August 15, 2010

By Jacki Hart CLP
Prosperity Partners program manager

Jacki HartLast month I had an opportunity to catch up with one of the Prosperity Partners program graduates, Frank Selles of Framar Landscape and Maintenance Contracting of Richmond Hill. It tugged me back down memory lane, resulting in me asking why I started working on this program in the first place.

Frank and I have both been jerked from our businesses at a time we thought we could least afford it. In hindsight, we are both so much the better for it. When Frank took the Build Your Prosperity and Prosperity Best Practices workshops, he listened to my story of having a ‘full stop’ in my business six years ago, due to health reasons. He tells me of a little note to himself he had made from learning of my journey, and thought, “One of these days, I should step back and reconsider what I’m doing.”

One of these days arrived in spring 2010. Frank was forced to shift his focus from the frantic pace of business this spring, to care for his ailing parents. Sadly, Franks’ parents both passed away in late spring. Now that he’s had a chance to reflect and re-prioritize, his outlook on business is very, very different.

Ran business with a passion

For many years, Frank worked intensely and exhaustively in his business, developing the construction and maintenance divisions until he had a staff of 25. In typical landscaper form, he ran his business with passion and determination, flat out, until without realizing it, the business was running him. Frank is not alone. The majority of us (me included for my first 15 years in business) continue to run ourselves ragged, racing from site to site, meeting to meeting, drive-thru to drive-thru, not knowing where profits are coming in the door, or going out the window.

This year, Frank has scaled his business back to focus strictly on maintenance, and to quote him directly, “We are going back to basics, to seven staff, where I know everything that’s happening. And to be honest, we are making just about the same money.”

Frank realized that not all of the work his company was doing was profitable work. He realized that spending time with his kids (ages eight through 12) is both a pleasure and important. He also realized that he couldn’t remember the last time he and his family sat on the deck relaxing, until the mosquitoes drove them inside. Frank is now on the true path to prosperity. It’s a path that includes interests outside the landscape industry, which for Frank includes singing in a men’s choir, performing at many large venues around Ontario. I can tell you that this transition has Frank looking 10 years younger! Stress is no longer deeply etched in his expression.

Re-inventing your lifestyle

By stepping back and re-inventing his lifestyle, and his business, Frank is well on the way to a better work/life balance, a healthier company, and a healthier Frank. By visiting his website,, it’s easy to see he is a competent landscape contractor, and that he could easily re-establish the construction division of his business at any point in time should he want to. Frank is on a new path now — one with perspective, clear vision, strong purpose, and unwavering core values.

I cannot express how great it is to hear this story, and to know that the founding principles of the Prosperity Partners program are working to make a difference — one company at a time. When Frank told me that he used his notes, the Prosperity Tools, and seminar materials to help him on this journey, it just reaffirms for me and the Landscape Ontario prosperity team that we truly are offering the best owner-based training available. We want you to work SMARTER, not harder. In fact, we know that when you learn how to work smarter, you will make more money, with less effort and stress.

Step into your Prosperity journey. Join us by taking the Build Your Prosperity seminar this fall. The next date is Nov. 18 at LO’s home office in Milton.  For more information, go to

Jacki Hart may be reached at