How hard can it be?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by haynes, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. haynes

    haynes LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    Need some advice please. I'm 38 yrs old and a janitor at a local public school. I'v been working there for the past 6 yrs. I'v been married sense 99. I have no kids. My wife makes good money. I make o.k. money. I'v worked in a factory for 10 yrs before I got married. In between jobs, I worked for Trugreen for one summer. My job I have now makes me sick! I'm treated with no dignity.(public schools are a big SCAM) The catch is the retirement. I have the same as Teachers.

    When I worked at Trugreen I really loved doing the job.I hated working for the company I thought they treated their customers like dirt! I Didn't make any money becouse I didn't want to "play ball" but ever sense then I wanted to start my own lawn care business.

    Qustion is this, Do any of you have any regrets leaving a good job? and how hard is it to start part time while working a full time job?

    Thanks Greg
  2. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    A job as a janitor at a public school? Yeah, you can word it like that.... Or, you can word it like this....A building engineer that gets full benefits, weekends and holidays off (paid holidays, yet), KNOWS his schedule, and knows that he is going to get a paycheck for a set amount on every payday. Now,...after that? Yes,...there is a great retirement. Oh,...let's not forget paid vacation and probably paid sickdays, as well. THAT is a secure thing! The school, unlike retail, small factories, and even major auto manufacturers is NOT going to close down or go out of business. THAT is security. You medical benefits will continue on looong after you're retired, so you will be all set in that area, too. You can't hardly put a price on that.
    Now, will never become a millionaire or even rich working for the school....but you WILL be taken care of healthwise, and get a decent pension. If you break off and work for yourself, you have have to go balls to the wall for a LONG time to accomplish even anything like this. It takes ALOT of saving, and planning and putting away to accomplish what you ae already getting. My advice? Keep what you are doing, and do some on the side. What you're doing IS very taxing and could easily reach a burn out, but how long do you think you would have to go before you worked up to the maintenance crew for the district? (outside stuff). Does your district have a crew like that?
  3. bigw

    bigw LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,540

    Wow great advice,even though i just left a job "that i couldnt stand anymore" to jump into this world,i am left with no choice but to go balls to the walls...i am determined not to have to look back and say what did i do?
  4. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    This is excellent advice from Runner ... if possible, try to get on with the grounds maintenance dept. for the school system, that way you can keep all the security and benefits of the school system and still do what you like to do !!
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    Hi Greg:

    you like most of us want more, Respect, freedom, and controll,
    I guess that's what drove me here too.
    Like you I worked for the School system. Got out after about 3 yrs of it.
    and your right the only thing there is retirement. however that's NOT great.

    It's a Big step to leave the confort and stability of a Job like that, and a bit scary.
    However your in a better position that I was when I did it.
    Being the Janitor you have a ton of resorces. that you may NOT realize.

    while working for the school, start advertiseing and getting some accounts, use the school equiptment, copy machines, and such.
    I'm sure working there you have made some friends, talk to them and try to get them as a Customer. teachers and such. Maybe even send home flyers with Children,
    with premission of corse. and just see how it goes. the next thing you know you'll have to quit your job.

    Good luck and keep us posted
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    My take on retirement is you work for the same person for 50-100 years and then one day after all that BS you put up with for many many years you know you get to reap that big reward and at whatever age it comes around you will be set for the rest of your life, right?

    At least such is the concept.

    But time and time again what do I see?

    Now maybe it's different with the government, certainly the Armed Forces seem to be ok on retirement, but from corporations what almost always happens is sometime in the home stretch, somewhere in those last 2-3 or 4-5 years you get laid off / bought out, they pay you one lump sum that is but a percent of what you thought you were getting and that is that, your only choice in the matter is to be fired / laid off without compensation, so take it or leave it.

    I have seen that happen so many times and to so many people, most folks I know personally, with some I could kind of see it but even that was wrong, and the rest were in between but even the few of whom I thought they would make it for sure they did that exact crap to.

    Then they are 60-70 years old and are literally too old to start on something else, most do some part time stuff for a while, others make serious budget cuts and retire, whatever, but it sure ain't the road of red roses they had in mind before.

    So my take on it is if you are not happy with your employment then you should find something that makes you so, it just ain't worth the money, what little of it you do get, I think the school wouldn't boink you but at the same rate with job dissatisfaction you just never know, one day you reach your tolerance limit and go off on some snot nosed kids then there went your retirement.

    I should warn you, there's disrespect in this field too, I get that 'come here little lawn boy' nonsense all the time.
    The one difference is in my business I can (and do) walk away from folks like that, I turn around so fast it leaves a look of bewilderment and astonishment and confusion on their face, like "WHAT, no WAY!" yes sir yes way see ya!
    But get it we do, all the time, little lawn boy crap.

    Then there's not that much money in what I do, but I'm ok with that, the lack of certain amounts of bs evens it out, at least for me it does. It ain't easy, it burns me how I could earn more money elsewhere, but I like the satisfaction I get.
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220


    At first reading your post I was unsure of how I felt about your outlook.

    then I remembered ENRON here in Houston, " maybe you have herd of them"

    and to be honest your right,,,,

    it's so hard putting in so much money to a retirement account and NOT having control on this money,

    In fact a system as strong as the Teachers retirement, is NOT as stable as some may think.

    I have seen people "as you stated" loose everything and there have even been cort cases, the outcome was the teachers lost everything.
    it happened here in Texas, and I know a man who lost his life because of it.

    Just wanted to share
  8. Military Lawns

    Military Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Posts: 321

    "So my take on it is if you are not happy with your employment then you should find something that makes you so..."

    This sentence says a lot about doing something that makes you happy. Like is too short and I am all about happiness.

    Funny, with the little "lawn boy thing", is that I recently walked away from my very, very first account when I first started. Mrs. XXXX came out and said that I have another job for you and your boys! What made me finally walk away is that I have addressed this with her before. Her take was that the gardner was the professional and we were the cutting/handyman crew. EXCUSE me...handyman...YOU have got to be kidding me! Get the gardener to be your handyman/whatever!

    Anyhow, I've been through the disrespect thing with her before and she did not get it so me and the boyz walked. So, there is some disrespect in this business as through all walks of life. You have to know when to choose your fight.

  9. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,206

    Sometimes I wonder where in the world you get your information.....there are a lot more people than you apparently realize that worked long and hard and got a good pension. And I didn't have to put up with any BS because I had a good attitude and was thank-full for the job I was given. And you can bet that government/state/local workers will get their pensions forever ...the dems will ensure that.
  10. DaveinSWFL

    DaveinSWFL LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    I made the move last year and have zero regrets. I left after 6 years as a deputy sheriff. Decent pay and benifits, but I was miserable. Tired of dealing with the broken criminal justice system. First I would suggest if you were planning on making the transition into this field save as much money as possible (at least enough to survive your first year. Eliminate all debt. Pay cash for all equipment. My family had to make a lifestyle change but haven't had any regrets. I am home nights, weekends and holidays. I love the flexibilty that I have. I wished I would have made the move sooner.

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