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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life. It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.

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Trials & Tribulations - The drama of running a business and of life.

It's not as easy as it looks. Running a business is full of drama. Customers, employees, money, family, time. You name it, it's a problem. Share with us your drama and how you handled it.
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  #1  
Old 02-13-2013, 05:26 PM
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Hey all,

I missed this site, it has been a wild ride since my last log in, ten months ago. I had to take a small break as things got very hectic on the homefront here and business was roaring ahead, whether I wanted it to or not. Great thing is that I've kept it all afloat and moving forward aside from all the setbacks thrown at me.

Just to catch you all up, we are back on track for a record year in 2013. Last year I finally broke the 6 figure mark business wise, thats one of the great parts, and expanded even more, slowly starting to get into some smaller landscaping jobs and concrete work. Company had four guys going for a portion of the summer.

Now some of the setbacks, not dwelling on them, but they kicked me hard and took the wind out of my sails for a bit. I had a wonderful young man working for me that was destined to eventually run the yard side of the business who sadly drown in a fishing accident in May. Took all my strength to just keep things going. Then the ongoing issue of employees, but I'm thinking it is an ongoing battle. Last but not least, ended up with a marriage breakup, divorce is going to happen in 6 months or so. Oddly losing my employee and friend in that accident was more difficult.

Now for the good stuff, I got a new employee that is an excellent worker, has an good sense of what I am saying when I explain things and is very excited about a career here. We are aiming for a 25% increase in income and about a 15% increase in clients. I bought another new trailer last year as well as updated most of the equipment. Aiming for a second crew for yards and one just for landscape and concrete work.

Hoping to get in as much camping as is possible this year, certainly could use the break now and again. LOL

Peace to all,

Lloyd Blue
Blue`s Yard FX
Camrose, AB
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2013, 05:38 PM
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Damn thats a crazy year!

Sorry to hear about your employee passing away and your marriage.

You sound like your in decent spirits going forward,congrats on the 100,000+ goal! Welcome back!
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Old 02-14-2013, 11:15 AM
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Lloyd so good to see you!

WOW that is a lot going on! I am very sorry about all that happening last year.

We have had some conversation in the past about trying to keep together a business and a marriage and how you only have so much in you to make them work.

Do you feel there was a correlation between business growth and an increase in marital issues? Do you have any advice for the newer guys on here when it comes to balance and how to try and maintain it?
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:14 PM
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Do you feel there was a correlation between business growth and an increase in marital issues? Do you have any advice for the newer guys on here when it comes to balance and how to try and maintain it?
Thanks Steve,

It's great to get back here.

It's interesting you asked that. I can't say that the increase of business contributed to any marriage issues. There was a huge correlation to losing my employee and the marriage issues. I got very depressed after he died, he was like a son to me, so the grieving was difficult and lonely as the support I expecting was not being offered or given. That created huge issues for us, which I will admit to part of the blame as I didn't communicate my feelings very well. It was the huge lack of communication on both parts that killed our relationship, something that looking back now, I saw slowly happening for the past couple years.

To give some background, this employee was my foreman. We had just sat down two weeks before the accident and worked out a two year business plan for growth and expecations for the company. With his death, it felt like the plan had died as well as my ambition, for a while. Now I can offer some advise with regards to this.

I can honestly say that I had to rebuild myself and the visiion I had for the company. It took many hours mowing grass with tears in my eyes, thinking about what to do next. I won't lie either, I thought about shutting it down and doing something different with my life. I came to the realization one day, that if my foreman saw me depressed and with less drive he would have given me a swift hard kick. From that day on, I continually reminded myself that the goals we set, were my goals for the company and that I needed to push hard to accomplish them.

I'll admit, losing him was one of the hardest things I've gone through (even worse than when my mom died, she was ill, making it easier to take) but at the same time, I found a strength within myself to strive even harder to achieve those goals. Pride in my work and given praise for super looking yards from clients is a huge motivator for me.

Now for the advise, it really is nothing special and I am sure we have all heard it before **-I went back to the basics, why did I start this business? Use your strengths, work with them, be proud of yourself and what you do. Those strengths are what will carry you through even the roughest times. If your really good at something and enjoy it, it is so much easier to continue, even in tough times. My hope is that someone reading this, understands, relates and can use this to achieve great things.


Lloyd
Blue's Yard FX
Camrose, AB

Last edited by fieroboi; 02-14-2013 at 05:17 PM. Reason: fix errors
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Old 02-15-2013, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
It's interesting you asked that. I can't say that the increase of business contributed to any marriage issues. There was a huge correlation to losing my employee and the marriage issues. I got very depressed after he died, he was like a son to me, so the grieving was difficult and lonely as the support I expecting was not being offered or given. That created huge issues for us, which I will admit to part of the blame as I didn't communicate my feelings very well. It was the huge lack of communication on both parts that killed our relationship, something that looking back now, I saw slowly happening for the past couple years.
I am very sorry about all of this. It seems we as a society or even a culture just don't do to well when it comes to dealing with traumatic situations. We all can turn on the tv and watch the most craziest stuff, but when it happens to us personally, we find it is very difficult to work our way through it.

More often than not, we all seem to not know what to say or how to express what we feel so we just don't say anything. Possibly due to a fear of being judged, possibly because we don't feel comfortable letting out that level of emotion. And these lines of communication work both ways.

You can feel unsure of how to express yourself and then when you put out these feelers to see if it is ok to express yourself, you may be doing it with a person who is unsure of how to take all that in and they clam up. So then you can get two people, not sure of how to process things, how to help, or how to express. Maybe even scared of what may come out from it. Living on a superficial level is a lot safer than living with a deeper level of communication.

So then in the end, if we can't talk and the other person can't listen, what do we have? What do we do with that? Do we just package it up, store it, and move on for long enough that the edge of the emotions become duller and we forget?

There is a lot that can be worked out with talking. A little at a time.
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Old 02-17-2013, 06:47 PM
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That is so very true Steve. Everyone deals with things at different paces, but in the end its communication that can really move us forward.

Lloyd
Blue's Yard FX
Camrose, AB
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:33 PM
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Now for the advise, it really is nothing special and I am sure we have all heard it before **-I went back to the basics, why did I start this business?

My hope is that someone reading this, understands, relates and can use this to achieve great things.
What is your view on why you did get it started and how are you harnessing that to push forwards?

I am sure many more members than you can imagine find themselves dealing with this very issue at times. Coming to a point where you need to pause, review what got you to where you are and where you were going, in order to help get things moving again.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:17 PM
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What is your view on why you did get it started and how are you harnessing that to push forwards?

I am sure many more members than you can imagine find themselves dealing with this very issue at times. Coming to a point where you need to pause, review what got you to where you are and where you were going, in order to help get things moving again.
I started this business because of my love for yardwork and being proud of what I can do with a yard. It is something that I find great joy in. I have a sense of great pride when my yard looks amazing. So when I thought about the business, it was an obvious choice to do this for a living. If I could make people's yards look great and feel super about the work I did, then it was the right choice for me.

When my foreman died, that joy disappeared for a while and I had to remind myself of what spurred me to start the business. Once I did that, I noticed that the joy of the work started coming back.

My strength is, I really love to make a yard look its best, there is a huge sense of pride when I finish a property. I needed to use that to move me forward and to strive to maintain the same level of service that customers were used to. Once that got back on track the rest just kept falling into place. The days became joyful again and the work once again was fun and satisfying.

Everyone would react differently given the circumstances, but the lesson in my opinion, is to find what motivates you and use it


Lloyd
Blue's Yard FX
Camrose, AB
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:37 AM
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I am very happy you were able to get back to the core and build from there. I hope this year is a very good year for you.
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Old 02-19-2013, 01:41 PM
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I am very happy you were able to get back to the core and build from there. I hope this year is a very good year for you.
Thanks.

I'm really looking forward to this year. From how it has gone thus far, it should exceed my expectations.
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