I recorded "A New Freedom Vision" in May, just 6 months ago. It was a bold proclamation. I could not go to Florida for a month, while scheduled to clean 2 days per week. I had to grow a team. I interviewed Josh Melton for my podcast in June ("The Cleaning Road to Nineveh with Josh Melton") and immediately asked him to coach me. I was ready for the challenge and I was ready to show you all that I could do it. Let me cut right to it. It's 6 months later and we have 0 new clients and 0 new employees. In fact, we have at least $1,000 per month less in cash flow because our expenses went up as we've been building to scale. There are 3 topics to discuss on this episode and unfortunately, I don't have a clip from Coach Josh. His best stuff was on the final coaching call before Thanksgiving and it wasn't recorded. His call-out was tough and I'll share that first.
Best Of - Count the Cost
In this 'Best Of' episode, I share an opening story of a landscaper who didn't care how they drove. They didn't consider their actions behind the wheel to matter toward their job. In the recent episode, "Get Out of the Car", I share a chilling story of my conduct behind the wheel of my car in between cleaning jobs. I encourage you to listen to both of these episodes and them them challenge your ego. Are you potentially harming your business reputation or worse, putting your safety in harm's way?
Play the Background
Have you ever organized a conference, ceremony, wedding, or performance? It is a ton of work. The guests simply show up and observe the show. A Master of Ceremony (MC) steps forward with the microphone into the spotlight to lead the guests through a journey. They orchestrate multiple speakers to the climax of the ceremony or performance, where the biggest moment takes center stage. I was that MC recently at my church for a Royal Rangers Gold Medal of Achievement Ceremony. The Royal Rangers is a Christian ministry raising up boys to become godly men. They develop outdoor, survival, leadership, and spiritual maturity over a decade-long path. The Gold Medal of Achievement (GMA) is the highest award and equivalent to the Boy Scouts Eagle Scout Award. To put this into perspective, there are over 10,000 Royal Rangers nationally and less than 1% ever earn their GMA. Therefore, we celebrate this accomplishment with as much pageantry, formality, and fanfare as we can create to honor the recipients, their parents, their mentors, their church, and Jesus, their Master Ranger. On November 13th, 2021, Logan and my son Kenny Carfagno were recognized for this high honor. It was an emotional day. I've been preparing my first born son for this day for 10 long years in Rangers. Both young men crushed it! Feel free to watch the GMA Ceremony and hear the keynote testimonies of Logan and my son, Kenny.
Good Fruits Come from Good Roots
I'm recording this episode a few days before Thanksgiving. I have so much to be thankful for. For one, listen to my last episode "Get Out of the Car". I am thankful to be here and able to tell the story. It's sobering. If you haven't heard that episode, stop now, and go back! I am thankful for my health, my amazing wife and 5 kids that all love their Daddy. I am thankful that my dad is picking up the pieces and fighting to get his life back after years of addiction. I am thankful that my mom survived Covid and still has years of life left. I am thankful that I had 44 years with my paternal grandparents, Nana and Pop-Pop Carfagno, who co-raised me. They are very responsible for the man, husband, father, and leader that I've become. I am thankful to have 5 siblings that I'm close with and the 2 little boys and girls that call me Uncle Ken. I am thankful for the house we rent with 2 acres and a creek for our kids to play outside. I am thankful for our church and church family that loves and supports. I am thankful for my friends and the relationships that pour into me. If you've listened to this podcast for a while, you've heard me mention those friends by name. I'm thankful for my business and the amount of time I have at home with my family. I am thankful that we are debt-free. I am thankful to have the assurance of a relationship with the Maker of heaven and earth after I pass away. I could go on and on.
Get Out of the Car
This episode has nothing to do with cleaning, but it may save your life. I'm going to share a story that happened to me recently while I was driving in between houses. Some of you will hear this story and just say, "Ken, that was dumb! I would never do that." Others will say, "Ken, I needed to hear that. Thank you." In the moment, I felt in the right. But for the rest of the night and week, I felt an unbelievable amount of gratitude. I could have been killed in broad daylight at a stop sign in a safe, suburban area and left my wife a widow at 40 and 5 kids fatherless. And for what? My ego!? I hope this story helps you to view the potential dangers other pose at all times. Don't provoke others to anger. Don't get puffed up that you are in the right. We have NO idea what is going on in other people's heads. It's not worth it. I have shared that safety is one of my 3 core values. Excellence, Ownership, and Safety. On this occasion, I failed miserably at my own core value and learned a tremendous lesson. I've heard it said that experience is learning from your own mistakes and wisdom is learning from others. Please gain wisdom from my mistake as a result of this podcast episode.
I started this podcast for many reasons in October 2019. I love creating and expressing ideas to others. I'm a natural teacher and the podcast platform has allowed me to get my ideas out of my head and do an audio journal for myself and for anyone that wants to follow. When I started, I was struggling to get my second solo cleaning business off the ground. The struggle wasn't tactical. I knew how to build a company. I just didn't want to. I was challenged by close friends and a new friend I met at a podcasting conference to start. I used this show as a public accountability to the world that I could and would build a second business. I did. For 175 episodes, I built my company and shared my weekly progress with anyone that would listen. Over time, I've added new features like the "Funny Papers" to entertain you with silly stories. I shared clips of membership and expert calls that I facilitate in the Smart Cleaning Tribe. At the end of 2020, I changed the name of the podcast from the Solo Cleaning School to the Smart Cleaning School, which brought the new tag line of "helping visionaries make the impact they were meant to make." This branding change opened the door to add a monthly long-form, hour-long interview with visionaries from the cleaning industry. I literally did nothing by the book. Normal interviews are organized and questions are sent out ahead of time. I didn't want that at all! I wanted to have a conversation with great people and ask them deeper questions than others in their spheres ask. And I wanted these amazing guests to feel comfortable enough with me to answer them. Therefore, I have no structure to my interviews. In fact, the average 60-minute interview that you hear edited is actually a 90 to 120-minute recorded conversation. I also didn't want to leave my solo cleaning friends high and dry. I added a 10th monthly episode called "Solo Saturday" just for this incredible tribe of cleaning owners that work by themself with no employees. I have simply kept this in front of me. I am creating shows for cleaning business owners all over the world to entertain them and to educate them on leadership, business owner's mindset, efficiency and optimization, and how to live a balanced, healthy life.
I have shared multiple times my network marketing background with the Amway business. Teresa and I were active IBOs in the Britt Worldwide team and then shifted over to Larry Winter's LTD organization between 2002 and 2012. We are still IBO's but only to buy products because I still love and use Amway cleaning products in my house and office cleaning business. We have credited so many good things in our life as a direct result of our affiliation with Amway. For starters, we become Christians at an Amway event as crazy as that sounds. Teresa and I are happily married after 18 years as a direct result of the mentors we both had in Amway. Special thanks to our upline Herb & Susie Eplee and Joe & Julie Schirripa out of Spartanburg and Greenville, South Carolina. We learned business owner mentality from hundreds of personal development CDs, weekly open meetings, late-night counseling calls with our upline, and in-person team meetings, conferences, and attitude sessions. Teresa and I sold out and worked together on our marriage and business. We never achieved the level we had hoped for, but that is not because Amway doesn't work. It's because I never truly worked it. I want you to hear this quote by Crown Ambassador Bill Britt. He is one of the most successful Amway IBO's in their 70-year history. This is the highest level an IBO can reach and it earned Bill and his wife Peggy millions and millions of dollars over his 50+ year MLM career. Sadly, Bill passed away in 2013, the year after we stepped away from actively building our Amway business. Bill's legacy to thousands and probably millions of people around the world is humongous. Here's the quote.
Do You Have a Few Minutes?
"Do you have a few minutes?" Have you ever been called and asked this? Have you ever been at a store or church or at a business meeting and asked this? I'm sure you have. Does it ever take a few minutes? NO! In fact, is your definition of a "few" minutes the same as the other person's? Nope. I believe this is one of the most dangerous questions known to man! You might say. "Ken, you're being dramatic." Oh, you think so. I have been on 90 minute phone calls that derailed my day because the caller wanted a "few minutes". I have stayed at business meetings 45 minutes longer and missed out on other important things because of a "few minutes". At this point in my life and especially after reading the "7 Habits of Highly Successful People", I can now start to recognize this question for what it is.
Get a New Bag of Lemons
Hello solo cleaners out there! I thoroughly enjoy speaking directly to you every Solo Saturday. In this episode, I'm going to address a common question I'm asked when I coach solo cleaners through my ISO Model. This time it was asked by Shasta Patterson who is a listener to the Smart Cleaning School Podcast and an up and coming solo cleaning optimizer! Thank you Shasta for taking me up on my free coaching call option on my website. Let's revisit your question and my answer so others can hear it.
Don't Run with Donkeys
Don't you love catchy titles?! I do. This one was totally organic and unplanned. It was my turn to present the next education piece at my local MCBA business networking group. I had a topic that I wanted to test on a group of business owners. I do this with newer content. The result was very good. At the end of the talk, the group was discussing who they wanted to bring in as a special guest speaker during an upcoming "bring a guest day" and the group unanimously chose me! They wanted me to do the same talk again. I recorded both and have permission from every member who commented in my talk. As promised, I wanted to give each of them a shout out and link to their business.
"Helping cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make."