Lizzie Strohl from Lebanon Cleaning Crew joined the Smart Cleaning Tribe in November 2019. Every new member gets a 1-on-1 Goals Workshop to discover their Why, declare a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG), and map out a monthly SMART goal action plan to achieve their BHAG!
When I sat with Lizzie to understand her Why and BHAG in early 2020, we came up with this. "I want to be in the office 15 hours or less, so I can spend more time with family and real estate investing." At the time, Lizzie was working IN her residential & commercial cleaning company 45 hours per week in the office and at least 2 more from home. She was exhausted. Then COVID hit and it shook up everyone's game plan. We revisited her BHAG in June 2020 and came up with this. "I want to build something that I can walk away from. My mom was a workaholic and I want to be more present as a mom." This was very emotional for Lizzie as her father had just passed away. In a few short months, a major pandemic swept across the world and she lost her father. This changed her Why big-time!
We revisited her Why and BHAG in January 2021. "I want to manage my business (work IN) 8 hours or less per week and IMPROVE my business (work ON) 8 hours per week, and take a 2-4 week family trip to Puerto Rico by the end of the year." This was a bold proclamation. Lizzie still wanted to build something that she could walk away from. Her family homeschools and traveling is big for them. She put all the pieces of her dream together and realized something. "I need to book this trip to Puerto Rico and then make it happen."
The Tribe stood with Lizzie as she embarked on this journey. She booked an expensive month-long family trip with her kids super-excited about it. She HAD to make it work! But her business was reeling backward from the difficulty in hiring. Nationwide, it was very hard to find and retain employees in the first quarter of 2021. Lizzie came on multiple Tribe calls overwhelmed and questioning if she COULD take the trip. She didn't want to do it at the expense of the family business. She wanted to do it to see if her cleaning business was structured strong enough for the owner to leave for a month. It was what Tim Ferriss called the mini-retirement in "The Four-Hour Work Week". Each week, Lizzie came to the Tribe with the struggles that may cancel her trip, and each week the Tribe encouraged her to keep fighting. And fight she did!
Lizzie fought through the lack of applicants and literally posted her openings to every possible location in her surrounding towns. She was exhausted and May the 10th was coming. That was the start of the trip. It was one of the most inspiring things to witness week in and week out. I was so grateful to be a part of this. On May 10th, the Tribe had their usual 12pm mastermind and accountability call. Lizzie called in briefly from the airplane! It was A-MA-ZING! The following week, she checked in from the beach or the pool or wherever her family was adventuring to that day.
The Tribe has been so inspired to fight through their own struggles because one of their own had just achieved a HUGE freedom goal. We were all equally inspired when Lizzie was at peace in her final week of the Puerto Rico trip. She had put a handful of hours into work in the first week and slowly decreased it as her team took care of the business. It was so eye-opening to all of us. We build a cleaning company as the entrepreneur to help our families and community, but we can't spend our time as the cleaners and managers. We need to hire amazing people to do those jobs. Lizzie did that to at least keep her business running without her for a month. Lizzie learned a ton about her business and what needs to be tweaked and / or fixed so that she can take another month to travel out west this fall.
Lizzie is living her dream of freedom and planning to become the mom she has dreamed of becoming. Thank you Lizzie for inspiring us all!
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The Smart Cleaning School helps cleaning business owners from start-up to the struggling solo to the striving seven-figure get SMARTER in their businesses, reshape their mindset, increase productivity, clear the overwhelm, and get clarity through SMART goal-setting & personal accountability. Ken Carfagno is a lifetime learner and teacher. His mission is to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make.