It all began in 2007. I got my first job for a well respected LCO in Rogers, MN (just up the road from me down at home). The owner was good friends with my uncle back in grade school and my dad happened to run into him and ask him if he still had a lawn company and long story short, I got a job. I had just finished up my sophomore year of high school. So through that whole summer, I worked one day a week, on their busiest day, Wednesday, with the exception to a couple weeks where we trimmed shrubs and we worked a couple fridays doing minor landscaping. We'd start at 7am on the Wednesdays at a townhouse complex. We had a huge crew. 3 rigs. The owner with his crew cab Ford Powerstroke with 24 ft enclosed trailer with a couple JD ztr's and allthe blowers and trimmers inside. The other rig was a singlecab Ford V10 with a Felling flatbed with 3 JD ztr's on board and the last rig was a chevy 2500 gasser singlecab with a dump trailer for clippings. His total crew of guys was 8 (no mexicans or illegals of any kind ). Anyway, the first day starting out at that complex, I knew that I would love doing this. I started out with a weed whip and trimmed around every tree I came across as the other 2 guys running trimmers got all the edging. It took about 2 hours to get all the weed whipping done on the whole complex. When we got back to where we parked we strapped a BR600 on to blow the whole complex. With 6 guys doing it (owner and his main mower continued to mow the open areas) it didn't take very long but I still enjoyed it. Long story short, I worked there every week, we'd put in a 9-12 hour day in the heat, but I loved every minute of it, the thought of rollin around in a nice heavy duty truck and being your own boss, I knew this is what I'd love to do! So as summer ended and my junior year of high school came, I learned that my dream of wanting to be a meteorologist would not happen and I was killing myself with high level math and science classes and then I said enough is enough and found the world of business, more specific, investments and accounting. So I got into business classes, and put 2 and 2 together and figured out I could make a lot of money doing landscape maintenance. So the school year came to an and went I needed a job where I could get at least 40 hrs a week for the summer. The LCO I worked for couldn't get me that so I shopped around and found Three Rivers Park District. A govt funded park system, I worked within the park maintenance division. We mowed, trimmed, and ran a blower, just not commercial properties and resi's, but the 80 acre park. So I enjoyed that and then the summer ended and I started my senior year of high school. It was one of the funnest years of my life. Lots of great memories that I hope to never forget. One of the memories is that I found Lawnsite as I was surfing the net one night, and her I am 300 posts later, man have I learned a lot!!!! Thanks to everyone here that I've learned from!! One memory I'd like to forget was working for Pro-Turf Landscape Maintenance. A good buddy of mine worked for the owner, he's 20 yrs old, with an '06 dirtymax as his personal truck, an '08 crew cab F350 powerstroke dump truck with leaf box as his work truck and a 30ft enclosed for work, basically it blew away every single lawn company out there, and no one to date, (maybe a couple guys on this site) has equipment as professional as his, and also he has a Lotus Exige, these are his vehicles. I really would like to know where the guy makes all his money, because he didn't start working until about 330 when my buddy and I could get down to his house after school and we only worked until about 630, we did spring cleanups and 1 huge mulch install, 20 yrds, 1 day, 9 hrs, After that I never worked for him again, he basically fired me and my buddy (his only employees) for what reason I do not know, I have not talked to him since the last day I worked for him. (I have basically built my business plan based off his extreme level of professionalism, and when I do start, my business will be as, if not more professional than him, because it pissed me off so much that he just left me in the dark and never answered my calls or texts for working again, so, if ya can't join em, beat em, right?) Anyway, as that and the school year ended and I graduated high school I worked for the park another year (2009). We did the same thing, but we had a crew of 11 guys. And towards the end of the summer tensions were getting high between all of us, and the crew chief was just a plain d*ck, no matter how good of a job I did, I couldn't impress that b*stard. I wanted out of there ASAP, the last day of work for the summer, I was able to leave early because I skipped lunch and worked late on a day the week before it, so I brought my dirtbike with and went to a fair race down in Owatonna, that was my last race before going off to college. Three days later after a ton of packing I moved into my dorm at UND to major in Accounting, and the second I got into my dorm, I knew my roommate was going to be trouble. He was. He smoked weed in the room and had a large amount of it kept hidden in all his stuff. I just wanted to get outta there, so I did. This takes me to where I am today. My new dorm with a respectable roommate who happens to also be majoring in Accounting. The last couple days I have been really thinking about starting my landscape maintenance business at the end of the school year. However, I don't have quite enough money, so I work for the Landscaping Dept here but for my job next year, what I am unsure of is, do I want to go work at the park where they would not care if I started my own business or the other option is to take the job of working under a very good friend of mine for a large local LCO who will be running his own crew (him and one guy) to do all the landscape maintenance (that particular company offers maintenance as well as a lifetime warranty with all installs) for the company. I'd be working 50 hrs in 4 days Mon-Thurs (which I have absolutely no problem with) and possibly Fridays if any other dept's need us, ie. landscape installations, irrigation. My question is, who should I work for? The LCO who does much better work with better co-workers and a better work atmosphere (not govt bearucracy BS like the park), but they most likely won't like the idea of me owning my own landscape maintenance company. (I know some of you guys work full time for an LCO and own your a part time and you have agreements with your boss.) Or do I want to work for the park and deal with the govt bearucracy BS and just 5 day 40 hr weeks and they would not care if I owned my own landscape maintenance company? (hell they'd probly like it even more because I know a lot more about all the aspects of the job) I really want to have a change in what I'm doing, which is why I want to work for the LCO, but I also really want to start my business. I am guarenteed a job at the park for next year and I feel that I am qualified to get the position for the LCO on my friend's crew. I just do not know which to pick. Please help me out with that guys. And finally, my plans with school. I'm sure many of you have read them but I'll let all yall know anyway. I plan to major in Accounting and immediately after graduation, get my CPA and hopefully go into financial accounting or auditing and then I'd definetly have enough money to start my landscape maintenance business. But, I really want to start my business this year (2010) because after graduation, I don't want to be stuck working a broke a*s job until I get an accounting job. Help me out guys, thanks. I'm sorry this is so long, it's probably about as long as the paper I wrote tonight for my composition class. I know for sure that I left some stuff out and could've made it much longer, it is just amazing how much life has changed since 2007.