Here are 7 things I wish I knew in my 20’s. Hindsight is 20-20, but these are things that I would go back and change if I could. Throughout the years, I’ve gone through a lot on my journey to where I am today, and we’re going to take a look back today at some things that I would do differently in my 20’s.
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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.
Things I Wish I Knew in My Twenties
Things I wish I knew in my twenties. Now, right now, I’ve got 40 or 50 questions that are inside my bin from you guys wanting to know what I wish I knew in my twenties. Now, I have to say that hindsight is 2020. So now, I can look back 30 years ago and I can say, “Oh, that’s what I wish I knew now,” right?
#1 I Wish I Embraced Social Media Earlier
Let me start by saying 20 years ago, the internet did not exist, okay? So in all fairness, I had to go through some of the stuff just like everyone else. But I wish that I would have embraced social media and technology sooner. I put it off and I hoped that it would go away, and I was waiting to see what would happen with it.
At the time, we worked completely by referral only. We paid for no paid advertising where business was booming. We were all over the city. S0, we had absolutely no interest, no business is going online.
We were booked, we did not need social media. Therefore, it does not exist. Shame on me for thinking that way, okay? I wish I would have known what social media was going to become. And I wish I would have embraced it sooner and learned it and just become part of it because I feel like I’m far behind now, we’re scrambling to try to catch up.
#2 I Wish I Would Have Started YouTube Earlier
All right, on social media, I wish I would’ve started the YouTube channel five years earlier. And I kept putting it off and putting it off and who wants video and who cares and who wants to see people cleaning houses?
And I actually had somebody telling me, “Don’t make a house cleaning channel because nobody will watch it. No one cares about house cleaning.” I wish I would’ve started five years sooner, okay? So those are the things I wish I knew back then.
#3 I Wish I Was a Better Facebook Group Admin
When we talk about social media, in 2016, I started a private Facebook group for one area of my business. And I’d never been a Facebook admin before, okay? So no fault to me, this is new territory. One day inside one of those groups, there was somebody that asked what is the validity of one of my competitors. And as they tagged this person who was also a member of the group, that person felt obligated to jump in and defend themself.
Then miserable things were said, and it wasn’t resolved very well. And I didn’t know how to get in and shut the thread down. I didn’t know what I was supposed to do. I wanted to honor everyone that was having a part in the conversation. But the person who was technically my competitor was just getting crucified. And as I look back on that now, I regret that moment.
I wish I would’ve known better about being an admin and knowing the shame that I was causing that person because it doesn’t matter if they’re my competitor or not, they should not have had to go through that and especially in my group. So I really wish early on, I would have known how to manage that better because I really screwed that one up. So I wish I would’ve learned that sooner.
#4 I Wish I Would Have Known How to Deal With Bullies
When it comes to Facebook groups, I made a lot of mistakes and it’s great that you guys are still part of my Facebook groups. If you are, thank you very much. We had a bully in our group early in the beginning and she was just mean and miserable. And one of the things that I recognized really early on as she was lacking self-esteem and she was hurting and she had a life of pain. And so she was bringing that and just puking that on everyone in every thread.
Everyone in the group hated her and they kept trying to vote her off the island. I didn’t want her to leave because I didn’t think she had another safe place to go. And I kept hoping we could create a safe place for her and help her find herself and help her find the self-esteem I was hoping she would find by being part of a tightly-knit group. It ended up being in the end, we removed her from the group and blocked her so that she couldn’t spew her venom all over everyone in the group.
And it wasn’t fair to all the other members of the group. So I really regret that now that I didn’t end that sooner because I kept hoping for the best for her. And in the back of my mind, it was with good intention, but at the cost of everyone else.
Now Our Company Doesn’t Negotiate With Bullies
In that same vein, my company took on a policy of not negotiating with bullies. And so if you are a bully to us, or to our clients, or to each other, you now will be blocked and removed and deleted, but with respect. We will kindly send you on your way, but we are not going to argue with you on the way out the door.
We’re just going to say, “Hey, this no longer works. See you.” And then we’re going to remove you from our lives. And I regret that that has had to happen.
It happened inside our business, where there was a bully inside our business. There are two types of bullies and I’ve gotten really good over the years to recognize the types.
There’s one that is intentional, like, “Oh, I’m going to make your life miserable. I’m vindictive. I’m going to make you pay,” right? And then they go about their business trying to destroy you.
#5 I Wish I Knew to Let Go of Bullies in Our Company
And then there are other people that are unconscious. They don’t know that they’re being a bully and they don’t know that they’re destroying you. But the little things that they do just tag everybody and bring everybody down all of the time, and it ruins company morale and it’s very destructive. But they don’t know they’re doing it, okay?
And I have this big weakness and a soft spot for the person that does it unconsciously because I don’t think they understand the devastation that they are causing. So I want to love them unconditionally and I want to give them a 45th chance. And I regret not ending a situation in my own personal business sooner because while I’ve been bullied, and I’m a grown-up, I can take it.
I can totally see through this. I know what’s happening. Not going to ruin my day. But it was ruining the day of everyone else that came in the circumference of that person. And I wish I would have had the foresight to say, “You know what? At the risk of saving my team, I’m going to have to let you go sooner.” And I wish I would have let them go sooner instead of hanging on to them probably for a year too long. I regret that now.
#6 I Wish I Would Have Taken More Family Time
I wish I knew that at this particular stage of my business, it was going to require so much time and attention from my husband. If I did I probably would have . And I know that the first 14 or 15 years of our marriage, I didn’t stop to say, “Oh, if this business continues for the next 30 years like this I probably should take some vacations right now.” So I put that off way too long.
My husband and I were looking at each other the other day, because we take six vacations a year now, going like, “Why did we wait so long before we took vacations?” And I was like, “I don’t know. I thought that what we were doing at the moment was more important.” And is it more important than each other? And the answer is no. So I wish that going back all those years, I wish I would have taken more vacations and I would have taken more family time.
#7 I Wish I Knew That People Might Not Like Me
Now, on the note of family, I have one more regret. When we have a family, whether it’s extended family or relatives that we marry into, or whatever, there’s a tendency to want to please. And as a house cleaner, I’m a natural people-pleaser. So I was doing things that would hopefully get people to like me, okay?
And I realize now that I’m older than those efforts were in vain. There are people that don’t love themselves and they cannot love you no matter what. So, as I look back on my life, I regret that I spent so much time on that wasted effort because as I look back now, I love them for who they are. They’re wonderful people. We will never see eye to eye and that’s okay.
But I wish I would have known that sooner because I wasted a whole bunch of precious time and energy and emotional energy and my best years trying to make something that was never going to happen.
Learn From Things You Wish You Knew
So those are some of the things that I wish I knew way back then. And maybe you have to get to be my age before you realize, “Ah, there are some lessons that I learned.” I do want to encourage you this, whatever age you are, wherever you are in your life, stop and take an inventory. This was an interesting lesson for me. Take an inventory of the lessons that you have learned, okay, because you have made progress, whether you realize it or not, whether you admit it or not.
And then just be on the lookout for new things you’re learning today because 10 years from now, you’re going to say, “Ah, there are things I wish I knew 10 years ago, right, that are happening right now today.”
So take note of the lessons today and let them make you stronger, not make you live a life of regret. Yes, we have regrets, but it’s the regrets and going through that and learning the lessons and applying the lessons that make us stronger.
Life Lessons and Love Languages: What I’ve Learned on My Unexpected Journey – https://amzn.to/3xx9eYF
Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No To Take Control of Your Life – https://amzn.to/3xslkCg
Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself – https://amzn.to/3vCEpjR
Boundary Boss: The Essential Guide to Talk True, Be Seen, and (Finally) Live Free – https://amzn.to/3xrpAlA
What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 – https://amzn.to/3zD2aMc
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