I want to invite you to a very specific emotion of some of the crap I went through my first six months of business.
So, to the brand new guys, I’m going to tell you some stuff that I wish people would have told me. I wish this information was out there during my first six months of business. And here is the way it goes. During my first six months of business, I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't know what to charge. I was an expert at being a landscaper but I didn't know anything about business or what to charge. I thought because I knew how to do landscaping that I could run a business. Well, I thought if I charge these people enough so I make $15 an hour, I'll be okay. I was dead wrong because I wasn't figuring in all the other prices and all the other you know, relevant costs.
So, I'm doing these jobs, I'm working my guts out, I had just quit my day job, and I was working 90 hours a week coming home to eviction notices and I was doing everything myself. I was asking my friends and family and people that I knew for help. And I was crying and complaining and just going through all the suffering, emotional roller coaster saying, “Dude what do I do? I don't know? So, as I was asking my buddy who had a day job but had a video game store on the weekends. He's like, welcome to being in business 100-hour weeks. I'm like, “Dude, I need to hire somebody to help me. I'm doing it all myself, I'm exhausted, I can't even take it.”
He's like, “No, no, no! You need to do that all by yourself. Don't hire another guy to help you because what's going to happen is, he's going to eat up all your profit. And then if he gets hurt you're going to end up sued, you're going to end up in a courtroom...” And he was painting this nightmare picture. He's like, “You have to do it all yourself.” I'm like, “But I'm doing it all myself dude. I'm selling the job, I'm coding, I’m booking it, I'm doing the job, I’m blowing out the garden beds, I'm raking all the leaves, I'm dragging the tarps, I'm putting them in the truck, I'm getting the gas, I'm going to the dump.” and you know I was getting off these job sites at 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the dark. Coming home completely exhausted, walking in the door to my wife screaming at me saying, “how come there's no money? What are you doing all day? What are you doing out there?”
I'm like, “I don't know what I'm doing, I don't know what I'm doing. I'm trying my hardest.” She is like, “Then why don't you go get a job?” Then, I would cry to my dad and cry to people they say, “Then go get a job. Go get a job. Being a Landscape Foreman.” I'm like, “I already did that and I wasn't even making enough money to make the bills.” I got to figure this thing out, right? So, I'm asking people who didn't know anything about business. But when I asked the people who knew how to run a business, when I asked business owners and told them the struggles I was going through, they were like, “What are you talking about bro? What are you talking about…?” And they would just start bragging to me about all everything they know.
They wouldn't tell me what I needed to know, they would just start like bitching at me or treating me like I was stupid.
So, I was stuck between a rock and a hard place, just toiling and spinning and suffering. And, I'm an emotional person. If I'm coming home to eviction notices and I'm trying to get a company off the ground, I need answers now. I'm listening to audiobooks by millionaires tell me what it's like to be a millionaire. But I'm not getting information about what is a brand-new guy starting a landscape business going through. All I'm hearing is you need to get an LLC, insurance, and pay taxes, and get a corporation, and paper... That isn't going to help you if you're just getting a business off the ground and you're struggling. No one's hiring you, if they do hire you they're talking you down to peanuts. So, where you're working so low, you feel like your work you're working for nothing.
So, and the crazy thing is when you are brand new in business and you're scared, it’s crazy. I know this is some hokey-pokey type stuff. When you're nervous and desperate, people can feel it and you attract all the low pain scumbags; when I say a scumbag, the people who see your fear and they use it to manipulate and take advantage of you. Dude, I had people talk me down so low. I'd be like, “180 bucks to do your cleanup.” “No, no, no you give me the best deal.” I'm like, “Oh! My God. Oh! My God my cellphones back at the shop. Okay, 140?” “No, no, no that's too much. I have a guy down the street that will do it for…I have a guy down the street who will do it for $40. $40.” $40? I was like, “I can’t even do it for $40? It cost me $40 just to dump the crap.” I am like, “Dude, I'll do it for 80 bucks.”
“Oh! Do you promise you to do a good job? You promise I rub your face in it like dog poop? I rub your face in it? Huh! You slave, you idiot?” And dude, I would let people walk all over me and treat me like crap. And I would work my guts out and bend over backward for these people. Every time they called me, I would run to their house and do whatever they want. Dude I had clients, I'd show up in the dark and do their leaves exhausted, on a Sunday night. And they throw me like 20 bucks or something. Dude, when you first start a business you're going to attract all the broke people just like you who don't have any money or any sense of pride or confidence. But the craziest thing is once you learn and grow, you get to the point where you're like, I got to hire somebody to help me get all this done. Right?
So, I finally hired a guy because I was desperate. I couldn't do… I had all this work. I couldn't do it myself and I couldn't even afford to hire guy but I did like 10 bucks an hour or something. And I watched all this work just start getting done. I'm like, “Oh! My God, I finally hired somebody. I come home, tell my wife, “I hired somebody.” She's like, “Why did you hire somebody? You can't afford to hire...” And then you got the wife telling you or the girlfriend who doesn't know anything about business. And then you listen to her, and then you're trying to fight and plea your bargain about how exhausted you are, right? And how you need help. They don't want to hear it. Then you go and you tell somebody else you know or a friend or family member and all you're getting are people beating you up and kicking you in the face and you don't know what to do.
You feel like breaking down crying which I have because, I say, “Okay! I'll go back to doing it all myself.” I can go on about this all day. You can't do it all by yourself. But then when you hire a guy, if your price is too low here's what happens, work all day with the new guy hired, work all day and make $40 profit for an entire day, come home and they are about to evict us out of our place. What would you do? The clients won't pay any more. You can't raise your prices because then no one's hiring you. People are talking you down and taking advantage of you. I remember trimming entire properties for like $140 for people and then making like $30 for the entire day using all my equipment, all my stuff and paying my employees more than I was even making. And coming home 30 bucks in my pocket and I'm like, “Oh my God! I can't even afford to pay taxes. I can't even afford to get insurance. I can't even afford to put cash on the truck. How do people run businesses?”
And I started to realize that the issue was me. If running a business was so easy, then everybody would do it. And it's extremely hard, it’s frustrating, the learning curve is crazy. That's why 80% of businesses fail. Because walking through that fire and getting to the point where you finally start to get it flowing, it's a long hard process. It took two years of working 90 hours a week just to get to the point where I started to get it. Okay, I'm in my fourth or fifth year now, four and a half or something. Now, all that stuff, I totally get it now and you're going to get it too. It's going to take the time. It's not easy. So I am let you know that I know exactly what you're going through if you're brand new. You’re going to go through some crap. So, it's very hard when you're broke to raise your prices, to tell customers 180 bucks. Stand firm on your lowest price. Say, I will throw in something an extra for free, but I'm not going a penny lower.
I'll throw in your gutter cleaning for free or maybe I'll add your sidewalk up for free, but I'm not going to penny lower. And if you have to go to $160 just to get the job because the neighbors want theirs done, you stand firm even though it's scary, you'll get it. You'll get that money. And then the first day, I always talked about this, that first day you make 1000 bucks profit in one day, $1000 profit after all expenses in your pocket, a stack of hundreds, you come home slap that bad boy on the table, you go, “What's up now? 1000 bucks in a day.” And then you start doing $1000 days like every couple of weeks. You hit a $1000 a day. You’re like, “I made an extra five grand this month dude. Oh My God! I never made money like this in my life.” You're taking your wife out to eat for some wine and a T-bone steak. Don't do it too much because you'll start expecting it.
But, it's a beautiful thing. And it's those beautiful days when you say, “That's why I started the business. This is the freedom that I've been searching for. This is the freedom I knew that was possible.”
That's why you started a business. Because it's those days or even if you make three or four hundred bucks in a day, those are the days that feel so good. Then in the future, each next dip creates another set of turbulences to get to the next level. It's very, very difficult and frustrating and it's really about the quality of information you get from other people. I’ve got to go. I’ve got to get back to work but I just want to check in with you.
Go to my website, sign up its www.thelandscapingemployeetrap.com. You can get access to my free training videos. Watch those. You get a free video every few days. And then my book is out and it's awesome and I got to go. Later.
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