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Steve
04-20-2009, 05:12 AM
I was talking to a friend of mine and he was telling me how he feels like such a pessimist. He says he see the glass as half empty. His wife says he acts this way because he runs his own business.

I think this brought up a great point. It seems like all too often, our view of ourselves, our self worth and our mood is all tied to our profits. When we have a profitable day, we are happy. When we have a non-profitable day, we feel pessimistic and depressed.

Although this doesn't happen to everyone, it seems like it does indeed happen. The sad thing is that I know people whose businesses are very financially successful yet they self medicate themselves with alcohol or anti-depressants.

Do you ever find your mood or outlook on life is tied in with profits? Or do you know others who do this?

Should we do this and if not, how do we change it?

CHEESE2009
04-20-2009, 09:48 AM
I think this brought up a great point. It seems like all too often, our view of ourselves, our self worth and our mood is all tied to our profits. When we have a profitable day, we are happy. When we have a non-profitable day, we feel pessimistic and depressed.

For some like myself, I can't function without income stability. The goal in life is to afford life, & know I will be able to comfortably until I'm dead.

A profit is always nice, but to make a steady & consistent profit is difficult to create.

When we don't profit, we feel like we're not just losing money, but our lives are at risk. We could try harder to profit, but this makes it worse when we achieve nothing other than failure for a big period of time. The end result is frustration, & could cause rebellious actions even towards our own self, we could give up on the spot, drink our sorrows away, argue with loved ones. Many people make things worse for themselves if they don't get what they believe they deserve. Someone in the business might call it quits & give their equipment a beating.

I suggest for people in situations where times are tough & frustrating, to never stop trying. Once you stop is when you defeat yourself. Seek advice from people in similar situations.

This forum is probably the biggest bonus to me. Without the forum, I would have never asked advice from other lawn service owners. This is a gathering of people who understand your problems A to Z. We can all relate one way or another, everyone shares similar problems & all have different fail proof suggestions.

If you have a problem with your Lawn Service, don't go to your wife, she probably wont help, & this will make matters worse for you. Avoid binging on alcohol, etc, & get your butt on the forum!


If I told my girlfriend, "I need to profit more" her response would be bogus, "Why don't you just... profit more?" she doesn't understand what I deal with even if I was to tell her, & seeking help from someone who can't fully understand you is NEGATIVE. What's positive is seeking advice from people with several solutions, the forum!

Steve
04-20-2009, 04:27 PM
Fantastic reflection!

For some like myself, I can't function without income stability. The goal in life is to afford life, & know I will be able to comfortably until I'm dead.

Do you think this is something that scares most people away from starting a business?

swstout
04-20-2009, 05:38 PM
I was talking to a friend of mine and he was telling me how he feels like such a pessimist. He says he see the glass as half empty. His wife says he acts this way because he runs his own business.

I think this brought up a great point. It seems like all too often, our view of ourselves, our self worth and our mood is all tied to our profits. When we have a profitable day, we are happy. When we have a non-profitable day, we feel pessimistic and depressed.

Although this doesn't happen to everyone, it seems like it does indeed happen. The sad thing is that I know people whose businesses are very financially successful yet they self medicate themselves with alcohol or anti-depressants.

Do you ever find your mood or outlook on life is tied in with profits? Or do you know others who do this?

Should we do this and if not, how do we change it?

My mood is tempered with experience. I was born during the great depression. I have lived through many rercessions - 3 as an adult. Things get tough for a while but they always get better.

I feel things are going to get worse before they get better. 2010 will show great improvement, especially as the elections grow closer. The people are fed up and getting more so every day. Many incumbants are really fearing it. They are watching the polls (intently) and re-thinking their stands. They know the American people want "change you can believe in". (LOL). They want their reprersentatives to "walk the talk". They want our own energy reserves tapped and exploited (83%). They want runaway spending controled with logic not party preference (68%). They want tax reform (61%). Our local election board head commented on just how many voters are changing their affilations, both Democrats and Republicans, to Independant! Big changes in politics are comming, and soon!

When talking to prospects and they get talking about the economy and how they fear of taking on new services, I ask "How has the stimulus package helped you?" " Has your elected officials voted as you would?" Their answers, "NO"

I'm confident that things will turn around and in most cases, it is catching. The more confident I am, the more confident the people I'm talking to get.

Steve

Steve
04-20-2009, 06:19 PM
My mood is tempered with experience. I was born during the great depression. I have lived through many rercessions - 3 as an adult. Things get tough for a while but they always get better.

Great insight Steve. Do you have any suggestions to the new business owner how they can uncouple their state of mental well being with the daily or weekly profits they have made?

swstout
04-20-2009, 06:42 PM
Great insight Steve. Do you have any suggestions to the new business owner how they can uncouple their state of mental well being with the daily or weekly profits they have made?


Trest all customers as friends.
Realize you won't make every sale. I average 1 out of 40-50 or more contacts, 1 out of 4 presentations.
Do a little extra, prime them for upsells. I recently did a one time mow for a vacationer, trimmed some overhanging branches and ended up with a season contract.
Solve problems for them. Ask them how else you can help.
Keep positive, remenber and relate how other customers stay satusfied.
Look and act professional. Dress neatly, talk respectfully, and always look like your keeping busy.
Groom yourself appropriately. Many people like long hair, but most adults and professional people expect a businesslike cut. Look as professional as a banker.
Remember you are a businessman 24 hours a day, not just while on the job. You never know who will see you acting badly!
Steve

musician/lawnman
04-20-2009, 07:13 PM
Remember you are a businessman 24 hours a day, not just while on the job. You never know who will see you acting badly!


Dear lord, he's right! (Not that It hadn't occured to me in the past but) I pray none of my older cleints ever show up at a bar where my band is performing..... It's a completely different persona, Who I am all day at work is really who I am, My stage presence is like a rotten alter-ego. All in good fun but it would never be conducive to gaining or retaining older closed-minded customers. For me performing is my time to relax, cut loose, & say what ever comes to mind.

I think my mood is often dictated by how business is, If I have a rotten day, with equipment breaking down, employees not showing up, or somebody breaks something at a clients house that I now have to stop & fix.... I am typically boiling inside. I crush it down in front of clients but when I get back in he truck.... wheeew. The steam can usually be seen rolling from the top of my bald head.:mad:

swstout
04-20-2009, 07:33 PM
Dear lord, he's right! (Not that It hadn't occured to me in the past but) I pray none of my older cleints ever show up at a bar where my band is performing..... It's a completely different persona, Who I am all day at work is really who I am, My stage presence is like a rotten alter-ego. All in good fun but it would never be conducive to gaining or retaining older closed-minded customers. For me performing is my time to relax, cut loose, & say what ever comes to mind.

I think my mood is often dictated by how business is, If I have a rotten day, with equipment breaking down, employees not showing up, or somebody breaks something at a clients house that I now have to stop & fix.... I am typically boiling inside. I crush it down in front of clients but when I get back in he truck.... wheeew. The steam can usually be seen rolling from the top of my bald head.:mad:

I have a friend, a businessman (a marketing consultant) who also has a band. Reserved businesslike at all time - except! He however has worked his "alter ego" into his show. He tells of his 'mundane' life until he walks to the stage. My business is pure business; my band is entertainment for you. I get WILD so you can get wild. He walks off the stage to say this and then protrayes a visable change as he gets back on the stage. If his customers happen to be in the crowd, he is still businessman, but also a commedian and and entertainer.

You can be bad in a good way!

Steve

majoe7
04-20-2009, 08:53 PM
[QUOTE=musician/lawnman;50185]Dear lord, he's right! (Not that It hadn't occured to me in the past but) I pray none of my older cleints ever show up at a bar where my band is performing.


Not a lot of people would say this but I will. You have to believe in your faith. I am Catholic and strongly believe in God, and he is always there for us. My Catholic faith is with me everyday I walk this great earth and I am thankful that I am here in the Lords presence. My family is very important to me and will stand by the choices I make to better our way of life. By no means, I am better than anyone else here or anywhere. I just have a strong belief. The lord is always listening. You see this verse number all the time.

John 3:16

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

If I offened anyone, I am sorry.

When it comes to being moody because of money, I can say that I have sweated a couple of times in my life, but I have great self esteem and self assurance (not an ego). When I wanted more, I worked more, when I couldn’t afford something, I didn’t get it. Live with in your means. I believe the current economy is dew to the fact that most wanted more but didn’t live with in their means. The housing bust is because too many people received loans they couldn’t pay back even if they had two jobs. Most were under qualified. I believe that was the start of it. (IMO) I have worked at one time three jobs for almost 5 years just to reach the goals I set for myself and my family. (5am – 11 pm, ˝ day off a week) I was not in debt and didn’t miss any family days. You have to be willing to swallow your pride and dig in if you want more. Believe in yourself. Also listen to those who have been there before.

I call it learning and respect.

Thanks for reading and I didn't mean to be so long.

Sincerely,

John

Steve
04-20-2009, 09:39 PM
Thanks for reading and I didn't mean to be so long.
That wasn't long at all, it was great.

You shared with us another perspective on how to handle the daily stress of running a business and I hope all these perspectives help each reader come up with their own path.

CHEESE2009
04-21-2009, 06:06 PM
Fantastic reflection!



Do you think this is something that scares most people away from starting a business?


In all honesty it's what scared me enough to stop going to school & put on the work boots. I grew up always thinking the hour glass was against me, so I wouldn't waste any time. I always felt like I'd be alone, stuck without help growing up unless I put my foot down & got creative. I could either stay in school, always thinking ;

"what if the people who support me just vanished, what will I have? How can I survive without them"

these thoughts haunted me growing up, so I had to do what I could, & stop wasting my time in school failing in everything.

It's a horrible thing to believe, that school keeps you back, there are so many ways to make it work for you I've been told, but I just deep down inside don't believe in taking that chance.

I need stability, right this second <- What my mind tells me 24/7

Steve
04-21-2009, 06:23 PM
I think you are really keying in on the psychology behind the decision making process which is really powerful. The more you know and understand yourself the better chance you have of giving yourself what you need.

I applaud you!

fieroboi
04-22-2009, 07:21 PM
Trest all customers as friends.
Realize you won't make every sale. I average 1 out of 40-50 or more contacts, 1 out of 4 presentations.
Do a little extra, prime them for upsells. I recently did a one time mow for a vacationer, trimmed some overhanging branches and ended up with a season contract.
Solve problems for them. Ask them how else you can help.
Keep positive, remenber and relate how other customers stay satusfied.
Look and act professional. Dress neatly, talk respectfully, and always look like your keeping busy.
Groom yourself appropriately. Many people like long hair, but most adults and professional people expect a businesslike cut. Look as professional as a banker.
Remember you are a businessman 24 hours a day, not just while on the job. You never know who will see you acting badly!
Steve

I could not agree more with this philosophy.

I've found that if I can talk with a potential client about what I offer and how they benefit from my service, I can usually make the sale about 75% of the time. Every one will have a different success rate on this, it can take some time to develop a good sales pitch.

As far as the glass being half full or getting down when things don't go as planned, I have found it helpful for me to look at the bigger picture in my life. For example, am I achieving what I have set out to do in the long term? Another thing to remember is that being a business owner has its advantages and its disadvantages, sometimes we need to see the lower times in life to appreciate the finer things that show up later!

Lloyd

Steve
04-22-2009, 07:49 PM
Another thing to remember is that being a business owner has its advantages and its disadvantages

A lot of readers might not have actually taken the jump into being a business owner. What would you tell someone who hasn't made the jump yet are some of the advantages or disadvantages that you have found?

swstout
04-22-2009, 08:36 PM
A lot of readers might not have actually taken the jump into being a business owner. What would you tell someone who hasn't made the jump yet are some of the advantages or disadvantages that you have found?

Advantages:

Tax advantages
Medical Insurance and expense advantages. 100% deductable
You work much harder for yourself than for another. Get more exercize and sleep better
Many people state that you are your own boss. I don't go along with this. Being my own boss doesn't float my boat. I have more bosses - my customers. What I do get is a feeling of accomplishment.
You have more drive! You constantly are researching - better methods, better tools, better marketing. The reason you are here on this forum right now!
Disadvantages:

When you work for someone else, you are a businessman only 40 hour per week. As a business owner, your are a businessman 24/7.
You have more responsabilities. Your customers, your employees, record keeping. All in addition to your family responsibilities.
Steve

fieroboi
04-23-2009, 03:43 PM
A lot of readers might not have actually taken the jump into being a business owner. What would you tell someone who hasn't made the jump yet are some of the advantages or disadvantages that you have found?

Everyone has their own reasons for being a business owner. I think Steve makes some very good points, some I will repeat. For me the advantages are;

- greater income potential.
- more flexibility.
- sense of pride and accomplishment.
- better control of my future.
- plus of course the tax advantages ( I'm in Canada so they are somewhat different than the US)

Disadvantages for me are;

- work longer hours.
- more headaches.
- sometimes more stressful.
- more responsibilities, such as employees, books, community involvement etc.

Lloyd