I was listening to the Tim Ferriss Podcast recently as he interviewed the one and only Seth Godin. Between comments, Tim uttered the metaphor of the duck does all of its work under the surface. I literally had to pause the episode and write out this one! In my last episode, Mission 20/20 Accomplished, I painted a picture of team cleaning companies growing through insurmountable odds and I shared my success in 2020. I don't want anyone to think that we had it easy or growing our cleaning businesses come easy to us. Let's learn from the duck and then come back with the goal of encouraging you and giving you truth!
The duck appears to always be in control as it glides across the water. It is cool, calm, and collect without a care in the world. Yet, it gets to where it's trying to go. It does change direction and sometimes glides in circles, but it always gets to where it's trying to go. It's easy to see the duck from the side of the lake and say. "Why can't my life be as easy as the duck? They just find the pond or lake that suits them and simply glide across the surface, stick their head under water for a bite to eat, and chill!" Or what if you're thinking this. "I'm watching and listening to Ken build his second solo cleaning business and it seems like he's a duck. He just magically with total calm gets to his destination. He tripled his profits in 2020 during a pandemic. I guess Ken is just a duck!"
You were sitting on the side of the pond looking across the water at the duck. It does look easy from that perspective. My son recently bought the GoPro camera and he can stick it under water and capture incredible video. If your lens is looking at the duck, you see what you see. But if you take a GoPro and point it under the water at the same duck, you will see a different image. You won't recognize the duck. It is far from cool, calm, and collect. You see a duck's bottom and a flurry of webbed feet. That creature looks like he is fighting for his life. His legs are kicking and paddling like crazy. Sometimes the leg paddles forward, sometimes backward, and sometimes stops. But most the time it's swirling and kicking and paddling like crazy. If your perspective of the duck was from the GoPro lens, you would think that life is so hard for the duck. How can ducks even survive at all!? How will he ever get to where he's going?
The lens from the side of the pond is the lens that others see you from, while the lens underwater is the one that you see you through. It goes back to the episode I did on "The Four Windows". The lens from the side of the pond is the first window and the underwater lens is the second window. Let's bring this back to my business growth success in 2020. You've been listening to my podcast and watching me from the side of the pond. I've tried to be vulnerable and transparent so you could get a look from underwater, but it's hard. I am living it and I know just how hard I've been kicking this year. Nothing has come easy. My little webbed feet have been fluttering away for 10 months, many times having no idea which way my legs were taking me. I relied on my faith and worked like it was up to me and prayed like it was up to God. I've been in mastermind and coaching environments where I've been beaten and bruised. My webbed feet have hurt all along the way, yet you've seen me glide from $30,000 to $80,000 in revenue in 10 months of a pandemic, riots, wild fires, political unrest, family issues, illness, and deaths in the family. Are you starting to see yet?
In October 2019, I was scared. "I'm crazy! Why would I tell my podcast listeners that I can build and optimize a solo cleaning business a second time? What if I fail? What if I don't make it? I'll be exposed as a fraud as a failure and a hypocrite. Why should I do this?" This was my webbed feet doing the talking. I cried. I got angry. But I kicked like crazy. Here's what changed so that I could have a great 2020. I determined my why and my goal. I set my mind on accomplishing it, NO MATTER WHAT! Then I paddled as hard as I could with as many people as I could. I served and put out as much content to help my community as I could, while other people were playing video games and trying to get money from the government. I was doing whatever I could to serve the clients I already had. I was kicking and paddling and fighting every day. I didn't know if I would make it. But here's the magic. When I interacted with local businesses and families, I did my best to come across cool, calm, and professional so I didn't scare anyone away. I wanted to attract people to me with the camera angle from the side of the pond. I wanted to appear as confident as the duck, heading towards his objective. Was I deceiving others? Not at all. I was "faking it until I made it". I was taking action on my thoughts to get the feeling of confidence as many personal development authors teach. I was working my guts out with hope of success, while gliding toward my goal with confidence. This Is What It takes grow a business. You can't pop a business into the microwave like a TV dinner for 2 minutes, pull it out, and eat it. It's not how this works at all. You've got to hustle!
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.