Get a "real job" or stay with lawncare....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Rose, Aug 4, 2006.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Note that "real job" is in quotes, as it's used as a derogatory term (in that mowing is NOT a real job) towards me by my MOM. (i'm 27 btw.) Yes money is tight, this season is NOT panning out all that well with so many added expences plus gas being so high. My answer for some relief is to SELL my personal truck (which is not going well) and just cut back all the way around. Cut the cable TV bill in half as well as the cell phone bill. I'm trying, I just don't want to loose my freedom of being self employed here...

    My parents are trying to "help" me out, got me an application for the place my step dad works. Pay is good, for around here, but it's shift work... Meaning 12 hour shifts, alternating between days and nights with a day or two off inbetween 2 and 3 day shifts. Also it's production work, standing and running a machine with a crew of 3 or 4 people. I sent in my app. and had an interview this morning bright and early. (this job is about 35 minutes commute too).

    I would have to basically totally QUIT the mowing business short of keeping 15 or so lawns, but due to the irridiac schedule I'd be on they would never be able to be cut on the same day each week. Sure, great, no more worries about finding customers and keeping up with the weather and so on, but wow. After my interview today I'm actually hoping I don't get the job! I really can't stand the thought of trying to sell out my business, I'd certianly need someone that could take care of my customers as they are accustomed... Then what the heck would I do if in 2 or 6 months or even 2 years if I get laid off!? I HAD a good lawn business but I'd have to start over with nothing, and in this town that's nearly impossible at this point!

    I like the idea of a steady paycheck with health ins. and other benifits, no worries about taxes getting paid quarterly, no worries about having enough to make it thru the winter... But at what cost?? Punching a timeclock, being a number, working for "the man", being stuck in a 16 acre building for 12 hours at a time, doing something for those 12 hours every day that I can't excape from, the loss of the ablility to say NO to work I don't care to do...

    So far the pros of a "real job" aren't really winning me over here.... I'm kinda liking the idea of maybe cutting way back and just living POOR, lol.

    I know this thread dosn't leave much room for opinion, but of you have one, feel free to leave me one! This last week I was just thinking "F*** mowing!" in my head but now my tune has quickly changed again...
     
  2. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    That's my situation. I work 12 night shifts 5 days one week and 2 the next. I just make it work and miss a little sleep on the long weeks. I hate time work but the benifits such as insurance are hard to pass up. It's a good combinations in my case. I can mow a few lawns even on work days because me shift doesn't start till 7 pm.
     
  3. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,762

    I've seen similar threads on here lately, but this is the first one I've had time to reply to. You are still young, but remember, you won't always be. Just ask your Dad. :)

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with the lawncare industry as full time employment. However, I truly think that the one has to look at things with the future in mind. Being totally self-employed, I feel, requires more discipline than being employed by someone else, because you must provide your own health care, retirement, etc. It is very easy, especially when you are young, to keep putting savings off until tomorrow. First thing you know, tomorrow is 30 years of yesterdays, and if you haven't planned exceedingly well, you will find yourself facing the prospect of a rather bleak retirement, or working until you drop.

    I spent several years totally self-employed, just not in the lawncare industry, and kick myself now for "wasting" those years. I could have been retired from both my current job, or one other that I held prior to owning a business. I still will be eligible for retirement in less than 2years, but with 25 years of service instead of 30, which translates to about $6,000 less a year in pension benefits, hence my reason for starting my mowing business. I could probably squeeze by on the income, but insurance for retirees has quadrupled in cost the last 3 years or so.

    In other words, I'm not telling you to take this particular job, if it is offered to you, but if you are struggling with your business, at 27, stop for a moment and think how it would be to be 57 and struggling? Just something to think about. Best of luck to you, whatever your decision.
     
  4. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,327

    Take the manufacturing job and get as much education as you can. You can always come back to the lawn business. Find something in the AC when you start your business, like a sub shop. Maybe you could get your parents to help with upfront money.
     
  5. JohnsonLawn

    JohnsonLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 400

    It seems like there have been alot of people talking about throwing in the towel around here lately. Lets think this over folks, I use to work a 10-12 hr. a day job that paid well, but it kept me indoors and was boring as heck. I was going absolutely nowhere working for someone else. I also, have times when I struggle making ends meet and the money is tight, but every time I think of throwing in the towel, I think of the job I use to have and how miserable I was knowing that my hard work was making someone else rich. I realize how fortunate I am to be in this business and making a go of it. My advice to you would be do what you have to do to make it. If it means taking a part time job at night to make extra money, then do it, but from the way you are talking, quiting is not something you really want to do. Don't quit a job that you love only to take a job that you are going to hate. I mean if you absolutely have to then good luck, but I would go down swinging. Best of luck with what ever you decide. Mike
     
  6. walker/redmax

    walker/redmax LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    Heres what to do. "Mom and Dad, I appreciate that you think I'm in trouble and need help. But you can take that job offer and your 'get a real' job bull zhiY and shove it. Thanks though." I really think that you would regret giving up your mowing business if you are anything at all like me.
     
  7. CutInEdge Lawn Care

    CutInEdge Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 677

    Part of running a real biz is knowing when to scale back and still run efficient. Only you know what shape you are in financially. Some ppl can work independantly and others need a clock to punch. Others just do it to provide security for their family. And then some dont have a choice. Do you have a 5 yr plan? An accountant that will give sound advice? We all love toys, you just need to know when to sell and buy. Good Luck!!!
     
  8. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Thanks for all the sincere opinions so far!

    Mom called tonight to see how my interview went, lol. I left out the part about not really wanting to be a slave for some corperation... I did hear there is roughly 60 people that are all referalls from others that work in the company all after the same 6 jobs!

    The nail was hit for sure. I ENJOY working alone! Yeah its nice to find help with big or time consuming jobs, if nothing else I have someone to talk too other than myslef, lol. I like to make my own start and stop times and if I wake up and feel like crap I can sit and take a bit to get to feeling better, if I was punching a clock I'd just have to puke and punch.

    I understand the experience part of working in a production facility, but I have done it before, but on a more part time (winters) and flexible basis for a local commercial greenhouse. No 12 hour days and nights there! I go nutso if I have to be at one place or doing the same thing for very long, that's why lawn care works so well, If I don't like where I'm at, well in a short time I'm at another location!

    I think scaling back is in order... I have just went way overboard with new equipment, plus the need for the newer truck this year... I have a whole shed full of equipment, enough to run another truck and trailer and do another 75 lawns a week! Heck, I even have the extra truck AND trailer! Back-ups are great to have when something goes down, but it's not worth loosing the farm just to have some stuff sitting collecting cobwebs.
     
  9. Palmer'sLS

    Palmer'sLS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 535



    thanks mike, great post..i am now workin a pt night job at the local grocery store...yes i hate it.BUT....its helpin me to make my lco biz very successful...right now, i need it...but one day...i know that i can tellt hem to kiss my big white a@@, becuz i was smart enough to use their hourly pay to my advantage...to the original poster...do what whatever you thinkis best for you at the time...just think long and hard...its what i did
     
  10. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 640


    i agree with opinion but also judging by the tone of the original post it is very hard for someone to give advice on this.i talk to many people who are self employed and they all say there is boom and bust periods and many variables to come to terms with.but i here you about working for the man.it sounds to me you just have sit down and try and trim some fat off your business .this is something all businesses have to do.but i guess there comes a time where we have to let go.that doesnt mean you have to close the door on it permanately .good luck jason:waving:
     

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