When you change jobs, don’t forget to think about and practice your new answer to “What do you do for a living?”
I spent 12 years working at Procter & Gamble before buying my first maid service. It is funny how much work can define us.

One of the first things people always ask is “what do you do for a living?” I used to be able to answer “I am in Market Strategy and Planning for Global Export at Procter & Gamble.” You could just tell from the look on their faces that they were impressed. Now I say “I own a maid service.” To many, that sounds like I did not make it out of high school, and I clean toilets all day. I do not get the same look of awe and being impressed that I used to.   

It is not that I want to go back or that I am embarrassed by what I do now. I just find it funny that, even with all of the success I have had growing My Maid Service, I sometimes still felt uncomfortable answering the question, “What do you do?” I often felt the need to explain that it was a big company and how many people I employed. It gives me some insight into how my cleaners are often treated by their own families and friends all the time.  

People want to feel pride in where they work. So I have purposely made the decision that we will be seen as a leading company in our industry. I believe and I want all of our employees to believe that we work for the best cleaning company in America. I am well known for wearing a company logo at all times, and both cars in my family are wrapped.  A small part of that is because of marketing, but it is more because I think it is important that my employees know I am proud of where I work. I am proud to be a walking billboard for the company, and I want them to all know it too. I think showing them they can be proud of working for a cleaning company is an important part of my job.  As a side effect, I have found I really am proud of where I work, and I no longer have any problem telling everyone I own a cleaning company.

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 Blue Skies Services and Castle Keepers.