So I've told this story a few times over the years here on Lawnsite. But it's been a long while since I told it. I was sharing the story with someone here in a PM and I figured maybe it was about time to share it again. The membership here has mostly changed over the past 5 years so I would bet most Lawnsite members here haven't ever seen this story before. I'm hoping maybe it will inspire some of the smaller companies just starting out. I started my company 16 years ago. I was totally broke. And had been for years. Always living paycheck to paycheck - like many Americans. I started with about $1000.00 available on one credit card. With that, I purchased a used $50 MTD 21" mower with a B&S engine, a stick edger, some big black garbage bags (to throw grass clippings into) an ad in the paper, and a $50 old rusty truck bed trailer that I got off a farm out in the country. The main color of the trailer was rust. But you could still see some of the original yellow and brown. It was a beauty, let me tell you! The only vehicle I owned was my baby - a 1980 metallic blue Camaro. I installed a towing package on the back of this Camaro and pulled that ugly trailer around with my crappy equipment. And that was my set up. I didn't even have a blower. I just used the broom from our apartment to sweep off people's sidewalks and driveways when I was finished mowing. So here I was driving this "classic" Camaro down the road towing this ugly trailer. Because the camaro sat so low, the butt end of the trailer sat really high up in the air. I didn't know that they made receivers that went up and could adjust the height of your ball. So I just had a straight receiver and ball and the trailer always sat at this funky angle. To add insult to injury, the trailer squeaked really loud! With every rotation of the axle you'd hear this really loud "squeek...squeek....squeek" as I drove down the road next to you. I would give anything for a photo of that setup. But I don't have any. I created a mock up of what my set-up looked like on Photoshop. (see photo below). I drove around in this set up for pretty much the entire first year in my business. In the winter, I was finally able to save up enough scratch to sell the Camaro and buy my first pickup. But one thing I remember vividly was coming to stop lights in the summer and another LCO or landscaper from one of the big companies in town was parked next to me at the light. You all know the drill....you see another landscaper.....look over at his setup... nod your head and maybe waive a little - just out of respect. Well, that's not what would happen to me. I got laughed at. Badly. I remember this one time I stopped at a light and these two Hispanic guys were in a big Isuzu truck or something. Really nice huge bug truck. Really nice trailer. all nice equipment. They worked for the biggest company in our town. And the driver didn't notice me at first. But then after 10 seconds he just sort of glanced over at me and then glanced back at the set-up I was towing behind me. Right then he instantly started belly-laughing. He poked the passenger as to say, "Ha! Check this fool out!" And then they were both just cackling laughing at me and my set up. I just sort of smiled. It was pretty horrid looking, I knew that. I agreed with them. It was pathetic and it was funny. It didn't really offend me too much. I knew where I was but I also knew I didn't really have any other options - yet. But I had a dream. I said to myself, "That's right. Laugh it up guys. But you just wait. One day, I'm going to own one of the biggest lawn care and landscape operations in town and you're still going to be working for someone like me, making $10 an hour. Just give me a few years and we'll see if you're still laughing." Fast forward 16 years later. In many ways I've realized that dream. We're not the biggest gig in town. But we're one of just a handful of pretty good sized companies. We have 28 employees now and will have about 35 by the middle of this summer. We currently have 14 trucks on the road any given day and more coming this year. We have two nice big shops (one open, one enclosed). We did a little over $2Mil in sales last year, which ain't bad for a guy who started with literally nothing. Below is a photo of our open shop. This is just 5 out of 14 trucks we have in this photo. I haven't been able to really get a good photo of all our fleet yet. But we've come a long way from the young 24 year old kid who was riding around in a Camaro pulling a crappy trailer with crappy equipment. Point is; if you have a dream and work hard enough you can get there. Your dream may not be to have a big company like mine was. But whatever it is, hold on to that dream! Don't give up, even when it looks like giving up is the only option. You can accomplish your dream. It's just a matter of will. I hope this helps inspire a few people. .