My non-cleaning jobs were always high stress, low-paying, all-consuming, sometimes dehumanizing and mostly meaningless. I did everything from factory work to truck driving to office work. The last non-cleaning job I had was as the shipping manager for a well known mail order catalog company. Not that it was all bad. I made many friends on some of those jobs and in general, tried to have a good time, be friendly, and do a good job. But underneath, I was actually having a hard time managing the mind numbing repetition, the workload and the stress that accompanied each job and that seemed to accumulate over time.
When I started my own cleaning business I was terrified. The only thing that got me to take that first step and keep going was that I was unemployed and could not stand the idea of looking for another life-draining job. I decided it would be easier to actually just start a business this go-round. When you are looking for a job, you have a sense that actually nothing is getting done. It feels you're like spinning your wheels, or like throwing your energy and effort into a black hole. And there is no real payoff until you get the job -- and then the stress kicks in for real. You can spend months looking for a job, I reasoned, so instead, why not spend months starting a small business? It's stressful either way. Rejection from a potential employer or just being ignored can be depressing. But while I was building my business, every day brought with it an incremental sense of accomplishment. I felt like I could have a say in my life's direction again.
And as far as jobs go, cleaning is generally not stressful. I was surprised at how low stress cleaning turned out to be, compared to the jobs I had held over the years. It was not stress-free, but the stress was reduced by 90%. I'm not exaggerating. Some people, I'm sure, would have the exact opposite experience. For them, running a business would top their stress chart. But evidently, I'm someone who thrives on running a business. For me, this was a revelation.
Once I had enough cleaning jobs to sustain myself financially, I found cleaning to be a very agreeable way to spend the day. I started to relax and enjoy the daily routine. It was so freeing that I found myself with the emotional and psychic space to do a really good job because I wanted too, not because it was demanded of me. I retired from cleaning in 2006 after 10 years, but I still miss aspects of the job.
The interesting thing about starting your own cleaning service is that you can ease into the stress of the new job one client at a time. The 'new job' learning curve is easily manageable. As you clients you also feel a sense of accomplishment. Going to a different location with different clients each day is stimulating. The routine changes so you don't get bored. Each house or office has its own idiosyncrasies. You have to develop systems and techniques to address the unique challenges of each housecleaning job, and that can be fun.
The first few months are the most stressful. That is why we are here to help guide you through the business start up phase. Once you're up and running, you will develop your own systems and techniques for fine-tuning your daily tasks.