What to do???

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by emil35, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    Hello All,

    I am currently 17, will be 18 in the spring and am a Senior in highschool. I love science and the outdoors. I have been mowing lawns since I was 8 to 10 years old, and after that all you sure learn alot bout the industry and how to deal with customers, employees, banks, loans, equ...you name it! But also with all those years under my belt, I've landed some rather nice accounts that I would just hate to lose. I currently have some debt from bank loans, but all those will be paid off in the next year or two. I have some money saved up for college but have been putting alot of it into the business, but I could always sell stuff and get it back out. One side of me says college for sure because without it your no one. But at the same time I think, why go? Some the most successful people in our country never went or finished college...look at Gates. My father has helped me with it for a long time, but he's getting to the age where it's not that easy to go out everyday. I have a relative who is a Dentist and is looking to get out of his practice and retire in the next 5 to 10 years. But I also have another who runs a fairly good sized Landscape Maintenance company and has made enough that wants to do something else in the next couple of years. I have the opition to buy either one of them out if I want. What would you do??? Im stuck! Part of me says stay in it, but another part of me says be a dentist or something like that. The one worry I have is employees cuz they're always a pain, but then again will that change soon with technology now days? What would you do? I'm open to all opinions in my situation. :confused:

  2. KCLandscape

    KCLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 524

    How will tech change your employees?
    Go to college(business/accounting courses), maintain your accounts or at least the ones you want. If needed, hire a foreman to deliver the results you and your clients want, and provide all of them with what they want/need to get the desired results.
  3. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    GPS is becoming more widely used. John Deere is already putting GPS units on their farm equipment and in my opinion I think it's only a manner of time before we see them on all sorts of other things...including mowers. The only problem in my area is that is hard to find a real "foreman" who will deliver results unless they own some of the company. Some of my best workers were college students. But afterall, that's why they're in college, to do something w/their life instead of work manual labor for their life making $8-$10/hr. There's money in everything if you do it right. I just can't choose which way to go. Wish there was an "easy" button! :p
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    College ... that is an easy decision at your age. There are too many years of work ahead to get caught up in the energy of the moment. You made a comment about being a dentist. If that notion isn't very well established by the early years of college, then that is not the direction to take. That profession has to be a passion, not just lumbering through the education and the motions of college. If the passion for dentistry isn't burning in your heart, then start college with general studies and keep your antennae up for direction, interests, apptitude, etc.

    You must have a guidance counselor at your high school. That person should be able to give you tests, interviews, or some other way to make assessments for help. Various tests are available that will provide good objective measures of your interests and abilities.

    I know some have been successful without college, and I think there are many here on LS in that situation. I'm not intending disparaging remarks toward those who didn't continue with education. But, the general direction gives you many more opportunities after a higher education. Yea, yea ... others will flame that remark, "... I didn't go to college and waste that money, I invested it in equipment, ...." Higher education is not a good plan for everybody. Developing a successful business is often done apart from higher education.

    One more point that I believe is not open to much debate. It is far easier to do the college route after high school than later. Maybe more can be gained from an entry at a later age, but too many other obstacles make it very difficult. It is better to concentrate on education, graduate, get on with life, than to gather other obligations (e.g. running a business, having a wife and family, home ownership, etc), and then try to return, albeit part-time.

    Please don't use Gates as a measure! Do remember Gates demonstrated appitude for Harvard. The very fact of his admisssion already provided a very, very fine screen for being at the top of the heap.
  5. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    Thats my gut feeling (go to college), but I wonder, or at least keep asking myself, should I try and keep what I have going during college or sell out before and if it's still my calling after, start over and/or buy in an existing company? I hate to see my of my childhood efforts disappear but at the same time I wonder if it's going to be too much to handle both college and a business at once. If I'm going to go to college I want to go to a good one. I have a 4.0+ GPA and all the test scores to get into a high end school, so I don't want to waste my time or abilities at a community college, not that there's anything wrong with them...I just fear I would get bored at them. That's really why I started my own business. I was bored doing nothing and needed something productive to do. Thanks for the Gates remark, I forgot he had gone to Harvard then dropped out due to the once in a lifetime oppurtunity to develop his idea. But back to the beginning....is it possible to do both at once, or will it wear me down and make me hate both? Thanks!

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Depends on the commuting time to and from that high end school. Also, how much money do ya got? Enough for tuition and living expenses? If you can somehow manage to have the best of both worlds, go for it.
  7. Husky05

    Husky05 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 307

    Go to college you can always find work in this business. You will look like more of a professional if you are running a business by have a bachlor degree. Say for some reason you business fails someday, you will always have that degree and that will open many doors for you. Go to school. Thats the best option.
  8. JLL25

    JLL25 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 200

    Definitely go to college and definitely keep your business. I would put up ads for a foreman in your local paper and whatever public communication tools your community has available. See what kind of response you receive, remember to offer a competetive wage, you get what you pay for. If you like what you do now then why not go for turf management, business management something which can further the business you already have. I just wouldnt sell out that quickly, what if you go to college and find out in a year that you dont want to go to school? You have got such a leg up on your competition with your young age. Good luck.

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