How a Squeegee Changed My Life

It seems like yesterday. 12 years ago in a desperate leap of faith, I
quit the job I had for 6 years. I could not stand the grind anymore,
I could not take the sameness.

One morning twelve years ago I seen an ad. The ad was for a window
cleaner. It said “be your own boss and make $20 an hour”. I thought
what a bunch of crap. However, it did sound perfect for me.

Six years later my wife enters the picture and gives me the “you can do
this on your own”… four months later I start my own company.

After getting lucky when I started I quickly found out getting business
is hard as hell. No matter what I did, I could barely get by.

I hated the marketing end at that time. I would make fliers, send out
postcards… I did everything I could but I was failing bad.

So I buy some Dan Kennedy cds off of eBay. I was so reluctant to listen
them. I felt marketers were trying to pick my pockets. I would pop the cds
in on my way to jobs, next thing I know I have a notepad and miniature
tape recorder to get my thoughts recorded.

I sorta became obsessed with this skill I felt so skeptical about. Why does
it work? If I try this will my crappy fliers work?

In a matter of months I had little trouble getting work. I could literally be
in a bind Monday, go to Kinkos with $20 and make 200 fliers and have
money by the weekend.

I remember one January printing up 250 fliers and getting 6 jobs from them.
That was really when I bought in. I could barley get my phone to ring in
the fall and a couple months later in the freezing cold I am busy.

Enter Chris. I found myself joining a forum (NWCD) and talking with a lot
of other guys in my business. It was great!

Somewhere in there I started to voice my opinion on marketing. My opinions
were always under scrutiny. Everyone was still where I was in that “marketing
is snake oil” frame of mind.

Out of the blue this guy who hardly ever posted contacts me. He liked how
I thought and my confidence. That confidence was put to the test.

Chris asked me if I would write his next ad (I believe it was a yellow page
listing). So I did. He liked it. Next thing I know I am damned near in charge
of all marketing for Chris and I was more than a little nervous.

Here is a guy spending more money on his mailing than most others make
in a year. I screw it up and we are talking about tens of thousands of
dollars lost.

My first attempt at his mailer was a huge success. That was it, my life
changed yet again. I loved doing the marketing and I was obviously
pretty good at it.

Here we are now. Now I have 7 sales pages to write and people prepaying
me to reserve a spot! Oddly, none of it is with window cleaning companies.

I think I charged Chris $1100 for a years worth of ads, including doing stuff
to his website. Now I make $500+ a letter. I sit at home and enjoy rainy days.
I work one day a week cleaning windows and I am closing up shop forever in
the next month. (hooray!)

I went from the “know-it-all” to the “doing it” guy. ([U]not[/U] overnight)

If I would have never called on that ad I would have never held a squeegee.
If I never held a squeegee I would be punching a clock somewhere. If I was
punching a clock I would never had met Chris.

It’s not what get’s you there, it’s where you’re going that matters.

I hope you all are doing what you love or at least working in that direction.

go get some


Paul -

Congrats! I am glad you have found your true calling, and window cleaning seems to have been your “means to an end” if you will. I love when people expose themselves to new opportunities and challenges, risk and reward, trial and error. If you were never at the bottom looking up, you would never know it when you get there.

I believe the true lesson to be learned here is this: That opportunity lurks in every corner around the world. I truly believe that there is a market for every product, every service, every thing. All you have to do is identify it, and then exploit it.

So, that being said, I have identified an opportunity within this thread…feel like sending me some clients once you’ve closed up shop? :smiley:

Never a doubt, Paul.

Paul, that is a cool story.