Aiming to reach the $1-million mark

Aiming to reach the $1-million mark

A career change after 9/11 has Gabe Lobato going from a struggling landscaper to one who wants to grow.

March 7, 2018
Brian Horn

Goals. They can be very helpful if a business owner should have them and works to achieve them. But Gabe Lobato admits he has a fear of setting goals, so he’s never set them at his company.

“I’ve gone for so long not knowing how to set goals and, as things came and progressed, setting those goals and realizing those goals has not been the most natural thing,” he says. “The most natural thing is to push and do, and whatever comes, comes.”

Yet, lack of goal-setting hasn’t stopped Lobato from running a successful landscaping company in Tucson, Arizona. He started the company in 2004 after his lucrative career as an aviation instructor ended when layoffs in the industry occurred after 9/11.

After working on his own backyard landscaping project resulted in numerous trips to Home Depot where workers instructed him on what to do, he started to think about all the other people who were making the same trips.

With a daughter on the way, he and his wife began to think about starting a landscaping company that could help support their expanding family and allow his wife to stay home and raise their daughter. In late 2004, he opened La Cholla Landscaping and 14 years later has a company with 12 employees and $750,000 in revenue.

But now Lobato has pushed past his fear of goal-setting and set a few – delegating some of his responsibilities, breaking $1 million in revenue and eventually selling the company in five to seven years.

Read the full story from the February issue here.