I used to be such a sucker for the vending machine. My weakness was the potato chips, peanut butter crackers, and always Fritos! The vending machine is an interesting machine. It's simple. You choose what you want, check the price, insert your payment, push the corresponding button, and your treat spirals out of its holder to the slot below. You now own your treat and can enjoy it.
I don't proclaim to know all the answers. My M.O. is to listen more than I talk for two reasons. For one, I can learn from anyone. Secondly, I am emotionally sensitive and want to hear others speak so I can try to relate to them or possibly find a way to help them. This is my nature. Why did you just say all of that Ken?
Ken continues his interview with Debbie in this surprise episode, where Debbie shares insider teaching from Cleaning Business Fundamentals and brings on 3 CBF success stories. Let's start with a summary of the 6 components of CBF proven success system. If you don't do ALL 6, the system doesn't work.
It was an honor to interview residential cleaning industry legend Debbie Sardone a second time. At the time of this recording, Debbie's first interview "A Buffalo Charges the Storm" was the third most-downloaded interview of the Smart Cleaning School's 45 published interviews. Debbie really barred all and shared personal stories she's never shared. It was a powerful episode with powerful stories and lessons.
Are you a person that flies by the seat of your pants? Do you fly like Maverick in Top Gun where your instincts dominate? This is absolutely cool in the movies, but it kills pilots in real life and the ones that kills are the amateurs and the experienced professionals. It's called spatial disorientation. First, let me give you a definition.
Spatial disorientation – It's the inability of a person to determine his true body position, motion, and altitude relative to the Earth or his surroundings. Both airplane pilots and underwater divers encounter this phenomenon.
I want you to stop what you're doing. And I want you to really listen as this could be the most important podcast you have ever heard. Do I have your attention yet?
I have a vital question for you. What would you say if everything you said came exactly true as you said it? Keep your mouth closed, listen, and think. What words would you allow to come out of your mouth if you knew that every word you spoke would come to pass? Do you know that your words are powerful? They are not, and never were just words. Our Creator made us with the ability to design our own lives. It's all controlled or steered by a tiny rudder called the human tongue. Life and death are in the power of the tongue. Words are seeds and seeds grow into plants. Everything you speak is a seed and God will not be mocked. Whatsoever a man sows, that he will also reap. You will be held accountable to every idle word spoken. Speak what you want!
Amar Ghose is known around the cleaning industry as a digital nomad, world traveler, SaaS Founder of ZenMaid. His name came up on the interview with Courtney Wisely ("People are Inspired by Honesty").
Here are some highlights and quotes from Amar on this interview.
There are so many reasons why I decided to start and build a cleaning company. I want to talk about an internal motivation that's always been beneath the surface. And I suspect it's in you as well. What does your name mean to you? I want to inspire you to desire a good name. This is called legacy.
I attended my first ever commercial cleaning conference last month in Washington DC. The event was called Cleaning & Cocktails Live, the Interactive Playbook Edition. It was hosted by Michael Brown of Swept Technologies "I Wish You Would Have Told Me" and Ricky Regalado of Route/Rozalado Services "You Still Need the Grit and Blue-Collar". I was the event MC. That was such a cool experience. Big shout out to Michael and Ricky for believing in me, bringing in someone that's never been to a commercial cleaning conference, never MC'd a commercial cleaning conference, to BE the voice of the conference on their most important day. That was a great honor and I am grateful to both Michael & Ricky. I felt really good about it. I had a lot of fun. And I met a lot of great people. I will say this, I was definitely nervous in the beginning. But I noticed that I got more comfortable over time. Now get to put MC of a conference on my resume.
I remember this season of life like it was yesterday. I was overwhelmed with cleaning work, cleaning all the time, and we had no money either! The business that was supposed to be my way out of the nine to five had turned into a nightmare. Yes, I loved serving people. Yes, I had flexibility to go later or move appointments around. But I was a slave to our house cleaning business. I was solo, and I was feeling SOooo LOW.
Can you relate to this? Are you working endless hours in your house or office cleaning business with little to no hope for a way out? Are you feeling stuck? Do you want your time back? I did bad. I didn't just WANT it. I NEEDED to have time back with my family. And that made all the difference. Most solo cleaning companies believe the only way out is to delegate their cleaning through a team of employees or subcontractors. This is absolutely a path and it's a great one IF you do it right. However, I was wise enough to understand my numbers. I studied them, I tracked my times, evaluated my customers and their locations, and I realized something. There is another way
Josh Melton has been a friend of mine in the industry for several years. We are both Christian husbands and fathers with a heart for men's ministry. Outside of cleaning, Josh has been involved in many side hustles including a coaching program to empower and strengthen men. Likewise, I am an author and was involved in a coaching program to help Dads. Can you see why we'd connect so well? How about this one. Josh built his commercial cleaning business to the level I'd like to attain, which is 6-figures of profit without having to clean. But he did that to earn his freedom to focus on other projects he felt more called to lead. That is also me 100%. During this interview, Josh and I share our stories and ultimately how God has been trying to turn our eyes toward Nineveh. What does that mean?
I have been fortunate to interview several visionaries in our industry over the past year. This interview with Ricky Regalado was different. He is such a visionary that he inspired me to do greater things in this amazing industry. Take the time to listen to this one all the way through and then listen again. You will not be disappointed.
John Disselkamp is the owner of First Class Commercial Cleaning in Louisville, KY. John was born and raised in Louisville and had a hard-working mentality. This suited him well in his early corporate life and propelled hiim to a bank executive at a young age. John won the prestigious "40 Under 40" Award during this banking stint. In this interview, John shares his transition from corporate to starting a commercial cleaning company in 2016 and growing to six-figures per month in revenue and 50 team members in under 3 years. He then lead his company to $5 million in revenue and 230 team members 3 years later. John is an American Success Story!
Michael Brown is the founder of Swept Janitorial Software, which is an all-in-one app that integrates employee scheduling, tracking, customer supplies, and quality control. As many of you know, Josh Melton has coached me from solo to a team of commercial cleaners over the past two years. Josh personally uses Swept and introduced me to Michael a few years ago. I've been following his journey and had to get him on the show. Michael is brilliant and I couldn't wait to listen to his mindset. I also have to mention this. We've now used Swept personally since 2021 and there is NO way we would have been able to to take 2 month-long family trips to Florida in the middle of winter without this amazing tool. As of the time of this interview, Swept had over 40,000 users in a market of 1 million janitorial companies. They have a lot of space to grow and they will!
We discuss a wide array of topics in this podcast episode anchored on our belief system. What is the underlying characteristic that has helped Debbie Sardone succeed in each of her businesses? It's her belief and conviction that what she is doing is right and is helping people. This conviction creates the self-confidence to take massive action and the massive action leads to massive results. It's this simple. You hear this woven all through Debbie's entrepreneurial journey that spans multiple decades. You hear this conviction rise up during the pandemic in the metaphor of the cow and buffalo and in helping cleaning company owners through the Valley of Despair. Here are some quotes from the episode.
Recently, a listener to the podcast took me up on my free coaching call option on my website. Niki Kempf of Custom Cleaning in Dyersburg, TN had some pretty big questions. Niki was close to pulling the trigger on a coaching program for $10,000+ and decided to hold off. She left that situation discouraged as her family has big dreams and no idea how to get there. Our call was awesome. I didn't ask her about her business or what she wanted her business to look like. Instead, I asked her about her dream. She shared an awesome vision. First of all, she is recently married and Niki and her husband want to grow their personal ministry to help people coming out of rehabilitation programs. She wants to mentor them, possibly hire them, and definitely donate to organizations that support them. She wants to get her husband out of his job to help her in the cleaning business. This lit her up! Then she told me something amazing. They have a dream to give away 80% of their income. Whoa! I shared the JC Penney story and how he was known for giving away 90% and living off 10%. This is the opposite model of the church/tithing model where the Christian tithes 10% and lives off 90%. Niki loved this. Then I built her dream as I shared a story of a cleaning friend doing something similar. Jessica comes from a rough situation where she dealt with abuse. She has a huge dream to help battered women in her area. She wants to hire woman coming out of the shelters to get them back on their feet. Then she wants to start a non-profit where her cleaning business funds a portion and both the cleaning business and non-profit could be in a commercial building that she buys. Jessica would have a building for everything she wanted to do and the income to do it. Niki LOVED this even more. That's when I shared the Home Depot story.
I want to thank a listener of this show and new friend, Megan Combs of Combs Commercial Cleaning in Las Vegas, NV. She had fantastic questions to ask me and even more outstanding takeaways about my podcast. I can't wait to share them. Thank you Megan! You have a bright future in this business
Welcome back to Solo Saturday! Hey solos, what do you think of this new monthly feature? What do you think of the new vibe of the podcast? I'd love your feedback. Please connect with me through my website or email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In this month's edition of Solo Saturday, I will provide a sequel to the popular "Excellence Vs. Perfection".
This is the first Solo Saturday episode. You are still my people. I'm a solo cleaner and have always been one. This monthly Saturday solo show will guide you along my ISO Model. In this first episode, I'd like to start with a 15-minute clip from a recent Optimizer's Workshop I did with Heather Parke from Heather's Housekeeping in Roy, Utah. The Optimizer phase is the final part of my ISO Model. Over the years, I have developed a tool to examine and analyze a solo cleaner's business. It's called an Optimizer's Workshop. I did this workshop with Heather from the Solo Cleaning School Elite Membership as a perk of her membership. We spent 90 minutes together on Zoom to map out her business to see if she was an Optimizer yet. My goal is to show you the analysis needed to properly assess your solo cleaning business. I also realize that this workshop clip is harder to understand without seeing it. Therefore, I have also included the video on my Smart Cleaning School YouTube Channel.
On August 4th, 2017, I was running my first optimized solo cleaning business in Upstate New York. I was earning over $50,000 profit on 2 days per week without employees. This is when I dove into the world of online courses and coaching in our industry. I was working on the ISO Model Course while I was in the midst of finalizing the optimization of that first solo biz. I also started a YouTube channel called Smart Cleaning Biz and released weekly video blogs to help cleaning company owners. They didn't get many views and I didn't do much in the way of promoting them. I was learning, just figuring out how to help others in the industry. On August 4th, 2017 I was happy and content to be a solo cleaning forever working a few days per week. Little did I know that only 3 months later, the Lord would open the door for us to sell the cleaning business and move back to our hometown in Montgomery County, PA.
I was listening to the Tim Ferriss Show again and found another amazing clip... again. This one is from Episode #638: Seth Godin on The Game of Life, The Value of Hacks, and Overcoming Anxiety (Repost). At the 20:00 minute mark of this conversation, Seth shares a teaching strategy on learning how to juggle. I listened and then listened again. It is profound and yet so simple. How do jugglers learn how to juggle multiple balls? Here's that portion of the conversation in transcript form from Tim's website.
Let's continue the Control Series! My first episode was "You Must Let Go of Your Control", where I shared a few major breakthroughs in my recent ability to let go and trust others. It was an important therapy session. I continued this recently with another breakthrough about your business is not you and viewing trust and control like a rope. Check out part 2 of the series called "The Trust Rope". This is the 3rd part that goes the complete opposite direction! Are you ready?
I was asked to share a business showcase in my local networking group a few weeks ago so others knew more about the cleaning services I offered. On the day of the showcase, I didn't have a presentation or notes or handout or sales material. All I had was a picture of my family, a slide of our 5 Levels of the C3 Experience, and my full story. I recorded this showcase and wanted to share it with you. Thanks to my new Google Pixel 7, I have a transcription which I am also sharing in the show notes. After I was done, I received the greatest compliment possible from fellow member Shelby Leight of Keller Williams Realty.
I have held this story for several months. I am going to share the story of a young man that applied for a part-time job at C3 last summer that had all the signs of a potential leader. Let's call him Larry. One of our core values is ownership. I look for this quality in our applicants. Are they reliable, dependable, trustworthy? This is the foundation of the second core value of excellence. If they take ownership, they will work with excellence. The final core value is safety. If they are a person who takes ownership and works with excellence, they will not let safety slip. I look for this and have a strict filtering process for C3 hiring. It's obvious when an applicant is lazy or not willing to work. My dad was the hardest worker in his gas utility crew. But there was a guy named Hector that always managed to do the least amount to not get fired. He never pulled his weight. Others in the crew including my dad had to do his work. Hector was overweight and lazy. No one liked Hector, but Hector was just fine because he had a cushy job that paid well and others did his work. By the way, that guy managed to retire from the utility company. It's incredible that the leadership of this company allowed 'Hectors' to survive. They kill morale. It's obvious when a Hector shows up in your applicant pool. They stand out. But what about the other extreme?
The topic of letting go is universal across all business and family and relationships. Have you ever heard the rope metaphor in parenting? We use this with our kids. "Hey son, I'm giving you a rope. In the beginning, it's very short so I can pull you back in quick. As you take responsibility and ownership and make good decisions, I will give you more rope or trust. When you make poor decisions that put yourself or others in harm, I take away some rope. When you blame others and shirk responsibility, I take away some rope. My goal is to eventually give you the rope so you can pull me whenever you need me." As I just read this, I get a little emotional as my oldest son is 18 now and is close to getting his rope. This concept of the rope has helped us raise our kids and I fully believe it helps with our employees as well. In "You Must Let Go of Your Control", I shared the breakthroughs that allowed me to emotionally let go of perfectionism and control. It was a therapy session for me. I have a follow-up episode to further help you breakthrough your deep, dark emotional control over your business.
"Helping cleaning professionals make the impact they were meant to make."