Work Hard, Play Hard

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My grandfather taught me the foundation of being an entrepreneur: “work hard and play hard…but do them separately”. He built his reputation and fortune initially by cleaning septic systems (by hand), snow plowing, gardening and eventually by becoming the first gunite pool builder in Connecticut. He ingrained in us a work ethic that is both simple and profound, and yet rare in its application.

One exception to this rarity is A+ Lawn & Landscape, Des Moines, Iowa. They have achieved a high level of success by working hard and being accountable every day, and celebrating their employees and team spirit every month.  One of the company’s monthly festivities includes a dunk-the-boss (and managers) tank.

I have gotten to know the managing partner, Shawn Edwards, very well over the years. He is a member of my Leader’s Edge landscape peer group and also my Irrigation Leaders peer group, and his firm was awarded The Mighty Oak last year for Outstanding Achievement.  He lives my grandfather’s spirit (after spending a few days with Shawn, I usually need a nap 🙂

Irrigation Leader’s peer group, in Las Vegas. Shawn Edwards in middle.

My grandfather left school at 8th grade to become the breadwinner in his family after his parents died. But it wasn’t until us grandkids started attending college did he update his motto of work hard play hard to include “study hard”. The trifecta of success.

Shawn and his partners follow this simple recipe, with brilliant success and high-profit results.

What is your philosophy that drives your team forward towards success?

Jeffrey’s Breakthrough Idea: The times have changed, but the road to success requires the same 3 ingredients: hard work, a studious approach, and taking time to celebrate one’s success.

Take Action: If anyone has problems getting employees to show up to a party, read this article featuring A+ Lawn & Landscape, here.

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