January 11, 2023

Episode #59: Matt Green – Green’s Lawncare & Property Services

Matt Green was born and raised in Indianapolis, IN. After working in his family’s mowing side hustle, he went to college and began working in corporate america. He hated corporate politics and decided to take the corporate business education and apply it to a lawn care start up.

Now, Matt has turned Green’s Lawncare into a seven figure business and reinvented his company’s entire business model to stabilize the company and prime it for growth and scale into 7 different markets throughout the midwest. He is most proud of his team and being able to make sure they are well taken care of with above industry pay and meaningful benefits. Green’s Lawncare is committed to raising the standards in the lawn care, pest control and Christmas light installation industry.

If you would like to learn more about Green’s Lawncare, you can visit them online at https://www.GreensLCPS.com or give them a call at 317-748-315

Transcript

hello this is coach Tim campsalll and I’m your host for the self-made as a myth make a difference together show where we’re talking with successful business owners to hear their stories of building their business and because we know that achieving success in business is not something that we can do on our own we recognize the folks who have helped us to excel I’m excited to have a fellow business owner from Indiana with us today my guest checked us out he was going to be a division one college athlete before unfortunately blowing out his back in high school he enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and traveling and watching the oh oh no the what the the Ohio State Buckeyes ah he’s proud of his his uh the team that he’s built in his business as well as the process that they’ve been going through of Reinventing their business model as a result of covet it is my pleasure to welcome team to Welcome Matt to the show today hello Matt howdy thank you for having me I’m so glad to be here it is my pleasure hey let’s start with having you uh introduce yourself and tell us a little bit of your personal story like where you were born where you live and about your family yeah so um a little bit about myself uh Matt Greene um I grew up here in Indianapolis Indiana and uh we have a a great upbringing um it taught me a lot but we were we were poor and so uh my dad had multiple sclerosis and so he couldn’t really hold down a job so it was me I’m the youngest of three boys and so my mom was pretty much I mean my dad was there don’t get me wrong but we didn’t really have much of a stream of income from him and so uh it made it really really difficult especially trying to put three teenage boys uh my oldest brother is five years older than me my middle brother’s two years older than me so at some like we were going through the teenage years like back to back to back and it was like Sam’s Club every weekend 300 bucks and it’s you know three or four hundred dollars uh just to feed us you know and so it posed a lot of challenges to us and um I remember growing up and not having water or electricity you know for it seemed like maybe this is just as a kid and you just think things are so much bigger than what they were but it seemed like it was a year or two and I’m sure if my mom listens to this she might be embarrassed but like that teaches you a lot you know and so we as a family so me my brothers uh and my mom we went and we mowed yards after school like growing up like I would get off the bus and uh she had the we started with a station wagon believe it or not and we had hand Clippers to weed eat grass like little hand Clippers that cost like 10 bucks because we couldn’t afford a weed eater and that’s how we started back in the day just to try and so we could have water on every night and electricity we would put a five gallon bucket underneath the water for the the um thing you know the sink and it would drip all day we had enough that we could boil water and and we could put it in the same or tub and all of us had to take a bath in that you know think about your brothers playing football and soccer and everything and everyone taking a bath in the same thing it was disgusting but you know it taught me uh a lot about life am I dude life is what you make it and and you could be a victim of your circumstances and so I did that kind of going through high school or you know all the way up into High School even I went to college I have two college degrees um I went to Bowling Green State University um and I would mow all the way up until I had to go to school and then uh I would beg my mom up and you just can you just mow the rest of my yards for the rest of the year you know and uh she went crazy enough lady she would do it you know and uh it was great and so so I uh my dad passed his way and so I transferred back from Bowling Green State University to IUPUI and I graduate and then my girlfriend at the time she’s my wife now she lived in Ohio we met at Bowling Green State University job out there so when I graduated I was like I have a teaching license and I have an exercise science degree I wanted to be a strength and conditioning coach and I wanted to do that because when I was in high school I blew out my back I couldn’t play football anymore I was a vision I had a division one scholarship I was my senior year I was pre-season Allstate I was you know I’m not saying I was going to be anything special but at least I would have had my college paid for yeah and so anyways I you know bypassed that I have to go to college graduate and um I moved back to Ohio and I realized it’s really really hard to find a strength conditioning job because I wanted to give back to kids who didn’t have a strength conditioning coach I blew my back out because I didn’t have a strength coach I had a high school football coach that wanted us to get stronger and he said yeah go do this stuff you know but there was no technique there was no safety in it and so um I got the best of me and so I overnight lost my scholarship my whole future plans were you know ruined and so um fast forward I moved back to Ohio realized that it’s extremely hard to get a job as a strengthy conditioning coach so I go into sales and I work for uh Xerox selling copiers like door-to-door the worst environment I mean I remember times getting spit on like if somebody didn’t want to talk to me it was it was horror they were like horrible people wow and uh but it also was an amazing experience I learned all the different businesses that are out there and I would go up and talk to people and I’ll say man you do what for a living you know like you you bake what and so then I’m thinking back and I said you know what I bet I can start a lawn mowing business I bet I can go back and do what we did to get us out of you know when we were dirt broke and I bet I can apply some of these skills from Xerox to our business or to this thing that I’m just kind of is a thought at this time yeah and I wonder if we could do something with this and so I stopped working at Xerox and I go to work for this company called uh Tradesmen International or Blattner energy and we installed uh solar panels and I I thought it was crazy rich man we were getting paid prevailing wages in Ohio I was getting paid 27 an hour anything over 40 was that like 52 or something crazy and uh so I saved a little bit of money I had eighteen hundred dollars I took it back to India we moved home to Indiana took that 1800 and I started a lawn care company that is awesome yeah that’s kind of my story of how I started it yeah that’s awesome thank you for sharing so is there a funny story that your family likes to tell about you that you’d be willing to share with us today

um the

so we I don’t have any like funny business stories at all that uh people like to share about me and the only the only story that I ever remember that’s like super funny at every single time I uh we get together again um I just remember as so we’re sitting around this campfire and uh I’m with my cousin on my wife’s side and we’re sitting around this camera like when we go to Ohio we we like to be outdoors sit around campfires you know have a few Beverages and stuff and we’re all just laughing as hard as can be and um my cousin Brianne she tells this to everybody like it makes me turn red and everything it’s great and so um so she’s laughing as hard as can be and she falls over backwards in this Channel and she’s sitting in the chair and she falls backwards in the chair because she’s I have no idea she’s just laughing so hard and I reached down to help her up and all of a sudden uh just because she’s laughing and I like pull on her arm and she kind of does a scrunch and just like lets out the largest loudest fart in the world and everyone in the entire like there’s like 10 people sitting around us and everybody’s laughing and like now anytime we go over there it’s like uh remember the time that Brian farted in Matt’s face you know it’s like so that brings it we’re all you know at the end of the day we’re all humans you know even though we people look as business owners and leaders we’re humans just like everybody else you know like we’re nothing special oh that is awesome thank you for sharing so Matt um tell us about a time where you know someone pushed you or inspired you that you could do it even though maybe you thought you couldn’t and the impact that that person had on you

um I don’t you know we were so when I started the company I had no idea what I was doing and um we definitely ran into some major financial troubles early on and so I’m getting online and I’m like Googling everything and I find this guy uh for lawn care and he go he went by at the time Lawn Care millionaire and his name was Jonathan patoshnick and he owns uh City Turf which is a huge lawn care company in Dallas Texas and he also owns a service autopilot which was to see well he partially owned service autopilot now he he uh has exited the business for the grand scheme of things but um uh so he owned a service autopilot holistically well he was 50 50 partner with with his business part of the time and um so I’m at this conference because I have like no idea what the hell I’m doing and I’m like I have to like I have to like learn or else I’m going to go under and I’ve invested too much time I can’t yeah I can’t give up now you know like I I’m so deep into this thing I just have to keep like going and um and then everybody on the outside is you know looking at you they think you’re successful and on the inside you’re like man I have no idea what the heck I’m doing like I’m just scraping by I’m trying and uh you know but if you talk to other business owners they’re like you know what we know exactly what you’re going through when you know when you wake up on Friday and you have no idea how you’re gonna make payroll that afternoon like like that’s scary stuff and if you’ve never lived it you don’t know how scary it really is and so I lived that and um so we’re at this conference and Jonathan’s talking and it’s just you know like somebody can say something to you and you hear it it resonates with you but then you hear somebody else say something the same thing but they just say it in a slightly different way and you’re just like that person gets me you know like that was Jonathan and I was like dude like if I know that I have this guy like I could solve any problem like I’m not scared of anything now and so Jonathan is like I’ve been an amazing mentor I love it the the yeah there’s I’ve spoken to a lot of folks who have a similar version of that story right of hey um how am I gonna make payroll right and we have all these people that are responsible for and and unless you’re if you’re not a business owner you just you can’t you can’t really appreciate that burden that uh and that responsibility that we have as business owners right yeah yeah especially when you get employees and it’s like man if if you don’t make this happen like their kids don’t get to eat tomorrow you know it’s like wow that that really puts it into perspective of this is like Way Beyond it’s not about that anymore you know after the first year my first year in business I worked for myself I had some people help me here and there um even my wife took a few days off of work like she took paid leave off of her work to come help me on a couple jobs my first year but after the first year yeah it was all about Matt first year because I was the only person in the business I had no play and then after I had employees it’s like man this is this business has nothing to do with not anymore like and that’s the last person this business cares about at all you know it’s about everyone that’s in the business yeah so Matt what’s been your biggest learning as a business owner I well I think it’s it’s that it’s you know it’s um

I think that there’s certain people on earth that have a unique ability that um can’t support others in very meaningful ways and I don’t think everybody has built out to be a business owner absolutely not but I think there’s certain individuals that can do that and I think that is the biggest learning for me is that those there’s people and I’m not saying that I’m perfect by any means I’m definitely not and I don’t know hardly anything when it comes to business um and I think anybody that says that they know everything is probably someone you don’t want to listen to say it’s always the person that says they’re the smartest person in the room that you better run the opposite way right and um I think that’s the biggest thing that I’ve learned is you know it’s if you’re put on this Earth there’s a bigger thing there’s bigger things in life and me as an owner um I learned early on that it’s very very difficult to keep this thing running and keep the vision going forward and to be able to employ and give really good jobs with meaningful benefits and really good wages to people and I don’t think everybody can do that but everybody here has to contribute to society in some way so I think us as owners we have this unique ability to be able to to do that and to be able to cast a vision to our team members to be able to move forward in this direction to better the world in some way you know whether that’s to make so much money as an organization that you have this platform to give back to a community that gave you so much or it’s you know at some day like you know once you have enough money in your bank account like more money is not going to make you happy right it’s like what can you do with some of that money can you give it back to your employees you know your team members that have helped build this thing that’s why we raised our our pay rates to try and pay better in everybody you know like we want to take care of our people first yeah and then what can we do till I give back to the society you know so that’s that though that thing is that’s like the biggest thing that I’ve learned is like we have this pedestal that we can Now cast this vision and move forward and make meaningful changes in people’s lives yeah and you you were telling me offline is about the the different things that you do you mentioned it just now about paying more than than the average but um the you your whole philosophy is based on helping improve the lives of your employees right yeah 100 and I when you know when we made that switch that something just like it clicked at that point you know and um like I got it you know like this business isn’t about doing lawn care this business isn’t about pest control or Christmas lights this business is about giving back to our team members and if we take care of our team members really really well they’ll take care of our clients yes and our clients will in turn take care of us yes and it it’s something that’s switched to this year and before this year we had so much turnover it was just like hey you’re coming to work you’re going to show up you’re going to do this thing I’m going to pay you you know it was very transactional and now we’ve like you know consciously for me I’ve made that switch of it it’s like it’s all about giving as much back to the team as possible and since then we’ve had virtually zero turnover I mean if somebody leaves our team it’s because we dismissed them which happens on a normal day-to-day basis you know not every day but like that’s a normal course of business but it’s it’s not because people don’t like being here that’s what it used to be they would leave because they they hated working at greens Lawn Care yeah and now it’s like the only reason you leave is because we let you go because like there was other issues going on which has been so cool to to see you know yeah what I like about uh what you just described is you know everybody wants and needs to be part of something bigger than themselves right and so you’re enabling that by you know the company you know you’re the greater good that your company is providing not just to employees but I also know that you know you give back to the community so um now everyone can be part of that making a difference in the world um and because you’re choosing you know the welfare of your team versus the you know the personal profits that you can make you’re actually having a more successful business right oh yeah I hundred percent yeah that’s awesome so Matt we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation so tell us about one of your biggest challenges during the years and and maybe a fellow business owner who helped you to get through that

um well so the biggest challenge one of our huge challenges um especially this year is well you know let’s let’s kind of move back um one of the biggest challenges moving forward was um that kind of started this whole ability to even give back to our team was to understand our financials like we had it was it was essentially is there money in the bank account cool we’re good you know and I hope there’s enough so in our business we’re very seasonal so we’re in a dead period we haven’t made you know the last true money that we made was the second week in December so we’ve pretty much gone a whole month now with no no money no Revenue coming in we’ll go another month and a half with no Revenue coming in and but but now that’s understood you know like we’re just a we’re a seasonal business sure and previously it was man I I just I hope that I didn’t spend enough money during the season that I can you know work again in the springtime I hope there’s enough that we can pay the bills yeah and um and then we got into a time where I as I mentioned earlier I had all this money in the bank account on Monday and then we go on Friday and I go to and this time I’m still writing people checks because I had no CRM I didn’t know anything about any of the stuff so I’m writing people checks and I look at the bank and I’m like there was all this money on Monday and there’s less than a thousand dollars in the bank account on Friday yeah I had no idea where any of this money went I had no idea any of this stuff and so I had to go to my wife and ask her if if she had like if I could borrow money from her to pay our guys and so that happened and so I we made pay like we made payroll because of that and um don’t ask her if I ever paid her back because I don’t know if that ever happened

um from then on I learned that I better have somebody help me figure this thing out because obviously Matt’s not smart enough to figure this thing out but Matt is very resourceful and not everybody can know everything about everything but as soon as you can acknowledge that you don’t know everything and you need help then the whole world opens up and so I found a consultant and he was specific to the green industry he had been a past president of the National Association of landscape professionals and his name is Jason Kopp and I flew out to um Kansas City and I was in like this uh he called it a round table and so he taught us all of our numbers and I can tell you before that I had no idea what the heck of cogs was I didn’t know what that meant I didn’t know any of these things yeah and and so then we’re sitting and he’s teaching us all this stuff and I was like dude this is this is mind-blowing like this business is so hard but at the same time it’s so simple you know but and so that man he was he said like we probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him 100 no that’s awesome so if I asked you to pick three people in your business owner Journey that you’re most grateful for being there for your business’s growth who would those three people be and how they help you um

first two people are are Jonathan patoshik and Jason Kopp and Jonathan started uh service auto part that’s the CRM that we use um and he had this thing which is is still around but he’s not involved in it anymore and it’s kind of changed it’s called Academy so a service autopilot Academy and so once a month we would get on these phone calls and he would teach us something whether it was marketing or to think bigger um you know there’s all these different things recruiting websites you know uh you know anything that you can think of we we talked about it and that went on for I don’t know six years maybe that he had that I joined my business is only six years old well we just finished our six seasons this will be our seventh season um but I joined in my second year in business and so um he is by far the I would say the number one person and he taught me to like whatever your thoughts are of business like think way bigger think light years down the road and how can you go get that because if you’re in the weeds thinking about like all the stuff that you have to do today you’re never going to get there but if you think about like what it is down the road and think way bigger um then you can kind of backtrack and then you find out what really is Meaningful right now you know is do you do you need to put out every little fire or do you need to put out the meaningful fires in your business and he’s like dude take those little fires give them to somebody else they’re not your problem they’re not thousand dollar an hour problems figure out the thousand dollar hour problems and go after them and so he was by far um he made me he taught me how to think which was incredible um and then Jason cup was by far the second the second best one him and him and uh Jonathan became really good friends and Jason would get on these uh Academy sessions from time to time and Jason is very much a uh HR guy he wrote our hand employee handbook he’s done financial consulting for us um and so he’s just been it’s unbelievable I’ve been to his house before and driven in his cars and you know like like these are now I would consider them friends yeah very cool so as you think about the next three to five years what are the biggest challenges that you see you’ll face in reaching your goals who are the types of people that you’re going to need to solve those challenges

well so the next three to five years is going to be definitely very challenging um we are kind of in the next year we will be fully through this transition um so post covered we decided we’re not going to be a maintenance company anymore which was a very easy business because you’re just selling labor and you never have accounts payable and inventory that you have to manage you’re just managing labor and every hour that they’re out out working you’re billing for that so you can and we build every single Monday with credit cards so it was easy to make payroll and now we’ve totally gotten rid of all those services and we’re only focused on lawn care that’s control Christmas lights and of those three businesses they are all 100 percent um inventory based businesses but with that comes higher margins with higher margins we can pay our team better we give meaningful benefits the last benefit that we still really want to offer is health care but it’s very hard to find a health care provider that will work with seasonal businesses to ensure our seasonal team members so that’s been a major challenge so that’s that’s a big roadblock because I think that they need that security um that type of Health Care yeah but once we get through this um transition which next year or you know 2023 will end that will be done with all the mulch and cleanups and uh leaves and snow and we’ll be fully on our three services um in 2025 we plan to open our second Market and so um it’s in a whole other state uh it is it’s only about an hour and a half away so it’s not going to be if you have to go you can go but you have to have all your systems dialed in you have to have an operation we have the operational manager that’s going to go there but that means we have to backfill them here yeah and we have to have all the capital set aside totally to be able to start that go to market uh if we’re going to acquire a company acquire the company you know everything it’s and it’s going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to do this right to do and to do it right and to to be able to go and launch fast um and so that’s going to be our biggest biggest challenges and what do you see in terms of the types of people that you’re going to need to overcome that

uh well I yeah I definitely can’t do it myself uh it’s having coaches and people that are in your corner that you trust and you know it’s even if the coach says like hey you know what I don’t necessarily know how to I don’t know all this but I’ll connect you with somebody that has done this thing that’s the best thing about a coach is when they can have the humility to also say you know what I don’t know yeah but I will put you in touch with somebody that does the worst thing that somebody can do is give you information that’s not true they don’t know 100 yeah so I’ll be in touch obviously with Jonathan and Jason to and we hired a CFO this year a fractional CFO and so he’s been very pivotal and totally transforming what I thought was a correct p l into his version of a correct p l which is unbelievable on every single service broken out with the labor assigned to each service so you really know what services are profitable what services aren’t profitable and being able to step forth the uh the plan to be able to save enough money to open that market so those three people are going to be very critical in our move very you know in our expansion plan wonderful um last question here Matt so Jim Rohn says that we become the average of the five people that we spend the most time on it so as you think about that what advice would you have for business owners who are trying to do it on their own who are you know are trying to become self-made and and aren’t doing the types of things that you’ve been describing throughout this interview

um I think the biggest roadblock if people not doing it is they try and learn too much about a service sometimes just go all in throw all your tips in and you have to swim if you sink or swim you’re gonna figure it out and if you have the drive to do that you’ll be successful like I’d 100 truly believe there’s not a um a problem that I can’t figure out anymore you know like after of owning a business um I I feel like I can figure out pretty much any problem that you put in front of me or I can figure out who I need to have on my team to figure out that problem and um sometimes that’s hiring that person or it’s going out and finding if you can’t hire that person maybe because they’re too expensive hire a coach like if you don’t have a coach I I don’t know anybody that’s I mean there’s probably very few people that are business owners that are truly successful that did it all on their own and if they did it was probably very slow growth and it was probably very painful you know and if you could hire somebody that could accelerate your growth and accelerate you through those very painful moments in business and say hey you know what like Jason gave a talk he said you know when you get to in the lawn care industry when you get to 500 000 you’re going to have this problem this problem and this problem you need to solve these three when you get to between 500 and a million that’s the most painful time of your lawn care business and you better have this this this and this because you have to hire ahead of actually needing these people but you really can’t super afford it at this time so your margins are going to be near nothing and then what you get from a million you know so these are people who have been around for so long that they understand right the industry and um you know so find somebody that can help you and have the humility to ask questions and just dive straight into something and don’t give up I love it that that uh persistence and and uh consistency and and persistence that’s something that my coach uh continues to to tell me is so that’s similar to what you’re saying is you know if you have the tenacity if you just keep at it right the you’re eventually it’s good you’re gonna get enough successes that it’s all going to work out and coaches have coaches yeah absolutely yeah yeah I mean the biggest companies in the world hires executive coaches because they don’t know what the heck they’re doing either in fact if you you know if you’re if people listening if you’re looking to hire a coach that should be one of your first questions is you ask the coach if they have a coach because if they don’t then that means they don’t believe in what their their service they’re providing so you shouldn’t hire them if they don’t have a coach themselves 100 100 one of the best best decisions I ever made was hiring a coach and you know they can they can take everything away from you your business everything but they can’t take your knowledge away from you so if you hire a coach and you learn all these things you could your business could fail they could take everything away from you you can go out and you can start something all over again right because you invested in the knowledge absolutely yeah we uh um we quote um oh my goodness I’m gonna miss his name now uh virgin who’s that guy who owns Virgin uh Brunson Russell Branson yeah Branson so what his quote says if you can learn how to run run one business well there’s no reason why you can’t run multiple businesses because the principles are the same so to your point once you understand the fundamentals the best practices have had to run great businesses then um we have clients who buy broken businesses and implement the best practices and that right and then have these you know multiple businesses that are all performing very well you know it’s really funny to mention that because I thought like hey you know what I what what I kind of go into retirement like I’m not going to want to like I don’t think that I’ll ever want to retire I think that sounds really boring but it’s like maybe we just go buy businesses that are so they think that they’re broken they just go and make a couple tweaks and they’re like sell them back to somebody like that just sounds really fun to me yeah yeah it’s I mean it’s it’s the same ideas as flipping houses right except you’re you’re flipping businesses yeah yeah absolutely so um last last uh thought here that I wanted to get your perspective on you’ve you’ve talked about a number of folks um who have impacted you and your business so it sounds like you’ve been blessed with some incredible people who have helped you along your journey so if they were all here on the show today what would you want to say to them oh man I’ve already told it to him uh it’s I would just want to shake their hand you know that there’s no words um I get emotional because of it I want to be here without them thank you I I appreciate uh your heart and your authenticity and and uh your words of wisdom today that other business owners will find incredibly valuable so Matt it’s been a pleasure uh speaking with you today and thank you so much for being on the show I appreciate it thanks for having me to everyone who tuned in thanks for listening to the self-made as a myth show with your host coach Tim cancel be sure to help us spread this Movement by liking the show and posting about it on your social media and to join our movement go to bmadtogether.com all right folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and I’ll see you all next time take care