In our second episode of the Refinery46 Podcast, Owner and Founder of Green’s Lawncare & Property Services, Matt Green shares his company’s vision, challenging obstacles he has overcome, and some valuable nuggets of information for other small business owners.
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Matt’s thoughts on Entrepreneurship.
Yeah. Yeah. I like talking about where we came from and where we’re going. Cause, It inspires a lot of other people, you know? Cause. Not everybody goes down that same path of wanting to be an employee. Some people want to go down a different path, and that’s perfectly fine. You know, some people want to go into the trades.
Some people want to go to college. There’s no one right answer. If something that I do, you know, I’ve made hundreds of business mistakes, and I’ve also made some smart moves.
“If something that we did inspires somebody else to make the right decision. Or gets them off of the cliff to actually start the business that they’ve always wanted. Then I think the, you know, we’re solid. That’s what it’s all about.”
To hear more of Matt’s entrepreneurship journey, CLICK HERE.
Meet Matt and Green’s Lawncare & Property Services startup story.
So tell us a little bit about how you got started with your, with your business.
Yeah. So, um, it’s really interesting how we got this whole thing started and, um, you know, you always have this idea in your head, and then it morphs into something.
And I would never have thought that it would have gone to seven trucks and our fourth year, you know, so we have grown so fast, and with that growth definitely comes to a lot of hurdles.
But, um, when we were really young, when I would get off the bus in elementary school, we were really poor. And so. To pay the bills, we would cut grass, you know, so my mom would get done with her job. And then when we came home, we would go, and we would mow it, you know, to pay bills. And we didn’t, I mean, It was just something we did, you know, it was just part of our blood. Like we never asked for anything, like we got to play sports.
And so it was my two brothers and me, and we went out, and I think she paid us by, we had maybe. I dunno, 40 to 70 yards that we mowed every week. And she would say, all right, Matt, this yard and this yard are yours.
“I never really thought about this until my uncle said, Matt, you learned what the value of a dollar truly is by doing this. You understand what hard work is, and you understand what kind of hard work you have to do.”
To make a dollar, you know, and I thought about that then I always had this entrepreneurial thought train, but I didn’t know if it was ever possible.
I go to college, and, um, I get a degree in exercise science because I wanted to be a strength coach. And I also got a degree in teaching because you had to have a teaching license. To have a strength class at a high school. And that was my dream.
I moved out with my fiance at that time to Ohio. And I can’t find any jobs out there. So then there’s no strength coach anymore. Like that ship had sailed. And so then I started substitute teaching, and I got a teaching degree or I since I had a teaching degree, I was like, well, maybe I’ll be a teacher, you know?
And I realized that Matt Green is not cut out to be a teacher. Like I, I am, I’m not that type of person. And, uh, teaching is, if you’ve never taught, it is very difficult.
You know, it’s definitely an art and, uh, there’s only certain people that can be teachers. So I realized that that that wasn’t my path either in life. So then I started working kind of odd jobs. Like I worked at Dick’s sporting goods. I worked at a construction company that put up solar panels, and that was really eye-opening.
I was like, Holy, and this is pretty kind of cool. You know, as we can, I can do something with my hands, like in the trades. And then that job ended.
You know, I’ll find something else. So I went into sales. And I worked for Xerox. And so I sold copy machines and software and all that kind of stuff. And so I really enjoyed sales cause I enjoy talking to people. And then I learned all these different businesses. Like I would’ve never thought, you know, when you go cold call, that’s what I was doing.
“Thinking of myself as a man, I really enjoyed mowing. I really enjoyed the landscaping business when I was really young, and we made pretty good money. I was like, if I tie that with this sales experience that I just gained from a Fortune 500 company, maybe I can put those two things together, and we’ll see where this goes.”
And that’s where that, that’s how we started. So I took $1,800 that I’d saved up from that construction job. I already had a track. So then, with that $1,800, I found on Craigslist, a trailer. I went to Dayton, Ohio, to buy this trailer. I found the most beat-up mower I could on Facebook, and I bought that thing.
To hear more of Green’s Lawncare & Property Services journey, CLICK HERE.
Matt’s vision on giving back to the community.
And, you know, with this magic wand, like I want to, I want to understand all these mistakes that I’m making. So then it doesn’t happen in the future. But, um, if I did have this magic wand and I could learn from all these mistakes, and we move into the future, I think that we would be a much, I don’t want to put a number on it, but we would be a much bigger company because the bigger the company, the more people I can support.
Through employment, I can put more food on those tables and take care of more families. And we also give back to the community. So we don’t publicize, um, much of our charitable donations, but, uh, one thing that we do is.
Since I was a teacher, I understand that teachers don’t get paid what they need to get paid, especially, um, because schools and school systems typically don’t have the resources to fund those classrooms.
And so a lot of times that it’s the teacher’s burden to pay for the materials that they need. And so we started this. Maybe two or three years ago, I went to school 84 here, right here in Broad Ripple. So I reached out to school at four, and I said, Hey, I want to sponsor a classroom. And so I can’t remember exactly what the dollar amount is, but I think it’s $400.
And I reached out to a teacher, and I said, Hey, look, I want to help you because we’re on a platform. Or I have this platform where we make money. And we have profits at the end of the day.
“And I want to help the community because the people who hire us live in that community, and they send their kids to that school.”
So they’re hiring us, and now that’s my way of giving back to them. And that’s something that’s near and dear to my heart. Cause I was a teacher, and I understand how hard it is. You have to buy all your own stuff. So I said to the teacher. Um, the easiest way, this is going to happen as if you make an Amazon wishlist, put everything that you want on that wishlist up to that dollar amount, and then I’ll buy all of it.
I’ll buy all of it. And someday, you know, we’re going to bring it to you, you know, in a couple of weeks and we’ll present it to the class, and then you can use it forever. You know, I don’t want anything in return. After that year, That teacher and the principal pick the classroom for the next year.
And then it just keeps going down that line. How does so, so each teacher and the principal, decide who’s deserving of it the next year. And then we just kind of move around the school, and we’ve done that now for two to three years. Hopefully, we get to do it this year. I don’t know because of the pandemic.
A lot of people are, you know, e-learning, so I don’t really know how that would work out, but we’ll still reach out to them and see if we can help. And then ideally. We start picking up other schools in our service area. Like we don’t want to pick up just any school. We want to pick up schools in our service area to give back to those families in the communities that make Greenlawn care possible.