I used to go shopping at Aldi for Teresa after work during the pandemic. Aldi is a small store, but that didn't help me find anything. I would have a texted list. Inevitably, I'd spend 15 minutes finding the first item and then call my wife. She would literally help me find everything else on the list from memory. I was the arms, legs, and eyes. She was the brains. Men, do you relate? Ladies, do you do this for your men? Here's where it gets better. A few times, I went to Aldi with my oldest son. We were like Tweetle-Dee and Tweetle-Dumb. I would never want to see the surveillance tapes of us wandering the isles.
Teresa and I were on our way to our annual honeymoon retreat and stopped at a grocery store on the way there. We had breakfast and dinners cooked for us, but needed lunches. I am not a grocery shopper. I rather dislike it. The only thing worse than going grocery shopping is clothes shopping for me. However, my wife it's an excellent grocery shopper and an excellent clothes shopper. One of the last items that we were looking for on this grocery trip was flavored water. These are the drops that you can put in your water to make them taste like fruit. They're pretty good actually. We were somewhere in the back of the store when she thought of buying the flavored water drops. I had no idea where it would be as the grocery story may as well be the Amazon rainforest to me. I'm clueless where to find anything. I know there are signs, but they are not helpful. Anyway, Teresa guided us to the flavored water in less than a minute in a grocery store she was never in. She picked it up, put it in the cart, and was ready for the next thing.
My initial comment was, "Wow, how did you find that so fast?!", but playing it off more as a joke. Then I thought about it. If I was given flavored water on a shopping list from my wife and I walked into the store I would have been there for 15 minutes walking every aisle until I found it. The more likely scenario is I would have walked down every isle and not found it after 30 minutes and then asked someone for help. I could have asked someone for help in the beginning but I'm a guy and I don't do that. I would have wandered aimlessly and eventually found that item on my list, been frustrated about it, wasted time, and would have even disliked shopping even more. I am highly inefficient in a grocery store because I don't like grocery stores and avoid them as much as possible. I don't know where things are. Teresa is completely different as she shops for our family on a regular basis. She shops in multiple grocery stores and understands the basic layout of a grocery store. Apparently, there's a system involved where certain types of foods are always grouped together. Instinctively, Teresa knew it would be with the water bottles or with the soft drinks or juices. This is common sense, but apparently it's not common to me. Because she knows the grocery stores so well, she can go into any store and quickly identify, find, pay, and get out efficiently. I am building a case. Are you tracking where I'm going, solo cleaners?
Let's dial in now. This is exactly what happens to us the first time we step into a house or office to clean. It looks like a jungle full of a bazillion things to do. We wander through the isles and take an entire day to clean. Then we go to a different grocery store, I mean house, and it's totally different. It's all so overwhelming. As a new solo cleaner, you're no better than me in a grocery store. However, you do start to develop a system in each house and office over time. Your level of comfort improves and eventually every house is the same like Teresa views every grocery store the same. If you are brand new and connecting with this level of overwhelm, good! I'm trying to encourage you. You feel this way the first time you ever attempt to quote the pricing of a house or office or how to handle a phone call or email or how to handle a complaint or when you break something the first time. "Clean up on isle 9."
It doesn't matter where you are or how many times you've been in the grocery store. You need the food and you will get the lay of the land. It's the same in your house or office cleaning business. You need the money and you will get the lay of the land. One day, you'll finish a house or office and have absolutely no recollection of even doing it. You'll panic and frantically walk through every room of the house wondering if it's clean. To your shock, it will be.
Would you like help with your solo cleaning business. Make sure to check out the many free & paid resources available at the Smart Cleaning School website and the ISO Model Course found only as a member of the Solo Cleaning School Elite Membership!
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.