Dirty Dishes

Desperate times require desperate measures, and if a second blog post is desperate than so be it.

I spent a delightful three hours with family in from Orlando. Obviously you know it’s Thanksgiving week, and many people are entertaining family and friends. I went with my little nephews outside, and we assembled three bases and home plate with grocery sacks. One of them had learned to drive sticks through them into the ground, so since it has rained quite a bit here it was easy to drive those sticks into the ground. Their little attention spans were short, so baseball didn’t last long. As I ran around with the youngest I thought about how fast time flies and I savored every step we took. My mind raced ahead too as I dreamed about my business, and when my nephew was driving the sticks into the ground with a bat I thought about the dream Walt Disney had for the theme parks that now exist in Orlando and across the pond.

Entrepreneurial endeavors are the hardest most rewarding work anyone can do. I run a cleaning service here in Nashville, and my vision has been rock solid for just about the entire eleven years it’s existed. Vision and fulfillment are two drastically different things, and when obstacles enter the equation, well, it can be down right frustrating, if not driving you to quit. I can’t tell you the number of things I’ve quit, but I’m proud to say that this business pursuit has not been introduced to the Q word. Especially when I get texts like this one.

…thank you so much! You did an amazing job!

Maid service finesse is learned. Making beds, vacuuming, mopping and dusting are skills that can be polished to a fine performance. Don’t ever shame yourself if you work in the hospitality industry. Some of the best ideas, business deals and light bulb moments can happen in the confines of the hospitality industry. I work specifically in the residential end of the hospitality industry, yet when I stay in a nice hotel I gleam inspiration from housekeeping in how they make my stay better. A folded towel, the extra mile on bed hospital corners, a spotless bathroom and delicious coffee are things I notice.

Not all business’ are created equal, and I think my service is head and shoulders above many. Some prospects I interact with think my price point is too expensive, and others don’t think it’s enough. I guess that’s just sales. I charge the same thing for everyone, and that’s industry standard, so I guess someone who buys a 10k square foot house should consider that maid service is going to cost more than it did for their 5k square foot house. But most of those people hire someone who they can pay under the table until they get deported. PSA: I’m not going to get deported, I’m here for the long haul, and my English is pretty good. I’m on every job too. Talk about competitive. How could you not want a service like mine? Especially if you are a VIP. I’ve even cleaned the same VIP every week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Was that house spotless? I can sell residential cleaning the way Walt Disney sells the rat. I don’t know if my close rate is 30%, but it’s close.

Confidence, passion and commitment are essential in the entrepreneur’s journey. If you’re doing what you do for a j-o-b then stop it and do something else because you won’t keep going when times are tough.

izzie-r-584152-unsplashI really do constantly think about cleaning. I actually enjoy clearing the table every night after dinner and doing the dishes. My best ideas come when I’m loading the dishwasher.

My brothers Joel, Jason and Jeremy and I have done sales our entire lives, and we love it. We’re good at it, and we’ll do it till we die. I would dare say each one of us is an extrovert who gets energy from being with others. I fight depression, and part of the reason I love residential cleaning is that I can be by myself without a micro manager coming in behind me to inspect my work. Artists, musicians and entrepreneurs don’t do well when they have a white glove coming in behind them to offer “approval.” Something created is either good or bad. I’m glad there are editors for books and magazines, but the blog medium is ideal for those of us who got tired of our English teachers telling us that’s a dangling modifier.

Not everything I ship is going to sell. For whatever reason it doesn’t connect with the consumer.

I’m still going to ship it.

I hope you will too.

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