Why you need to take a vacation

Want to decrease stress and improve your personal productivity? Go on vacation.

According to a new survey, 42% of Americans failed take any paid vacation days in 2014. All work and no play is the new trend for nearly half of employees in the United States. As a result, we rank highest in depression and mental health problems. We’re experiencing burnout, reduced productivity, and lower creativity.

We fear being replaced or left behind and are addicted to always being busy. This is destroying our mental and physical health and our creative productivity. When you work 40 to 60 hours a week, your mind gets cluttered and its contents become pressurized. If you don’t give your mind some time to clear some of the steam out, it will boil over and decrease your productivity.

Time off is an important component of achievement and productivity. A few benefits from learning to take time off:

  • Recover your brain energy just like muscle after you work it out. One of the most important parts of productive muscle building is giving it recovery time. If you don’t give a muscle time to recover, you’ll actually be tearing the muscle down and weakening it by overtraining.
  • Refueling. Even a car or plane has to stop to refuel.
  • Regain control of your mind. Get back the buffer space in your mind between cause and reaction. If you don’t have any buffer built up, we lose our ability to consider our reaction to things. Instead of pausing before we react, we snap and lash out.
  • Improve your mood and attitude. When we clear the frenetic energy from our mind, our body dramatically improves. This alone will improve your productive time at the office in a huge way.
  • Be present. If you are working all the time you are not really present at home or at the office. Taking needed time off will help you regain your bearings and allow you to fully be there‑ wherever that is‑ at the office or with your family.

This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.  

4 ways to conquer stress

Are you stressed? Here are 4 ways to conquer your stress.

Living in such a hectic, non-stop world AND running your own cleaning business is a recipe for stress, so I wanted to pass on a few simple ways that you can conquer your tension and stress.

1. Just do it

First of all, just do the things that you’ve been putting off. This one is huge. We’re all procrastinators, and usually we drag our feet about handling the things that we simply don’t want to do. Step up and tackle that thing on your to-do list that you keep avoiding. Just do it.

2. Take yourself less seriously

Next, stop taking yourself so seriously. You’re adding pressure to the anxiety you feel because you’re the center of your own universe. Maybe you’re worried about making a sales call or standing up in your local chamber of commerce to pitch your business. Here’s the thing—no one is as worried about your performance more than yourself. So stop taking yourself so seriously, take a deep breath, and relax.

3. Stop trying to control everything

Another thing: stop trying to control everything. I get it, we business owners are control freaks. We like to manage every step of the business, which is not the best use of time. Give up trying to control things that are out of your influence or that should be delegated. And once you’ve delegated them, step away and have confidence that they will be taken care of. (If not, time to rethink who’s on your team.)

4. Accept what you can’t get done and move on

Finally, accept what you can’t get done and move on. If you can’t change something or get something done, you just have to accept it and keep going. Acknowledge that it won’t be done, and then move on.

Take a moment and write down what is stressing you out right now, at this very moment. Then breathe deeply and apply the above advice. Just do it, stop taking yourself seriously, stop being a control freak, and accept it if you can’t get it done.

Still stressed? Think about this—most likely none of what you are stressed about right now really matters in the grand scheme of things. Even just five years from now you won’t remember a single thing about what you’re so stressed about right now. Honestly, it does not really matter. So don’t let things that don’t really matter in the future disrupt what’s important in your present. Right now is what matters.


This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.  

5 Steps to Reinvent Yourself

To survive and thrive in this century, you’ve got to keep reinventing yourself. You need to continually do things that you’ve never done before, that you weren’t educated to do, that you haven’t been trained to do yet. So what are the five keys to reinventing yourself?

5 Steps to Reinvent Yourself

Leverage your strengths

You have unique talents and abilities, things that you do that most people cannot do or can’t do as well as you do them. These are things that you do so easily and joyfully that you hardly realize how valuable or powerful that ability is. What’s most important as you continually reinvent yourself is your ability to identify what your special strength is.

Identify your passion

Look deep inside yourself and ask yourself: what do you enjoy doing? What feels like “play” to you instead of “work”? What do you do when you don’t absolutely have to do something but you do it anyway because you enjoy it? What do people ask for your help with because it comes to you easily? You might have a unique skill or superpower that you can apply to your business in a way that you have not yet explored.

Be flexible, patient, and teachable

Or there might be something that you’re passionate about learning that you need a mentor for as you learn the skill. Remember that nothing worthwhile comes without effort. Realize what you need help with and reach out to those who are exceptional in that area. (Hint: you can meet these people at either our event in March or in our ongoing CBF group.)

Don’t listen to people who don’t believe in you

Friends, family, and peers who have known you forever—the old you, as you always have been— may be afraid of the direction you’re going in. Change frightens most people. But even scarier than change is to watch someone that you know has the courage to reinvent themselves and to grow beyond their status quo but to not do it. It’s so much easier to talk yourself out of your big goals and intention to change. Don’t listen to those naysayers.

Build a phenomenal support team

Find mentors and members of a peer group who share your ambition and who will be allies in your quest to achieve peak performance. One of the best things you can do is join us for the CBF Live event in March to meet the network of people who are there to push you toward succeeding. If you can’t make it in March, consider joining the CBF group that meets virtually throughout the year. This group will provide the right mental environment you need to support you on your constant journey of growth and improvement.

You have to continue to reinvent yourself to become the person you were always meant to be. You’ve got to keep pursuing your dreams and progressing toward your goal. We can help you. See you in Dallas in March?

 

How to fall in love with your business again

I’ve been thinking about how business is like a marriage; it’s a lifelong commitment that some people love and some people hate and feel trapped in. There are some dynamics of loving your business that it’s good to be reminded of that I’d like to cover today.

So how do you fall in love with your business all over again?

  1. Know that it’s a lifelong commitment that you have to work at.
  2. Accept being uncomfortable.
  3. Always keep learning more, either through books or with a mentor.
  4. Stop comparing your business to others.
  5. Celebrate your victories, both large and small.

Lifelong commitment

In most cases, owning your business is a very long commitment, unless you call it quits and pull the plug. You have to remember that it’s a marathon not a sprint, and most people are not going to have instant success.

If you always have one eye on the exit, it is probably not going to work out. This applies to both your business AND your marriage. When the going gets rough, if you have divorce in the back of your mind, you’re probably going to back out, and the same applies to your business. If it’s always an option to quit your business, you probably will. Now, some people are just flat out burned out, with no passion or heart left, and they should throw in the towel. If they’re living in agony and not taking active steps to improve their business, they should walk away. But if you still have the heart to make your business work, you should double down on your commitment to your company.

Just like in a marriage, you have to figure out how to move past issues and make things better. Perfect situations don’t exist in real life. Nothing is ever perfect. But you’ll find a solution if it’s not an option for you to quit. So be fully committed to making your business work. Stop being stuck in limbo where you’re frustrated and can’t make progress but aren’t taking active steps.

Accept being uncomfortable

When we first start our businesses, we’re so excited and everyone tells us “Attagirl!” and how brave we are to start our own company. But after that initial adrenaline wears off, the day-to-day challenges start to wear us down and we start to get afraid. You begin to hate your business when you’re not winning every day after you take it to the next level and hire people to help you and clients are calling to complain instead of praise you. Your mindset shifts and you feel like a failure, and it’s hard to be in love with something you’re failing at.

You need to learn to accept being uncomfortable. If you’re getting comfortable, chances are that a crisis is looming around the corner. It’s nice and easy to coast along, but that’s a dangerous place to be. Accept being uncomfortable. Go ahead and interview people continually so you’re ready when people unexpectedly quit. Spend that extra money on marketing. If you’re comfortable, you’re probably going nowhere.

There’s generally a breakdown before a breakthrough. For example, let’s say you’ve done a bunch of marketing to get more customers in the door, and maybe one of your employees quits right when the new work is streaming in. Maybe you upset a few customers or employees with a new policy or you have to work long hours while tweaking something in the business; these are the uncomfortable things that you will have to do to break through to the next level. Then you’ll work out the kinks and work towards the next level, always moving forward. Eventually you notice that it gets incrementally better. But if you’re not feeling uncomfortable, you’re not pushing your business.

Always keep learning more, either through books or with a mentor.

You should always be learning. Get a mentor, get training, read books. You cannot be stagnant. You can’t keep doing the same things year in and year out and expect a different outcome. You must continually be investing in your own development.

Several people attend my conferences or field trips again and again. When I ask them about it, they say that they learn something new each time. They were in a different place in their business and took something new away because of that change in perspective.

Join us at an amazing 3-day session this March in Dallas!

I am always reading, and I even have a coach. For those years that I didn’t have a coach, shame on me. I missed out on some opportunities by not maximizing my own skills. If we’re not continually learning, we’re not motivated or held accountable or solving problems correctly. You can’t guess your way to the right solution. It’s about inspiration, accountability, and a kick in the pants when you’re having a pity party and just need to take action. Most of us cannot take action by ourselves. We need an accountability partner.

Stop comparing your business to others.

Please stop comparing your business with other businesses. This comparison will undermine your motivation and you’re never going to measure up. I only compare myself to the level of success I want to achieve. If i compared myself to other people I’d be miserable because there’s always someone doing something better than me, publishing a book or running a bigger business. Measure yourself against your goal for what you want to be. You can compare your business to your goals but not to any other businesses. This will keep you from always being disappointed in your results. And don’t worry about what people say about their business because there’s a good chance that they’re exaggerating. Just worry about you.

Celebrate your victories, both large and small.

Take time to celebrate your large and small victories. Too many people only celebrate the big victories but we all need little celebrations to keep us inspired. Take time to appreciate where you are, to celebrate the milestone that you’ve reached instead of always looking toward the next goal.

Treat yourself to something so that you remain motivated and feel like you’re making progress. This is what you work hard for—to buy the things you want and live how you want. If you’re always stretching toward a new goal without stopping to enjoy your achievements, you will just frustrate yourself.

Stop and celebrate your victories. You can’t enjoy your business if all you do is grind it out. Maybe you could give yourself a small raise or go buy something for yourself. You’re not in business just to get to the next level, you’re in business to live how you want. Getting to the next level is simply to fund the things that you want in your life.

I hope these tips will help you to fall in love with your business all over again and to stay in love with your business. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Was this helpful? Please let me know in the comments.

 

This is just a sample of the kind of help I can offer in my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

How to build a strong success network

How are those New Year’s resolutions looking? If one of yours was to increase the profit from your cleaning business, I’m here to help keep you on track. You’ve got to remember that you have 100% control and responsibility for your success. You direct your own destiny! So it’s time to start realizing your potential and become successful.

Achieving success is not a one time thing. It’s a journey— a day-over-day, week-over-week, month-over-month, and year-over year journey. It’s never-ending! And the most important influence that you have on your trip to success is who you choose to spend time with, who walks beside you on this journey. Depending on who they are, they’ll either speed you up or drag you down. They’ll determine your physical and mental health along the journey depending on what type of snacks and conversation they bring along as either good or bad influences.

With that in mind, take a look at your peers, your mentors, your entire team. It’s time to get rid of the ones who are slowing you down and standing in your way to success. It’s time to replace those weak links with people who have experience and can help you on your way.

One of the best things I can recommend for you is to join other professional cleaning business owners who are looking to accelerate their game, either at our event in March or in our ongoing CBF group. This elite group of achievers will make you expect more from yourself and your business and provide valuable support and advice along the way.

Join us at an amazing 3-day session this March in Dallas!

Does your current support structure match the vision of where you want to be in three years? Do they even know where you’re headed? Are they an engine that will help drive you or an anchor that will drag you down and hold you back? It’s time to make the choice of who you want to rub shoulders with on a daily basis, who you want on your team.

The key to growth, progress, and success is not really about learning anything new, but to be reminded about what we once learned so that we can consistently do that which we know. The team you will join at one of these CBF events will help to remind you, constantly, of what you have learned, and to put those things into practice. Come join us!

Are you ready to get started? An amazing three-day session in Dallas in March will give you the sales, marketing, and branding keys to success. Or you can sign up for my Cleaning Business Fundamentals Course. Let’s do this!

How top achievers get things done

Do you know what separates great achievers from everyone else? It’s not a secret—they simply kept going, day after day. They did the dull and boring work, putting one foot in front of the other, day in and day out to get to where they are today. So when you close your computer and decide that’s it for the day, just know that those top achievers made a dozen more phone calls before they called it quits. People who succeed spend hours planning and preparing for the day or week ahead instead of giving up and playing games on their phone or checking Facebook.

You simply have to outwork your competition.

You’ve got to be smarter and more strategic.

Outworking does not mean to keep doing the same things that you’ve done year in and year out but to spend more time doing them. Outworking means thinking bigger and getting help when you need it. Outworking can mean to end up working smarter and fewer hours if you achieve the proper strategy. I have two events coming up that will help you execute better, faster, and bring your cleaning business more success this year.

Outsource your training

The first one is a one day intensive session in San Diego in February where we’ll focus on how to implement a 5-star employee training program. This is a one day mini clinic with content distilled from the award-winning “Speed Cleaning For The Pros” employee training system. This is a fantastic session if you’re ready to move away from doing the actual cleaning yourself. Or maybe you’re just getting started and need a proven step-by-step plan for cleaning and training your staff. If you struggle to charge what you’re worth because your new staff members are slow and inconsistent when they clean, this program is for you.

Supercharge your sales and marketing

I’m so excited about this three-day event in Dallas in March where we’ll focus on marketing, branding, and sales so that you can build yourself a million dollar business that runs on its own. We’ll spend three days crafting a custom marketing, branding, and sales system for your ideal business and life. You’ll learn how to turn marketing into a system so that your business can thrive and grow even when you’re no longer clocking in every day. The success is in the system. Freedom only comes when every part of your business has been turned into a system that doesn’t require your hands-on approach. Join me for this amazing opportunity to grow your business and achieve freedom.

Can’t make either of these events? Another option for your business is to sign up for my Cleaning Business Fundamentals Course. This 16 week course gives you the best information about training, strategy, and weekly answers to your burning questions. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

My prediction for 2019: Your incredible success

Here’s my prediction for this year: 2019 will be the absolute best year yet for you to multiply the income and earning potential of your cleaning business. There has never before been a more abundant and opportunity-filled environment for anyone with the drive to succeed. It has never been easier and faster, with the biggest financial rewards possible, than this year.

There’s one huge asterisk beside this prediction. 2019 will be about the same as 2018 unless you do something radically different, something that breaks the predictable routine that you’ve done year after year. I’m here to interrupt your pattern, to get you out of your comfort zone and help you to grow your cleaning business. But if you’re stuck and don’t have the energy or will to make a change, then your 2019 will be about average, I’d guess.

It’s time for you to do something different and make a decision to take action. If you ask anyone who has achieved great success in life, there has always been a turning point at which they made a clear decision that from that moment on their life would never be the same. They drew a line in the sand and said “I’m not going back to how things were.”

What you’ve accomplished so far with your cleaning business is only a fraction of what is truly possible. Your true potential is waiting to be tapped and used. You are far more powerful and capable and gifted than your current business results indicate. Now is the time to step up and step into your full capabilities. You need to muster the courage to declare that 2019 is your turning point.

Ok, so now what? Well, you don’t have to do this alone. In fact, I don’t suggest that you try to do it alone. We are going to be in this together. I will help you along the way all year long and act as the guiding force to help you maximize your cleaning business.

Are you ready to get started? I have a few events coming up that are absolutely essential to kicking off this year right. We’ll cover how to train your employees in a one-day session in San Diego next month, and then an amazing three-day session in Dallas in March will give you the sales, marketing, and branding keys to success. Check out my events page for more details.

I look forward to helping you create a freedom-based cleaning business that allows you to focus on what you want to do while your business accelerates with tips from my decades in the business. Make this a resolution you don’t break! And Happy New Year!


Another option for your business is to sign up for my Cleaning Business Fundamentals Course. This 16 week course gives you the best information about training, strategy, and weekly answers to your burning questions. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.

 

12 Tips of Christmas – part 2

We covered the first six cleaning business tips of Christmas last week, and today I’ll go through the last six. You can join my email list so you don’t miss a single tip!

Tip 7: Barter Is A Guaranteed Sale

Do you barter for services or products that you need as a business owner? When you trade your services for someone else’s, you save yourself a small fortune. Think of all the things that you could be bartering for. Maid service is something everybody wants, so you’ll never have trouble finding people who will want to barter with you. Check out my bartering suggestions in this quick video.

 

Tip 8: Training Your Residential Cleaning Staff

Training is one of the most important things you can do in your business. I am amazed at how many business owners struggle with training— there so many business owners that literally don’t have a training program, but have a few seasoned employees that they ask to show the new person how to clean. In this video I cover 10 tips that will help you implement a highly effective training program.

 

 

Tip 9: Marketing Success And Brand Recognition

Print is not dead! Once you get your business to a certain size, you need to expand your marketing to go beyond social media. You need to make some door hangers, postcards, magazine ads, and direct mail campaigns. This is an absolute must if you want to grow your revenue to a million dollars. In this video I cover my suggestions for how to get the most out of your print marketing.

 

Tip 10: Cause Marketing Will Help You Grow Your Cleaning Business

Every cleaning business should give back to its local community, and this is a great way to generate more marketing for your company. Cleaning For A Reason is a nonprofit that I started to give away free house cleaning to women who are battling cancer. You service women in your own local community, and your neighborhood press loves to cover a feel-good story like this. Check out this video for tips on using Cause Marketing to your advantage.

 

Tip 11: How Important Is It To Accept Credit Cards?

I get asked this question all the time: Is it really important that I accept credit cards? My answer? Absolutely. If you plan to grow your cleaning business you need to accept credit cards as a convenience for your customers. Find out my thoughts on credit card fees and how to start accepting credit cards in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NC7Sgv4_g9Y

Tip 12: When Should You Hire A Full-Time Inspections Manager?

Another question I get asked a lot is whether people should hire an inspections manager, a full-time quality assurance manager.  Hiring this person is an expensive step. Check out this video on my thoughts about hiring a full-time quality assurance manager who inspects the work of your cleaning teams to make sure they continue to provide high quality service.

 

Thank you for listening to the 12 Cleaning Business Tips of Christmas! I hope you have a fabulous holiday and enjoy time with friends and family.

12 Tips of Christmas – part 1

Christmas is the one of the busiest times of year for cleaning business owners and in the spirit of the season I wanted to share some tips with you. I give you… the 12 Cleaning Business Tips of Christmas! I promise that there is no Partridge in a Pear Tree here, just solid business advice parcelled out in bite-sized video bits. These are the first 6 tips. Check back in a few days for the next batch, or join my email list so you don’t miss a single tip!

Tip 1: How to handle cash tips that employees get at Christmas

How should you handle tipping when one of your staff has a trainee with them during the week when the holiday tip comes in? What if one of your regular technicians is out sick? Should their replacement get the holiday bonus? Check out this video for my thoughts on this tricky subject. (Hint: having a written policy in place will help a lot when situations come up).

Tip 2: How To Sell More Maid Service Gift Cards During The Holidays

Cleaning businesses are notorious for not selling a lot of gift cards during the holidays. In this video I give you a few tips that will help you sell thousands of dollars worth of gift cards. I also have more in-depth training on how to sell maid service gift cards. I know that my methods work, because I sold $12,000 worth of maid service gift cards in a few months just by following these principles!

Tip 3: How To Avoid Being Short-handed During The Holidays

This time of year can be frustrating for cleaning business owners. It’s really “feast or famine” in our industry— one day you have too many customers and not enough workers and then the next day you have too many workers and not enough customers! If you’re like me, you’ve beefed up your marketing during the holidays because more people are looking for cleaning services and I want them to find my company not my competitors. That means work is coming in fast and furious and you want to be sure you have a fully-staffed team to take care of your clients. Check out this video where I give you tips on how to avoid being short-handed, especially during the busy holiday season.

Tip 4: Does Networking Work For Cleaning Businesses?

People ask me this all the time— does networking work? Should you join your local Chamber of Commerce or should I be a part of a local group of small business owners? The quick answer is “Absolutely!” Check out the video to see exactly how to get the most out of networking for your cleaning business in your community.

Tip 5: The Best Time To Raise Your Cleaning Business Prices

In this video, I discuss how to raise your rates at this time of year. That’s right, the last quarter of the year (October, November, December) is actually the best time of year to raise your rates. Click through to see why that is, and what you can do to increase your prices to take advantage of the holiday spike.

 

Tip 6: Conducting In Home Estimates More Effectively

Not everybody does in-home estimates these days, but I’m a firm believer. I want to turn every initial cleaning into a recurring customer, and there is a greater opportunity to raise your conversion rate from the initial cleaning to a recurring booking if you have taken the time to invest in the relationship with that customer. Listen to this video for other reasons why I like to do an in-home estimate and how to do them more effectively and efficiently.

 

How to retain your staff: Be thankful for your hard workers

Thanksgiving is here, and one thing you might have overlooked in your daily gratitude journal is to be thankful for your hard-working staff. Actually, it’s one of the best ways to retain great workers—to let them know that you value them.

You fought hard to get them hired and trained, and the last thing you want is for employees to leave your company after a few months. Staff turnover is one of the biggest problems that cleaning business owners face, and being thankful for them is one of many steps you can take to retaining them.

Here are some other keys to retaining your best employees:

Make sure that your team feels recognized and appreciated. Let them know if you think they’re doing a great job or if a client called in with a compliment. Simply passing along good feedback when you hear from customers can provide a boost to a worker’s day.

Talk to your team. Ask for feedback on what’s working well and what you can do better. Have a
one-on-one discussion at least once a quarter, and fix the things they bring up that aren’t working well. The important thing is to make sure that they know that they are heard and you value their opinion.

You can also pay above minimum wage. When you find an employee that you like, pay them above what your local competitors are paying. Money can’t buy happiness but it definitely can be an effective way to show your appreciation for a worker’s efforts.

Another way to recognize your staff is to give them the tools, time, and training that they need. There is nothing worse than sending them into the field without their having a clear understanding of how to do their job. If you haven’t already implemented a training program, I highly recommend the Speed Cleaning For The Pros program (also available in Spanish). It’s hands down the best training program in the business.

Set clear expectations for them. Happy employees know exactly what is expected of them every day at work. They know what to do and what success looks like. Create a clear path to success with instructions and regular staff development. People tend to live up to the expectations you set.

Emphasize the value of the work they do. Encourage your employees to experience the personal and emotional rewards that come from helping others. People want to feel like they are making a difference in the world. It’s not just cleaning toilets, it’s providing a clean and healthy environment for busy families to come home to. Your team’s work is an essential part of the community, so let them know it’s valued.


I highly recommend that you join my 16 week Cleaning Business Fundamentals course to get training, strategy, and weekly answers to your burning questions. For a free 30 minute consultation to discuss whether my course is a good fit for you, simply fill out my owner’s survey and I’ll be in touch to set up a time to talk.