Let me warn you.
Some of the views and opinions expressed in this article will be offensive to some.
But in my opinion…someone needs to tell it like it is.
As an employer for more than three decades, I’ve operated my companies, hired employees, fired employees, trained employees and benefitted from the idea of free enterprise along the way.
But 2020 will go down in history as the single most difficult year I have experienced as an employer.
When the federal government decided to label businesses and their employees as “essential” or “non-essential” and demand closure of privately owned businesses, I think part of democracy was forever damaged.
To add insult to matter, the federal government created the “unemployment bonus” granting hundreds of dollars of “free money” (on top of an unemployment insurance program) to anyone who lost their job. Overnight, with one stroke of a Presidential pen, fedzilla’s new program destroyed a basic Christian value that held our society together for hundreds of years.
That value was called “the dignity of work”. The idea that a person should earn money for providing services to an employer was damaged…perhaps forever.
I am here to tell you that it was EASIER to find employees when our unemployment rate was 3.5% than it was when our unemployment rate exploded to over 10%. Why?
Fedzilla Takes Control
I’m convinced that Fedzilla removed at least 10% of workers from employer’s payrolls and placed them into an entitlement program that discourages work.
A year after these unprecedented handouts began, fedzilla has extended the new entitlement program and re-enforced their commitment to discourage participation in the workforce.
Personally, I’m offended by the actions taken by our federal government, state governors and the newly anointed KINGS of local commerce formerly called Mayors. It seems that if you have been elected, you were instantly awarded power over the people to tell us how to dress, how to travel, how to work OR NOT WORK and how to celebrate Thanksgiving!
I was offended by the government takeover in March of 2020 and publically shared my concerns in March of 2020. Yes…that article offended a few folks. I even got fired by one liberal-minded customer as I published A landscaper’s Response to Covid-19 on the subject of government takeover.
Entrepreneurs are a resilient group. The politicians already knew this. But to help encourage the “essential” workers to keep working, they made even bigger handouts, creatively named PPP. The “employers” needed help too… they thought.
But what began as good intention, did just the opposite for many. The PPP handouts gave hope to a great number of businesses that should have failed. The PPP funds propped up companies that did not have a sustainable business model, customer base and cost control system. I wrote about this Problem with PPP in August of 2020.
I believe that God created the four seasons of spring, summer, fall and winter for a good reason. If you are to survive all four seasons, you’ll have to adapt to change. We were never promised an endless spring season of beautiful gardens. Nor were we entitled to an endless harvest in the fall.
In the past twelve months, our world has changed. The basic principles of supply and demand economics have been destroyed. They have been replaced with endless government intrusion and (what appears to be) endless money without work.
I’m convinced the political crowd, both parties, have lost their damn mind. Socialism is here.
Personally, I’ve decided there’s not much reason to compete with fedzilla’s free-money bonanza for the lazy and entitled. As an employer, I made a big decision to change my workforce. I had to go find a NEW GROUP of employees who had not experienced the poison known as unemployment with the fedzilla bonus.
No Experience Necessary
I write The Wealthy Landscaper Letter as a service to the lawn and landscape industry…but more importantly…to the OWNERS of lawn and landscape companies who believe in the idea that owning a business, creating jobs and serving your community by providing quality services is a just and noble calling.
After all…the dignity of work will not be destroyed across all of humanity. For those of us who believe that we serve God as we serve our fellow man, there will always be hope.
I decided to place my energy and hope for a sustainable future on…teenagers.
We hired a small group of high school students who were furloughed from the daily routine of school by April of 2020. The youthful energy found in this new freedom from class found its way into our manufacturing company.
The results were so positive that we expanded our efforts to recruit young workers through the creation of the Super Lawn Truck Internship program.
Our efforts lead to nine new-hires – all teenagers – and solidified our belief that: a) our future is bright when we remove the baggage of habits past and b) entrepreneurs will always adapt and overcome the tyranny of government.
As I share these thoughts with you, I must admit that I have no idea how bad or how good the next twelve months might be for small business owners. I can’t predict your future without some understanding of your past and your daily habits.
You see…your future is up to you. Your business is your ship to sail as you wish. You may give up on the hope that you can find employees that are willing to work for a wage that you can
afford. If that is what you believe, that is what you will find.
But if you believe that your future is destined to be better than your past, you’ll get your butt out of bed everyday. You’ll begin with a servant heart…and seek those you can be of service to.
You’ll give thanks to God for the blessings you have already experienced. You’ll grow your commitment to success by serving others day after day. You’ll gain confidence in your decisions by carefully monitoring your financial reports. You’ll share your blessings with others!
Here’s an example of how we have decided to share our blessings with others.
We kicked off 2021 by announcing the Super Lawn Truck Scholarship Program. We are sharing our blessings of a growing business and healthy profits by encouraging the pursuit of secondary education with the youth of our company. You can read (watch or listen) about this new scholarship program by clicking here.
I encourage you to get involved with a group of like-minded business owners who share your commitment to providing professional services. Since 2011 we’ve been walking hand-by-hand with owners of lawn and landscape companies who want to grow profits.
We call this service the Super Lawn Toolkit Marketing and Management Membership Program. We meet online every-other Friday for 60-90 minutes of business education and Q & A to help contractors get better results in their business. If you would like to see if your company could qualify for this education program, just click here and schedule a 20-minute strategy session.
Perhaps these ideas will keep you energized about your company and your responsibility to help save America.