Rusty's Corner: 5 Things I've Learned from The Master's

Fifteen years ago, I had a small idea. I wanted to create a landscape company that people loved doing business with. I knew that there were a lot of landscape companies in town but I thought that we could make a difference in the community by being hyper-focused on our client's needs. A decade and a half later, some of those clients are still with us today! I've been blessed (and humbled) with a great deal of lessons in these past 15 years, and I thought today I'd share some of what I've learned from 15 years in business:

1. Treat your clients well
Everyone wants to know what the "secret sauce" in business is. To be honest, it's really not much of a secret! I have found that having raving fans that have loved their experience with your company help get you loyal clients, word of mouth referrals, and an overall positive name around town. When we mess up - and I assure you it's going to happen, we're all human after all - we own it and try our best to make it right for our client. It's central to the mission of what we do here.

2. Treat your team better
The only way to make sure that your clients get treated well is to have a team that is treated better. And it isn't just about paying well, although that is certainly a factor. It's genuinely being appreciative for their hard work and effort and showing it through different ways. Every. Single. Day. The Master's is truly a team effort and I hold that fact very close to my heart always.

3. Givers Gain
Zig Ziglar' once said “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” and these words really resonate with me. I want our clients, our team, and vendors to be successful. It's something that I do very sincerely, but I believe that keeping this in mind and looking for win/win solutions has helped to translate into our overall success.

4. Never stop learning
In life, there are always new mountains to climb and challenges to overcome. Lately, mine has been wrangling a toddler to learn manners, so it isn't always regarding business. However, without reading, attending a conference, listening to a podcast, or speaking to someone who has been there and faced that challenge, you're left in the dark to overcome it. Many have walked before me and I try to gain as much from their wisdom as I can. Staying focused on learning has allowed me to climb some mountains that I never would have even reached the foothills of without the help of others.

5. Don't be the smartest guy in the room
This one is easy for me because the bar isn't very high! Many people want to be the smartest guy in the room. The person who has all the answers. I believe that if you are that person in the room, you need a better room. In our leadership team, in networking meetings, or in my Bible study group, I choose to surround myself with people that are better than me because it helps me to raise the bar.

I started out to write 5 lessons, but I think there is one more that I need to mention, and it may be the biggest lesson of all. In these 15 years I've learned that it's really important to love what you do. In some ways this has been the biggest surprise and the biggest blessing from these last 15 years.

I get to wake up every morning and go to work with a team that I am proud to work with, clients that I love to serve, and contribute in part to helping make Gainesville a more beautiful place to live. It has been a team effort every step of the way and I am looking forward to seeing what the future holds for The Master's Lawn Care.

Thank you for helping us reach this milestone!