It's been a while since I gave a full update on my own cleaning company. This episode covers a few weeks, but has some great lessons. Here you go!
Our Annual Honeymoon Retreat to Glasbern was cancelled last year due to Covid, but not again this year. It's amazing to get 5 days alone with my bride to reconnect, veg out, take long walks, eat loads of food, play games, watch movies, take long baths, and discuss many important topics. In fact, we came to our retreat with 21 important topics to cover in our family and business and covered every single one over 5 days! The biggest breakthrough during our trip was watching Hal Elrod's movie, the Miracle Morning. We were so INSPIRED that we got to work right away on our Life-SAVERS. I won't teach what this acronym is. Go watch the movie and read the book! I will say this. I have been struggling in the mornings with snooze buttons, coffee, lack of exercise, lack of time, lack of energy. I've done morning routines for years, but started slipping. This movie fired us up and I got right to work, while still on our retreat. The habit continued after the retreat as we implemented the first batch of to-do's from our 21 conversations. I am feeling more energy, less need for coffee, feel better about myself, closer to God, and have a renewed excitement for my goals.
Oh, I shouldn't have said that. Enter my friend and mentor, Vincent Pugliese of Total Life Freedom. At the peak of my excitement, Vincent asked me a question. But before I share this question, let me share the last one he asked me. In October 2017, I was fully optimized in my first solo cleaning business. I was looking at the potential of working 4 days in New York, then taking 10 days off every other week. We could possibly move back home to the Philly Area and I could commute to New York every other week for 4 days. It sounded good on paper. "Ken, why would you do that?" I answered. "We want to go back home. We miss our family." He replied. "Then make the decision to sell your business and move. Figure it out. The mastermind will help you." This scared me and excited me at the same time. I was mad at him and appreciate all at the same time. I called Teresa after the Question. She was excited at the prospect. We prayed hard over this and ultimately made the decision to sell our company and go home. I just needed the push out of my comfort zone. You know the rest of this story from my double podcast on "How I Sold My Cleaning Business I & II". We set the vision to be home with our family and raise our kids around their cousins. I would finally get to spend quality time with my Nana & Pop-Pop, who helped raise me and were in their 80's. We set the goal and we made it SMART with a deadline of June 30, 2018. That's when our lease ran out. We hit our goal. We sold our company and moved back to Philly. We had 2 glorious years to enjoy quality time with my Nana & Pop-Pop before they both passed in 2020. Thank God we chose to come back home! This was one of the best decisions of our life, yet also one of the hardest. It was so worth it.
Back to Vincent and his second question. "Ken, you've been talking about Freedom for your family for years. You've promised me that you'd earn your freedom so our families could spend months together at the beach and other warm places during the cold Pennsylvania winters. Where are you?" I answered. "I know. It was one of our 21 conversations. We want freedom and now we need freedom. We want more choices. We want to enjoy the warmth and travel the country with our homeschooled kids before they all grow up and we miss the opportunity." Vincent didn't hesitate. "We'll be in Florida permanently as of this summer. Send me $5,000 as a promise. That's how much a house costs to rent on the Gulf Coast in February. Once we find our house, we'll choose your rental house and rent it! No refunds! Use the mastermind to figure out how to accomplish this." I called my wife. It was deja vue. She was excited. We prayed on it and knew it was the right thing. I accepted the challenge, even though I was scared and afraid and nervous. I was uncomfortable. But without the discomfort, there can be no growth. I want to grow. Out of this decision came new resolve and vision. I would need to grow the Smart Cleaning School to a six-figure business and hire employees to run my cleaning business for a month. The more I thought about this, the more excited I got. It's like this. I was playing small. Freedom was always a dream and I could visualize it and semi-experience it through Vincent and other free friends. But I would not change enough to achieve it myself. I had to expand my Why and Vision. I did.
My Why has always been Family. I wanted to get out of debt and provide for my wife and kids financially, emotionally, and spiritually. I accomplished that Why in 2018 when we sold our company and finalized it in mid-2020 when we got out of debt for the first time. I got comfortable as my lifestyle was the same size as my Why. Then my Nana & Pop-Pop died. That wrecked me. Watching my Pop-Pop die in front of me tore me open. He was my rock as a kid. He was my father. I made a promise to him right after he died. "Pop-Pop, I will honor your legacy. I will make you proud of me when I see you again." My Why grew past family. It was now Legacy. My Why grew and it made me uncomfortable as my lifestyle and family wasn't cutting it anymore. I had to grow. I started 2021 with vigor and big goals to optimize my cleaning company to $6,000/month profit solo and my Smart Cleaning School to $10,000/mo. They were numbers that were a bit arbitrary now that I think about it. Sure, I'd be in a great place and making more money. I'd have more time and ability to leave a legacy beyond my family to my children's children and my community. I'd grow to my new Why. But it wasn't big enough or bold enough. I needed what Vincent challenged me to. I knew that I was being called to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make. I could do this, but as long as I had to physically clean, I was limited to where I could go and for how long. My Why expanded again past Family and Legacy to Leadership. I need to become the leader I was called to become. Therefore, the arbitrary goals of dollars per month wouldn't cut it. I needed a goal with a deadline again. I needed to force my hand into delegating my cleaning business for the first time since 2008. I needed to have freedom of time, money, and location so I could pursue more leadership opportunities and live the dream of traveling with my family while they're still young. I knew that I'd never get there without a bold goal. I had to send Vincent the money to cement the deadline. I now have until February 1st, 2022 to delegate my cleaning business and increase the income in Smart Cleaning School at least by the amount that I lose in delegating. This is approximately $4,000 per month. Now I had a real goal with a Why much bigger than my lifestyle and current business could provide. Why is this decision so vital? It's simple. Once I prove to myself that I can delegate for 1 month, I can do it permanently and either run the business remotely or sell it again. Either way, we earn our freedom 100%, not just 1 month!
I will continue to update you on my cleaning business, but the focus will be different. I am a full-blown solo optimizer in my ISO Model. As an optimizer, I have many choices. I am choosing to delegate so my family can earn a piece of freedom Therefore, my updates will consist of lessons learned along the way toward delegating as well as the continued process of optimizing my company. Will you come with me on the journey? I'll be doing Miracle Mornings every day this year and crushing my goals.
Before I conclude, there are a few other business updates worth sharing. I did an estimate for a great family with a beautiful home. However, it was 20 minutes in the wrong direction and I sensed it would be a high-paying, high-drama client. I passed on the client and passed them on to a friend. This is the advantage of being an Optimizer. I received an email from Audrey right after turning down the house. Audrey's husband found me on a Google search and loved my Optimizer's Website. I got on a phone call with Audrey, shared my prices and FAQ's, and booked an estimate. She will be a new monthly client most likely for $225 per visit. They will be my last client before I officially start my waiting list. That's when things get fun as I can raise prices on undesirable low-paying, low-drama and high-paying, high-drama clients. This allows me to replace them with high-paying, low-drama clients off my waiting list.
This episode isn't all rainbows and sunshine. I haven't shared this much, but I have an enemy in cleaning. It's called MDT... Machine Down Time! I hate it when I happen to vacuum an office conference room and my turbo head sucks up a door jam that jams up the turbine blades in the turbo head. If you don't follow me... My carpet attachment seized up and I had no back up. This triggered a 60-minute tear down of the turbo head. I hate losing time like this. It cost us big time as we had 5 offices to clean. This has happened a dozen or so times in my 16 years of cleaning. Here's what I advise. Have back up parts. Have a back up vacuum too. It will break or over-heat or seize. They don't last forever. It's great when your equipment is running, but what happens when your vacuum or car breaks down. You're literally out of business for a time until you make the repairs and maintenance.
Okay, this episode is a wrap! What did you think about my new Vision? Email me and give me your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Smart Cleaning School Podcast 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.