With Fathers day just around the corner, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share some thoughts from the founder of Dr. Green and my Dad, Lou Van Haastrecht. Since I was a young kid I have always heard his words of wisdom, and as I got older I actually started listening to him! I am proud to be called his daughter and wouldn’t be who I am or be able to do what I love without him. I hope you enjoy this informal chat about his experiences creating Dr. Green to what it is now.
What made you decide to start your own business?
I went to business school. Afterwards, I got an ordinary job to support my family. I always wanted to run something myself but when I turned 30 I thought I was too old so it was now or never.
Why did you choose lawncare?
I decided to go to a trade show to take a look at the options out there and get ideas. Lawn care sparked my interest because I knew I wanted to do something outside and I felt that it was a great way to have a small business, support my family and enjoy it at the same time.
Now that you’re retired, what challenges do you think the family business has to face that wasn’t a concern when you were actively involved?
I think they are all similar concerns to be honest. But, it is a learning curve that you can’t be taught but rather you have to experience. The important piece of the puzzle is to learn from your mistakes and continually get better with each lesson. If you follow this simple formula you’ll never lose.
What piece of advice do you want to pass on to the next generation of the Dr. Green family?
Work hard, treat your customers well, and respect your staff. Always strive to be better. Pretty simple when you boil it down.
Where do you see Dr. Green in 10 years?
I see Dr. Green as a company that will have fully developed under a new generation of management and I see it as a successful business that has evolved into a new time.
Do you have any advice for our customers to get the best out of lawncare?
Teamwork. It doesn’t matter whether it is 1985 or 2021, a partnership with our customers drives the best results. We can come out and apply the products, give advice and provide solutions but without that partnership those things will only take us so far to a beautiful lawn.
Let’s get real here, who’s your favourite kid?
*chuckle* You of course! No question! In all honesty though, I’m proud of all of my children and their accomplishments whether they are within our family business or outside of it. Each person brings their own unique perspective and qualities and it’s been amazing to watch you all grow up.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I have had a great career. I never knew I was making the right choice while I was involved but upon reflection I am very thankful and grateful to our customers for allowing us to be a part of making their home a better place and willing to take a chance on a young, 30 year old with a dream. Also, I am very thankful to be working with a generation of younger people to be able to pass on my experiences but also learn from them to keep me young.
Happy Father’s day to every kind of dad out there. We would not be the people we are today without you!