The Mindset of a Businessperson Part 1
Goal Setting, Responsibility and Self-Acceptance
Now that you have learned what to do and how to do it, let us look at some of the fundamentals of being self-employed. Obviously you are choosing to do this because either your situation has forced you to look at self-employment as an option or you are genuinely ready to step out of working for other people and into working for yourself. Should you choose to continue along this path you will need to develop what I call ‘The Mindset of a Businessperson’. It will require you to regularly set goals and put the action steps into place in order to achieve those goals, it will require you to become responsible, and it will require you to be fully accepting of yourself and all your limitations. So we will start with setting goals.
If a person does not set goals for him or herself when they begin their family home cleaning business it is very easy to become bored if the work is done with no purpose in mind. The money that can be earned is very good and is easily squandered if you don’t set goals and work within a budget. There are many people in life who feel that they are on a treadmill by going to work, earning good money, spending nearly all of it the next day, and starting the process again. This cycle can only be broken by learning how to prepare and keep to a budget, and by putting aside a percentage of the previous week’s earnings for the purpose of saving and investing.
Also, if a person begins to feel that there is no purpose to what they are doing he or she can fall into a rut and then start to feel trapped. This is where your real troubles begin, so in order not to get to this point it is very important to have a plan and stick to it. A person can be trapped in any situation in life, from an unhappy marriage to an unfulfilling career. If you don’t develop the skills to remain independent you can become trapped anywhere. If you don’t become free within yourself then your life will become a reflection of any weaknesses that need to be addressed within you.
Taking responsibility when some clients try to take advantage of your willingness to work, pushing you to do things at a fee that you should be charging them more for, is a skill that must be learned. If a person allows this to happen too often it begins to corrode their self-esteem. If you are someone who has done a lot of personal development work you will have a healthy self-esteem and a strong character. You need to combine this with the ability to see beyond what a client says and into what their real motivations are. You must be able to look your client in the eye and see through any lies that they might tell you that are intended to manipulate you. Or, you must be clever enough to recognise any line of questioning that is designed to destabilise you, such as a query from the client about the rate for the job. You will then be able to put a stop to what is going on and remain in control. If you can do this you stay in a position where you can find the exit door – both from the house and from the booking – whenever you need to or are ready.
It can also be said that much can be attributed to the person himself or herself when circumstances in life seem to victimise them. Often in life people create their own downfall and then cry victim so as not to take responsibility for what they have created around them. When a person has a lot of covert hostility underlying their lives they often set up situations that confirm their viewpoint that the world is against them. When the actual event takes place that sees them becoming a victim there has often been several steps along the way leading up to this situation. Usually, the victim provoked or invited in either a very subtle or a very obvious way the need for the victimisation or control to occur. No matter who you are you should be prepared to accept responsibility for whatever happens to you in life, no matter what line of work you do. Life only ever mirrors back to you different aspects of yourself and if you keep getting the same lesson then there is something at the very core of your being that may need to be released or healed.
When we are dealing with other people we should also remember that they too bring the whole of their lives and experiences with them into present time. We are not just dealing with who is there in front of our face but all the events and circumstances that they have experienced along the way if these issues have not been resolved, and the resulting thoughts that surround their memories of those experiences. So you are actually dealing with the tip of the iceberg when you face them, and one should always be prepared for the unexpected. If you avoid or back away from confrontation as much as possible then much of the unexpecte
Once you begin to take responsibility for you own life, one of the things you can do to put yourself in the best position to handle your dealings with people around you – clients and staff included – is to question the real motivations behind what they are saying to you. When you recognise that either a client or a staff member is not telling the truth take a mental note of that and look out for it again. It means that you may have to look beyond ‘face value’ with that person. People will always reveal who they really are in a very short period of time through their actions rather than their words, so it is up to you to be on the alert so as not to get shafted by people who cannot be trusted. Always be aware that the people that you work for and with may not have your best interests in mind.
When it comes to competing to win your client’s approval there are two areas that could possibly come under the heading competition in the domestic cleaning industry. One is how comfortable you make the client feel, and the other is what level of service you give. This has been looked at in detail in other chapters, but we will generalise on what competition actually is here in this one.
Competition, in fields where the result is based on opinion rather than who won the race or who had the highest score, is an idea that is promoted by others whose best interest it is to have you strive for their ideals.
How well you click with the client is based on their perception of you (over which you have little control, apart from practicing good human relation skills) and should not be something that comes under the heading ‘competition’. This is as opposed to what standard of cleaning you do, as a high standard or a poor standard is totally under your control.
If you present the very best that you can be and you are happy with that, then you no longer have to ‘compete’ in the category of personality. It is only ever you and your conscience that you have to live with, so you should never make another persons’ opinion of you matter more than your own. Granted, you should always present yourself and your skills the best way possible, but it doesn’t mean turning yourself inside out just to please someone.
When you become comfortable with yourself and you are enjoyable to be around, this is what will make the client feel comfortable around you as well. No matter what your personality is like there will always be those clients who will click with you and those who won’t, even if you are a little shy or quiet. The number of women (and it is generally women that you have to deal with in this industry) who feel comfortable with a quiet person is no greater than the number of women who like a person who is an extrovert. They just belong to a different market, or rather, a different group.
Always remember this when working for a new client: a person will continue to use your services due to a whole combination of reasons anyway. The number one reason for their choice will be whether or not they like and trust you. Then, the way you perform the work may be better than the other people they have hired may, or they may take an instant liking to you because of the way you smiled when you greeted them at the door and then your worked impressed them too. Or, you might remind the client of someone they were good friends with (or even someone they had a bad experience with) once and that may influence their decision to continue with you, which could also be a reason why they may not. Or, if you have introduced yourself well on the phone they will choose to go ahead with the booking based on the sound of your voice. How well spoken you are, how friendly you are to them when you call, and the levels of your communication skills will all influence their decision. Practice speaking English so that when you speak to your new client on the phone you make a good first impression.
On another level, everything on this earth is made up of and exudes energy. Scientists acknowledge that all matter is made up of energy, and it is the combination and amount of this energy that solidifies an object and makes it appear real. As humans we exude energy, and the amount of energy we exude depends on how much we have worked upon and concentrated on improving ourselves. People can feel this energy on a sub-
conscious level, and if you have a lot of this Life Force coming from you then you are going to be very pleasing to be around. This energy has often been referred to as a ‘glow’ ie: a person who exudes this energy is said to glow or beam. Becoming aware of your energy levels and achieving this glow is simply a matter of working upon oneself in every way possible. It begins from fitness to health and relaxation, from emotional development to spirituality and from intellectual development to assertiveness. It creates a complete package, one that steps way, way beyond the confines of competition. In speaking of personal development I also want to talk about intention. Intentions can be subliminally felt even though they are not always obvious. If your motivations are to satisfy your own needs rather than the needs of the person you are serving they will feel that on an inner level, so it is important that you check where your intentions lie from time to time. Make sure that you are not purely after the money. Make sure you are seeking to give the client what they want, and if that happens to be nothing that you are able to provide, don’t try to sell them a service they don’t want or need.
Very few people recognise that it takes a complete package to be able to cash-in on the money that can be made in business. Once you exude the energy I just spoke of people from everywhere will ask you to do their work just to bathe in the feeling that they get from being around you. You can guarantee that others will feel this higher energy level – they won’t quite be able to pinpoint what it is, but they will know that you feel good to have around. They will also feel that you are calm and balanced, and this will make them feel safe around you. This is very comforting for people, especially when you are working in their home.
Service is an area that can face competition, so always make sure that the level of service that you provide is of a high standard. Make sure you understand what they want you to do through asking plenty of the right questions and then do your best to produce the result that the client is after. You will still find that you come under criticism from some of your clients, however, you will be doing everything that you possibly can to make sure that they are happy. It is called being ethical.