion is to double major. Get your main degree in the area of horticulture and perhaps a teaching certificate so that when you have built up your business and sell it (only if you get tired of it or, God forbid, get injured) you can teach at a public school and get benefits and summers off. I speak from experience. I have a mechanical engineering degree and a law degree. I made hip and knee implants and then help run the factory. I got tired of it all and now I teach math at a public school. This allows me to dabble with investment properties which I'll sell when I am ready to retire. Good Luck. :waving:

timturf
01-12-2005, 11:19 AM
get a turf or hort degree with a business minor or double major!

You need to experienct the college life, greatest time of my life!
The time consisted of some work, classes, studying, and enjoying life!

ff279
01-12-2005, 12:07 PM
Im just starting off with my business, NO Machinery, or Truck, Im 18 and starting with nothing. Work to me is FUN!!!! At least your parents are supporting your biz. MINE could care less and think it's a dumb idea.. Be happy and Do what YOU want todo. C-ya Around, Ryan

PTP
01-12-2005, 12:29 PM
College is good - no doubt about that. But is it the best? Well, that depends.

I have been to college - two years in trade school, one year in bible college, and have a commercial pilot's license with an associates degree. I can honestly say that I have learned more outside of college than I did in college.

What you really need is knowledge. You can get that from college, you can also get that from a book or online.

Do you want to become an investor? There are a lot of good books on that. Or you could go to a seminar.

Do you want to run your own business? Books on that too. Or better yet, find a successful business man and get him to mentor you.

Do you want to be an expert landscaper? Experience is a good teacher along with a good book or two.

There are some doors that are closed to you if you do not have a college degree though. If you want to work in the corporate world, get a degree. If you want to do something better, maybe there is something better than college.

timturf
01-12-2005, 01:25 PM
College is good - no doubt about that. But is it the best? Well, that depends.
I have been to college - two years in trade school, one year in bible college, and have a commercial pilot's license with an associates degree. I can honestly say that I have learned more outside of college than I did in college.

What you really need is knowledge. You can get that from college, you can also get that from a book or online. Do you want to become an investor? There are a lot of good books on that. Or you could go to a seminar.

Do you want to run your own business? Books on that too. Or better yet, find a successful business man and get him to mentor you.

Do you want to be an expert landscaper? Experience is a good teacher along with a good book or two.
There are some doors that are closed to you if you do not have a college degree though. If you want to work in the corporate world, get a degree. If you want to do something better, maybe there is something better than college.

I'll agree that alot can be learned from experience and books. In some fields, the college education you receive will help you decide how things work better for your application! I found in turf it gives you a very good scientific background, so you can determine how to apply your knowledge to each application!

When young adults would ask my advice on education in turfgrass field ( specifically for gc superintendent ) I would recomend a good two year turf program, then transfer and get 4 year degee with a business background!

A sucessful person, who is very knowledgeable in turf , usually has some formal education, but it isn't necessary!

GetSomeGOJO
01-20-2005, 10:26 PM
Here's a plan I think you'll like! (It's also my story)

Go to College. Look for a College where the grass is GREEN, the edges are manicured and the striping is PERFECT.

Apply for a job with the grounds department. Learn from classes (It'll make you a more rounded person durh!). Learn from the Grounds Staff. The fact is, most of the grounds staff will probably do a little side work anyhow... Once you've made some friends on the grounds staff, work for them on side jobs. Go to school! Make $$$ while at school for your own company expansion.

It's worked out really well for me!

J.

Eho
02-17-2005, 03:24 PM
Hey man, I m 19 and a Freshmen in college. I have a lawn care service, and I attend college, but I only take 12 hours. I go to class from 8- 9 50 on mon wed fri and from 8 9 20 on tue thur plus i take one online class. This way I am able to enjoy my business and school. It might take me a little longer to graduate, but I will still get a degreee and by the time I graduate, my business will be ready to take off.

Perfection Contractors
03-03-2005, 05:47 PM
It is stressful but it can be done. I am currently in my 3rd year of a business degree and have been operating a successful lawn care and landscaping compnay for 4 years and just expanded into a second crew. The extra education will allow you to grow your business at the right times and learn time management at the same time. A final note, I hate school but I know this is best for the company and myself in the long run.

topsites
03-22-2005, 03:08 AM
I am currently a junior in high school and trying to balance school and work. Usually school comes second. This spring i plan on having my truck an trailer. Over the last 2 years that i have been seriously into landscaping, i've started to get all the equipment i need. I have about 18 weekly accounts for mowing and want to expand that to about 30-35 next year. I can't get enough of the biz. I dream, live, and breath it. I also do landscape construction which is about 40%, and feel that I know what i'm doing (not braging just feel confident). I have set myself a very good reputation and want to keep growing. My parents on the other hand wold like me to go to college, and if i did it would be for landscape contracting. I've worked so hard for years to build where i am now and i'm staring to think college isn't right. Do i keep building and reach my goals, or stop work for 2-4 yrs. and start over. I really don't want to but how do i convince the parents that what i'm doing now is going to be successful. I have a game plan set up, my reputation, and a sh** load of work ethic. Working is fun to me, its all i want to do. Mommy and daddy havn't layed things out on a siliver plater for me. I've worked for it. throw your opinions out!!! i wanna hear them


You want to take risks, you say ...

Well I ain't the one telling you what to do, I never went to college but I did finish High-school and got my diploma and I think you should get that so THEN you can do your lawncare thing but later if you decide to go to college after all, you haven't stabbed yourself in the foot.

But no, college is not for me. Maybe it isn't for you, dunno ...

Finish high school, get that diploma. College can wait, but not without a diploma...

'tis the proper 'ting to do, sire.
Peace

northwest lawn
03-27-2005, 07:19 PM
it is possible to go to school full time and run ur biz. i am a freshman in college only 19 years old i go to school and mow 104 lawns when im not in school. the lawns include mulch, spring/fall cleanup, and 70 of them are fertilizer. i have a crew of four guys that work for me and my major is landscape and turfgrass management. it is possible. good luck

lawnandplow42
03-27-2005, 09:54 PM
I am currently a junior in high school and trying to balance school and work. Usually school comes second. This spring i plan on having my truck an trailer. Over the last 2 years that i have been seriously into landscaping, i've started to get all the equipment i need. I have about 18 weekly accounts for mowing and want to expand that to about 30-35 next year. I can't get enough of the biz. I dream, live, and breath it. I also do landscape construction which is about 40%, and feel that I know what i'm doing (not braging just feel confident). I have set myself a very good reputation and want to keep growing. My parents on the other hand wold like me to go to college, and if i did it would be for landscape contracting. I've worked so hard for years to build where i am now and i'm staring to think college isn't right. Do i keep building and reach my goals, or stop work for 2-4 yrs. and start over. I really don't want to but how do i convince the parents that what i'm doing now is going to be successful. I have a game plan set up, my reputation, and a sh** load of work ethic. Working is fun to me, its all i want to do. Mommy and daddy havn't layed things out on a siliver plater for me. I've worked for it. throw your opinions out!!! i wanna hear them

48" encore wb
33" troybilt wb
2 5hp push blowers
2 straigh shaft echo SRM-210 trimmers
5hp chipper
22" hedge trimmers
backpack blower
earthway drop and broadcast spreaders
22" dethatcher
3hp edger
10" brick saw
one dad that lost his garage

man this one hit home with me. I'm in the same position. Only difference is I made up my mind. No college. I'll probably graduate high school, and into business I'll go. School isn't for everyone, especiallly me. You are better off saving your money on equipment or something. I'll be honest, what are you going to gain from college. You'll go off spend some money, come back and be in the same spot you were in when you left. As far as what your parents think, this is your life, make your decisions. Despite what others say, i think you can be very successful in this industry without a great education. My boss dropped out of high school and is one of the most popular and successful landscapers in the area. NOW EXPLAIN THAT. lol
I'd graduate high school, and just keep working. You'll do fine. :waving:

school can kiss my white, lawn mowing a**
lol