Annual Income...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by quickcuts, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. carolinacutter

    carolinacutter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Sounds like you are getting answers from both sides of the fence.....I say marry a rich chick and RELAX....just kidding!! I had close to 30 accounts (solo) when I was a senior in H.S...dropped them ALL cause I "thought" I was gonna go to school. Here I am 8 years later trying to get em all back. I screwed both, got outta LC and didn't go to school so dont take my advice. Well maybe the part on the rich chick!! :D
  2. EC-Rider

    EC-Rider LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    …A collage degree will give you prestige and bragging rights later on in your life, plus if an unforeseen opportunity should knock on your door you don’t want to lose it to the lesser guy b\c of a degree. :p

    Now having said all that, school will not give you common sense, make you smarter, more knowledgeable, or a better person…That will always be up to you…much like common sense, which is free BUT…some got it, some get it, some don’t! LOL! ;)

    Good luck and I hope you make the right choice.

    Hope that helps!

    It’s all good! Enjoy! Peace! :angel:

  3. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 476

    There are a lot of variables involved in whether or not you will be successful in your career. I tried the college route and after about two years and an insult from the Dean of engineering who told me I wasn't "the right caliber for college", I guess that was his polite way of saying I wasn't smart enough, I dropped out. I've always had a mechanical aptitude and that's really helped out in this business. I worked as a small engine mechanic/power equipment salesman for several years and I do 99% of the repairs on my equipment myself which saves a lot of time and money, a very needed skill in this business. I'm 45 and been in business 14 years and have been fairly successful. However I would rather have a degree and be doing something less stressful but then the grass is always greener on the other side. I guess my biggest worry is that will I be able to continue this type of work until i'm 65. That thought never crossed my mind when I started out. I turn away tons of business every year because i'm scared of becomming too big. I lack the management skills required to oversee employees. I carry one part time helper during the season plus my son who is with me full time during the summer. What ever route you choose I wish you well.
  4. SunSwept

    SunSwept LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    A little of my background before I give you any "advice":

    I am 48 years old and my fulltime job is computer programming. I have been programming since I was 15 (in the early 70s) and I make some very good money at it.

    I went to college (after 4 years in the Army) to study nuclear engineering. I quit after my third year because I could make a lot of money programming computers. Just afterwards, the bottom fell out of the nuclear field. No new power plants have been built in the US in about 20 years.

    From 1994 until 2004 I had earned 6 figures each year as an independent "contract programmer". 2004 was a bad year for me. I got stiffed outta 3 months of money and ended up hiring lawyers to finally get it in 2005.

    That being said, in 1999 I made over $200K and knew that the proverbial "end of the world" was coming for computers and started looking for a way to get out of the field. I came up with 4 rules: 1) Whatever I did was not going to be so complicatred that I couldn't explain it to my cat: 2) Eventually, I was not going to be the one to do the work and that was the reason for rule number 1; 3) What I call the toilet-paper rule: whatever I did, everyone would need at least a little bit of it all of the time; 4) Instead of 1 or 2 large clients, I would have many many small clients and if I lost one or two it wouldn't hurt so bad.

    There is much work out there that fits all of these rules but I chose lawns. Hopefully, this year will be my last with the computers. I am doing well and growing all of the time.

    WOULD I GO TO COLLEGE? Probably not. I would make sure that I was literate, that I could properly spell and use the words (there, their, they're, for example) so as to appear intelligent to the customers and employees. I would take 'continuing-education' classes. I would attend seminars. But I would not go for the college degree as the degree is only helpful when you want to work for someone else as an employee. Think of it ... Orville and Wilbur Wright built the first airplane to fly under it's own power. Where did they get a degree in aerospace engineering? The answer is, they didn't. They made the rules! And the world is full of examples like this.

    One other thing .... another post mentioned that you might get hurt and can't do this kind of work and then "what will you do?".

    The difference between a small business and a large business: walk away for 3-6 months. If you still draw a salary, if the business still moves on without you being there, if everything is still going when you get back, then you have a big business and not a small business. Strive for the big business, then RETIRE before you are 35, buy a sailboat live on it for 6 months per year while the rest of us sweat out butts off cutting grass.
  5. kevinsky

    kevinsky LawnSite Member
    from Nevada
    Messages: 75

    Go to college now. It will never be more conveinent. I earned a degree in business while I worked my father's lawn business. Although I started my own business soon after college, I think the education ultimately led to my success in business. There is no doubt you can make more money owning your own business than with a four year degree, but why not do both? There are so many doors that will not be open to you down the road without a college degree. Good Luck!

    BALDEAGLE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    that was intended for the post before yours, ya snuck in ahead of me there,as i don't type real fast,not having a college education, and all...
    just kinda grabs me by the booboo sometimes when some 21 yr old snot-nosed punk says ya can't get anywhere w/out an education...when his apparent 3 yrs. so far, haven't even learned him to spell college.
    ok - the bad day, and a few brews, might have had a little to do w/ it too.
  7. hoyboy

    hoyboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from Chicago
    Messages: 346

    Go to school. Yes, the stats clearly point out the fact that college educated people make more. That's not the reason for my recommendation, however. Contrary to some posts, college will make you a better person if you apply yourself. You will learn to reason. You will learn discipline. You will learn thought processes that far exceed the degree that you obtain. Even if you end up in a completely different career than your degree (even landscaping), the wealth of knowledge and personal enrichments you learn while in college will follow you all your life. Get it while you're still young. 200 accounts sounds like a huge business to you right now. It is not. A lack of education will eventually handcuff you to remaining small and "manageable," as so many other here have found themselves in that same predicament.

  8. lawnranger44

    lawnranger44 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    Go to college, maybe a community college close to where you live if you are dead set on running the business. I am in college and my brother is keeping the business running when I am not home so I've got it covered but...

    College rocks! Not only is it fun and a great way to meet people and get out on your own, it will make you a hard worker and you will learn how to discipline yourself. If your lucky your parents will help you pay for it (I'm not). But even if they don't you can get a nice loan to help you pay.

    I might run my lawn business after college, but my degree will give me options in case I want to run the business part time and get a full time job. The possibilities are endless now.
  9. lawnandplow42

    lawnandplow42 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    If you know you are going to be doing this work the until retirement, then i don't think you need college. But it depends on how good you are with the business aspect of landscaping, not just the actuall work. IMO, i'd skip college.
    I've always thought that the money you spend on college, plus the money you could have made while you were in class, just doesn't make sense.
    I know there are exceptions to that but just my idea.
  10. joes

    joes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Yes go to college! I just turned 24 I have owned my business for 4 years. I have also gone to school for 2.5 years of engineering then switched to business. I am graduating in two weeks with my associates in business administration. I will be continuing possibly for my MBA. I currently maintain 51 accounts commercial and residential. College is a HUGE help. In class we discuse many business issues and I have to say it really helps. I currently take six classes at night and work during the nights and weekends. It also challenges me alot and makes me feel good about myself that I can do so much. It's not easy but I am sure you will not regret going to college. College will only help your business grow!!! I know from experience.

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