I talked about reading an article from Inc. before that had some great tips; it’s called “9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People” (by Jeff Haden). In addition to being an insightful read, I think it applies quite well to the window cleaning industry as a whole.
I love this quote about failure and recognizing one’s mistakes. Some people will get it. Some won’t.
Failure is something I accomplish;
it doesn’t just happen to me.
Ha! This statement cracks me up each time I read it. Do you own your mistakes? Not just own up to them, but really OWN them? There are many times that we, as window cleaners and small business owners, make mistakes. Sometimes it is no big deal, sometimes it is a lot of cash. Either way, most guys (and gals) I know chalk it up to experience and move on.
Our business once priced a job where it “seemed” like a normal, post-painters cleaning. They did use masking tape instead of blue painters tape on the glass and we actually were smart enough to bump the price up to allow for the extra time involved. What we didn’t realize is that the painters left 2.5 years prior. Yes! Two and a Half YEARS!
We owned that mistake. We smiled and made it work. It took over 45 minutes to painstakingly remove the dried up, painted over tape on each window – inside only thank goodness. Utterly ridiculous! The client was a regular; a cleaning company that paid timely and had tons of work for us. There was no other choice BUT to grin and bear it. Was it our mistake: 100% yes. Did we own it: you bet. We’ve never come across any windows in that state since, but you can be sure we’d time ourselves before giving a price!
The point is, don’t blame other people for your mistakes. Put on your grown up underpants and realize that the buck stops with you. Learn where you went wrong and keep moving forward.
What mistakes have you made and learned from?