From the archive: This episode was originally recorded and published in 2019. Our interviews on Entrepreneurs On Fire are meant to be evergreen, and we do our best to confirm that all offers and URL’s in these archive episodes are still relevant.
Ron Holt is the CEO & Founder of Two Maids & A Mop, a nationwide franchise organization that is using customer feedback to totally disrupt the residential cleaning industry.
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TwoMaidsFranchise – Learn more about the business model used and check out the franchise opportunity!
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3 Value Bombs
1) It might be impossible to be the first in the market these days, but it is still very possible to disrupt the market and change that industry
2) It’s important to think big if you really want to go big, and you cannot do something if you do not see it first inside your head.
3) Get rid of the fragmentation in your business and it will allow you to start scaling as fast as you want.
HubSpot: Building a business is challenging enough; your tech stack shouldn’t make it harder! Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better at Hubspot.com.
**Click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.
Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How anyone can grow a small business into a national brand with Ron Holt
[1:05] – Ron shares something interesting about himself that most people don’t know.
- During his ramp up phase in his business he ate fish sticks and rice almost every single day for 6 and half years to save money.
[3:37] – Why is it important to think small?
- Find an industry that ideally no one wants to be in. Look within that industry and find a wide space inside of it
- Find something that has demand that is inside of a popular industry and then go do something different that no one else is doing.
- Ron believes that it is impossible to be the first in the market these days, but it is still very possible to disrupt the market and change that industry.
[7:42] – Ron talks about thinking big.
- It’s important to think big if you really want to go big, and you cannot do something if you do not see it first inside your head.
[9:26] – What do you mean by Think Purple?
- Ron talks about The Purple Cow by Seth Godin.
- After he read the book it led him to think about what he was going to do to create his own version of a Purple Cow.
- Two Maids & A Mop’s Purple Cow is their pay-per-performance plan.
[13:46] – Why it is important to think lean?
- You have to consider your bottom line beyond just what’s happening on the top line.
[17:21] – A timeout to thank our sponsor!
- HubSpot: Building a business is challenging enough; your tech stack shouldn’t make it harder! Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better at Hubspot.com.
[17:56] – Why you should think systems?
- Ron talks about The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael Gerber.
- Get rid of the fragmentation and it will allow you to start scaling as fast as you want.
- Think about nothing but what you can do to create a uniform business model that works every single place you will have your business.
[23:28] – Ron talks about thinking positive.
- You have to be positive.
- The only way to be positive is if you believe in your passion.
[26:43] – Ron talks about the importance of thinking about you.
- When building a business one of the greatest things you will get to enjoy is the fact that it is the only opportunity in your life where you get to be 100% selfish.
- Your business is all about you, and if it is not feeling right, then there is a problem.
[30:24] – What are the opportunities Fire Nation has with franchising within Two Maids & A Mop?
- Two Maids & A Mop provides training and support to manage the business, financial accounting, how to market, how to provide the best type of customer experience, how to hire your employees, and what to do to motivate them!
[33:55] – Ron invites Fire Nation to check out their website and to connect with him on LinkedIn!
- TwoMaidsFranchise – Learn more about the business model used and check out the franchise opportunity!
- Ron’s LinkedIn – Connect with Ron!
[38:19] – Thank you to our Sponsors!
- HubSpot: Building a business is challenging enough; your tech stack shouldn’t make it harder! Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow better at Hubspot.com.
John: Boom, shake the room, Fire Nation. JLD here with an audio masterclass on how anyone can grow a small business into a national brand, and to drop these value bombs, we have brought Ron Holt on the mic. He’s the CEO and founder of Two Maids and a Mop, a nationwide franchise organization that is using customer feedback to totally disrupt the residential cleaning industry.
And, Fire Nation, we’re gonna be talking about thinking small, thinking big, thinking purple, thinking lean, and so much more when we get back from thanking our sponsors. Ron, say “What’s up” to Fire Nation and share something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
Ron: I’m glad to be here. This is an exciting day for me, and I’ve got something super embarrassing to share with the world, but 100% true. So, during my ramp-up phase, which I’ll talk about here in just a little bit, I ate fish sticks and rice almost every single day for six and a half years.
John: Are you 347 pounds?
Ron: I am not. I’m also an avid runner.
John: It evened out.
Ron: I don’t look that way because I eat so unhealthy, but for me, it was a way to save money. I knew how much it cost to do it, I’m a terrible cook, and not many girls were in love with me at the time because of the craziness, but it allowed me to know exactly how much money I was gonna spend every single day of the week, which was really all I cared about during the ramp-up phase of my business.
John: Totally. Fire Nation, you have to extend that runway. Every penny needs to be accountable for. Entrepreneurs – they run out of time because they run out of money. You need to keep that process going. Something else Ron shared during the pre-interview chat that I found pretty cool – he was recently in Turks and Caicos, and most people come back with a necklace, or a hat, or maybe some sandals. Ron, you came back with a dog.
Ron: In the States, these dogs are called mutts, but in the Caribbean, they’re called potcakes. If you really wanna figure out how to put one on us, just take my wife to the Caribbean and put a mutt puppy in front of her because that’s exactly what happened. There’s this little pot place –
John: Was there any paperwork, by the way, or did you just literally scoop the dog up and just walk on the plane?
Ron: It was a one-page application.
John: So, at least there was something. Jeez. So, Fire Nation, obviously, we’re talking to the Ron Holt, who’s the founder of Two Maids and a Mop, which is a nationwide franchise which we’ll be diving a little bit more into later, and of course, I gave you the rest of his introduction during the introduction because we’re gonna be talking about how you, Fire Nation, can grow a small business into a national brand. A lot of people wouldn’t think you would start this way, Ron, but after we’ve talked about the fish sticks and knowing exactly how many pennies and dollars you were spending each week, maybe we could guess that you think it’s very important to think small. Can you expound upon that?
Ron: Absolutely. So, gone are the days, I believe, where someone can totally just overtake an industry and be first to market. There’s no more Henry Fords creating a car out of the blue; there’s no more internet, even. Everything has already been made in 2019. So, I recognized that many years ago and said, “I’ve got to figure out a way to be first to market in a market that already exists.”
So, when I say “think small,” that’s exactly what I’m talking about. Find an industry that ideally, no one really wants to be in, look within that industry, and find the whitespace inside of it, and then go attack it. Find something that has demand that is inside of a really, really popular industry, and then go do something different that no one else is doing.
Think about yourself, JLD: That’s exactly what you’re doing here. I’m a beach bum. Even though I’m in Birmingham, Alabama at heart, I’m this beach bum. I always think about Jimmy Buffett. He failed for so many years as a country singer before he moved to Key West, and all of a sudden, became this beach persona, and totally reinvented how he performed his form of country music, and today, he’s one of the more famous ones, if not the most famous country music singer there really ever was. So, I believe it’s impossible to be first to market anymore, but it’s still very possible to disrupt a market and change that industry.
John: Ron, you nailed it. Back in 2012, I was like, “Man, I love this podcasting thing, but where would I fit in there? What void is currently not being filled in the podcasting space?” Every show was weekly. I was like, “Why not be different and be daily?” Of course, there were a lot of other pros to that, which is putting in the reps, getting better, because I’m actually doing 30 a month instead of four, and all of that stuff.
But, Fire Nation, find a vertical that you love, and then dive deep in that until you are like, “Okay, guess what? I’m in the vertical that I love, and there’s not much competition here, or there’s no competition, or I can smash the competition because I’m just gonna focus on this one thing.” Ron, I’d love to maybe go a little off topic here because I’ve been thinking about this over the past few months, and something that makes a lot of sense to me is there’s people in this world that maybe have two different verticals that they love, but they know they could never crush either one alone.
Let’s just randomly say yoga. It’s huge. So, if you are just yoga, that’s tough. That’s competitive. Say being a vegan. That’s tough. But, what if you combine a couple of those passions you have, so now, you’re just like the vegan yogi? You’re actually taking two passions, and you’re really niching down into this area where you’re top 25% in two, but now, because you’re combining them together, you’re actually top one percent in that combo. Does that make sense to you?
Ron: That’s exactly what I did in the residential cleaning space. So, I don’t love cleaning homes. I’ve really never found that many people that do, which is great if you’re in the cleaning industry, but that was not necessarily my passion. But, what I did see was that there was a real large demand within that, and even though there were hundreds, if not thousands, of people performing this service across the country 16 years ago when I started this business, I felt like there was a real void in terms of customer experience.
There was no customer experience. It was “My house is dirty, come clean it, leave. Go, bye, be invisible.” And so, I said, “There’s something we can do that can make our service tangible,” and so, that’s where we created our “think small” moment, is just trying to figure out what can we do to say to a customer who needs their home cleaned to make them feel like there’s more to it than just a clean toilet. I’ll talk more about that as we talk here over the next several minutes, but that was our disruptive moment.
John: So, we talked about thinking small and how that can actually lead to your disruptive moment. Let’s say we’ve done that. Now, what do you mean by “thinking big”?
Ron: Once you’ve diagnosed what that moment is, once you’ve diagnosed what that particular sub-industry needs to be that you wanna take over, then it’s time to really think big. So, for me, I’m an empire builder. I absolutely love business, not for all the big money and fame that may come. I love Warren Buffett, but I don’t have to be Warren Buffett. What I love about business is the fact that every day I walk inside this office, I get to do something that may change the world every single day, even if my world is a very small one inside the residential cleaning industry.
And so, from day one, with just two homes clean on the very first day of our business, way back on April Fool’s Day in 2003, I thought to myself that we’re gonna become, one day, the country’s largest, fastest-growing, most innovating residential cleaning service, and I wrote that on a whiteboard in 2003 on April 1, and it’s still on a whiteboard today inside my office, 16 years later.
For me, that’s invigorating, it’s energizing, it’s something that makes me wanna wake up every single day and just go attack the world. Nothing I do seems like work. What I’m doing right now is fun, I’m passionate – not because I’m trying to sell something, but because my heart is full. And so, to me, it’s important to think big if you really want to go big, and you can’t do something if you don’t see it first inside your head.
John: Think big, Fire Nation. Of course, you need that disruptive moment, thinking small. Then, the next step: Think big, because you’re gonna make a dent in this universe if you have the capacity to think big. Now, this is the only thing that I would be like, “I have no idea where Ron’s going with this,” so let’s just dive in. What do you mean by “think purple”?
Ron: I just said a few seconds ago I love Warren Buffett, right? That’s my hero – again, not because this dude’s got billions of dollars, but mainly, he and I think a lot alike in terms of way of life. And so, I’m headed to Omaha, Nebraska many years ago. I’m on a plane, stuck in Atlanta, Georgia at the airport, and I run into a bookstore to waste some time, and I see this book on the shelves that purple, and it’s called The Purple Cow, written by a guy named Seth Godin.
By now, you probably know what this means, but if you’ve ever been down to where I’m from, in southern Georgia, you see a lot of cows, and those cows are white, they’re black, they’re spotted, whatever. They’re all very much the same, and they’re all very unremarkable. And, you move on. You probably see another cow later on if you’re from my neck of the woods.
But, if you were ever to stumble upon a purple cow, you would remember that moment, you would remember that purple cow for the rest of your life because it’s so different, so unique, and so remarkable. If you don’t wanna read the book, that really is the gist of the book. So, I read that book on the way to Omaha, and as much as I love Warren Buffett, I was ready to head back home to figure out what I was gonna do to create my own version of a purple cow inside Two Maids and a Mop.
John: Love that. Fire Nation, the key within this is it’s a noisy world. It’s a loud world. There’s so much going on, and it’s not getting any less crazy. What is your purple cow? How are you gonna be the talking piece for somebody about this? When I started back in 2012, it was “Who’s this crazy dude doing a daily podcast? That kid’s gonna burn out in three weeks.”
People were literally having lotteries, betting on when I was gonna stop the show because I was gonna run out of gas, run out of energy, but guess what? That made it different. That made it talked about. That was my purple cow, was the daily show. It was so different. It was so weird for the space and the time. It stood out because of that. Anything else you wanna add around this, Ron, before we move on?
Ron: So, I love Warren Buffett and the beach. That’s the only time you’ll ever hear anyone say that, right? I get the Purple Cow book, I read it, I head back home, which was, at the time, in Florida, and I drive to the beach. There’s this little area you can park, and you can see the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s beautiful, and there’s no one around, there’s no tourists, it’s just you and the water. I have this old-school pen and paper, and I’m brainstorming. I’m thinking, “What am I gonna do to create a purple cow inside Two Maids and a Mop?”
Finally, after literally weeks of doing this same exercise every afternoon, I stumbled upon what we now call the pay-for-performance plan. Think of yourself as a consumer right now. This is our purple cow. Every time we clean your house, we give you, the customer, an opportunity to rate your level of satisfaction on a very simple scale of 1 to 10, and that number by itself will directly determine the compensation level for the two folks who clean that home.
We say that to every person that calls us now across the country, and almost every time we say it, we get this “wow” moment from a customer. That’s our purple cow, we’re super proud of it, it’s probably the biggest reason for our quick growth and fast success here.
John: It’s another reason in a random other industry why people love Uber and Lyft, because people in those cars know that they are gonna get to rate the driver, and the driver knows that they’re going to get rated.
I hated yellow cabs for decades. They were horrible experiences, the drivers were so rude, they could care less because they just picked up a bag of skin and bones in their minds, and they were dropping off that bag of skin and bones in their minds, and they could care less of that human in the car, which is fine, but they would blast music, they’d scream on their phone in whatever language, and it smelled like smoke, it was dirty. Nobody cared. Uber and Lyft came in. Now, all of a sudden, guess what? Every driver is going for that five stars, period, end of story.
Ron: Yeah. It’s a verb now, right?
John: It’s a verb now, and guess what? Those two maids – they know that they’re gonna be held accountable, and they know they’re gonna be ranked 1 to 10, and their compensation is gonna be ranked – determined because of that. So, Fire Nation, think about the beauty of that system. It’s beautiful for so many ways. How can you think in purple in your business, just like Ron thought purple in Two Maids and a Mop?
Now, going back to the fish sticks a little bit, it is so important to stay lean. It is so important to have the ability to invest money back into your business when you actually start to generate revenue so you can grow, so you can market, so you can expand – so you can keep the lights on, by the way. So, talk about that, Ron. Talk about thinking lean.
Ron: You bet. So, this goes back to almost right after college. I graduated from the University of Georgia – go Dogs! – and so, I’m trying to find my way in the world, and so, at some point, I had this eureka moment where I said, “I wanna be an entrepreneur, and I wanna start a business.” The problem is my checking account said I had about $400.00, so how in the world was I gonna start a business with $400.00?
So, from that moment forward, I really tried to make it a point to be as lean as possible because I knew it was gonna have to come from me. I didn’t come from wealth. There was no bank dying to lend me money. There were no equity partners willing to invest with me, so it had to be from my back pocket. Since I only had a job, I had to do a lot of other things beyond just work to save this money, so I worked second jobs, these side hustles, I cut costs as much as I can, i.e. fish sticks and rice, and slowly but surely, I took that $400.00 and saved all the way to $150,000.00, which is no Warren Buffett, honestly, but for me, it was all the money in the world.
And so, you live that lifestyle for six and a half, seven years, and it becomes who you are. It becomes part of your DNA. And so, as I started the business, as I opened the first Two Maids and a Mop, that same operating mentality, that same lean bottom-line way to operate became just part of the business model as well.
And so, I literally get in my car, drove across the country – I hit I-10 in Florida and went west, and I stopped off in all these different little cleaning companies across the country – at least, in the southern part of the States – and I walked in and said, “Hey, can I hang out?” Time after time, what I learned is these guys were doing well, there was a lot of demand, but yet, there was so much fat, so many people who were not producing in a way that seemed very profitable, in my opinion.
So, when I built my business model, I said, “I’m gonna create the leanest, strongest, healthiest business model there is, so when that demand is captured, you’re making some real bank.” I think the same thing applies to every single business, whether you’re cleaning homes or hailing taxis. You’ve gotta really consider the bottom line beyond just what’s happening on the top line.
John: Think lean, Fire Nation. There are so many businesses out there that are running on so much fat, as Ron just shared, and it’s so true. For me, I was thinking, “Wait a second. Why aren’t other podcasters doing more quantity of podcast?” Well, they’re so inefficient with their systems, with their automations, with their batching processes. Nothing was in place.
That’s a huge opportunity for you, just like Ron saw a huge opportunity for him, because he was just seeing then, “The demand is here, but the supply that these companies are giving this demand is really inefficient. There are a lot of opportunities here.” Fire Nation, think of the opportunities that are in your vertical, your niche. Expose them, dominate them, crush them. Listen: This isn’t a G movie. This is real-world entrepreneurial stuff. We’re in it to win it, Fire Nation, and we’re gonna be talking about systems, about positivity, and we’re even gonna be talking about you, Fire Nation, when we get back from thanking our sponsors.
So, Fire Nation, we’re back, and Ron’s been doing nothing except dropping value bombs, and we’ve got some more coming up because I personally believe one of the reasons for Entrepreneurs on Fire’s continued success – seven-plus years now, 2,200 episodes, seven figures of revenue a year plus, net systems – we’ve created great systems over here. Ron, as you heard before the break – he’s a systems guy. That’s why Two Maids and a Mop is winning at such a high level. So, Ron, why should we be thinking systems?
Ron: I’m an entrepreneur at heart, and so, entrepreneurs at heart aren’t always the best operation-minded folks. Systems and operations kind of go hand in hand, and I live that up close and personal. For the first several years of our growth, things were just rocking and freaking rolling, man. We were opening store after store in state after state, and from the outside looking in, things were really strong, and I was super excited. My heart and my passion was really flowing.
Then, I started looking across the board, and we would generate X revenue in one city and that same similar revenue level in another city, but our bottom lines would be a little bit different. So, when I started looking at why, almost every time I diagnosed this issue, it was pretty clear it was mainly because there’s too much fragmentation within our business model. This is before we started franchising. Before we opened our first franchise operation, we had 12 corporate stores.
As much things as I’m proud of during that time, one of the things I’m least proud of is the fact there was that kind of fragmentation. I’m a huge reader, and I picked up a book that – if you ever think that ever reading a novel on systems can be exciting, it was for me at that time because it really taught me that if you really wanna be able to get rid of that fragmentation and create uniformity, it will allow you to start scaling as fast as you want across the country, across North America, or across the world, for that matter.
And so, what we did was we brought in system consultants, we brought in systems people, experts from all over the place, and we just did nothing but think about what can we do to create a uniform business model that works every single place that we’re gonna open down the road. It was a serious investment in both time and capital. It was just mind-numbing in some cases because when we talk systems, a lot of times people think in our world, cleaning – you’re picking up a vacuum cleaner and vacuuming the floor.
There’s an art and science to that, but systems go much deeper than that. How you enter a home is a system. How you leave and depart a home is a system. What you do when someone’s home versus when they’re not home is a system. So, there are all sorts of things that we teach in our franchise model that we had to learn on the ground as we were building this model out. If you want to go big, if you want to take your small business into a national brand across the country, you cannot do it without first documenting your systems and proving those out.
John: Do you remember the name of that book?
Ron: It was a guy named Michael Gerber. Does that ring a bell?
John: The E-Myth Revisited.
Ron: Yeah, the E-myth. It’s a fable about a baker in New York City who does what you think bakers do. They bake cakes, and they’re really good at it, and their neighbors, friends, and family members all say, “You’ve gotta do more than just bake the cakes for the neighborhood. You’ve gotta sell this thing.” And so, they start baking the cakes in New York City, they put a shop in Manhattan, and just like the friends say, they line up. But, the problem is over time, the baker is so busy, she starts hiring people, and that’s when things really start to change the business –
Ron: Yeah, and then, all of a sudden, you’re done. So, they close the bakery, and she goes back to baking cakes for free in the neighborhood. It’s a fable, it’s not really true, but it’s exactly what happens across America in small businesses over and over again.
John: Another great book, Fire Nation, is Built to Sell by John Warrillow. He’s actually a past guest of Entrepreneurs on Fire as well, and that book is all about systems. It’s all about creating your business to run on systems. Guess what? If you ever think that you want to create franchises, or anything like that, or sell your company down the road, nobody’s gonna buy your company if there aren’t dialed-in systems. If it’s just you running around with your head chopped off every day, fixing and putting out fires, nobody’s gonna buy that because if they take you out of the equation, everything falls apart. It’s a castle built on sands. You need to have the systems. Go ahead, Ron.
Ron: Here’s the fun part. So, I keep talking about the beach. I’m a beach bum at heart, for sure. I recognized that once we brought in these experts and consultants and said, “Here are the systems,” at some point, I still had to go out and document that. Meanwhile, I’m running a business, so I said, “You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna combine my passions.”
So, I took my family, we went down to the Bahamas for several weeks, I turned off the inbox, I turned off the phone, and all I did was become an author of the Two Maids and a Mop business model, and I left the Bahamas with our first-ever 300-page operation manual.
John: Did you leave with a dog as well?
Ron: No dog back in those days, just a bad tan.
John: Oh, the story of my life. Fire Nation, let’s talk about systems. We’ve really hammered home the importance of it. If your business isn’t running on systems, it needs to become your priority. Why are Kate and I able to take a 90-day world trek when it’s just her and I running the business? We have three virtual assistants. They just do what we need them to do – the busy work. So, when Kate and I take ourselves out for 90 days, how’s the business still thriving? Systems. You need systems, period, end of story. You also need to think positive. So, Ron, talk about that.
Ron: As I’m growing this Two Maids and a Mop business early on, I’m on the ground, man. I’m literally cleaning a house, and I’m doing everything else, too. I’m buying supplies, I’m marketing, I’m resolving customer issues, I’m handling all the accounting – I’m seriously doing everything, 6:00 in the morning to midnight, six days a week. When you live that type of lifestyle, no matter how passionate you are, sometimes, life gets the best of you –
John: Especially when you’re also just eating fish sticks.
Ron: Yeah. Well, I had moved down to Florida by that point, so I could actually eat real seafood. I didn’t have to get the frozen stuff. But, there was this one moment in time – I can still see myself, and it was an ugly version of myself, but it was one morning when I’d had some issues with staffing, and the day before was tough, I’d worked all the way to literally midnight the day before, and all of a sudden, we’re here at 6:00 in the morning, and people aren’t there, and I’m thinking, “Oh my gosh, here we go again.”
I erupted. That’s not my personality, but it was in that particular moment, and it took me about five minutes for me to recover from that to think, “Oh my gosh, what have I done?” From that moment forward, I said to myself, “As a leader of this organization, if I truly believe in the vision to become the largest, fastest-growing, most innovative residential cleaning service in America, then I have to be a leader. I have to be positive. I don’t care what’s going on, I gotta be the duck. I gotta have all the crazy stuff going on beneath me, but I gotta look beautiful and graceful from the top.”
I believe the same thing applies for every single business leader for every single organization. The only way to be positive is if you believe and you’re passionate. If you have love in your heart for what you’re building, if you have love in your heart for your family, or for your business – because that can still very much exist – then it’s a lot easier to be positive because you’re loving what you do. You enjoy what you do every single day. And so, I see so many business leaders now – because I come in contact with all these guys that, at one point, were my heroes; now that we’re in business together, we’re partners and peers.
But, even in some of those circles, I see a lot of disdain for what people are doing – the disdain for their customers, or for their franchisees, or whatever it might be – and it makes me sick because I still remember myself erupting during that five-minute craziness way back in the day in the mid-2000s. So, I believe that if you’re not positive, it’s probably time to think differently about what you’re doing because you shouldn’t have to force yourself to do it. It should come very much naturally. If you love what you do, man, it will.
John: At the end of the day, Fire Nation, what are you waiting for? What the heck are you waiting for? Are you waiting for the end of your life to be positive about your life? Are you waiting for some unknown date to be happy? What are you waiting for? The time is now, the day is today. Think positive. It changes everything. Why do I start the freedom journal, the mastery journal, and the podcast journal with “Today I am grateful for”? Because just starting the day with one thing you’re grateful for – that starts your day with gratitude. That starts your day with positivity. That leads to happiness. Fire Nation, think positive. Now, the grand finale is “think about you.” Talk about that, Ron.
Ron: So, as you’re building a business, whether you wanna take over your community, whether you wanna take over your region, or your country, or the world, for that matter, one of the greatest things that you’ll get to enjoy is the fact that it’s the only opportunity – probably in your life – where you get to be 100% selfish because when you’re building that business and you’re the founder, you’re the owner, you’re the entrepreneur behind it, then it’s about you. There’s culture and there’s all sorts of other things, but if it’s not feeling or fueling you, then there’s a problem.
And so, that hit me, actually, pretty recently. When I left corporate America, I couldn’t stand it. I was making great money, I was traveling the world, I was managing all these really smart people – much smarter than me – and from the outside looking in, things should have been really good, but I had this void inside of me that I knew I needed to try to chase and fill. And so, as soon as I started cleaning that first house, even though prior to that, I had my white collar on, globetrotting across the world, cleaning that first house on that first day was more invigorating to me than probably anything I had done prior to that, even though I lost money the first day – and, the first few years, for that matter.
And, it filled me, and there was this level of passion, excitement, and energy I’d never had before, and for really the next several years, that same feeling occurred day after day, no matter what kind of challenges were in front of me. But, several months ago, sitting here in my ivory tower, and I’m working inside this boardroom, and I’ve got all my leadership people around me, we’ve got 500 employees across the country, cleaning a home somewhere on that particular day, and we’re talking about all these really corporate-America kind of things.
I said to myself, “What in the world has happened? I’ve become the person I hated 16 years ago.” And, even though this just happened recently, it’s something that’s really made a mark for me because it actually, in a weird way, has re-energized me because I don’t wanna be corporate America. We may look like corporate America from the outside, but that’s the reason I started a business.
And so, even though we’ve got these 500 employees, and growth’s crazy, and we’ve got 80 stores across the country, and we probably look corporate, that doesn’t mean we have to be, and for me, that’s being selfish because that may work for someone else, but for me, it doesn’t. That’s my advice to every entrepreneur out there that’s trying to take over the world. At some point, you’re gonna have to always look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Am I doing what I’m doing because I want to do it? Not because someone expects me to do it, not because there’s another meeting I’ve gotta run into – because I want to do it.”
Even if it is a boring eight-hour meeting, if you want to be in that meeting, then you’re gonna kill it in that meeting, but if it’s something that you’re forced to do, that’s work, and that’s nothing I’ve ever wanted to entertain, as crazy as it sounds. I know that sounds maybe even naïve and hard to believe for some people, but I’m proof that you can feel that way. For 16 years, that’s exactly how I’ve felt. I continue to do it and wanna do it for the rest of my life.
John: Fire Nation, at the end of the day, this is the one life we have to live – the one life we have to live – so, why not take control? Why not be the captain of your ship and say, “Maybe I wanna sacrifice a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I may not make 100% of the money I could potentially make if I go down this road, but that’s not the road I wanna go down. I want to be happy. I wanna do things the way I wanna do them. I wanna have my vibe, my brand, my energy.” That, Fire Nation, is the choice that you have. The choice is yours.
Ron, you might know the exact numbers, but the reality is entrepreneurs who invest in franchises have a much higher success rate than entrepreneurs that just strike out on their own for their own businesses, and there are a number of reasons behind that. The systems that come with franchises, the brand that’s already in place, the business model that you just step into and execute on – and, there’s obviously other things you may wanna add too, Ron, but talk about the opportunity that Fire Nation has when it comes to franchises, and specifically with Two Maids and a Mop.
Ron: You bet. So, for me, again, I am an entrepreneur. I’m a lone-wolf guy working on an island by himself, and for me, that was always something that I wanted. But, what I’ve come to learn is that not everybody is made that way, and that’s fine, and that’s great if you’re in the franchising business because that’s what we do. We provide training, education, support to manage a business for someone that doesn’t necessarily wanna be that lone-wolf guy like I was 16 years ago.
And so, when we opened Two Maids and a Mop – again, a lot of people think that we’re really focused on the science and trade of what we do, the act of cleaning a house. Obviously we teach that, that’s something that’s very important, but we go much deeper than that. We talk about financial accounting, we talk about how to market locally, we talk about how to provide the best type of customer experience – not just service, but experience – for a consumer. We talk about how to hire people and what to do to motivate them once they’re on your staff. We also don’t do just the training, but we provide ongoing support for the life of our relationship between one another.
And so, we’ve got folks that have opened Two Maids and a Mop franchises in different parts of the country that are just as passionate, if not more passionate, than even I am about what they are building, and they are building their own mini-empire in their markets in Peoria, Illinois, or White Plains, New York, or Virginia Beach, Virginia – all these folks are amazing business owners/entrepreneurs that have coupled their passion with the knowledge that we’ve created an earned over the last 16 years to really create some really cool success.
And so, my little baby, Two Maids and a Mop, that opened 16 years ago in Florida by cleaning just two homes is now in a place where we’re cleaning hundreds of thousands of homes on a regular basis with 80 locations across the country, with another 300 left to even open. We wanna open 20-30 new stores every single year for the next decade, so if there’s someone out there that’s a hustler, that’s high-energy, that’s positive thinking, that wants to solve problems and wants to change something about their life they’re not happy about, we want to help you do that.
John: Well, you just described my entire audience, so you’re speaking to the right people.
Ron: That’s something I’m pretty excited about because I’m one of your listeners. I’m a huge fan of yours, and you and I speak the same language, and so, if there’s someone out there, even if it’s just one, I think – Two Maids and a Mop changed my life, and I’ve seen it change the lives of our franchise owners too, and I think it can change someone else’s.
John: Fire Nation, the opportunity is there. It’s on you to step up and say, “You know what? This sounds like a great opportunity,” or you’re taking all the information that Ron has shared with you, and you’re applying it to your opportunity, to your idea, to your business. That’s what’s great about being an entrepreneur. The opportunities are endless. Be the captain of your own ship. Drive it into the right port. So, Ron, take this home.
Ron: You bet. So, there’s a couple ways to get in touch with us. The easiest is to go to our website, TwoMaidsFranchise.com. There’s gonna be great information on there. It’s gonna talk about the investment opportunity, it’s gonna talk about what life’s gonna be like once you’re a franchise owner, and it’s a very quick process. We have some people who own a franchise within just a few weeks of visiting that website; in other cases, a few months, but either way, it’s very quick. We’ll have a dedicated sales team that’ll pick up the phone and talk to you at 9:00 at night if you want to.
So, go to TwoMaidsFranchise.com, learn all about Two Maids and a Mop, the business model, and the franchise opportunity. If you just wanna talk business, I’m not selling a book, I’m not trying to book a speaking appearance – I love business, and I can talk to just about anybody about a sandwich shop or the next thing that’s gonna disrupt some digital marketplace. So, find me on LinkedIn, Ron Holt, I’m really easy to find, and I promise you, I’ll talk you – I’ll give you some free advice, even.
John: I love that. Fire Nation, when my guests say, “Hey, seek me out, just type ‘Ron Holt’ in the search bar in LinkedIn and reach out to me, and I will communicate with you, we will go back and forth, I’ll answer questions when you have them,” those are special, special people, Fire Nation. So, take advantage of these opportunities. You can see that Ron has a golden heart. He’s a man of service, he’s a man of integrity. It’s just the reality.
So, I want you, Fire Nation, to recognize the fact that you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, and you’ve been hanging out with RH and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com, type “Ron” in the search bar. The show notes page will pop up with everything that we’ve been talking about today. These are the best show notes, Fire Nation. We have all the links to everything you need about this episode right there.
And, Fire Nation, I’m gonna just give you a call to action here. If this sounds even a little appealing, you have to follow that appeal to TwoMaidsFranchise.com. Check out the process over there. If it makes sense, take the next step. You can see that Ron’s created an amazing business, an amazing opportunity for you to be a thriving entrepreneur in a really exciting, growing area. I’m gonna say it right now: I want one of you, 10 of you, 100 of you, however many, to take this opportunity, to crush it.
And, I’m telling you, if I get an email a year from now that’s like, “John, I heard you and Ron chat, and I started a Two Maids and a Mop franchise, and I’m killing it, check out my story,” you’re coming on Entrepreneurs on Fire. I wanna talk to you about how you just took this episode that Ron and I talked about, and you’ve now created a thriving business that’s employing people, that’s providing a great service to this world.
That’s the kind of story, Fire Nation, that I love to talk about, and you could be that person – the owner of a Two Maids and a Mop franchise that we’re talking to in two years, five years, however long it takes, however long you decide to make this decision happen. So, Fire Nation, TwoMaidsFranchise.com. Ron, thank you, brother, for sharing your truth with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you, and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Business Transcription provided by GMR Transcription Services
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