taking advice from people who have failed

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    do you accept advice, from people who have FAILED in this business, and STILL don't see why they failed? i have 3 guys that were in business. one for 18 yrs, the other for 22 yrs, the other lasted less than 3. what they have in common.....they all have left the business to work for someone else. another thing they have in common......they are always giving me advice. "bob, you can't do it like that, let me tell you the way i always used to do it." and i'm like, "well, you failed! please don't give me advice, unless you are telling me YOU DID IT WRONG." the biggest mistakes i see that they all made were- not having due dates on thier bills. this created constant cash flow problems. and- giving away little freebies that added up . and not charging extra when opportunity allows you to. for example: if i fertilize, and treat for weeds, i charge for both. one for fertilization, one for herbicide treatment. the fact that it comes in the same bag matters not. better off that i buy them separately, so i can charge accordingly? nope. also charging low prices and planning to make it up in volume was a big mistake for them all. if the common price was $25 for a certain property in a certain area, they would come in at $22, where my logic is to try and squeeze the extra $3 bucks out of the client, and charge $28, rather then give it to them 3 bucks cheaper. i guess i'm rambling here, but i see all 3 of these guys quite often and they are always giving me advice, but never based on what they feel were thier mistakes, but rather they feel they did everything right, but it just didn't work out. my advice: DON'T take advice from people who have failed! unless of course they are humbly admitting they have failed, and advising you based on thier mistakes.
  2. KenH

    KenH LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,622

    I think you are doing it right....listen to their advice, and disect the reasons they failed.

    If you didnt listen at all, you would not find this out.
  3. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    both of the 18 and 22 years guys died out voluntarily? what if there goal was to build up a business, make money until they were comfortably living, and then sold it for a bundle to do something else, maybe they've always planned on doing?

    my old boss ran a successful business for 14 years, then was offered his dream job that he applied for way back before he started cutting grass. he joked with me that grass was supposed to be temporary, until the other oppurtunity came through. i'm sure he still runs his business on the side, but could easily sell for it for a bundle and continue with the other....

    btw, the job he picked was working the crane that unloads the ships at Howland Hook, underneath the Goethals bridge.

    this business is an asset that can be sold. the only asset i really have.
  4. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    no fga, the long term guys both struggled the entire time they were in business, it was a constant uphill battle, and a constant tailchase. they both sold out, out of pure frustration, and being burnt to a crisp, they finally threw in the towel. another big mistake, they never sat, evaluated WHY things were happening, and then made change to correct the problem. instead, they did the same things day after day, year after year, and somehow thought the end results would somehow change. fact is, if you always do what you always did, you will always be what you always were.
  5. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,938

    Definately listen to how they did it. Then, learn from their mistakes.
  6. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    Did you quote that from GeeVee?:)
  7. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    I don't know how a guy can go 22 yrs in this business and not know what he's doing. He has to be a fountain of good info. You just need to figure out what is the good info from the bad. If he can make all those mistakes and still survive this long I would say he knows how to do all the work the " office part" might have created some problems for him/them, but even with that I would think they would have had enough brains to hire someone, office manager, accountant, attorney to help figure out there problems. Just to many yrs. to not know that you are failing. Has to be more to it. I would not put alot of thought into what someone that only lasted 3 yrs has to say.

  8. STAN1366

    STAN1366 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    fact is, if you always do what you always did, you will always be what you always were. [/B][/QUOTE]

    I don't care where you got that line from, it's great! Definately something that should be considered a "Golden Rule". :)
  9. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    It is a well known line. My pastor has been saying one like it for years.

    "If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got."

    Nother good one to think of bobby, Do you take driving instructions from the back seat? Do the guys in Nascar take driving tips from the last place guy?

    I was in a similar situation this year. The only difference is my left and went back to work for himself. He tried to step up and be like the big boys, but............. Well, lets just say i know whats really going on over there and it aint pretty. Oh well.:rolleyes:

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