Why bother being a lawn care entrepreneur?

I was talking to a friend yesterday about business and being your own boss and he said ‘why bother with a business? Why bother being an entrepreneur?’ That struck me as odd because I had a feeling, he never had been in a situation where he was his own boss and the idea of having to come up with his own daily direction really freaked him out. If he only knew how being an entrepreneur could change his life, he might see things in a different light. So after that discussion, I thought I would ask members of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum the same question and here some responses from those who are or are looking into becoming entrepreneurs. I got a lot of great responses I wanted to share with my friend and others who may be on the fence about starting their own business or not.

One lawn care business owner wrote “some people are just afraid of the prospect of failure. Some just can’t commit. Some have an entitlement mentality. Some can’t see the big picture. They fear that most small business fail in the first year, that it usually takes 3 tries for success (which means they will fail twice).
As one of my favorite comedians, Buddy Hacket once said, ‘I used to be self employed, but I couldn’t get along with the boss!’ There are uncounted reasons why some won’t become an entrepreneur and only a few who will.

Here are some of the reasons I can think of:

· The challenge
· The lack of an independent outlook
· The fear of unlimited advancement
· The inability to gain satisfaction from creating something that is for the future (not just the now)
· Never having felt the thrill of overcoming the cycle of failure mentality
· A lack of motivation
· The inability to see a need and find a better way to fulfill it (a vision)
· A lack of pride

I have had many such conversations and probably will have many more with people I have known. Planning, organizing, researching, and implementing a business is hard work. Financing is even harder. Most aren’t willing to start part time and still work their full time job while budgeting, saving, and planning. On the other hand, if they have the financial background they are not willing to invest in their abilities.

Timing the start of a business is scary and intimidating. For some, it is paralyzing.

I have a philosophy – I will not deal with problems or threats. Problems I solve and threats I find a way to neutralize. The biggest threats come from within! Change is a threat! Resistance to change is natural, but constant improvement means constant change. In reality, change is not a threat, it is an opportunity. Being an entrepreneur means managing change. Being an entrepreneur is not a function, it is a process. A process that will and must always change. There is always a better way! To me, my own business is the better way.”

A second shared “answering that question is an easy one. It is well known that small business and specifically entrepreneurs are the foundation to any solid economy. Other than having a government job, which is supported by small business, ask your friend how he thinks the company he now works for, assuming he has a job, was started. After all, small business in the USA alone supports 52% of workers, 99% of business’s in the USA employ less than 500 workers.”

A third added “Why bother being an entrepreneur? More like, why not? Keep in mind, it’s not for everyone. Most people do not like having the sole responsibility of a business over their heads. Most people like to get up, go to work, go home, repeat, etc.

Personally, I couldn’t live any other way than being my own boss. I am fortunate in that ALL of my friends are small business owners, with the exception of the one who works for me. The opportunity is there, why not take it?”

While a fourth said “I have a bumper sticker that says ‘I love my boss. I am self employed.’ But that is only part of the reason. Maybe it is because I don’t take orders very well. Even though I take orders from my customers and that makes me money, I always have the power to say no to them and not take their business if I don’t want it. I love being able to make money and still help out a friend, neighbor, or simply the other human being in the equation.

I think for me part of the issue is I can’t stand the way an organization is run. I want to do it better. I want to be in control of something myself. I want to be in control of my own financial and physical destiny, right or wrong. I think being a small business owner is kinda like how it was traveling out west during the pioneer days (after all you are pioneering a business). Traveling west required an adventurous spirit. How many of those died on the trail? How many of them knew the risks and still left their comfort zone to venture out anyway? I believe there are many folks who are happy to stay behind in the city ( have their 8-5 job, work, go home, eat, sleep, repeat) while others had the desire to venture out west on the Oregon trail to find the gold in California. On the frontier they dealt with physical pain and death. In business we fear financial/business death. I think it comes back to believing that you can do it and having done some background investigation to see if it really can work.

This topic also reminds me of the old story of the little train engine who said ‘I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!’ The little one was able pull the train because he had already made up his mind that he was going to. My dad would refer to this story when I was younger and always say to me ‘whether you think you can or can’t, you are probably right!’ There is a great deal of truth in that and I feel I have proved this right in the many small business endeavors I have been involved with over the years.

So even if you have the slightest desire to start your own business and be your own boss, you should try and experiment slowly at first. Take small steps that you can make bigger over time. When you build a business this way, the downside to failure is limited but the upside to success is great!”

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