Video Transcript – Video discusses building wealth within your lawn care & landscape business. How to use your lawn care company as a vehicle to make a lot of money.
Speaker 1: The question is, “I want to build first generation wealth. I’m really interested in the lawn care business, but having seen some of your videos it seems a bit overwhelming. For someone starting ground up, what should my first steps be? Keep in mind my plans are to create a profitable and perhaps large lawn care company.”
By saying you want to create first generation wealth, wealth to me communicates a significant amount of money. That does mean that you’re going to have to build a large company. There’s just no way around that. You could built what I would refer to as a lifestyle business that might do a half a million dollars a year and let you have a nice sizable income out of the business, but you’re going to be the guy in that business. You’re going to be the manager. For the most part, you’re going to be the main guy. You’re going to have people taking a number of things off of your plate, helping you with things, but that’s not a business that’s going to create wealth. It’s just going to create a decent paycheck.
To create wealth, and this is an important thing to know upfront when you’re starting your business or building your company, what is it that you want out of the company? Because what you have to put in to obtaining your goal is completely different. Again, if you want more of a lifestyle, smaller business; only serving the most profitable of clients at higher prices so that you can have a really nice paycheck and afford to hire a helper in a sense that helps you manage the business but you still have to participate, well, that’s one. That’s one thing worth … it’s something worth knowing because that tells you what you need to do to build your business.
Whereas if you want to build a company that you could sell for $20 million, that’s a totally different business because it’s totally different level in investment. It requires an entirely different vision. It requires you to learn completely different things. It’s going to require vastly more work but it’s worth doing. But it’s a matter of is it worth it for you just because somebody else has that dream or vision for themselves does not mean that should be your dream or vision.
If you’re doing something that doesn’t line up with the thing that you really want, like for example, you might say, “I really want to be want to wealthy, and I really want to have a lot of money. I really want to create a business that basically runs itself that has a president and a management team.” Well, you’re going to have to do a tremendous amount of work and you’re going to have to sacrifice quite a bit in time. Maybe even in the money that you have and spend in the early years, you won’t be able to keep up with your friends that have already made it in business or have high-paying jobs because you’re going to be sacrificing to get your business to a certain level.
Now, in the long run you’ll come out great but you have to do your time and you’ve got to do the work and you’ve got to become the person, the business owner, that you have to be to be able to do and create the goal that you’ve mentioned which is create first generation wealth. If you have it in you to do that, then I personally think you should. I like that strategy. It’s more what I tend to like vers- … I like solving big problems versus creating lifestyle business. There’s a lot of people that they would prefer to have a lifestyle smaller business and have a little more freedom and not make as big of a sacrifice and commitment.
The other thing is if you’re married, that your spouse has to be on board on this deal because if they’re not, it’s going to be a measurable road trying to build out a big business that you can sell for millions and millions and millions of dollars or that you keep and pays you seven figure a year income. So not exactly what you asked, but it’s your first consideration. That is where you start.
Now, you may get started and totally change your mind once you get into it. That’s okay too; but it’s worth trying to figure this out now. The place to start is that, the second place is you’ve got to start building your education. There’s four things that you’re going to be charged with as the business owner that even assisting gross that you will still be heavily responsible for and you have to keep your finger on these things and those things in order are your people … let me take a stage … your marketing, your people, your technology, and cash flow.
The financial side of the business, cash flow being the money coming in versus the money going out and the balance of that. You’re right, it is a bit overwhelming and that’s why there are very, very, very few people in the United States or around the world that have a lot of money or that have real financial freedom or that eventually build businesses that they don’t have to participate in everyday. There’s very few people that live life completely different than everyone else and get to work on the things that they want to do and work on because they haven’t put in the time to get there.
It’s really that simple. That’s your first question, “Are you willing to do what it takes?” If you’re willing to do what it takes, then you know the roads you need to travel. That is you start with a plan in mind that you’re going to build a big company, and if you’re going to build a big company, then the four things I just mentioned, you have to be a master of those things. You have to learn how to get and hire and mentor and train very good people. You’ve got to build those people into leaders because you can’t be the leader, the sole leader. They have to take over from you, so as the company grows there’s no way you can be the guy running a $5 million, $10 million, $20 million company and doing everything and wearing all the hats. You have to raise up leaders that can run parts of that company and then someone that can eventually run that company for you. That’s the people side and there’s a lot that goes into that.
On the marketing side, you have to learn how to sell and market this thing that you’re building. To be a great marketer, that takes a lot of work and you’re going to spend some money learning it. When you learn it though, you’ll be able to dominate your market and then you have to learn about technology. You have to be technology savvy. Someone that says, “I don’ like technology. In don’t enjoy technology. I really don’t know anything about technology,” who cares? You don’t get to say that as the owner wanting to build a huge company.
You have to know something about technology because technology is the future. Technology is going to run your company. Technology is going to be the difference maker in your company. If you hide behind the idea that, “I just don’t really like technology or I never learned it. I’m not any good at it, then you’re screwed because you’re never going to be as competitive as the guy that’s on top of it. You need to understand enough about technology and be involved enough that the systems, solutions that are going to run your company, that you understand the basics; that you can make wise decisions about what you buy and you don’t buy and what technology to implement in your company.
When your team says, “We want to do this,” is that a good or bad decision? You need to be able to say. Technology is the future of everything. It’s the core of everything. If you’re not on technology, and technology even gets into marketing, it gets into your people. It crosses over into finance. If you’re not on top of that … well, we don’t have to be a programmer or anything. You don’t have to know how to build computers. I don’t mean anything like that but you’ve got to understand basics of technology and not be scared of it.
Fourth, finance. You’ve got to understand cash flow. No matter how fast you grow or how slow you grow, cash flow is an issue. You can go out of business. You’ve probably heard this saying. You can go out of business just as easy by being very successful as you can by not being successful. Once you start growing really, really fast, cash flow becomes a really big problem. If you screw up the management of cash flow, you can put yourself out of business or bankrupts yourself. Lots and lots and lots and lots of companies have gone under because of growth, not because they didn’t sell enough, but because of growth. You have to learn about finance and cash flow and I’d recommend accounting.
These are four areas that you want to … you asked where to start, this is where you start. You start educating yourself on these areas. Now, you’ll read things and you’ll learn things now that don’t resonate. They don’t click because you haven’t yet bumped into those problems in your business. You haven’t yet had the experiences. The things you’re learning now, some of what you read, it may not resonate with you, but in time it will. You’ll experience something two years from now and it’ll kind of click. “Oh, you know what, I kind of remember something about that,” and then you go back and re-read that same book or re-watch that whatever it is learning program. Now, something else in that program makes sense to you. It sticks out. It’s like, “Oh, I get it now.” You’re going to experience a lot of that as you grow through the different phases and levels of your company.
When I also hear that you want to build first generational wealth, I think of, “Okay, do you want to be a business owner where you want to put everything into one company and build it into one great company and that’s your dream? Or do you want to own multiple companies? Or would you like to build one company and sell it? This isn’t so much of a concern now because actually if you take the attitude of I want to build one thing and move on to the next thing or you do it too soon, you’ll never have anything great. I actually think you need to build something and stick with it and work it for a long time. That’s my attitude.
The things I’m working on, I have no desire to sell. Someday, if something is sold a long time from now, fine, maybe; but actually I don’t even have that goal. I don’t care but I’m building my company so they could be sold but not because I ever want to sell them. I’m building companies that I’m passionate about and I want to be doing for the next 15 years. There are things that I want to solve big, hard problems and I want to be doing this. Now, you don’t have to have that same attitude but knowing that helps you a little bit. If your attitude is I just want to build this thing up and sell it in five years and go start the next thing, you need to know that. That changes your direction. It also changes a little bit about how you work on that business and some of the things you do within the business.
If you’re just building it to sell, you do it a little bit different. Again, I wouldn’t recommend doing that. I would recommend, especially with your first business, thinking about this is, “I’m going to build something of value and I’m going to really learn,” because if you invest, let’s say, the next 10 years building something really good, what you will learn in the next 10 years, you’ll be able to take all of those skills and do your next business. If you say, “You know what, I’m going to spend two years building something. I’m going to start the next thing.” In two years, you will not develop the skills to build a $20 million company, and it doesn’t even have to be that big of a goal for you, but if you need to have a big enough window of time that you can truly develop out those skills that I was talking about.
The way you develop skills is not by just reading and learning, it’s by reading and learning and going to workshops and being mentored by someone and then actually having to do it and then figure out where you don’t understand, where you’re feeling lots of pain and frustration and stress because you’re having problems and then learning the next thing and then bumping into more problems and leaning the next thing. Reading and studying is not going to get you there. Reading, studying, doing, that will get you there. You got to go through the pain and the challenge. You got to do the time, but that will be what makes you great.
So yes, overwhelming; absolutely, but I’ll tell you what, you can either … I love the saying, “You can either have an easy life or hard life.” I think the hard life is the one where you don’t do this stuff. It’s the one where you really don’t do very well financially; you really don’t have a lot of satisfaction; really don’t feel like you’re controlling things. You really don’t get it; do something on a day to day basis that you find energizing and exciting. That’s a hard life. To get the easy life, I do believe you’ve got to do a lot of work and you got to do a lot of hard work. That hard work will give you a lot of satisfaction and it will make you feel good about yourself and other people will be … your spouse, your kids, they’ll be proud of you. That has value too. Maybe your family will be proud of you. There’s value there.
I’m not saying you do it just for other people, but by going out and doing this stuff and learning it and pushing yourself, I believe it’s hard. It is overwhelming, but the sense of gratification, maybe that’s the way to say it, that will come from it in addition to maybe the financial reward, that’s huge. The ability to have a direct effect on the people that you work with, that you bring on to your team and hopefully make their lives better, there’s tremendous value on my mind around that. I like that part of business. It is stressful and tiring to have a lot of employees, but at the same time when you have great employees whose lives are getting better and you know that you could have a hand in that and provide an opportunity where they could really flourish and make a lot of money and really do something that they like and what to do and they can help other people, there’s value in that. I guess, a little of what I’m saying is to encourage you to push through the overwhelming.
Final thing, lawn care is overwhelming. To build a big cleaning company, overwhelming. To build a big plumbing company, overwhelming. To build a big pest control company, overwhelming. To start a car dealership, that’s overwhelming. To build a software company, ridiculously overwhelming. To do all kinds of different things; start a restaurant, probably the worst of all of them; everything. Good luck naming the thing that’s not overwhelming. There’s a lot of people running around teaching that it will be easy, it won’t be that hard because they want to sell you something. Because if they told you it’s going to be really hard and you’re going to have a lot to learn and you’re going to go through some pain and it’s going to take some time, then are you really going to want to buy their book or their thing?
The truth is it is going to take some time. You’ve got learn some stuff and you got to do some stuff. The idea that maybe you could do something on the Internet that’s easy. Well, if it’s easy, that window of time when that easy thing lasts isn’t very long because every then hops into the easy thing and then they all up the game and that game thing then becomes complicated because there’s so much competition and everybody is trying to one up each other and offer more value to the client. It’s quickly, the easy businesses where it feels like there’s a lot of easy money, they become difficult and they become complicated.
Go through the overwhelm. Push through. Learn the things you need to learn. You’ll totally get past it and then in time, with this set of skill, then your set of skills that will make you successful are way more important and more valuable than the money you’ll make because with those skills you can do anything. Bad things can happen to you in life and you can start over and you could do it again. If you don’t have the skills and life is hard on you, good luck starting over. Go for it and I think you will find that it’s one of the best investments you’ve ever made in your life and it will give you great satisfaction by pushing through and doing this thing.
I hope that gives you some motivation and some ideas. Good luck.