I get told once in a while that $35 or $40 an hour is way too low to sell my services. By some of you guys, I mean, not by anyone here in Arkansas, especially God forbid, by any of my customers. I agree 100%--It is too low, considering the investment and the risks of being in an independent business, not to mention the seasonal aspect. But if I (and others here in my area) want to stay busy, I don't dare quote prices that are going to gross me much more than $40 an hour. Another thing I get told sometimes, "Don't drop the trailer ramp for less than $35." And I try not to, but I figure if I have 2 dinky, dinky $18 lawns side-by-side, (dropping the ramp just once, you see) that is better than quoting each of the customers $35 and getting no work. (20 to 25 minute lawns) So I got a note in the mail today with the check from this customer with a dinky, dinky $18 lawn. "Mike, I will not be needing you to do my lawn next year as I have found someone else. Don't get me wrong, as I really like your work and I appreciate all you have done. But I have found someone who will also do my flower beds." Now let me explain about the flower beds. She asked me about it and I told her I would have a friend of mine call her as his teenage daughter was interested in doing that kind of work. So they talked and he went by to look at the job a couple of days later. But when he got there he saw that the flower beds had already been weeded, the weeds thrown out on the lawn (for me to pick up with the mower, of course). So he called the customer to ask "What's the deal? Why did you have me drive over there if you already had somebody do the job?" And the lady tells him, "well I decided to do it myself but my back gave out so some of it around back isn't done and I still need your daughter." So the guy takes his daughter over there and talks to the lady, and she says "Is $10 an hour ok?" and the guy says well I guess, and leaves his daughter and she finishes the job in about an hour and 10 minutes and goes to the lady, who says "It was an hour wasn't it? Here's your $10." And daughter calls dad and he comes to pick her up. So when he tells me about it, I say, "Now look, you had to make 3 trips, and your daughter works an hour and 10 minutes--for a lousy ten bucks? Do you think that's very smart?" And he agrees with me that if the lady ever calls again he will tell her that there will have to be a $25 minimum... and she does eventually call, and dad tells her that, and the lady says, "Oh. Well let me think about it." and never calls him back. So now it appears like the lady has found someone who will mow her lawn for less than $18 and weed her flower beds for $10 an hour or less. And this is a new up-scale neighborhood. No poor people live in this neighborhood. The lady doesn't work, evidently the recipient of some good alimony or a property settlement of some sort. Unfortunately, this is what we in NW Arkansas have to deal with often enough, that we simply won't have enough work to support ourselves if our prices start to go up. And of course, if some of you have seen that I am getting out of the lawn business, here is a major reason.