Grab it by the Horns!
My partner and I are 6 weeks into owning and operating our commercial cleaning franchise. It's been very exciting, fun, hard, HOT, and challenging. We've had to learn QuickBooks Online, how to do payroll, how to enroll and do all the many taxes required of a business owner, how to do bids, and go out and do the physical work late in the evenings and very early in the mornings. During these first 6 weeks, we were able to sell several accounts. This required us to start hiring. We have hired 5 part-time employees to this point. One of the greatest thrills of being a business owner, is providing employment.
It was during this hiring process that we came upon a candidate for one of our route jobs. A route job is where they take on several small accounts and travel around cleaning the accounts each week. To keep her identity secure, I will call her Heather for this blog post.
While interviewing Heather, she impressed us with her writing skills and knowledge of administrative work. We were concerned that working in the evenings cleaning might be too much for her. However, she assured us that she was a clean freak and that she would rather do a physical job in the evenings than pick up a second job that has her sitting at a computer for another few hours. That made sense to us. Having come from our corporate jobs, we too remember never wanting to sit at a computer after getting home from work.
We moved forward and hired Heather. We gave her a route job that gave her between 17-19 hours depending on the week. When we started the training process, we enjoyed getting to know more about her. This is where I realized that Heather wasn't a "go with the grain" kind of girl. Heather had gone through a divorce, had her truck break down which cost her $4,000 to fix, and she moved to our city (Phoenix) to take a job that ended up falling through 3 weeks in. Heather eventually found another full-time job, but it was not as lucrative as the one she initially accepted. During the time it took to find a new job in her new town, she had used up quite a bit of her savings. At this point, she decided to move in with her sister who gave her a few months free rent until she found another job. Also, with the repair expense on her truck of $4,000, Heather realized she needed to do more to fix her financial situation. She started to look for part time work. That is where our company came into the picture. She not only took a job with us, be she is also writing a blog and helping others with their writing to help pay her debts and build back her savings.
I was impressed by her lack of victimhood. She is in a very difficult time in her life, and yet she did not sit back and wallow in her misery. She took control of the situation and started making plans to move to a more secure financial place. I'm sure she felt lost, frustrated, tired, confused and maybe a little depressed during this period, but she is taking active steps to move forward in her life. I feel that this adversity will end up being a huge blessing in her life. I have learned that the hardest times in our lives lead to unexpected happiness and/or success.
This is a town where every mile you will see a large billboard or sign stating: "Divorce or Bankruptcy $200". Our society sometimes pushes us to extreme measures, like filing bankruptcy, when all it might take is downsizing our living space, picking up a side job (or two) and leading a more minimalistic lifestyle for a year or so until we are back in the black. It seems to me, that in this immediate gratification world that we live in, many people would take the bankruptcy option over the sacrifice for a time option.
Where many of us may have sat back and been frustrated with the circumstances in our life, this young woman decided, at least financially, to not be a victim and to take ownership of her finances. She grabed her financial situation by the horns and took control. Is there opportunity for us to better take ownership of our financial futures? Watching her example has given me thought. Is there more I can be doing? Cutting back on expenses, working harder/smarter. Thank you to the Heather's of this world who inspire us all to keep moving forward and take ownership of our lives.