I find this thread intriguing. It is how I have felt for years towards the industry in general. This industry is made of mostly landscapers and not business owners/professionals which is why I think we have such a bad name.
I think we all agree there are 2 types, The landscaper who does this as a job that gives them flexibility and allows themselves to play with so cool toys for a living. The other being a professional (aka business owner). I think I disagree with most on here though. I do think there is a problem with just being a landscaper.
Sean has used the analogy of knowing your numbers vs drooling over your equipment. I would take it a step further.
A few years ago I was in a pesticide license class. For a day and a half we were being taught by some of the best and brightest in the country. For a day and a half, 80% of the people were unengaged, half asleep and distracted. Then the last 1/2 of the second day we got to go out a play with equipment. The same people who just spend the last day and a 1/2 sleeping through one of the best crash course educations on the industry all of a sudden woke up and were tripping over each other to drool over the latest and hottest equipment. Are these guys who now have licenses (assuming they passed the test) going to go out into the real world and provide the best care possible for their customers, are they going to succeed in the end and provide well for their families?
Although everyone has different passions and drive levels, this industry, us and our customers are much better served if we have a passion for the business of landscaping and not the toys. Sean's analogy on numbers is far more reaching then knowing your numbers, its knowing the industry, its knowing how to plant a tree RIGHT or mulch the CORRECT way or putting down the right chemicals. Our industry has a bad name and we should get our pride from leaning and providing good service not get our pride from the hp of our new mower.
In short, is they guy who does this full time but does not run his company in an educated and responsible manor any better then the guy doing this on the side for beer money?