Why'd you do it?

Jimmy Hitt

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Feb 9, 2014
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Jimmy Htt
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The "what keeps you going" thread got me thinking.

Why did you start your business? Was it out of necessity? Finally realize the limited potential as an employee? Fall into a good bit of money & said why the hell not? Did you think it was a get rich quick deal? Let's hear it boys, what's your story?
 
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Mar 30, 2010
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texas
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jason fisher
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I started out on my own after I moved here from Albuquerque and took a huge pay cut, I knew I had too much to offer for the pay I was getting. I worked one job for 2 months here and had major issues with the owner but that was partly due to me having a managers mindset and not a tech's mindset anymore. I then worked for another company for a year and they had big promises that they never fulfilled and couldnt see that there was a reason they only had 1 tech working for them before I stated, I brought in more $ for them in 6 months then they made the previous 3 years but they still wanted to do things their way.
 
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Jimmy Hitt

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Feb 9, 2014
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Jimmy Htt
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My story started July 8th 2013. Tore up my knee stretching a hallway. Years of abuse catching up to me or I just hit it at a weird angle. I continued to work 3 months on a bum knee. Few days prior to surgery I was let go (September 28th-wife's birthday). Also, I was in chapter 13 bankruptcy trying to keep my house & car. Luckily they suspended for 3 months due to surgery.

Borrowed a porty the next day to handle an account near my home. Cleaned everything they'd let me until my surgery (October 2nd). I couldn't believe how immobile & useless I was post op. It killed me, my wife's been a stay at home & I did not want that to change, so I wouldn't let that change. Two weeks post op I'm dragging this porty up to 3rd floor apartments to get money flowing in so we didn't drown. I did this for about a month til I bought my own porty.

The plan was to just clean for myself til I was cleared to return to work. Then I'd go be someone's slave again.

Well, January came & I still wasn't cleared but the bankruptcy payments were back in effect. Tried getting a job but nobody would hire me due to work restrictions. So I just kept lugging that porty & taking every job I could get. By late February the bankruptcy had been dismissed because I just couldn't make enough with that POS porty to cover everything. We were inches from losing our home that I'd worked so hard for.

Last week in February my local supplier (The Cleaners Depot-great people) put me in touch with someone who had a rig for sale....but I didn't have the money, can't get financing, wtf am I gonna do??? The insurance company gave me $4k settlement which was just enough to pay our past due bills & have $1500 left over.

Luckily, the guy with the rig said he'd finance it to me if we could agree on terms. So I presented him with what I thought I could do. $1000/down. Payments would be $500/600/700/800/900/1000 and then stay at $1000 til paid off. He agreed, and I had my rig. A dream come true.

So here I am in early march, no money for ad/marketing, barely any gas money, always waiting on a check in the mail from that original account to get by for a couple weeks. I questioned myself every night if I did the right thing by gambling on myself. I did AdWords ($200ish/month) just to get a little cash flow. It helped but it was scarce. Money was tight, we were trying to get a loan modification on the house, couldn't sleep, I was a mess.

Early June rolls around & I decide to make a change. After getting the best advice from several TMF members I started to hustle. And hustle everyday for 3-4 weeks. I dressed nice & sold my @$$ off to commercial accounts nonstop. I preached quality, presented the nicest bid books ever created, and followed up on everything.

My June numbers were terrible ($4k) but I knew in a couple months this would pay off (I hoped & prayed). My July numbers were $13k. I landed several big quarterly accounts ranging from $2500-$4k/per clean. Now I'm sitting in august & I'm booked out the next two weeks. I'm actually overbooked this coming week but I'll figure it out.

Honestly, I don't think I could've succeeded without TMF. @Presidential Cleaning @sun carpet @aloha one @john gerding @Todd the Cleaner @shane deubell and many more, I owe you guys a big thank you because everyone of you has helped me, my family, & my home.

@Rob Allen your story inspired me in my darkest hour when I was ready to give up. Not many people understand how scary it can be to start something like this when you're about to lose everything already. Thank you!

Alright boys, there's my novel. Sorry its a long story but I wanted to put it out there. It may not have been smart to start like that, but I wouldn't change it if I could. The struggle, made me do what I had to, I was backed against a wall so I fought my way out, I feel stronger everyday for it.
 

Bexiesbruv

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Oct 24, 2013
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Stephen Beckwith
We owned a couple of Dollar Stores and realised we were no good as owners in retail. Should have filed for bankruptcy but didnt. Could of filed for bankruptcy but didnt because we thought we might lose the house. Then we were told the house was safe but do a deal with your store landlord (who also happened to finance part of our purchase). We did the deal which left him with little of our debt outstanding and us with 140k in unpaid bills and 28k on credit cards not to mention the 140k we invested in the purchase.
So, not knowing what to do and having no money to run back to the UK (we emigrated to Canada in 2000) a lifeline was thrown to us by the Guy that maintained our floors in the two stores. He also operated a carpet cleaning business and he offered me a job and an eventual opportunity to partner with him. So I took it. A couple years later I had increased his sales volume by almost 40% (funny, I put a $ sign in there first instead of %) and met to discuss the partnership. He refused to discuss it or a raise to the salary level we first discussed, so I left and started my own business. No animosity between us, he made a decision and so did I. We remained the closest of friends until he died last year.
What keeps me going?
Paying the last five years of our mortgage, getting our last child through School.
Why do I stay in the business now?
I dont know what else to do and at 55 I think this is the last kick at the cat. If I do get out it will be when the kids are independent and I can afford to take a potential drop from the 80k or so I currently take from the business. Its not much, I do realise that, but we live a fairly frugal lifestyle. Always have.
I would like to try selling RV's or high end autos (maybe imports) next.
 

Steve Toburen

Strategies for Success
Jul 15, 2008
3,577
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Santiago, Dominican Republic
www.StrategiesForSuccess.com
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Steve Toburen
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Dominican Republic
Let's hear it boys, what's your story?
Seriously? OK, here I was at 18. No skills, no college degree, no money and way too rebellious to take on a corporate job. In fact, the scripture at Luke 16:3 applied perfectly to me: "What am I to do...? I am not strong enough to dig, I am ashamed to beg." However, I did have three things going for me:

1) I was (am) willing to work insanely hard for long hours and...

2) I am very, very stubborn and...

3) I didn't know "it couldn't be done" so...

I became a carpet cleaner! And I gotta say this industry has been very, very good to me. I am grateful.

Steve

PS If ya wanna read it HERE is the whole boring story.
 

Jimmy Hitt

Well-Known Member
Feb 9, 2014
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Ashland City
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Jimmy Htt
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Seriously? OK, here I was at 18. No skills, no college degree and no money. In fact, the scripture at Luke 16:3 applied perfectly to me: "What am I to do...? I am not strong enough to dig, I am ashamed to beg." However, I did have two things going for me:

1) I was (am) willing to work insanely hard for long hours and...

2) I am very, very stubborn.

So I became a carpet cleaner! And I gotta say this industry has been very, very good to me. I am grateful.

Steve

PS If ya wanna read it HERE is the whole boring story.
Hopefully one day I'll get to an SFS, but I thank you Steve, I read every article & download on the SFS site over the winter. At that point I was still unsure of what I was gonna do, but it prepared me for everything I did from June til now. I actually started to read over it all again last night. Such good info as a whole, but all the commercial info is what I dug into the most. Sure glad its an available resource, because it sure is nice getting those big checks in the mail:D
 

Steve Toburen

Strategies for Success
Jul 15, 2008
3,577
1,186
113
Santiago, Dominican Republic
www.StrategiesForSuccess.com
Real Name
Steve Toburen
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Dominican Republic
Hopefully one day I'll get to an SFS, but I thank you Steve, I read every article & download on the SFS site over the winter. At that point I was still unsure of what I was gonna do, but it prepared me for everything I did from June til now. I actually started to read over it all again last night. Such good info as a whole, but all the commercial info is what I dug into the most. Sure glad its an available resource, because it sure is nice getting those big checks in the mail:D
Thank you, Jimmy. You made my day. (Sometimes I wonder if we are helping anyone with all our work on the SFS website.) You know, like a "voice crying alone in the wilderness" sort of thing!

When we started the SFS program almost 20 years ago Papa Nick Paolella told me, "Steve, just focus on helping our industry." And that is exactly what I've tried to do. (And I'm grateful to Rob and Tre for providing this forum for us all to share information and learn from each other.)

Steve

PS It is great, Jimmy, that you have focused on the commercial sector. I swear carpet cleaners are like a pack of starving dogs snarling over the picked over carcass of low-end residential cleaning! All ya gotta do is get out there and get it! And yes, we have tons of (free) resources on how to sell commercial work HERE.
 
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Jimmy Hitt

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I'd much rather deal with one client for $3k/per cleaning vs. the 15+ housewives that would equal this amount. Not to mention the higher variable costs associated with those 15+ custys.

Not two mins after I replied to your post above I checked my mail to find this. I think this clients a keeper, invoice was paid 22 days after completion.
 

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salvador

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Jan 21, 2014
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www.newsunrisecleaning.com
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salvador meza
Was a lead lead tech/manager for a major restoration company for 2 years 3 as a tech worked crazy overtime in 2-3 years company got big got more trucks more people came in and that's when I becomes manager after going through a lot of shit..
I earned my position was making good money but as you all know the higher the position the more headaches and envy from others
One week after been crazy busy me and my boss went at it after several repeats for suppose not doing my job
Basically I was a lead tech/supervisor/office work/ everything in between.

Till I had have enough and just walked out turn in my keys etc adios!
Then I sold a 05 4x4 dodge ram 11k cash and started my journey I saw big potential in me and being able to be debt free is helped a lot so far I have not regret doing what I did :)
 
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crash1big

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Mar 18, 2011
4,260
2,010
113
Illinois
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Marlan Brown
Business Location
United States
I was in college, bound and destine for a football career with a letter in hand from the "bear" himself ( no kidding) and my parents said " we're not sending you to college to play football. Besides, you might get hurt". Whaaaaatttttt!!!!??? President Reagan was in office cutting back on everything including education grants, and loans. My dad made too much money for me to get a grant. With cuts in defense spending , aerospace engineering didn't look like it was going to pan out soooooo........ Since I worked with my uncle in the summers cleaning carpet I thought *why not?* I did a little market research and there wasn't anyone around here cleaning carpets professionally so I took the plunge.
Fast forward 32 years later and here I am still swinging a wand and supremely glad I never did the football thing. Why? Because I like NOT having all those little aches and pains my buddies have from playing. Some having a hard time even walking. I've been able to grow this business to 3 trucks (almost 4) and the longer I'm in it; the more I like it. So yeah, that's kind of how it went...... :)
 

Daniel Zaid

Active Member
Jun 13, 2014
233
40
28
42
Clearwater, FL
Real Name
Daniel Z.
My story started July 8th 2013. Tore up my knee stretching a hallway. Years of abuse catching up to me or I just hit it at a weird angle. I continued to work 3 months on a bum knee. Few days prior to surgery I was let go (September 28th-wife's birthday). Also, I was in chapter 13 bankruptcy trying to keep my house & car. Luckily they suspended for 3 months due to surgery.

Borrowed a porty the next day to handle an account near my home. Cleaned everything they'd let me until my surgery (October 2nd). I couldn't believe how immobile & useless I was post op. It killed me, my wife's been a stay at home & I did not want that to change, so I wouldn't let that change. Two weeks post op I'm dragging this porty up to 3rd floor apartments to get money flowing in so we didn't drown. I did this for about a month til I bought my own porty.

The plan was to just clean for myself til I was cleared to return to work. Then I'd go be someone's slave again.

Well, January came & I still wasn't cleared but the bankruptcy payments were back in effect. Tried getting a job but nobody would hire me due to work restrictions. So I just kept lugging that porty & taking every job I could get. By late February the bankruptcy had been dismissed because I just couldn't make enough with that POS porty to cover everything. We were inches from losing our home that I'd worked so hard for.

Last week in February my local supplier (The Cleaners Depot-great people) put me in touch with someone who had a rig for sale....but I didn't have the money, can't get financing, wtf am I gonna do??? The insurance company gave me $4k settlement which was just enough to pay our past due bills & have $1500 left over.

Luckily, the guy with the rig said he'd finance it to me if we could agree on terms. So I presented him with what I thought I could do. $1000/down. Payments would be $500/600/700/800/900/1000 and then stay at $1000 til paid off. He agreed, and I had my rig. A dream come true.

So here I am in early march, no money for ad/marketing, barely any gas money, always waiting on a check in the mail from that original account to get by for a couple weeks. I questioned myself every night if I did the right thing by gambling on myself. I did AdWords ($200ish/month) just to get a little cash flow. It helped but it was scarce. Money was tight, we were trying to get a loan modification on the house, couldn't sleep, I was a mess.

Early June rolls around & I decide to make a change. After getting the best advice from several TMF members I started to hustle. And hustle everyday for 3-4 weeks. I dressed nice & sold my @$$ off to commercial accounts nonstop. I preached quality, presented the nicest bid books ever created, and followed up on everything.

My June numbers were terrible ($4k) but I knew in a couple months this would pay off (I hoped & prayed). My July numbers were $13k. I landed several big quarterly accounts ranging from $2500-$4k/per clean. Now I'm sitting in august & I'm booked out the next two weeks. I'm actually overbooked this coming week but I'll figure it out.

Honestly, I don't think I could've succeeded without TMF. @Presidential Cleaning @sun carpet @aloha one @john gerding @Todd the Cleaner @shane deubell and many more, I owe you guys a big thank you because everyone of you has helped me, my family, & my home.

@Rob Allen your story inspired me in my darkest hour when I was ready to give up. Not many people understand how scary it can be to start something like this when you're about to lose everything already. Thank you!

Alright boys, there's my novel. Sorry its a long story but I wanted to put it out there. It may not have been smart to start like that, but I wouldn't change it if I could. The struggle, made me do what I had to, I was backed against a wall so I fought my way out, I feel stronger everyday for it.

Very inspirational Jimmy, especially for someone just starting out like myself. I've worked in education for 12 years, started a janitorial/office cleaning company in November 2013, did some carpet cleaning with a porty but nothing major. Then a friend and fellow carpet cleaner turned me on to TMF (changed my life!). Took the CCT and just a couple of weeks ago I purchased an E250 and got a 370ss installed last week. No website or business cards yet, but I'm doing my first job in two days on Monday!
Jimmy, I'm printing your story out for inspiration! Thank you sir!
 

shane deubell

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May 8, 2006
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.....
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I'm an unemployable drifter, just like the rest of you.

Hard to build net worth as an employee. Lots of advantages to being self employed.