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hanging it up and keeping my day job

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by kogafortwo, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. kogafortwo

    kogafortwo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    I've been doing freelance landscape work since last December to earn a few extra $$$ to finance my equipment habit. After several months of good hard work for loyal customers, I earned enough to:
    - put up a small shed to hold my stuff
    - buy a couple of pieces of equipment on my wish list
    - get some safety gear (like boots for example)

    Growing season is over, and my wife and kids actually miss me when I go out on lawn jobs directly from my day job and don't come home until after dark.

    I am hanging up the trimmer and leaving the landscaping work to people who deserve & need the money more than I do: legit licensed lawn services and maybe some neighbor kids who are willing to push a mower for $25 bucks, which is pretty much all I charged even with string trimming, edging, and hedge trimming and clean up thrown in.

    This all started with charity work where I volunteer to do something in the community 'cause I have equipment most homeowners don't. A couple of the recipients of my volunteer services were all but begging me to do it for money, I refused for a awhile but finally gave in. Since they needed the help to begin with I didn't have the heart to charge them what I thought the commercial services are getting.

    Anyway, I feel good about what I did for other people, and earned a few bucks the hard way. I have huge respect for people who do this for a living full time, it's real hard and you won't get rich at it. I will keep up the charity work now and then just to keep the Stihls exercised.

    For the record: I NEVER did tree work other than a little limbing with my pole saw. Real tree work is for people with the equipment, training, and insurance to do it right and they deserve to get paid properly for it.

    You can find me in my backyard splitting wood or in the garage fixing up my chipper. Stop in for a cold one.
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,155

    Nice thread/post. :)
  3. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    i agree also
  4. Kennedy Landscaping

    Kennedy Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,597

    Sorry to hear that, but you gotta do what you gotta do. Just part of business I guess.
  5. lawns Etc

    lawns Etc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,277

    Good for you I wish I could afford to quit but I have created way too much debt \
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    It seems if you want to really do it right you have to dedicate your-self 100%into landscaping if you're going to make it work. It's tuff to do when you have a day-job to contend with.

    Sorry that it couldn't work for you, but every situation is different and just like I tell others, you have to do what you have to do, period.

    It's always something you can do as a hobby too, so it's not like your going to be giving it up completly, you just might only do a couple of jobs a year.
  7. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    Good luck to you. I'm 19 and I decided last year to go full swing into this biz. I think that you can make a good living off of this type of work, but you have to be willing to give your all! For instance, I'm still a teen, and when my other teen friends are out having fun, many times I have to be working instead of having fun. If you have a full time or even part time responsibility other than this line of work, well it probably won't work out. Like I said, have fun doing this work for fun, because that's the way I see it, doing something I love to do.
  8. soloscaperman

    soloscaperman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,054

    So what was the problem were you getting to much work or was it because you didn't have the energy. If you were getting to much work then thats a good thing. Its a sign then ;-)

    At the same time you should have time for your kids.
  9. kogafortwo

    kogafortwo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    Thanks for the replies. I don't feel bad for quitting. I started out doing it for fun and goodwill type jobs and it just pulled me in. I made enough $$ to achieve my goals and I am satisfied.

    I got out while it was still fun and I was able to get 3 good customers through the growing season. They have plenty of time to find someone else before next spring.

    Regarding the amount of work: I could have taken on a lot more just by word of mouth. I put my own limit on my work time. Business is good around here. Every night on my way home from work there are at least 2 or 3 landscaper trailers in my neighborhood with a crew working.

    I would rather leave this line of work to people (like most of you) who do it full time and are making a go of it. I'm staying on the forum 'cause I like equipment and the kind of people who work with it.
  10. kogafortwo

    kogafortwo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    On the way to work yesterday, I drove past a place that I finished up last week and snapped this picture. They got Yard of the Month in their subdivision, partly thanks to me! The picture doesn't look as good as the real thing. Also, the brown patch of grass in front was not my responsibility. I did all their hedges, curb edging, and trim.

    I plan to call them and ask if their garden club is going to send me a bonus check for making the neighborhood look so good.


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