When Michele and I were first married, we both had full time jobs. We wanted a house, so we mowed lawns (while living in an apartment by the stadium) and did other odd jobs to earn the money.
The number of customers we had just because they liked the idea of two young people working for what they wanted, was amazing – and we know because they constantly told us.
We trimmed trees and bushes, painted, did pressure washing, you name it. We did those things after we worked our full time jobs all week.
(To be completely honest, I put out flyers advertising our lawn mowing service, but we didn’t have a lawn mower yet! After I signed up the first job, I scheduled it for Saturday – and went out and bought a cheap lawn mower on credit from JP Penney that Friday night.)
We built the first phase of the beautiful home we live in today, and we did a lot of the work on that house ourselves, too – to save money and build equity.
On Fridays at work, the other guys would talk about their plans to go partying over the weekend. They joked that I was always “working on my house.” I wasn’t always, but it probably seemed like it to them. I learned to do tile floors and lots of other stuff that would have cost ten times as much if I paid somebody, but that money saved meant a nicer home and some sweat equity that helped us add onto the house later – with a big kitchen, a new living room and a pool.
I never forgot how good it felt to get paid for my hard work mowing lawns. The PRIDE of having a customer hand me $$$ after mowing their lawn, a skill I learned as a kid, was sweeter than almost any paycheck I ever received from any corporate job.
We got our house and a lot of other stuff because we worked for it. Living wage? Mow lawns, paint houses, trim trees, clean houses – do things other people won’t do – and decide for yourself what your wage is.
You can do it. I did.
You’ll get a little more than money, too. You earn the belief that you can achieve what you dream and that you don’t need a handout to get there. Don’t sit back and buy into the BS. Go mow a lawn.