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Work Smarter, Not Harder
How I learned the Hard Way, Why Should you?

If you are Self Employed, Learn this Phrase "Work Smarter not Harder" It will be the Key to your Success. 

I had a Killer Lawn Maintenance Business in the Mid to late 80's. I was one of a kind in my town, Virtually no competition because I was the Competition!

I was in my 30's, I worked like a Dog, running my employees into the ground. They were in their early 20's. My average lawn was 10,000 sq. ft. & I would mow, hedge, edge, trim & blow surfaces for $165 to $185 a month, year round maintenance agreements. All other work was done on a jobber basis, I got plenty of extras T00!. I made good Money working for the Who's Who & the not so Who's Who. They wanted me Bad & they paid Dearly for it.

I had 3 trucks & trailers, plenty of Equipment, then some? We ran the Big Hydro Yazoo mower 18.5 to 20 HP, 48" cut, an over kill but plenty of power. Very Fast, everybody that could afford us, wanted us parked in front of their property.

I'm into my 4th year in business now. I was Bullet Proof, nobody was as good as I was. I proved it every day. A friend of mine was wiring up a lathe in my killer shop & fried the breaker box. In most cases we finished up early on Friday, then we go home cut my grass & maintain equipment. Well, I was upset with my friend & no electricity. I sent everybody home, yes with pay.

The next day I mowed (Mine) grass & maintained equipment (no air ventilation.) About 3:00 that afternoon it was around 103 degrees. I had a massive Heat Stroke. Busted the Blood Vessels in my right eye, no white at all. Blood Red.

I couldn't think straight for weeks & couldn't drive for almost a month. I didn't get medical attention like I should have, my business couldn't survive without me? I thought? I gained almost 30 lb. in 90 days, yep 6 more inches on my waist. 30 inches to 36 inches. Man did I fatten up Quick?

Guess what? 2 weeks later, we started finishing up on Thursday instead of Friday? Nobody replaced me? Same Schedule, Same quality of work? Late summer, I did not want to start another crew. But I gained a day, my income went up Drastically. We could do more work with same crew less me working my butt off? What is wrong with this picture?

I was Ignorant till then & that's when I learned the Phrase "Work Smarter Not Harder." Was I ever a Fool until then. This is where & when I learned the Hard way. What's the use in owning a Business if it Runs you? I decided when I started, that I wanted to run a Business. Well, it ran me straight into the Ground, it almost killed me.

I was holding the workers up trying to prove myself (to me) & LOL me only. It didn't do me any good, until I almost lost everything. When you get to the point that you know you can't be replaced & nobody can do it as good as you. Well, it's time for a reality check. Or do as I did if you do not care about your Body, Piece of Mind & Future. I almost lost it all, because I thought I had to do it all. I thought no one was as good as I.

You & I can easily be replaced any day of the week? That's a Fact Jack! It's Proven Daily here on Earth.

If you would quit letting your business run you & you quit working as a laborer. Then decide to run your business. Well, it would Surprise you, what you are capable of. It only takes 1 or 2 ideas a month, more or less. You are capable of it too, if you only try. You've got this far, go for it. It's easier than you think!

If you are a one or two man show, what are you going to do when you have Medical Problems, maybe your folks need your help or you just need a Vacation (you are guaranteed these if you live & breath at one time or another)? If you think like this, you are going to worry yourself to death & you will either neglect the above or you will loose business. I learned the hard way, why should you?

I never saw many of the problems & ways to save Time and Money until I quit working for my Company & started running it like a real business person. You can do the same?

To make a long story short, I learned the hard way, Why should you? How Many Really Successful One Man Shows can survive Medical problems or Time off, are there really out there. We do not always get a notice in advance. 

How many Really Successful Business Owners are out there with Multiple Employees & work as a Laborer for his Company. Not to many? How do you measure Success, Worry & Work all the time. I don't any more.

How many times have you ever seen a Successful Body shop owner (An Easy $100,000 a Year Man) Sand or Paint cars? How many times have you seen the owner of a Burger King, in the back making Hamburgers, or an owner of Dry Cleaners, Dry Clean clothes. If you ever do, are they really Successful? No, I don't think so?

Run your Business, Brainstorm your Ideas on Business Improvements & Money will Flow like water. That's what I want & all I want? I now own my Business & I also run my Business like any other Professional does.

I wish you & yours the Best of the Best!

PS: Now did I get you thinking yet, well lets see the very first 2 examples of many things I saw that cost the company money. It's hard to see if you are a laborer too. 

Rocket Science
It's nothing but simple math

1. Simple Examples of daily routines that I never noticed?
Ice can cost you a Fortune here in JawJa (Southern slang for Georgia?) It did cost me dearly until I saw what was happening. Every morning they stop at store, to get Ice. Have you ever watched this So Called Ice Purchase? Well, it takes a 2 man crew & a 3 man crew about 20 minutes give or take a few minutes. Let me see, Bathroom, Phone call, Girlfriend, Drinks or Relative & the list can go on, while at the store. If you not there, lets shoot for 30 minutes. Yep, the Kids will play? Run the numbers on 5 men down 20 to 30 minutes a day (Lost Labor). That's a lot of money a year.

Now you think I'm crazy or do you? Just to give you a rough idea for an example of both of the examples & just to make it a little easier to understand, I'll just use 3 men for one of these scenarios above . Also I'm only figuring 20 minutes, which is a very low figure. Think about this & I also hope you figure all of your time & expenses like I'm doing just on these examples. We will figure my labor back in the Late 80's at just $20 per man per hour. It's probably close to double that now. I will base it on a 5 day work week only. I do not want to blow it out of proportion, the main thing is you understand all cost involved. Look at the money you would save if you had a freezer that you could keep 20 bags of ice in. You could buy the Ice in quantity on the way home, buy an ice make or etc...

Figures for lost labor for example #1. above.
3 employees X 20 minutes = 1 hour a day lost time?
1 man hour X 5 days a =  5 hours a week lost?
5 lost unproductive hours a week?
5 lost hours a week X 52 weeks = 260 hours a year?
260 hours a year X $20 hour =  $5,200 a year?
Roughly $100 dollars a week in labor to purchase ice? 

It cost me $100 a week to purchase 5 bags of ice at .98 cents a bag, figuring it at 52 weeks, 12 months = $433.33 a month lost labor for ice & I didn't even figure the cost of the ice. That was equal to a fairly decent house payment back then or a New Truck payment + Insurance & at least a couple of  tanks of gas a month. Do you see the Big Picture Yet? OK now at this time (year 2001)you can probably figure at least $40 per man hour labor. Ok, now it's at $866.66 a month. Have I got you thinking yet? I suggest since the slowest non productive time of the day is the first job after lunch, is for your driver to drop off the other workers at the next job & he goes to get the gas.

2. Another Example?
You actually let your whole crew stop & gas up? When they get low & near a gas station, they fill up Equipment at job & you send Mr. Weed puller or Mr. Hedge trimmer to fill up. Same length of time if one man or three fills up. There's Plenty more time savers out there, but you have to watch it, not be part of it?

Figures for lost labor for example #2. above.
2 employees X 20 minutes = 40 minutes lost time filling up the truck?
2 fill ups a week, that's 40 minutes X 2 = 80 minutes week?
80 minutes a week X 52 weeks = 4160 minutes lost a year?
4160 minutes divided by 60 = 69.5 hours a year?
69.5 hours X  $20 per hour labor = $1390.00 wasted a year in labor to purchase gas?
Roughly $26.60 a week in labor to purchase Gas.

No mistake on this (I hope), I only used 2 men because you need one to fill up the truck. Ok, I wasted $26.60 a week in labor just for letting the other 2 employees go along for the ride. At this time that's just about the cost of a tank of gas. It doesn't sound like much but it comes up to roughly $115.27 a month. Now that's not a lot of money but it will add up to lost labor hours. I suggest since the slowest non productive time of the day is the first job after lunch, is for your driver to drop off the other workers at the next job & he goes to get the gas. 

The savings on a few of these adds up Quick. Now lets take it just 1 step farther.
Ok, you've got the idea now. But what about the guys wanting to stop at the store to get a drink during the afternoon. Same thing applies as in Example #1, there is a number of ways to do this. You're out there checking on the jobs, so you could stop & buy their drinks for them. You might get your man to pick up the drinks mid afternoon while gassing up.

BTW: I did not even figure social security, workers compensation or other fees that employers include in employee salaries. 

There's plenty of ways to save your company money, you can clearly see from the Examples #1 & #2 above, if you just let your guys stop to get Ice in the mornings & stop to get a drink in the afternoons. It could easily cost you more than a nice house payment a month. You do the math on everything, solve the problems, your profit margins will increase on the same amount of work & this will give you a Bigger Bottom line, placing more money in your pocket.

Look like a Pro, Act like a Pro, Work like a Pro, you will then get Treated & Paid like a Pro!

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