Lawn & Landscape Business Owner Burnout

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Sean Adams, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Sean Adams

    Sean Adams LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,597

    Wikipedia defines burnout as… a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work.

    Do you remember when you first decided to start your lawn & landscape business? How excited you were? How everyday was an exciting new challenge and you couldn't wait to get out of bed and get going? How convinced you were that you were going to succeed and make plenty of money and have all kinds of toys and a nice house and money to spend? How it was a certainty that eventually you would have all kinds of free time to spend with family, friends and loved ones?

    For some people in this industry, they actually are living this dream. The reason they are able to experience all of these joys of business ownership is because they are educated, they have taken the time to learn how to run their business the right way, and they do what they have to do to make sure their business is “healthy”.

    I have been talking, Tweeting and emailing a lot lately about turning around a failing business. It is an issue I have encountered so much in talking to business owners that I felt it was necessary to make it a focus.

    Lawn & landscape businesses fail for a million different reasons – bad planning, bad decisions, too much debt, inadequate cash flow, bad employees, competition, etc. The list goes on forever.

    One of the many reasons for failure is burnout. It just becomes so difficult to maintain a positive attitude and the energy to keep moving forward every single day. Once burnout kicks in, negativity often takes over. You don’t want to get up. You don’t want to deal with employees. You don’t want to chase money. You don’t want to chase work. You’re tired.

    The good news is, you can turn this around. You can get yourself out of this funk.

    1.) Stop everything you’re doing and find a quiet place you can be alone with a pen, paper and your thoughts. Figure out everything that is causing you stress and anxiety. Write it all down.

    2.) Once you have figured out what is causing the burnout, determine the solutions. Bad employees? Get new ones. Not enough money? Borrow some. Not enough customers? Go get some. We have a tendency to make things more difficult than they need to be. Make it simple.

    3.) Learn how to say “no” – to family, friends, prospects, employees and even customers. You cannot be everything to everyone. You cannot constantly bend over backwards to please everyone. Look at your problems and solutions and make them your focus. Don’t let people or things distract you from solving your problems.

    4.) Delegate as much responsibility as you can. Entrepreneurs in general like to have their hand in everything and like to make as many decisions as possible. Figure out who within your company you can trust and start giving them more responsibility. Train them to do things your way and then get out of the way.

    5.) Set aside 20 minutes a day to take care of yourself. Stretch, sit there with your eyes closed, take deep breaths, exercise – do whatever it is that will make you feel better. Make it a priority.
  2. Holland

    Holland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 748

    Thanks for the post.
  3. BckYrdLmbrJk

    BckYrdLmbrJk LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

  4. Chuck Norris

    Chuck Norris LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    Amen brother Bill
  5. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,588

    thinking about another 5 step plan is stressing me out :)
  6. Chuck Norris

    Chuck Norris LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    5 step plan for what alex?
  7. Tn2317

    Tn2317 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    Thanks Sean, I needed this post.
  8. Tanum

    Tanum LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    I was burnt out for a long time, got pretty low at one point last year. I guess being the , managing director / contracts manager / health and safety officer / the machine repair man / account / credit control / supervisor / large machine driver and garden designer took its toll. Going into the office and looking at the endless to do list. My day starts at 6am and now finishes at 3pm before was 5am to 7pm Monday to Friday, Saturday 7am to 5pm. 78 hours per week (I never added them up before, no wonder I was burnt out). In August last year I erased all my contacts off my phone, all email address. From that moment on if some one wanted me they had to phone me, I didn't "couldn't" call them. I unplugged my self from all multi media, it was liberating. On an average day I was receiving 70-100 emails and texts and 40-50 calls.
    I now do less working in the business and more on the business. I am at this game a long time and needed some thing else to focus on. I am in the process of setting up an another company but with two partners, I am an ideas man, I can't do everything and that is why I have brought others on board. It's fantastic having other professional people to bounce ideas off. The landscape business can be a lonely one.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  9. ringahding

    ringahding LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    Thanks Sean for posting this thread.

    I have seen it so many times myself, in myself, the constant chasing down whatever it is that needs to be handled.

    It is great you point out that one should take timeout for themselves, not many think there is enough time in the day for that.
  10. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,631

    This is my 6th year in business, and the thing Ive gotton burned out on is buying new equiptment, starting out it was exciting to buy new stuff, not anymore.

    It was a real tought summer, and I did get real tired quite a few times, but is was very rewarding and this "off season" should be one a enjoyable one this year. In years past I was chasing what little I could get in the winter, this year Ill just do what comes along.

    All in all its a great business for the way I want to live my life.

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