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

What did it take for YOU to go full time?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by WildWest, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    Okay, I wanna know what it took for YOU to quit your job for someone else and start your own business!

    I'm at the point, and I know what the possabilities are, but i'm a little nervous stepping out of my comfort zone and going into this full time! I have 5 kids, a wife and bills!

    I've been a mechanic for 17 years, and I make a great hourly wage, but I can't STAND the fact that I sell myself for an hourly wage to a company who pays me a wage that is a THIRD of what they charge for my technical ability.

    I guess I just KNOW that I have the ability to make it myself, just nervous to take the leap and I wanna know what you all did.
  2. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    i was a graphics professional.... 4 years of college... blah blah blah....

    the boss and i had a little disagreement... business was bad, i sat for days staring at the walls, he was taking work home and dong it.. but paying me to stare at the wall... i decided no wonder his business was in trouble and that i couldnt do any worse.....

    but i already had a good customer base, equipment.... and the wife and i were not blessed with kids... so alot of that responsiblility i did not have, even though we wish we did...

    just be careful.... you have alot of mouths to feed..

    good luck..:)
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Sir, it is a rule of business that labor runs one third the cost, so if you're getting a third then you are being treated fairly.
    Even thou you may at first attempt to pay yourself more than this third of gross, you will likely soon find out why this most basic business rule exists:
    1/3 is cost.
    1/3 is taxes.
    1/3 is labor.

    That is a bit roughly speaking, it summarizes and generalizes and it's not exact, but it is a rule and it's just the way it is... My salary is a thousand a month and I gross slightly over 30k a year. Ok, so my labor is a bit higher than a third but I am sure you will agree that a thousand a month isn't what you might call the greatest money in the world for a company president. As a bonus, my company pays all taxes, I get a thousand a month and I pay no taxes... But then I am the company so you see that's just my peanuts and bennies, it's all the same money in the end. It doesn't matter who pays what, it just feels good to get my WHOLE check and the company writes the IRS theirs, but guess who's name is on the business account, guess who makes the deposits, guess who does the work to earn that money in the first place? So whose money is it anyway? The answer is it's still my money, whether the business pays for it or whether I do, guess who signs either check?

    There are many here who say they gross 60-70k / year, but many of them were not here last year, many more will not be here next year. As for the rest, a few of them have been doing this a LOT longer than I have. As for you, take what I said or take what they claim, either way even if you gross 60k, you get 20k, maybe 25k a year tops.

    In summary, I learned in my first few weeks that you have to do this for reasons other than money, or you will not enjoy this landscaping career for very long.
  4. terryzrx1200

    terryzrx1200 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I myself face the same thing. My biggest thing is medical insurance, and if I can make enough to get me through the winter. I feel the same about working for a hourly wage. That just makes someone else rich. I think I'll take the leap next summer. This year I'll focus on getting all of the equipment I'll need to at least have a second crew next year. Good luck, and take the leap. Hell you can always find a job with the skills you have. I say go for it as long as you have the work to make a good living on. I think if I went full time I could double the $30,000 I make part time. Terry

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Take the plunge, and one day you too will be doing this to YOUR employees :laugh: :laugh: That's just how it works really.

    Me...I had worked for another LCO for a long time. I just basically pulled him aside and told him I was quitting...offered to stay on a little longer if needed but he said it was OK to make that my last day...
  6. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 384

    HOOLIE, yes, I understand that someday I will be doing that to someone else...the point is, there are some people that can deal with that and live their life that way... I just have come to the point that I'm not one of them. God bless them though, they are the ones that make the world go around, and I would gladly share the wealth!

    The people that work for you can make you or break you, I truely believe that! I have no problem paying someone a good wage for their labor if they prove to be worth it!
  7. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,964

    I don't think I could have taken this plunge with 5 kids. I can't even imagine having 5 kids even though I'm the oldest of 6 myself. It hasn't been easy for me even though I don't have any dependents. I'm still not truly fulltime, I take a job in the winter. Every season, I do a little better and am able to inch a little further. This website has helped me a lot. I started about 20 years later than I should have too.
    As was said before, you need to love it or it won't work for you. That's probably why I've hung in there after all the trials I've been through.
    I wish you success.
  8. lugnut#6

    lugnut#6 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 404

    i was working at a casino as a craps dealer when i started doing this.working every weekend and holiday for 10 yrs got old so i quit.i figured i could be the one at home with the 3 kids in the mornings and afternoons.mow enough yards for extra money.the wife kept working at the casino and made good money with all the bennies.

    i quit even before starting this.took part of what was in my 401k(15,000) and bought myself a job.then after i got a few clients,i began to create a business from it.bassackwards...i know.but,i worked and invested to have the liberty to do it that way

    of course this was before Katrina came and wiped out the entire casino industry here for many months.its been 9 months and the casino where my wife worked is still not open.now this is the primary source of income.talk about motivation.

    now im working harder than i did at the casino for about the same money.but...i feel better....better about myself...better physically,better mentally.my 15 yrd old has better grades and seems to be much less defiant and rebellious.i spend all the time i want with my kids.

    its like one learns to live more...with less

    someone else on here once said theres 2 types of people doing this....the 1st is giving himself a job,the 2nd is running a business.guess im both.
  9. HighGrass

    HighGrass LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Z5 MA
    Posts: 1,237

    I was working as a car/truck salesman for about three years and one day I saw some lawn guys mowing around the dealership. They took alot of breaks and spewed grass all over the cars. I thought..."I can do this...and I can do it better!" Then I went upstairs and asked th accountant how much we were paying them. I could n't believe it! Talked to my wife that night and in a month, I was gone. That was fours years ago:drinkup: :drinkup: :drinkup: :drinkup:
  10. malik6075

    malik6075 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 6


    New to the site, Is the pay discussed in the last few emails so low because of the limited number (summer) months?

Share This Page