Howdy folks! I bought my first shovel when I was 7. I started using it helping dad build a vegetable garden on our 3 acres. It was my job to manage it because dad was at work all the time and relied on me. I was a rubber crutch at times, but by the time I was 9 I was mowing our lawn every week, and managing a 2500 sq. ft. garden. I was 10 when I used a friend's Case skid steer to bust out a concrete slab behind our house. Dad bought a 3' landscape rake and let me use it whenever he decided to add a berm or level a large patch of soil. The neighbors used to love to watch this skinny little kid kicking *** and liked to poke fun, but as I got older they started asking me to help them with small things around the yard, like trimming a bush or replacing rotted fenceposts. When I was 12 Dad decided that farming might be fun so he bought a whole fleet of antique equipment and started renting land for $50 an acre. I learned to plow and disc and everything else and still love it to this day. At 18 Dad bought a huge New Holland Super-boom loader to build a new driveway for our house. Guess who got to use it the most? About 330 tons of stone later and 4 semis of topsoil, the neighbors decided I should be in business for real, so I went out and bought a $7500 Ford F-150 and $6500 Exmark Lazer Z and paid for both in the first 6 months. I never have advertised and get all work from word of mouth. Dads brand new trailer for hauling tractors came in real handy. My younger brother and I and a couple guys have kept ourselve busy 6 days a week since then and have become very popular around here. I have a trade mark that may be one of the secrets to my success. I wear a white cowboy hat and pressed wranglers at all times along with any type of western boot. Even when I am covered with dirt I try to maintain a clean, sharp appearance. My straightforward dealings with potential customers close the deal over 95% of the time. Not only have I established a steady customer base of about 50 people, I get loads of side jobs from all the word of mouth advertising they do. Going to a local college has been very difficult with my schedule, so I took mostly night classes which helped. To date I have squeezed an A out of every class and was nominated for the National Deans list this year. Thanks dad for starting me early and letting me use your tools!