Success is NOT a straight line

Post image for Success is NOT a straight line

by Tom Watson on July 20, 2014

We live in a world where you can have just about anything anytime you want. Success on the other hand needs to be earned, as you really can’t buy your way in.

This means you need to have some patience as you go about building your business from scratch. It takes time to build anything worthwhile as far as I’m concerned. I’ve always taken the “long view” when building a business, and it keeps me from getting impatient to be honest with you.

I wanted to touch on this topic today because lots of people contact me and expect success to just happen “super fast”. While success can happen quickly on occasion, lasting success – such as a highly profitable business – takes a while. Especially if you are just at the very beginning stages of your business.

The image I chose for this post best describes how success is achieved. Most people think it’s the straight line, when it’s really the crazy line that has you going forward one moment then back the next ten times over. It’s kind of mirrors ones life. A series of steps forward followed by some backtracking.

At the end of the day you do move forward and make great progress, it’s just not that straight line that you imagine it to be. This means you can’t get too worried about things not going your way all the time. The fact is they will never go your way all the time, but that doesn’t mean you are not moving forward.

You are going to learn from every single deviation from the straight line that you take. It’s all part of the process and nobody is exempt. So take my advice and just go with the flow. Wake up and go to work every single day on your business. If you do that you’ll be way ahead of all those that give up because success wasn’t in the straight line they had hoped for.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jon July 20, 2014 at 9:42 pm

Hey Tom-how long did it take you to get your first car for the company? My issue is I have a very small car. I could probably fit a vacuum and a mop if I tried hard. Are supplies usually stored on site or provided by the customer or did you find yourself bringing your own equipment everywhere?

2 Tom Watson July 20, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Hi Jon! I wrote about my first purchase here…

I think you would be surprised how much could fit, as you only need the basics to start with. Combine that with a vacuum that has a folding handle ( and you are in good shape.

Supplies can go either way (as far as keeping them onsite or off), it just depends. On smaller accounts (once per week) you probably want to just bring your own in (it would get expensive to keep a full set of supplies at each job). With that said, the customer generally lets you do as you please.

If you wanted to get creative, make a simple bin of supplies that gets kept at the site then transport only the vacuum (as that is the most expensive part of the equation).

At first I just transported everything to keep costs down, and that worked for me because I wanted to reinvest as much as possible not into supplies, but into marketing (to get more accounts).

3 Kathy July 20, 2014 at 11:17 pm

Hi Tom,
I would like to guit one of my accounts in my contract I have to give a 30 day written notice. I would appreciate some advice on how to write it.
Thanks Kathy

4 Ron July 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Hi Tom, I can understand too how we think that the money should pour in real fast like a sever rain fall on us! It really does take time in building a great business no matter what that business is,I mean after all it took God six days to created this wonderful planet earth we live on!:) Most accounts I get will supply there own paper towel,toilet paper and trash bags but there are some who want you to supply. This is something I always communicate to a new account before I bid on there building. Thanks again Tom for your great wisdom!

5 Tom Watson July 21, 2014 at 1:20 pm

Hi Ron! Thanks for commenting (and the kind words!).

6 Tom Watson July 21, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Hi Kathy!

Nothing fancy needs to be written. Just mail out a letter 31 / 32 days before you want to quit. Something like…

Dear (customer),

I will not be able to provide cleaning service after (insert date here). I’m providing my 30 day notice as required in our cleaning proposal. Should you have any questions simply give me a call at (your number).

7 Kathy July 21, 2014 at 4:00 pm

Thank you Tom and by the way I have your book and it has helped me greatly. I have gotten many jobs from the information you provided.

8 Tom Watson July 21, 2014 at 4:29 pm

Hi Kathy! Thanks for sharing that info, I really love hearing that!

9 Ron July 22, 2014 at 2:33 pm

Hi Tom, I wanted to get your advice about quiting a account. Before you quit the account is it wise to try and raise your price to see if there willing to pay you more? But I guess it all depends on your reason of wanting to let it go huh.”

10 Tom Watson July 22, 2014 at 2:38 pm

Hi Ron! That’s a tough one as there are a lot of variables. As they complaining and you just can’t devote enough time because it was bid low?

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