What’s Next: Entrepreneurship

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While many of Verona High School’s Class of 2024 are excited to attend college, it is important to remember that different people have different aspirations. Michael Lipari is a VHS senior who has decided to pursue a unique route. Lipari is an 18-year-old entrepreneur who is eager to expand the business he founded as his high school years began, Lipari Landscaping.

Lipari’s love for landscaping can be traced back to when he was a young boy. “I was probably 9 years old and I did someone’s grass,”he recalls. “I didn’t realize I was going to make any money out of it, but next thing you know the guy hands me $40 and I thought to myself, this is great, let’s rock and roll!”

While Lipari worked on lawns in elementary and middle school, he really started taking the business seriously in 2020, when he began doing more landscape contracting. He says he was inspired, in part, by Green Mountain Landscaping. He would see the Verona-based business once a week on his block and was fascinated by the process.

When Lipari started, his parents told him he could have the push mower, blower and trimmer from their garage. For his company to thrive, he’s had to use larger trucks, snow plows, heavy machinery, and overall more versatile equipment, all of which were acquired from the profit of the business alone. Along with lawn care, Lipari also now offers a wide range of services including tree work, mulching, power-washing, and snow plowing.

And he’s done it all and completed high school. “I have to wake up early and make sure everything is good to go at 7 a.m.,” Lipari says.

Through his years of experience, Lipari has garnered the necessary knowledge that has helped him run his business. He has learned through trial and error, YouTube, tips from other landscapers and seminars. Lipari is excited to continue growing his company and plans on becoming a millionaire.

Lipari is bucking the trend to go to college, but he is also defying the odds on entrepreneurship. According to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the percentage of young business owners has been falling. While 34.3% of all entrepreneurs were ages 20 to 24 in 1996, only 25.7% were in that age group by 2020. The Foundation did not measure people like Lipari, who started a business in high school.

Since Verona is a fairly small town, Lipari’s business has gained recognition through word of mouth alone. He has also built the business through community service. Once a year Lipari participates in the “I Want to Mow your Lawn” campaign, which promotes free lawn care for those who may not be able to afford it. He has done jobs up to $1,500 for free, and enjoys helping others in need because in Lipari’s eyes, “No lawn should be uncut.”

When Lipari envisions where the company will be in 10 years he sees two possibilities. In the first, he will apply to a fire department and, if he gets on, he will be a firefighter landscaper with a nice maintenance company throughout town. The second is to continue to grow his company until it becomes a landscaping empire. Says Lipari, “You won’t be able to go Bloomfield Avenue without seeing one of our trucks.”

“What’s Next” is a series of profiles about what members of each Verona High School class do after graduation. MyVeronaNJ has been publishing the series since 2010 and you can read all of them here. Robert Donohue will graduate Verona High School with the Class of 2024. This story is part of his participation in VHS’ Senior Capstone project.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. This was a very refreshing article- congratulations and best of luck in your business adventure Michael! Working with your hands can be the most rewarding experience you ever experience.

  2. Michael, we have seen your determination to succeed since you were a young boy. You excel in customer service, knowledge of your trade & a drive many young people could learn from. Rich’s best memory is when you came over our house at the lake you asked Rich if you could look at his lawn mower engine.

    Good luck in your endeavors, Michael! Never lose your desire to reach your most desired goals.

    Love,
    Fran & Rich Sandomeno

  3. My son was on his brother’s travel baseball team 4 years ago. I remember his mom saying Mike was disappointed about no travel team for his own age and she encouraged him to focus on his landscaping business. I am happy to hear following her advice worked so well!

  4. Michael has started cutting my lawn this spring
    His work is impeccable and his business and people
    Skills through the roof especially for his young age.

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