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How the business affects the family

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Ecoscape01, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Ecoscape01

    Ecoscape01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 375

    I haven't even started actually servicing people's lawns yet and my girl already got mad at me last night. For those of you who don't know, last night (Mar 14) was Steak and "Treats" night to put it nicely. They got their day so yesterday was ours. So she cooked me a steak and then right after dinner I had to speak with someone online about my marketing strategy. After I finished chatting with this gentleman online she chewed my butt saying I'm always on the computer or working on the business. I tried to explain to her that this kinda thing doesn't happen overnight and takes a lot of time, effort, research, and computer work to make this business happen for me and us. I can only immagine when I'm actually servicing people's properties and juggling all the other stuff when business picks up. How do you guys balance being self-employed and being a boyfriend/husband/father. I think anyone doing this is somewhat obsessed with their business. I'm trying to so hard to learn about this trade and being a businessman and it's definitely taking a lot of my time away from my girlfriend. By the way - I'm in school full time, work 20 hrs a week, and drill one weekend a month so that has a little to do with it as well but you get the point
  2. lurch

    lurch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 221

    Don't feel so bad....I'm active duty Marine Corps, School, 7 mo. old daughter, wife, and two dogs and i make time for my business....hands down...family comes first in my book....i get a lot done during my business time so i have more time to spend with the family....it is hard at times though...just keep the head up
  3. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    All I will say is get used to it. When you have a good customer base and spend the evening entering everything into the computer for the days work she will complain even more than now, mine does. You will work all day and then work when you get home doing paper work or on computer. My kids understand and I spend alot of time with them on weekends and during the week I will come home for a little while just to spend time with them. My wife on the other hand alway's seems to find something to complain about to put is nicely. In the winter she has to work and I'm off and in the spring and summer she's at it again because I'm gone all the time but she likes to spend the money. If we have a drought she sais get a real job since she doesn't have as much money to blow. It might sound like we don't get along but we do it just seems to me that there's NO PLEASING WOMEN they alway's find something to complain about. GET USED TO IT!!! or stay single. Since I make so much money during the season she wants a new mini van this year that should make her happy for about a month until the newness wears off.
  4. cl&l c.c. Tx

    cl&l c.c. Tx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I agree completely, family first. I'm pretty lucky, my wife doesn't give me any crap, in fact she backs me 100%.
  5. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,034

    Sometimes family first means paying the bills and putting food on the table, roof over their heads and cloths on their backs. but hey, that all does not count.

    She is going to hate you for 2 to 7 years, and her parents will hate yo for the rest of your life. They will say you do not make enough, then you will not be spending time with the family, then you are focusing too much on the money and not enough on relationships, and it is a never ending circle. You should go get a job to $10.00 - $15.00 per hour, for the next 40 years, and hopefully retire at about $1500-$2000 per month. In other words, plan to be poor, that is what you should do.

    As you can see, I have heard it all, for the past 16 years. If they want to go up river, I will provide the boat, but without the paddles.

    If this is your "Calling" she needs to be behind you, backing you up. Her parents can just be quiet unless they are going to lend sound advice.

    It sounds like she has had everything handed to her and she is not about to let that change. Then again I could be wrong.

  6. Buckeye Lawncare

    Buckeye Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    You sound just like me. I am in school full-time at Ohio State, work at Sears during the mowing offseasons, I have a full-time 40 hour a week job over summer break from school and I have my business.
    My family supports me, just gets mad when I spend money. My girlfriend takes this whole work thing pretty good, we have been going out for 3 1/2 years now. She is the one that finally talked me into starting my own business after hearing me complain everyday about the guy I used to work for. Heck she even helps me mulching and is going to be doing all the bookeeping stuff this year. The only time she gets pissed is when it rains for five days straight or when customers piss me off an I am an a$$hole to be around. She gets really mad when I spend money, but it is MY money, therefore she can only complain so much!
  7. JeffW0011

    JeffW0011 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 182

    LOL...sounds so familiar....my wife and I had our first major spat about this yesterday. She has been making comments for the last few weeks and it boiled over yesterday. She accused me, rightfully so, of being obsessed with this. She said it was getting completely out of control. "All you have done for the last 3 months is work on that GD business plan...spend hours on the phone...hours in your Fing office on that Fing computer. Your more interested in grass then ass",... why has that never been a problem the last 10 years as she's fighting me off? gone for hours looking at equipment and meeting people.da da da....then she started in on money "all i do is watch you write checks, i don't see any money coming in". Then I exploded how the F4@& can there be any money coming in when there is no grass to cut. It got ugly....In my defense, I have spent several years being the primary parent. Yeah, I am working my ass off to make this a success for them..."who the F you think Im doing this for? You think I just love the thought of cutting grass all day in 90 degree weather". It was all better today. I decided to take a few days off(step back a little anyway) She made me promise no more than 4 hours Thur, Fri and Sat each, and to take Sun completely off. Then she said I can have a big week next week. I mean she is behind this, but it gets tedious and frustrating. I really think this is the harder or as hard as when the work comes in. Much more scary....once jobs start rolling in at least I can relax on that level. My theory is to get everything as lined out as possible now and being able to totally focus on work when it comes. I have a first year cap on customers. I think I can get all the work done I want in 3 long days, take a 4th day each week for clerical, maintenance, calls, estimates etc. And hopefully have 2-3 days down. I realize there will be times when due to weather and stuff I might be working double time, but I still think this is the most stressful time. My goal is under ideal conditions I will service 10 customers each on Wed, Thur, Fri....use a half day Sat for catch up. Take Sunday completely off. Use Monday as my home based work day. Billing, maintenance, returning calls etc. Then service any vacation cuts or extra type work on Tues... we'll see....i'm sure after 5 days of rain, my plan is shot to hell for the rest the season..
  8. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    did you still get your treat
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I think what you're experiencing is normal and it gets better with time, as we learn to balance one vs. the other, but perfect it never is.

    Best I can recommend is ask for their patience, please.

    FIRESCOOBY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 986

    Yeah, it happens to nearly all of us.

    I'm a FT firefighter and work a 24/48 schedule. Usually work a minimum 2, usually 3 days a weeks during mowing season. I also volunteer as a FF where I live. I am married with nearly a 3 yo little girl.

    We've had a full plate this year as my mother-in-law was the victim of a homicide last July, so things have been VERY unstable, emotional, you name it since then. I've definitely had to give her a little more "room" the last few months and understand that it's not always as it seems from her.

    I've had to really back off on some things such as volunteer work, and taking classes at work. It's not a problem because it's already been stated...family HAS to ALWAYS be FIRST!!!

    You're just gonna have to find that "balance", and make it work. Good luck!!

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