I just wrote a lengthy post, only to find the thread was deleted when I went to submit the post I think some of you are being a little harsh on Mr. DeLong. I do not normally defend people here, as I do a good job of fighting my own battles myself. Did any of you read the testimonial letters on his website? This kid is kicking butt! And a few of you were flaming him, shame on you. I started mowing lawns at the age of 10 with a Sears Riding Mower for five bucks a pop. At age 13 I had a company name, and a red trailer to pull behind that mower, a Weed Eater brand trimmer, and a BROOM! At age 15 I moved up to a lawn tractor, 17 HP twin cyl Kohler, 42" deck, hydro trans!!. At this time I also bought an old used backpack blower. My biggest account was a 2.6 acre property that I mowed for $45! Age 16 I had a truck and a 16' trailer. Age 19 I bought my first real mower - a JD 755 tractor, and it went from there. I was unstopable. And yes, I have pictures me and my equipment from the age of 10 and up - LOL! My clients loved me and trusted me to do anything that I offered prices on. Upon H.S graduation my clients got me gifts and sent me cards, writing some really nice comments commending my business skills and the quality of work given to them. I look back now and I think "I can't believe people trusted me to do some of the work I was doing back then". On another forum I used to participate in, this 15 yr old kid from the DC area came on there. People flamed the you know what out of him. Well, we watched him get his driver's license. He used to write about how at school he would have to go to the bathroom during class because his workers were calling him, and how one time a teacher caught him talking on his cell phone and demanded he surrender the phone to which he refused!! He would write about how his guys had to drive him around because he didn't have a license yet!!! I believe before this boy graduated, he bought his 2nd truck - a Mits dump. He then attended UMD. During this time he bought ANOTHER dump truck! His business was GROWING! Around the age of 22 this guy BOUGHT his first HOUSE!!! This guy IS ALL BUSINESS, and it's been a pleasure watching him grow and prosper. And I'll never forget how people on the forum flamed and flamed and flamed him for about 9 months when he first started participating. I looked at MR. DeLong's testimonial letters. They are IMPRESSIVE. This letter reminded me of myself when I was his age. I didn't work under anyone. Everything I know I learned on my own. I've made a billion mistakes, and I've learned from all of them. Those of you telling this guy to go for for someone else - I think you're under estimating him. Check this letter out: "To whom it may concern, This letter of recommendation is written on behalf of Jason DeLong, who has been the Landscaper at our home for the last several years. It was perhaps four or five years ago when Jason, then a middle-school student, passed flyers throughout the neighborhood within which we both live, in an effort to attract customers for his lawn-cutting business. At the time, my wife and I had been using another service for some time, as it essentially “came with the house.” Over the next few years, I saw as Jason’s customer base grew to include more and more of our neighbors. Eventually, we extended an offer for Jason to add us on as customers. In all candors, I was mildly concerned that, given his age, he might not be up to the task of regularly maintaining our lawn, as well as the growing customer base he was building. My fears, as it turns out, were completely (and fortunately) unfounded. Jason has proven to be reliable and trustworthy. In the intervening years, he has managed to build a rather impressive business, and as a High-School Junior I shared his pride at having purchased not only a nice truck, but a large trailer to go with it, as well, filled with the accumulated tools of his trade. Jason is certainly not what one would imagine when using the word “Landscaper.” He is clearly of good breeding and high intelligence, and his ability to articulate well is properly tempered by his fine manners. He always shows up to do his work in a professional manner, and is clean-cut and well groomed. He is athletic, friendly, and well mannered. Our neighbor’s daughter attends the same High School (albeit a grade below Jason) and confirms that he is “as nice as pie.” I cannot imagine that Jason does not have, in an overabundance, any quality, which you would find either desirable or necessary in a candidate for your program. Moreover, his considerable experience in the field, coupled with his business acumen, should make him an asset to any classroom to which he is assigned. As a sole Practitioner for nearly twenty years, I have considerable firsthand experience with business planning and customer relations. For all of that, the old adage that “the proof is in the pudding” still stands as a barometer for the success or failure of a business. In Jason’s case, word of mouth and the satisfaction of his existing customers has led to the growth of his business to a rather impressive size for anyone, much less a person so young. He didn’t get there by being unreliable, or not doing good work. He got there by consistently showing up and doing good work. Should you have any questions or comments, or need any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me, and I will respond promptly." Keep up the good work Jason!