Emil’s Lawns is no longer operating.
Thank you to all of our 2,500+ customers in Northern Colorado over the years.
Emil Motycka is now the VP of Customer Success at Rachio, an innovative, smart sprinkler and water conservation company.
Emil’s Lawns was a full-service lawn care company based in Northern Colorado.
The Emil Motycka Story
Emil Motycka started mowing lawns at 8 years old. At 13, he took out his first loan: $8000 to purchase a commercial lawn mower. At 14, he purchased a truck. The rest is history.
Growing Up as a Kid
When I first started [in business], my mom was still tucking me in at night.
Emil first flirted with business when he was in the first grade. Living across the street from a golf course provided a free and steady supply of stray golf balls. He would collect the golf balls, wash them off in his mother’s sink, and then sell them near the fairway for a dollar a pop.
1996: 8 Years Old
When I was in third or fourth grade, I had a teacher who wanted us to explore career paths…. Since I liked big machines and being outside, I wanted to be a landscaper.
In the process of writing the paper, Emil learned a lot about the landscaping industry and saw the potential money to be made in mowing lawns. $10 a lawn would make him $20 an hour. None of his friends were making that much.
Emil’s first customers were his aunt and uncle. They paid him $10 to mow their lawn. There was one problem though – he didn’t have a trimmer. So he got on his hands and knees, and used a pair of scissors to finish the job.
2001: 13 Years Old
When I was younger, even though they respected my work, my friends would say, ‘What are you doing this weekend? Still mowing lawns, huh? Well, that stinks because we’re going to the pool and you should come … but you can’t.’ It eats at you after awhile.
In 2001, Emil remembers getting a phone call from some lady who was asking him about his business. He answered a few questions about how he tracked his earnings and kept good records. Several years later Emil realized that she was a writer and she mentioned Emil in an article that she wrote for Entrepreneur Magazine.
Later that year, Emil was mowing a lawn when he noticed that some guy pulled up in a truck next door and unloaded a huge commercial lawn mower. He watched carefully as the guy mowed the lawn in a quarter of the time that it would’ve taken him. That’s when Emil decided to expand.
With his parents co-signing, Emil pulled out an $8,000 loan to buy a commercial mower. He paid off his four-year loan in two years.
2004: 16 Years Old
When I got older and I could drive, I could choose, ‘Which one of my five trucks do I want to drive to school today?’
Emil purchased a couple trucks, a couple trailers, and started hiring his first employees. At 16 years old, Emil was managing people 2-3 times his age.
2006: 18 Years Old
I didn’t think of what I did as being an entrepreneur until I won some awards and that funny word happened to be in the title.
After winning a business competition through the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, Emil’s story was featured in the Rocky Mountain News.
As part of the prize, Emil won a mentorship with John Malone, Chairman of Liberty Media. His first meeting lasted two hours and Emil continues to meet with John today.
Emil went on to make six figures that summer after he graduated from high school before he decided to sell off his equipment and scale down the business to focus on his studies at the University of Colorado.
2007: 19 Years Old
I always put school first and business second, as best I could…. This hit me hard my freshman year at college, when there was a blizzard during finals week. One of the hardest things for me to do was to call up my customers and tell them that I wouldn’t be able to do the work for them. I promised it would never happen again.
Shortly into Emil’s freshman year there was a family emergency. All of the money that he and his parents had saved to pay for his school was gone. Emil had a few scholarships but it wasn’t nearly enough.
True to his entrepreneurial nature, Emil decided that it was time to pull himself up by his bootstraps. While maintaining a full course load, Emil started growing the business again so he could pay for Business School.
2010: 22 Years Old
Start today, not tomorrow. If anything, you should have started yesterday.
Rather than waiting to graduate to grow his business, Emil continued to make big moves. In April 2010 he purchased Amandla Gardens in Boulder, CO to expand his service offering. The next year, while getting ready for his final semester at CU, Emil decided to buy-out another lawn company, Distinguished Lawn, to reach into the Fort Collins market.
2011: 23 Years Old
The biggest failure you can have in life is not trying at all.
After five years of sleepless nights, rigorous test-taking, and hospitalizing work ethic, Emil was prepared to graduate. But not before one last hurrah.
While Emil was working on a class project for Frontier Airlines down in Denver, he needed to step away to take a call from another journalist. He had been selected as one of America’s Coolest College Start-ups and was featured in Inc. Magazine.
A few months later, Emil graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Sciences in Business Administration and a Minor in Economics.
But Emil wasn’t done. Later that year he was nominated for the Empact 100 Award and was invited to The White House as 1 of 100 young entrepreneurs positively influencing the American economy.
2013: 25 Years Old
There’s so much to learn about business and how it works, its impacts and potential, so it’s a fascinating field to study. I see entrepreneurship as the most exciting career path. It’s limitless – financially, intellectually, and socially.
Following college, Emil was getting bored and decided it was time for another challenge. In January 2013, Emil decided to buy-out yet another lawn company, EMT Lawn Care, a lawn company that serviced Loveland & Berthoud, CO; which doubled Emil’s weekly client base.
In 2015, Emil’s Lawns was acquired by Longs Peak Landscape. He is an advocate for youth entrepreneurship and financial education.