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Can you be at the top?

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  • Can you be at the top?

    I look at the other comapnies out there and look at there equipment, there vehicles, there employee's. How do they dress? how do they preform what makes them better? Is it there trucks? equipment? what is it? Why do these guys seem to make it? Where am I compared to? All summer long that is what I kept thinking about...comparing myself to them. And to be honest i just realized it doesn't matter. I don't care if there 2009 Chevy pickup they are driving is new. Because is that truck making them money? They lose 5 accounts are they hurting? You bet they are. So it took me awhile to realize that because we all want everything thats new, as human beings we love competition we love the fact we are americans and can produce money. I don't care how much money someone has because it doesn't help me out at all. Does me no good. What I think about is why am I bidding at these prices when I know for a fact i can bid more. Because I don't have the overhead??

    And all the costs involved with that?. Do the customers know that? No. So why am I doing that when I don't have to? Somebody told me one time and I wont forget this he said to me that its really depends what your bar tab is and what there bar tab is. And that made sense. I was like oh wow. Everybody struggles to get ahead when they first start out in this madness. Bid low to get and hope for the best. Everybody wants a good deal for sure but, how far down do you go?. So lets say your 5 years into it now and you are still hanging in there competing and you have more equipment are you still bidding at the lower prices that you once started out in? I doubt it. All of a sudden your not small time bobby anymore, you graduated into big time billy. What can you offer now that will keep your business afloat? Because it's not really all about the money Chuck is it? It was at first now what is it all about? Your family? Your name? Your business? It wont matter to you who's who and who's not.

    Whats going to matter to you is when you walk into a bar or restraunt and you see clients and you shake there hand and buy there drink or breakfast and say thank you. Because thats what I would rather have is something like that then a brand new pick up thats costing me more money to own then its worth having. Walking into somewhere and seeing people that know you and appreciate what you have done and they see you are doing well and that you show them gratitude and appreciation towards them HELPING you. It's not you helping them out. Because if that was the case then take a second look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself that because, without them what would you have? Where would you be? Thats putting yourself and your humility apart from the rest. Thats what brings you to the front over the rest. I don't have an issue buying breakfast for anyone that has helped me to become what I want to be. I don't have an issue with that. I don't have an issue cleaning a few windows for free after I cleaned there gutter's. Some people do. How many jobs do they get? I can't place myself at anyone's level of success anymore. And I have done that alot. It's what Mike wants and wants to do. If you fail at doing this kind of work then there is something wrong at what your doing. You have to ask yourself that. You have to spend money to make money and its an always thing. Some people want 5 lawns, some people want 500 lawns. I want to be the guy that has a steady income.

    I am not punching a time clock for some a@#$% too much longer. I have worked too hard to allow myself that. And thats what seperates people. The desire to go out and become somebody or just a time clock puncher. Because I see it every single day. And if you don't see it everyday, go park your 2009 pick up truck and go to a production factory and wait out in the parking lot and look at there faces when they come out and count how many of them are smiling. How many of those people are too scared to start there own business? because there used to that paycheck every week or month. I know I was that guy. I am not going back to it. So what do I have to do to prepare me not to do that ever again?
    Last edited by MikeO; 12-06-2009, 10:07 AM.

  • #2
    So what do I have to do to prepare me not to do that ever again?
    I guess it all does come down to what you want.

    In your big picture, what is your ideal? What is it you want?

    I am not punching a time clock for some a@#$% too much longer. I have worked too hard to allow myself that. And thats what seperates people. The desire to go out and become somebody or just a time clock puncher. Because I see it every single day.
    With your experiences, what do you feel keeps those in such situations? Do they want to stay there in factory jobs? Do they fear leaving and fear the unknown?

    How do they break free from that fear? If one of them came to you and asked for advice, what would you suggest?
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    • #3
      Good post!

      Mike, that is a very good post. I used to charge $30 per hour. This year I went up to $40. January 1, 2010 I am going up to $50 for power equipment and $60 for ATVs and Dirt Bikes.

      A local shop charges $85 for ATVs, and $105 for Ducati bikes. I am happy for them. I have a good relationship with them and wish them the best. But I have to do what is right and fair for me and my customers. I never thought to much about buying breakfast/lunch/dinner for a customer, but that is a great idea.

      Though in the past I have told customers that if you bring me X amount of business then I will pay you $X. This was primarily for selling YakTrax for me (which are selling like hotcakes here right now!). I told them I would give them a pair for selling X amount of them for me. I told them they could sell that pair or keep it, whatever they wanted to do. It started with them owing me some money and they paid off a nice debt by selling for me and in return, I got a bunch more sold and make some nice dough with no effort to speak of on my part. I think I will be ordering a bunch more in soon!

      Again, good post and hope all goes well for you! I am leaning toward getting out of punching the time clock myself!

      Good luck,


      • #4
        I know exactly what you are talking about. On top of my lawn care business I also punch a time clock and go figure its at a production facility. I always have a smile on my face though but I know people I work with that just hate life and feel "that place" is the only job out there. I use to feel the same way but one day I got up and said "Wait its a job not a jail" I have yet to look back. I goto work every day with a smile and come home with one to. My dream is to eventually quit there as soon as my lawn care business picks up enough to allow it. If this were back in the day I would be gone already but I have 3 kids and a wife to feed and a house and cars to pay for so I must continue my day job for now.
        White Company


        • #5
          I think something that people forget is that its JUST A JOB! Whether you love your job or hate your job, its just a job.

          To me, my job is not my life. The job is just a means to my life. The job just makes my life possible. It may be miserable, a slow painful grind, the worse 8 hours of each day (or however long your shift is), dead end job, or whatever term you choose to describe it, but its just a job. Its just the means that enables me to live the life I want to live.

          I think when you look at it this way, and don't take the job personal, it will help you move forward.

          With all that said, I think we also need to look at it from the perspective that IT IS A JOB. Not everyone in this world has a job. There are thousands of people who would love to put up with your problems if they could have a job! You are blessed to have a job! And to run a business on the side is an added blessing!

          Like I said, it is just a means to life, but IT IS A MEANS TO LIFE! Like I said earlier, there are many others who would be all too happy to have a job to create a means to life......

          But that is just my perspective.



          • #6
            I think as time goes on, people paint themselves into a corner more and more with a job. It seems to just be the nature of the beast. You get more of a specialize skill that is not necessarily widely needed, therefore reducing the other job opportunities you might have. You also get raises over time that another company would not want to pay if you switched employers.

            The thing I wonder is, in these situations we are talking about, what is it that finally makes you see the entrepreneurial world as the escape? Should others consider this a lot earlier in their adult lives and potentially bypass the fulltime job all together and instead just go and create their own business?
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            • #7
              Steve, my one thing that pushes me into entrepreneurship is I have a collage education but only high school documentation. I am a self educated person but in the corporate world that is not good enough. I can not make enough money for my services because the education is not documented. Also being around home more is a biggy to. I think another thing we are all forgetting is most of us do work 8 hours a day when we punch a clock however at the end of the day, after 8 hours you get in your car and go home, maybe have a few cold ones before dinner and bed. You goto the lake on Saturday and BBQ every Sunday. You really don't care what makes the job work as long as its there and they sign the checks next week. When you move into entrepreneurship however a lot of people are caught off guard by the fact that they will work a 12 hour day at least then when they get home they have another 4-6 hours of filing to do or scheduling or planning or something. When you stop working for the man and start working for yourself it gives you a whole new appreciation for what goes on behind the scenes that kept you working that 8 hour job all those years. This is not my first foray in the business world. Remember I sold one before starting this. I don't get much out of running a business but love the hustle of starting one. I am surprised I am still sticking with this one and not selling it off to start a new one yet but time will tell. It is my opinion that if an entrapranuer can take a day off without getting behind then they are not taking care of there business. Its a 24-7 kind of job. There is always something that need to be done, always something to file or a phone call to make or transfer to confirm, always something which makes this step just unacceptable for a lot of people. This is why I think so many businesses fail every year. They get into it to make a lot of money and do less work but soon find there workload will more than tripple and there income will slide for a while.
              White Company