Liz Trotter has been a leader in the cleaning industry for decades. She is the owner of American Maid in Olympia, WA, a business coach with Mastermind Accountability, where she helps every level of cleaning service grow to reach their dreams! This interview is full of so many nuggets and you will gain so much insight into the power of self-development. Liz is the poster child of the leadership quote by Harry Truman, "Readers are Leaders". This interview was so enjoyable because Liz shares her Why all throughout and you can see how her life & career experiences have shaped her into the person and business leader she is today.
Before I update you on Carfagno Cleaning and how I got caught red-handed, I need to share a lesson I learned in New York. It's called "Get Your Chad". Chad is the owner of Elite Vacuum in Clifton Park, NY. I purchased 2 backpack vacuums from Chad over a 6 year period and bought vacuum bags too. I used Chad's services for vacuum tune-ups. I partnered with this store to keep my machines running effectively. I wanted to avoid the curse of MDT (Machine Down Time). It's horrible and you lose so much money when your machine stops functioning. I invested into Chad and he invested into me. Because of my loyalty, I could call Chad anytime I had a vacuum question and he would help me think through it. If my machine needed quick service, I could stop by and Chad would drop what he was doing, throw it on the bench, and fix it for me. I was so thankful to have this working relationship with Chad that I taught it to solo cleaners in my early days of coaching.
Cost Versus Value
I was talking with Robert Pierce from my Solo Cleaning School Elite Membership. He's doing amazing. Robert works as a manager at Target and it's been in retail for 25 years. He found me on the Side Hustle Nation Podcast and decided to start a solo cleaning business. Robert understood the value of investing into his new business as he wanted to shortcut years of trying to figure it out himself. He joined the Elite Membership and has subsequently built his solo cleaning business in 6 months to a lean, professional, and profitable company. I was so impressed talking to him as he shared how close he is to achieving his goal and dream of getting out of retail! I was so excited to hear this. We talked about his plan and how many clients and profit he needs to hit this goal.
This conversation was full of vision. Paul Auguste is a motivated 30-year-old entrepreneur who knows what he wants and why he wants it. It is difficult to listen to him share his dream and not want to be one of his 7 future millionaires that he's mentoring. Paul's main business is HomePlus Cleaning (Tyngsborough, MA). This interview starts out with an aviation story from a near crash in Paul's airplane and ends with where Paul sees his family in the future and the man is only 30!
Two Questions to Grow Your Network
This podcast is evolving into a show that grows your vision, solidifies your business owner's mindset, and teaches through stories. For the first 158 episodes, this podcast was the Solo Cleaning School. I was bringing vision, mindset, strategy, and most importantly, my own journey as a solo cleaning optimizer. I was challenged to add my journey in Gatlinburg, TN at the TLF Retreat by my mastermind friends that love and support me. Their challenge was simple. "Ken, you've built a solo cleaning business to $60k profit on 2 days per week and sold it for $80k. You are teaching this to solos. Why not do it again in another state and catalog your journey? It would be the ultimate accountability tool from you to those that you are trying to help." I was challenged big time and accepted! If you start this podcast from the beginning, you will experience the growth of my second optimized solo cleaning business. In fact, I've grown this business from $20,000 annual revenue in October 2019 to $90,000. My solo cleaning business now is better than the one I sold for $80,000 in New York. I've accomplished the goal that I set to accomplish in Gatlinburg. In a previous episode, "A New Freedom Vision", I shared what's been stirring in my heart on the future of my cleaning business. Our family has a dream to visit all 50 states! We don't need to do it in one long RV homeschooling trip. We love our area and the roots we've established with our family in the Philly Area. Yet, we are still excited to live a life of time, money, and location freedom. I shared on that podcast how my friend and leader Total Life Freedom, Vincent Pugliese, challenged me to pursue my long-time dream of enjoying a whole month in warmth during the winter. Again, I accepted the accountability challenge. We are going to the Gulf Coast in February for a month! This means a lot of things practically. I need to delegate my cleaning business for a whole month and have enough money to make the trip! My dream expanded. In my first solo cleaning business, I optimized to sell. In this solo cleaning business, I'm optimizing to scale. Ken, the solo cleaner, is hiring in 2021. I will continue to update you on Carfagno Cleaning and my progress toward this dream! I hope you enjoy it!
Don't Be Like Owl
I've had this podcast series idea for quite some time and finally decided it was time to share it. I am an avid reader and movie watcher. Plus, I'm a dad of 5 and have read and watched nearly everything out there. Combine this with my appetite for observation. I notice things in books and movies that make me think. I connect invented characters to real-life lessons. This podcast series will consist of a number of Don't Be Likes. This first one is Don't Be Like Owl. I'll do others on Don't Be Like Clark W. Griswold, or Phil Connors, or a Lemming. It's going to be a lot of fun for me to share these characters with you.
Finding your Vein
The Smart Cleaning Tribe meets on Zoom every Monday at noon eastern for 2 hours to mastermind, solve issues, and most importantly, to talk about our Why, dreams, and vision. Then we set SMART goals and accountability to achieve these dreams. It's one of the funnest things I get to do for income! I love serving these amazing, growing cleaning company owners. Recently, we were brainstorming on a Tribe call for Lizzie. She is an amazing person and has a big freedom dream coming true in May. She is taking her family to Puerto Rico for a month. The deadline forced Lizze to properly systematize and delegate her cleaning business. Everything was on track until hiring became darn-near impossible. There is a dynamic right now in America that most of you should be noticing. The government has handed out a lot of money for struggling families. Unfortunately, it has also demotivated the work force and companies are literally bribing people to work for them. This put Lizzie in a major bind as she needed a few more employees to secure her trip.
Welcome back to Solo Saturday! Hey solos, what do you think of this new monthly feature? What do you think of the new vibe of the podcast? I'd love your feedback. Please connect with me through my website or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In this month's edition of Solo Saturday, I will provide a sequel to the popular "Excellence Vs. Perfection".
In November 2019, I was full of enthusiasm as I was going after my second solo cleaning business. I had just started the podcast and made a promise to take you on a journey as I built and optimized my new solo cleaning company. I was more excited when I got my first two biweekly houses. But it all tumbled when I had to start cleaning again. I was out of house cleaning shape. I took too long and I was getting tired and frustrated. I hated my business and didn't want to do it anymore. I whined to my wife, but she didn't accept it. This Best-Of is the episode where I shared where I was during this time.
Turn the clock ahead. I pushed through and endured. Now, I am in cleaning shape and clean 3 houses every other Thursday and Friday. I enjoy it and can listen to podcasts and books while I work. My second solo cleaning business is fully built and I honored my promise to you. What a difference 18 months makes when you set your mind to achieving a goal! I'm so thankful that I pushed through. It was SO worth it!
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.