In part one; I outlined my working life journey which involved moving on from factory life to working as a successful sales person in Shoe stores.
The following is an outline of the final part of my journey, where I transitioned from a mere boy, to a mature man.
That man moved on to working in my own business; and yes; embarking on a most unlikely enterprise – Window Cleaning!
Another turning point
The managerial role the local shoe store in Greensborough was a great success.
After three years at this local store; I was delighted to learn that I was to be promoted to the Companies second busiest store in a major regional shopping complex in their chain.
Unfortunately; this was not the happiest of career moves that I had expected it to be.
I was not at all comfortable with the set up there; and missed the intimacy of the smaller store in the strip centre of Greensborough.
After encouragement by my superior to move on; I applied for a managerial role in a well known music store called Allan’s Music; but this career move did not turn out so well. The pay was much better; however, In that environment, I was a square peg in a round hole; and out of my depth.
Yes; whilst I was successful in bringing in more business for the nine months of my tenure at Allan’s; this job was clearly not for me. Subsequently; management let me go. The irony of this dismissal was; that they gave me a bonus for the extra business I brought in from my short stay in the Company!
One door shuts and another one opens
Needless to say; it did not feel too wonderful being let go from a well respected Company, and Pam and I had just had our second child. After that unpleasant experience; I tried my hand at what turned out to be a few fly by night selling jobs; and again I wondered where my working life was going to take me.
Should I return to another shoe store; or perhaps buy a shoe store? Returning to the factory was not even a remote possibility.
Some years earlier I had been baptised ; and became a Christian; (at the age of twenty three); and due to my conviction that God would take care of our family’s needs; I was not at all worried about the future.
Little did I know that my career was about to make a huge “U” turn!
Climbing the ladder of success?
One day, I happened to be talking to my brother in laws dad; and he casually said; “John; you are a tall guy; why don’t you try your hand at window cleaning”?
Tom said he had been cleaning windows for an extra income stream to supplement the wages from his regular job.
At first I thought this might be a good idea; until I tried cleaning my own windows with a spray bottle of windex and a few cloths.
That “experiment” turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. After attempting to clean my house windows; and making a mess of it, I could see that this was not going to be as easy an occupation as Tom had suggested.
Learning the trade
Through much experimentation and dogged persistence; I eventually got the gist of Window cleaning. This was after asking a stack of questions; observing how others cleaned windows; and gradually developing my own understanding of what worked and what did not work.
After a few months of trial and error; I finally realised that I needed to purchase the appropriate window cleaning tools in order to become a professional window cleaner.
It was exciting to clean my first client’s windows; and work for myself.
Jobs started coming in from a little ad that I inserted in the local paper and from recommendations.
One of the first telemarketers
I decided to try calling people randomly from the White pages.
Today; we know that this technique is called telemarketing. Again this was a relatively fruitful venture for me. The mere fact that I was new to window cleaning; meant that I was able to trade on getting the sympathy vote!
Anyway, the important thing is; my foray into telemarketing actually worked!
When I checked the stats; it turned out that I was picking up about one new client from every 10 calls that I made! At the same time; I was fortunate enough to make contact with several Builders; and learnt how to clean their brand new homes.
No accident that we became successful
As I said earlier; although becoming a Window cleaner was accidental; becoming a successful businessman was no accident!
There was a sign hanging up in the shoe factory that I will never forget; and it read; “If you do a good job; you will always have a good job.” Another saying that I picked up along the way is this. “The harder I work; the luckier I get.”
It turns out that I was more ambitious than I thought; and I suddenly realised that I wanted to prove myself in the very competitive business of House Cleaning Services.
Over the years; Pam and I have built a very prosperous business together; and it has paid the bills, and provided us with a great amount of satisfaction.
You get back what you put in
Looking back over the journey; we have come to realise that one can be happy and successful in whatever capacity one may find ourselves in. Whether this be on a factory floor; a retail outlet; sweeping floors; or even cleaning Windows.
Whatever your job happens to be; (accidental or not); just give it your best shot; and don’t be surprised when that door of opportunity opens for you.