Do you remember "Back to the Future" starring Michael J. Fox? Marty McFly ran in his panic from the Libyans and got Doc Brown's Delorian to 88 miles per hour in the parking lot. He escaped 1985 and entered 1955. The whole movie focused on saving his 1985 family from perishing by helping his mom fall in love with his dorky, bullied dad. Marty also had to figure out how to get back to 1985. It was a fun movie that was super popular in the 80's and still is today. In one scene, Marty visits the 1955 version of Doc Brown at his house. Doc Brown was paranoid and thought Marty was crazy-talking a time machine until he described the Flux Capacitor. Marty yelled through the door that he was in the bathroom, bumped his head, and that's how he got the idea of the Flux Capacitor, the last piece of the invention to take him back in time. Doc Brown came out of the room, showed Marty the drawing he made of the Flux Capacitor, and believed him.
This episode released 1 year ago and has been one of my most popular and mindset-changing episodes ever. This one really sets solo cleaners free and it is just as relevant as it was last year. I'll be releasing follow-up episodes in the future to help you even more with this overcoming mindset.
This message is short and sweet. I teach often and have created my own solo cleaning business niche of presentation cleaning and first impressions. That's what I do. Yes, I clean. But what I do is create peace of mind through presentation cleaning. What does that mean and why is it worth so much? I'm glad you asked. We are all emotional creatures and make our decisions as such. I've shared on previous podcasts that the busy mom doesn't have time to clean, yet dirt and clutter cause her stress and anxiety. My cleaning niche goes beyond basic cleaning and science. Check out the podcast, "Art Trumps Science". I add the art of first impressions to remove the stress and anxiety. This provides my clients with peace of mind. Similarly, I clean the first impression areas in offices to impress their clients, prospects, and staff every time they come into the office. This also has a value. What if a financial company loses a several million dollar client because their office "image" didn't match the website? My presentation cleaning investment can earn that client and easily pay for cleaning for the entire year! That's the point
I have been a huge fan of the Tim Ferriss Show lately because I love the long-from interviews with world-class performers as Tim dissects how they accomplished what they've accomplished. I LOVED a recent interview with Kelly Slater. If you've never heard of Kelly Slater, he's an 11-time world surfing champion and highly regarded as the GOAT in the sport. I listened to Kelly's interview and was mesmerized by his mindset, attention to detail in his craft and his health, and most importantly, the simplicity of life he lives. I have two life lessons to share from Kelly that really impacted mine.
The business week started out great. I recently upgraded one of my commercial cleaning clients by $350 per month. When I got the call at the Airsoft field about another veterinary hospital, I was thrilled. Yes, that's right. The Airsoft field. Here's a short bonus funny papers. My oldest son, Kenny, just 16 recently and we decided to do a birthday party for him. It involved 7 of his teenage friends, Airsoft guns, gear, a 3-hour battle at the Airsoft field, games at home, food (lots of it), cake, and presents. Due to shutdowns in December, we had to move his party to late January. It was well worth the wait. I decided to sacrifice my Honda Pilot over Teresa's family van. I took 4 of Kenny's friends directly from church to the Airsoft field. We met the other 3 there. I helped them get set up and left in the hands of the field referrees to play for 3 hours. I then went to the car to chill out, stay warm, watch from the parking lot, and get some work done on my laptop. While I was waiting, I got a call from a local veterinarian looking for cleaning. She told me that she used to work with Ruth at another hospital I clean. Ruth saw her post on the veterinary private group and proudly referred me. The first takeaway is that I am worthy of being referred. My work and customer service are excellent, which is why I was referred. Are you doing likewise at every house and office you clean? The call lasted for 20 minutes as we learned about each other's background. I learned that she had recently opened a new hospital after working for others for years and she invested heavily into cleaning using her staff (but they needed a break). She learned that I also cleaned for another vet. We worked out a few scenarios of how I could help. I even gave examples of how much I currently charge for other vets and how much it may cost her. She invited me for an estimate a few days later. That estimate went outstanding. We're working on a rotational cleaning schedule that I'll quote her several options for next week. Back to the teenagers... After the call, I realized something vital. My Pilot was equipped to seat 8, but not 8 with Airsoft guns and gear and certainly not 7 teenagers and me! I underestimated the choice of using my Pilot. I called Teresa for an audible. She drove over the field to drop off some gear that Kenny forgot and took most of the gear off my hands. The boys were so stoked after playing for 3 hours and ready for mass quantities of chili, candy, and cake. They were also filthy and muddy. This is where the sacrifice came in. My car still has mud marks all over the back seats, carpet, and vinyl trim. It's everywhere! The ride to our house was hilarious as myself and 7 high school boys cramped into my Pilot. We all joked it was like one of those clown cars in the circus. The rest of the day was great. I knew teenagers could eat, but even I was surprised when they ate an entire pot of homemade chili and like 3 bags of corn chips. My wife had designed "Minute-to-Win-it" games with ping-pong balls, dice, straws, candy, and other dollar store items for the boys to challenge each other. I was MC and scorekeeper. They needed one more player, so one kind teen allowed my 9-year-old son Kolby to be his teammate. Guess what?! Bryce and Kolby won! The night ended with cake, presents, man-hunt outside, and stupid YouTube videos The last boy was picked up at 8:30! Teresa and I were exhausted, but my son was happy and I got a new potential big client! The combination of this client and the increased one ends my commercial cleaning goal before I start optimizing
Teresa and I went on a honeymoon retreat in the Amish Country, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was so quaint and beautiful. The rolling country hills with farms, horse and buggy, small antique shops, and farmer's markets were such a breath of fresh air to our normal busy and chaotic life. We planned multiple day trips from our wonderful bed and breakfast called the Barn at Strasburg. Sight & Sound's Esther was on the list for sure. We've been eager to see one of these captivating representations of the biblical account. We booked that. We found many covered bridges that we arranged on a map to visit. We even found a working Amish farm to visit. We checked out the pictures and reviews on Google and decided to make a few hours of it! We were excited to see the Amish make butter, see the schoolroom, the farm. The pictures and stories online really painted a story of what the place would be like. We were excited to see it! But, oh man... the TRUE story did NOT match the pictures.
Let's journey together into an update of my own solo cleaning business. 2020 was a great year. I started at $29,000 in total cleaning revenue, which was the beginning of the Stabilizer Phase of my ISO Model. After hitting multiple 60-day SMART goals, I ended the year at $80,000! That's a $51,000 increase in 1 year! Our profit tripled to just under $5,000 per month on 2 cleaning days per week. As you follow my podcast this year, I'll be showing you how I take this $80,000 Stabilizer business, cross the Optimizer threshold, and convert it to a $90,000 revenue, $6,000 per month profit on 2 days per week solo cleaning business. This is my SMART goal for 2021. This Optimizer business will be worth over $100,000, which means I could sell it again like I did in 2018! Please do not take that as a brag. I'm excited and grateful. This has been a journey. If you're new to my podcast, make sure you check out my 2020 catalog of podcast episodes as they take you on the $51,000 increase journey.
I still remember the car ride to Gatlinburg, TN with my wife when she told me this story. I had no idea that one story about shopping at the discount racks would turn into a podcast episode that has helped solo cleaners understand their value in the marketplace.
In my first full year as a solo cleaner, I worked a lot but we had no money. You've heard my story on this podcast a dozen times! We just lost our car to repossession. We had $170,000 in debt and no house! We earned under $2000/mo, lived in a ghetto, had bill collectors calling every day. We lived 5 hours from our closest family and we were new parents. In December 2006, we had no idea how we'd pay for our rent, let alone get a Christmas gift for our 2-year-old Kenny! That's why I'd like to introduce my dear friend Sean Rogers. We were in the Amway business together. After a Nite Owl (business mastermind session after hours at TGIF), Sean gave me a hug and followed it up with the Italian handshake. He had slipped me a $100 bill and said, "Get your son a Christmas present." I was in tears. How did he know we had nothing and couldn't even afford the air we were breathing? My guess is that Sean is a Christian and he was being obedient to what God told him.
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.