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Career change..Big mistake?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by J and M Mowing, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. J and M Mowing

    J and M Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I'm a cop in this town of 100,000 people and have been for the last 15 years. I have come to a point in my life where I have become unhappy in my job. It seems that the only thing I enjoy is being in the lawn care business and being my own boss. I'm tired of the night shift and not seeing my family. I started this business to help my 14 year old make extra money, but enjoyed it so much that I did everything that I could to build it up to a money making adventure. I can't tell you how cool it is to do something that pays reasonably well and doesn't require me to put on a uniform. I have always been a closet entrepeneur and feel like this is the time to jump ship and go full time into the lawn care business..am I crazy or what? By the way, I always thought that lawn care guys were on the bottom of the gene pool, but since I started doing lawncare several years ago and most recently became a member of Lawnsite.com, I have found that the opposite is true. Most of you (including you Bobbygedd) are smart business people. I learn something about business here every day and truly enjoy looking at all the threads. Cheers!
  2. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    get some business cards, and nexttime you give a ticket, staple a business card to it ;) that'll gain you some business.
  3. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    Welcome to the site! Only you can know if going full time is a good move. It sounds like you have the determination and the will to make everything happen, but you still need to be prepared to wait a long time for everything to fall into place. I'm not sure how many accounts you currently have, but you will need to get your name out there through every form of advertising you possibly can. If you really like doing this type of work, and don't mind getting really dirty, spending long hard hours at first, and are willing to sacrafice money in the beginning then it sounds like you are off to a good start! I wish you and your business the best of luck!
  4. Rick Jones

    Rick Jones LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 427

    You have 15 years in now, how long until you can retire? If we are only talking about 5 years, I'd ride it out and enjoy the pension benefits. Then you could jump into lawn care full time.
  5. J and M Mowing

    J and M Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I have 5 years....but I could be vested in the pension plan today. If I quit now, I would have to wait 5 years (for a total of 20 years) to draw a retirement. I have 15 residentials and 2 commercial accounts. I definitely would like to have more accounts before I make the jump. But landscaping and tree jobs provide a lot more income also.
  6. J and M Mowing

    J and M Mowing LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    And yes, I love getting sweatty and dirty!
  7. dvmcmrhp52

    dvmcmrhp52 LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Pa.
    Messages: 4,205

    I would suggest you wait till more accounts have been built up before making a comitment that could be very stressful for the first 2 years with only 15 current accounts.
    I'd wait a year or 2 at least before "jumping"
  8. carbon737

    carbon737 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 46

    Like dvmcmrhp52 said I would definetly wait I few more years to jump over. Build a "nest egg" so when you do jump you won't be shocked with too little income or not enough clientele. Buy equipment a little at a time so you're not over burdend by bills and never bite more than you can chew. Ask your family for support through your adventure and know that you are not the only one in your situation. Good luck.
  9. 4734

    4734 LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 43

    I know the feeling, I'm a auto theft detective with almost 22 years of service. I am currently building my business up to a point where I can "jump". Luckily I can retire out with a full retirement but now is not the right time for me.
    Is there anyway you can change shifts to allow some more time to build the business and build the retirement fund more?

    Good luck on your business.
  10. hole in one lco

    hole in one lco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,793

    If i were you i would not quit your job you guys get a grate pension. If you quit know you will only collect a partial pension.
    Don't forget about your benefits to you need to look out for your family's best interest. If you get killed in the line of duty your house car and all bills are payed and your spouse collects your pension. If you get killed cutting grass you get a funeral to pay for
    keep grass cutting as a side job. You should have enough seniority to switch to days .

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