Turning a Dream into a Profession

by Steven Bowman

I started out cutting grass when I was about twelve years old and have fallen in love with it ever since. It is more to me than just sitting on a lawn mower and making money; to me it’s a work of art. When I first began I only had a handful of clients and I had to borrow my Dad’s equipment to do the jobs. After a while he got tired of loaning me his things, so he decided he would buy me my own.

He bought me a professional grade zero turn for $4,000 and I paid that off in two months with the money I was making. About a year or two later I bought out another landscaping business, also gaining those clients. So now I have two zero turns, two walk behinds, as well as an enclosed trailer to store all of my equipment.

Currently I have a little over twenty clients and do all of the work myself. I gained most of my clients through word of mouth. I have even gotten customers who used to have a professional landscape company but then asked me to do their work because they think that I do a better job.

The name of my company is "All Terrain Lawn Care". I found out about the Environmental Plant Science program at Monroe Technology Center from the guidance counselor at my home school. I started here at the beginning of the year and I have loved it ever since. At the end of the year I will be taking a test which will give me a certification for the Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association. The class also teaches me about different kinds of trees and plants, along with diseases and insects that can affect the plants.

The sad part about having such a great job when you’re young is trying to figure out what you’re going to do with it when you go away to college. My hope is to find someone to run it for me while I’m gone so I can still make a profit. For college I plan on studying either landscape architecture or landscape management. This will enable me to learn more about the design aspect and also to further my knowledge on how to run a better business as I begin to progress on the path to great success in a career I love.