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Don't mind the Christmas Tree in the background, I'm not smart enough to edit it out, and I haven't got any fancy professional photos done. But, This is me, Stephen Shaw, in my most recent form. (slightly out of shape from too many snacks.)

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My Story

My Entrepreneurial Journey Began When I Was Fired From A Job…


I couldn’t even say goodbye to my co-workers, I was escorted right out of the door… But let me start from the beginning. 


I was working for a telecommunication company and had been there for about 7 years. I moved around within the company to different departments and ended up in the business sales department. 


I was feeling unfulfilled and knew climbing the corporate ladder wasn’t for me. For a long time I wanted to start my own business so I could have full control of my life, and make more money.


But I didn’t know what I could do or how I would do it. I didn't have any other skills other than some time in college for an IT computer class I didn’t even graduate from. 


I had friends and friends of friends that were driving brand new ¾ and 1 ton trucks. I have always dreamed of owning a brand new Ram 3500. 


So I looked at what they were doing and one of them was running a landscaping business. “That’s it!” I thought.


I figured I would just start by mowing lawns and figure out all the landscaping construction stuff later. So I started thinking up business names, learning different mowing techniques. 


But I never made the jump from the corporate job to running my own business. I always had that nagging thought in the back of my head “what if I fail?” 


Until one day, I was sitting in my cubicle working and the vice president asked me to come into his office. “Sure” I said as I got up and followed him to his office.

My termination of employment letter

Sitting in his office was someone from the HR department, she was very nervous. 


As I sat down at the table with the vice president and the woman with HR, she started reading my termination of employment paper with a tremble in her voice. 


When she was done talking, the VP went back to my desk and got my things, then escorted me out of the door. 


So there I was standing outside of the door. I was shocked, confused, maybe even a little hurt. 


I remember the drive home feeling so long. “How could they just fire me after working for them for so long?” I thought.


Turns out, all they have to do is a bit of “restructuring” and you’re gone.


After a few days of processing what happened and trying to figure out what I should do next, I decided that this would be the perfect time to start my own landscaping business like I had wanted.

So there I was, running my new landscaping business with no skills in landscape construction, and no skills in running a business. 


The only thing I knew how to do was mow lawns, and I just learned the landscaping construction side of things as I was going. 


A few years have passed... Although I was keeping busy and moving on to bigger landscaping jobs, I was broke.


I can remember at one point being so stressed about money, my house mortgage was due and I didn’t know how I was going to pay it. 

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I ended up in the hallway of my house on my knees in tears...


this is a new low for me, I felt like a complete failure. 


I was ready to throw in the towel and that winter, I got a job as a car salesperson. 


Over the next 6 months I spent selling cars and was able to put some money back in my bank account. 


I met some great people, but by the time spring rolled around, I was done working for someone else. 


After being an entrepreneur for a few years, it was really hard to go back to working for someone else. 


So that spring, I quit my job as a car salesman, and got back to doing landscaping. 

A picture of me when I was selling cars, you can see the people in the background who I just sold a car to

I became obsessed... I starting reading as many books as I could about business.


I starting following very successful business people on social media and listening to everything they had to say.


I took some business courses and I got coaching from people.


This changed my company completely.


After years of struggling, I was finally able to have success with my landscaping business and I didn't have to worry about money anymore.


My business started to grow, I was able to buy trucks, trailers, excavators, equipment, and I made my dreams into a reality.

After running my own contracting business for close to a decade, I decided I wanted to help other contractors who may be experiencing problems like I have. So I started Contractor Academy.


Need some help with your contracting business? Book a free strategy session now...

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