Fire Department in January 2011 in the Explorer entry program which is designed for younger people interested in becoming firefighters.
The program grew an interest in Scott to seek further education after high school. He then set his eyes on the Fire Medic program at Lakeshore Technical College.
It was during his senior year of high school, with almost six years of work experience behind him, that Scott finally started to see his business as a legitimate opportunity for his future.
Kiel agriculture teacher David Friend asked Scott if he had interest in an FFA scholarship opportunity called the Supervised Agricultural Experience (SEA) program.
The scholarship required a 26-page application which detailed Scott’s story, his work experience, and ambitions in entrepreneurship and turf-management.
“The application was really easy to fill out and was almost just a fill in the blank for me,” Scott said. “It came down to everything I had already been doing for the past few years and made me realize how much experience I really had.”
Wins the state scholarship
Scott’s entry would go on to win the local and sectional competitions and send him to the state level where he competed in the top 10. After competing with entries from across the state, Scott was awarded the first place scholarship in Wisconsin, in front of an audience of over 3,000 people.
“I competed against a lot of really amazing people and a lot of impressive presentations,” Scott said. “That was kind of the push I needed to really believe that what I was doing could go somewhere. Mr. Friend was a big help in making me realize that there were a lot of things in my favor moving forward.”
With his senior year coming to an end, Scott had a few local businesses and organizations— including the Kiel Soccer Club—looking for estimates.
On March 20, 2012, months before his high school graduation, the young entrepreneur took out a business loan and made it official. With the confidence and support of his family and teachers, Scott decided that he would go forward with his business instead of college at LTC.
While seeking a loan to buy new equipment and a better vehicle to service his clients, the bank told Scott that they needed a little more security in the investment. Scott then found an additional full-time job as a security guard at The
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Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. Scott was now working two jobs and finishing high school at the same time.
“It was a pretty tough schedule to get to where I needed to be,” Scott said. “I got up at 7 a. m. and was at school until about 1:30 p. m. From there I would take care of my lawn customers until 3:30 p. m. With a bag of clothes in the truck, I’d head to the Osthoff at 4 p. m. and work until midnight. Then I’d get up and do it all over again the next day.”
Along the learning curve, Scott’s work ethic and diligent schedule challenged him to achieve all he could at such a young age.
Building a four-seasons business
Scott knew that he did not want to run a seasonal operation and needed equipment to provide snow removal services in the winter.
“When I invested in new equipment for the business, I made sure I was setting up for a year-round operation,” Scott said.
A new truck, tractor, and some lettering from JB Signs in New Holstein turned a hobby into a full-blown business operation.
Scott’s Lawn Service currently offers lawn cutting, spring and fall clean up, stone sweeping, spraying and fertilizing, tree and shrub trimming, brush removal, sidewalk edging, thatching, rolling, aerating, and snow removal.
For Scott, having quality equipment was not his only goal. He also knew he wanted to provide the best service for his customers.
He said, “Everything you buy has a warranty on it. I knew that my services would be handled the same way. That has always been my biggest goal. I take a lot of pride in the work we do and am proud to put my name behind it.”
In 2013, friendly competitor Cyril Schmitz of Schmitz Lawn Service was looking to retire. With a list of clients that needed maintaining, Schmitz began to refer his clients to Scott for future work.
“I really looked up to Cyril and molded a lot of what I did around things he was doing. I don’t know where I’d be without him,” Scott said. “I have a lot to thank him for.”
2013 continued to be a busy year for Scott and led him to hire some summer help to keep up with his growing workload.
“I did as much advertising as I could afford and was trying to keep as much of