Ok, so it has been awhile since my last post. It’s funny, because I love writing, but it just seems that lately I haven’t had much time. We have been busy hiring our first employee, business has been good, I’ve been organizing a meet-up of fellow cleaning service owners here in Minnesota and from surrounding states. Yes, I have a LOT of excuses.
Last night, though, I got a question from a fellow business owner in Georgia. I hesitate to call him a peer, because I am so far beneath him that it would be laughable to put myself in the same category. His name is Perry Phillips and he is the owner of PerriSparkle Cleaning Services in Atlanta, a company he founded when running another business, Home Cleaner Magazine, just didn’t fill enough of his time. Perry has been an inspiration to me and his energy and ambition leave me exhausted and exhilarated after speaking on the phone with him for just a few moments. Last evening Perry asked me a question which inspired me to write again. The question was this; “Why do you stay in the field in your business?”
I could think of a million answers to that question. Most having to do with the fact that we are a small company and my presence in the field is required. We just hired our first employee, after running this business for four years by ourselves and we need to be there, be present. We are the face of this company. Our customers know us and trust us to take care of their homes. Not going out every day and cleaning would be like abandoning them. All of these are valid reasons why I stay ‘in the field’. Or are they just excuses?
There are equally valid reasons to be made for letting go. For hiring a staff and training them to clean to our standards, the standards that our customers expect from us, and letting them do the cleanings while I concentrate on growing the business. After all, that’s what I’ve always said I wanted. To grow the business.
Answering this question would take days, weeks, perhaps even months of intense self-examination. Maybe even longer, since I can find excuses for not doing those things I don’t want to do. Perhaps the best answer may be the simplest, though. I enjoy going into the field. I have never had a job where each and every day, I actually looked forward to going in to work. I look forward to interacting with our customers, their families, and yes, even their pets. I enjoy the challenge of cleaning a home, giving the customer that sense of relief when they come home and find that they don’t have to look at a dirty house.
Will this help me to realize my goal of growing the business? I’m not sure. Can I grow the business and stay in the field? I don’t know. Why do I stay in the field, Perry? Because I like the field and I think I may stay there until I am forced to leave. When my body says, ‘Dude, I simply cannot bend over to make one more bed, scrub one more toilet’. Then, perhaps, I will resign myself to networking events and conferences and desk work. But until that time, I think, to some extent, I will stay in the field.
What keeps YOU ‘in the field’?