Going to quit day job, just don't know when.

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by thomas.creation, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    To the OP, you have said "follow your dreams." The most meat on that bone is "own my own business." That is admirable. But, it can take many forms.

    Your proposal for doing lawn maintenance sounds like nothing unique. From what you have said, you propose doing nothing different than the many others doing the same thing.

    You have an education, and you have teaching skills. You also have technical skills in the shop. There are three things that begin to set you apart from others. Pushing a lawn mower, trimming bushes, doing small installs -- nothing that many others cannot do. Why not take your unique set of skills and interests to leverage a business that utilizes these three things?

    You have not said you dislike teaching or the technical aspect of shop work. Maybe you like lawn service work much more, we don't know.

    As others have said well, your benefits far exceed anything you will be able to support on your own for a number of years after becoming successful. Leaving your education and shop skills on the shelf, just so you can own your own business may be a path to the swamps. Dreams are great. A good dose of reality is also great.
  2. thomas.creation

    thomas.creation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Thanks, I do enjoy teaching and I do have mechanic skills. I'm master ASE certified and have spent a few years in a shop. Cars are a passion of mine but I'm feeling burned out on both teaching and cars. Your advice is good and goes along with what most guys are saying. Many people have told me that I have the best of both worlds as of now. Solid job with good pay and plenty of free time to run my business. It's something I'm very aware of and need to remind myself of often so that I don't take it for granted.
  3. thomas.creation

    thomas.creation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Good to hear advice from a former shop teacher. How long did you teach for? Yes the shop equipment is def a plus. I have everything from cnc plasma tables to a/c equipment at my disposal. I live and teach in IL, pensions are on the cutting block as are heal benefits. We actually lost the right to choose our health care plan in this contract because the school is considering dropping us into the new fed health care program. I'm tenure at the end of this year (4). I've heard a lot of people say that at 10 years we can get some level of pension. I'll have to look into this as this is a very good point.

    I have 10 houses that I do full service on. I'm nowhere near 50k. I could be if I was on my own.

    I really do appreciate the advice guys. I get the dear in the headlight look from most people when I discuss this crazy idea.
  4. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,933

    I"ll give you a spin then give you an opinion.

    Something that I will always ask somebody.....What kind of health history does your family have..

    To say the least, the best boss is somebody that stays out of the way of their employees, but is smart enough to get their hands dirty when necessary..

    Point i'm making is not everybody takes a company and then can sit behind a desk and run it. Some still work in the field because they have to, but hopefully you do it because you want to.

    If there is one regret that i have.......getting my health insurance paid for. Yes i pay my own health insurance and it is one of my biggest personal expenditures that i make. As part of my compensation, I pay myself part of my medical cost, but my family, can't do that. Even going through my states contractor's programs, still gets real steep when having to pay over a 1000 a month for a family of 4 with most of it because of my hypertension.

    Really think real hard about this.....
    paid vacations.......gone
    paid holidays.......gone
    retirement benefits.......gone
    health care benefits.....gone and a real pia specially if you have pre-existing conditions.
    most of all, even with insurance and even through no fault of you, you can loose EVERYTHING because of a natural disaster or an accident.

    If I have one regret....should of stayed a cop. At least i would have benefits and not worry whether i will be able to afford the next doctor bill. I wouldn't have to worry about making payroll because in one month I loose multi clients because of deaths and then have 2 major break downs with vehicles.

    I guess this is what I get for being in this trade since age 8.
    But how many people can you sit down with and have them tell you that they remember when you were your sons age, watching you work trying to pick up a leaf with a rake and basket. I got to do this and proud of my daughter and son who helped me install a micro spray system in the flowerbeds, and install a new sod and sprink system . The client who my family has been working for since 1964 sat down with me and told me what lovely children I have. She also said seing my son step on the roll so I could roll it out and then both my my kids working with the roller afterwards, it reminded her of when I was with my dad. Bless my dad, he's been gone for 4 years, but I turned a business that he started and make a pretty good living off it. Lots of headaches, but what I just said just now, you don't get those kind of true stories unless you make them by working for yourself.
  5. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    Four years, and burned out ....?

    If this the case, then moving to own your own business in lawn service may be a bad move. To be successful will take some time. Ramp-up time could be a few years.

    I think you also mentioned diversity in one other post. Moving from focus to focus in a few years, and being a business owner generally do not go together. In some cases, one can start, grow quickly, then sell, and make a handsome profit. But, this is not the usual case. More typical is the ramp-up, expand, develop more services and widen the customer base. This takes time, and is inconsistent with movement of focus over short time periods.

    I see employed people with a desire to move from focus to focus, being diverse in their interests. They move from place to place quickly, and develop a width of skills that serves them very well. Over time, they are very successful because they have shown themselves to adapt to new challenges and do well. In these cases, they have not put themselves at risk, their capital at risk, or settled easily. In many ways, these folks are to be envied. They play loose, make significant contributions, and hold a variety of skills that employers like. Maybe this is you.
  6. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Messages: 1,390

    Lawn care is good money when you do it on the side of a full time job. Keep the job and cut grass in the evenings and weekend.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. thomas.creation

    thomas.creation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Not so much burned out I guess, more like bored. I'm the type of guy that cant sit still. The first few years were fine, with the whole learning curve and all. Now I'm on auto pilot.
    Great history.
    As of now these are great perks but I'm worried about what the future holds. I'm sure most people have heard by now that IL is flat broke. Right now its all on the table as possible cuts. I'm lucky and was in the teacher retirement system before they made some big overhauls, another thing for me to consider. If any pension money is available I'll be out with full pension draw at 62. From what I understand I cant draw till that age.

    I agree, it's great extra income.
  8. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    paid vacations.......gone
    paid holidays.......gone
    retirement benefits.......gone

    I don't know about all of this. I have vacations, long holiday weekends and I'm funding my retirement. Plus I'm going to sell my Mow, Blow and Go business for millions!
  9. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    If this be the case, then you need to find something else besides lawn services. Not all, but most is "crank and grind" after a short time. The only way out is offering unique services that find a different configuration every time out. It may take a long time to get to that point, however.

    The primary challenge after understanding the tasks at hand is to increase productivity. Maybe this is enough for you to remain interested.

    The one word that best characterizes many lawn services: Routine. So, if routine is not to your liking, then you need to own some other kind of business. There are plenty out there, and they may be better suited to your perspective.
  10. thomas.creation

    thomas.creation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Yes lawns are routine. But like I've stated before I only plan on using the lawn business as supplemental to my landlord business. Being a landlord is ball of fun and its never predictable. I enjoy both and feel that they could compliment each other.

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