“I don’t think that I want to do this business anymore. At least not the way that I originally planned on doing it. I just don’t think that scaling a business like this is realistic. Nobody cares as much as I do. I just want to be an owner/operator and be happy.”
These were the thoughts running through my head the week of April 16th 2018. I’ll never forget that week. It’s the week that I realized that you just can’t scale a home service business. It was the week that dropped the “feather the broke the camels back” on my entrepreneurial spirit. Until that week I was full of determination, motivation, and excitement for my relatively new service business.
I started my business as a result of my position being eliminated due to a merger. The following morning I drove to Home Depot, spent about $100 on window cleaning supplies, and
immediately hit the ground trying to drum up business. I had a great deal of success right out of the gate. I quickly realized that this new journey was my long term plan and I just knew that I was going to build an amazing company just like the ones that I ran for others in the corporate world. I successfully got “off of the truck” in thirteen months and had focused all of my effort on sales and marketing while my two technicians were knocking out the cleaning. It was going pretty well until THAT week.
Don’t get me wrong, I had some quality issues here and there that I had to address and resolve but overall things were running smoothly. Then THAT week and THAT JOB arrived. I ran a typical sales appointment, spent some time at the kitchen table overcoming objections and explaining why my company was worth double the price of the other quote that they had received. We ended up starting the job the following day. That is where the good news ends. My technicians ended of leaving the job before it was completed at the direction of the customer. Not only was nothing completed but the place was literally dirtier after we left than it was when we arrived.
The customer would not allow me to send my employees back to their home so I had to do the work myself. Despite a very painful minor injury I found myself at their home on Saturday doing it all myself. This is when I threw a very extravagant Pity Party as I thought about all of the things that you read in the first paragraph. It was truly pathetic! Once my Pity Party was over I came to a realization. I knew that I had to do one of two things. 1. Realize that successfully scaling a business is hard and that I should stick to doing all of the work myself. OR 2. Realize that successfully scaling a business is hard BUT IT’S WORTH IT. I elected to go with option two. Why? Because that’s the only option that aligns with my WHY. As entrepreneurs we are not doing this because it’s easy. We’re doing it because this is the path that leads to free time, financial freedom, and greater future opportunities.
That day I stumbled across a section in a book by Jocko Willink. Here is what Jocko said in a nutshell: I am nothing but weakness. I’m not naturally physically gifted, I’m too emotional, I procrastinate, my mind is too small….he goes on and on
However! Jocko went on to say a few other things. Here also said: I am weak in all the ways that I just shared BUT I don’t accept those weaknesses. I don’t accept that I am doomed to be forever what I am today. Im struggling, fighting, and clawing in order to change my weaknesses.
This was exactly what I needed to hear! The reason I cannot successfully scale a service business is because I’m weak, I don’t have natural talent, I get too worked up over stupid things, I lack discipline. However, I CAN successfully scale a service business because I DON’T ACCEPT THAT! I am not doomed to have the same results tomorrow that I had today. I’m willing to deal with the pain of growth in order to serve my WHY.
This all brought me back to a quote by Jim Rohn, “We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.” I’m choosing the pain of discipline.
What say you?