Respect opened up my eyes to see the talents, skills, and potential of my staff to help me grow my business.
As the years go on, I have come to realize that more than anything I owe much of my success in my business to my parents. My dad in particular was an amazing man who unfortunately died almost 11 years ago, but his influence is seen in my business every day. I, of course, learned about work ethic by watching him. He dropped out of high school, but by the end of his career, he was an Executive Officer of a publicly traded company. But more than anything, my dad taught me about respect for others. When my parents met, my dad was working at Arby’s. He had a business failure and major financial problems as a result. Because of this, my father always felt blessed by what he had and also understood that he was not superior to others.
My dad had a solid respect for anyone who was working to support themselves and their families. While my dad had success later in life, he always reminded us that was his success and not ours. We were not superior to anyone who worked for or served us. They were working their way up. As kids, we had not done anything to deserve what we had; so if anything, we owed the people working around us more respect than they owed us.
This is one of the secrets to our success and low turn-over at My Maid Service. To this day, I greatly respect anyone who works to support themselves. I understand that I am not superior to my employees just because I own the company. If anything, I have incredible respect for how difficult their jobs can be. While I cannot always understand or relate to their lives, at the end of the day, they know I respect them and all of their hard work. When I make a mistake, which I so often do, they give me the benefit of the doubt because they know I am operating from a position of respect for them.
[EasyDNNnewsToken:Left Justify Embed 300 x 250]Another lesson my dad taught me was that you can have a positive influence on so many people through your work. At his funeral, employee after employee came up and told me what a huge impact he had on their lives. A guy named Jose told me that my dad was the one who encouraged him to not only apply for an MBA but to apply to Harvard where he was accepted. Another guy named Joe told me how my dad had trusted him to run a team when no one else did and now he was Chief Operating Officer of a gas and electric company. These were just two stories. Person after person told me how my dad had pulled them aside and told them he thought they could do more than they thought they could. Often he was the first person who had ever given them a chance or told them that he thought they had hidden potential.
I try to live up to that example in my business every day. When I look at my people, I try to see things they may not even see in themselves. I try to give them an opportunity and the encouragement they need to flourish. There have been several times that it has not worked out, but more often than not the people rose to the occasion. We are now opening our first office of My Maid Service that will not be owned by my brother or myself; the majority owner will be a young woman who began a one of my cleaners and who showed me her talents and skills in management and leadership. Like my dad, she did not finish high school. I know nothing would have made my dad prouder than seeing me coach, encourage, and give her the chance to turn her life around and provide a role model for her own family. I just wish he was here to see it and grow the business with Shawn and me.
Derek Christian is the owner of My Maid Service with locations in Cincinnati, OH and Dallas, TX, as well as a business coach through Cleaning Business Builders and publisher of CleaningBusinessToday.com. Derek is now an investor in several cleaning companies including My Maid Service Dayton and Real World Services Columbus. Derek is also a consultant for industry leaders Marvelous Maids and Castle Keepers.