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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, this is a followup of my thread about Im getting out had enough. Let me tell my story of how I came into lawn care. When I was about 8 years old I enjoyed mowing yards so much that I had 9 yards I did during summer vacation for 3 to 5 dollars a yard. dont laugh, this was in 1967. I dont this till graduation when I went to school in Americus to major in business machine maint. When I got out went to work as a tech for the school systems and also was a sub-contractor for all the local repair places. My speciality was the IBM selectrics and several other kinds. I got good at it and I HATED it with a passion! I would come home after work eat super then go back work 16 hous a day. The stress was awful. Well thabks to wal-mart and k-mart for selling calculators for 25 bucks and typewriters for 99 bucks found myself suddenly un-employed in 97. 2 months after my twins were born. Here I am 39 and starting over again. I could not find one single job and got really depressed. I went for a job interview for a janitorial/yard work job for a large church and got turned down. That day was the lowest point of my life. I remember taking my tie off and throwing it in the trash and saying to myself as God as my witness I will never hit this point again! The next day I went and talked to my then pastor who was over the salvation army about who was doing there 3 yards, store,church,and home. I knew he had someone doing them but did not know he was having a problem with him not coming. That day I had 3 yards. Now my equipment you should have seen. A rusty old 85 murray riding mower, a friend give me a old wore out boat trailor that I took scrap lumber and made a 6 by 4 UGLY trailor, and I mean ugly. Had a smoking 88 ply mini-van. and the pastor loaned me a blower and weedeater. Man was I a poor looking LCO. The murray alrady was on its last leg but it made it thru the summer with some bungy straps and j-b weld and lots of talking nice to it. The beginning of the second season I had about a dozen yards and bot a JD Sabte, what a POS. I then sold it and bought me a JD 133 for 1500 (dealer ckearance) which I still have, been great. Also that year bought some weedeatrs and a decent blower plus some echo hedge clippers! I was on my way or so I thought! The 3rd and 4th year got up to 24 yards and leveled off. Most of my yards were 35 to 50 dollar yards from 1 to 1.5 hours. Ok was not getting rich but doing ok. In April I bought ny first 6500 ZTR and I loved it! Then In July bad luck started. I lost several yards due to job transfers and scrubs and it went down from there, down to 8 now. Have never lost a yard though because of poor work Im proud to say. So today I go job searching and checking job listings, heres examples, one job required 2 years college and only paid 7 an hour and many more that had a huge amount of requirements. It really really made me MAd, by gosh Im not going back to a deadend job for some SOB to chew on me all day for 40-50 dollars a day NO WAY I woke my wife up (yeah that is brave) and told her what I was going to do and I get you need a real job and I told her I had a real da$%%$mn job and either support me or get off my A##. She remineded me that she is paying most of the bills and I reminded her I paid for them the 5 years she went to college. Aslo she is a 18 year teacher and hates her job so bad that she is taking anti-depresssants to get thru the day. Do I want a job like this ^&^^& NO I dont. Woman are like children you have to put a belt on them once in awhle. Man that felt good to stand up!!! I know I am in a slump right now and tommorow I might have zero yards but I will go out with a vegeance before I go down like this! I had 24 now Im down to 8 and I want 40 more and will try everything to get them. I think that job search today done me more good than any motivational speech, ,man I dont want no deadend 8-5 job. I might have to get a night part time but would not mind that for a short time.I might come back in 6 months and say I failed but dang it I want go down easy or quitely.

Im baaacckkk with a vengence

Danny and my 8 yards and an attitude to make it big or fail big
 

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Now THAT'S the attitude to have! Good luck to you!
 

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Glad to hear you are going to give it another try! Good luck with it! A side note on your marriage, sometimes you have to step back and realize you guys are a team, and should try to work together. Sometimes, most of the time, it may be hard, but you have to realize you married that person for a reason, and usually, they can help you go a lot farther in life than you can alone. So you may find with working with her, and vice versa, you guys will start to notice things pick up, and turn around for you both!
Good luck, and go get 'em!
 

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Originally posted by hardworking-poorman
Woman are like children you have to put a belt on them once in awhle. Man that felt good to stand up!!!
Im baaacckkk with a vengence

Danny and my 8 yards and an attitude to make it big or fail big [/B]
This is PRICELESS!!!!! You are going to make it now!!!!!
Oh i agree, they are like children:D
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
hello and thanks everyone. been away a day. I got up wensday morning with a whole different attitude than I had tuesday even though only had one yard to do. Got to it about 7 AM and started weedeating and whistling to myself knowing I was not punching a clock. When I got thru with the yard I backed up and looked at it and said to myself, :now Danny this is the kind of work your capable of doing: In last few months I dont feel like I have done the very best I can do, never done a bad job but did not feel good about myself. The customer then walked out to pay me and said excellent, excellet job, looks great, and give me a 5 dollar tip. I then went to a neighbor who was working in his yard, looked about 80 plus years old. and told hime would be glad to help him if I could, told me was going to try and keep doing it himself but took my card. Then went to another neighbor across the street whose yard was in dire need of work. Canme out and started pointing to each srub how she wanted it done, one like Bambi, another like frosty, and .... you get the point. A widowed wife of a lawyer, would not have even went If I had known this. She then told me what SHE would pay and I declined and thanked her and left. NEVER let the customer tell you what they will pay. This makes me get in my truck fast and go! OK so I did not pick up one but Im trying. Had 2 today an 85 dollar one and a 45 dollar one. Got to the first one at 7:50 and left the second one at 11:00 with a 10 dollar tip. 140 bucks for a little over 3 hours I know is not much to you big time lCO but where I live if you make a 100 bucks a day you are crappn* in high cotton. But on the down side the engine on my 133 stared knocking badly after I had just bragged on it yesterday. It did not upset me one bit. not going to let it spoil my attitude to succeed. Dont have any to do tommorow am getting ready for my twins BD party saturday. I cant belive Ive survived 7 years LOL! Eleven more years I can move them outta here!

Danny
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks John, Im either going to make it big or fail big, either way I can say I gave it my best. BTW glad you enjoyed my male chavenistic comments, for some reason my wife does not like them. Im really harmless, I could see me puting a belt on wife even though they need it some times! LOL

Danny
 

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Go for it Danny! Pick a neighborhood you want to work in. Go door to door on Saturday morning no earlier than 9:00, but no later than 11:00. (People like to sleep in on Sat. but then get out and run errands and you can't catch them at home.) Smile and tell them if they need a real good lawn man, you would be glad to have the job.

I get more work that way than any ad I ever ran.

Good luck!
 

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Keep the Faith, Danny- There are plenty of people who would lie down and quit in your situation- your fortitude and strength of will will get you through this- Impress your clients and you will be turning away work!
 

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Hardworking Poorman,

Glad to hear you had a change of heart I hope this advise will help after all you said "an attitude to make it big or fail big"

You said it took 2 hours to do a prop and you made $35.00 thats not good. I'm going to assume you can do larger props since you have a Z

The kind of props you should target are 1 acre props built in the last 10 years average size home 2500 and up.

An acre you should be able to get $60 to $75 for easy

1. Get out of Blackshear Georgia
2. Look at your map and find a city within 1 hour drive.
3. Target the outlying suburbs where growth is moving out from the city
4. Get a local cell phone number for that area
5. Advertise in every small newspaper you can find in that area.
6. Inundate the area with flyers and post cards
7. Hire a helper and pay him well (You mentioned health problems a helper will double your capacity and make the work easier)
8. A typical 1 acre prop will take 45 to 60 minutes with a helper
$75 - $12.00 for a helper your Gross is $63.00 for that prop.
9. Take a critical look at yourself and your equipment if it ain't professional do something about it.
10. Give yourself until September if you cant make by Sept then maybe look at something else
11. Get out of Blackshear Georgia (There has got to be a major city within at least an hour)
12. Yes you'll have a 2 hour Drive most days but I personally would drive 2 hours for $60.00 an hour vs $17.50 with no drive

Be willing to do any type property in the area and any day for Example every body wants Fridays do fridays until its full and work back.

Thats my nickels worth

Good Luck to You.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey Mike. thanks, I just got home and lost 2 more accounts today. Lady thoght that 60 dollars I quoted for her 1 acre lot and one 175 foot ditch weedeating was to much, other new one when I got there changed her mine when I dropped the tailgate, could not afford it, GRRRRR
 

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Danny,

Did a little research for ya
Pierce Couty Population is 15,636
Blackshear pop is 3236

Man you are going to have a tough time making a living at those numbers

Waycross has a population of 15,000 or so
Ware county probably has double that or 30,000

You can't make a living in blackshear you gotta expand into more populated areas.

PM me if you want any more suggestions

Good Luck man
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Actually Mike, most of my accounts are in Ware/ Waycross. We have so many people in lawn business I have lost several 35 dollar yards to lco who will do them for 10 and 15. Im thinking about expecting to St. Simans and Brunswick (about 60 miles away) lots of retired upper scale folks. its a a island resort. I talked to one VERY rude arrogant lco who lives here and says he does postage stamp size yards for 50. I have a policy I will not undercut another lco but this guy was a jerk. I would undercut him in a minute if it meant surviving then he can call me a scrub. I really dont like to do that though.
 
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