In the years before I went off to Seattle for school, I maintained a yard maintenance business in my neighborhood. It consisted of me, an occasional friend, and my mower. It grew over the years and I collected equipment, clients, and a good amount of cash. I had it down, I mapped the fastest route, had all the numbers, had a place to mount my edger, even my binder where I kept track of everyone’s account.
As I began the second or third summer of doing this, I noticed that something was holding me back: My old mower. It had served me well, but I knew the time had come.
Next came the biggest decision in my tiny company’s history: What to do about a new mower? I researched and agonized over the decision, considered the cheapest, the most expensive, looked for discounts and deals, spent some time online, even asked the owner of a landscape company his opinion.
I eventually decided on a beautiful red Toro that set me back almost half a grand, but I was proud of my macked out new mower.
That seems like forever ago now and I am no longer mowing lawns, but the other day when my dad went out to cut our grass, guess which red beauty he pulled out of the garage? It still runs like a champ and it let me know that I made the right decision when I invested in that mower and in my company. It allowed me to get done with my jobs faster, leave a better cut, saved me money on fuel, and is still serving proudly to this day.
It is the best investment I have ever made, aside from only my education and my car. It turned out that way because I truly cared about the investment I was making. I cared enough to put in all the time and energy to ask questions and do the research.
With investments it is important to look at the bottom line, but if it is truly something you want to invest in, you have to care enough to do everything possible to make the right decision. If not losing money is enough, great, if the person you are investing in is someone you trust, great, but remember that with an investment you are saying you believe and in order to believe, you have to be willing learn everything that you can. Invest in all your investments.