Good evening everyone. Be forewarned this is a very long post! My name is Madison, I'm 24 and have worked as a computer programmer/database administrator since I was 17. I currently make 80k a year, and have for a while. I am not in danger of losing my job, I'm not at risk of being laid off - I work for a company that made 14billion in profit last year (yes, profit, not gross). However, I am tired of working indoors - I constantly find myself depressed at being stuck in a taupe room with little to no natural light for 8-10 hours a day, I don't think humans should live that way, I don't think we were made to, and I don't think it's right. I've been doing research on the lawn care industry for about a year, I mowed yards as a side job when I was a young teenager with just a push mower around the neighborhood. Yes, that is the extent of my experience. That said, I've made the decision that I am leaving my air conditioned, taupe-walled career behind to start a lawn care business. I don't expect to make the kind of money I do right now, at least not for a long time, but I do look forward to working for myself, being outside, and living a more normal (as in, what humans were intended for) life. I currently live very close to Charleston, SC, this is where I intend to stay while I start this business, a check of yellowpages shows 207 "lawn care" listings within the greater Charleston area, serving a population of roughly 600,000 people. I haven't found any local LCOs that were willing to discuss pricing (and I feel that it would be dishonest to get a bunch to come give me an estimate), however I have discussed with several homeowners who currently have lawn care service and the going rate around here seems to be 60-80$/hr. Yes I realize there are a ton of businesses already in the area, and every day I see a station wagon or a camry pulling a trailer with a push mower and some weedeaters. I don't expect this to be a cake walk, but I do expect to be able to survive. I turned in my 2 week notice earlier this week, however at the request of the company I'll actually be staying for 45 days. I intend through the end of December and beginning of January to officially start my business. I have approximately 30,000$ saved and dedicated to this project, I don't want to attempt to start with consumer grade equipment out of the bed of a pick-up truck, I have always been taught and truly believe in either giving 100% or not trying, or I guess you could say go big or go home. I've already joined here and become a member of ALMA. I want to have every chance of succeeding, and I don't feel it would be fair to myself to not be willing to invest everything I have in this, either it works and I will be a business owner living off the profits of their company, or I will be in debt and going back to the office life that I hate. I am treating this like any other business venture, I have been working for about a month on a detailed business plan, I've purchased some market research for the area to get a better idea of the incomes of different areas so I know where my most profitable (but probably harder to get) customers are. I've been narrowing down my selections for equipment (I also will be acquiring a used truck and an enclosed trailer) although I don't plan to start off doing anything other than mowing trimming and edging (I don't want to jump in head over heels trying to learn those things as well as what to plant and where, or what flowers grow the best in shade), trying to decide on a company name, and select the best marketing tactics. I have some additional money that I could use for marketing, I am not afraid of post cards, fliers, door hangers, or anything else. I may not have much experience but I am a fast learner, I graduated highschool at 14 and was in college the next year. I can learn to do anything, and I can be good at whatever I do. I will not fail at this if the market can support just one more company. I realize that the 'looking for a mentor' part of my title might be a little odd, I know that Lawnsite exists for the exchange of information amongst people involved in the industry, but I'm hoping to establish a personal relationship with a few owners (I don't mind if they're in my area or not, although having someone here or close to here would be ideal) who I can discuss any aspect of the business with, I don't mind if it's here on Lawnsite, via PMs here, via email, or on the phone. Whether it's about equipment, specific questions about how to deal with a type or grass or shrub or what not, marketing, where to find employees when the time comes, you name it. I don't want to be the type of person who gives the industry a bad name because I don't have any experience, and I hope that through this site, and hopefully some personal help I can get off on the right foot. Feel free to bash me, or offer advice, or anything that you want, I just figured this would be a good time to get my foot in the door and introduce myself. Sorry for the novel, and thanks for your time!