Ramona Mullins’ husband, Wesley, was tired of being away from the couple’s daughters and the amount of relocating he had to do as a helicopter mechanic, so in 2016, they made a bold move.
“My oldest was going into high school and we just decided to basically sell everything that we owned and downsize and start over again,” says the co-owner of Mullins Lawn Enforcement in Clarksville, Tennessee, a company she started in 2010. ”So, we sold all of our earthly possessions except for our business things and a camper and moved to a campground and actually bought a campground four months later and started that business.” Wesley ended up joining Ramona at the landscaping company while they also opened up an engine shop a couple of years ago. Here’s Mullins’ average day.
Usually, I’m up and at it around 5 or 5:30 a.m. and my regular routine is getting my family out the door. Workday starts probably at 6 a.m., getting the guys ready, getting the trucks loaded up and then they head out. It’s kind of a hectic morning. I get up, I make breakfast, I get the guys out the door, then get my daughter out the door and then I go right back into the next layer of the business, which is the shop that gets open.
The commute to work is right next door because we live and breathe our businesses. The landscape business is right next door to the equipment business. I literally just go take my daughter to school five minutes away and then come back and open up the doors to the store.
The first hour of my day is just checking all the emails, making sure that nothing got missed, nobody got missed and calling people, letting them know that their machines are ready. The morning stays pretty busy with people coming in and out, and they’re buying things or bringing things in to be checked in for repairs.
It’s definitely a working lunch. I have a fridge in here with my sandwiches and everything in there. That way I can eat in between the tasks that I’m doing. In between everything that I’m doing here, I manage all the calls still for the landscaping company. I still do all the quotes for the landscaping company. The engine shop is closed Sundays and Mondays. So, I go out in the field with them either on Mondays or Saturdays — planting, mowing, whatever is needed in order to catch up from rain.
Post lunch, I do all of the scheduling for the next day for them. So I create their schedules for probably the next couple of days.
(My husband) has only really been out there running the crew for the past three years. I stay involved in all of the creation that has to do with the landscaping out there. So, he’ll FaceTime me and get my input and make sure the plants are where I want them to be — if there’s anything that I’ve seen that I need, that I want cleaned up or touched up like branches or dead trees in the yard, etc.
(I stop) usually around 4:30 p.m. At the beginning of the season, it can vary because that’s when we get a lot of calls and a lot of quotes and estimates.
I used to check emails all night, but not anymore. I’ve had to set boundaries because now with two businesses, you can get easily swallowed into people pleasing, which I’m very big on. I put my phone on silent. At dinner time, 7 p.m. at the latest, it will just turn itself to silent mode and not bother me.
I usually go to bed around 10 p.m., wind down around 9 p.m. and watch a show or something, you know, just spend time together.
Saturday is a normal work day for us because the shop is open on Saturdays and we run two businesses with five employees, so we definitely do six days until about November. We really take our breaks in November, December and January. That’s when we take a lot of time off and regroup.