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Just a long story made short as possible

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by street1850, May 4, 2011.

  1. street1850

    street1850 LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Messages: 18

    Thought I would tell a quick story about my experiences. If you are one of the grammer police please dont bother bashing cause I am gonna do my country best. Anyway --

    Mowed yards with push mower and murry riders since grade school. Sometime in early mid 90's I was looking for a mower for my yard and neighbors I mowed, I was like 23. Found a 2 year old mint Bobcat 36 gear drive with velke for $1200 and bought it. I had also offered $2300 for a 52 Bunton hydro in great shape. A few weeks after buying the 36 and finding out it was just to small the guy with the bunton called and said he would take my $2300. I bit the bullet and bought it, now I was neck deep in mowers.

    Guy I worked with lost his lisence and was also mowing I bought his handhelds trimmers, blowers, etc for a song and got his yards, all were cash residental and very light commercial. Went hone that weekend and fixed my trailer up with new lights and paint etc. Loaded up 52 Bunton, 36" bobcat, 21" push, trimmers, gas cans, toolbox etc. Monday after work I picked up trailer and a buddy that wanted to help for $10 hour cash and we hit it wide open. I think we picked up 3 more yards. I was scared one time cause as we were leaving a yard a car turned around in the street and started following us honking the horn. I knew it was the mowing police coming to arrest us or something. I stopped and they wanted me to follow them and mow their yard now! They were having a party that evening and their regular guy didnt show to mow. So did it for a large price and had another yard.

    When the week was over I had about $1200 cash coming in and put close to $800 in my pocket. I continued working a day "actually moved to 3rd shift" cause I knew this wouldnt last. I was dying and started dropping small crappy yards and started a $35 drop gate fee thew the push mower in the dumpster and the money just went up. I added a 2nd truck and 2 more 52" and 2- 48" a 61" and 72" all walk behinds and 2 more guys all cash the 2nd year. All I did was work and mow. But the money was awesome! And yes I was a scab, scrub what ever but I never bid against anyone. People always kinda found me for some reason, also never advertised. But to have no trining I think I did a good job. I really have no clue how much I made each year cause I never kept decent records

    By about 2001 I was burnt out PERIOD. I spent most of saturday or sunday riding arond with wife checking on yards. Bought a crappy trimmer with a split shaft to go in trunk of car and would jump out and get straglers or just stuff the guys didnt get. They were mowing neighbours yards with my equipment on my time and pocketing the cash. complaints, broken equipment,filling up their truck on my card wearing f^*#@ing corona t shirts while mowing in the country club. One day I lost it and layed down the law, with in 3 weeks all help was gone.

    I started cutting out all but the yards I liked to mow or made awesome money at, I had to make $60-$70 an hour cash or I dropped it. when everything calmed down I was still putting $800-$1200 in my pocket and life was great. Till I found out my day job was going under. So I picked up some more yards and was gonna go at it legit. I did find out I could get help to go to school and get a degree. So I did and continued mowing through school to pay the bills till I graduated with my degree in 04,YEAH! NO WHAT? go legit I guess- didnt happen

    I took a night class for personal enrichment at another college and through a funny twist of fait got offered a job as a teacher. I mowed for the first year I taught, then dropped all but 5 yards. Had a good time teaching and have learned alot. Had job security like never before and didnt worry if mr. Milson was gonna take bids on his yard or not. Also made up for much of the taxes uncle sam missed out on.

    Now they say because of budget cuts I probably will not have a job next year. All the customers are gone, equipment in disrepair/wore out/ sold, etc. My tan is gone and my job probably is to. So I cam crawling back here "looking for a job" or convince myself to run.

    Before you gather the pitch forks and torchs I must say that If I decide to go at it again I will be (to-legit-to-quit) HA goota laugh. I never intended any of this to happen it was just like riding a whirl wind out of control! I just dont know if I am up to it 15 years or so later or not. I have been doing alot of looking here and for a job, not finding much. Thats my story no spell check or proof reading and im sticking to it. Mods feel free to delete, bashers feel free to bash, haters do your hateing, and newbs dont be afraid to try-dont quit your day job but go legit do it right and try and dont get in over your head.

    High lights
    professional landscaper I knew mowed a commercial contract behind a high dollar residental I had. He confronted me and almost threatened me about bidding against him on the commercial job, I told him I didnt want his yards. My customer asked me if I would talk to the guy that mowed the business behind his house for him (before mentioned landscaper). when I asked why he said cause he comes by every week offering to my the yard and keeps giving lower prices that I charged and he keeps tell the other guy to leave him alone and he keeps coming back. Made me laugh and feel good.

    Teacher in college telling the class if they didnt do better than we were we would end mowing yards for living. 1/2 the class knew I brough my equipment to school on Tuesday to mow between classes.

    Had to do a business plan and used my mowing as the blueprint. Teacher gave me D cause she said it wsant realistic. I got real pissed and walked outta class and came back in with my clipboard out of my truck that had yards mowed with prices phone number etc by each clients name and handed it to her and said "call them and ask them!" She asked me to come back after class we went over the numbers for hours it seemed like, she shook her head and just changed the grade to an A. All she ever said about my plan was it was the exception to the rule.
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  2. street1850

    street1850 LawnSite Member
    from nc
    Messages: 18

    Just to clarify things. I dont recommend anything I did or condone anything. Thats just how it all went down the best I remeber it and why i'm here looking around now. I recommend if you gonna get in this business to go legal and kinda slow I was in over my head before I ever left the house the first day and new it.

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