I've told this story for years. Teresa and I were in the Amway business from 2002 to 2012. While we were there, we were blessed with incredible friends and mentors. One of those men is Herb Eplee. He build his Amway business to 6-figures and residual income in the early 90's and retired from corporate America at 37 years old. Herb is a self-acclaimed Kentucky redneck. He had a retirement party that literally made the Spartanburg, SC newspapers as he set 5 alarm clocks in a field. He labeled them Monday through Friday and blew them up one by one with a shotgun. All of his friends in the Amway business celebrated with American flags as he quit his job. I met Herb 10 years later. He was my Amway Upline and helped Teresa and I in so many ways along with our other upline mentor Joe Schirripa. These two men, whom I'll share more about in future podcasts taught us business owner mentality and mentored us in business, marriage, and faith.
Do you know how the tea kettle works? It's simple. You fill up the kettle, leaving some room at the top. There is a small pour spout on top with a hinged lid. The water slowly heats up as pressure increases inside this closed pressure vessel. Once critical mass is achieved and the water is boiling, the pressure inside causes the kettle lid to crack and whistle. The water is ready for making tea. I won't mention the person, but I heard a story this week that got me thinking about the tea kettle. This person has a long commute to work, a mentally demanding job, an elderly parent to care for, and children in high school and college in this post-COVID world. This person is constantly in a state of work, like Vincent Pugliese mentioned in the previous episode, "My Greatest Ideas have Never Come from Being Busy " As this person was talking, I could feel the tension, stress, and internal pressure like the water in the heating tea kettle. I felt terrible, but also realized that once a person is in this state, they won't believe they can get out. They feel trapped because they are under so much pressure, with no mental margin, and no quieting time to get new ideas to change things. The image of that tea kettle kept coming to mind.
I brought my friend Vincent Pugliese into the SMART Cleaning Tribe that I facilitate in July as an expert to share mindset on building a life of Total Life Freedom. We covered many topics, but one connected more than any other. It was the concept of quieting your brain. Listen to the podcast for the full discussion. I'll share a few points he made while talking with Lizzie Strohl of Lebanon Cleaning Crew out of Lebanon, MO.
In a recent solo cleaning business update, "Slow Down to Speed Up ", I invested 45 minutes in the driveway talking to potential clients. I answered all of their questions and even walked one through a series of questions to use to interview other cleaning services. Her name is Meghann. She hired me for an initial cleaning last week and it went splendid. Meghann was very impressed and wanted to get quotes for a recurring service either biweekly or monthly. I provided those prices within a day. By the end of last week, we agreed on a monthly recurring service for $160. Yay! It pays to slow down. I invested 30 minutes on the phone and it turned into $2,200 in revenue over the first 12 months!
I published the article, "Did you Know Cleaning has a Specialist Too?" for Carfagno Cleaning and sent it out as my weekly newsletter. I want to read you this article as it will help you understand WHY I earn more per client than others.
I also want to thank my fellow BIB member and insurance agent, Andew Rumbold of the R.A. Fraser Group for asking me the follow-up question "What is a Level 4 Specialist"? Andrew, that's an amazing question and here's my answer. I believe that the highest level one can attain in a craft or discipline is one of the teacher. You cannot teach what you haven't done. Thus, the teacher is higher than the doer. I labeled Level 2 and 3 as the experts in the science and art of cleaning and therefore labeled myself a Level 3 Cleaning Specialist. But thanks to Andrew, I am changing my label to the teacher and Level 4 Cleaning Specialist. I teach the science and art of cleaning to you listening to this podcast, to my students in the Solo Cleaning School Elite Membership, and my local community through newsletters, network meeting presentations, and webinars. I am a Level 4 Cleaning Specialist and like the doctors and surgeons from the medical field earn the most... so do I!
There is a Level 0 Cleaner too! I call them "Aunt Sally" cleaners. They are sweet ladies who live down the street or clean part-time while in college or raising kids. They are uninsured, under-the-table & non-compliant on taxes, and come with HIGH-risk of getting you in trouble if something goes wrong.
This is a follow up to "Top of Mind" as I walk through 3 examples of how I get my name out there. Also, make sure to listen to the "Go for No" episode before this one! If you didn't listen yet, stop, and go back! It's hard in the beginning to do this as you fear what others will think of your new cleaning business. I promise you. It gets easier the more you do it. The next mindset you need is one of service and helping others. Getting your name out isn't greedy or self-serving. There are people right now that need exactly what you offer. You would be selfish to hold it back. Therefore, have courage and overcome the fear. Share your knowledge and your business and let God work out the rest. That's what I do. Here's the examples that happened my solo cleaning business over the past 2 weeks.
You need to read the book, "Go for No". It's recommended on my 'Resources' page! I first read this book in 2007.
It taught me that No is not the opposite direction from Yes. In fact, it's on the way to it! Once I got that, my brain shifted 180 degrees. I was still fearful to talk to people as an introvert, but I lost the biggest reason for the fear. This book lays this out. Most people assume that getting a No to your offer is failure and Yes is success. That's wrong! Getting No's is a part of the process to get Yes's. If I got 1 Yes every 10 times, it meant that it took me 9 No's to get 1 Yes. Thus, No (and many of them) was on the way to Yes and success. I also learned that failure was not trying at all or giving up. This totally gave me freedom and removed a lot of my fear!
We need to stop trying to rush everything. I do have a goal and teach optimizing and getting faster at cleaning. However, I DO NOT rush the marketing and new client process. I take a lot of time to connect with potential clients. This pays off as I understand the trust building process. I have a few examples from this week in my own solo cleaning business. Let me paint the picture first. I was gone all day cleaning houses. While I cleaned, two messages came through for cleaning inquiries. I could have answered them, but it would hurt my optimizing times as the distraction would cause me to lose momentum. Plus, I wouldn't be on top of my game to give full attention to the prospects. I took voicemails. When I got home, I stayed in my car for 45 minutes. My wife and kids wanted me to come in and see them. Teresa didn't know why I was sitting in my car for so long, but she gave me the space. I was making an investment. During this 45 minutes, I returned 2 phone calls and took my time.
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.