View Single Post
Old 09-02-2007, 03:10 PM
leardriver's Avatar
leardriver leardriver is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 22
Leaving the rat race.

Well guys, I've finally decided I need to get out of the rat race. Next year I'm going back into the lawn/landscape business. Having been an employee for most of my working life makes me envy the guys who run successful companies. Time for me to do the same!

I graduated from the University of Georgia in 91 with a degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. Just a fancy name for a Human Resources Guy. I always wanted to learn to fly, so I sold my jeep and used the money to get my private pilot certificate. Long story short, I got all of my ratings and commercial certificate and became a flight instructor from 93-96 making about $12,000 a year and waiting tables on the side to make ends meet. In 96 I flew cargo in a DC-3 and in 97 got a job as a copilot flying learjets for a charter company making a whopping $20,000 a year. In 98 I upgraded to a captain and made between $50,000-$70,000 until I left in June of 2001 for my present job. Started as a first officer (copilot) for ASA/Delta Connection making $19,000 and upgraded to captain in 2006. My current pay is about $63,000.

Many of you are probably asking why I am listing pay. Well, it just goes to show you that not all airline pilots make $200,000 a year and it's a long road. Mostly because the system is based on experience and seniority. Granted 9/11 played a large role in my progression from first officer to captain at my current job, poor management is the real culprit. Don't get me wrong, I love flying airplanes, but I'm tired of being a number in a mismanaged corporation.

I mowed lawns as a kid and worked on a maintenance crew during the summers while in college. In 2004 I did some pressure washing on the side and in 2005 I started Silverleaf Lawn & Landscape, LLC and built it up to about 30 accounts running a Quick 36 and eventually a 52" Hustler Super Mini Z. In 2006 I had my Redmax 7001 blower and stick edger stolen. I decided not to replace them because I was about to go to class to upgrade to captain and lose my senior schedule as a first officer. So I sold most of my accounts.

Well, now it's 2007 and I'm itching to get back into business in 2008. My flying schedule should be conducive to running a side business, but eventually I am willing to take a leave of absence from my
job to build up the business and one day leave my job.

It took me a long time to figure it out, but I'm an entrepreneur at heart and really enjoy running my own business.

Sorry for the long post, but that's my crazy story!
Reply With Quote
Page generated in 0.04417 seconds with 8 queries