The way my life has changed since becoming a business owner.

A business, any business, whether it’s lawn care, window cleaning, house building, or whatever can eat you alive. If you don’t pace yourself, you can spend endless amounts of time chasing that next elusive customer or that next job. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we take a moment and look under the surface on how some new business owners find themselves psychologically tortured by trying to please everyone to grow their company.

One lawn care business owner shared “every now and then I’ll have my moments. I thought it might be helpful to write down exactly what I feel about the changes in my life, since becoming a business owner. Maybe some of you can relate?

My life is going by too fast for my own good, and it has become very difficult to ‘keep it together’. With every step of progress I am making with my business, I feel as if another part of me is being sacrificed. I’ve got a lot of problems, but way too many theories on how to solve them, and I hate to gamble. It seems as you begin to become somebody others rely on, it ultimately takes ‘you’ away from yourself, along with the passion that you once had for the business you started.

The path I have created has been detrimental to some extent, but it allows me to do what I’m best at. Hope may be for fools, but it’s all I’ve really got helping me put this puzzle of mine together. I’m grateful.

I believe that everyone will experience anxiety during change at least once in their lifetime. I am unsure how those older than me manage, but I seem to be lost and unable to accept the future. Things happen so fast, it’s hard to remember the better moments of my life, and I want to remember everything.

Before I started my business, I guess you can say I was more care free. At a certain point, I felt I needed to start my own business, or I would have nothing, and be nobody.

I have found that running a business is a big lifestyle change, just like being healthy and in shape. Both require you to punish yourself to get anywhere, sometimes on physical levels, sometimes on psychological levels. In ways, I feel as though I am held prisoner, and being tortured. What I mean is, life is a game, every interaction with a person is a part of the game. It can be exhausting. Everyone has an expectation, and everything you say is being evaluated and will determine the end result. I could be the best businessman ever, but I refuse to sell my soul that easily, the whole concept scares me.

As I gain more mowing customers, I am finding that I am more comfortable being hated by many and liked by few, than being liked by everyone for being someone I’m not. I’m not a robot, I’m a human who just wants what I deserve. A lot of people forget that, in the end, we all just want what we require and to live in peace. Customers want what they require and more, they disturb my peace.

If my writing doesn’t make sense, it’s because I have a habit of writing the way I talk and think. It’s a conversation with myself that I understand.

I feel as though I am in a never ending debate with myself and the opinion of others. Everyone thinks they know better, yet they have no idea what the reality of my situation is. The problem is that all of these people outnumber me, so I feel trapped and less sure of my decisions.

For example; I have been needing help with late paying customers. I ask around and people tell me it’s not a big deal for clients to miss making their payments on time, that it can be collected later on. As if a late paying client won’t start an argument with me, and he/she will be honest about when they will pay. Ha! Yet, I’m the one who has to deal with the reality of the situation. I may have a lack of ‘understanding’ I suppose and no sympathy for their stories. I do know when my bills come in, I need to pay them on time.

Customers seem to want the impossible, and I can’t give that. I don’t know who to trust. If I do what ‘they’ ask and say all the time, I screw myself over and everyone loses. If I do what I want, everyone thinks of me as a monster. All of this can be real frustrating.

I feel it all comes down to, my personal life needs adjustment, as it effects my business. I believe that I am too alone and when clients gang up on me, I actually feel wrong. A friend usually helps me feel better and gives me the realism/push to remind me that I do actually have the ability to say no.

My day is surrounded by the needs of customers, which make me very confused, as I know they can be detrimental to my company. Basically, the only people I surround myself during the day with are the people who take from me. It’s horrible! That will get any individual to make bad decisions, and it’s clearly what I’ve done. Having a friend around who can tell you the clients are sometimes wrong is a good thing, as they are looking out for your well being.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I hear you. Life is way too short to waste banging your head against a wall. I too find my thoughts constantly bouncing around in my head and I have a hard time getting them in order. My mind races with thoughts of nothing and this to me is so confusing.

Having my own business has helped keep my thoughts more focused and keep my mind on one thing, but the down time is what gets me. When things are slow, I feel as if I lose control of my life as things begin to spin out of control. It seems my life is constantly on the move. I can’t sit still or be in a quite room.

I am easily distracted and the moment I am bored, I’m off to something new. I also am a substance abuser and use this as a way to calm things. I know I do it, I know why, and when I do it, I can always find a good reason to keep doing it.

For most people, life is a road to a destination. For me it’s a journey with many forks in the road. No wrong paths to take, just some that are better than others. Some go nowhere and some go to where you want to be.

I feel like I talk a lot but say nothing. People don’t understand me and for that reason I do not have lots of friends. I tend to open my mouth without thinking and offend people.

I know this seems just like a stupid rambling, but that is what is going on in my head rambling.

For those who feel like I do, don’t ever think you are alone. We are many, we are the lonely.”

A third shared “I also can’t just sit still. It really sucks when I get home and my daughter wants me to play or watch a movie or spend time with her because I can’t do it. I always have bills to tend to or scheduling to work on or I am so tired that I just fall asleep. This hurts me the most, that I can’t be there for her 100% of the time.

We have it pounded into our heads that we need to put customers first and we need to work so we can support our families but sometimes all your family really want is you. I’m working on improving my communication and interaction with my family because life is too short to let it all slip by.

I recently lost two cousins in an accident. One was 12 yrs old and the other was 18 yrs old. If that doesn’t remind me that life is short I don’t know what will.”

A fourth said “you really need to get over the feeling of right and wrong about every little interaction you have with your customers. Remember, it’s your business, you make the rules. Why not set it up so you are enjoying things more? You also seem to be really hard on yourself!

Put everything into perspective. Create a list of what is most important to you. Then use that list to help guide your decisions until you start to feel better again.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.

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