View Full Version : I need a little pep talk

Carolina Cutter
01-03-2005, 12:14 AM
Ok here's the story.

I currently work for the fd. Am afraid I am getting burned out. (15 years) of service but still 20 or so years before retirement. Have a really hard time enjoying work anymore when I feel as though I am just "scraping by".

Have owned and operated a lawncare business for the past 6 years. I love to do this. The challenges though lately seem overwhelming.

Have had training for a real estate career but have not actually worked in the field. Enjoy the challenge of the material and what it would envolve. Am thinking about getting my license but I hate to give up the freedom now I have of the time off and the ability to have a business.

BUT, I really enjoy being the one who makes the decisions and determines rather I make it or not. Nobody to answer to. Working on my terms. I am like a little kid when looking at new equipment and daily I seek new information on better ways to run the business and more efficient operation. What I am saying is that I REALLY would love to grow the business and make that my career. Don't get me wrong.....my business has been successful but not to the point that I could leave my job (just over broke).

My better half/girlfriend/maybe future wife wants me to be happy and she has been there thru the fd with me and thinks that I have the potential to do other things.

I guess I just want to know when my ship is coming in.

I apologize....I know I am rambling....maybe its the no work winter blues....but I just need a little kick in the rear. SO....if you have got great big boots......GET TO KICKIN!

Thanks guys for letting me vent even if it didn't make much sense.


01-03-2005, 02:28 AM
I feel you Merlin. I often think about what else I could or should be doing. I suppose a lot of that is mid-life crisis stuff. Guys generally start to wonder about whether they are heading in the right direction around middle age and wonder if it's not time to change course before it's too late.

But the other part of it is just realizing the obvious. At some point, it eventually becomes obvious that maybe you are not going to accomplish your goals with the current "vehicle". Then, you have to decide whether to adjust your goals or whether to maybe try another vehicle.

Finally, I don't know what your pursuasion is regarding religion. But I believe that our hopes and dreams are only going to be realized to a certain degree. It's really God who is in control. No matter what our plans may be, it is His will that is going to be done, in the end.

"Many are the plans in a man's heart. But it is the Lord's purpose that prevails" - Proverbs 19:21

"We may make our plans, but God has the last word." - Proverbs 16:1

"We should make plans - counting on God to direct us." - Proverbs 16:9

I am afraid there isn't any good answer. If you are praying man, I suggest praying about it and watch for answers and opportunities. If not, I guess just do what you feel is best. It may well be that you were made to be a Real Estate agent. And that may be the thing that you turn out to be most successful and fulfilled at. But I don't know that any of us will be able to predict that.

Best wished to you.

01-03-2005, 08:07 AM
if u look cute in a skirt sell real estate
do what makes u happy

01-03-2005, 09:28 AM
I second what Jim said,

acknowledge Him (Jesus Christ) and He shall direct thy paths - Proverbs 3:6

01-03-2005, 12:37 PM
i second dusty....you will be always running around if you are a realtor. no weekends, no anniversaries, no holidays, no vacations....horrible. you will get up really early and show houses at 10-11pm at night. you can make good money, but there are a lot of fees that they pay like their desk, their phone, their business cards, everything. read a book on how to become a realtor first.

If you love the LCO business so much, you should go ahead and think of ways to grow so that you can afford to quit your FD job. maybe gettting another 25-40 clients will do the trick???

i think it's mostly winter blues. sorry for not having "the answer".

LawnScapers of Dayton
01-03-2005, 12:55 PM
OK I think I can put I little different spin on this. I too am a full-time firefighter. I went to college and got a degree to work in computers.....in 1998 after 7 years in that field....I could no longer hack it......I quit, got a part-time FD job, and started my LCO. I was very lucky to get my Full-time FD positon within 3 months...... This is my dream job. But I love my LC work also.... I can tell you from experience that you have to like/love what you do or you will be miserable at work, at home, etc....I hated my life when I was working in computers....it was very bad for my marriage also....

Bottom line....no matter what you do you have to enjoy it. If you don't; make things so you can make a change. Please don't take offense, I work with guys at the FD that hate coming to work. I hate working with them. Negativity is a poison that can, over time destroy even the most positive of people. Attitude is very important, chose to be positive whatever it is you do. But don't waste your life being bitter and grumpy with work if you are not willing to take the risk and make a change.

It can be a tough decision....but statistic say most people make at least 1-2 career changes in a life time.

I was lucky I had a very supportive wife, the financial means to make the change and as Jim said ....the guidance of God to see me through. He had it all planned out for me anyway......all I had to do was have faith.


01-03-2005, 01:42 PM
It's good to see you have a supportive lady by your side. I say follow your heart and do what makes you happy.

01-03-2005, 03:15 PM
This is my first post. :waving: Im new to the lawncare business and Im also a paid firefighter. They(FD) will have to take me out in a wooden box...lol....im never leaving!

Merlin, it sure sounds like you are burned out. What you need is a little time away from the FD....a vacation would do you some good, brother!

Think this through before you even consider leaving the FD. You have 15 years in the FD....do you want to leave the benefits and retirement behind?

You have the best of both worlds now(FD and lawncare). Why change it!

Ray & Karen
01-03-2005, 03:25 PM
They say:

"If you love what your doing for a living, you will never work a day in your life".

Lux Lawn
01-03-2005, 05:21 PM
I know how you feel I left a city job to start my own business,I was at the city for 14 years with 16 to go and retire at 49 with full benefits but I could not last another day.My wife (girlfriend at the time) knew I had to leave.I first year was not real easy but I made it and looking back now I only have one regret and that was not leaving 10 years earlier because I hated that job from day 1.Sometimes you just get sucked into these little ruts and before you know it you have been there another year and then another then you get more money before you know it another year is gone well at least thats what happened to me.I had one of the easiest jobs and was one of the highest paid when I left my job and the guys could not believe I was really leaving but it made me happy so if you think leaving for something else will make you happy then go for it.

01-03-2005, 05:57 PM
The easy answer-- do what makes you happy.

The hard answer-- figure out what makes you happy.

Jim comes as close to the right answer as you can get, when he tells you to trust in God and ask him for guidance.
Good Luck with the move and look at all the options.

01-03-2005, 06:21 PM
OK I think I can put I little different spin on this. I too am a full-time firefighter. I went to college and got a degree to work in computers.....in 1998 after 7 years in that field....I could no longer hack it.....

Oh my gosh, i'm still laughing at that one....:laugh:

K c m
01-03-2005, 06:47 PM
They say:

"If you love what your doing for a living, you will never work a day in your life".

:) :) :) excellent!

plateau lawn care
01-03-2005, 08:29 PM
:angel: amen try praying about something or someone every hour and tell god any problems he wants to hear them. Dont quit the fd.

01-03-2005, 09:21 PM
I would like to add that I am not a Firefighter and more than likely could not hack it. That job has got to be one of the hardest and most dangerous things a person could do. If it helps you at all to make up your mind I have a lot of respect for you and you brothers and there are allways people who will need you. Thanks for your efforts and again good luck.

01-03-2005, 09:52 PM
What you need to do is get a transfer to another shift. I'm a paid firefighter of 24 years and still have 5 more to do. I have hated it at times and wanted to quit and have loved it so much I wouldn't have done anything else. It all depends on who you work with. I am a platoon training officer (one step above a station captain) and I am always at odds with the Chief. If it wern't for him I would probably never retire, I'm ready to go now but I can't. We work a 24 on 48 off so I can mow 3 days one week and 4 the next and never work on a Sat. or Sun. Please consider your benefits. If you do quit you'll make someone happy. We usually have about 55 applicants for each job that is available. You wouldn't fold a straight flush would you? In the end it will all come down to what Jim Lewis told you. The LORD is the one that makes the decisions. Prayer will help make this decision for you.

Carolina Cutter
01-03-2005, 10:21 PM
Thanks guys all the replies have been great. Sometimes you just need a kick in the rear...you know?

Let me make it clear....maybe I didn't in the first post. I was trying to say that I was looking at all the options available. Not that leaving was the definite answer.

I am a God believing man and I agree with the things you have said about that but I guess you could say that sometimes I get impatient waiting for the answer.....LOL.

Well.......here's the latest update. My better half and I have discusseed the situation and here's the conclusion as it stands today.

She is currently an office manager for a State Farm office here locally. She has done rather well in the short 4 years of that career. She has decided that office manager IS NOT good enough and wants her own office. Unfortunately.....State Farm requires a 4 year degree and she has done what most of us do when we were young and went to school for awhile but then left. But, she is going back to school to get the degree she needs and I know she will have her own office in about 2 1/2 years. For those of you who don't know it.....State Farm Agents do make quite a nice living.....LOL.

So here's the plan we have come up with.....
I am going to stay at the fd and work at it. I am also going to go FULL BORE with the LCB for the time that she is in school. We have agreed that it is a money maker and that when she begins to make the "good money" that we will expand the LCB a grow it and if need be I can move into that full-time. That after all seems to be what drives me.....I love operating the LCB and want to get where I can play with the big boys!

Another side note.....maybe its an answered prayer. I currently have a Ford Ranger of which I use in my business. I pul a 6 x 12 trailer with it. It has worked ok for the past 2 years that I have been using it but I knew that I needed to step up to a larger truck for any future expansion possibilities. Today...on a whim......stopped and looked at a couple of trucks. Found an 03 F-150 with 1300 miles on it....beautiful truck, for the price of about 17 grand. This is the XLT model. If you know what new ones sell for you will know that that is a good deal. Found what I believe to be the best salesperson I have ever dealt with (no pressure) and we are going to work on the deal. He has already told me in confidence that if I haggle hard enough I can prob get it for 15. Maybe its an answer to a prayer....maybe its another debt but hey......maybe the Lord is telling me that the decisions we have made together are the right ones and that is a reward.

Anyway.....thanks for all your comments and I hope to be able to help you one day! :blush:

01-03-2005, 10:54 PM
I just went back to work today after 10 days off. Last night I couldnt sleep for the muscles in my shoulders and neck tightening at the thought of going back. I burned out too. I decided today that I will leave this job in April and cut lawns full time. If im going to be broke, at least Im going to be happy. I have also been licensed as a realtor this year and plan to persue real estate as well. I will see at the end of 2005 which career has more promise. I turned 40 this year and it has me asking a lot of questions.

As for you, I thought most firemen could retire with 20 years of service. Perhaps at reduced pension and with some medical benefits? If you can I recommend the following.

1 Some vacation time some where far away and warm.

2 Look into retirement w/ 20 years of service.

3 Look into building the business enough to leave the FD.

As for me, I hope the Real Estate pans out. As someone said, I do have the legs for it. ( all those years with a walk behind mower). :)

01-04-2005, 07:28 AM
Newbomb- I see that you have a Real Estate lic.. look at all the options of how to use that. When I was selling full time I sat at many closings across the table from many prople who had a lot more than me and walked away with even more. That was when I realized that being an agent was ok money but investing was even better. I still have a lic. but I use it for research for my investments. My life is far better!
Real Estate is a lot like lawn cutting, People think that it is easy and that they will get very rich overnight. It is still a business that takes time to build and learn. For every agent that has made it work there are 9 that are still dreaming.
My concern for you is that you plan to "try " 2 areas that need full time+ to make work. Maybe pick one and put you heart and soul into it. From you words it sounds like you might be leaning to Real Estate. As cutting grass is slow now, work hard at R E and see if by April you dont even need to cut grass. Better yet buy investment properties and have your crews cut the grass at them while you sit on the beach. Sorry dreaming to far ahead.
Good luck