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Archive for the ‘tips from the top’ tag

On not taking bad advice

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I was talking with Jerry Maldonado last week and he told me this great story about how his father started their business.

In the 1980s, Roy Maldonado bought a patch of land in San Antonio, cleared it enough to park trucks on, and started his landscape business with his three sons: Roy Jr., Jerry and Oscar.

Because they were just starting out and an hour from their hometown of Kerrville, Texas, the four of them lived in the trucks until they had enough money to build a shack on the property.

For years, they didn’t have running water or electricity. Just a hot plate they plugged into the cigarette lighter to cook cans of beans on.

The whole time, people were telling Jerry to quit and go to work for someone else and get the hell off this ‘ranch’ in the middle of San Antonio.

But he didn’t. His dad had always told him and his two brothers to never work for someone else. “Don’t waste your time making somebody else rich,” he would tell them. “Do it for yourself.”

A few years sleeping in a truck seems worth it today – Maldonado now does about $30 million a year and employs 400 people.

Good thing Jerry’s a bad listener. You can read more from him in our forthcoming September issue.


July 29th, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Just be who you are

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Scott Frith spends some time talking about the future of Lawn Doctor, the lawn care industry and how a “significant liquidity event” helped his company:

Some companies want to be the low-cost producer, and do it at the absolute lowest cost, and they want to drive a lot of volume. And that has pros and cons. That has certain implications. Others want to be the premium-priced business that delivers the absolute best experience to the customer. Others want to be the Apple in the lawn care industry, and have a very different kind of brand, a very different culture that’s either cool or quirky.

Whoever you decide to be, just be who you are.

Read the full story here.


July 11th, 2013 at 3:48 pm