Look this is a great thread, but to many people are getting led a astray.
many of this these posts probably reflect many peoples views.
BUT if this is your view that business education and a business plan are not important then it shows how little respect is given to actual business knowledge. The goals are a small part of a business plan, BUT FINANCIAL'S are a massive part of the plan. There are many, many, many aspects to business plan. Another thread was all about someone's was to wordy. In reality it was incomplete and far to short.
Some people are into this business to survive and get by. Others want to make a living. The real serious, the ones that actually want to build something and remove a lot of their risk are the ones who take time and create a comprehensive plan. They might even be the ones who read more than just one business book.
You want to succeed, sure go ahead work your butt off. Stay solo keep it small, and when you break a leg hope you have a plan and a ton in the bank. Maybe some of you do, Congratulations. I mean it.
Take some time. Learn all you can. Grow as slow or as fast as you can, but make sure you are working smart. Within your means. Man yea I might be a bit rough here, but the greatest business minds in the world would be laughing all the way to the bank with some of the stuff being said.
I for one did not enter this business cuzz I could cut grass, any idiot can do that. I like what I can learn from this site, but it is not my only source. I do get tired of people acting like business sense doesn't provide much in lawn care.
Sorry about the rant. I'm not out to offend anyone, but even the OP admits it was bad business decisions that ruined it for him. I'll say his new found success has less to do with the business he is in than the education in business he received from his bad experience.
So case in point you can learn the hard way from experiencing it yourself or the hard way classes, books, research, etc. One will cost you much more and can be a lot more painful.
Sure you'll always make some mistakes (like me offending people on this site), just learn from them.
I just don't want my back and and knees to go out before I have a chance to retire and enjoy life.