My last month

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Dec 4, 2007.

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  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well, as many of you here know, a few years ago I set into motion a new 2 year plan... a plan with a specific goal to put me in a position where I could really truely be free to choose what I wanted to do with my business.... with no prevailing obligations coaxing me in any direction. This way I could choose to make no change... choose to grow huge... re-adjust... re-locate... phase myself out of the field... sell out... or just walk away into the sunset.

    Well, that plan has come to bear fruit for me. However, looking back now and looking forward into the future, I don't really think I made the choice, but instead in away I feel this chose me... this whole season has been quite the ride for me... a really good year despite all... and so much has happened over the past months that it's all became a blur to me in how exactly I arrived here.

    In any event, I have sold out my entire business... EVERYTHING excluding the company name, one fully equipped rig, and a hand full of accounts (and NO non-compete clause). As expected there were some that were not thrilled about renewing a contract only to have it be sold (rather than having me)... and there were also a few I chose not to include due to location or scope of work not meshing well with the new operation/crew, which only benefits the new owner. Not enough left to be anywhere near what I would call 'making a living' and not enough for the possibility of a total full-time rebuild by spring.

    So right now I am going through the motions of my last month. I collect my last checks from these contracts this month, and I sincerely hope I am able to totally fulfill/complete the obligations associated... hopefully by Christmas... or at least by 12/31.

    Of course I am considering sub-contracting what little I have left and walking off in the sunset. Past that, at this point I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself beyond that. But I have a little more time left yet to work, think and decide.

    So I guess I will be an unofficially retired LCO and will be “for hire” in the very near future or planning new ventures. For me, that is a fact that is still slowly soaking in. I can’t even lie either… it’s a scary feeling… one that I’m starting to loose sleep over now.

    I've told a few people already, and some have said the sense a little melancholy.
    Posting this up here is kind of helping me "own the reality" that this is really happening.



    I know there will be a million questions, and I know I'll struggle to keep up.

    So I'll ask a question first........
    What do you guys hope to see me doing in the future?
     
  2. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,931

    Keep posting on lawnsite!!! :clapping::clapping:
     
  3. saw man

    saw man LawnSite Bronze Member
    from utah
    Posts: 1,021

    Dang! One less person to argue with!!! HAHAHAHA

    Seriously, hope everything goes well!!!

    Few ?'s since I walked away as well -

    What Are your plans?
    Any other business venture you want to take?
    Ever think about property managment? Could also lead you into owning the properties!
    Duplex, 4 plex, 6 plex, you be the property manager, you also be the LCO. Kinda puttin $ from one pocket in the other.

    I guess just what are your plans or are you still unsure?
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Well, you're not retired :)

    I've always respected your posts, seems you knew your stuff, not sure how long you did this but I'd have to guess long enough... Not like you're one of the usual spring-to-fall almost a year of doing something then I am done, but I'd have to guess either you are still young or maybe it wasn't your calling... I mean, it doesn't sound like the offer was that hot, you took what you could get and I accept that, this drought wasn't much fun for me either.

    But all that doesn't really matter because obviously you enjoyed it, perhaps one day you'll return to it, or not. In the meantime, and you have to know yourself here, if you wanted to continue along the same path but without getting as dirty, if you feel you have enough experience I might suggest going into the consulting business... That is, you would be guiding other new Lco's towards success, with what you've learned, kind of like here but hands on, and you get paid for it.

    Or maybe some sideways move like tree work, or repairs...
    Or something entirely different.

    I'd start working on it soon thou, maybe take a short break but your best bet is to get going long before the money runs out.
    Personally I wouldn't wait past New Year's, that's just me thou.

    And best of luck, in whatever you do.
     
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Well... that's the thing... I haven't decided what my plans are yet... but I still have some time to think.

    As far as other business ventures... I could probably think of a few.

    For instance, I have often thought for many years now that I might 'retire' someday into the equipment end of the business.

    As for property management, real estate investment, etc... honestly, if I had a better opinion of what the economy is headed for.... well I would have been throwing money at that for years already, as it has been a buyer's market in many areas.
     
  6. saw man

    saw man LawnSite Bronze Member
    from utah
    Posts: 1,021

    That is kinda directly associated with the equipment biz!

    Dont know your area but I would say dont do it. Maybe try a mobile biz.? That could be a good thing that not many do in your area.

    Property managment could get you in on the ground floor if you decide to have a LCO after.

    I have rentals and get paid a little over what the mortgage is. Still get a tax deduction, when the loan is almost paid off you get another loan, for tax reasons. The only one you want paid off is your own.

    The housing market was great a few years back, evan a year or 2 ago you could have made thousands. I dont know what you have to work with now but I dont see rentals going anywhere! I recently had a house vacate on Nov. 1st, I had about 20 people look at the place and had it rented out without any loss! I found a couple that I think will be there for years.

    Other than that I would look at stocks! There was an article on house buying and stocks on MSN that was interesting. I will try to find it in a min. Stocks have been pretty stable at 6-7% since before you were born. Housing is not so good. Just something for you to look into. Since you have time you can look at all of these options!

    Found the article:

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/HomebuyingGuide/WhyRentToGetRicher.aspx?page=1
     
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Actually, my business being set up as it was, this was a very good year for me. Good gross... not near as much expense. The drought also served me very well in that it put a lot of people out of business and really thinned the population of lower end services out there. So I'm going out on a high note.

    I also did well on the sale too, as again, for the same reasons as above, I built a business with tangable worth.

    I'm not offically 'retired' because I'm too young to 'really retire' yet and still have much I might want to do yet.

    As for the enjoyment part.... I have only ever been in this business because I chose to and wanted to be. For the last 9 seasons I enjoyed it more than I ever did before. But I also too did have times of just general disgust in the decline of the market in general. But '07 has certainly been one of the best as far as happiness is concerned, and being laid back to a degree.

    As for returning to it... I have been guilty of selling out before... and couldn't get it out of my blood... and returned. I don't even know yet if I will totally quit altogether yet. But I also believe that this time is different in many ways too. In any event, one thing is for sure... I will not be returning for 2008 full time... because that would take some sort of miracle in marketing to achieve.

    Consulting... I have done that in many arenas before and could do it again.
    So I guess that is an option.

    Moving sideways I don't see... not trees, irrigation, etc... though I have thought of the possibility of maybe again being more of a landscaper/hardscaper on a smaller scale.

    As for the money... I'm OK there... but you know the old saying 'earmarked'... that and I do not plan to sit idle long. I like to stick to "go forth and be productive"....
     
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    sawman,

    Yeah... with real estate, I learned long ago... lol. I spent many years with my finger in the pie of residential construction... so that speaks for itself.

    I've found through experience that what is really the best investment really really depends. A lot of times it depends on careful planning and decisions... other times it just depends on luck. And really, no matter what you choose, it's luck every time that yields the biggest return. The big returns come from buying low, being lucky enough to experience hyper-inflation and unloading at the right time.

    I sure do wish I had invested heavily in New England real estate when I was tempted to 10 years ago. My lord!!!

    Also too, I once learned a swift lesson in asset management too. Owning non-rental real estate is a good investment... but is sometimes not a very 'fluid' asset at all.

    Dad once told me when I was a young boy of 7 or 8... "son, land is a good investment because they sure aren't making any more of it"... and that is very true. But one has to stay well balanced too....

    As for rentals... it can be a VERY good and stable business. I had a friend (passed away recently) who re-invested some of his business earnings into rentals and quickly set himself up where he really did not have to work at all. For him it was a very good business... though he did have his complaints about tenants... LOL...
     
  9. mowmasteruk

    mowmasteruk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 119

    You'll be back mowing in the spring, I guarantee it, this business gets in your blood!
     
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    You may do like I did and decide that once cutting grass is in your blood it's hard to get it back out. Once I moved from MD I took a year and pondered what to do. As you well know I'm back in the grass business and following my business plan. Pretty much I want the same upper class accounts I had in MD, just not as many of them.

    BTW, although New England was the first area to take off in Real Estate it was also the first area to crash. You could have very easily gotten burned there since there were no real signs of bubble burst before their's did. Rental prices should have a fairly healthy increase for about the next 4 to 5 years.

    http://www.macromarkets.com/csi_housing/MSA/boston.asp
     
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