1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

how long can u keep it up?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Aug 18, 2001.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    hola folks, i ran into a guy i know yesterday while out cutting, we are both solo operators, though i have a guy whos been helping me out lately. ive been in this 7 yrs, and my body is aching every day, hes been in 13 yrs, and seems to have the same problem. my goal is to build and add employees with time, his is to remain a solo operator. the only thing is, if u feel this run down from this type of work in your mid 30s, how the heck u gonna do it at 45, 55, 60? i guess what im looking for is opinions on what the average lifespan of a solo operator in this business is. i just cant see my self being able to handle it solo when im 45, 55.
  2. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    hi bobby. its good you realize this now. theanswer for me
    was. well first let me say at 47 i was about to give up to chronic
    pain from arthritus ,plus because of that i was over 225 and carrying all right out there in front. im ashamed to admit it but
    i finally called my doc one day, and told him i wasnt sure i wanted
    to stick around for much more of this. it scared him and he started me on a med called ultram ,plus nonsteroid anti-inflamatory meds.they helped but that night i decided nobody was going to get me out of this mess but me.
    i began to walk to music rythm then . 5 min at first.
    the most important rule was always quit while you still feel like doing more.this leaves a positive subconcious about exercize in your mind.that is the secret.
    i wont tell you what i do now 6 yrs. later but I DONT HURT MUCH ANYMORE. two things to remember throw the no pain no gain theory out the window.thats for training for sports or something . next always quit while its still fun. and last
    you are doing it for life which is another reason to make it fun.
    your choice of light exercice doesnt matter long as it gets the heart and lungs going.sorry for being so long winded bobby but ive been there and decided i didnt like it.
  3. Pauls Mowing

    Pauls Mowing LawnSite Member
    Posts: 207

    You may want to visit your Doc for a tune-up. I'm 46, work a high stress 40 hour a week job, then put in about 20 more hours a week mowing. I feel great!! Mainly right now it's my wife and I, her son helps out from time to time. My wife puts in about 5 hours a day in the mornings, them we both go out for a few hours after dinner. It's been a steady schedule since the end of May, only a few days off through the summer. we are looking at expanding with more equipment yet this year, another tractor in the spring, and another tractor the following year. Business is great!! I'll keep up the pace as long as possible, Good Lord willing.


  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    wow awm, im glad to hear u were able to work it out. im not in terrible shape , need to lose a couple pounds, nothing major. its just that i think the natural aging of any person would limit them as time goes on. being a solo operator u need to do a certain amount of work , and all by yourself, to make a good living. can one still do 50-70 lawn a week solo when they are 55-65? i havnt seen any older solo lawn guys that look like they r doing that well money wise. is it that they made so much money when they were young that they dont need to work anymore ? or is the solo operator doomed to retirement at 55? being solo in this business is not like any other job, u cant work yur way up the ladder so u have an easier job down the road, the work becomes more physically demanding as time goes on, and u still need to do quite a bit to maintain a decent income.
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    A guy around the corner from me has been in this biz for over 35 years. I don't know how many lawns he has but he had a steller year last year. He has a helper or two in the spring when mulching and cleanups are in full swing, but the rest of the year he is by himself. He has some big commercial accounts and some residentials. I know for a fact he is high. He works less and makes more. I know he is never hurting for money.
  6. Allyn

    Allyn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    I am 42, and I heard of a guy in SLC that is a solo like me. He is over $100,000 a years. Of course he is killing himself, but it is only 6 months of the year.

    I hope that I will be able to retire in 10 to 15 years. It takes disipline with the money. Get all the equipment paid for. And save if you can 10 to 20% of you income. I a few years it will build fast.

    I live pretty cheap. Other than a house I am debt free. Four more years on child support and I will be making some money. But I only what enough to live on. I thing about 2 or 3 thousand a month would work easy.

  7. lawnworker

    lawnworker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 899

    bobbygedd I think another thing to think about is if you might really not want to do this bussiness that long mentally that is as well as phisicly .I need spell check. I find myself getting bored out of my mind some times with lack of interaction with others working solo and at times the work itself can be boring.I am 36 and i dont feel like working as hard as i used to but this is a hard line of work for anybody in it .To stay in it much longer i will have to deversify into spray certification fertilization as well as hardscaping/Landscaping so i can have someone to work with.On the other Hand if you onley Mow and Fertilize Owning a Z rider that would be easier on a solo operater.Where I live we are saturated to the max with grass cutters .I am thinking of getting an associats degree in eather electronic /cumputer technology are management Just in case the market gets any worse for lawn care . Life is full of choices ther just tuff to make
  8. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    I'm 42 and work solo. I admit sometimes during the long hot summer days I feel like I'm 62. LOL. I hang in there because I know winter will be a nice relief and this is the best money I will make down here. Plus there is no better feeling than owning and operating your OWN business. I just try to take one day at a time. To me life is short, enjoy it now.
  9. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,183

    Eric is my inspiration!

    I feel better now than I did when I was 29, I'm 39 now. Of course I get tired and a little burnt out at times. My reality check is going through the parking lot of the old factory I used to work at. After 3 years of being on my own I still see some of the same vehicles that used to be there, these folks are in a rut! I see their faces sometimes when I pull up beside them, not much happiness. I think over half of the American workers aren't happy with what they do. I know I couldn't go back in a plant or an office, if I quit this I'll be doing something where I can move around, get out and mingle with people.

    Can I do this when I'm 50?

    I'll let ya know then.
  10. trimmasters

    trimmasters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 261

    Homer, I always though you were older. I guess it's that dress, It just dosen't do your good looks justice. :)

Share This Page