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What INSPIRED the early start? ALarsh? Anyone?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by mdvaden, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. mdvaden

    mdvaden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,944

    This quote has little to do with this thread. But I recalled seeing ALarsh's avatar recently, and his post about school and business.

    Anybody chime in, but I was hoping ALarsh would write something here - I'll PM him too.

    There are not very many people who have a thriving business going while still in school, or even just afterwards by a few years.

    ALarsh - or others who started so early - who, or what inspired you to get such an early start?

    Also, there is a common fear spread around certain circles of our culture, that business has a bunch of entanglements.

    Did you run into people promoting those fears and worries? Did it affect you, or was it irrelevant.

    In a nutshell, could you share how you started out, why, and who may have been involved that helped you along?
  2. LawnInOrder

    LawnInOrder LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 398

    i am a senior liek Alarsh so i will post my reply. Well actually no really helped me much. My dad actaulyl told me not to become a landscpaer and feels if i expand my business i will be a landscaper the rest of my life. In his eyes not a highly respectable job consdiering he is in Internal Affairs. My mom is supportve of me and my aunt and uncle helped me design my logo since tehy are graphic designers. I started out about 5 years ago cutting my neigbors lawn. My neigbprs always go away for teh summer for liek4 weeks so she told me to take care of teh grass whiel she was gone. I did and she came back really happy and she told her firends. Well word of mouth and my business becamoe from like 1 account to 7 in the first year. After i cut my neigbors lawn and made $80 for 4 cuts, not bad $20 a cut for being 12, i realized i could make sum extra cash. being hardworking and hands on i thought i coudl really take it to teh next level. I started out with equipemnt i found in the garage. I found an old 10 hp, rear engine craftsman ride on in teh garage. I pushed it home and bought a dump cart. Got a used lawnboy from a local LCO. Used a homelite blowera nd Green Machine trimmer, which was founde in the garage. Now i got almost all comerical equipment. If someone aslkd me if i would do it all over again, i would have done it alomst all the smae except start eariler. and workign for a lolcal LCO part time really does help. I worked for my friends' fathers's 15 account business and a bigger compan called perfect truf.tehy have aroudn 250 accounts. they did the same things all the "kids" on here are doing. The two guys that graduated form my school are now 26, own 2 ford 350's and 2 16 foot dump trucks with redmax handhelds, standers and scags. people like that really inspire you to go out, because you know that you can become really successful if they did. Just IMO. LawnInOrder
  3. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Posts: 1,624

    I worked for a guy who started mowing lawns when he was still in high school and didn't even have a license yet. He rode his toro wheel horse to school and mowed his way home. He is now in his mid fourtys and has two full time mowing crews and a full time landscape construction crew. He helps out the construction crew with delivering materials and doing estimates. Thats about it. when hes in a pinch he help do some of the dirty work but usually he sends the crews out and then does who knows what. I've meet people that when to school with him and they all laughed at him for mowing lawns while in school but the all say that he was the first on with a car/truck and the first one to buy a house. I'd tell all the kids in school that are starting out to stick with it, go to college and learn about running a business or landscaping. Then once you graduate get out there if you still love it and take on the world. Just dont get greedy. I wish I started out on my own when I was younger but 8 years of making money for others was enough and once I had the fiances to start up (mind you I have a wife and 2 kids now and a mortgage) I jumped into ownership and hit the ground running. Now guys that I knew who were solo look at my business and wonder how I'm doing it. But thats another topic. Good luck out there to the future pros.
  4. Cracker Station

    Cracker Station LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I am sorry but I have to just say it!!!!!! I wish schools these days turned out people that could spell. So many of these post are so hard to follow with spelling and punctuation being what it is, and endless sentences. Now I said it. I guess I'll get bashed now, but that is off my chest.
  5. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    I did it all through school, we just grew more and more each year. By the time I graduated I had around 60 Accounts and a full time job. Net was about $35,000 right out of high school. LOL most of the 1st year teachers weren't making that after taxes. I got alot of funny looks and laughs through school, but I was one of the 1st with a car that I paid for, and the only with multiple vehicals.

    I really think it has more to do with a persons mindset, and what thye want out of life. If you are the type of person who is determine to succed and have the resources to do so, then you WILL do well if you keep at it. It's all about the skills and resources you have.

    Some ppl. on the other hand (most ppl) don't not have these skills or do not want to sweat and work hard so they go to college and get that peice of paper that says "Your qualified".

    Some may beg to differ, but the numbers speak for themselves. If you trust your gut and the numbers you can't go wrong. In business there is no way to go but UP, if you can't go UP anymore in the lawn/landscape biz, than it's time to find another business.
  6. Clear-Cut

    Clear-Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 481

    i started as a freshman in college...i wanted to do it as a sophomore in H.S. but i had a poor marketing strategy. i put out only 50 flyers all within a couple blocks of my house and didnt get any calls back. i couldnt drive back then so it had to be within walking distance. anyway i didnt get any calls.

    then it hit me again when i was working **** (<- poopy since you cant say the "s" word lol) hours as a cashier at a liquor store. i put up some flyers with the tear off tags and low and behold i got 13 customers! all i can say is that i love it! and here i am now as a sophomore in college (i commute to a nearby university) trying to at least double my accounts for next year.

    i dont really want to go to school but its something to fall back on..plus my plan for the winters is to be a substitute teacher...you get $60-$80 a day for doing nothing..it beats sitting around all winter

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    I got your back on this one. I neided cople aspin affer dat une........sorry L in O.:rolleyes: :hammerhead:
  8. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 2,412

    I was inspired by the local competition to get started and rolling into the landscaping business. I would watch the guys across the street use their zero turns and cut an acre lot in 20 minutes. I wanted to be able to do what they did and use the zero turns. One day when I was out working a landscaping guy stopped to talk to me and he told me about this site and small talk about the business. I like the fact that I can grow and turn this into whatever I want it to be and I have ultimate control of the direction I take. I have no boss looking over my shoulder and it is completely dependent on what I do.

    I started off by using my parents JD tractor that they used on our lawn. I put 350 hours on it and it was pretty tired because I was already having to replace parts. I saved up the money that I made from the JD and bought my toro. After the toro the ball really started to move. I had some door hangers designed by some graphic designers and had them printed at a printer to use on doors. After advertising rather heavily in certain neighborhoods, picking up new accounts became easier and easier. With the new accounts came the increased word of mouth and cash flow. Then all the other equipment followed.

    Thats my story summed up.

    James and RedWingsDet should also post in here...
  9. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,858

    Well I'm older now, but I started early in life as well. I was mowing a few lawns when I was 12 or 13 in my neghiborhood weekly. Actually my living where I did is what allowed me to start. about 100 homes in the subdivision I grew up in and there was a lack of any teenagers in the whole place, and I was certianly the only one that liked outside work! I didn't really venture outside my 'hood until I was 17 or so, never needed too, always had 10 to 15 lawns a week within blocks from home. I had no clue for years that there was such a thing as "commercial lawn mowing" as I was never exposed to it. I also did a lot of extras like lawn watering and landscaping. Sure I could have done more but I was still lazy and even with the lawns I had I was making more dough than my friends.
  10. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,988

    Agreed. It's apparent that some of these guys were too worried about cutting grass, rather than paying attention in school.

    For you guys who have a brain on your shoulders, and are becoming successful at a young age, AND are juggling your business with school, AND are doing well at both, my hat is off to you guys:)

    I wish I had your guys' mindset when I was your age, rather than waiting ten or more years to try this myself.

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