Many people spend hours working in their yards during the warm seasons of the year, but one American Fork man has spent months in his quest for a perfect lawn.
While doing so, Jason Taylor learned life lessons, started a business and used what he has learned to serve others.
“It was a goal I was trying to achieve to have a golf course-type yard, mowed really short, level and perfect,” Taylor said. “A normal lawn is mowed like 2 and a half or 3 inches long. Everyone just uses normal lawnmowers and mows about once a week. Golf courses are really perfect. They use different types of mowers and different types of grass. So, a few months ago, I had the idea to try to achieve that look, mowed to about one-half inch. I darn near killed myself doing it.”
Taylor’s goal wasn’t all about yardwork. Eleven years ago, Taylor’s identical twin brother passed away.
“We’re best friends,” he said.
Since that happened, Taylor often felt a void in his life. He also did not feel fulfilled in his professional life, working for and starting different companies, trying to find his niche.
One day, he remembered a story that his dad told him when he was 11 years old, about a young boy trying to work toward earning $5 for mowing a neighbor’s lawn. To earn the $5, the boy problem-solved and worked very hard until it looked better than it ever had.
He learned that the $5 lawn was not an impossible feat.
“Finally, I’m sitting there one day, and my business wasn’t going very well,” Taylor said. “I ended up looking at my yard and it triggered that $5 lawn story. I thought, ‘If I can get an impossible lawn, I will figure out all of the steps along the way in having a successful business.’ I literally killed my lawn. My lawn died. I had to start over from scratch. What was supposed to be two weekends ended up being a thousand hours.”
Taylor said it took him a long time to figure it out, continuously learning new processes, but he was determined.
“I was not going to give up, no matter the cost,” he said “I started finding, as I was doing it, that I loved it. I never listened to radio, podcasts. It was just me and myself. My neighbors probably thought I was crazy.”
In August, Taylor started his new business, TaylorMade Lawn.
“I made a 30-second commercial, and a guy called me and I told him that I could make his lawn a golf course lawn,” he recalled. “I started it the next day.”
After that, others started asking Taylor to work on their lawns — leveling them, planting grass, making them look like golf course fairways. He also provides lawn maintenance.
Additionally, Taylor incorporates the number 11, a special number for him and his twin brother, into his lawn work.
“Number 11 was prevalent in our lives,” he said. “We always saw the time 11:11. We noticed it and would say, ‘11:11. Make a wish.’ We were very drawn to the number 11. Nov. 11 was our day.”
Family members use the symbol “11;11” in honor of Jeremy, Taylor’s brother. A semicolon symbolizes solidarity against suicide and support of mental health issues.
Now, as Taylor mows lines into lawns, they symbolize this special number to him.
Recently, on Nov. 11, Taylor mowed the lawns of the neighbors on his street. He set out to mow 11 lawns, but ended up mowing more.
In a video posted on social media and YouTube, Taylor encourages others to get busy and do what helps them to deal with the difficulties of life, just like mowing lawns and serving others helps him.
“I mowed them in straight lines — patterns to be 11,” he said. “The message I was trying to get across is if someone is struggling from mental health or something else, go do something nice for your neighbor.”
While the lawn work is seasonal, people are already lining up lawn services for the spring with TaylorMade Lawns. For more information, check out the TaylorMade Lawn YouTube channel and the website at http://taylormadelawn.com.