Just cant give it up!

theyatesies

LawnSite Member
Location
Norman, Oklahoma
Here is my situation. I keep toying with the idea that I want to mow full time again. I am a PE teacher and have been mowing for 17 yrs. There was a 4 yr stretch that I mowed full time and tried to take it a step further. For unexpected and uncontrolled circumstances I went back to teaching and mowing. I have the best job in the world(PE Teacher) but I enjoy the freedom that mowing gives me. I have learned, the hard way, that I am not going to be rich mowing but neither being a teacher. Mowing just seems to make me happier. Now I have read plenty on LS about people that would trade mowing for just about anything and so on but I also think that a lot of LCO's have a dream that just falls a little short (like me) and think its time to move on. Well I basically just spend to much money on what I think my family and I need and that ,IMO, is where the problem starts. SO, a new way of thinking!!! Spend less and then you dont have to make as much. With a spouse working and lets say total expenses per month are $2500 and you split that down the middle($1250 each) and now my half is $15k a yr. See where Im going with this. Many part time LCO"s with only 25 lawns can easily clear that after expenses and such. Yes I know about future expenses like new equipment, insurance increases, unexpected things and such. Been there done that I know 17 yrs remember. So sorry for the long thread but here is what I want you to comment on. HOW MANY OF YOU MOW BECAUSE YOU ENJOY IT AND ACTUALLY LIVE THE WAY I DESCRIBED? Just might quit teaching again thats all and would like your input.

Thanks, Lance
 

mike174

LawnSite Member
Location
Forked River, NJ
Here is my situation. I keep toying with the idea that I want to mow full time again. I am a PE teacher and have been mowing for 17 yrs. There was a 4 yr stretch that I mowed full time and tried to take it a step further. For unexpected and uncontrolled circumstances I went back to teaching and mowing. I have the best job in the world(PE Teacher) but I enjoy the freedom that mowing gives me. I have learned, the hard way, that I am not going to be rich mowing but neither being a teacher. Mowing just seems to make me happier. Now I have read plenty on LS about people that would trade mowing for just about anything and so on but I also think that a lot of LCO's have a dream that just falls a little short (like me) and think its time to move on. Well I basically just spend to much money on what I think my family and I need and that ,IMO, is where the problem starts. SO, a new way of thinking!!! Spend less and then you dont have to make as much. With a spouse working and lets say total expenses per month are $2500 and you split that down the middle($1250 each) and now my half is $15k a yr. See where Im going with this. Many part time LCO"s with only 25 lawns can easily clear that after expenses and such. Yes I know about future expenses like new equipment, insurance increases, unexpected things and such. Been there done that I know 17 yrs remember. So sorry for the long thread but here is what I want you to comment on. HOW MANY OF YOU MOW BECAUSE YOU ENJOY IT AND ACTUALLY LIVE THE WAY I DESCRIBED? Just might quit teaching again thats all and would like your input.

Thanks, Lance

It seems like you already made up your mind & are just looking for a little positive reinforcement. You know what you need to make and have the expierence to know what it takes. You have to do what makes you happy as long as you can pay your bills and your wife won't leave you :).
 

7625

LawnSite Member
Like you I also teach and have a lawn service that I do everyday after school. I find after being indoors all day that I'm ready to get outside and go to work. I do enjoy my lawn business, I am solo for the most part with a little partime help from my daughters, when I get behind from the weather, or the custodian at the school does help some also when he needs the money. My season starts the usually the last week of this month to the middle of Dec. I do have a handful of year round customers.
 

yardguy28

LawnSite Platinum Member
finally some people who don't think all the world is about is money and that everyone needs to make as much of it as they possibly can.

i started my own lawn business 4 years ago because doing lawn maintenance makes me happy. and thats the only reason i started it. yes it does pay the bills, but i'm not looking to get rich from it. i make my own prices, charge what i want to charge.

up until this year i've judged the sucess of the business based off of if i've been able to pay for everything i need in live and the answer has always been yes.

this year though i am going to do some number crunching and figure my cost of doing business so i can see exactly how much i am making and where i need to improve my pricing at.
 

topsites

LawnSite Fanatic
Yup, you're not charging enough.

But you are also correct about cutting the expenses part, so I'm guessing you're kind of like halfway there...
The trick is to make ends meet with what you have.

It really doesn't matter whether you earn 10g a year or 200,000, either you can make do with it, or you can't.
It is a fact, folks who can't make ends meet with one income can't do it with 10 times that much either.

It is a failure of the mind to think that if one made more money, ends would meet, it actually doesn't work that way.
Although one likes to think that, but you can take that to the bank, if a person can't make do with 10 grand, then even
if they brought home a million dollars they'd still manage to end up broke.

I speak from personal experience and watching other folks, too...
Basically, you have to spend less money than what you're bringing home.
Starting work on a budget can be helpful, following it as well.

Some folks call it living within one's means, I prefer calling it living below one's means.

Good luck
 
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360ci

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Kitchener, ON
Not to thread jack, but if I was a teacher I wouldn't do anything else. Elementary schools pay teachers up to $94K/yr here in Ontario. It's a bit obscene I think. Still, if you keep debating with yourself on what you want to do, you'll never really do it. Talking doesn't go nearly as far as doing. If you want to go full time. Do it.

I'l more than likely go full time myself over the next two years. Mainly because I turn down several potential clients each year, and 90% of them were referred by word of mouth. So, with free advertising like that, how can I not want to grow! If I go full time, I'll do winter plowing as well, which means a greater commitment and odd working hours.
 

whosedog

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
northern nj
Give up a guarantied salary,benefits and pension in this economy?Are you nuts?The older you get the harder it will be to do physical labor,now you could make more money landscaping but how many 60 year old guys do you see doing this;not many.If you are putting contributions into a 403k you could easily be a millionare when you retire from teaching,my valic adviser has many teachers who have 750-100G in their 403 accounts in addition to their state pension.I've been employed by a Board of Ed for 33 years not teaching but maintenance staff; I could retire tomorrow with a $2,300 monthly retirement check(teachers get a lot more) plus full benefit package,plus my valic account.And you being a gym teacher have it made compared to the classroom teachers;no homework to grade or lesson plans to submit ever day,and you get the same pay as the regular teachers.Sit down with your accountant and see what he advises,I guarantee he will tell you to stick with teaching and landscape on the side.
 

DoetschOutdoor

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
S. IL
360ci, a PE teacher aint making 94k here in the states, no way no how.

How many lawns do you currently have full time mowing for? I wouldnt quit full time stable teaching job.
 
OP
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theyatesies

LawnSite Member
Location
Norman, Oklahoma
360ci-- Well 97k a yr in Oklahoma you are a principal at 20 yrs on the pay scale or a superintendent. I am at 11 yrs on the pay scale and I am at 36K. In 10 more yrs I will be maxed out at 47k. If i can make it to 62 yrs old and retire as a teacher my gross monthly checks will be $2300 a month. That is not counting insurance(which i will lose after i retire and have to pay for myself) and taxes still have to be taken out. So actually I will clear between $1600-1700 a month. Yes I will take that and be happy but I'm just saying that its not all what its cracked up to be. At least in Oklahoma.
 

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