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element009
10-13-2011, 11:05 AM
I'd like to share my thoughts on how effective a tool this forum is for my motivation.

This was my first season, and it wen't fairly well. I picked up a decent amount of clients and made some extra cash without having to go into any debt, but I know I could've done a lot better. The problem: I lost my motivation at a certain point.

I found Gopher Forum last year around March and I was really into it for a few months. Then when summer hit, I stopped checking the site everyday and at the same time, lost the drive I had to go out and get new customers. I should've been working 10 hours per day at least 5 days a week. However, I wasn't doing that. I was being a procrastinator. I didn't lose my desire to run this business, but my motivation was being tested for sure. Driving around alone in a truck all day cutting lawns isn't easy. It's nice to have someone to work with, but I'm not at that point yet.

Finally, after the summer ended I decided I needed to get motivated again for the big fall season. I got back on the forum a few weeks ago and I've started to get my motivation back. The stories I read and the support I feel from the forum is fantastic. When I read about the successes of guys like Hedgemaster and others I see how I'm not the only one trying to do this business. And more importantly, I've seen that success is going to come if you're working on it everyday.

So I encourage everyone, new and old, to continue using this forum to the fullest extent. I've found comradery, information, motivation, and of course a little humor. The difference I noticed in my own motivation during the times I was active here vs. inactive is vast.

So thank you for everyone's participation in the forum and good luck w/ the leaves!

JeffK26
10-13-2011, 01:19 PM
I second that.

This site has motivated me more than i could imagine. I'm not starting up until spring, but this site has gotten a fire under my butt. I'm planning like no tomorrow. I'm waiting on quotes for liability ins, i'm waiting for my first order of safety green shirts to arrive, did my logo. Making a website, pricing equipment and asking questions at each dealer in my area, reading up on licensing for chemicals, the list goes on and on with what i can do now to get it done and in the books vs waiting til spring and have to rush. On top of that i have 2 clients through family just talking at work and i have appointments to sign them to service agreements this weekend.

Your post is a good reminder that this site doesn't only offer advice but motivational backup.

Thanks for the tip!

Sprinkler Buddy
10-13-2011, 02:22 PM
If your working 10 hr days, 5 days a week by yourself, hire someone, pick up a couple more accounts to pay for the help. At the end of the day you'll still be making more and working a lot less. You'll burn out if you don't, I would suspect in the long run working like that.

Hedgemaster
10-13-2011, 07:34 PM
It's frustrating at times how little activity there is on the forum, but I like it here - it still has that "small", friendly feel to it, as compared to forums with huge numbers of members.

I've learned a good deal already (from the members) and it's one of the reasons I'm such a post whore - I want to "give back" in some little way. Maybe someone out there reading will learn something from something I've learned, so I share as much as I can.

Thanks for the mention up there. Glad my posts are at least somewhat useful.

element009
10-14-2011, 12:33 AM
If your working 10 hr days....
No I'm not workin that much.... I said I should've been working those hours....instead I lost motivation and didn't hussle like I wanted to during part of the season. consequence being I fell short of my goal of customer acquisition this year

CHEESE2009
10-14-2011, 01:23 AM
It's hard to keep motivated, for sure!

There is so much we can all do to make tons of money, but it's almost impossible to kick our own arses into gear.

There is nothing stopping us from advertising all season in between jobs, I guess we all feel as though when we wake up in the morning the countdown begins. We try to get all of our work done so that we avoid problems - am I right?

I could be handing out cards after every job, but I'd feel rushed or it feels risky. I could have my guy hand out cards while I work, but at the same time I hired him so that he can help me out with what already needs to be done. Tricky.

I'm most motivated during winter, but after June, everything is just "another day".

Growing Green
10-14-2011, 09:30 AM
I actually lost motivation this year as well, with the worst drought in history that we are experiencing and the hotest year by far. We ended up having 95 days of over 100 degrees when the norm is 13. That is a HUGE difference. I would look at the weather and the lowest high for the next 10 days would be 103. It was very depressing especially when everyone's grass was dying or going into dormancy.

Then it just seems like I started getting out of my depressed state and it is funny because I started checking the forum as well. I would just read and not post, but then I started posting more and updated everyone on where I was at.

I started the business with no customers in January and have over 30 reocurring customers and have over 20 customers that I do other services for. That is pretty good considering the drought and being my 1st year. I have bought everything with cash from my savings (6X12 trailer, cub 33 inch walk-behind, Stihl 550 blower, stihl chainsaw, stihl hedger, complete stihl kombi system). Now this month I will actually make a profit after paying myself back. Crazy fun!

We just had 2 inches of rain and the weather has broke and I'm starting to enjoy this again. I've started learning how to make raised garden beds, working on learning more on retaining walls and learning how to do edible landscaping. And all I thought I was going to do this year was mow. Funny!

Sorry for the rambling!

Matt

Steve
10-14-2011, 06:44 PM
The problem: I lost my motivation at a certain point.

As this most likely effects everyone, what is your view on how to sense when this is coming on and what to do about it? What do you feel causes this?

Ultimately, what is the motivation? Is it one thing or is it something that changes over time? Can we print it out and hang it over our desk or is there more to it?

Ducke
10-14-2011, 07:56 PM
It's frustrating at times how little activity there is on the forum, but I like it here - it still has that "small", friendly feel to it, as compared to forums with huge numbers of members.

I've learned a good deal already (from the members) and it's one of the reasons I'm such a post whore - I want to "give back" in some little way. Maybe someone out there reading will learn something from something I've learned, so I share as much as I can.

Thanks for the mention up there. Glad my posts are at least somewhat useful.

I agree hedge
I belong to several Lawn forums mostly in North America but also a couple from the UK.
There is one very large one that boast over 3000 members and it so hard to keep up with and your just a Icon. Here I feel more comfortable more like Family,
The days can tend to get long and the weather to hot or cold or dry or wet
and you can start to feel down but type a question or complaint or complement on here and you will always get a reply be it funny or serious helpful or not just like talking at the supper table each evening.
Keep the faith Brother pull out your business plan and give it a read ,have you done what you planned ??? if not rewrite it and set some new goals get yourself motivated to achieve independent wealth or at least be able to buy that new mower you want,without credit.

element009
10-14-2011, 09:53 PM
As this most likely effects everyone, what is your view on how to sense when this is coming on and what to do about it? What do you feel causes this?

Ultimately, what is the motivation? Is it one thing or is it something that changes over time? Can we print it out and hang it over our desk or is there more to it?

For me i know that i perform beautifully when I absolutely have to....meaning when my back's against the wall....need money now....i feel like i can get as much business as I want....and i've done it.

However, when i'm feeling comfortable w/ money I don't feel the pressure to be on top of my game.....this is what i have to change....i need to channel my best at times other than when i'm feeling the pressure to succeed....or another way to look at it, i need to pressure myself to succeed at all times

JeffK26
10-15-2011, 12:23 AM
I agree with Ducke that this feels more like family...I've read a couple other forums and it's not only that you're just an icon, but i also get the impression that if you haven't been mowing lawns for 10 years you're a newbie lowballer. If you're a newbie here ya still feel as important and successful as the guy doing it for 10 years....I like that.

Steve
10-17-2011, 03:19 PM
when i'm feeling comfortable w/ money I don't feel the pressure to be on top of my game.....this is what i have to change....i need to channel my best at times other than when i'm feeling the pressure to succeed....or another way to look at it, i need to pressure myself to succeed at all times

That is a very good point. It does make you wonder, do you feel certain people in the business do it because it is the business that motivates them vs. the money or in the end does it always come down to it just being the money that motivates us.

I would think if it were something about the business that was the motivating factor then there would be a more consistent desire to push it forwards. Whats your view?

element009
10-18-2011, 12:47 PM
That is a very good point. It does make you wonder, do you feel certain people in the business do it because it is the business that motivates them vs. the money or in the end does it always come down to it just being the money that motivates us.

I would think if it were something about the business that was the motivating factor then there would be a more consistent desire to push it forwards. Whats your view?

For me I love the work I do. I like being outside and I take pride in the properties I maintain. When I leave and the place looks great, I'm happy. Which is why I had no trouble doing my work all summer.

The thing I wasn't motivated to do was go out and get more business. I just picked up a decent amount of clients in the beginning and handled them all summer (aside from a few acquisitions here and there). So for me I think I should be motivated more by money, then I would seek out customers more aggressively.

Steve
10-18-2011, 04:48 PM
Would it be helpful to post what amount of customers you want to get and when you want to get them by and then give us updates how you are reaching your goals and what you are doing to reach them? Would that help with the motivation factor?

element009
10-18-2011, 10:27 PM
Would it be helpful to post what amount of customers you want to get and when you want to get them by and then give us updates how you are reaching your goals and what you are doing to reach them? Would that help with the motivation factor?

This is a good idea. A little scary to be honest, because now there's something more to feel bad about if I am not doing what I should to reach my goal.....But at the same time it will definitely help with my motivation if I keep up with it, which is obviously the point. I'm going to think of the number tonight and then start a thread to chart my progress

Steve
10-19-2011, 05:14 PM
I think it could help others as well. Others could join in and it could become a support group to hit certain goals throughout different seasons.

This could be really exciting!