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In Celebration of Mother’s Day, I wanted to repost this article originally published back in 2020.  Some lessons are timeless and the lessons detailed below certainly will remain with me forever.

Debbie Sardone, Terry Clayton, Gladys Clayton, Lisa Siciliano

For those of you who don’t know, my mother passed away at the age of 87, still running her successful cleaning business.  One of the best ways I could think of to honor her legacy in terms of our business community was to share some of the things I learned from her that helped me become successful in business.   She was one of the best examples of a modern day woman that you could ever imagine.  I hope these lessons can help you as well.

1. Be Industrious

My mother was always busy.  She was always cooking or making crafts.  She was not one to be idle.  Right up until her mid-80s she was still cooking for the family. She was still making homemade chocolates at Christmas.  She made beautiful gift baskets full of gifts.  She simply could not sit around and “do nothing”.

By the time she was 65, she had retired from AT&T.  She called me up one day – out of the blue – and said, “Honey, I want to start a maid service.  Teach me everything you know.”  So I started shipping materials to her and faxed things to her.  We would talk every Saturday when the long distance rates were lower.  Essentially, my mom was my first coaching client.  She was the first person I ever taught my unique system.  Within 3 years, my Mom had about 14 employees, her own office, her own office manager.

Being industrious translates directly into having a great work ethic.  

2. It’s OK to Be Competitive

When I started Cleaning For A Reason in 2007, my Mom was one of the first to sign up her cleaning business.  When the first list of Top 10 most giving cleaning companies in the nation was released, she was mad not to be on it.  She was determined to be on that list the next year…and sure enough she was.

She was always competing, mostly with herself and past performance.  Can we beat last year’s numbers?  Can we beat our numbers from five years ago?

Being competitive can be a great source of motivation on your path toward success.  

Creativity in Business

Mom’s Cleaning For A Reason Christmas Tree

3.  Creativity

My Mom was so creative.  She could make anything look better.  So when I gave her a lot of ideas for her business, she was quick to come up with a lot of her own as well.  She always thought of ways to stand out.

Business success often derives from creative solutions.

4.  Independence

My mom didn’t really care what anyone thought of her.  She was going to do what she felt she needed to do.  She was one of the few moms in the ’60s and ’70s that worked.  “I’m not staying at home.  I’m a career woman!”

She was also an independent thinker.  While open minded, she knew her own mind and had her own ideas.

Embracing your independence opens up pathways to success.

5.  How to Love My Family

I don’t know anybody that could love her family as much as she did.  And of course, she insisted that we all be together for the holidays.  She wanted Christmas at her house.  She wanted to cook the big meal on Christmas Eve.  We loved it.  She made Christmas fun!

 It helped create a fantastic work/life balance.  She was a phenomenal role model.

Why do we work so hard if we do not know how to enjoy the rewards of it?

6.  She was Good at Delegating

“We” always meant “I will tell you how to do it and you will do it.”  She was ultimate delegator.  You know you’re a good delegator when no one is mad at you for providing you with the information, instructions and tools to do the work while you oversee all the work.

You simply cannot do it all yourself and experience the freedom that being an entrepreneur can provide!

Mom was an incredible role model.

Her first career was in the corporate world.  She became an entrepreneur at age 65.  The legacy she created lives on today as each of her children run their own successful cleaning businesses.  It’s truly become a family affair!

Thank you, Mom.  Happy Birthday!


Over the years, I’ve shared additional stories and lessons learned from my Mom.  Please check them out as well:

Lessons learned from my mother (who ran a successful cleaning business into her late-80s)
4 more life lessons from my mom to help you with your cleaning business

Debbie Sardone
Debbie Sardone

Known as The Maid Coach, Debbie Sardone is America’s top cleaning business consultant. Debbie helps owners of residential cleaning companies build a 7-figure dream business, with a 6-figure income and the freedom in their lives that they deserve.

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