question for the moderators

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ok, we know alot about eachother, but not much about the moderators. tell us, sean, chuckie, major tom, and "moderator", what kind of actual background do u have in hands on lawn care? do u run a small hands on business like most of us? are u big time? or, do u even know what a blade of grass is supposed to look like? do tell....
  2. tiedeman

    tiedeman LawnSite Fanatic
    from earth
    Posts: 8,745

    I second that....
  3. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    I think that if you use the "SEARCH" button that you'll find that JODI has made it obvious that she and matt are in the biz.

    HAHAHAHA!!! I have been freaking out to tell some one to use the "search button"!!! hahaha! I loved it.

    I have never doubted that chuckw (the founder) was in the biz but I dunno.

    sean seemed to buy the whole kittin kaboodle so I dunno about him either.

    and the mystery moderator??? I don't wanna comment on him because I envision a huge guy wearing a black hood and carrying a hugeass AXE. and somehow he is always looking at me.

    GEO :eek:

    ps...bob--chill dude! obviously you arew bored but it's gonna be a month or two before you start doing the pre- em's and getting ready for next year!
  4. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    Hi Bob,
    I'm honored that you are taking an interest in us. ;)

    2004 will mark our 6th season in the business. We jumped in full time right from the get-go.
    Both of our jobs were not as fulfilling as we wanted them to be, and we hoped we would be able to make more money and have more happiness operating a business.

    Matt worked as a tire manager for a large store.
    He loved selling tires. I mean really loved selling tires. He knew every tread pattern out there. But he was basically maxed out at 35,000 per year.
    I was a sales rep for a picture frame company. I would go into stores such as walmart, k-mart, eckerds etc, and try to jam these picture frames down their throats. The more frames I brought into a store, the better it was for me. I did not like going into these stores because I was forced to talk to these grouchy managers who didn't want to give me any extra shelf space or floor space for picture frame displays. That job just sucked, although on my yearly evaluations I always scored high.

    Matt cut lawns in his neighborhood while he was growing up, and I cut my mom's lawn after my dad passed away. When we filled in our profile here at Lawnsite though, we did not list those years of "experience" as when we started in the business. We list our years in business as our first legitimate year. I frown when I look at someones profile and I see 10,13, or 15 years in business listed in their profile; Do the math and I find that they would have been 9 years old "in business". :dizzy:
    But that's a different topic.

    I always call us a couple of rum dums because heck, we didn't know too much. But the one thing that always amazes me that we actually got right, was how we got the business aspect down right from the start. We got our EIN, set up our sales tax, got our DBA, got an accountant, got business insurance all without the help of Lawnsite.
    Our first year in business we actually fooled ourselves into thinking we were busy. Looking back we weren't that busy, but busy enough though that were able to purchase our home.
    Each year we have learned from our mistakes. Every year our business has grown expanding our services.
    It's still only the two of us, and eventually yes, we would like employees.

    I do all the office work. I do not do our taxes though, I just log in everything and we take it to our accountant. But I do all the monthly billing, create newsletters, handle all the advertising, design our Christmas cards....
    I usually work from 9:00am until around 3:30 out in the field.
    Matt does all the hard work. He doesn't stop till we get everything done.
    Also Matt has been blessed with being very mechanically inclined. He maintains all our equipment, and he is able to maintain our truck.

    Next year will be our first year that we will have 2 trucks to rely on. Which will really make it nice. We actually just purchased our second one today.

    We do lawn mowing, hedge trimming, fertilization, mulching, aerations, spring and fall cleanups, retaining walls, small lawn renovations, small landscaping, and a few select gutter cleanings from current customers.
    Neither of us work during the winter. We support ourselves, our two children and have a home from our lawn care business from working each year in March until sometime in November.

    We currently maintain mostly residentials, but we are looking to acquire a few more commercial accounts.
    We usually level off each year with about 95 accounts. We've had it as high as 107, but we quickly drop back down. We service a lot of elderly clients, and unfortunately we lose them to death or moving into senior citizen home.

    We're just average people keeping it real here at Lawnsite. :)
  5. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    if i remember correctly chuck had a very successful business. sean i believe still is in the business, and as said above jodi is in the business
  6. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    On becoming a moderator.......

    I can remember that when I found Lawnsite, I was estastic. I remember calling to Matt to come here to check out this site that I had found. I remember we read Lawnsite for hours.
    I mean, it got so bad we would actually talk about Lawnsite members as we were driving down the road as if we actually knew them.

    When Chuck made a post asking for volunteer moderators, Matt said to me, "You should be a moderator. You're always on here."
    I said, "No way will they pick me. You got me in trouble by making me start a new thread which eventually got pulled."
    It was a thread titled "Don't be a Mac".
    Matt was always the little devil on my shoulder getting me in trouble. :) (Fortunately I only had one thread ever pulled.)
    Anyway he says, "Just e-mail that guy Chuck, tell him how much you like Lawnsite, be yourself, and I bet they pick you."
    So I e-mailed Chuck and figured I wouldn't hear back from him.

    The next day, I was visiting at my mom's house. Matt calls, and says, "You have to come home. You need to see Lawnsite."
    I asked why, and he says, "they made you a moderator." I said, "no way, you're kidding me here."
    And when I got home, I checked it out, and I was a mod. And as they say, the rest is history.
    And I still like Lawnsite, and I'm still checking out Lawnsite everyday. :)
  7. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973


    What a professional, enjoyable read, congrats to you and Matt!
    We have a saying here in OZ, from a famous radio announcer John Laws, everyone here including yourselves this covers.
    It is:

    "Keeping The Dream Alive!"

    Means, having the brains and guts to get into your own business and do something positive instead of being stuck in the rut working for someone else all your life not knowing your true capabilities and ambitions. It is most people's dream to buy their own home, and be in their own business etc, hense, keeping the dream alive.

    Good on ya!

  8. Mickhippy

    Mickhippy LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,251

    Well said mate! Count yourself in on that one as well Tony!

    Did Laws'y pay you for that. hehe I might race over to the "New LS name" contest and use it there.....

    "Keep the dream alive, at!"
    If I win, I'll split the shirt with you! OK
  9. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    Yeah thanks Mick, good on ya! ha, ha!
    I like your version, nice!
  10. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    I grew up in a simple middle-class neighborhood. I was a sports fanatic growing up (still am). My backyard was the biggest in my neighborhood and my parents were kind enough to allow me and my friends turn it into a baseball field. Watching professional baseball on TV I was always amazed at how they made the fields look so perfect. So I started practicing on my baseball field with a reel mower. By the time I turned 16 I was ready...

    I started my business in 1989/90. Basically just mowing lawns and doing leaves for neighbors and friends of neighbors. I quickly got a reputation for being very meticulous and the phone started ringing.

    Upon attending college from 1992-1996, I continued to grow my business. It was nice not to have a "normal job" like everyone else. I graduated in 1996 with a Bachelors degree in English and a Bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Business Management. I had some amazing job offers, but decided to stick with my company and see what I could do with it. Some people were shocked, and I was told by many....

    "Sean, you had your fun, but you can't make a living out of this. You need to go out and get a real job - that's why you went to college."

    That didn't sit well with me and I worked twice as hard to grow my business. By 1999 I owned the largest lawn and landscape maintenenace company in my immediate area.

    I had 8-10 employees servicing over 225 high end residential and commercial properties. We also provided fertilization and weed control services for over 400 clients.

    I focused on managing and growing the business. I will admit in a heartbeat that my employees were an enormous part of the growth and success of my company. But they are also why I sold part of the business in 2000.

    My employees were all friends of mine. They were extremely loyal and all very good at what they did. As better job offers came along and degrees were completed, there was no way I would be able to replace 6 or 7 of these guys in one I made the decision to downsize, and it was the right decision at the time. I sold a very nice portion of my company.

    In 1999, I started Lawn Care Success hoping to help some people get through what I went through and help them avoid some of the mistakes I made. I took on a partner for the lawn and landscape business to give me the time to focus on & - also another great move on my part. He was my right hand-man before and there is no one I trust more.

    So now, the company is growing again. Every time I turn around there is another truck and another piece of equipment. But there is nothing I would rather do...nothing I love more.

    And yes bobby....I know what grass looks like...I think every pair of socks I own has a slight green stain to it...

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