Is niceness killing your cleaning business? Are you a pushover, a patsy or a dupe? Do clients sucker you into more work than they pay for? If niceness is killing your cleaning business and you’re tired of being a martyr or a chump, it’s time for a change.
You don’t have to let customers take advantage of you. And you don’t have to lose control of your business. It’s time to toughen up and grow a backbone. If you think niceness is killing your cleaning business watch out. Your employees are about to hijack your company. They don’t respect you because you have no boundaries and you always “let it slide.” You’re too nice and you’re a doormat.
Listen: Is Niceness Killing Your Cleaning Business?
Watch: Is Niceness Killing Your Cleaning Business?
Hey there, I’m Angela Brown, and this is Ask a House Cleaner. This is a show where you get to ask a house cleaning question, and I get to help you find an answer. You can find this and 400 other answered questions in this series on our YouTube channel.
Is Niceness Killing Your Cleaning Business?
Is your niceness killing your business? That’s a great question. And we’re going to talk about that today.
Today’s question is from a house cleaner who gives and gives, and she feels like she’s getting nothing in return. It’s nothing in return from employees. It’s nothing in return from customers.
She feels burned out because she just keeps giving, and she just keeps delivering. And she’s not getting what she feels she should be getting in return. So, I have to ask her in return; is your niceness killing you? Okay. Well, it might be. It sounds like there’s a lack of boundaries with all the giving. And so, I want to go back to the basics for just a minute.
House Cleaners are People Pleasers
As house cleaners, we are people pleasers. We jump at the change to clean a person’s house. The person, for some reason, needs our help. And so, we jump in and we say, “oh yes, I can clean this. You have lots of problems. I can clean these problems. I can organize them. I can pick them up and shine and polish them.
You feel needed and important because you are able to help others. So, you jump through all these hoops to make their lives easier. And then a customer comes in and says, “Oh, by the way, while you’re jumping through hoops, would you mind jumping through one more? I have this extra room that I need to get guest-ready because a relative is coming in from out of town.”
And you’re like, “sure, no problem.” But you don’t charge them any extra. You just run in and you tidy up the room, right? You’re being too nice.
Niceness is Killing Your Cleaning Business if You Have Regrets
Then you get home and you resent it. And you say, “that took me an extra half hour, and I didn’t get paid for my extra half hour.”
And you didn’t get a tip or anything for all the work that you went to. And so, you’re a little bit angry, and maybe a bit frustrated.
Niceness is Killing Your Cleaning Business If You’re a Pushover
And then you have employees, and then they call in and they say, “Hey, I’m going to be an extra 10 minutes late. Is that okay?” And you want to be nice. So, you agree. And so, you go and you start cleaning the customer’s house because you don’t want to be late for the job.
And then a half-hour later your employee kind of waddles in. And you’re upset because you’ve already been working for a half-hour without them but you don’t say anything because you’re nice.
In this scenario, you are a self-appointed martyr. You’ll suffer in silence because you don’t like confrontation. You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, so you’ll just play nice. The truth is your employee is taking advantage of you.
People Don’t Like You More Because You’re Nice
Well, I’m here to share something with you. As long as you are being nice, that doesn’t get you anything, right? It’s nice that you’re nice, but people don’t like you anymore because you’re nice.
You’re already a good person to the core but you don’t have to be extra nice. You can say to the client, “I would love to clean the extra guest bedroom, but I have to charge for that because it’s going to take an extra half hour of my time.
So, did you want me to do that today, or do you want me to come back on a different day? Or, if it in your budget, I can do it right now”. You’ll grow a backbone when you ask for something in return.
Always Ask for Something in Return
Now we learned this from the TV series, 24 and Jack Bauer. Every time somebody asked Jack for something, he said, “I will give you this, but I need something in return.” You should always ask for something in return.
And usually, it was immunity or something like that. And I was always a little surprised when he would do this. But it’s a great technique.
And what he’s asking for is fair. So, the people that you’re interacting with, they’re going to do the same thing. “You’re going to charge me this time for extra cleaning. Always you’ve given it to me for free, but that’s fair. That’s a fair request.”
People Respect Fair People More Than Pushovers
If you have customers you gave to till you’re blue in the face and they still fired you – it’s time for a change. They fired you because they don’t respect you. You’ve lost your backbone.
There’s another company that came in and said, hey, we’ll do the extra bedroom, but we charge more. And they’re like, “Okay, well that’s fair.”
People want to be part of fair transactions, right? If you have a no late policy, and your employee calls in and they say, “Hey, I’m going to be 10 minutes late. Is that okay?”
“Nope. It’s not okay. Our customers have a starting time, and we have to be there at our starting time because that is our brand. That is part of our company. That is who we are. ” You need your employees to respect you.
Domino’s Pizza – 30 Min or Less or it’s Free
Now, let’s go back to Domino’s Pizza for a minute. They never bragged that they were the best on price. They never bragged that their pizza tasted better than anyone else’s pizza.
What they bragged about was, 30 minutes or less, or it’s on us, right? You get your pizza in 30 minutes or we give it to you for free. Time is of the essence. Can you imagine a Domino’s Pizza employee going, “well, I’ll start the delivery in 15 minutes? Is that okay?”No, that’s not okay. 30 minutes or we got to pay for the pizza.
So, if you have an on-time policy, and your employees keep taking advantage of that, it’s a problem. If they keep coming in late, and you are filling in the gaps and you’re being too nice, that is your problem.
Is Niceness Killing Your Cleaning Business and Your Health?
Being a pushover is causing you stress. And now you’re angry about it and you’re frustrated. And when you’re angry, and you’re stressed, and you’re frustrated. Long term, that eats away at your health and your emotional wellness. So now you’re a boss that’s not healthy and you’re not emotionally well.
And so, ask me this question. “Is it okay if I show up to work and run an empire, and I’m not healthy, and I’m not emotionally well?” My answer to you is, no! Go home and get your head straight. Take a nap, get rested. Get rid of the stress. Say goodbye to the anxiety, and come back when you can be the boss that your employees and your team need you to be.
Because if you don’t have the backbone to run your company, your employees are going to take it away from you.
Have Your Employees Hijacked Your Company?
We’ve heard all kinds of stories about employees hijacking the company from the employers. Or they hijack the customers and they run off and they start their own business and become your competitor.
If you run a company that people don’t want to be a part of, they’re not going to stick around. At all. Under any circumstances.
So, if you’re being too nice and you’re giving lots of leeways, you’re being the nice guy because you want people to like you, I got news for you. You’re going to be out of business. It doesn’t matter if you run a company and people like you or not. It doesn’t matter.
The Goal in Business is to Earn Money – Not to Play Nice
And if you’re letting people push you around because you are nice, that’s not going to put money in your pocket. Working extra for a customer isn’t going to pay your bills.
That defeats the end goal. If you have employees that come in and they are late, that’s a poor reflection on you. You can’t run an empire if your employees don’t have your back.
What you have is people that are pushing you around, and now you are working overtime to fill in the gaps. And you’re frustrated and stressed. It’s time to call a company meeting and take back control of your company.
There’s a New Sheriff in Town – or At Least New Rules
Think about what you’re going to say to your employees and clients. Write it down if you have to. And then when you get in front of your customers, or you get in front of your employees. If you’re no good at this and you can’t wing it, read your script.
Say, this; “I prepared a few thoughts, I’m going to read this so I don’t miss anything.” And then read your script. Stay on book and take back your company.
This is your little baby. This is your responsibility. If you’re a patsy or a dupe and people are walking on you, the only person who can stop it is you. And now is the time.
*** RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE ***
When It’s Never About You: The People-Pleaser’s Guide to Reclaiming Your Health, Happiness and Personal Freedom – https://amzn.to/2RmHrVU
Not Nice: Stop People Pleasing, Staying Silent, & Feeling Guilty… And Start Speaking Up, Saying No, Asking Boldly, And Unapologetically Being Yourself – https://amzn.to/2yJaWtZ
Emotional Judo: Communication Skills to Handle Difficult Conversations and Boost Emotional Intelligence – https://amzn.to/2RpGr3e
The Joy of Imperfection: A Stress-Free Guide to Silencing Your Inner Critic, Conquering Perfectionism, and Becoming the Best Version of Yourself! – https://amzn.to/2yI90Cd
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