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Introduce Yourself Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!

From Northern CA here to learn.


Introduce Yourself

Welcome all new forum members. Please introduce yourself and tell us about you. Tell us about your company. How did you get started? How long have you been in business? What do you do for fun? Don't be shy, say hello! It's fun and educational to interact on the forum!
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  #1  
Old 05-10-2011, 11:03 PM
Johnny_boy02 Johnny_boy02 is offline
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Default From Northern CA here to learn.

Hello everyone. I stumbled upon this site when I was searching for reviews of quickbooks pro.

In June of 2010 I realized I hated my job, I hated the industry I was in (culinary arts) and that I was depressed and miserable. So I quit, got some Prozac, relaxed and rebuilt for a few months and then in Oct of 2010 I decided I felt better and needed to get off my butt. While applying for jobs I didnt want one day Isat down and started thinking about jobs other people hate but I wouldnt mind.

I came up with "pet waste removal" aka "pooper scooper" so I was off and running. I do everything all out so I decided if I was going to do this I would go all out. I sold my car that I LOVED, bought a truck, came up with a name, got a business license, got insurance, had a logo designed, business cards made, shirts made, blah blah.

My goal from the start was to be as professional looking as possible. And that caused some unplanned on hang ups so I got discouraged, etc. Finally in January of this year I was ready to go.

The product of all this was "Vanishing Act Pet Waste Removal". I was ready for crap! But I had no idea where to start or what to do. I was reading craigslist one day and stumbled upon a ad for "lawn care" it turned out to be a large landscaping company that hires contractors to maintain foreclosed properties.

I figured I could mow lawns so I contacted them and I have been doing that off an on for a few months now. It pays hardly enough to cover the cost. BUT most important I am outside talking to people, getting exercise, a tan, and enjoying it. And buy the end of summer all the extra equipment I bought will be paid for just from this part of my income

So that turned my business into "pet waste removal and basic lawn care". About a month ago I was referred to a business owners networking group called "letip" http://www.letip.com/ I joined and got not only got a great resource but more business. It does cost some money but in less than a month I have earned back 60% of my initial cost, by the end of this month I should be even. If you want to make more money check out a local chapter, and if you join let me know so I can get credit for referring you!

Anyhow, so far business is ok, I am learning as I go. I know I dont charge nearly enough. But the customers I have are VERY happy. I am proud to come home tired and dirty everyday and I dont think I will ever be able to work for anyone else again.

I prefer to work out of the back of my truck not a trailer so I will be searching for some kind of trimmer rack I can mount in the back of my truck. Unloading/ loading the mower is a pain in the back so I am also searching for some kind of fold up tailgate mounted ramp system. If I cant find on I will build one. But I prefer to find something well designed than trial and error on my part.

I prefer ear plugs over ear muffs, husqvarna saws, Stihl trimmers, edgers and my Echo hedge trimmer (because it is light, cheaper than big commercial trimmers and I cant seem to kill it).

The gas edger is a gift from god and I am pissed I went for months without one only using a trimmer.

When I have time I enjoy beer, my dog, and motorcycles (specifically Ducati's but I like them all).

Thanks for reading my novel.


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  #2  
Old 05-10-2011, 11:44 PM
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
Great job getting set up. Looks like you are on your way!
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  #3  
Old 05-11-2011, 02:29 PM
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Welcome to our forum!

Quote:
In June of 2010 I realized I hated my job, I hated the industry I was in (culinary arts) and that I was depressed and miserable. So I quit, got some Prozac, relaxed and rebuilt for a few months and then in Oct of 2010 I
decided I felt better and needed to get off my butt.
We have talked in the past on the forum about depression and how entrepreneurship can be a way out.

Can you tell us more about what you feel helped you turn the corner in dealing with your depression? How do you feel now being a business owner has effected it?


Quote:
My goal from the start was to be as professional looking as possible. And that caused some unplanned on hang ups so I got discouraged, etc.
Since there are so many new entrepreneurs that read this forum, can you share with us your view on the different hang ups you ran into and how you over came them?
What do you feel was discouraging your early on and how do you feel you pushed through it?
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Old 05-11-2011, 05:50 PM
Johnny_boy02 Johnny_boy02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Welcome to our forum!

We have talked in the past on the forum about depression and how entrepreneurship can be a way out.

Can you tell us more about what you feel helped you turn the corner in dealing with your depression? How do you feel now being a business owner has effected it?

Since there are so many new entrepreneurs that read this forum, can you share with us your view on the different hang ups you ran into and how you over came them?
What do you feel was discouraging your early on and how do you feel you pushed through it?
Depression- Honestly I think the drugs and just finally admitting to myself I had a problem I couldnt fix helped a lot. Also I have never figured out what "I wanted to do when I grow up" So having a plan and a goal helps focus me.

Depression and ADHD is a battle I will fight everyday forever. But I am the type of person that when I say I give you my word or I say you will be 110% satisfied I will meet that goal or fall down trying. So a good reputation and complete customer satisfaction get me out of bed in the morning. I live for referrals.

So being a business owner has helped, it of course comes with its own set of concerns and stresses but life is better.

I just had the mindset that "hang ups" were a part of the learning process. At the start I had the most trouble with the company that designed my logo/ made uniforms/ business cards/ truck wrap. The were sooooo sllloowww and communication sucked. I finally got fed up and told them I am taking my business elsewhere if you dont finish my job this week. After that I think trying to find clients has been the hardest part of the job.

I am not a people person. In past jobs I have never had to sell myself. I just let my work ethic and job performance explain who I was and what I could do. And promotions were never hard to come by. No I have to sell myself and my service so it has been tough.

The starting of the business was not hard. The license process can be intimidating but it is really nothing. Bookkeeping seems like a monumental task if you have never done it, but if you take your time and set your mind to it things are doable.

So far the biggest help to me has been info on the internet and the Letip group I mentioned in my first post.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
I am not a people person. In past jobs I have never had to sell myself. I just let my work ethic and job performance explain who I was and what I could do. And promotions were never hard to come by. No I have to sell myself and my service so it has been tough.
Do you find now that you are getting more into it as you reach out to others to sell too? Or is this a daily battle? What kinds of things have you been doing to help yourself get passed not being a people person and get out there more to sell yourself?
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Old 05-12-2011, 03:42 PM
Johnny_boy02 Johnny_boy02 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
Do you find now that you are getting more into it as you reach out to others to sell too? Or is this a daily battle? What kinds of things have you been doing to help yourself get passed not being a people person and get out there more to sell yourself?
The Letip group I mentioned earlier has helped me in a couple ways first you are forced to talk so I am slowly becoming more comfortable and also the guidance and advice of other business people is valuable.

As I get more into I find that I am getting a bit more excited, I dont think I will ever be a "people person" but I am getting better at controlling my anxiety.

This summer I plan on getting some promotional materials together and renting a couple spaces at the farmers markets, festivals, street fair type things. I will be forced to speak with people then.
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Old 05-13-2011, 02:08 PM
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That sounds like a good plan. Keep us posted on how everything goes.
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