I had a wonderful opportunity to talk to a gentleman from Bellingham on Friday, who is starting a home cleaning business in Washington with his wife. He was hoping for some insight into some of the ups and downs of this crazy business. Having been the fortunate recipient of so much time, input and help from other business owners and experts who had absolutely nothing to gain from my success, it was a privilege to be able to pay it forward and help him perhaps avoid some of the pitfalls that caused me to stumble.
We talked for around 90 minutes about marketing, staffing, products, scheduling, margins etc… lots of logistical stuff. As we wrapped up the conversation, he leaned in to me a little, and said in a lowered voice “you know, my wife and I actually see this business as an opportunity to speak into the lives of the people we employ who need help”.
I lost it.
It took me a good minute – somewhat embarrassed by an emotional display in a business meeting at a busy Starbucks, with someone who was basically a stranger – through choked sentences to compose myself and affirm that this is what has become by FAR what I cherish most about what I do.
Isn’t life crazy? Seven years ago, in my late forties, I bought a toilet brush and began cleaning toilets and picking up pubic hair from bathroom floors, hoping to make enough money to make the rent. Little did I know that my greatest reward would one day be not monetary, but walking into our depot every morning and seeing our team of amazing, authentic, caring, dedicated ladies. Good, good people that I have the privilege of investing time and effort in.
By God’s grace I have discovered my purpose and I am profoundly grateful, and pray for the wisdom and worthiness to lead well (which I don’t, often). I guess my point to this post is to encourage those who are discouraged by the mantra “change the world”, but feel left out, feel your role is too small, too insignificant. More insignificant than picking up pubes?
Stop looking for the “big score”. Be awesome at whatever it is you do, however insignificant you might think it is. Change YOUR little corner of the world. Press on. Love people. Be a servant. Press on some more. Love some more. Bloom in your little patch of dirt. Then, help someone else bloom in theirs.
If you help enough people bloom, pretty soon the whole world’s a garden.