J. Paul Getty was the wealthiest person in the world for 3 decades from the 1950's to the 1970's! His list of accomplishments are mind-blowing. At the end of his life, it's estimated that his net worth would be worth $27 billion is today's dollars. He was very wealthy. I heard this quote when I was a new business owner in the Amway business in 2002 and it has stuck with me for 20 years.
“I'd rather have 1% of the effort of 100 men than 100% of my own effort.” - J. Paul Getty
At the time I heard this, I was an engineer working full time and earning $50,000 per year off 100% of my own effort. I saw Amway business owners with teams of 100+ people earned 1-4% off the production of each team member and earning $500,000 per year. This quote hit me right between the eyes. However, I went another route as a solo cleaning specialist after my days as an engineer and multi-level marketer. I decided it was best for me to optimize what I could produce. In other words, how much could I make in how little time could I produce off 100% of my own effort? In my first solo cleaning business, the results were strong. I earned $55,000 and $70,000 per year profit off 2 days cleaning per week in each business respectively. Both provided a decent engineer level lifestyle so I could enjoy time with my family. However, it would never create freedom and lifestyle money. It would never create time, money, and location freedom. This is what I desired.
I'm in a different position now where I am growing a cleaning business and I'm learning a lot about myself. This is an episode for the solo cleaner who is thinking about scaling and has fear or would never scale and has arrogance about it like I used to. Let's break down some numbers. The average cleaning technician can create $50,000 of annual revenue for a cleaning company. If you're a solo, that's $50,000 for you. Applying J. Paul Getty's advice, the numbers are totally different. A cleaning team of 100 people would produce $5M in revenue. If you only earned the 1% that Getty quoted, you'd earn $50,000 per year without having to clean. But the reality is much better. A $5M company ought to pay out 15% to the owner. This is $750,000 per year income for the owner and they don't have to clean. Let's play a game of Would You Rather.
Would you rather work solo and optimize your business on 100% of your effort working 2-3 days per week for $75,000 per year income? Or would you rather build a company and team to $5 million revenue, lead, and earn $750,000 per year income working on your business to lead your team? In the first example, you have no pressure of employees. You do all the work and have a simple life. You just better make sure to stay healthy, travel for short stints of a few days at a time, and budget really, really good. In the second example, you build a massive company, earn more than you can imagine, and live a life of total freedom. They each have their pros and cons. This episode isn't looking to persuade you, rather get you thinking.
I am learning a lot as I scale. I've been afraid of it because I didn't know if I could train anybody. My cleaning system was so intricate and detailed. Could I teach someone else? Can I build systems and manuals and electronic apps and such to automate? You got to delegate to other people? These are all things that scared me. Could I let other people do the work and let go of that control? That changed once I created my training system and successfully trained my first employee. Now I feel confident that I can train others. Then I was afraid of these questions. Could I manage other people? Could I make my job finding new clients and finding new employees versus going to clean? I've been growing a lot this over the past several months and I invite you to join me on my journey from solo to a 6-figure team. Go through my episode feed and start with this one. "June 2021 Freedom Report with Coach Josh"
Would you like to discuss any optimizing versus scaling? Make sure to check out the many free & paid resources available at the Smart Cleaning School website. Also, do you have questions for me? Book a free coaching call on my website!
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.