When I was a little kid, one of the best things I got to do was help my dad mow the lawn. In my earlier years, I was in charge of picking up sticks and debris in the yard. As I grew, I got to actually push the mower for half the yard, and help my dad empty the grass catcher. The best part about it wasn't the actual cutting, it was the time I spent with my dad. Father and son bonding time. He taught me how to mow a yard, and it was a cool thing. Along with listening to Ernie Harwell and Paul Carey do Tiger's games on the back porch, mowing the lawn with my dad is one of my favorite childhood memories. When I was in Jr High School, I was cutting for a few neighbors and making a modest amount of $$ as well. I started with a few, but was soon doing a half dozen lawns on the block. I soon gave that up for the better income of a paper route, but I always enjoyed mowing our yard at home, and doing a few folks when they were on vacation. After my grandpa died, I was in charge of cutting my grandmother's lawn. Again, the best thing about that wasn't the cutting but the time I spent with her talking and eating the sandwhiches she made. Fast forward to college, early 1990s. I came home from school for the summer after freshman year and found that my best friend was working for a landscaper in town. Didn't know much about that kind of stuff, and never thought that people could actually make money mowing lawns. Up until that time, it had never occured to me that people would pay an actual company to take care of their lawns. Most of my neighbors were still using the kid down the street and giving him $5 to cut the lawn. This whole idea of a lawn care company was new to me, and very attractive as well. I started paying attention to the lawn crews that would cut the mini-mall down the street, and quickly became jealous of the big mowers and cool machinery. 'What a great job', I thought. But the summer job I did have and the classes I took during the spring term kept me from taking any lawn care jobs for the summer. Fast forward 4 years to the end of my 5th year at U of M. I was bored to death with school, it had become apparent that I was not going to med school with the grades I had in college, and I couldn't stand the research job I had at a cancer lab at the Hospital. A life devoted to science and biology wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, and certainly didn't pay that well. Everything I thought I wanted to do in life was not working out, and I dropped out of school with 3 classes left to take to graduate. That summer a friend that I met working at a local grocery store and I started a lawn business. The idea, at first, was to make a few $$ on the side by mowing a few lawns in the area. Advertise in the paper and get maybe 10 or so old ladies that needed the help. I wanted to start small with push mowers and cheap equipment. He wanted to go out and buy all brand new big stuff before we even had a contract. We ended up with a mixture of small equipment at first, then buying a walk behind after a month or so. That summer saw us doing everything from mowing lawns to (badly) landscaping to installing brick pavers. That partner and I never quite saw eye to eye, and eventually we agreed to call it quits. He bought me out for $500 and kept the company. I went back to working at the grocery store and wondering what the hell I was going to do with my life, and if I would ever go back to school???