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This morning, I started reading this book, “The Mirror Test” written by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett, which I purchased from Borders just before their store closing, a result of the bankruptcy filing and the sign of the change in our times, economically and technologically. I am only on page 12 and I have already been able to appreciate his words as I believe I have lived them in my own way.
The chapter that I am reading is on Focus and it asks the question “Why are you in Business?” I started answering the question in my head, and then, I thought that instead of thinking it, I should write it, so I grabbed my notepad. Then, I thought that I should do it one better, and not just write it, but I should eternalize my answer as this is the reason and meaning behind my business and my passion for my business, thus this blog.
My intention is to answer the series of questions with “integrity” and honesty and by doing so, I will strengthen my fortitude for my business. I hope that you will stay with me as I uncover some of the fundamental reasons for why I am doing what I am doing and why it is worth continuing along this journey.
So, here we go . . .
Q. Why are you even here – why are you doing what you do? What is it that you want to do? Make money? Build huge profits? What then? What is the purpose of what you are doing? Do you want to please people? Build the best widget? What do you do after profitability? Expand? Be the best in the business? What do you see? Are you looking for a better way of life? A better lifestyle? Well-being? Safety?
A. This past week, I have asked myself this question many times, but I was too busy to answer. I was overwhelmed with the many problems of running a people intensive business. But now, I need to take the time to answer it honestly and directly, with nothing held back. I am baring my soul . . .
I, am the CEO of a residential cleaning company and I am doing this because it was good additional income for my laundromat that was my primary business. Then, my laundromat failed due to under-capitalization and some poor business decisions. Once the laundromat failed, I took the profitable side business, the cleaning services, and made that the main business.
Initially the business was just about cleaning, however, in order to be able to do this type of business day in and day out, I needed to have a reason, a purpose. The purpose came from my need to help people, to provide a solution to the problems that I was able to identify after my initiation into the cleaning business though watching the vicious cycle of unemployment and instability in so many of people who came through my doors. I want to provide my staff with stable employment, opportunity for personal, emotional, financial and professional growth. And provide my clients with stable house-hold staff and the best professional level house cleaning that encompasses the basic wholesome good and honest values that seem to be a thing of the past for most service companies.
I need and want to set my company apart from any other cleaning company, I am convinced that this is not just a cleaning company, it is so much more. I want to change the lives of our staff, clients and vendors by educating the general public on one of the most under-appreciated industries and adding a positive difference in their lives.
I want to be able to make money by making the company profitable while doing it, but not at the expense of others, only by helping and serving others. Only then would I be able to wake up every day and have purpose.
Once the systems are stabilized and the company is profitable, I would like to expand the same concept in every city throughout the country while maintaining the professionalism and good, solid core values of the company that is expressed by each staff member in the company at all levels.
The ultimate goal is to have each staff member in control of their own financial destiny by them using our company as as stepping stone to a better more stable and fulfilling life by creating “mini-franchises”. My life is bettered by the improving of the lives of others. Therefore, our Mission Statement:
“Each one, help one”
We will stabilize the lives of our staff by giving them constant employment; We will uplift the lives of our staff by providing education, encouragement and opportunities for growth; We will improve the lives of our Clients by providing Professional Staff for their homes and businesses. By helping others, we would have in turn helped ourselves”
Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to meet some very impressive people, with wealth and power, and I consider myself privileged to have met them. The excitement building up to my meeting of these persons and the actual meetings were two different things. I was looking for the “wow” factor, I thought that just by breathing in the same air (as crazy as it sounds) might make me smarter (just kidding). But the actual meetings were a bit of a let down. They are just like you and me, tired, overworked but with just allot more money. I understood their positions, but I still wanted more! It wasn’t enough that they had amassed so much money, yes, that is impressive but I still needed more. That is not to say that I am not reminded of their ability to do so much more in community service with foundations to help different causes, and that is definitely to be commended. However, if I remember correctly, in the Bible, it was the old widow who gave the smallest amount, but because she gave all that she had in the world, was recognized, not the wealthy patrons whose gifts were substantial in monetary value but only a small portion of their amassed wealth.
My excitement to meet these men comes from a place in me, that thinks that one day, I too will change the world. Many, many years ago, I met Donald Trump and when I did, I was excited to meet him as well and I told him that one day, I too would be a “mover and shaker” just like him, but way before that meeting many years ago, I knew that I was destined to do something great! And with that knowledge, I always look to those who have accomplished great feats of accumulated wealth and power and sharp business acumen, to see just “how” they were able to do it and what character traits differentiated them from me. I have worked with some very smart people, Michael Adler, Joel Levy, Jorge Lopez, Lenny Wolfe, Jim Clark and TJ, Luis Arizurrieta, Milton Jones, Harry Bookey, Aubrey Fountain and there were so many more people who have influenced my life with their brilliance either directly or indirectly. I believe that each one of them has played an important part in my growth as a person and business woman. The one thing that they all have in common, is integrity.
So, to get back to my original rant on my “let down” after meeting these influential men, maybe what I believe that they lacked is “integrity” or maybe I wasn’t given an opportunity to see it in the short space of time. Maybe the integrity is the “it” factor. My 17 year old daughter, has “it”, one example is of her commitment to her social responsibility, her education and her financial responsibility. Without a car, she puts on her roller-blades and leaves school to coach a little league and then roller-blades to her part time job so she won’t be late. She has me in awe at her abilities and integrity. A young man started working for me this week on a construction site and then he missed the 2nd day of work. I found out that he has epilepsy and needed to see doctors and get medication, but he has not let that stop him. Initially I was upset when he called in, I didn’t know why, but when he showed up for work with his documentation, I have to give him a chance to prove himself and to make the most out of this job – he has integrity. That is what really matters and counts, at least to me.
So, I have decided that what I am building through this company, Suds Domestic Services, LLC and the hiring and training of people to give them stability through jobs, may not make me the Billions, it may not get me on CNBC or Larry King Live, forget about Oprah, or being an advisor to Michelle or Barak Obama. But, maybe, I would be able to make a mark in the lives of some of the people who have worked with me in the same way that some of the people that I mentioned above have influenced me. They may not remember my name, but I remember theirs and their integrity. These are the things that matter, the really important things.