Having spent most of my life working for someone else, at 36 years of age I felt I was going nowhere. For whatever reasons my career hadn't advanced as I would have liked it to. I had grown disillusioned with the office politics and bureaucracy that dominated my working days. I was determined to finally take control of my career and make things happen for me as opposed to trying to convince others to include me in their plans.
The only way to do this was for me to employ myself. But what was I going to do? The first thing I did was make a list of all my skills, followed by my likes and dislikes. Someone once said that the best way to find which business you should start is to first find something you enjoy doing, then find a way to make a living from it. There were three things on my list that I really enjoyed. But at the top, far ahead of the rest, was gardening. I really liked gardening. Now all I had to do was find a way to make it pay.
I started investigating how to go about setting up a gardening business. There was little available in terms of books or references. So I turned to business opportunity magazines and found what I was looking for. Gardening businesses were being offered as franchises. But even if I'd had the enormous amount of money required to buy one, would I really be running my own business, or would I be buying a job in someone else's?
The idea of running my own business appealed to me more than working to the strict guidelines of a franchise agreement and having to pay franchise fees to head office on every weed I pulled. My ambitions went beyond pre-printed agreements, set pricing, royalties, a customer service instruction manual. I wanted to create the best gardening service I could in my own locality. So this is what I set about doing.
If the only gardening skill you have is to be able to cut a lawn, but cut it well and take pride in your work, then you have the basis on which to build a successful business. But if you are a keen gardener, skilled, knowledgeable, a master of your craft, then the world outside your door really is waiting for your services. For skilled gardeners are rarities. Sadly, while we now have an abundance of plants and shrubs that were previously unheard of, those willing and capable of looking after them are not so readily available.
There will always be a need for professional gardeners in this country. Whether this is to design, create, build, maintain, prune, advise, or coach novice gardeners in the craft of gardening, there is literally no limit to where this business can take you.
From now on you can enjoy the freedom of working for yourself while enjoying the great outdoors and doing something that is both worthwhile and highly sought after.
Surely there is no better way to earn a living?
My aim in writing this book
This book is written for everyone who wants to have their own gardening business, but is unsure of how to get started and achieve success.
I'm writing not as a business expert but as someone who has set up their business from scratch and has made it a huge success, far exceeding my initial expectations. I earn my living from landscape gardening. It not only pays my bills and keeps me alive, but it also brings enormous satisfaction. My enjoyment and peace of mind comes from knowing that I can support myself and enjoy the independence that running your own business brings. I live my dreams in the present, not the future.
Being self-employed is not for everyone. There are enormous challenges, problems and worries that go with this lifestyle. But if you've got an entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to succeed, then no matter what obstacles your business faces, somehow you can pull through. You must, however, believe in yourself. I hope that this book answers many of your questions. And I hope that you can use this knowledge to your advantage and fulfil your dreams and ambitions, today. Not tomorrow. For tomorrow may never come. Today is where it's all happening!
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