So why did you start? - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 05-22-2008, 10:18 PM Thread Starter
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So why did you start?

I just thought I'd ask a question that always floats through my head, especially since I left my hometown and moved to the oposite side of the world. You would be surprised how many times a day I go, "what the heck am I doing...," knowing that there are easier ways to make a buck (or in this country a yen), or maybe you wouldn't, but thats what I'd like to know.
Why did you get involved in this kind of business? What made you start doing it, what makes you keep going, and why the heck don't you quit and start working at McD's?
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post #2 of Old 05-27-2008, 06:14 PM
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I couldn't imagine doing Mchoods in Japan....

Get me some pics of Japanese hoods...

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post #3 of Old 05-27-2008, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Hehe, I shall do so. Actually last night I stopped by one to pick up some cheeseburgers since I was out drinking. A really cool thing about Japan is that you can drink anywhere, in the street, in parks, on public transportation, anywhere. So there I was, I had just popped out of my friends bar, and not wanting to leave my beer behind for consumption by others I took it with me, when I decided to make a stop at McD's. It was filled with a bunch of highschoolers, who found it infinitely amusing that a foreigner was drinking beer out of a big glass mug while waiting for food. Ahh, good times.
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post #4 of Old 06-01-2008, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by CleaningMike View Post
I just thought I'd ask a question that always floats through my head, especially since I left my hometown and moved to the oposite side of the world. You would be surprised how many times a day I go, "what the heck am I doing...," knowing that there are easier ways to make a buck (or in this country a yen), or maybe you wouldn't, but thats what I'd like to know.
Why did you get involved in this kind of business? What made you start doing it, what makes you keep going, and why the heck don't you quit and start working at McD's?
First let me start by saying that I could never make as much money as I do now working at McD's. I am not sure how much you charge but I once made $190 in an hour doing what I do now. I would never make that working anywhere else in our area. Of course everyday is not like that but it is still way more than I would make at any office job like what I did before.

OK so here is my story about how I came into the cleaning business...

I was working as a credit manager then went into sales at my last job. I made OK money for a woman without a degree. But I hated the office politics and drama that goes on. So me and my husband decided it was not worth the stress so I would just stay home. That quickly became boring so I started back to school to finish getting my degree. Well, that didn't keep me busy enough but I could not imagine going back into an office environment. Me and my friend had been talking about starting our own business forever. We had a million ideas but never followed through. Finally we decided to do something and after researching the cleaning businees decided that was the one for us. At the time there was no competition in our area. The start up was not too high so we could do it without going through a bank. We never imagined it would have taken off as well as it did and honestly I never thought I would be making as much money as I do now. We clean almost everything. Mainly move outs, residential and post construction. We need to get into commercial but haven't had the time to focus on that market yet. Taking it one at a time. This is very hard work and it isn't for everyone but I would rather clean a toilet then to have to put up with a bunch of crazy office people. Even if the money was equal.

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post #5 of Old 06-01-2008, 12:48 PM
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Oh I forgot, honestly my ideal job would be to work for Starbucks if I could make enough to pay the bills. I think that would be so much fun to make all that coffee. I almost opened a coffee shop instead of cleaning but figured eventually they would put up a Starbucks right next to me and put me out of business...

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post #6 of Old 06-01-2008, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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If only everyone could have their ideal job and not have to worry about money, but that would go counter to the wondereful theory of capitalism. Thats an interesting story. In my current job I think im rather lucky. I hold the interesting position of being the only foreigner in the company (albeit a small company), so I have a different type of office politics. In my case its proving that even though i dont speak perfect japanese, im still as good as they are.

I suppose I should give my story as well, though its a simple one I think by comparison. While I was still a university student I decided to go to Japan to study abroad a semester, when I returned I had decided I wanted to return to the country. Now dont ask why, I have no idea, and have told many people so. I came back just because I wanted to. So, there I was, in my dorm room wondering how to go back, when it hit upon me that I could become an English teacher. Now, the wonderful thing about getting a job as an English teacher in Japan is that it doesnt matter what kind of degree you had (mine was MIS), so anyone could do it. I made my applications, went to interviews, and of course was hired. Thus began my "career" as an english conversation teacher. That job lasted about 3 1/2 years, before I got bored of it and wanted to make use of my degree. Now, luckily, at the company I worked at we were allowed to take private students to make cash on the side. Being an english teacher can be quite lucrative if you find the right students. I got lucky and one of the students I picked up was the owner/boss of a company. After a few years of teaching him, getting fed up with the repetitiveness of my job, I asked him if I could join his company. His answer was "yes," and so here I find myself. Now, for the last few months ive been working here but without any specific mandate. The closest things I got to directives were, "study our product" and "figure out how to sell our product in the US." Now those are pretty broad, but thats moving the story in a different direction. Sitting here and typing at my current job, it reminds me of the first work I ever did, which was cleaning my parents machining shop with a brush and some soap. Its kind of an interesting circle of where I came from and where I am.
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post #7 of Old 06-02-2008, 09:29 PM
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I am sure it is interesting over there. I have only left Texas a few times and it was mainly business trips with my last company to Indiana. I didn't get to see anything but my hotel room and our corporate office. I always get asked how I could have left my cushy, decent paying office job and go to clean toilets. It is definitely not for everyone. But I like being my own boss and (used) to like setting my own hours. We are so over booked right now I don't know if I will ever get off before 8pm for a while. I also don't know if I will ever get to the point where I can step back and get out of the actual cleaning part. Hopefully we are heading in the right direction with that. I finally started hiring so we will see...I tend to ramble when I am exhausted!

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post #8 of Old 06-03-2008, 05:07 PM
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Great story, Kendra.. living the dreaaam. I know I could never go back to work for anyone.

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post #9 of Old 06-03-2008, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
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I know the feeling of not wanting to work for anyone, my parents are both entreprenuers, so I picked it up from them. Its a chaffing feeling having to wait for someone else to decide something that you just want to get going on. Though, in my case, im kind of glad my boss is putting things off, its given me a chance to get a bit salted, learn a lot, and get a different persepective. Back a few months ago, when I first started, I was all bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to get started selling. Then I started to do some research, and each rock I turned over to get information introduced a thousand more questions which needed answers. A few months later, im still bright eyed and bushy tailed, but a little wiser. Import/Export is complicated. Whilst I could just push on ahead, in these current times of economic turmoil that would lead to some very,very, uncertain results.

Someday Ill be more like you guys, finally throwing in the towel on being a minion, and break out on my own. Its not a question of 'if' but more of 'when.' The whole satisfaction at the end of the day that you've accomplished something, and its your thing, not someone elses... yeah, im sure you all know.

As for business trips, think of it this way, you get to sleep in your own bed. My boss is gone about 3/4 of the month on business trips. He is a stranger to his own bed, and that can get old really fast. Im sure that once I start my operations ill be the same.
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post #10 of Old 06-04-2008, 07:56 PM
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Geez I need to not type when I am tired. I have typos! I have my fingers crossed there will be no cleaning emergencies this weekend so I can have a few days off!

I hated the business trips. Kind of grosses me out sleeping and showering in hotel rooms. Of course nobody cleans it like I would! LOL

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post #11 of Old 06-04-2008, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Heh, you should see the business hotel rooms in Japan. There like little closets. The bath unit is like a little plastic box. First time I walked into one I laughed myself silly. I almost had to turn sideways to go down the "hallway" to the bed. The room was just large enought to accomodate a Japanese sized single bed and alittle space to walk beside the bed. At least they are better then capsule hotels. Imagine a behive, yeah, its like that. Great for drunk salary men, but not for a normal stay. A one time adventure... but I was lucky enought to remember ear plugs.
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