Is Your Head Screwed On Straight? Mine Wasn’t! What Can You Do If It’s Not?

Thu, Dec 16, 2010


It’s not easy being a dry cleaning business owner today. The economy sucks. Your employee’s are wieners’ and complain all the time. Your customers aren’t always happy. And with all of this, you are expected to put on a smiling face for all—all of the time.

First of all, congratulations on being a business owner. It’s hard. If it were easy, everyone would be a business owner. You are in an elite group of people—small business owners! Be proud of it. Walk with a little perk in your step. You are different and it’s a “good” different.

First of all, you’ve got to realize that all the stuff you face every day as a business owner is NORMAL. This is what goes on in all businesses, not just in the dry cleaning industry. Realize that …

You Are In Problem Solving Business!

You solve your customer’s problems. You solve your employee’s problems. You solve the plant’s problems. You solve the computer problems. You are a problem solver—that’s what you do!

Face the fact that things are ALWAYS going to go wrong.

No that you know that, let’s get started.

First of all, I’m one of you. I’m a dry cleaner. It’s my 33rd business. I know, I know, it’s a lot of businesses. I’m what you call a serial entrepreneur. I’d start a business and if it didn’t work out, I’d start another one—in a totally different industry (Why—I don’t know. I guess I do know. I used to believe in the “grass is always greener” theory.).

MOST of my businesses failed. I closed a bunch of them because they didn’t work out. Three went bankrupt. Two I got fired from. That’s right! I got fired from 2 companies that I started. It’s a long story, but the short version is not to give up controlling interest…ever! It’s a very humbling experience to be fired from the company you started in the second bedroom of your apartment and grew it to several million dollars.

I have every reason in the world to not have my head screwed on straight. But, and it’s a big “but,” I chose this life.  And I wouldn’t change it for the world. If you had something similar to this happen to you, we are brothers. We should have a beer together and share our war stories.

If your story isn’t as bad as mine, you’ll want to listen up. I’m going to share right now how to keep your head screwed on straight.

First of all, every day I wake up is a good day. I smile and thank my luck stars that I’m not dead.

Second: There is always some other business owner that has gone through a tougher situation than you’re facing and he or she’s made it. You are not alone in your suffering. There are others who’ve faced the same challenges you have and came out smelling like a rose. Just knowing this is the big one for me.

Third: Think of it as a game. And as in any game, you’re going to have obstacles and your job is to overcome those obstacles. Don’t get upset when something happens, expect it to happen and then take some action to overcome it. Walter Hagen, the famous golfer used to expect that he would hit 11 bad shots a round. So when he hit a bad shot, he didn’t get upset because he knew that it was one of the eleven he was going to make that day. You’ve got to think that way. It’s the only way to stay sane.

Forth: Be thankful for the people and accomplishments in your life. I have a blessings list that is in my planner and it’s with me all the time. I’m blessed to have my family and friends. I’m blessed to have all my customers and employees. I’m blessed to be a business owner. And so on. Write out your list. It will only take a minute. And when you get overwhelmed and depressed, take out your list, read it and you’ll start smiling.

Fifth: Take massive action. In our business (as in any other business), getting customers is your number one priority. Lots of brand new customers coming in every day will make you happy and put you in the right frame of mind to handle anything challenging that comes your way.

Jump around in this blog and you’ll get lots of route customer generating ideas that work—not theory stuff, but real ideas that I and my members use every day to get route customers.

Be thankful that you are a business owner. Embrace the challenges that come your way every day. Overcome them and start again tomorrow. That’s who we are and that’s what we do!

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