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jasonw
09-27-2010, 12:58 PM
Ok this is just funny. You all know by now the crap we have been going through as of late. Well I have a few jobs running and am about ti hire new help, mainly for weedeating. I dont let my employees use my good equipment because I hire unskilled labor to just do crap labor and I worry if they blow up my TB I am out $300 not including another $400 in attachments that are worthless without the trimmer so I went out to walmart and got a $70 WeedEater 20cc trimmer for employee use. I figured if it lasts 2 hours it payed for itself and if not no big loss. Now here is the kicker. While looking at the selection there and buying one and getting home the next day and putting it together, breaking in and all that I actually got excited, like I use to. Like buying a new peace of equipment was my business v-i-a-g-r-a <****that will probably be censored. Has anyone ells had this same thing happen? Is this some sort of OCD where I have to always get nice new toys to stay excited about business?

MountainViewGreenskeeper
09-27-2010, 05:29 PM
Ok this is just funny. You all know by now the crap we have been going through as of late. Well I have a few jobs running and am about ti hire new help, mainly for weedeating. I dont let my employees use my good equipment because I hire unskilled labor to just do crap labor and I worry if they blow up my TB I am out $300 not including another $400 in attachments that are worthless without the trimmer so I went out to walmart and got a $70 WeedEater 20cc trimmer for employee use. I figured if it lasts 2 hours it payed for itself and if not no big loss. Now here is the kicker. While looking at the selection there and buying one and getting home the next day and putting it together, breaking in and all that I actually got excited, like I use to. Like buying a new peace of equipment was my business v-i-a-g-r-a <****that will probably be censored. Has anyone ells had this same thing happen? Is this some sort of OCD where I have to always get nice new toys to stay excited about business?

lol your not alone... I love new equipment that makes life easier on me.

jasonw
09-28-2010, 01:21 AM
Makes me want to go out and buy a new truck and tractor. Maybe then I will be interested in continuing for another year lol

picframer
09-28-2010, 03:32 AM
Sometimes depending on the equipment I just bought, when this was delivered to a jobsite back in, I believe May, I didn't want to go home after using it for the day and I didn't sleep well for a couple of nights, waking at 3 a.m. and wondering if I would dare drive to the site to work:)

I do however have equipment, mainly tractors that I can hardly wait to get to a job site in the morning to use them.

jasonw
09-28-2010, 02:23 PM
Sometimes depending on the equipment I just bought, when this was delivered to a jobsite back in, I believe May, I didn't want to go home after using it for the day and I didn't sleep well for a couple of nights, waking at 3 a.m. and wondering if I would dare drive to the site to work:)

I do however have equipment, mainly tractors that I can hardly wait to get to a job site in the morning to use them.

When I got my tractor I picked it up on my way to my dayjob. It sat on the trailer all day but I took everyone out to show it to them, When I got home I didn't want to start it up and wake the city up so I left it on the trailer but marveled at it most of the nite. I think I put 50 hours on it on my property in the first week before ever sending it to a job lol

Steve
09-28-2010, 09:13 PM
One of the benefits of being an entrepreneur is that you get something out of what you do. You should love what you do, after all this is a business you created! You could have created anything you wanted and you created this.

It can't just be about money. Doing anything just for money leaves you with a hollow feeling. If at the end of the day, you have a couple of extra bucks in your pocket but the day was a miserable experience for you, you need to rethink what you are doing.

You only have a limited amount of time and even less productive time, so you had better focus on finding something you love, something you have an interest in, something that you can't wait to wake up in the morning and get to work on, otherwise at the end of the day, you will not feel good.

For some, the excitement will be in purchasing new equipment or toys. That is great as long as you can afford it.

I think you hit on a big key point though, you have to ask yourself what excites you? What interests you?

What was the last thing you did that was exciting? What are you looking forwards to in the future that is exciting? These things can be small or large.

picframer
09-29-2010, 04:40 AM
Interesting points Steve, when you put it that way....

My greatest excitement is the look on the clients face

Designing a landscape project from scratch

Being told there is no way we can move a rock, doing it with no problems

Seeing the end result of Silviculture, that is a big one for me

Falling a massive tree within inches of where I wanted it to go, that always puts a smile on my face

Giving kids rides on the machines, seeing them light up and then giving them a John Deere shirt, you have no idea the impact this makes on them, their parents, friends etc.

The constant comments and emails, telephone calls, that to me is what makes this work worth my while. If I didn't wake excited to "Get Er Done" I would sell the company in a heartbeat and I have been made offers that would represent a 40% return in just two years, but for me it's not about money anymore, been there, done that, I have to have fun and I do almost every hour of every day.

The only part I didn't like was the lawn mowing, just too many headaches for what we made and scheduling around weather. We kept a few but sold over 90 accounts, man that was for me, a big load off, it wasn't about money, it was taking all the fun out of the work we do.

Staff pressure washed a massive house on the ocean yesterday, 1.5 million ++, man it was a mess, when the clients came home last night and I was there around 5, they were shocked, not only paid the bill, gave each of the two employees $100 cash and insisted we stay for supper which we did, things like this is what makes my day.

Steve
09-29-2010, 08:11 AM
That is a fantastic insight and it might help others reading this to develop their bigger business plans.

See early on in a businesses life, you sit there and try to think of services you can offer to the greatest amount of people. You do this because you want to give yourself the best chance at allowing your business to survive and make a profit.

As you go though, it is possible, you start to want more out of it. Once you start surviving off your business, you then look to enjoy yourself more. Get more out of life and your business.

Some may find that they really are challenged to create the perfect lawn cut. Some may find their brains dull to work they deem monotonous. That is when you start to look for more of a creative outlet.


Designing a landscape project from scratch

Being told there is no way we can move a rock, doing it with no problems

Seeing the end result of Silviculture, that is a big one for me

Falling a massive tree within inches of where I wanted it to go, that always puts a smile on my face

Giving kids rides on the machines, seeing them light up and then giving them a John Deere shirt, you have no idea the impact this makes on them, their parents, friends etc.

All these things are creative outlets! They are a new excitement. You get a sense that you are doing something positive. Helping someone feel better. Solving a problem of theirs. Each day presents a new problem that you need to utilize your brain to solve.

When this goes on in your day, it's tough to think of your day as dull or monotonous.

Purchasing new toys can help break the monotony as well.

But there is a difference. One side of it is solving a problem and making money from it which will keep your business in good health. The other, which is purchasing things, will cost money and if you don't have the money to pay for it, can lead to the demise of your business.

So as with everything, the key to success may be to pace yourself. Mix and match these activities to remain healthy and keep your mind thinking.

picframer
09-29-2010, 08:18 PM
It's been a desperate long day however, take this for what it's worth.

I have had two cents to my name, I have been worth well over a million, my sense of happiness if you will never changed.

We sometimes strive for more money to make us happy, it will not happen.

We all have to make money, if tools is what turns your crank in this business, I think you will fail as you need to see the bigger picture, what can you do, with what you have to put a smile on a clients face, business, equipment etc. will come after this.

Steve
09-30-2010, 02:49 AM
When you put it all into a nutshell, do you think if you get out of your business something that doesn't cost you a dime and if you are able to give to others, through your business, something that doesn't cost a dime, is that where true happiness lies?

Is it in the transfer of emotion? And ultimately are we all looking for that? Feeling good because we helped someone else feel good?

picframer
09-30-2010, 05:30 AM
When you put it all into a nutshell, do you think if you get out of your business something that doesn't cost you a dime and if you are able to give to others, through your business, something that doesn't cost a dime, is that where true happiness lies?

Is it in the transfer of emotion? And ultimately are we all looking for that? Feeling good because we helped someone else feel good?

Well, we all have to make money there is no question. If we are only doing something for the money, it will be short lived. Money does motivate but it can be dangerous at the same time, the more I have the more I want road.

Giving is what it is all about, I am a believer you will get back more than you give, the majority of the time.

Transfer of emotion, don't know, what I do know is helping others has always motivated me, customer, staff, family etc.

jasonw
10-03-2010, 12:53 PM
Well, we all have to make money there is no question. If we are only doing something for the money, it will be short lived. Money does motivate but it can be dangerous at the same time, the more I have the more I want road.

Giving is what it is all about, I am a believer you will get back more than you give, the majority of the time.

Transfer of emotion, don't know, what I do know is helping others has always motivated me, customer, staff, family etc.

Most of all I would love the countless phone calls, letters and emails. I just halted my advertising yesterday. Looks like the end is closing in. I have once again gone the past month with not 1 call. I enjoy it I guess but I cant keep doing it and not making money. I wish there were another way around it to keep it going but I just dont know.

jasonw
10-09-2010, 02:25 PM
Well I ran into a wall. I had no other choice but to cancel my advertising. Its just not turning around the way I was counting on. I am still able to operate but unfortunately not work and advertise the way I was at the same time. I thought about settling for the cheepo advertising I use to do but figured its the end of the season so I will just stop it. Hopefully if the business is able to carry its self through winter It will give me a few months to figure out how to get out of the ditch I got in. Lucky for me I have my expenses cut to the bone so that helps a ton. I have everything paid up so for the most part it costs me NOTHING not to work, this is good because if the truck stays parked all winter I wont be losing money, wont be making it but at least I wont be losing it. I am about to stop a $100 per month job for this year which sucks but a $200 per month job I do during the winters is about to start so that rocks. I still have the $500 per month contract with the county the only problem with that one is after invoicing I have to wait up to 6 weeks for a check and that really blows but at least the county pays good. All that being said I am looking at a before tax income of $700 per month during the winter. That really hurts but its better than some of us I guess. Hopefully word of mouth will take over for the lack of my advertising and work will pick up but I am not counting on it. The good news is my contract with the county in never ending. The only stipulation to get out of it is if I want to get out of it for any reason. This really works out awesome for me because if I want to work and they decide they dont want me anymore it puts them in breach of contract. I love those people so I would never stick it to them but maybe its just enough for them to never think of firing me and taking the risk of a lawsuit I dont know.

So I guess the moral of the story is as follows.

BAD NEWS: no more advertising means no growth or higher income potential until spring.

GOOD NEWS: If I choose to I am still able to stay in business during winter because of the steps we took to cut our expenses and get good beneficial contracts the past few months.

BAD NEWS: After going through this my ambition in through the flore and I am not sure I want to continue doing this.

GOOD NEW: The tractor is finally paid for as is all other equipment so the company has absolutely 0 debt.

Steve
10-10-2010, 04:58 AM
but a $200 per month job I do during the winters is about to start so that rocks.

What kind of job is this and can more of them be found?

Also, have you thought about any social networking you could be doing over the winter months? Could you join up with any local business organizations?

jasonw
10-12-2010, 12:35 PM
What kind of job is this and can more of them be found?

Also, have you thought about any social networking you could be doing over the winter months? Could you join up with any local business organizations?

Steve
The job is about an acre of fairly flat land, Its a vacation house and the owner like it do be very short all the time. Takes me about 4 hours with the tractor and then weed eating around the perimeter. I have tried every kind of networking in the book and nothing has worked. Actually most of my work I have now came from family who recommended me. To add even worse news my day job may be coming to an end, I will find out for sure today, kinda nervous. I figured I can save money and print out a crap load of fliers right in my office and pass them out tomorrow but I doubt that will help. All my services are geared towards spring and summer. I am coming up very short thinking of Winter services I can offer in my area so that is really hurting me right now.

The Cleaning Doctor
10-12-2010, 06:56 PM
Hang christmas lights

Steve
10-13-2010, 08:01 AM
Actually most of my work I have now came from family who recommended me.

This is good news, it means you are doing good work and word of mouth is helping.

jasonw
10-22-2010, 01:07 PM
This is good news, it means you are doing good work and word of mouth is helping.

Not really, It means my family is trying to help me succeed and mentioning me. I dont count on word of mouth at all when its from family or friends, Family feels obligated to help and friends do it so you will buy the next 30 pack. Word of mouth really comes into play when its from a regular client who is not a close family or friend.

Is there honestly a market in hanging Christmas lights? I would not think so, not up here at least. I mean around here doing that is a long time family tradition and a lot of the folks ether dont celebrate or stick to there roots, make hot coco and do it with the kids. As far as winter services I just feel like I am screwed. By the time I get set up to plow snow it will more than likely be to late. For that matter I have never even done that. I am this " close to picking up a 4X4 maybe next week so that's the big expense for plowing but then I have no idea what to do from there. Pick up a plow for the truck? Not sure I can finance that this time of year, Make a rude plow for the truck to get by this year? I have an unlimited supply of steel and aluminum as well as the fabricators to cut, bend and weld it but is it realistic to just weld a plate on the frame to scrape snow off the street? What other winter services are there out there other than hanging lights and or plowing? I cant even believe I am asking this question because I own properties but for the life of me I can think of anything I do to maintain them during the winter time.

Steve
10-23-2010, 08:12 PM
Not really, It means my family is trying to help me succeed and mentioning me. I dont count on word of mouth at all when its from family or friends, Family feels obligated to help and friends do it so you will buy the next 30 pack. Word of mouth really comes into play when its from a regular client who is not a close family or friend.

Well, I think it is great they are trying to help you succeed. This is the way all things should start. If they think you could really use the business, they may go out of their way to pass a business card on to someone else or mention you more often. What ever it takes to get the momentum going is ok as long as it gets going and so far so good.

Make a rude plow for the truck to get by this year?

I think that would be a great project, especially if you could get your hands on a large steel pipe where you could cut it and use it as the front of the plow.

I did a quick search and found a bunch of people that have made their own plows.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/52/395460420_3c62720284.jpg

Here is another idea

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/fSykkqakwns?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/fSykkqakwns?fs=1&amp;hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

jasonw
11-15-2010, 12:03 PM
Well I went and checked out one of my winter clients properties yesterday and was happy to see in the next week or so it will be time to start working on it again which will thank god give me a boost in monthly income for the next 5-6 months or so. I am having a hard time getting motivated though, any good tips? I think one thing I have been suffering with is this big county job, Is an hour drive each way, I am only allowed to do $500 of work each month on it and its work of the sort I have never done so not only is it a drag driving the 12mpg truck 2 hours round trip but I am learning as I go with the job which the clients don't care about but at the end of the day I look back and it looks like little to nothing got done for all the money they are paying. I think back at where my motivation went out the window and it was right around the time I got the contract for this job so I wander if its not the big problem with getting back into the mood. Any suggestions?

Steve
11-16-2010, 03:08 AM
As with everything there are multiple ways of looking at something. On one level, you have to survive and if survival means driving an hour each way to work on this job, so be it.

But once you know you have your basic needs covered, you are going to start looking to do and work on things that you enjoy.

When you are looking to reignite your flame, you have to look around and behind to see what you enjoy. When was the last time you enjoyed working on something. What about that made you enjoy it? When you start looking into it, you can find the elements that make something enjoyable for you or not.

So when you think about it, what are those magical elements for you?

jasonw
11-18-2010, 12:21 PM
As with everything there are multiple ways of looking at something. On one level, you have to survive and if survival means driving an hour each way to work on this job, so be it.

But once you know you have your basic needs covered, you are going to start looking to do and work on things that you enjoy.

When you are looking to reignite your flame, you have to look around and behind to see what you enjoy. When was the last time you enjoyed working on something. What about that made you enjoy it? When you start looking into it, you can find the elements that make something enjoyable for you or not.

So when you think about it, what are those magical elements for you?

Ok I am going to sit here for the next few hours thinking and leave this reply opened so I can type info in while it comes to mind, Hopefully it wont be to much gibberish

What I enjoy/ed
1- Working for myself
2- The possibility of being financially secure by my own hand
3- The non stop phone calls and won accounts
4- My business seemed recession proof "While others were crying I was rolling in the money and turning down jobs"
5- The day I became 100% legit was the best day of my life.
6- Turning a jungle into a well oiled machine and knowing I did it.
7- Being the boss "Realizing, these people work for me, I am the boss for once"
8-

What I hate/ed
1- Getting started was stressful
2- Good clients became problem payers
3- Being asked to do services I have never done "I dislike learning on the clients dime"
4- Realizing the financial goals of being a billionaire were VERY far fetched.
5- Do to my own ****iness I lost almost everything and my dreams were crushed.
8- Firing everyone knowing they just lost what they used to feed there kids because of me.
9- Things never seemed to grow the way they were suppose to
10- Getting ripped off by my best employee
11- Knowing that any week now my truck will need a transmition and knowing I cant cover the cost kills me. Because of this I just want to quit before it happens.
12-

Thats about all I can think of really. I think another bad thing is I do have a day job and make about 100K per year so I really dont have to do anything ells but I hate working for anyone. Its so very hard to do anything ells when you are not hurting for the money. I have contemplated quitting my day job but that would be suicide so I can not do that. Right now in the best month by doing lawn care I make about $800 I need to before expenses break about 7K per month before I can quit my day job and the way I have worked my butt off I just dont think its possible to make that kind of money doing property maintenance unless I start to break CSLB laws which I am NOT willing to do.

Steve
11-19-2010, 02:49 AM
Isnt it interesting what you can come up with when you sit there and think about it?

It's no wonder you really can't get yourself in the mood. There is so much going on in your head. You are being pulled in two directions.

It seems to me you are comfortable having your fulltime job and that tend to drain you of energy, as I think it would anyone, from putting that into your business. You just can't do everything and be everywhere at once.

Although I do wonder, if ultimately there is frustration and a calling you hear in your head to be out there on the open ocean as captain of your own vessel that you just can't shake.

Many people would prefer what they would consider, the safety of working for someone else. But there are some that simply won't be satisfied until they are king of their own kingdom.

So then in the end, this might come down to a question of if what you are doing in life is an extension of your personality or is it on the other hand, daily stifling your dreams?

jasonw
11-19-2010, 10:58 AM
Very well said Steve. I am being pulled in several directions. If you remember on top of property maintenance and a day job I also host a web show 3 days per week. In all my work wee consists of about 140 hours every week and its very hard to deal with problems. When you walk in my shoes its easier to toss problems out the door to rot rather than figure them out. That being said though I lost my day job yesterday so this may be the push I need to move into the future. I wont get official word for 3 more hours but I confirmed with 2 people in management that my final check will be there today . Now I just need to figure out how to go full time in the middle of the off season. Any guesses?

Steve
11-20-2010, 04:21 AM
Well maybe if this happens, they will give you a severance package or something?

Then I'd suggest putting feelers out and finding what people in the area need done in their yards over the winter and prepare for spring with full force.

jasonw
11-20-2010, 10:20 PM
Well maybe if this happens, they will give you a severance package or something?

Then I'd suggest putting feelers out and finding what people in the area need done in their yards over the winter and prepare for spring with full force.

Actually I did get a nice package, I went in yesterday and they cut me a check for 3 months wages as well as my wages paid for 3 years WOOHOO lol I may just take the rest of winter off I don't know. I have been working on other projects that are look very profitable so its decision time. Had meeting with business leaders and promoters most of the day today.

Steve
11-21-2010, 04:58 AM
Well it seems now you are going to have the time and some money to really launch your projects! I am looking forwards to hearing how it all goes!

MAKLawnCutter
11-22-2010, 09:04 PM
What I hate/ed
1- Getting started was stressful
2- Good clients became problem payers
3- Being asked to do services I have never done "I dislike learning on the clients dime"
4- Realizing the financial goals of being a billionaire were VERY far fetched.
5- Do to my own ****iness I lost almost everything and my dreams were crushed.
8- Firing everyone knowing they just lost what they used to feed there kids because of me.
9- Things never seemed to grow the way they were suppose to
10- Getting ripped off by my best employee
11- Knowing that any week now my truck will need a transmition and knowing I cant cover the cost kills me. Because of this I just want to quit before it happens.


Trust me, i was on that teeter totter about a month ago. I really wanted to just say f-it and let the bank take all of my equipment... I cried for about three days over it, thinking "just another failure to add to my list..."
Then i had this epiphany "Why would i say 'F-IT' if this has always been my dream, to only have to listen to myself..." I realized that i am this company, everyone is expendable, everyone that has helped me in any way (repairs, a yard, edging, towing me out, pulling my trailer). I am the only reason this business can and WILL succeed! I am the ONLY reason those other people have had to help me, because i pushed the limits of something, to make sure this worked...
I have this kid due in January, my fiance doesnt work currently... i am the bread winner. I posted on here (title: "going full time") about my anxieties of running a mower and day to day life, i found out a lot of people are dealing with the S.O.S. We are all the same.

I buy new toys and think "how many jobs will this get paid off in?" i lost the "oooooooo, TOY!" feeling after i broke a drive belt on my mower... lol

Matt

Steve
11-23-2010, 06:37 AM
Trust me, i was on that teeter totter about a month ago. I really wanted to just say f-it and let the bank take all of my equipment... I cried for about three days over it, thinking "just another failure to add to my list..."

Matt I do feel many business owners go through this.

Do you feel it all came down to just a change in attitude and a change in your outlook on things?

Once you did that, how did the change in the mental attitude effect the steps you were taking to make your business work?

jasonw
11-23-2010, 02:29 PM
See I am blessed that I paid cash for everything so the bank cant touch me. I just have no idea what my beef is really, I mean maybe I just dont like the work and that's set me up for failure, who knows.

Steve
11-24-2010, 08:18 AM
I mean maybe I just dont like the work and that's set me up for failure

That is very possible. Why do you think you brought that up? Do you feel that way at times?

Have you felt that way with all the types of lawn care work or just parts of it?

Has there ever been anything you had done where it was work but didn't feel that way?

jasonw
11-25-2010, 10:14 PM
That is very possible. Why do you think you brought that up? Do you feel that way at times?

Have you felt that way with all the types of lawn care work or just parts of it?

Has there ever been anything you had done where it was work but didn't feel that way?

I think I may have missaid that. ITs not that I dont like it, its that I like the other work I am doing a lot more. Maybe thats it.

Steve
11-26-2010, 09:54 AM
That very well could be. Most of the times, when stuff like this bothers us, we just either can't or don't want to sit down and dissect it to see why we are leaning one way or another on an issue. As you think about it more, you start coming up with answers.