Teen Mindset Magazine had the honor of interviewing Chase Gallagher, the owner of Buzz Cut Lawn Care. Despite having MPGN type 3, a rare glomerular disease, Chase Gallagher is chasing his dreams and not letting it define him. Read the inspirational interview below!
What inspired you to create your lawn service business?
“In the summer of 2013, I decided that I wanted to start my own business to make a little extra money. I had been watching many landscaping and business YouTubers like Geek to Freak and Lawncare Millionaire. I was inspired by them and saw an opportunity for myself to create a business in Chester County. I had been mowing my own lawn for years and wanted to continue on a larger scale. In 2013, I founded Buzz Cut Lawn Care and Landscape. I designed flyers and everyday I would go into different neighboods in my area and leave them in mailboxes and in doors. This really helped me begin to build my clientele and grow my business.”
What has owning a business taught you?
“Owning my own business has given me many life lessons. I learned skills like discipline, sales, marketing, money management, and team leadership. My work ethic fueled my productivity. I had hired a strong team and quickly learned how to delegate and get the work done. One of the biggest lessons I learned is to fully understand each project that I am getting myself into. One time, I agreed to power wash and stain a clients deck for a really good price. I thought that I could easily get it done with my crew. I did not realize how much time and effort it took to stain a deck. I constantly worked overtime for weeks and weeks. This project was in addition to all the other work I already had. Ultimentaly, I had to tell the client that I could not finish the project and refunded them their money. This taught me how to better manage my time and made me realize that I cannot spread myself too thin. I produce a quality service and will not sacrifice that for more money.”
How did you balance your education and owning a business?
“Balancing my education and business was not easy, but I can happily say that I did it! I would send out lawn care estimates and do office work during school hours. This way, I could focus on the physical work outside of school hours. I would mow lawns and complete my lawn care projects after school and on weekends. This past spring I finished high school and decided to focus on Buzz Cut full time. I have been able to further grow my business within the few short months I have been out of school because of the work I put into my business over the past 6 years.”
What challenges did you have to overcome with your business?
“I started my business when I was 13, so it took awhile for people to take me seriously. People always underestimate my ability because of my age. I was constantly working to prove myself to my own clients. I made sure that I upheld my reputation by continuing to teach myself the skills I needed to own this type of business. Also, being 13, I couldn’t drive myself to my clients homes. I had to hire my brother and his friends to drive me around for the first couple years. I additionally would say that hiring employees was difficult at such a young age. It was hard to find people willing to work for a 13 year old. With that said, I overcame my challenges, hired a strong team, and got my work done.”
What struggles have you had to deal with regarding MPGN type 3? How have you/ do you continue to overcome them?
“MPGN type 3 is an extremely rare disease with no cure whatsoever. I always have lots of doctors appointments that bring about new issues. The really hard part is that there are no answers to a lot of the problems and questions I have regarding this disease. This part scares me; I personally hate not knowing things. I underwent multiple surgeries, got lots of blood work (I hate needles), and gained some weight. I continue to push through and hope that one day a cure will be found. I get many opinions from different doctors to always get the best treatment. I look on the positive side of things to really keep myself going and focus on the little victories I have while fighting with MPGN.”
Did your struggles with having MPGN type 3 impact your business at all? If so, what effects did it have and how did you deal with each effect?
“Yes, my struggles with MPGN are always affecting my business. I took off of work to get the necessary surgeries I needed and also had to take time off to recover. I still have to take time out of work day to go to doctors appointments and get blood work. I would also say that all the unknown things and questions I have fill up my headspace during the day. I have to take time to refocus on the task at hand.”
How are you finding the strength to not let MPGN type 3 limit you or define who you are?
“I focus on working on my business and other large tasks rather than my disease. I know that I have it, but try my best to not let that get in my way. I am still doing the things I love and defining myself through my actions. MPGN is not who I am, I am way more than that. I am a businessman who likes to work hard and strategically in order to achieve my life goals.”
Why is your business important to you?
“My business is important to me because it keeps me busy, puts my name out there, makes me money, and ultimately sets me up for my future. My business also allows me to give others opportunities and serve my community. For example, I participate as a sponsor in my community’s yearly block party, I fund the Upper Uwchlan Police Youth Academy, and service my neighbors through the services I provide. I am making my community look better and increasing property values.”
What goals do you have for your business? How will you achieve them?
“My main goal for my business is to double my profit every year which will obviously get harder as the years go on. To do this I will need to have consistent work throughout the year and multiple full time team members. We will need to constantly give estimates, complete projects, work hard, and do it all over again. “
What advice do you have for youth out there who want to own their own business one day?
“Do what I did! Make a decision on what business you are starting and just go for it. Use the internet to learn about the business, skill and/or product. Another piece of advice would be to work as hard as possible and network. Finding people in your field is huge and most times, they will help you out as well.”
What advice do you have for teenagers who may have similar chronic illnesses like yourself but have big dreams?
“Stay positive and focus on a big goal that you have rather than your illness. Take your mind off of the illness because you are more than that; your illness does not define who you are. Keep pushing to accomplish your goals and dreams because I know that you can do it! Listen, with all the medical advances that are happening today, I firmly believe that things will get better for those experiencing chronic illnesses.”
Thank you Chase for Interviewing with Teen Mindset Magazine! It is always so inspirational to hear about youth you accomplishing things despite whatever obstacles they face. Thus you are not only an inspiration for youth who face MGN Type 3 but all youth who face challenges. Keep achieving your dreams and being an inspiration Chase!
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