As I sit down to record this podcast, I grabbed a Clif Bar from my lunch bag to further establish my point. Right on the label, it says this. "We're Planting 1 Million Trees." This is the mission of the Clif company to appeal to those that love and want to maintain our environment. How many people have never eaten a Clif bar that would buy it when they read this across the label in a store? That is exactly the message I'd like to share in this re-introduction podcast!
I launched this podcast in October 2019 as the Solo Cleaning School with the vision of "Moms Helping Moms Helping Moms". At this point in my life, I was newly resolved to build my second solo cleaning company and potentially sell it again. I wanted a place where solo cleaners could visit and feel like they had a place to belong. I've been a solo cleaner for 16 years at this point and I know that solos feel "so-low" in our industry. Many feel like they're beneath the larger employee-based companies. Others feel like they are working with no goals to win and no way to change. Thus, they feel stuck. My initial vision was to provide a home for these solo cleaners and give them a vision they could grab onto. When you started, you were likely a mom and you cleaned for moms. You're helping moms and they're helping you by providing you income. I grew this vision by introducing the third group of moms. There are successful solo cleaning moms that have been doing this for years. What if they helped you as you got started and eventually, you could be the successful mom helping other moms (in solo cleaning) help moms (clean their homes and provide them peace of mind)? Many of you latched onto this vision and I was here to help you make the impact you were meant to make.
Over the course of the past 18 months since launching this podcast, many things have changed in my life. First of all, my second solo cleaning business has grown to the Optimizer level and I'm highly considering bringing on employees in 2022 to run my company once it's fully optimized. What?! Ken, tell me that isn't so! It is so. I am working 2 days per week for close to $6,000 per month profit now. It's amazing, but I want to have more time and location freedom than that. I want to help more people in more locations. I can accomplish this in one of 3 ways. I can find and train up solo cleaners local to me and sell off parts of my business to them to collect passive income payments over a few years. I can sell my business outright like I did before and also collect a cashout along with monthly passive income payments for a few years. Or, I can keep my income stream and hire employees. This would alter my business model from $6,000 profit per month on 2 cleaning days per week to $2,500 profit per month on zero cleaning days! Plus, I have been networking like crazy over the past 18 months and have developed a name for myself. I have the potential of growing this company to $6,000 per month profit with employees and not cleaning at all and beyond. For now, I just want to optimize my company and use this year to decide which of these 3 paths I'd like to take.
Why am I sharing all of this? I have been helping solo cleaners in these 150+ episodes to get to where I am now, but I haven't shared the full picture. I haven't talked much about the options you gain as an Optimizer. Do you know that you're business is an asset? I sold my first one for $80,000! Do you know that you can scale your business? Most of the team-cleaning company owners that I help in the Smart Cleaning Tribe started as solo cleaners and at some point, their goals and visions were larger than a solo business could provide. They wanted to provide great jobs to their community. They wanted to create time, money, and location freedom for their family. Many had bigger visions and missions that blew my mind. Many invest their companies into local community non-profit or church-related missions and organizations. I'll share a few examples that have really moved me were Go Beyond Profit to encourage community investment and engagement. Another is A21, whose mission is to end slavery (human trafficking). Some want to give more to their churches and fund missionary work. Others want to save and protect endangered animals at shelters. I've heard of formerly abused and battered women who now clean and want to give to support this cause. Other businesses want to create a non-profit or faith-based ministry like a friend who is literally saving children from slavery and other unspeakable evils in Mexico and Central America by building orphanages and teaching them the love of God. I have other friends that are helping the homeless or lending their time to mentor new business owners so they can save their families from financial ruin. In each and every case, these amazing cleaning owners share and spread their vision to their team, clients, and community. It's awesome. I wanted to be a part of helping these amazing visionaries make the impact they were meant to make. I want all cleaning companies to exist for a bigger purpose to serve and help mankind. Is this a lofty goal?! YES!!!
That is why I have broadened the audience for this podcast beyond solo cleaners. I want to help every cleaner from start-up to struggling solo to striving to seven-figures get smarter in how they DO their business. I want to help companies get smarter in the way they share their company and vision. I want to help companies get smarter in the way they strategize the growth of their companies so they can earn more, be more efficient, and get more out of the resources they have. I want to help companies get smarter in how they set goals and achieve them. By no means am I the expert for all of these areas. I will use this podcast forum to share my views and stories, but I will also bring experts from our industry and outside to share their views. I believe each and every one of you listening to this podcast, regardless of your business model or size has this in common. You all have something GREAT you were meant to do. You have an impact that you were meant to make on your neighbors locally, nationally, or globally. The Smart Cleaning School exists to help visionaries make the impact they were meant to make. This podcast will continue to publish 2 episodes per week. Plus, I'll be adding bonus "Solo Saturday" episodes at the beginning of each month for my loyal solo cleaners that follow this show. It doesn't matter where you are in the process from startup to seven figures, this podcast aims for every episode to make an impact on you, the visionary making impact to your world!
Now that I have your attention and hopefully your enthusiasm, I'd like to share a little more on the title of this episode. I've done over 30 Smart Goals Workshops in 2021 and have been so encouraged by the participant's Why or reasons they want to grow their businesses. The overriding theme has been legacy. So many cleaning company owners come from humble beginnings and they want to break the family curse. Some grew up abused and afraid. Others dealt with generational debt and poverty and wanted to be the first to be successful. Others just wanted to escape their parent's grip and be on their own for the first time in their life. I used a tool called the 5 Why's to drill down with questions until I reached the thing that really moved someone. From there, we were able to set practical goals with deadlines to help them achieve their Why. It was so awesome to be a part of so many people's lives in this way. The part that I wanted to share with you is what I would say to every participant as they start their goals workshop with me.
"I want you to put aside your distractions. Everything can wait. It's time for a fresh take on your life. You are right now in life based on the decisions you've made, the habits you've formed, and the people you've hung out with. That is indisputable. Take a large knife and cut through everything, so you stop heading along the same path. Let's talk about Why are you doing what you're doing and together decide which decisions, habits, and friends you should hang onto and which you need to change in order to achieve the Big Goal and Dream in your life."
I can't tell you how much peace this gave people. I could see their stress fade off as they realized that they don't have to keep performing for someone else. It was time for them to decide what they wanted and why. Once someone knows their Why, their purpose for their business, they get energized. No one can stop them. They can't even stop themselves. In fact, the more they share their Why, the more people show up to be a part of it. This is how great organizations form. Simon Sinek shares so much on this topic in his book, "Start With Why". Jim Collins talks about it in "Good to Great". There's a reason. Great visionaries are the leaders that make the biggest changes in our world. Here's my question. Why not you?
That's why I changed the name of my podcast and brand from Solo Cleaning School to Smart Cleaning School. I am helping cleaning company owners get smarter so that they can unleash the visions and Why they have on their families, communities, and even their planet!
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.