Complete this sentence-I started my business because...

Welcome to our Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

ACP

Well-Known Member
Apr 9, 2014
2,665
1,637
113
34
Washington
Real Name
Bjorn Marshall
#21
My landscape construction company was doing very well pre 2008, but all our jobs were due to the crazy housing market in Seattle and people who had loans they maybe should not have had... plenty of budget for full installs - Stone, patios, water features, and laying sod was our bread and butter. 3 truck company doing pretty big ticket jobs.

A guy who had cleaned my carpets before was getting sick and I saw the potential in the business. I bought my first portable and he passed me all his hospital accounts, the work was terrible and it was a huge step back from where I was at before.. suddenly I was a janitor getting yelled at by nurses lol

We now run 2 steam cleaning trucks, 1 window washing truck and are doing very well... hopefully expanding to a 4th truck by next busy season!
 

jtsunbrite

Premium VIP
Sep 4, 2015
7,457
3,838
113
56
Houston, Texas
Real Name
jeff kessler
Business Location
United States
#22
Grew up in the business, I cant ever remember not cleaning carpets, So I spent my college money from my parents on a franchise in new Iberia, la. Did that for a few years and sold out(franchise fees and other such crap caused me to come out of without making a dime off it)
So I went to work for a franchise in Arlington, did that for 8 years until I had all my equipment and van, then I spent the last year picking up work so when I left I could pick up jobs...
I did a job for the mafia, and those guys kept giving me 100 dollar bills right and left ( I need to tell this story sometime) to make a long story short, I considered the cash tip money and the franchise got their check.. I got over 2k in hundred dollar bills... So I started building cash back so I could survive.. a month later the franchise I worked for quit the franchise.. When he quit, my non compete contract was terminated so I quit the next morning.
Back then we bought our own carpet van, and the equipment I owned so I turned all their stuff into them the next morning and quit.

We were doing apts back then, so I went to my apts I picked up and they all stayed with me, So I really never missed a beat and actually kept it all going,,, This was in 1989 and I have never looked back...
Along the way I built that up to a 12 truck operation and sold out, sold carpet cleaning franchises for a while, moved to California to start a carpet cleaning company, didn't like it so we picked Houston to move to and started up here in 2000, and we love it here. We live in a bay house on Galveston bay on the weekends, but during the week we live in a huge fancy new apt/condo place and our office is here, huge 3 car garage to run the operation out of. I am training a new guy right now so then its gonna be me and 4 trucks running,,,, when I get the fifth one I am gonna step back a little and not run a truck so much.
 

Magnum Clean

Active Member
Oct 9, 2014
595
218
43
Real Name
Andrew N.
#23
Because I was a broke ass carpet cleaner:eek:.

I worked for years and years as a tech for a franchise company. My last day there I worked 14 hours on an underpriced job. The job had been priced by the company salesman. I sat there thinking about it as I was exhausted at the end of the day. I worked on commission and the pay I made that day came out to less than $6 per hour.

I sat their thinking of my average take home pay. I was driving an hour and 15 minutes each way to work 6 days a week. When I added in my drive time and deducted all the money I was paying for gas (which was over $4 per gallon at the time) I realized I was putting in 80 hours a week and not even making minimum wage. I realized if I worked for McDonalds I could make more money, work half as much, and not have to drive to Vegas every day. Sad.

I called my wife and told her to come down and bring all my uniforms. I drove back to the shop which had been closed for hours, I had put in 14 hours that day and not even made $100. I parked the truck by the front door, folded up all my uniforms and placed them on my drivers seat along with my route sheet for the day and my keys. I locked up the truck and got in the car with my wife and never looked back.

I didn't even call to let the office know I had quit. They knew I was pissed about the underpriced job that day. The next morning they started calling about 20 minutes after I was supposed to be to work. They called dozens of times over the next few days. I never answered.

This was the scariest thing I ever had done in my life. We were literally broke. We were months behind on all our bills, our house was in foreclosure, and we were going through the bankruptcy process. The only thing that saved our house was the income tax return I got, had it not been for that and it coming at just the right time we woud have lost our house.

I had picked up a 25 year old broken down truckmount I had planned on someday fixing up. That someday came sooner than I had planned. We used every last dollar we could round up to get the machine running. I didn't even have a van to put it in so I set it in the truckbed of my 1978 Ford pickup truck. From there we started to build a business. That was 6 years ago. Things are going much better now. I can actually pay all my bills at the first of every month without a problem and have a few dollars left over. We are by no means rich now but we make enough to live comfortably and enjoy life.
Now that's taking charge Todd, good man!! Sometimes you just gotta be bold, step back and look at the big picture and do what needs to be done.
 

Magnum Clean

Active Member
Oct 9, 2014
595
218
43
Real Name
Andrew N.
#24
I needed time for my family.

I started my first carpet cleaning company when I was 21, I'd been working for a fly- by night company for 2 months and said wow, I have to get away from these guys. Did that for two years and had it off to a good start, but then moved to a different city and started to learn the carpentry trade because I wanted to be a building contractor.
That never really panned out and I ended up taking a really good paying factory job.

Fast forward eight years, now married with two kids, aged 1 and 3. My wife and I came to the crushing realization that our older son had a neurological disorder. As it started to manifest itself more and more, the behaviours became more challenging, our sleep patterns were terrible.. life was stressful and hard to manage. We were making really good money between her professional job and my factory job, up to this point I thought I had it all planned out and we were golden.
The big problem was that my job was shift work, so while I was on nights she was a single mom for two weeks... out of the question at this point.
We looked at our finances and decided we could get by on one income, paying all our bills but not building any wealth.

So I swallowed my pride as male provider and quit my job. Shift work factory job got the axe instead of my wife's better career job. One of the scariest things I have ever done. Gave up pension and benefits and the works.

Now I was at home with the kids and we had time to do be trained in a parent- led therapy for our son. That was a hard year. I had no idea what a hard job staying at home with little kids is!!

That year (2014) my wife suggested I put up an ad on Kijiji (Canadian version of Craigslist), for carpet cleaning since I still had my portable. I kinda scoffed at the idea, figured it would only be price shoppers. Lo and behold I actually started getting some decent jobs. This was perfect because I could work part time around our family life. Well, very quickly I got enthusiastic about this new venture, I got on TMF and started soaking up everything I could. (thanks everybody!!!)

The business gave me an outlet that I really needed in order to preserve my sanity, lol. Something I could be successful and productive at. (very important to me as a task oriented male, at home with kids being like Arnold in "Kindergarten Cop"! )

The business just continued to grow as I invested all the earnings back into it, and I was continually delighted with how business kept exceeding what I thought it would. It was growing in perfect synch with how much time our family life allowed it. I felt (and feel) truly blessed. Now the kids are both in school and our older son is doing better. I am working nearly full time after three years and finances are looking really good.

That hard time caused me to really sit back and examine what priorities to follow in life. I had my future wealth all planned out but it was a distraction. Then I had to give it up and follow another path. And the hardships have proven to give many blessings in disguise. I was able to be there for my family, and am so much closer with them than I would have been. I'm doing what I love, a venture thats so much more rewarding than my old job was! I love this business and the freedom I have! I could go on and on about all the benefits. Its even possible that in the long run this business may provide greater wealth than my original plan, but its not for my personal consumption any more :)
 

MikeGaure

... ... ... ...
Premium VIP
Nov 23, 2015
6,764
3,211
113
Real Name
Mike
#25
My landscape construction company was doing very well pre 2008, but all our jobs were due to the crazy housing market in Seattle and people who had loans they maybe should not have had... plenty of budget for full installs - Stone, patios, water features, and laying sod was our bread and butter. 3 truck company doing pretty big ticket jobs.

A guy who had cleaned my carpets before was getting sick and I saw the potential in the business. I bought my first portable and he passed me all his hospital accounts, the work was terrible and it was a huge step back from where I was at before.. suddenly I was a janitor getting yelled at by nurses lol

We now run 2 steam cleaning trucks, 1 window washing truck and are doing very well... hopefully expanding to a 4th truck by next busy season!
pm how you have your window washing truck setup if you dont mind
 

EVDOG

Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2015
629
270
63
44
Real Name
Evdog
#26
Wanted to be my own boss and start my own business. So I gathered up some savings and did some research. Turns out the only business I could afford to open with my limited funds was a carpet cleaning business. So I guess the carpet cleaning business chose me. Lol. Decided to go the franchise route because I had zero carpet cleaning experience, plus the franchise loaned me half the start up costs. Very glad I did. Being your own boss and being financially independent is such a great feeling.
 
Likes: Chris F.
Aug 7, 2017
62
46
18
26
Adelaide ,SA
Real Name
Michael Widomski
Business Location
Australia
#28
Want to escape the world of IT. It's propped up nicely by many people (salespeople...) as being stable, well paying etc. but I hate it - it is mentally hard on you and I feel like I've aged 10 years in 2. IT is the punching bag of the corporate world. I spent 3 years on my degree staring out of a window or at my laptop and the next 2 at a comfortable, but stressful fast paced job. Not much interesting when going up the ladder as well, mainly into managing other people which is dull or programming which I don't have the mind for. Not to mention the looming reality of automation out to remove as many positions as possible.

I saved some cash, bought the worst porty ever, cleaned it up. stayed up till late reading on here, saved even more cash and bought chems and equipment. I didn't have business cards until 2 weeks ago because I thought nobody would ask for them. My porty broke it's pump after my first week or so and I had to scramble funds for a replacement which was hard. Currently feeding the majority of my earnings back into replacing stuff or buying new things. I'm still on here late at night here reading as much as I can.

I've been at it for almost 2 months now according to my photos and receipts and its fantastic. I'm on my feet, moving around, interacting with people who actually want me to help out.I don't have to report to anyone and deal with red tape. I get less anxiety taking and going to jobs and feel less like a fake every day. I don't let my equipment or my knowledge get to me and do the best I can for my custys.
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium VIP
Sep 4, 2011
22,264
13,999
113
47
Pahrump, Nevada, United States
www.toddscleaningservice.com
Real Name
Todd Cottino
Business Location
United States
#31
Because I started counting all the money my boss was making.
That's a double edged sword, you also have to count all the money he's spending to operate. So many employees see their boss pulling in $150 an hour but don't realize 2/3 of that goes to operate the business.
 

Rick Imby

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2009
3,526
1,207
113
Montana
www.missoulagreencarpetcleaning.com
Real Name
Rick Imby
Business Location
United States
#32
Girlfriend and I wanted to move back to the hometown. I was offered a job for a former boss and the job fell through after we moved back. I had a little money saved (3000). I lined up a bicycle wholesaler that would sell to me and I spent all my money on new bikes and a few parts. This was 1980. My first shop location was $200 per month. It was a wild ride the first few years. I peaked at just over 1 million in sales in the early 90s. Got divorced and cut way back. bought real estate with any penny I could scrounge up. Semi-Retired at 52. Sold the shop to one of my sons---he is doing very well.
 

mrotto

Well-Known Member
Sep 1, 2009
1,407
823
113
Wisconsin
Real Name
Paul Ottensmann
Business Location
United States
#34
had a portable extractor from a previous business sitting in the basement. Woke up at 3am one night and thought I should start a carpet cleaning business. How the mind works......

That was 1981
 

Jerryz

New Member
Sep 16, 2017
6
7
3
46
Real Name
Jerry Rutledge
#35
Todd, That is an phenomenal story of courage in the face of adversity!
Because I was a broke ass carpet cleaner:eek:.

I worked for years and years as a tech for a franchise company. My last day there I worked 14 hours on an underpriced job. The job had been priced by the company salesman. I sat there thinking about it as I was exhausted at the end of the day. I worked on commission and the pay I made that day came out to less than $6 per hour.

I sat their thinking of my average take home pay. I was driving an hour and 15 minutes each way to work 6 days a week. When I added in my drive time and deducted all the money I was paying for gas (which was over $4 per gallon at the time) I realized I was putting in 80 hours a week and not even making minimum wage. I realized if I worked for McDonalds I could make more money, work half as much, and not have to drive to Vegas every day. Sad.

I called my wife and told her to come down and bring all my uniforms. I drove back to the shop which had been closed for hours, I had put in 14 hours that day and not even made $100. I parked the truck by the front door, folded up all my uniforms and placed them on my drivers seat along with my route sheet for the day and my keys. I locked up the truck and got in the car with my wife and never looked back.

I didn't even call to let the office know I had quit. They knew I was pissed about the underpriced job that day. The next morning they started calling about 20 minutes after I was supposed to be to work. They called dozens of times over the next few days. I never answered.

This was the scariest thing I ever had done in my life. We were literally broke. We were months behind on all our bills, our house was in foreclosure, and we were going through the bankruptcy process. The only thing that saved our house was the income tax return I got, had it not been for that and it coming at just the right time we woud have lost our house.

I had picked up a 25 year old broken down truckmount I had planned on someday fixing up. That someday came sooner than I had planned. We used every last dollar we could round up to get the machine running. I didn't even have a van to put it in so I set it in the truckbed of my 1978 Ford pickup truck. From there we started to build a business. That was 6 years ago. Things are going much better now. I can actually pay all my bills at the first of every month without a problem and have a few dollars left over. We are by no means rich now but we make enough to live comfortably and enjoy life.
Because I was a broke ass carpet cleaner:eek:.

I worked for years and years as a tech for a franchise company. My last day there I worked 14 hours on an underpriced job. The job had been priced by the company salesman. I sat there thinking about it as I was exhausted at the end of the day. I worked on commission and the pay I made that day came out to less than $6 per hour.

I sat their thinking of my average take home pay. I was driving an hour and 15 minutes each way to work 6 days a week. When I added in my drive time and deducted all the money I was paying for gas (which was over $4 per gallon at the time) I realized I was putting in 80 hours a week and not even making minimum wage. I realized if I worked for McDonalds I could make more money, work half as much, and not have to drive to Vegas every day. Sad.

I called my wife and told her to come down and bring all my uniforms. I drove back to the shop which had been closed for hours, I had put in 14 hours that day and not even made $100. I parked the truck by the front door, folded up all my uniforms and placed them on my drivers seat along with my route sheet for the day and my keys. I locked up the truck and got in the car with my wife and never looked back.

I didn't even call to let the office know I had quit. They knew I was pissed about the underpriced job that day. The next morning they started calling about 20 minutes after I was supposed to be to work. They called dozens of times over the next few days. I never answered.

This was the scariest thing I ever had done in my life. We were literally broke. We were months behind on all our bills, our house was in foreclosure, and we were going through the bankruptcy process. The only thing that saved our house was the income tax return I got, had it not been for that and it coming at just the right time we woud have lost our house.

I had picked up a 25 year old broken down truckmount I had planned on someday fixing up. That someday came sooner than I had planned. We used every last dollar we could round up to get the machine running. I didn't even have a van to put it in so I set it in the truckbed of my 1978 Ford pickup truck. From there we started to build a business. That was 6 years ago. Things are going much better now. I can actually pay all my bills at the first of every month without a problem and have a few dollars left over. We are by no means rich now but we make enough to live comfortably and enjoy life.
 
Oct 20, 2012
12,462
4,358
113
32
Vail, CO
Real Name
Jose Holguin
Business Location
United States
#36
Electrician for 7 years right out of high school, market collapsed and I had to find another job. Got a job for a national full service cleaning company as an account manager at the Four Seasons, thought there was a market demand for full service commercial cleaning so only lasted two years with them and started my own company.
 
Jul 4, 2017
28
8
3
Real Name
raymond kester
#38
Because I was a broke ass carpet cleaner:eek:.

I worked for years and years as a tech for a franchise company. My last day there I worked 14 hours on an underpriced job. The job had been priced by the company salesman. I sat there thinking about it as I was exhausted at the end of the day. I worked on commission and the pay I made that day came out to less than $6 per hour.

I sat their thinking of my average take home pay. I was driving an hour and 15 minutes each way to work 6 days a week. When I added in my drive time and deducted all the money I was paying for gas (which was over $4 per gallon at the time) I realized I was putting in 80 hours a week and not even making minimum wage. I realized if I worked for McDonalds I could make more money, work half as much, and not have to drive to Vegas every day. Sad.

I called my wife and told her to come down and bring all my uniforms. I drove back to the shop which had been closed for hours, I had put in 14 hours that day and not even made $100. I parked the truck by the front door, folded up all my uniforms and placed them on my drivers seat along with my route sheet for the day and my keys. I locked up the truck and got in the car with my wife and never looked back.

I didn't even call to let the office know I had quit. They knew I was pissed about the underpriced job that day. The next morning they started calling about 20 minutes after I was supposed to be to work. They called dozens of times over the next few days. I never answered.

This was the scariest thing I ever had done in my life. We were literally broke. We were months behind on all our bills, our house was in foreclosure, and we were going through the bankruptcy process. The only thing that saved our house was the income tax return I got, had it not been for that and it coming at just the right time we woud have lost our house.

I had picked up a 25 year old broken down truckmount I had planned on someday fixing up. That someday came sooner than I had planned. We used every last dollar we could round up to get the machine running. I didn't even have a van to put it in so I set it in the truckbed of my 1978 Ford pickup truck. From there we started to build a business. That was 6 years ago. Things are going much better now. I can actually pay all my bills at the first of every month without a problem and have a few dollars left over. We are by no means rich now but we make enough to live comfortably and enjoy life.
hi, do you know kenny fergus he lives in parump he has a down syndrum child around 15 years old
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Premium VIP
Sep 4, 2011
22,264
13,999
113
47
Pahrump, Nevada, United States
www.toddscleaningservice.com
Real Name
Todd Cottino
Business Location
United States
#39
hi, do you know kenny fergus he lives in parump he has a down syndrum child around 15 years old
I bet I've met him. My daughter is 17 and in special education at the high school. I bet they are in the same class.
 
Sep 12, 2013
420
124
43
49
Real Name
Michael Olson
#40
My story is completely different from how most of you guys got started ...... when I graduated high school I decided not to go to college I took my college fund that my parents had set aside for me and decided to invest in a cattle ranch and an apple orchard .I started out with 120 acres use the College fund as a down payment and I got a loan for the rest with a little help from my parents. 10 years later with lots of hard work and sheer determination I grew to have over 10,000 acres hundreds of black Angus cattle and 15,000 apple trees with Varieties such as Red and golden delicious Macintosh Jonathan Arkansas black and gala just to name a few


Then one day the country life got to me I simply had enough and I decided to move to the city. I had just recently got married to the love of my life and she was not the type of person that wanted to live in the country because we lived 45 minutes away from the grocery store and civilization as you can see from the photo we had no neighbors we were pretty isolated from the rest the world and I guess overtime that can get to a person. So we decided to sell it only took five years to find somebody that wanted that kind of a lifestyle and the bank account to afford it .After taking a year off and deciding what to do with myself my wife was working in Real estate and she was needing somebody to clean some of her properties that were for sale.
So I cleaned a few houses for her and for some of her coworkers that also had properties they needed to have cleaned. And I was always handing the keys to these properties over somebody that was going to clean the carpet. So I started doing some research on the Internet about what it would take to learn how to clean the carpet and I came across a website for Rotovac corp and those
a holes talked me into a business start up package worst decision I ever made. (Wish I had found TMF first ) They sold me a portable unit that was capable of doing carpet along with tile and grout. Eventually I was given the opportunity to clean the real estate office my wife was working for . the people that own the brokerage offered me the Janitorial contract.Six years later I now have 20 commercial accounts that we do nightly janitorial service for a SS 370 TM all kinds of different janitorial equipment. It still amazes me how much I am still learning about this business. I may have traded my horse for a carpet wand and I still have no regrets I always thought I was going to die an old cowboy but I don't think I would ever go back to the way things used to be...... I'm having way too much fun
 
Last edited: