How do you know it’s time to get out of the house cleaning business?

All right. On to today’s show, which is from a woman who’s been in the house cleaning businessfor dozens of years. How many dozens, I’m not sure, but it sounds like a lot. And she’s getting ready to fade out of the house cleaning business, and she wants to know is what is the moment where you go,”Aha, it’s time for me to get out of the house cleaning business”? Well, that aha moment has actually already happened, thus the question, right? If you weren’t thinking about that, you probably would not ask that question.

But my suggestion to you is this. When you wake up one day and you decide that “Hey, I’m too old to be doing this anymore”,or, “There are other exciting things I would like to pursue in my life”, that might be a moment where you say, “Okay, how do I get from here to there?”Now, just like you start a business, you get this aha moment, like, “Hey, I should start a house cleaning business,” the day will come when you will have an aha moment and you will decide to get out of the house cleaning business, okay? Just by the same token that you got in it, now you have to get out. The rules and regulations are different.

Do It Professionally

When you get into the house cleaning business, you’re setting up the business. When you get out of the house cleaning business, you’re unraveling it and taking it down. So you have a couple of options. You can either sell your business if it’s worth anything. Or you can pass on your accounts to other house cleaners or you can just send your customers a letter and say, “Guys, I’m calling it quits.  I’m outta here. “But my suggestion is that you do it professionally because you don’t want to burn any of those bridges. I have known lots of house cleaners that got out of the business for whatever reason and then, for some reason or another, something changed in their personal life and they decidedto go back into it. If you go back into the house cleaning business, you can always call up your old customers and say, “Hey! I’m back”. And if they liked you, they might hire you back. But it’s a great way to instantly pick up a whole bunch of business if you made a mistakeand you decide you’re back.

Now, every house cleaner and nobody talks about this and I should probably just bringit up so there are no surprises, but every house cleaner gets out of the business aboutfive or six times. You just get really discouraged. You’re like, “I hate this job. Why am I doing this?”And you leave the business and then you realize how much freedom you had as a small businessowner, or you realize how much flexibility you had,or you realize how much money you were making, for whatever reason, and then you get back in the business. So there will be about five or six times during the course of a lengthy career where you’relike, “This is so not for me”, and that’s okay. That’s natural. When that happens, give yourself a good kick in the seat of the pants and have a good laughover it. Get out of the business, stay away as long as you can, and when it’s time to come back, come back with open arms, right? Don’t beat yourself up for your choices either way.

When you decide to finally get out, like, “Hey, I’m wrapping up my career. This is the end,” what are you going to do? And that’s a really important question. My suggestion is that you don’t just leave the house cleaning business and walk awaywith no plans, because you’ll get discouraged and depressed. You will lose the purpose of every day going and changing and making the lives of other people better. And so there has to be a purpose, and so if you’re going to get out of the house cleaning business, what is your purpose?And so if you have a purpose and something that drives you and something that motivates you, it’s still going to get you out of bed every morning. The worst thing that I’ve seen from house cleaners who are active people, because housecleaners are super active . . .  if you wear a Fitbit on a regular day, you clock twenty to forty thousand steps on a regular day. You’re moving and you’re hustling and you’re cleaning and you’re doing all these things, and then to go from that to nothing freaks your body out. It’s just . . . it’s like, “Whoa. “And then not only that but all the exercise and movement also affects your head.

Make a Game Plan

And so now you’re at home and you’re retired without a purpose, without activity, and that messes with your head, and then you get really discouraged. You start packing on pounds. And you start packing on pounds no fault of your own, but what happens is the amount of food that you were eating in the course of a regular day to sustain that movement and that activity, now there’s no movement and activity, but you’re eating the same amount of food. So all of a sudden, you start gaining weight, you get depressed, you get discouraged, there’sno purpose, and you hit rock bottom. That’s not why I want you to retire.

If you want to get out of the cleaning business, it needs to be because you’re going to somewhere else that’s better. You need to be leaving one place for a better place. and so if you are getting out of the business, my suggestion is that you make a game plan. Figure out what the purpose is. Figure out what your diet is going to be. Figure out when you’re going to fit in your workouts because if you’re an active person,you want to continue that activity. The next thing that I recommend is to figure out a strategy to say goodbye to your customers because you worked in their homes, you’ve been intimate with these families, you know their children, you know their pets, you know their house, their neighbors, and all these things. To just disappear is weird, and you want to stay in touch.


So figure out a way that you can leave on good terms and say, “Hey, I’m getting out of the business. I’d love to keep you posted on what I’m up to,” and then every once in a while, send them a note on Facebook, or send them a tweet or send them an email. Just keep in touch, because you never know what’s going to happen, and it’s really important that we don’t just abandon the people that have believed in us and were our cheerleaders,because you never know as you into your next whatever it is that has your purpose, they might have all the right connections to help you make that happen. So if you just stay in touch with those people, and you’ve already blessed their life, now maybe is a chance for them to bless yours.

But you just want to stay in touch. So my suggestion is, when you wake up one day and you start thinking, “It’s time forme to get out of this business,” sit down with a pad of paper or a notepad or a tablet or however you take notes and start writing down what you would like to see happen next,and create a game plan just like you did when you created your business. Create a game plan to get out of your business. Pick a day that you’re going to wrap up, have a party for yourself, invite all your house cleaning people over, send a letter and say, “On this day, this will be your last cleaning. “Whatever your decision is, but make it official and then when you walk away, walk away. And walk away to your next job, or your next part of your journey with the confidence ofknowing that, “Hey, I gave this job everything I had. It was really fun, it was excellent. I made some awesome friends, and now I’m moving on. “So enjoy what this provided you, but you will know, you will know if you stay in the businesslonger than when you want to leave, your work will diminish and it will decline and so willyour attitude and you’ll start getting sloppy.

So if you get this idea in your head that it’s time for you to leave,it’s probably time for you to leave. So start that in effect so that that can start to happen seamlessly so that you can move from here onto the next element of your journey. Alrighty, that’s my two cents for today. And until we meet again, leave the world a cleaner place than when you found it.