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’?


3 responses to “Excuses

  1. It is starting to become apparent to me that you, Mike, have not only become a source of calm and reason for me, but now you are answering the questions that I have been asking myself–“Why are you staying in the field?” Everyone that has the success I’m striving for in this business will say, “You need to get out of the field and start managing and marketing your business.” I have been focusing on that and not listening to my inner voice. I enjoy being in the field.

    I love the feeling of a job well done. I love getting to know my clients, many of whom have become friends. I love helping them have more time to spend with their children/families and being able to relax and enjoy their homes. And, yes, I too look forward to seeing their pets.

    I stay in the field because, at this point in time, it is where I want to be.

    • Great comment, Deb!
      I am honored that I can be a calming voice for you.
      I can’t imagine waking up one morning and looking at my schedule to see it filled with meetings and networking events instead of cleanings. On some level, I know that day will come but it will make me somewhat sad to see.

  2. awwwww.. Perry is blushing! You sir are many many days an inspiration to me as well. I just love your chipper, up lifting EARLY EARLY morning Facebook posts.

    Confession: Perry likes being in the field too, I actually do enjoy the cleaning. There is something gratifying to me about seeing a dirty house when we get there and then seeing the end result.

    I LOVE the technical side of the business, things like how can we do this faster, but yet EVEN better. I like Deb also LOVE the customers, I enjoy the banter of a visit if they happen to be home.

    But, I also know that my over all goal is a sustainable buisness that does not solely depend on my efforts, that I enjoy the satisfaction of providing work for good people, training and mentoring them to help with their personal development.

    With that being said, I truly believe that everyone has the right to make their business what they want, and not try to live up to someone elses definition of success!

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