Should the personal vs. professional you be different or the same if you’re a house cleaner?
And should your profile pic be professional? Will you have clients as followers looking for social proof? Or should you not mix personal social media with business?
Reputation management is in your control. And your social media presence can make or break your business.
Listen: Personal vs. Professional You – As a House Cleaner
Watch: Personal vs. Professional You – As a House Cleaner
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.
Personal vs. Professional You, What’s the Difference?
Personal vs. professional you, can you combine personal life with business. How does that even work? One house cleaner had this question.
“I am an up and coming house cleaner with six recurring clients but for the last two months or so, my business has been kind of at a standstill. I have some family. Unfortunately, they live two and a half hours away and they suggested that I come clean for them.
When I spoke to them about it, they said that they didn’t need much help cleaning, but they would love for me to come anyways. I’m kind of conflicted because I’d like to spend more time with my family and being up there would give me the opportunity to do so. And I would like the money of course, but that’s not all the reason that I clean.
How do you feel about combining personal life and work-life, family with cleaning?”
Combining Personal vs. Professional You Can be Complicated
This question has several parts to it. First of all, as a person, you should be the same person that they are hiring when you go to your house. So personally you should be the same person.
Meaning, if I’m a homeowner and I go to your social media. I expect that your social media will declare the same values that you profess on your website to be a house cleaner.
So, if you are kind and compassionate and thorough and honest, all these things will all also show through in your social media.
Personal vs. Professional You Isn’t That Different
So as far as personal life and business life they’re not really different. As a person, you are one and the same. What comes through is called character. It’s your personality that shines through.
So, you have a character and that character is everything that you believe. It’s everything that you represent, it’s how you treat people. It’s the brand that you carry through to your business. They’re not separate.
You don’t get to be a jerk over here and then show up and be lovely and nice for business. It doesn’t work that way. Whoever you are actually comes through in everything you do and if you are a good, kind person that’s what gets you referrals. Sometimes it’s not even the business that people recommend. It’s you as a person. They’ve fallen in love with you because of your character.
Who are You as a Person?
So who are you as a person? That’s the short answer to the bigger question. Do you mix business and personal because you are one and the same. You are a person and it is your character.
Having said that, let’s go back to the section about the family. Do you work with family? It’s kind of a torn subject for me and my answer is no. I don’t like to work with my family. There are a lot of variables that happen when you work for family that don’t happen with regular customers. And I say regular customers, meaning a person down the street that hires you for a job and it’s transactional.
You do a job, they give you money. With family, it’s not so cut and dry. So you go to a family member’s house and there are other things happening and so you get caught up a lot of times in the other things that are happening.
Your Personal Life Can Distract You on Jobs
Sometimes your family can say something like, “Oh, grandpa is here and he’s not feeling well right now. Can you make him some lemonade before he takes his rest?” “Yeah, sure. Let me go do that.”
You would not do that in a normal customer’s house. The normal customers pay you to be cleaning. Then you’re going to go ahead and you’re going to do the cleaning. So the relationship is different.
Your family has a different way of viewing you because they’ve known you since you are so small and they will always see you as a child.
Sometimes Your Family is Being Supportive
And it sounds like you have a supportive family, which is very important in business. But that does not sound like a long term job because you travel two and a half hours and you help them out and then what?
Okay, their house is clean and do they need you again? Do not, under any circumstances driving more than 15 or 20 minutes to a job. And that is pushing it if you live out in the boonies. The reason being is this, this is time you do not get paid for. It is not billable time.
So, if you drive two and a half hours one way to go see your family, make it be a vacation where you go to see your family. Just hang out and visit and chit chat and renew your memories.
Don’t Make Your Trip to See Family About Your Professional Life
Don’t make that trip to clean. Two and a half hours one way means you have two and a half hours coming back. That is five hours on the road that you’re not getting paid for to go clean the house of somebody who doesn’t need cleaning.
And then what happens is now you have a commitment to drive two and a half hours again to go clean a referral that lives in their same area.
So you get yourself in this situation where now you’re commuting to jobs when there are jobs in your own neighborhood.
There are Millions of Households in America
So the reality is there are 74 and a half million households in America. This is America and there are lots of houses nearby.
If you are independent, and the reality is independent business owners get to choose where they want to work. If you belong to a franchise you are assigned territory so you do not have a choice.
But if you have a choice and you are an independent and a small company then choose to work where you live. This way you don’t have to commute, so that you can go one street over or two streets over or three streets over.
Keep Your Professional Life in Your Neighborhood
Work in the neighborhood that you live in or work the neighborhood right next door or the neighborhood next to that. There are so many homes that you don’t have to go very far so don’t go very far because that’s going to cost you a lot of time and money.
Who you are as a person, number one for your character that is going to be the same wherever you go. You have to live with that person so become the person that you want to promote.
You also don’t want to work for your family. That can get very sticky, especially if they are 2.5 hours away. You don’t want a situation where you are commuting to every job, it’s much easier to stick around your own area.
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