Photo by Ēriks Irmejs on Unsplash

“ARE YOU SERIOUS!?” 13 hours of moving brick

The words that came out of my mouth when my Dad said we’d be working from 7 am to 8 pm back when I was in highschool. (I also worked for him when I was in middle school, too)

13 hours of moving brick in a clients backyard. We were unloading brick from a trailer, carefully placing them in a wheelbarrow, then cautiously wheeling the wheelbarrow into the backyard where we would then place each brick in a precisely stacked pile. 

This job took about a week to complete and it felt like we moved thousands and thousands of bricks. 

I hated this. But I wanted the money so I could fund my video game addiction, so I did it. 

My Dad was a landscape contractor and i’d often work with him on the weekends and during the weeks during the summer as he needed the help, and I was not playing sports, so I had the time. 

We would dig trenches to prepare for the installation of sprinkler systems, use a steel wedge to pound and break up concrete, lay backyard tile, put in new lawns for homes, plant flowers, lay tanbark, mow lawns, blow the leaves, and pick them up so that the homes and apartment complexes were spick and span. 

Writing about this it feels like it was another lifetime ago. 

The work that we did, and due to the suggestion that I do maintenance (lawn mowing and such) compelled me to start my own business, lawn mowing and maintenance for our neighbors on the street and on surrounding streets that we lived on. 

Every weekend, I’d get my lawnmower, line trimmer, and blower, and I’d walk around the neighborhood, mowing, trimming, and blowing my customer’s yards. It was decent money, but I hated it. I’d much rather have been playing Runescape or some other video game. 

I certainly could have expanded my business if I had just gone door to door and asked if people had wanted my services, as I likely did an equal or better job than their gardener, and I was cheaper.  

This just wasn’t something I was interested in. All the while, my younger brother was learning to code and figuring out how to make websites. At the time I just thought it was cool, I didn’t see it as an economic opportunity to build a skill set like that. Now I realize what I missed! Ha. 

I don’t regret the experiences I had as much of the hard work in the summer sun hardened me and taught me how to work hard, but, if I were to go back, I would also have worked on learning either coding, marketing, sales, or all three. This just wasn’t on my radar, and no one in my circle was talking about it.

Moral of the story: keep learning, keep growing, learn to be able to work hard (and smart of course).