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.
This episode is a continuation to It's Time for a Fresh Take. I'm a huge fan of the Rocky series, especially being from the City of Brotherly Love. As a kid, I'd watch the Rocky movies and visit the Philadelphia Art Museum with my dad. We'd climb the walls, visit Rocky's statue (from Rocky III), and explore. But we never actually set foot inside the art museum. I'm not going to summarize the entire Rocky series, but there are some basics that you need to know. Rocky Balboa was a washed up, 30 year old boxer from Philly. He was a scrapper, a bruiser, but was thick-headed and going no where. That all changed when the heavyweight champion of the world was due to fight in Philadelphia for a bicentennial title defense against Mac Lee Green. Green hurt his hand and had to cancel. The other challengers were either busy didn't believe they could get into shape fast enough to fight the Champ. Apollo got creative to give a local guy a chance at the title in the name of freedom to celebrate the Bicentennial. Apollo flipped through boxer registrations and he really liked "The Italian Stallion, Rocky Balboa". This sequence of events began one of the best movie series of all time to celebrate the Underdog.
This episode is a clip from an Expert Call I facilitated in the Smart Cleaning Tribe last December with my friend Alonzo Adams of Busy Bee Cleaning Company in West Chester, PA. Alonzo is a serial entrepreneur with one of the best business & financial mindsets I've ever had the opportunity to learn from. His cleaning company is top rated in Southeastern PA. Alonzo has also grown multiple revenue streams outside of his cleaning company, which is creating generational wealth for his family. He also just completed his term as the chairman for the Association of Residential Cleaning Services (ARCSI). I invited Alonzo onto a Tribe call to share about ARCSI and it's many benefits. But my true intention was to give Tribe members a dose of millionaire mindset around business, finance, and networking. Alonzo is a master networker. In this clip, I extract the networking portion so you can get a flavor of how the rich become rich.
Recently, I was on a phone call with Wendy Norman. Wendy is a member of the same Total Life Freedom Mastermind as me. She has grown a large Instagram following for her wedding photography business, Apt B Photo out of Savannah, GA. However, Wendy took a substantial hit during Covid and had to do a major pivot. She saw the growing trend of elopements as an alternative to the big wedding and started offering photography packages on her website. They started selling and selling. Now, Wendy is a niche leader in Elopement Photography Packages in Savannah and her name is spreading nationally.
Much time is needed in this podcast episode to clear the names of several members of Total Life Freedom Philly. Before I share the final installment of 'Who Paid for Lunch Clue', I must share a few things that happened in my cleaning business since my last update. It will be short. Trust me! First of all, I was asked to lead an education piece for my local MCBA networking group. I taught on the "They Ask You Answer" process. I have LOVED this book and implemented it into both of my websites for Carfagno Cleaning and Smart Cleaning School. The group enjoyed the discussion as it gave them much to think about. I had a one-time cleaning job booked at a historic barn & wedding venue. When we got there, the plumber was replacing some parts and had the water turned off to the entire barn. The plumber was willing to give us an hour to "do our thing" with water, but I had to decline as we needed at least 5 hours of water. Ultimately, I rescheduled the job and wasted 2+ hours of my day and potentially $750 of other work I could have scheduled. Here's what I found out. The plumber was due to work on Monday at the barn, but got held up at had to postpone to Tuesday. I was scheduled for all day Tuesday. The plumber lets the barn know late on Monday that he can't make it and he'll come over in the morning. This is find in his isolated world, but in the greater picture, Tuesday was already booked. This plumber should have called the barn and worked out a suitable reschedule date like I did. He didn't and unfortunately, it only cost me not him. If this makes you angry, don't let it. It's my fault. I should have called to confirm the barn Monday night or Tuesday morning to make sure I'd have water. Things happen. I just wish that this plumber was more professional.
Actual quote - "Some of you won't move your pawn until you can see the checkmate."
I heard about Caleb Maddix a few years ago when he was 15 years old. I was shocked to hear about this teenager that had already blown past me in annual revenue and was about to earn his first million dollars. Recently, I listened to a podcast with Caleb at 17 (He's 18 now). He rocked me with 3 to 4 solid mindset bombs. I would like to share one with you, Mr. Overthinker and Mrs. Procrastinator.
As I listened to this episode recently, I heard myself say that I still have all four grandparents living. I was sharing this in gratitude as it released on February 3rd, 2020. My Nana passed away suddenly on 2/22/20. The main heckler and mentor in this episode passed away on 11/22/20. He never got to hear the episode about the 18 gutter balls. He didn't need to. He lived it and reminded me of it all the time. I want you to listen to this episode again and ask yourself the hard question at the end. "Have you learned yet?" I'd also like you to find the people that are the most special to you and go see them and give them a big hug. Tell them how much you love and appreciate them. You never know when they'll be gone.
"You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want." Zig Ziglar
My two friends and mentors Vincent Pugliese of Total Life Freedom and Billy Altman of the Altman Crew helped me with a major breakthrough this month. These two friends of mine are relational in nature. Connecting and generosity are a part of their life. For me connecting and generosity is a mechanical task that I put on a list and cross off. I've been connecting in my cleaning business for the last 18 months as you've heard on this podcast. I've adopted the Zig Ziglar attitude and have made it my aim to help other people get what they want. This has absolutely worked for the growth of my cleaning business. Let me illustrate. Every time I get a phone call or I meet someone at a networking meeting or I have someone ask me a question online, I always look to help them without expecting them to hire me for cleaning.
It's time to return to my personal Carfagno Cleaning business for some updates. I got a call through my website after a referral from my TLF Philly friend, Emily Brunner. This is also "Innocent Emily" from "The Benevolent Benefactor". Stephanie is a house manager for a homeowner with a 7,000 square foot house in a wealthy suburb of Philly. She does all of the business to manage the home for the busy owner. I was very upfront and shared my prices would be $250-$500 per visit and could give many options. I gave optimizer prices. It's a little further than I'd like to travel, but the price could be worth it. She liked my approach and scheduled the estimate. I told her that I'd be able to give a tighter ballpark price window after the estimate. She could then request detailed options if the ballpark fit. I am literally trying to get her to filter out if I'm not the right fit. I can only do this because I was recommended, have a great website, and I'm starting a waiting list. This is a perfect combination of creating demand as an Optimizer. Don't copy me if you're NOT an Optimizer! The night before the estimate, I had an uneasiness about going to the estimate and shared it with my wife. She sensed that I was about to possibly take on a client that was high-paying, but possibly high-drama. That's NOT the type of client I want, so I called Stephanie back and said this. "I'm really sorry, but I need to decline the estimate. It's out of my service area and I'm not sure if I can fit it in as a solo cleaner. I do have a friend that I recommend. She serves your neighborhood." Then I connected the two and both were very appreciative. This was a win-win-win. Stephanie gets what she wants. My friend got a lead. Emily looks good that she had a great referral. I don't get the client and that's a good thing. Plus, I created future reciprocity between me and my other local cleaner friend. This is why I turned work down this week the first time.
This is the first Solo Saturday episode. You are still my people. I'm a solo cleaner and have always been one. This monthly Saturday solo show will guide you along my ISO Model. In this first episode, I'd like to start with a 15-minute clip from a recent Optimizer's Workshop I did with Heather Parke from Heather's Housekeeping in Roy, Utah. The Optimizer phase is the final part of my ISO Model. Over the years, I have developed a tool to examine and analyze a solo cleaner's business. It's called an Optimizer's Workshop. I did this workshop with Heather from the Solo Cleaning School Elite Membership as a perk of her membership. We spent 90 minutes together on Zoom to map out her business to see if she was an Optimizer yet. My goal is to show you the analysis needed to properly assess your solo cleaning business. I also realize that this workshop clip is harder to understand without seeing it. Therefore, I have also included the video on my Smart Cleaning School YouTube Channel.
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.