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Finding happiness in the rat race

Timothy Lloyd and Bob Funk are at different ends of a career span – but both men believe they’ve discovered the secret to finding happiness in the rat race.
By Steve Lackmeyer, Business Writer Modified: November 15, 2008 at 7:58 am •  Published: November 14, 2008
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Timothy Lloyd and Bob Funk are at different ends of a career span – but both men believe they’ve discovered the secret to finding happiness in the rat race.

Lloyd, owner of Echelawn Complete Lawn and Landscape, has turned a summer job into a career following his graduation in May from the University of Oklahoma.

Lloyd initially waited tables at restaurants, and didn’t like having no control over his job or his future.

“With waiting tables, it’s unpredictable,” Lloyd said. “You can make zero tips because there’s no business, or you can make 200 to 300 in three to four hours.”

Lloyd decided that if he was going to be in the rat race, he wanted to be in charge of his own fate. He found ways to sign up customers for winter landscaping maintenance and added yet another service for his off-season - outdoor holiday decorations.

“It’s something I started doing on the side, but I got to enjoying it,” Lloyd said. “It’s security to get a job working for someone else, but I can distribute my risk. If you have 100 clients and you lose ten, you still have work.”

As a young man Funk initially entertained a job in the ministry – one of the few choices one might consider free of the rat race – and attended Seminary school in Europe. But Funk, who enjoyed athletic competition in school, changed course and began climbing his way up through the employment services industry.

Funk, chief executive officer at Express Personal Professionals, now presides over a company with nearly $2 billion in sales in 2007 and 600 offices in the United States, Canada, South Africa and Australia.

Funk says a good work ethic is key. He said he typically worked 7-7 while his peers worked 9-5.

“Whether you’re working for someone else or yourself, if you set goals ahead of you that you want to achieve, then everyday you have the privilege of trying to accomplish those goals. It’s not unlike athletics where you want to be No. 1.”

Funk says his happiness stems from always having a goal – something that keeps his competitive juices flowing.

Lloyd admits his career choice comes with uncertainty and added responsibility – he’s his company’s marketing arm, accountant and CEO.

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