I guess this question goes to anyone who has "made it" by that I mean, worked from a struggling solo operator to full time LCO and got past the initial road blocks. At what point is it worth it? It seems like I get all the nice toys but never really clear a significant profit at the end of the year. I have a really nice business here, full legitimate, have all the goodies- two trucks two trailers a z, w/b, 21" and lots of nice top of the line 2 cycle/handheld stuff, leaf vac, snowblowers, plow, all the hand tools, shop tools and supplies, etc. Its a nice business, we maintained about 30 lawns a week last season and plan to double that this next year. Did lots of one time leaf removals and this winter are doing snow removal for many of our regular customers and a few one-timers. We have customers that just have us do the leaves or just the snow, and they come back every year. Our rates are fair, many might consider them high on some jobs. Most jobs you could find someone to do it considerably cheaper, even a legitimate LCO. I do not lowball just to get a job. If its an area I really want into, I will sometimes lower my price just to be even with other professional legit LCO's but never below their price. Its a you-get-what-you-pay-for deal with my company. All of my customers are very happy and rarely do i get complaints. I am 17, a senior in high school. I plan to go full time in '05 here next spring as i graduate. Will it all get better when i go full time? it seems like I am constantly under much stress trying to accomplish it all and make ends meet. Its like I am always having to buy more equipment to meet my customer's needs, and a good bit of the stuff is used and i do my own mechanic work (although i have great luck with used stuff) so i save money with those areas (save cost of new and do own work) and buyin this stuff to get the jobs done is great, but it seems to never end. Its always "one more thing and i'll be happy and everything will go great" but that never wants to happen. Things were simpler last year just a pickup, 12' trailer, w/b, trimmer, edger and blower.... I have good employees too. The one is especially good i never have to tell him how to do it or babysit him. Just tell him what i want done and let him have at it. I can go to other part of property or to another job a house or two away, or send him over there and not worry a thing about it. He's good. I wish he would stay with the business but I can only have him probably another year as he is a junior in high school and has plans for college. The other guys I have on my "on call" list for when i need extra help or a fill-in, they're alright too. I pay fair, $7-7.50 starting wage, and $8 for "experienced" help. So why am I having a hard time with it? Is it just that I have to buy the equipment for a full time LCO but only have part time income? Is there something else I'm missing? More than once since this past fall I have seriously thought of selling out... the whole enchilada, everything included, or just sell the main stuff and keep the w/b, one truck, small trailer and the older smaller 2 cycle stuff, and a few select customers and go from there, everything paid for that way, low overhead. But I don't know what else i would do after school so then i think i'd better keep what i have i worked two long hard years to get it all i better just hang on and keep going. This stuff will last a long time and will make me a lot of money as it already has. But at what point does all this hard work pay off? 2 years? 3, 4 or 5 years?