I'm losing it....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LwnmwrMan22, May 29, 2010.

  1. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    I'm losing the drive.

    This is my 21st year.

    I'm used to working 60-100 hour weeks. I've worked 12-16 hour days every day since May 1.

    I'm quite far behind because of weather, fertilizing, grass starting / going through flowering, but I just don't care.

    I had a customer complain today and I told them to find someone else, I didn't even try to correct the situation.

    I called a buddy today and told him that I'm going to give his name to 2 other customers, that I don't want to do their houses anymore.

    I'm getting burned out. I've hit a ceiling for what I can charge, that was about 5 years ago.

    I'm not the highest in the area, but I do well. Most of the competition doesn't believe that I charge what I do.

    This price point was before the $2.50 gas and $3.00 diesel.

    I've got too much overhead, and too many yards.

    I'm burned out.

    It's not even June yet.
     
  2. lone wolf

    lone wolf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    I here exactly what you are saying. But, if you are giving up, you have any accounts in the north metro area of the twin cities?
     
  3. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,142

    You need to find some good help man. People that can carry the torch for you. Are you a solo guy? I know that I work probably 60-70 hours a week but its not all physical labor...estimates and checking on jobs. Maybe if you hired another person to help you it would cut down your workload and help you to pick up even more and grow so you dont have to do the physical labor anymore. I find that every time I get feeling like you in this business I make some sort of change to make it interesting. Add a service, or think of more ways to make money.
     
  4. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Dude...talk to another business owner..quickly....a retired owner would be perfect. Someone needs to help you re-gain perspective...thats all. Maybe one of your customers can do your books for free service or something. No shame in turning away work...hell one year I turned away more than I grossed.........Talk to someone much older who was moderately successful..the SBA has people like this but it can take a few weeks to get rolling. Sometimes (often) they can help you re prioritize where you should be spending your time and effort...tough to see while your in the thick of things.........
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Yeah but LOL!

    Burn-out is a stage that can be recognized, I have learned to spot the warning
    signs in advance and take steps to keep it from happening.

    You go through this once or twice, tell me in 21 years this is your first time, whatever!
    Once you been through it, the only question remains is when is enough truly enough?

    So why not do like I do, just work part-time so to speak.
    It's not really part-time in the true sense of the word, but I can assure you I don't put in the overtime you do :p
    See the smiling face.

    Like why I keep saying, it's ALL the same money at the end of the month.
    Just take it easy for a while, chill, take a day off, take two days off, take the whole week off,
    then next week do it again and the week after, and so on.

    Your mind's worth more than all of that anyhow, tell your customers however you want,
    I do it all the time, it's just no big deal to me, F the money.

    Peace out
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    No, every year I get burned out come late August, early September for a week or so.

    I just need a break.

    This time is different. I just flat out don't care about my business.

    I've got an 8 and 5 year old. I miss playing Wii with them.

    I have a 5 year old 18' fishing boat that I've had out 10 times in 5 years. I have an 8 and 5 year old that need to be on that boat more than 2 times / year.
     
  7. mbrew

    mbrew LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 491

    There's not enough info here to give specific advice. If your billing per man hour is high and there is too much work, that leaves expenses and I don't know why yours would be so high after 21 years. There are some good operators here that I'm certain will give advice if they have more detail to work with.

    One thing is certain, your current schedule is not healthy for you, your family or your customers. Let others help you find some balance.

    Good Luck,
    Mike (who suffered severe burnout on my last job)
     
  8. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Posts: 1,897

    I think you just got overloaded too early in the season, and are overwhelmed with all the pressure it has created on the various facets of your life. I've been where you are: not enough hours in the day, people nagging you, financial pressures, unexpected hangups, stress, stress, and more stress.
    Sometimes this happens, and for you--it's now. Don't worry, be happy.:):drinkup:
    Considering the unemployment conditions, 80-hour workweeks mean you're slammed with work-- a rarity these days. I would have to say that hiring at least one new guy would decrease the stress more than anything. I'm at my wit's end too with the 80-hour workweeks. No one wants to show up for their first day of work, and even more won't fill out a job application. It's half past midnight right now, and I was up at 6:00am. I am wound like a spring. All this goes with the territory. We just have to make the best of it.
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Here's what I'm saying...

    So f'n play the dang Wii with them already, what are you waiting for, a written invitation?

    Throw that caution to the wind, take the boat out, take the kids with you, F the work.

    Because I can tell you one thing...
    When I don't feel like working?

    I know this is going to sound hard to believe but...
    Guess what?

    <<< Spoiler Alert!!! >>>

    < << < Do NOT read further if you do NOT want to see the answer ! >>>>

    You have been warned.

    When I don't feel like working?
    I DON'T WORK!

    omg omg
     
  10. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 620

    Burnout can be chemically based as our bodies make adrenalin and other chemicals we function off of. The glands in our bodies that make those chemicals can get overworked and stop working for a while before they get back up to functioning.
    I just mow a local 3.5 acre lawn with the owners Toro ZTR every 10 days. With the heavy rain we got early this week it was very due at 7 days so I mowed it saturday. If I wasn't busy with my 2 incomes I'd offer to work for you. Aren't you in the west metro?
     

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