Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

Time to rethink everything

8317 Views 72 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  Joasis
As most of you know I haven't been feeling too well lately. Monday morning I went in to the ER feeling like crap. Couldn't breathe, heart was racing. Had a bunch of tests done and got the diagnosis back. I have lung cancer, adencarcinoma. The oncologist figures it at stage 2, possibly 3. Basically I get to look forward to chemo, radiation, and possibly surgery. This is of course complicated by my heart condition. Before any kind of aggressive treatment can begin they want to replace my pacemaker and do surgery to repair a defective valve. Explains why I've been feeling like crap.

This is having a very profound effect on my landscaping biz. I thought I could tough it out for a few more seasons, quite frankly it'll be a miracle to finish out this one. Even if I survive this my days of pushing mowers in the heat, stacking block, and the like are over. My cardiologist wants to put me on a heart transplant list if I beat the cancer. He says my heart is over stressed as it is.

Obviously I really need to quit smoking. That's a given at this point. It's a hellish habit to kick. I get violently ill with the withdrawals.

Right now I've got a lot on my plate. Almost 2 months left in the landscape season, start college in a couple of weeks. It's going to be tough this winter to juggle everything. Hopefully my VA medical insurance will pick up most of the tab.

I also need to formulate a plan to get out of the landscaping biz. I need to own a company, not a job. Currently I'm investigating several franchise businesses. Everything from appliance repair, handyman, HVAC, painting, etc. I'm also still looking to get in the house rental business (thanks Mike Finley). I've got some money, I've got equity in the house, now is the time for me to park it in something that will provide a year round income and financial security. If I manage to beat this thing and survive I'm going to need some money coming in. Especially since my days of doing the labor myself are effectively over.

Anyway the reason I'm posting this is I want you guys to know you rock. This is my favorite clubhouse to hang out in. I'm not looking for a bunch of get well or sorry to hear that posts. We're contractors, we're way too practical for that sort of thing. Write some jokes, rip on me, help me out with the practical stuff.

Practical stuff, if you have any experience with Mr. Handyman, Mr. Appliance, or CertaPro Painters post up. They're on my short list of franchises to buy into. If they all suck post up an alternative. If your uncle joe beat lung cancer by drinking acetone, let me know that too. Good info to have.
See less See more
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 73 Posts
Handy man??? are you chitting me? Your the kinda guy that gives the handy man a bad name, kinda like a, uh, er...Manny:laughing:

Can you find a manager or someone to run your current business? By the sounds of some of your posts, you do fairly well and enjoy creating landscaping designs.

For real you can quit smokin....I smoked for 30 plus years, but haven't had one in a month. I know it ain't over until it's over, but I'm optimistic over the smoking thing. I have an uncle, an aunt and my father all have emphysema. I used the chantix...didn't relieve all of the cravings, but wife and I have both quit. We've been married for 24 years and I seen her look at me like she hated me for a couple of days. Now it's just will power:thumbup:
I'll start you at 15 bucks an hour pushing lumber thru a moulder. Can't get much easier then that. Of course breathing in that dust might speed up your 'illness'.
I would think the landscaping business itself could not be worse then smoking, keeping your physical activity up, but maybe too much?

Anyway, I will say it again, Chantix to quit smoking, zanax or wellbutrin to kick the anxiety problems with withdrawal, and a few weeks later, you will wonder why you wasted your lungs, just like I did.

I watched my mom literally suffocate with COPD and small cell carcinoma (lung cancer), stage 3, and she smoked right up to the end. 3 weeks, diagnosis to heart failure. I know you don't want to hear this, but you have treatment options, she chose not to try.

Thoughts and prayers, and change some habits if you really want to beat this.
Well my friend, I may be a contractor but I'm also a softie. I cried at your news this morning cuz that damned cancer is pickin on another one of the good ones.

But enough of the "wimpy" stuff...I gotta ask....why not relearn how to run your own business differently. This world is full of guys that are willing and obviously more able to do the difficult things that you're no longer able to do. Your chances of making good money favor staying in the business you're most experienced in.

The owner of the most respected landscape outfit in my hometown hasn't touched a shovel or cement block in ages...(has a pretty nice place on the lake too!)
  • Like
Reactions: 1
MD Anderson in Houston, Texas.
MD Anderson in Houston, Texas.
MD Anderson in Houston, Texas.

My dad was convinced to go there for treatment of his lung cancer. The doctors in Birmingham, Al. wanted to just do treatments because of his heart condition. He went to MD Anderson where they had a heart specialist in the room just in case. Had 1/3 of one lung removed, bounced back quickly and almost made the 5 year mark. He had my mother in Birmingham for back surgery when he had a fainting episode. Diagnosed with a brain tumor had surgery there to remove it and was gone in 2 weeks. He was claustiphopic*. When during one of the test he had to go for at certain intervals where he was put in a machine (MRI?) to check for tumors he made them take him out when his head was about to go through the scanning process and this tumor was missed.

agree with what someone said about a manager or changing the way you do business. A good mind can make more money than a strong back. Make your money with a pen, let someone else handle the shovels. Now if I could figure how to make that happen! My problem seems to be the good mind part!

Did I mention Md Anderson cancer center in Houston, Texas? If anyway possible, check them out.

Good luck to you.
See less See more
Geez BOB, You've got as lot on your plate this morning.

ATRAWLINGS has got the cleanest suggestion, you're on auto pilot in the landscape business.

That will allow you more time to crack wise about all the cute and helpful nurses.
A whole new world of humor is awaiting, perhaps your ex will pick up your deductible?

You're tough,Bob, keep us tuned in.
Ithica NY probably gets enough snow to keep a crew busy during the winter. I don't. October to April/May I'm shut down. I need something that can keep a crew of guys working year round, thereby providing me with income year round.
Well I hope you beat it Bob.

GOOD LUCK on the quit Smoking thing!

I feel it's worse than crack or heroin! Never tried either but did other party favors along with drinking and all those were easy to quit years ago.

Aside from the other OBVIOUS reasons I can't beleive the money I waste on them.

As far as your bus........YOU HAVE A KNOWLEDGE IN SOMETHING!

It would be a waste and a shame for you to turn your back on it.

By hiring a couple strong backs not only do you releive the physical stress on you, you have the chance to pass on a trade to someone!


We are lucky to have you on CT! You ALWAYS have something to add, a joke a smart ass comment, WELL WORDED THOUGHT OUT info whatever!
See less See more
Its great you found out sooner rather than later. Also really good you have insurance/cash to be able to deal with it.

+1 on sticking with what you know..I get a bit listless from time to time and try other things, always seem to do better buckling down and growing what I know.

Not that this isn't pretty obvious but buying a franchise could have the opposite effect from what you want...take up your money and give you alot of headaches to boot, be careful. I always kinda wanted a Subway..stick it in any little strip mall, no equipment to speak of, unskilled labor pool how hard can it be heh.
Wow Bob. Sorry about the news. I had to quit inhaling a pack of cigars a day, had my first angioplasty at age 43. If you have trouble quiting I'll send my wife the nurse out, you'll quit or be in jail for strangling her, either way you'll stop (can't smoke in prison anymore).

I agree with previous posters, find a way to sit behind a desk at landscaping. You've got to much time invested. Hey, how about doing interior landscapes? I have a friend/customer that's a commercial tile guy that just put in a 20,000 waterfall in a high end office. Office scape's was the Co. I think. Get in on the green market for interiors.

Anyway, good luck, stay out of CT jail I enjoy your input.
We are lucky to have you on CT! You ALWAYS have something to add, a joke a smart ass comment, WELL WORDED THOUGHT OUT info whatever!
Jesus dude, how about you wait until I'm actually dead before you start writing my eulogy?:laughing::laughing:
MAn, sorry to hear that Bob. For the smoking try Chantix, I've heard from several people it works miricles.

Why can't you stay in the landscape business? Hire a couple of guys, sit in a lawnchair and watch them work.
Leo, landscaping is seasonal work. Which is fine for me as a one man show. If I'm going to have a bigger business I want something that will keep employees working year round.
The chantix also seems to give people VERY erotic dreams. Hell, for that reason alone you should try it...:thumbsup:
The Mr. handyman, Handyman Matters, and others like it run pretty much the same. I don't know the buy in amounts as it never interested me but most franchises work with you investing $100,000 to $300,000 (sometimes more, sometimes less) of your own money and they finance the balance. Usually you have to fill out an application and have some background in whatever type of business you are going into (both field and office).

They pay for a large part of the advertising costs (national you will still have to do some local). Most also have classes and support available to owners and even employees in some cases. They have business plans, safety plans, and basic operating procedures laid out for you. Your initial investment will also cover license fees, origination costs, etc.

The companies pay their employees piece meal in a sense. They take in so many leads and send guys out to the leads. The guys have to look at the job estimate how long it will take and rough cost of materials. If the customer accepts they do the job that day and are paid for the actual amount of time it takes to do the job. Employees are given a credit card to purchase materials with.

The guy I talked to owned a handyman matters and said that they do mostly small repairs but that on occasion they would "partner up" with other franchises to do kitchens and baths. He also said they did a lot of closet organization systems.

I wish you the best of luck with quitting smoking and a speedy recovery.
See less See more
Leo, landscaping is seasonal work. Which is fine for me as a one man show. If I'm going to have a bigger business I want something that will keep employees working year round.
Move someplace that doesn't have seasons. :whistling
Jesus dude, how about you wait until I'm actually dead before you start writing my eulogy?:laughing::laughing:
Weeeeelllllll I'm not sure which way you are headed "if and when" and if you can't see through smoke and fire how will you know what I said?:whistling

Damn. Sorry to hear that. That's a lot to go through, especially by yourself. Hope for the best.

Sounds like nows the time to buy that little general store/gas station and change your lifestyle. Hope it has a nice porch out front to sit on. :thumbsup:
Hang in there Bob.
1 - 20 of 73 Posts
Not open for further replies.