Editor’s Note: Thanks to you

Headshot: Marisa Palmieri
Headshot: Marisa Palmieri

I love the landscape industry, which I’ve been fortunate to cover for about a decade, all told. I love my team at LM. Of course, I love my two daughters and husband more, and it is time for me to tip the scales on work/life balance in my family’s favor. So, in 2019, I’m taking a step back from my full-time role as editor of LM and editorial director of North Coast Media. I’ll be working part time from home as special projects editor for LM. I’ll also be helping second and third graders with their writing at my daughters’ school, coaching my girls’ sports teams and volunteering with their Girl Scout troops.

As I’ve shared my career change with people over the past few months, so many of you have shared with me that your family made a similar decision at one point or that family flexibility was the reason you started your own business in the first place. Thank you for the encouragement.

If it’s true, as motivational speaker Jim Rohn is credited with saying, that we are the average of the five people we spend most of our time with, I’d like to think I’ve picked up a little bit of what the landscape industry has to offer during the years I’ve been immersed in it. I realize an industry isn’t the same as a person, but the landscape market does have a distinct persona that I respect, admire and have learned so much from.

Lessons learned

For instance, I’m so grateful to have learned that we control our own destinies. Many of the most successful, most interesting landscape professionals I know have prospered with no formal education or training in business or in landscaping. They simply started mowing lawns and never looked back. When my 9-year-old daughter, Sadie, asked me how she could earn her own money this summer, I steered her away from a one-time lemonade stand or rummage sale. Because I’ve had the opportunity to interact with so many inspiring entrepreneurs, I knew to encourage her to think bigger (i.e., recurring revenue). She came up with the idea to take out and bring in our neighbors’ trash cans for a dollar apiece. She is happy to collect $3 per week from a few neighbors, and she knows she can earn more if she wants to just by getting more customers. This is just one small example, but my point is the American dream is alive, and I’m thankful to have witnessed it firsthand from you so I can pass the message along.

I’m also grateful for learning that it’s OK to shift gears in business and in life. I’ve met business owners who have transformed their companies and their lives when they saw new opportunities. Maybe they started in mowing and changed to lawn care when they learned there were higher margins to be had. Maybe they began working for someone else, learning and saving, until they could make it on their own. Or maybe they worked in a different field entirely but followed their heart to launch a landscape company doing what they loved. These transformation stories instilled in me the confidence to make a career change and the knowledge that if it doesn’t work out, I can change my mind again.

I’m so grateful to have learned these lessons so I can pursue a slower pace of life with the people I love. Thank you.

Marisa Palmieri

Marisa Palmieri

Marisa Palmieri is an experienced Green Industry editor who's won numerous awards for her coverage of the landscape and golf course markets from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA), the Press Club of Cleveland and the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE). In 2007, ASBPE named her a Young Leader. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Journalism, cum laude, from Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism.

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