Menifee teenager Bailey Gorgas may play Xbox as much as any other boy, but his motivation to make money demonstrates that he is clearly ahead of the game.
A couple of weeks ago the 13-year-old entrepreneur embarked on a part-time yard maintenance job that serves residents of Heritage Lake, where he lives. Recently dubbed “Bailey’s Mowing Service,” Bailey offers to mow neighborhood yards for a price that won’t weed out your wallet.
For $5.00 for the front and $8.00 for the front and backyard, Bailey regularly mows local lawns with his John Deere push lawnmower. He doesn’t edge or weed, but he sweeps the driveway and sidewalk after he’s finished. If he’s hired on a Wednesday, he will even wheel out his customers’ trashcans to be picked up the next day.
Bailey’s labor of lawn mowing began when his parents refused to pay for the expensive Xbox 360 videogames he wanted. They instead encouraged him to start earning his own cash to replenish his game collection. The Aiken’s original incentive was to pay their son to mow their own lawn, but Bailey had a better idea.
“It was meant for him to really get out there and work for his money,” said his mother Tesha Aiken, a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker and events coordinator for Heritage Lake. “Anytime he wants money he’ll do odds and ends around town, but this is something that has been more steady for him.”
|Menifee resident Bailey Gorgas, 13, takes a bike ride around Heritage Lake to check up on the|
lawns he regularly mows with his business, "Bailey's Mowing Service."
His mother serves as an integral part to the success of his small business. She helps her son find clients and set up weekly work schedules to keep track of all his appointments. Being a teenager, Bailey exclusively works within his community where he can get around either by foot or bike, and he is only available Tuesday through Friday. Depending on how far a resident in need of a mow lives, he will sometimes have to use their equipment.
Aiken also established rules for him to abide by while on the job. Bailey is not allowed inside customers’ houses, he must always be clothed appropriately for his safety, and being late is unacceptable.
Bailey is expected to be working for 11 returning customers by the end of the month. “He’s built a friendship and trust with these people,” Aiken said. “Everybody I run across tells me he does an excellent job on their lawns because he’s very precise.”
Between gigs with his clientele he offers one-time mows for onlookers. “When he walks along the street with his lawnmower, people will let him mow their lawn because it’s quick, it’s only $5, and it helps out,” said Aiken. This work has also scored Bailey other stipend chores, such as feeding his neighbor’s pets while they’re on vacation.
Mowing lawns is Bailey’s first major job. He discovered he was a natural with the lawnmower after he learned how to use it from his stepfather Alex Aiken, a corporate salesman for E-Z UP. Now Bailey has a goal to mow between 12 and 15 lawns per week.
Half of all the money he earns goes into a savings account, and $2.00 a week is put towards gas money for his mower. Bailey plans on saving the remaining money for his favorite recreation. “Whenever I’m not mowing lawns, I’m usually inside playing videogames, so I need the money to afford the newer games that are coming out,” he explained. He is currently saving up for Halo: Reach 4.
Aiken is pleased that her son’s work can put some money in his pocket and confidence in his step. “[This job] helps him to improve his social skills when speaking to adults, helps him to manage money, and it helps him to stay on schedule and learn how to mix professional with personal time.”
Bailey will begin eighth grade at Boulder Ridge on Aug. 15, when mowing lawns will become an afterschool job as long as he keeps he grades up. Being the only one out of his friends to have a line of work, Bailey advises them to, “Stay out of the lawn business. This is my turf.”
If you live in Heritage Lakes and are interested in hiring Bailey, contact the Aikens at (951) 672-2726.