Gotta Love Gainesville!

Something a little different for this edition of Rusty's Corner. As a life-long local, there is so much that I love about our hometown - We get to enjoy the outdoors year-round, from beautiful springs to amazing parks, with a great small community atmosphere and of course, The Florida Gators. Today I thought I'd mention Five of my favorite local things to do in Gainesville!

1. The University of Florida Campus - No surprise to anyone that knows me, I am a huge fan of the the Gators. Football games and tailgating come in first on my list, but there is so much more to do here. Basketball, Baseball, and Softball games, concerts and live entertainment and even just strolling around campus taking in the architecture and history. If sports aren't on your list of favorite past-times, you have working out running stadiums in The Swamp, riding your bike around Lake Alice, or stop by and check out the bats coming out of the bat houses in the evening. It would be hard to run out of...

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Finding Balance

Every business has a season and for us, summer is definitely the time of year that tests your mettle and wears your family's patience thin. Days start early and run long and weather wreaks havoc on carefully planned schedules. We all have these times in life where the hours are short and the list of things we need to get done is unending.

Today I thought I'd share a few tips that might help to ensure we are aiming towards keeping some balance in our lives.

  • Schedule a weekend to do nothing - I believe that we all need a bit or real down time. This isn't something that I have to opportunity to do often, but now and then a weekend with absolutely nothing on the calendar is deeply recharging!
  • Play to your Strengths - As much as I might like to tell myself that I can do everything, it's simply not true. And the reality is that there are people in my life who have skills and talents that are greater than mine. Focus your efforts on those tasks where you have
  • ...
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Habit 4: Seeking the Win-Win

As I'm continuing reading through the "7 Habits of Highly Successful People," the habit I'm rereading about now is seeking the Win-Win in every relationship. So many people think that everything has to be a winner take all ending, or end in a win-lose outcome. For me to win, someone else has to lose. Although that is true in sports (except in the age of everyone getting a trophy), it is not true in relationships.  Client relationships and even competitor relationships do not have to work that way.

For example, our company competes with a well-known Pest Control company in Gainesville for Lawn Spraying services, and they are one of the biggest in our area. For us to grow and take market-share - it will need to be from them at some point. There are a lot of times when we are providing an estimate for the same client trying to earn their business. Adversarially, that is a win-lose relationship. Either we get the business or they do.

However, if...

Being Proactive

Summer is here. In our industry the next few months are the most demanding. It’s a time when we learn if we’ve done enough work in preparation to minimize the complications today. The question really is “Have we been proactive?”

Being proactive is something we talk about quite often here at The Master’s. In fact, it’s one of the core values that we touch on with the team on a regular basis and is printed out on a large banner in our shop. But what does being proactive really mean when it comes to our personal lives?

For me, proactive planning in my life has evolved over the years. It started out with tried and true checklist for the day. What didn't get done got moved to the next to-do list. I was being proactive with my day, but it didn’t go much further than there. I soon discovered how much more effective it was for me to plan my days with my web calendar.

This was certainly a step in the right direction, I was now looking more at my week as a whole, rather...

The Difference Between Scarcity and Abundance

I’ve been reading Steven Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People again, and I am really soaking in the concepts that he talks about of scarcity and abundance.

Here is what he says about scarcity: “Most people… see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everybody else.”

At the opposite end of the spectrum we have the abundance mindset. Here is how Covey describes it: “The Abundance Mentality… is the paradigm that there is plenty out there and enough to spare for everybody. It results in sharing of prestige, of recognition, of profits, of decision-making. It opens possibilities, options, alternatives, and creativity.”

Stepping away from a focus on scarcity and cultivating an abundance mentality is a challenge. It’s one that I struggle with literally every day. It’s easy to focus on the things that I...

Rusty's Corner: Discipline Equals Freedom

These are questions I hear often:

  • "How do you wake up so early?"
  • "How do you make yourself go to the gym every day?"
  • "How do you stay out of debt?"
  • How do you have a weekly date night?

The answer can be summed up into 1 quote from Jocko Willink - Discipline. Equals. Freedom.

Forcing yourself to do difficult and uncomfortable things gives you the freedom to do things you couldn't do otherwise.

Waking up early gives you time and focus because you beat the world to the punch. 

A challenging workout gives you endorphins and energy to tackle your day. 

Saving money will give you the ability to own things you never could've, and without a bank owning you. 

Prioritizing my wife and our marriage weekly gives us a better relationship to tackles life's trials.

Sure, all of the above things are abnormal, and that's why they get questioned. Normal is broke. Normal is...

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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...

Rusty's Corner: Being Thankful in Hard Times

I lost my father at a young age - 16 years old to be exact. Before he passed, there was no warning or preparation time. It was sudden and unexpected. It was truthfully my first real challenge in life, and I was understandably really struggling with this. I was heartbroken and full of questions and hurt that this man who was so important to me could be taken so quickly.

Some time later I was fortunate enough to hear some words that helped me see a different perspective. In a conversation someone told me that they had struggled with some of the same frustrations and pain, not from losing a father, but because they had never gotten the chance to meet their father. They told me that Instead of being angry and focusing on that, they chose to focus on the gift of having been provided such a great mother instead. It didn't change the circumstances, but it changed their way of seeing them. And that brought some comfort and peace.

This single conversation really helped shift...

Lessons from 2018

Another year has flown by! I like to start the year reflecting on the big lessons that I need to carry with me into the new year. Here are the top 5 lessons I've learned, in my business and in my person life, that I'll try to stay mindful of in 2019.

It goes by so quickly. This is one I am even more acutely aware of as the father of a now one year old son who seems to grow by leaps and bounds. There is so much to take in and we have to stop and make sure to enjoy and appreciate it all.


Don't let failure go to your heart, or success go to your head. I've been blessed in my business and my personal life to have a lot of wins, and I've been humbled by some losses. I will try to stay focused on the middle ground where it's more slow and more steady, rather than those extremes.


Whatever you do, do it with intention. It doesn't matter as much what goals we set for ourselves, rather how intentional we are...

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Deepest Gratitude

I try my best to practice gratitude not just now, but throughout the year. I try to be mindful of the blessings in my life. I have a wonderful family including my wife and my one year old son, some wonderful friends and of course this organization. The Master's has been fortunate in 2018 to experience growth on our team and on our list of clients. We recently relocated to a new location to accommodate this growth.

I am deeply aware that this growth and success is 100% in thanks to our clients throughout the years who have chosen The Master's Lawn Care and trusted us to care for their yards. In this season of Thanksgiving I send the deepest appreciation on behalf of the entire TMLC team for your support. It is our honor to serve you and we will do our best to continue to earn your trust every day. Wishing you a holiday filled with family, peace and friendship!

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