Anyone have regrets/joys leaving a decent full time job for starting a business?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by MDLawn, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    The title says it all. Just looking for other peoples experiences and decisions on the who what where when why & how of it. Were you kicking yourself for leaving, jumping for joy, making less or "rolling" in it, less stress to more stress or vice versa. I am however not making this into a judging thread but just curious to others experiences. I guess if I had to make it more specific I'd say that I would like to hear from more of the guys with the 30 week cutting season and not so much the year round southerners. But anyone feel free to comment.

    And yes, it's on my mind regarding the title.....
  2. slave2lawns

    slave2lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 39

    I've been in this business going almost 15yrs now. I can honestly say that I have no regrets. I used to be an operations mngr for a paper company in the bronx for 8yrs before I quit and started doing this full time. I did however have to them a 2 month notice. They were good to me and made it clear that I could go back. I never did. Doing this full time was 1 of the greatest things that I could have done.
  3. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    Mixed feelings since going fulltime into lawncare a few years ago. It was a calculated decision that was planned a couple years in advance.

    1. Flexibility in making my own schedule
    2. Being able to turn down jobs that I simply don't want to do
    3. winters off, except for a small amount of part-time work
    4. Being able to spend more time with my kids

    1. The money, very hard to replace my income at my previous job, then again I am not trying to mow the world.
    2. Rain outs.
    3. Having so much equipment taking up space in my garage
    4. Droughts

    There are many more pros and cons. When the kids get older I would entertain job offers in my previous industry if it was a good fit. The nice thing about mowing is just when I am getting burned out, the end of the season is closing in to save me.
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  4. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Those pro's and con's are spot on, especially Pro #4. Really I want to keep the fulltime and just have people doing the landscape/lawn work for me, even if it's less money to start. Not working and making money is better looking to me than working my tail off for a little more. Tough part is finding someone fulltime (that can be reliable) and providing enough work to make them stick around and use part time help come spring/summer. I'd still help out when I can but have that go to person. Tough one though....
  5. Toro 455

    Toro 455 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 238

    I was mowing part time when they closed the local telephone engineering office. That was in 1983 when I started mowing full time.
    I tried crews and handled a lot of other people's money. I'm solo now and making more real profit.
    I figure getting out of that office saved my life. I've lost 50# and I'm healthier & happier.
    I've sifted thru the clients over the years, keeping the best. I've kept one with a 26 acre lawn since I was part time.
    I work more or less like a groundskeeper now. If something needs done I do it and bill them.
    There's less stress than engineering for the phone company. Though my daughter told me it took her three years to tell her friends at school that her dad is now "the lawnmower man."
  6. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Stress thing is the major one for me with the full time. A lot of unecessary stress too.

    Nothing wrong with the "lawn mower man".
  7. Chilehead

    Chilehead LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Stockbridge, GA
    Messages: 1,969

    No regrets whatsoever. October marks 10 years in business (for myself), and I look forward to another 20 at least. The thing is, I love what I do. No amount of money can change that.
  8. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,398

    As long as your bills are paid, being satisfied and enjoying your work is of primary importance. I am not saying that all lawn guys are happy and broke. Some of us do very well for ourselves. However, I would very much rather have a lower income, a lower standard of living, and be satisfied by my work then have a high-paying job that stressed me out.

    Enjoy your word, excel at it, and very likely you'll find that you make enough money to meet your needs.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. MDLawn

    MDLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    My current full time is a fantastic career. I'm just at a place that is about $20,000-$30,000 off in pay compared to the rest in my area/field. The problems for me are

    A.) Not moving for this career. Family is here and my wife has another fantastic job and pays her well.

    B.) My benefits are unreal. I don't pay a dime for family health care and have an incredible retirement plan.

    C.) Can I make enough to have at least the amount of pay I currently have. I believe I can but with a family its hard to screw around with your money.

    Lots to think about plus I'm getting a new boss so maybe things will change. The plan is still to pursue getting more work and see where it goes. Maybe I'll get a huge raise and do well in landscaping and just have it all :laugh:
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I think the answer from those who will say keep your regular job forget this general are not on this site much. The ones that have done well and are doing okay are on here.

    There are trade offs and Pros and Cons to it all.

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