© St. Petersburg Times, published March 20, 2002
Rick Therrien, 49, Owner, Rick's Lawn Care; Seminole resident
How long have you been doing this?
How did you get into it?
I used to sell real estate, and I started cleaning up some properties that needed it before they were sold.
What do you charge for the average yard?
About $80 a month.
How many employees do you have?
Just me. I had employees for many years, but it got to be too much trouble. Too many transient people: here today, gone tomorrow. I just depend on myself now; it's less stressful that way.
How do you market your business?
It's all word of mouth. I just take neighbors of accounts I already have. I turn down about 90 percent of potential new clients.
What's your favorite part of the job?
I love working outside.
What's the worst part of the job?
It's very demanding. I can't take two weeks off; I've never taken off more than one week at a time, and I've never taken a sick day. This stuff doesn't go away.
What's a good customer?
One that doesn't follow you around and pays on time.
What's a bad customer?
Exactly the opposite.
What's the best day you've ever had on this job?
That's a tough one. They're all pretty good. I get along with all my accounts.
What's the worst day you've had?
When the equipment breaks down -- that's the worst.
Do you have a favorite piece of equipment?
I'd have to say the extended pole trimmer. That thing saves me an awful lot of work.
What happens to all those leaves you blow?
Oh, you've got to rake it up. It goes in the Dumpster or the trash can. I don't just blow them into the street.
What was the first job you ever had?
Cutting meat at a supermarket. I did that for 14 years.
What other job do you dream of having?
I enjoy what I do, so it's nothing I've thought of.
If someone wanted advice about taking on this job, what would you tell them?
Be willing to put in a lot of hours, rain or shine, Saturdays and Sundays.