Getting older

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by STL Ponds and Waterfalls, Nov 27, 2011.

  1. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    Well I turned 40 today so I've been thinking hard about hanging up the shovel and hiring some labor. Not just because I'm 40, but I'm starting to hurt and breakdown.:confused:

    When did most of you guy's and gal's decide to quit doing the labor part of your business? Right now I can survive on what I sell and install, but if I have to bring in a few guy's (foreman/laborers) I'll have to sell a lot more work.
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    HAppy Birthday!

    Age doesnt dictate working :)

    Lets talk about your physical condition. Overweight? Bean stalk? Smoker? Drinker?

    I do very little physical work in the field, although it's been that way for the last 10 years.

    I'm gettin older too. But you probably wouldn't know it, I'm very physically active :weightlifter: Everybody needs to be physically active.

    We do less hardscapes. I don't know the exact percentage, but hardscapes accounts for less than 50% of our revenue for 2011. And I'm totally content with that. The bulk of the work we do is not as physical, mostly all machine work. Along with other good things.
  3. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Happy birthday to a fellow sagitarian. I'm tuning 50 in 3 days and I remember well when I was 40 I was as sore as can be, and was actually considering hanging my shovels up as well. I'd say definetely and without a doubt if you are in good shape that you will have minimum 15 yrs in front of you but its all about getting good employees. Trust me, without them I would not be where I am today.
    On another note as dvs said, your physical conditioning (and mental) is of utmost importance. I took up karate 8yrs ago when i went thru a divorce and I'm only stronger both physically and mentally then when I was 40. Hang in there bud.
  4. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    Well I could be in a lot better shape that's for sure. I've been working in the field for 10 years now come March '12 and about 4 years for an employer before that. I do it all, estimates, orders/invoicing, installs, etc etc. The only thing I don't do is the tractor work. I had this discussion last year but it was for hiring a salesman, but that will be my role I think.

    I'm just opening a discussion for the winter time while I look at different avenues for my future.
  5. RGM

    RGM LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Baltimore Md
    Messages: 979

    I'm fifty and I still do it all and will keep doing it till I can't
  6. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    Happy Birthday Keith!
    Its hard getting the mindset to let people help you, just do it in baby steps. Hire one guy, then halfway thru the season hire another. Let them do most of the work, same thing the following year til your out. I'm still under 40 :) so I'm going to stay in the field a little longer.
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    And with hiring people comes stress. You now have to work harder to make sales as you now have more mouths to feed. And personalities to babysit. Yes, babysit. I find as I'm getting older that I have less patience for contending with some aspects of employee management.

    One thing I wanna point out. I've noticed over the years on industry forums that many folks come off as if running a hardscape business is the only way to make a living. It's a lotta hard work for a little bit of money. Just like selling firewood! Sometimes doing hardscapes is just a stepping stone and can lead to bigger and better things :)

    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    That's crazy my cousin turns 50 the same day! Trying to find good emplyees is VERY hard. When you do they seem to only stick around for a short while before going on thier own.

    I probably will have to as well.:)

    Thanks Bruce! I'll alway's be in the field for the most part. The help and subs I've used seem to never do it the way you have it set in your mindand can drive you nuts.

    Absolutely right! It is a babysitting game, I feel like I should call all my old boss' and apologize for the crap we pulled. Every year I plan on doing more maintenance to ease my way back to where I started, but I end up slinging more and more boulders/block than maintenance.

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