Joe has been mowing other people's lawns since he was eight years old. When I first met him, back in high school, he was running Joe's Lawn Care and he mowed the lawn of the family who I babysat for so I got to see him in action quite often. The magnetic signs he used to have on the sides of his little red truck for that business are attached to the house door in our garage. He set that business aside to go on a two year mission for our church when he was 21 and came back after that to start over from scratch with Mow Joe.
We started dating only a month after Joe got home from his mission and were talking marriage by the time Joe was ready to dive back into the lawn care business, so we have been doing this thing together for the last seven years. I still remember when springtime hit and we'd go on our long walks together, Joe would always comment on the great, or not so great, edging job of people's lawns when we'd walk past. It's been fun to watch Joe's lawn care business grow over the last few years. He has a great reputation in our area and experienced a lot of success. Last year was an amazing year for the business and the numbers were off the charts! But with the amazing numbers came crazy hours and Joe had to work a lot of late nights and on his day off from his full-time job and it was draining on him, me and our family.
When last year's season ended, we knew that we had some decisions to make before the next season started. Joe was considering upgrading his truck and adding a second crew to mow during the day, while his high school employees were in class. We also considered having him quit his full time job and grow Mow Joe full time with a small crew. Ultimately we decided that the best choice for our family right now was to sell the equipment and client list and close that chapter of our lives, for the time being.
Running your own lawn care business is a lot of work, especially if you have a full time job and a crew doing most of the mowing for you. On weeks when there was a lot of rain or when the boys on the crew had school events or went out of town, Joe would step in after work and on his day off to help them stay caught up on lawns. If a sprinkler got broken or a big project came up, he would take care of those as well. With both of us working full time in addition to that, we felt like we rarely saw each other and we didn't have much time to spend as a family.
Our kids are getting older and we want to take them on vacations and spend our days off doing fun things as a family. Joe wasn't emotionally tied to Mow Joe anymore and viewed it as a way to build wealth and pursue his ultimate career goals. We decided together to pursue other avenues for building wealth in favor of more family time during the summer months and less stress on Joe's plate. The decision to move on with our lives without Mow Joe was a bittersweet one, but one that we know will benefit our family in the long run. Now Joe gets to mow his own lawn, twice a week, while Bensen drags his little mower along behind.
And who knows, maybe in a few years when our kids are older and our schedules aren't so crazy, we'll start another lawn care company. After all, nothing makes Joe happier than the smell of freshly cut grass and the sight of a clean cut lawn.