February 27, 2013


By Andrew at 4:55 PM
2-24-13 Problem Solving

My first job was helping an elderly lady with some landscaping, a job that eventually grew into a landscaping and lawnmowing business for upwards of a dozen clients. My family helped me get started, and once I went off to college I passed the business on to my siblings. I always knew that I did not want to be in the lawncare business for the rest of my life, but it provided valuable lessons and experiences that I will never forget.

One of my favorite parts of lawcare was the time it gave me to think. Working alone gave me plenty of time to come up with ideas and to solve problems in my head. I did have opportunities to talk with many of my employers, some of whom would work with me on those projects and talk while we worked. But the majority of the time was spent driving a lawnmower or operating a string-trimmer, isolated for a time in the proving grounds of my mind. Now that I work closely with team members, I find myself searching for time outside of work to think about matters, mostly while hiking or swimming.
The physical activity of lawncare was also a great side-effect. Most of my “workouts” for waterskiing came in the form of raking leaves, baling hay, or pushing a mower. My transportation of choice at that time was a bicycle, allowing me to exercise while in transit. Summers were obviously the busiest, although fall and spring had their own tasks, allowing me to work after school quite often.
Manual labor gave me context for what hard work looks like. Now that my profession involves computers on a daily basis, I can compare the physical exertion of lawncare to the mental exertion of information management. Operating a computer all day is definitely nowhere near as exhausting physically, but it definitely presents its mental challenges. Really, both school and mowing have prepared me for my current mental workouts.
As I mentioned previously, I was not interested in landscaping for the rest of my career. It was dirty, sweaty, hard work, and however enjoyable it was, it was work. There were occasions when I would become frustrated with not having the computer or media work I really wanted to do, but my parents reminded me that this first step in my career would enable me to progress to other occupations. Starting my small lawncare business enabled me to work my way through college, studying animation and programming, two areas that I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to a future in. Without the funds generated by those hard jobs, I would never have been able to afford my professional training and prepare for my current career path. In addition, I gathered extensive business and management insight while running my own operation, preparing for my future interests even in a seemingly unrelated role.
My lawncare days are definitely remembered fondly, although I am very grateful that I have moved on to the next stage of my career. I met a great many people through my business, and developed different skills through working before I actually had to “make a living.” Now that I have progressed to another phase of my professional career, I am all the more excited to see what is coming up next. I may just have someone else mow my lawn, though, once I have my own yard!

Comments »

There are currently no comments on this post.

Add to the Conversation