Dane founded www.MysticalLandscapes.com at age seventeen, and has been designing and installing landscapes for twenty two years. Growing up in New York, Cyprus, England and Canada, he now lives in San Rafael, California.
Understanding that he learned best by doing, he self-taught with the help of the best mentors available in the areas of irrigation, concrete work, lighting, landscaping over septic systems, design and plants. When he observed the amount of waste that happens when home-construction and landscaping are not intelligently synched, he became a general contractor taking raw land into beautifully integrated custom homes. His first home sold for full price above appraised value because, in the words of the buyer "It was the most beautifully integrated home and landscape in my price range and I wanted to be sure to get it."
Dane has designed his entire career around a central question: "Who would I want to hire and what would constitute great service?" This has led him to stay small, do one job at a time until complete, and offer integrated design and consultation for flat costs. Doing one job at a time until complete allows him to get 80% of his jobs done early. His strategy has been to focus on increasing net revenue per hour worked, allowing him to work less hours for the same amount of money, while providing better client service.
In his eyes, his greatest success is not running a successful business for twenty two years, or creating beautiful gardens that his clients love. "My biggest accomplishment is creating a six figure income working less than half the year in a way that not only keeps me excited about landscaping, but has allowed me to put most of my energy into relationships and creating a rich life!" These have included six trips to Thailand, learning to kitesurf, hang-glide, paraglide, fly radio control planes, dive, and write more than ten books on topics that interest him, including two local landscape books that bring in significant business.
With a renewed interest in travel, Dane has spent the last two years learning how best to help other landscapers increase their quality of life by sharing the hundreds of choices he has made to bring him to his present state of freedom. "Success for me right now is having the freedom to be anywhere I want on the globe at any time, as well as working with top clients to install incredible gardens at times." Noting that unending vacations lose their glow after 2-3 months of doing nothing, he likes to work 1-2 hours a day even when traveling. www.SuccessfulLandscaper.com is his main focus for this time as he transitions into providing some of the mentoring that was so key to his own success as a landscape professional.
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In this video Dane talks about one of the most important ingredients in his success.