This interview originally released on December 13, 2021. At the time of our interview, I did not know that we would sponsor Damon's product the T-Bag. We were simply having a conversation from one cleaning business owner to another. Damon has a great story of try, fail, and adjust. He has been in this industry for decades and found a pain point that he wanted to solve. Damon invented the T-bag to solve the problem of janitors wasting time replacing trash bags while cleaning. It's a simple invention, but so is the coffee collar and the button. These inventions remain in the creative minds of most. It takes a special type of person to take a chance. That's why I support Damon Washington so much. Before I replay this interview, I wanted to give an short update on the T-bag since last December.
Colette is my personal accountant and she closes out a 3-part interview series we did on the Smart Cleaning Tribe. Colette gets into the nitty gritty of what a valuable accountant can do for you. First of all, she dives into business budgeting and how the business owner and accountant partner to help the business grow and plan for the unexpected. I took Colette's advice from the last episode "Hire Professionals on Day One" I hired an accountant in my second year when we had no money. I purchased insurance on day one. I found an attorney to work with in year two. However, I never had an accountant that does as much as Colette does for us. Beyond business budgeting, Colette explained what tax planning looks like. This is a huge value add your accountant can add for you. She shared some 2022 tax updates and how they may impact each of us at a high level to demonstrate how vital it is for us to have the right tax professional. Make sure to listen to Colette's checklist of what questions we should be asking our accountant when tax planning. Lastly, Colette gives us a checklist to us, the cleaners, on what we need to do on our end to help our accountant help us.
Check out my interview with the CBF Founder, entitled "A Buffalo Charges the Storm with Debbie Sardone". Debbie is offering free consultations to listeners of this show through the Smart Cleaning School Resources Page at smartcleaningschool.com/resources to see if CBF could be the right solution for you.
In part two of this 3-part interview with my accountant Colette on the Smart Cleaning Tribe, she dives deeper into the role of the accountant. In one question, she explains the benefits of hiring an all-in-one bookkeeper and accountant to help the business with tax planning and prep way before tax day. In another question, Colette surprised us all. "When should we hire an accountant?" Colette said that she is a big believer in hiring insurance, tax, and legal professionals in your business on Day One. Yes, it will cost you in the beginning. But the cost of fixing bad books or hiring a legal team after the fact or not having insurance coverage and an event happens is WAY more expensive. She is an advocate therefore of hiring these 3 professionals on Day One. Colette answers an interesting question about state versus federal tax laws. Plus, I share how Colette personally bills me for services. I think it's brilliant as I can budget accounting all year at the same price. It's a win for the cleaning business owner. From her side, she has reliable recurring income. That's a big win for her. I highly recommend an accountant that bills on a monthly retainer.
As mentioned in episode 1, feel free to reach out to Colette with questions or to hire her for accounting services. You can find her at CMBA Solutions.
I asked my personal accountant Colette Melott (CMA, EA) to join the Smart Cleaning Tribe for an Expert Call to help cleaning company owners understand their numbers and who to hire in their specific case. Colette starts this interview with the accounting basics.
I was in Dallas with my son for a podcasting conference in August. It was a blast, especially hanging out with my son. We stayed at the downtown Sheraton, which afforded us the ability to walk the city a bit. I also had the opportunity to connect in person with two former guests of the Smart Cleaning School. I went to lunch with Greg Shepard from "Sail Around the World". We had a blast walking around the city and enjoying a quality Mexican meal. Greg is a friend and definitely a mentor. He stretches me big time. The day after lunch with Greg, I had a personal tour and breakfast with Debbie Sardone from "A Buffalo Charges the Storm". Debbie is highly regarded coach in the residential cleaning industry as well as a friend and mentor. Back to my son and walking Dallas. I really, really wanted to visit Dealey Plaza. As a kid, I was enamored with the movie "JFK" starring Kevin Costner. The movie makes a compelling case for a second gunman on the grassy knoll. I have seen the Zapruder film so many times, that I already felt like I've been there. I was wrong. Being there was different. Kenny and I walked into Dealey Plaza. I was in awe. He knew more about the Lincoln assassination than Kennedy, so I described it as best I could. That's when I noticed a guy with a bike helmet and bike showing the Zapruder film and explaining the details of the assassination. Kenny and I walked over to listen. We stood on Elm Street in front of the old Texas State Book Depository as he pointed to the 6th floor corner window. The window is half open with boxes arranged exactly as they were in crime scene photographs. He paused the video on his phone and pointed to the first large "X" on Elm Street. This is where JFK was struck the first time in the neck. He played the Zapruder film. We could see Kennedy grab his neck. It was too surreal. He kept the film running as JFK was struck with the kill shot. He pointed to the second "X" on Elm Street. "On November 22nd, 1963, that's where an American President was assassinated." Chilling. We thanked him for his history lesson and walked the plaza. We stood on the "X" and took a picture. We stood on the grassy knoll and took a picture. We stood where Abraham Zapruder took the movie and yep, we took a picture. It was much, much different in real life. Dealey Plaza is virtually unchanged in 59 years. History is powerful, especially when we can be there in person.
Beginner's Business Mindset
In March 2002, Teresa and I joined the Quixtar business as Independent Business Owners (IBOs). It was the first business we ever owned. I was excited. I was ambitious. I had discipline. I had it all, right? Nope. I didn't have a business owner's mindset. I did not think like an entrepreneur. We started learning from Diamond IBOs. We saw the Diamond lifestyle of total freedom of time and money and we wanted it for our family. We heard this from our mentors, from CDs they gave us, and from Diamonds on stage. "You will be in 5 years based on the books you read and the people you associate." This was the starting point of our business owner's mindset. We were learning the fundamental truth that humans highly influence other humans. We are all creative miracles with immeasurable possibility. We all have the same brain and nervous system which the late, great Zig Ziglar said surpassed the world's best supercomputer of his era. As I learned this stuff, I asked the question. Why are the poor, poor and the rich, rich? There are many factors, so please don't dig too deep into this. I starting reading success stories from the poorest of the poor ascending through the poverty to become wealthy and influencing millions. I also heard of trust fund kids with all the money in the world descending into drug addiction and losing it all. That quote became truth to me. "You will be in 5 years based on the books you read and the people you associate." As I read those stories of success, they all had this in common. Other successful people helped them change the way they thought so that they could get where they got. Does this make sense? I was learning that I had an incredible brain and potential. But I wasn't tapping into it. I needed to start associating with different people that thought differently. I needed to turn off Sportscenter and the news and start watching successful people that I admired. I needed to put down magazines and Dean Koontz books and read wealth mentality books. I'm not the same person I used to be. I've been reading books to grow my mind and success for over 20 years. I've been associating with mentors that stretch me in every area of my life. I'm still becoming the person that I want to be in 5 years. In today's language, I needed to find mentors on podcasts, social media, YouTube, and attend conferences. That's what this podcast episode is all about. If you are brand new to the cleaning industry, I hope you choose to follow this show and absorb the mindset so you can grow!
This conversation with Crystal Hamm was wide-ranging in topics, but mainly focused on her past. In the present, Crystal runs a $3 million dollar residential cleaning company. Her team loves her and she loves them. She has build a company in the Raleigh Area that serves people greatly called the Go 2 Girls. I can't endorse this company enough if you live in Wake County, North Carolina.
Check out this interview with Crystal and listen to her story. She comes from rural America, climbing trees, and sliding into 3rd base for softball. She has come so far from her beginnings as the daughter of a coal miner to an employer of over 60 team members. She has a truly remarkable story. Here are a few quotes that I especially loved...
"That's my mentality. We never stop learning."
"My self worth was tied to that growth. So I felt that once I hit a million dollars then this small town girl was going to be good enough."
The Simple No
I am a listener to the Tim Ferriss Podcast and have been for years. I don't relate with every episode, but some of them really move me to action and inspire me. Here are some examples. Kelly Slater taught me to be humble. Hugh Jackman inspired me to utilize the rowing machine in my workouts! Chris Bosh showed me that my problems aren't that big! In this episode, Elizabeth Gilbert taught me the Art of the Simple No.
This talk was originally given for Coach Josh. He runs a Facebook group called TwelveTwo, which exists to empower entrepreneurs to pursue excellence in their finances and relationships. I had been working on this exercise after attending the Growth Now Summit Live in Lititz, PA with Justin Schenck. During this conference, my friend and Movement Influencer Andre Young taught me a simple exercise to help board rooms narrow down their company values to core values. What does that mean? Andre runs "You Evolving Now" and explained that leadership teams can think of many words to explain what the organization believes in. However, this exercise helped the teams he has coached to force their long list of values down to the vital few that were truly core. They are the ones that capture the essence of WHY the company exists, HOW they operate, and WHAT they do. I just pulled in a little Golden Circle by Simon Sinek too. Anyway, I borrowed this exercise from Andre along with Simon's mindset and adapted it to creating better habits
"Helping cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make."