you guys impress me!

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by haynestotallawn, Apr 23, 2002.

  1. haynestotallawn

    haynestotallawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Honestly, most if not all of you have owned your own business for a while and wouldn't dream of working for someone else, me I've worked in industry forever it seems and it scares me to think my business is growing at a rate that come mid summer I may have to make a decision on doing this full time or turning down some business. Just wanted to say that.
     
  2. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    Stick with both than. I am a full time engineer and run my lawn biz as well. I have 1 FT guy that I pay very well and he does 90% of the labor. I mostly do the books and oversee his work. You still keep your benefits and make some extra money on the side. If your lawn biz could make a lot more than your current job you might want to go for it FT but think it through.
     
  3. sheppard

    sheppard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 542

    I always thought that fear was a good thing. Who wants to live a boring safe life.

    Jump out of the boat and start your own business.

    I highly recommend reading a speach given by Teddy Roosevely "The Strenuous Life". This motivated me to go full steam ahead in my business.

    Cordially,
    Sheppard
     
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    You can't MAKE that kind of money cutting grass as a solo to pay for benefits like that. It is virtually impossible. No matter what anybody tells you.
     
  5. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 773

    It would sure save me a lot of time and energy to know that for sure.

    The wife and I are building our business with those kinds of expenses in mind and if we can't get it built up enough by the end of the year to cover those things, we're likely getting out. We can cover our living expenses, business expenses, fun expenses, medical insurance, and retirement by working a reasonable week at approximately $50/hour.

    If I can't get those rates, tell me now and I'll get out. ;)
     
  6. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 712

    IMO, there are more important reasons for doing what I do than just the money. I expect to do a shade over $70k this season. I am a solo operator, and as of this season will owe money only on my home. 3 more truck payments!!!:blob3: 5 more car payments :blob3: and about 4 grand in credit card debt. All that aside, I would still do this if it meant that I only made $25k like I did as a warehouse manager or if I'd gone with the sheriff's office full time.

    What I really like is:

    1. The flexibility. I decide priorities. I've been to 3 funerals in the last few years. At my old job this would have hurt my OT.

    2. The responsibility. I had 13 people under me at my old job. I hired them, and was responsible for them. 2 of them made more money than I did, and I wasn't salaried. I guess my responsibility ended when the UPS truck came and timecards were turned in.

    3. It's productive. I used to spend 60+ hours a week moving freight, and never saw the end of the line. Now I can see the results of my efforts as I drive to my next job. That matters a lot.

    4. Permission. Do I need permission to play golf? No, just shufle the schedule a bit. Bass fever? The same.

    5. My input matters. My old bosses never really cared what I thought. Sure, they always asked. Then they did what they wanted to do and when things went wrong, I got the blame. The president of the Co. gave me the nickname BOHICA. He meant it as a joke, but it was true.

    I guess it all comes down to what you consider your own priorities. Security? My aunt was a federal employee. She went through an apprenticeship (4yrs) at about $7/hr, then after she got her permanent, secure job, she was laid off. She lost all her benefits, everything.

    She started a maid service and was making pretty good loot, but the gov't called to ask her to come back to work. Naturally, she went. She said the benefits were just too good. About a year later, guess what? Yep, laid off again. Now she runs her business, makes more money. What about those benefits? There isn't a benefit offered by any company that you cannot offset being self employed.

    As long as there is something I can do to earn money, even if it's something unpleasant, I will choose that over having some jerk of a manager scream at me because he had a bad day, knowing I have to take it to save my benfits, and that if I quit, I lose 100% of my income.

    Will I get rich doing this? Every time I start to think about getting a real job, as my wife's family is always telling me to do, I remember that at the real jobs I had before, I couldn't spend $100 without seriously thinking about it. Credit card bills got the minimum payment. Last June I wrote a check for almost $5400. It sure felt different than floating a check for groceries on Thursday, based on a check I wouldn't get until Friday like I did at my real jobs. Let somebody else do that real job.
     
  7. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,597

    Sheppard,

    That Teddy Roosevelt speech is a great one... I'v read it many times....I have this quote from that speech on my wall...

    "Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory or defeat."

    If anyone gets a chance to read that speech, it is inspiring to say the least.
     
  8. eslawns,

    Good post. What does BOHICA mean anyway?

    It's a shame you don't get better support from your in-laws.
    When my wife and I were married, I was already mowing lawns for a living.
    Although she wasn't unsupportive of my work, she was a little indifferent.
    I asked her to help with the bookkeeping. Billing, deposits, etc.
    Once she got a good look at the business she's it's biggest supporter. :D

    I think most people with "real" jobs are working for just a promise.
    The promise of better pay, or the promise that they will take care of you if you're sick or old.
    From what I've seen, most of them don't follow thru on their promises.
    I'd rather take the responsibility myself.

    Dave
     
  9. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Yep cant beat working for yourself,it aint easy, but if it was everyone would be doing it.Nice to kick back at the end of the day and say I did that and everything I own I worked for myself,I work around the suburb I live in,in the morning when all the people are driving off to town,I'm the guy diving the other way,no traffic hassles,I can stop in home for lunch,meet the kids from school,Every hour or so I move along to a different spot to work and with a view like this from my "office" window I can see when the fishing is great..........

    hooper1a.jpg
     
  10. haynestotallawn

    haynestotallawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Thanks for all the great post guys, they are inspiring to say the least. In my "real" job I am a risk taker (firefighter) but switching gears to lawns full time is another story, firefighting is in my blood so.
     

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