This episode is a follow up to "The Messy Middle" There was a place in between your initial goal to start your cleaning business and the place that you defined as success where things got messy. It got really hard to stay motivated. You weren't sure if you made the right decision. Your doubts and fears and condemnation crept in to try to steal your dream. This is the messy middle. I shared this truth about setting big goals and starting something new. "It always gets messier after you start!" I want to turn your attention to another destructive habit that can steal your dream. It's called anger. This will not apply to many of you, but for the ones that it does, please listen. I have personally listened to a lot of podcasts and many on cleaning and entrepreneurship. I have never heard one on anger.
I was in the Messy Middle in our first New York solo cleaning business from 2007 - 2015 and from 2019 - 2020 in our second Pennsylvania solo business. I know what that feels like. If you've never heard me speak or share my story before, here's the nutshell. It took me a long time to develop my ISO Model for solo cleaners. In fact, it was the 8 years in the Messy New York Middle that I figured most of it out. This ISO Model allowed me to duplicate our first solo business in a fraction of the time. I want to dive into my 8 years in the valley, the mess, the pit. I was working so hard, going where ever I had to go to clean and make money. I was cleaning around the clock on many days. I injured myself by tearing tendons, meniscus, and even contracted Lyme Disease. I was often tired. I was often filled with doubt. I was often sad. And I was often very angry. Thankfully, I was walking with Jesus through this time to help me keep my peace. But even I'm no where close to perfect. I would lose my cool and freak out. I'd be late leaving the house and miss my shower. I'd have a foot of snow and ice on my car at 7am and 5 below. I'd get stuck in morning rush hour traffic and be even later to my first house. I'd trudge through the snow into the house. I'd bump into a piece of furniture with my cleaning gear or smack my knee or hip against a sharp wooden door or railing. I'd set down my gear and spill it all over the customer's floor because the duffle bad was torn from use in 3 places. I'd be vacuuming and suck up a carpet fiber that wrapped around the beater bar until the vacuum seized. I'd suck up a penny and seize it too. I'd crack my head on the shower metal or on a low doorway. I'd turn on the shower while cleaning and get soaked in the middle of winter. I'd break something in a house by accident. I'd be cleaning with spray bottles in each pant pocket when one would unscrew and dump a whole 32-oz bottle of cleaner on the customer's floor. All of these things seemed to happen to me when I was already struggling and mad. They would take me from mad to angry and many time angry to wrathful. I would literally leave the house and start screaming outside. I may even take my seized vacuum piece and either smash it on the ground or toss it in the bushes. Yes, it's dumb, but haven't you ever been angry?! It's irrational. I'm irrational when it happens. I would waste time, lose money, and lose belief that I was doing the right thing. Meanwhile, my friends from high school and college were all growing in their jobs, buying nice cars, having kids, buying them nice things, and living in nice houses. And we were driving old beaters and living in rented houses. I'd question myself all the time. I was angry again and again and again. Over the years, I learned my triggers and managed my emotions better. It wasn't easy, but I did it.
I'm not saying this journey is going to be all roses and buttercups. You're going to face adversity, but it is worth it. If you follow the ISO Model, you will optimize your solo cleaning business to work the schedule you want and bring home a wonderful profit. And if you continue down the road to build a team, you will struggle again. The victory is always worth 10 times the struggle to get there.
Are you dealing with anger right now in your business? Would you like to talk about it. Book a free coaching call with me on the Smart Cleaning School website! Make sure to check out the many free & paid resources available on the website too!
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.