Rusty Thompson of The Master’s Lawn Care has been serving the people of Gainesville for 16 years.
Thompson was raised on a farm in Melrose. He always assumed he would follow his family’s footsteps and go into real estate, but when his father passed away his junior year of high school, his career plans changed. He went into retail store management, didn’t see a future in it and knew it was time to do what he always wanted: start his own business.
In 2004, with his love for being outdoors and his knowledge of doing landscaping for his father’s realty business, The Master’s Lawn Care was founded.
From an ad in the yellow pages, he got his first client. After finishing his first lawn, Thompson placed his company sign in their front yard and received a phone call after phone call. He became full-time after signing on Buchholz High School, who is still a client today. Over his 16 years in business, he has grown his team, strengthened his leadership style and established a company culture.
In 2015, he started hiring for character and training for skill. His business transformed when he began focusing on finding people who are humble, hungry and people smart.
“If they’re hungry, they can learn anything. If they’re humble, they don’t think they know it all so they can learn anything, and when they deal with their team members, if they’re people smart, they know how to build a positive culture.”
Thompson sees it as his responsibility to not only help his team develop professionally but to help them grow personally. Each winter, he does personal development classes with his team. Most of the courses focus on finances, the basics of money management and the freedom that comes with being debt-free. He also brings in relationship coaches to help his team improve their relationships with their spouses, partners and family members. He values people with lawn-care skills but believes without personal progress, a person can’t provide their greatest value to a team.
“If their life is in shambles outside of work, their work-life is gonna be in shambles too.”
Although there are multiple lawn-care service companies out there, Thompson doesn’t consider others his competitors. He believes there are so many opportunities out there. Each company can make a difference when offering a good service at the right price.
“If you offer a good service with professionalism, people are gonna come.”