I was having a pre-driving talk with my 15-year-old son and shared my example when I was 16. I wanted to drive a car, but my mom couldn't put me on her policy. I bought my car for $1,300. Then my monthly expenses of car insurance, maintenance, and gas cost a ton. I needed this car to get to my job at the mall, but really I wanted the car to look cool driving to high school. I felt like I was treading water and not going anywhere. Why? I was going to school all day and then working at night. My weekly paycheck after taxes was just enough to pay my car expenses. I was in an ironic situation where I was working just to drive and driving just to go to work. I could have quit the job and hitched a ride to school from my neighbor and spent my time doing something I wanted to do. It took me a few years until I learned how to earn more income with the jobs I took. I was no longer working to drive as I had extra. Thank goodness or I would not have been able to afford taking my girlfriend Teresa anywhere. I could and won her over. I told Kenny. "And now she's your mom."
I'm excited to take you backstage again into my own solo cleaning business as I work to achieve my 2020 SMART goals! Now that the school year was back for my family and for my clients, I made a shift to my new schedule. I shuffled my biweekly Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday houses to Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. My goal was to reduce driving. When you're adding new clients like I've been, it's hard to optimize for location as you go. I tend to put new ones where I have the time to do an amazing 3-part initial cleaning. Once I speed up and lock in new clients, I begin to play calendar Tetris. As a practice, I try to move clients infrequently like once per year or less. Once I had the new schedule decided, I connected via email and text with each client to let them know. They all happily agreed.
There are so many people with the words, "I can't" as a major part of their vocabulary. It's an easy answer and an easy excuse to fail. Those two words come from a society trained to be followers versus critical thinkers. I've been saying this to myself and my kids for over a decade. If we can change those 2 words to 3 words, everything changes. Do you know what the 3 words should be? You guessed it (it's in the title). "How can I?
I would like to thank a listener to this podcast for this episode. A few weeks ago, I received an email from Katie Young, sharing with me that she was in the planning phase of her new solo cleaning business. Katie was very excited to get started and thanked me for my support through this podcast. Then she asked a question that I have not directly answered yet.
This week started with content batching. Batching is an optimizer's tool for ultra productivity. Every month, I create blogs, podcasts, and videos for Carfagno Cleaning and Solo Cleaning School. It takes a ton of time to do each week. I used batching in my cleaning business and in other areas of business over the years. When Teresa's mom was available to watch the kids overnight, we jumped on the opportunity and grabbed a hotel for the night. I got so much done as I batched blog after blog after blog. We also enjoyed time together, so it was a win-win. The following day, I rented an office from my MCBA friend Vernessa Hopkins. Vernessa owns H3 Business Services in Harleysville, PA. The office was perfect and I was able to record all of my podcasts for the upcoming month. My batching goal was to invest a few days and dollars to complete all of my content for a month. I accomplished that! Please keep this in mind. The portion of my batching that related to my solo cleaning business was a small part, so it may not be necessary for you to batch your content. However, you may start sending out newsletters a few times per month, maintain your website, and repurpose content to Facebook and Google My Business. Batching would be a great idea for you at that point.
Building a business is a privilege we have as free people in America. Patriots have bled and died to give and preserve this freedom and I never want to forget it. I also don't want to take it for granted. Kathy Barnette is the Republican candidate for U.S. Congress for the 4th District of Pennsylvania. This is the district I live in. She was a guest speaker in our church prior to the election and I was so moved with her talk that I asked her permission, her campaign, and our church for the right to take an excerpt from her talk and share it to my podcast audience. They agreed that this was a powerful message about preserving liberty and should be shared.
This episode is in the same mindset of "Top of Mind" and "Get your Name Out There ". My solo cleaning business grew this week with a new client, but first I want to share about Tom and Andrew and how they each helped me. I wasn't afraid to ask for feedback.
Tom and graduated high school together. We haven't talked in 25 years, with the exception of a few Facebook likes. Last week, I got a private message from Tom. "Hey Ken I tagged you on a comment from Ryan Nyce. He went to MHS a few years younger than us. He's a realtor in our hometown area. He was looking for a cleaner for Trooper. If that's in your sandbox, then feel free to comment to him as well. Good luck man! I listened to a few episodes of your podcast. I'm not a cleaner, but some of the business-related stuff I enjoyed! Keep up the good work!" I had no idea that Tom was paying any attention to what I've been working on. I was honored to be honest. I always liked Tom. We had our jokes and goofed off as seniors, but he's done very well in life and I respect him. This message was so encouraging. I did connect with Ryan and friended him. He added me to his cleaning list and we'll connect sometime and I'll share with him my 3 levels of cleaning so he understands what I do.
There are two stories I'd like to share to prove that mastery comes with strategic practice. The first story is cute. While making a secret Santa with my son Kye in the basement, I was painting meticulously. Kye marveled and said. "Wow, Dad. You're really good at that. When I get bigger, I'll be able to do it too." I said. "Kye, it's not getting bigger that will make you better. It's a lot of practice. I've been painting for 35 years." He got it right away. It's not how many years you've been alive. It's how many reps you put in. Do you follow this simple mindset?
I've broken a lot over 15 years, but it's all relative. I have two mindsets to discuss before I share my cleaning misdeeds.
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.