Who would quit a job making $58000 to do this?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by kse1221, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,162

    I'm no where near the 300-400 mark but I too quit a job making a lot more than $58k to do this. But I was an independent contractor in a 100% commission sales job so in a way I was still my own boss, just not my own business. 100% commission sales which I did for well over a decade was WAY more stressful than even my worse day running my lawn business. My first "job" out of college was 100% commission, and that's about all I did until I got back into the lawn biz.

    The economy started to slow down a handful of years back, my industry was hit particularly hard. I had to make a decision on what to do to put food on the table. For a really short time I did "work" for someone else, but I enjoy the "building" part of growing a business. So I started a lawn biz (I cut lawns from when I was 9 until a graduated college and swore I'd never cut another lawn again... except my own. Funny how things change.

    Self-employment isn't for everyone and I'm sure there are lots of reasons. But that's essentially all I have known, and sure I've had more than one day when I thought "what the heck am I doing cutting lawns, I just can't build this business because (insert any reason you can think of here)." But then I think of my wife and kids and go home, grab my idea pad (seriously I write down ideas on growing my biz just about every night - I might only implement 1 out of every 50 ideas I come up with but I'm always thinking) and then I am motivated once again to build the largest and "best" lawn service company in my city. Not there yet, not even close, but I have a 10-year plan. Maybe I'll move to Nashvegas and give MTL some competition :laugh:

    Seriously I would love to eventually move my family to Nashville, go there a lot, have other family there and just about all of my close friends from Memphis have moved there.
  2. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,659

    I love this thread because it shows that 58K isn't JACK! Compared to what you can build in this industry. I get it that every market is different but if your fortunate enough to live in a big enough market, the sky IS the limit given the right amount of time and effort. I was laid off a $30+/hr job and started this to make ends meet until something else came along nothing ever did so I have hung in and am glad I have so far, I'm working my tail off making a lot of mistakes along the way but still growing more and more every year, have no desire to quit growing my business that's the beauty of it, no limits! only what you put on yourself!
  3. TML

    TML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    Who would of thought but depending on where you live 58k is not jack, bingo. I too have a job that pays about that with all the OT worked, much of it mandatory. My pay has been frozen for 5 years, not a nickle pay raise, increased health care costs every year with reduction in benefits. I'm still working it but restarted my landscape career as a way out. Hopefully come spring I can pull the plug as I grow, pick up a more menial perhaps part time job for some base pay and benefits and continue to grow. I was a crew leader and head foreman for many years for a large successful LCO before getting out of the business 10 years ago, so far my estimating on job time and material has not missed a beat. I'm very determined to make this work. On days when I work for myself I feel like it's not even work and love/miss the physical aspect. So far so good.
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  4. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    My third year and I broke twenty thousand for the first time. Still have clean ups to do so my gross still will grow some. At my age, fifty nine employers do not want to hire you unless you have an exceptional resume. This is why I went back to landscaping from over 30 years ago.

    I like having my own business. $100 to become legal.

    Being my own boss, PRICELESS.

    Where I live teachers, cops, firemen, NYC sanitation workers, Can retire at half pay with a gold health insurance for them and their spouse.

    Teachers will top out at $150,000, Retire at $75,000, or work 35 years and go out with a 68% pension of $102,000. Then if they coach a sport for all three seasons for their last three years their final salary will be $25,000 higher. So their pension will go up another $12,000 to $16,000 depending on if they worked 25 of 35 years.

    To be 57 years old, retired with a $118,000 pension and a gold insurance plan for you and your spouse.

    Or be a LCO at 57.

    Which would you chose?

    NYC fireman, cops, and suburban cops all top out at $100,000 that is a $50,000 pension with gold health insurance. They can retire at 41 years old.
    They can make another $50,000 a year in over time. So that pension is now $75,000. New hires now have to work 22 years.

    NYC sanitation. I know a guy that gave up his easy queens position to go work work at the Staten Island land fill. He was able to work enough OT to double his salary. Which doubled his pension. Which is another way of saying his pension was the same as his regular base salary. He retired in his later 40's with gold HI.

    I would of loved to be 41 collecting a $75,000 pension and gold HI.
    Being 57 and a $118,000 pension, and gold HI.

    Bored with nothing to do but wait till 62 so I can collect early SS benefits.

    Then I could think about it would be nice to be a LCO and do a few lawns a day. Wake up from my nap then go play golf, bass fishing, deer hunting.

    What was I dreaming/thinking about mowing lawns now that I am retired. I do not have the time.

    It is not about just walking away from $58,000 a year job. Pension, age you can retire at. At 41 you can start a whole new career with a big pension carrying your business. Work conditions. Benefits that you can retire with.

  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I have been considering becoming a electronics repair tech for a Co. Rated as one of the Top 100 Best Places to work for or in in 2012.

    Starting pay $68k a year. Major issue is the job requires a fair amount of travel. I'd miss my son [13] who needs his dad around. Not just on the weekends. I'd also miss my dog.

    I'm going to explore it more....

    Any lurker clients or competitors etc. ---- No I'm not jumping out of the lawn biz yet. I'm always pushing for a better way.

    I'm always looking for greener grass. With the right personal assistant....I know I could push past this figure. I'm considering burning my last remaining bridge in my other business. Time will tell.

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  6. McFarland_Lawn_Care

    McFarland_Lawn_Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,445

    I'm sure this has already been said, but do what you LOVE to do, and can make a decent living at. Be there with family and friends, and go after your dream job. Good luck!! Obviously the younger you are when you start up, the better to odds of building a mid-sized or larger business to support you when you get older. Starting up when you're 50 is going to be harder to get a reliable retirement than if you started at 25. Good luck!
  7. tyler_mott85

    tyler_mott85 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    I make over 55k a year, but not in the green industry.
    I would quit my job, 401k, good vacation time, and excellent health insurance in a heart beat if I could just step into a green business of my own. Not even a question. But that's because I look for more than a paycheck in my work.

    What do you want out of working? Do you just want a paycheck? Or do you want to feel satisfied with the work that you do. I get a great paycheck. I pay a mortgage, two car payments and everything my wife and three children need out of my pay alone. But my job leaves me feeling empty and angry most of the time. I've been on vacation this last week and being away for a week has made me realize how unhappy I am with my job.

    And just because someone makes "x" amount of dollars doesn't mean they're better off than someone making less. Although I can afford a mortgage, car payments, and add to a 401k, etc doesn't mean I have money. I find myself making splurge purchases and perhaps spending a bit too much on the alcohol and eating out then I should just to satisfy the unrest I feel.

    What is the value of a bigger house, newer car to you? I'd rather live in a smaller house and with older cars but BE HAPPY with what I do and with MYSELF. I would treat my wife and kids better and that's something you can't put a price on.

    Yeah so we all get burned out after while. Long days turn into Long weeks without seeing the wife and kids much... Stress about paying the bills of not only home but the business would be added on to it. But I would still take it than working for the man. Floods, Droughts, Freezes, Heat waves. I already work in those conditions right now...

    Sure everyone has things about their jobs they hate. But what I've learned is the things that I never enjoyed about working in the green industry before I got into my current line of work were the things that lined up with MY weaknesses.

    Lawn Care and Landscaping is a service business yet I DREADED talking to customers. This industry is a seasonal business yet I would spend everything I made leaving nothing for winter, making me find other work, which is how I got into the job I'm in now. Now I look back and wish I had the maturity I do now to take on my weaknesses head on. I may have never gotten out of my own business to begin with.

    Will I get back into lawn care? Who knows... I need to start with some medication though. lol. :dizzy:

    To those of you who successfully made the transition from fulltime employment for the man and worked your tails off and now work fulltime for yourself and you did so with a family. I salute you! :usflag:

    Messages: 1,343

    I was making just under the 90k mark when I left and started my own biz. Quality of life and my three young daughters were the only deciding factors
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  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Not trying to be nosey but are you raising your daughters as a single parent? If yes....then how are you managing a business unless you have help raising your daughters?

    Having a family on board with a self run business is golden. Speaking from first hand experience....I wish I had that kind of support....even if it was token lip service and fake.

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  10. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,508

    Some people will beg to differ, but having family support and/or participation is awesome. Not for every family. Some families its expected. I'm sure there's folks that wish they had been born into a family business.
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