How do others perceive you since you own your own business?

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rob allen

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Sep 5, 2007
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www.drynclean.com
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Robert Allen,Jr.
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#1
I know in the 30 years or so since I've been in business for myself many have an incorrect perception. They think you are on "easy street". Maybe it has for a few but most I know,including myself,had to scratch and crawl our way to a profitable successful business.
The more I talked to my relatives or neighbors about how hard it is to make a business's work, this only made things worse.
They only saw the outside of things : trucks, equipment etc.

So you see business is a series of struggles that They have no idea unless they have walked in my shoes. Yes business is finally at the point that I can reap the rewards. But remember to get to that point takes a lot of hard work,risks,intentional fortitude and a little good fortune.

But there will also be those who will try to discourage you or undermine you for various reasons and motives. Don't let it stop you. Stay focused on quality and your goals. If you persevere you will reap rich rewards.

That being said,how do others perceive you since you own your own business?
 

1ST CHOICE CLEANING

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Mar 30, 2010
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jason fisher
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#3
Honestly when I started the business I think many thought that I was not going to make it, as work picked up and I told them that work was doing good I really don't think they believed me and thought I was just getting by. Once we bought a new house and a new car it seems like they think we are loaded and can help family out anytime they need or want something. The business has been good although the past year has been slower then I wish for but what we have is because we worked hard for it and saved for the things that we wanted and live modest. We hardly go out to eat and watch what we spend but others see what we have and forget we have a house payment and a car note due every month. I really don't care what others think and I do not let it bother me.
 

Todd the Cleaner

Todd Cottino
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Sep 4, 2011
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Todd Cottino
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#4
I have definitely seen a change in attitude among people as have moved from employee to owner. Most are supportive but there are a few of my friends that think I am rolling in the dough. All they see is the fact that I can make $500 to $1000 in a day and they think it all is going right into my pocket.

I have also noticed I don't get as many tips as a business owner as I did when I was an employee.
 

WillnDeb

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May 11, 2011
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Will
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#5
I have become every ones personal favor machine as far as hiring misfits. I officially closed the door on that though. A lot of people also expect free service and have unrealistic expectations of what I'm willing to do.
 
Nov 13, 2008
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www.presidentialcleaningtn.com
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Zac
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#6
As others have said, some people see you own your own business and automatically think your rich. They think your business accounts are your own personal playground. All they see is the houses, Porsches, clothes, etc.... They didn't see the 7 nights a week 14 hours a day for 6-8 months straight to make it happen.

I'm a firm believer that getting "there" is half the battle..staying "there" is another battle.
 

rob allen

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#7
I have become every ones personal favor machine as far as hiring misfits. I officially closed the door on that though. A lot of people also expect free service and have unrealistic expectations of what I'm willing to do.
Ain't that the truth. And it seems no matter what you do for them it's not enough. They have a sense of entitlement. Ingrates!
 

Mike Hanley

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Jun 18, 2008
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#8
I have definitely seen a change in attitude among people as have moved from employee to owner. Most are supportive but there are a few of my friends that think I am rolling in the dough. All they see is the fact that I can make $500 to $1000 in a day and they think it all is going right into my pocket.

I have also noticed I don't get as many tips as a business owner as I did when I was an employee.
Bring your son along! He will rake in the tips!
 
Apr 23, 2013
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Mike Camacho
#9
For me, when I tell people I'm a small business owner their eyes light up. When I tell them its carpet cleaning I watch as the excitement washes away from their face like a chid unwrapping a pair of sox at Christmas. My own Father said, "he's just a low-life carpet cleaner". That kinda smarted. Truth is, none of my family (except for my sons) or friends know the kind of money I make. I prefer to be an enigma regarding my successes. Carpet cleaning has given me things that ,as an uneducated person, I could have only dreamed of. That said, I get little respect from those i know ( my clients excluded of course) , for doing what I do. Guess that's why I come here. :)
 

Artie09

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Dec 17, 2012
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Arturo Ortiz jr.
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#10
For a good while, i had a big busy run and i was the talk of my family, no lie.
Every one who didn't know me personally on a day by day and wasn't family, they had this idea that i thought so high of myself because i would be busy everyday. Things were so easy for me, supposedly. I even got blocked on fb from some of my supposedly friends.

I worked my butt off everyday..
Came home limping from so much moving around, rushing everywhere, driving everywhere.
I didn't and don't have it easy.
I work hard for every bit.
No lazy salesman here.

People easily perceive things wrong
 

Dennis Anderson

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Jul 16, 2012
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Dennis Anderson
#11
How do others perceive me? You know I'm a year into opening my business and don't really know. Maybe they look at me at the level of a janitor? It's been a humbling experience. I'm not boastful about what I do, in fact, it can be embarrassing. I mean cleaning carpets, come 'on, whoop de do!

There was a time in my life when I was in my 20's and 30's when I could say I was probably doing better than my high school classmates that took the time to attend college. I feel it took them awhile to catch up. Unfortunately, now at age 52 I feel they've probably exceeded and excelled further than myself. I look back kind of regrettably that I didn't pursue a further education and career path. I suppose what I'm seeing at this point in my life is where it's said that a college graduate will earn at least $100,000 dollars over the working career of a high school graduate. Unfortunately 30 years ago not everyone went on to a further education. Of course in today's world that's changed, an education beyond high school is pretty much a must. Just food for thought for some of you younger guys!
 
Apr 23, 2013
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Mike Camacho
#12
How do others perceive me? You know I'm a year into opening my business and don't really know. Maybe they look at me at the level of a janitor? It's been a humbling experience. I'm not boastful about what I do, in fact, it can be embarrassing. I mean cleaning carpets, come 'on, whoop de do!

There was a time in my life when I was in my 20's and 30's when I could say I was probably doing better than my high school classmates that took the time to attend college. I feel it took them awhile to catch up. Unfortunately, now at age 52 I feel they've probably exceeded and excelled further than myself. I look back kind of regrettably that I didn't pursue a further education and career path. I suppose what I'm seeing at this point in my life is where it's said that a college graduate will earn at least $100,000 dollars over the working career of a high school graduate. Unfortunately 30 years ago not everyone went on to a further education. Of course in today's world that's changed, an education beyond high school is pretty much a must. Just food for thought for some of you younger guys!
Damn! Yer post is just as depressing as mine is...;)
 

dklowery

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Nov 14, 2012
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Don
#14
We were told we couldn't do it, now they think we are on easy street because they see we have a nice van, getting a web presence and all that jazz.

Then we have to remind them how much the van and equipment cost. We have to remind them of the tax brackets, insurance, license, maintenance costs, etc...
It's almost worth it to close down and go get on welfare...
 

rob allen

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#15
We were told we couldn't do it, now they think we are on easy street because they see we have a nice van, getting a web presence and all that jazz.

Then we have to remind them how much the van and equipment cost. We have to remind them of the tax brackets, insurance, license, maintenance costs, etc...
It's almost worth it to close down and go get on welfare...
I had a neighbor once who was on disability/welfare when he wasn't disable. Just worked the system. Resented everything I did. Dummy should have been thanking me because people like us cover his check.
 

Frank DiGi

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Sep 3, 2008
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#16
I would say stop wondering what some may think...I look at them working for the rich man like I was and not happy.. If you want something bad enough you will get it.. Nothing comes easy ..Its out there you need to take it..
I wish would started my business in 70's and not later in my life like I did..
I agree Rob some I say lazy is lazy.. we have them up here too!
 

jaymark

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Feb 8, 2011
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#17
The employee friends will never will understand being a business for ones self. They question you are first, tell you are crazy. Then when you are actually sucesful the jealousy comes out.

I get a lot of crap honestly. A few have asked why I attended college only to do this kind of work.

Most people are very supportive, but the sarcastic ones make a point to snicker.

I could care less. Few have vision or goals in life. They just want to punch in, fiddle for 40 hours a week and punch out, take home their paycheck and blow it at wallyworld.
 
Apr 1, 2012
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Troy Cline
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#18
20 years ago I was fortunate enough to move to an area where the work ethic was appalling. I started my business, busted my butt, showed up on time and did quality work at the quoted price. Simply put that's really what customers want. There is no substitute for work ethic and common sense!

When I tell people what I do I generally get the same mixed reactions that all of you get. I love it when they see the lifestyle we lead then ask "does your wife work"? Then I tell them she's a stay at home mom.

I am extremely happy with my decision to own a carpet cleaning business and wouldn't want it any other way!!
 

Will Reed

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Jun 3, 2010
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Will Reed
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#19
When I was first looking to start this business my parents rolled their eyes and urged me to just try to find a job in the field that I went to college for. I listen to my parents and take advice from them but I decide what I will do and no one else; so I started this business. The first year wasn't rough nor profitable. My business just existed in limbo land because I didn't have any money for advertising and had a job. The first winter wasn't bad because I had a job to pay the bills. When I was able to quit my job 1 year later my parents were mostly worried that I didn't have a steady pay check coming in anymore. I finally really started making some money fall of 2011 when I made about $3k in October, $4k in November, and about $2.5k in December. Winter of 2012 was really rough for me because I made the mistake to keep advertising during the off season. I had to borrow about $5000 from my parents in order to survive but I told them that when spring 2012 hit it was going to be good because I had found a good job source through Valpak. My parents while initially skeptical have been very supportive of me to get my business off the ground and continue to be supportive and I no longer need any help financially from them.

Started in July 2010
  • 1st year business was like a part time gig. 2-5 jobs a month and made a few hundred books sometimes except toward the end of it.
  • 2nd year I worked my butt off working solo and with a portable. Had about 80-100k gross
  • 3rd year (this year) Finally started using a TM toward the end of the 3rd year. Production speed sky rocketed and with it the profits. Have employees now and using a full size cargo van. I now have all the tools that I need for one fully equipped van and some hired help. I am making more, getting more done, and not working as hard. But now I am saving money toward getting a box truck and getting it equipped.
I am an only child so there is no sibling praise or rivalry here. Just me, my parents, and some friends and roommates. Since I still live in the same apartment, drive the same cars and I haven't had any lifestyle changes no one can see any fruits from my labors yet. Everything I've made I've put back into the business buying new equipment. I know that my roommates know that I make $500-1000 a day but it doesn't seem to register with them since I'm still the same person and still live with them and have the same material things. I gave one of them a job for about 3 weeks because he lost his job and I threw him a safety net hiring him on until he could find another job. He has an associates degree in computer repair so I knew that it was just temporary and he now has a job. That was when I was doing my 3 guys to a job experiment.

So far I haven't come across any jealousy, resentment, or people hitting me up for some money. Some of my friends have openly complimented me on doing well for myself. I do feel that I keep good company with the people that I choose to associate with. I should also note that out of my core group of friends that I've had since Highschool, I am the least successful out of all of them.