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MY LAWN MOWING BUSINESS AT 10 YEARS OLD HOW A SUMMER JOB HELPED ME THROUGH MY EDUCATION
homemade cookies, tea, lemonade, or ginger beer. They all took care of “their lawn guy” and I made sure to take care of them, too.
When I was about 10 or 12, I started my own sort of lawn mowing “business.” It began back in Connecticut, where I grew up, when I was just mowing my neighbor’s lawn with the tiny mower my dad loaned me. It was the first job I ever had, and I worked in the summers when I was in middle school and high school. I grew the business in my mid-teen years because the hard work in the summer sun paid significantly better than most jobs that were available to teens. What I didn’t realize at the time was that hard work and effort would influence the rest of my life. I started by reaching out to my close neighbors. Over the span of eight years, I used a lot of different methods to get my name out there. At one point, I made my own flyers and left them at people’s doors, but the most successful means of reaching people was word of mouth. One year, I took care of my trumpet teacher’s lawn, and he told a lot of his friends about me. The elderly women in bridge clubs were some of my best advertisements. They would talk to one another about their lawn mower guy and how much they liked me. They’d pass my name around and give me all sorts of treats when I came to mow. The usual snacks included Klondike bars or
During the early years of getting into the lawn mowing business, I realized that if I could mow more efficiently, I could make more money. So I began to put some of my earnings aside to purchase a large commercial mower of my own. As I saved, I started to realize that what I was doing could have a significant impact on my future. By saving up money, I could invest in my future and my education, so that’s what I aimed to do. I started to save with the perfect mower in mind. I wanted an expensive one that had a wide reach but not too expensive so as to make the investment not worth it. Riding mowers were usually very expensive than push mowers and, knowing I wanted to go to law school later in life, I didn’t want to spend too much money on the equipment. By the time I was 16, I had saved several thousand dollars, enough to buy the perfect mower. It cost more than my first two vehicles combined, both of which were cheap trucks to get me around town. It was a Bobcat 48” walk- behind mower. For the next few years, that mower helped me increase my productivity and performance pretty drastically, and it helped me save up even more. By the time I graduated high school, I had saved up enough to help me through law school, and even a few unpaid internships. When I left home, I decided to put my lawn mowing business to rest. I left my expensive mower and the rest of my nice yard tools with my dad, who still uses them to take care of his yard. When I visit my parents over the summer, I still like to fire the mower up and take it for a spin around the yard for old time’s sake. While my first job and business helped support me financially for a long time, it also built my work ethic. Often, I’d find myself working on long, hot summer days, and it wasn’t fun a lot of the time. But learning to work through hard things for great end results is beneficial in all aspects of life. This lesson also applies to everyone coming into our office to start a case. Many people who come into the office hoping to fight a traffic ticket hesitate regarding the upfront cost it takes to hire a lawyer. But like my decision to invest in top-of-the-line mowing equipment in order to enjoy long-term profits, the benefits that follow the initial cost are worthwhile.
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