The Stories We Tell

TIG_1021I’m reading The Story Factor by Annette Simmons. I got it in the business section of Granny White Pike’s Rhino Booksellers.

When I read a book I read it through quickly the first time, and then I read it a second time with a hi lighter in my hand. It helps me to mentally hold on to the nuggets of truth I mine.

This particular book has really gotten me to rethink how I view business. I’m leaning more to a view of how my residential cleaning story fits into my overall story and the things I’ve gone through. That’s probably why my favorite section of the Wall Street Journal is the Personal Journal. I like all the sections, but that especially connects with me as a memoir like writer.

This morning we had a lengthy to do list for a Saturday, and it began when I dropped my daughter Chloe off in Franklin for some talent show rehearsal with a classmate. I was then scheduled for an estimate in north Nashville. I didn’t hop back on the interstate till I stopped by Starbucks for a venti mocha. As I pulled up to the 96/Murfreesboro location I noticed the plethora of cars in line for their caffeine fix too, so I parked and went inside. I think the wait was equally as long. I finally got my mocha, headed out the closest door and made my way back to 65 north.

The delightful lady I gave the quote to and her lovely daughter were an encouragement in my entrepreneurial pursuits, and I think I encouraged her in her restaurant startup. I look forward to eating there. I’m sure you’ll hear more about it on here. It was also enjoyable because we knew many of the same people and organizations, but due to the “professional” state of our meeting I didn’t prop my feet up for a longer conversation. We could have easily talked for hours.

As I left there and went back south to Williamson County I was a bit early to get little bit, so I called Michael Zello to see if I could drop by for a few minutes before I had to pick Chloe up.

Michael and I have been friends for several years now, and we play together in the TyII basketball tournament, a benefit for Tennessee Donor Services. Ty was in our Lifegroup at the Woodmont Hills Family of God, and he passed away in a Texas hospital because the injuries he sustained were too severe after being struck by an automobile. He and some friends were on their way for Spring Break when they stopped to help a stranded motorist. ┬áHe was an organ donor, and his parents Ty and Nancy saw to it that many people’s lives went on with Ty’s organs. Paul More was the man who received Ty’s heart, and he received a warm welcome to the 2nd Annual TyII tournament in Allen Arena. Many were able to hear Ty’s heart with a stethoscope if they chose too.

Michael knows the pain Ty and Nancy go through because he and Tisha lost little Jonathan almost a decade ago, so when I asked him to be in the tournament he didn’t hesitate.

When we work hard to be present in the middle of another’s suffering our suffering becomes more bearable.

I think Stephen Covey would have called that a win/win. Terrible things happen in life and business, but when we band together as fellow human beings wonderful things happen as well.

As Annette writes in the book I mentioned above story connects us all on a deeper level than any amount of rules or regulations. Rules and regulations are important because God set them up even in the Garden, but His first priority was and is always relationship.

Let’s not forget that as we begin a new week.

See you next time.

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Limitations and Strengths

93607Residential cleaning is fun. I enjoy the process of waking up in the morning, making sure I have all the supplies I need and heading out to the townhouse, house, condo, apartment or flat to clean.

Now, I need to express some negativity. This morning I had intentions to get up at 5am. That did not happen, but I was able to get my daughter to school on time, and now I’m back doing what I had intended to do at 5. My daughter and my wife, of course, are not able to enjoy the sausage and toast, but I’m moving on. There is disappointment, but then there is regret, and regret is harder to move beyond.

I will eventually create a habit of waking up at 5 to prepare breakfast for my family.

All things worthwhile take the development of habit to bring about. You have to want to do them too.

The other day I took on a one-time account for a move-out clean. I should have declined the sale because I do not like nor want to do move-out or move-in cleanings.

This morning we now have to make a fourth trip to this house to finish the work. The seven years I’ve been in business I’ve said a thousand times that I do not want to do these kinds of cleanings. They are for companies like Serv Pro. They have the necessary equipment to do the job right. As a residential cleaning company, even though these houses are private residences they still need a shop vac and other essential tools that a maid service does not have.

It’s important to know what you do well in business, and when you know your limitations you can work around them to accentuate your strengths.

If you want to get up at 5am make the adjustments necessary to do so. If you don’t like deep cleaning such that we still aren’t finished with then say no. There will be other open doors, and the frustration you’ll be able to avoid.

Have a great weekend!

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Target Market Part 2: It’s not what you think.

AN-AA180_MUSICs_D_20140707181456Our refrigerator went out yesterday, so there I am scrambling to get my Team Member to where she needed to be doing what she needed to do.

I’m off to Lowe’s to purchase a fridge. I had in mind that they were going to be able to take the fridge straight to the house, but alas they were not available to do so.

I go home to pack up all the food and take it to my wife’s grandmother, so we would not have to make a second trip to the grocery in one week. Thank you Doris for the space in the ice box!

Finally, I get back to join up with Lorilee to service the account, and we work hard cleaning for a chunk of time. I look down at my phone and notice it’s about time to pick my daughter up from school. It’s also about to rain, and I need to put our dog inside. That means I have to leave Hermitage, go to Donelson, go to Green Hills, and then venture back to Hermitage to finish the account. Wew!

That’s just life in the city, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world because I love every mile I drive and step I take in this this beautiful place we call Nashville.

God is blessing our city, and I get to be on the journey with so many wonderful people.

I’m not complaining, but it’s frustrating when a day doesn’t go as you thought it’d go.

Today is similar, but I created a plan B that I think is going to work, and wouldn’t you know it I’m posting a fantastic post that I think is giving you hope as you multitask your own to do list.

My last post was about Tomlinson Cleaning’s target market, and it struck me as funny that even in our plan B’s we have decisions to make about who and what to focus on.

Even when a contractor is given a blueprint to build an edifice he has things come up that require him to make adjustments. Every other person in every other industry faces the same thing even when it’s something as simple as residential cleaning.

Don’t beat yourself up over the fact that all the i’s won’t get dotted, and all the t’s won’t get crossed. That’s the broken world we live in.

That also doesn’t mean we don’t try our best. I give 110% every day as my energy will allow, but being human means I’m going to fail and disappoint other people. I do not set out to do this. It just happens.

Maybe if I was Ironman I wouldn’t do this, but even Ironman is subjected to brokenness.

We make peace with that by embracing Taylor Swift’s message to Shake It Off, and when our work isn’t appreciated we move on as best we can without dwelling on it.

It’s easier said than done I know, but it is possible.

So now I bid you farewell till next time, and now I’m going to go read a book till my Team Member gets to the office.

Have a great day.

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Life is Hard



This life personally and professionally is hard. What do you do when your plans are thwarted?

Don’t give up. Many times you have to ride out the detour because your plan wasn’t bad, but it’s timing for the parties involved was bad. They weren’t ready. Your plans collided with what they thought their world was going to look like. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still make your world look like what you want it to look like. It means it will take longer to get there.

That’s business. If someone tells you can have all you want by doing 1, 2, 3 then they are just out of college, or they are lying. Unless your Don Corleone, the President of the United States or filthy rich then plan on tripling the time it takes to get where you want to be.

Budget plenty of time and money to get where you want to be. Be completely unselfish when it comes to what other’s want, but never let go of your dream. Don’t be a doormat, and the way you do this is by putting your dream into writing for you and the movers and shakers of your dream to read. Hope is driven by dreams, and writing it puts it into play.

There are too many people who are living lives of quiet desperation, and their selling out to mediocrity is stifling the creative flow of our great nation. We are one nation under God, and if we are one nation under God then let’s start dreaming God size dreams.

God, family, work and play. Keep it in that order, and you’ll succeed.

To borrow from famous Nashville disc jockey, Jerry House. That’s my opinion, and it oughta be yours.

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God is Lord of our Businesses

Here are two other beautiful ladies in my life who I share a home with. I love you Carey and Chloe, and I always will.

Here are two other beautiful ladies in my life who I share a home with. I love you Carey and Chloe, and I always will.

Keri Boyd is one beautiful woman. She is beautiful because Jesus is Lord of her life. Tomlinson Cleaning was blessed to have her with us this week as we cleaned beautiful houses side by side.

The above paragraph is sadly not politically correct because there should be a separation of church and state, and since Tomlinson Cleaning is a law abiding business that pays taxes it’s not supposed to talk about God and Jesus in it’s propaganda.

I disagree. I disagree as vehemently as I disagree with those who think our past determines our future. Because I have a faith in my Creator I know He is sustaining me in my depression to dream bigger dreams than I have ever dreamed. He can also remove my depression as an obstacle that inhibits me in my business pursuits. He weighs motive. He looks at hearts that want to give, not take. He rewards those who earnestly seek Him, and He sustains us when our crosses are heavy. He literally did it for His Son. He is doing it for us as we place our trust in Him every moment of every day. Things don’t always go according to plan because we were dead, but He brings life to dead things and people.

Business is not exempt from this reality.

If we compartmentalize God to the doors of the church then we haven’t acknowledged Him as God.

We’ve made Him Santa Claus.

And my nine-year-old just found out Santa Claus isn’t real.

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Target Market

Tomlinson LOGO (Black)I just got a great tweet from @billyepperhart. His question was who my target market is. My answer was double income earners who have houses between 1200 and 2000 square feet.

Who is your target market?

It’s important to find your target market. It took me awhile to find mine because I was resolved to find the wrong kind of market for my company. When I finally adjusted the scope of my focus my business took off.

It might have had something to do with the economy as well, but I think when I got serious about who I could close the sale with and who was actually interested in my service I started selling maid service.

It was a boost of energy and confidence I needed.

Let me know how I can help.

Make it a great week good people.

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wpid-312853_156140261135381_6040674_n.jpgLife is filled with trade-offs. You make decisions every day that require you to say no to some things in order to say yes to others.

As we make our way through this journey, and you decisively go about this reality try not to look back in regret.

Embrace the decision you made. Give whatever it is you’ve said yes too your undivided attention, and leave the rest to God.

I dare say your life will be a joy rather than a burden.

It’s not rocket science, but it will set you free from the slavery we put ourselves under that rob us of so many precious moments.

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Social Media Excellence

p4UsiWPR_biggerThis is a shout out for my friend Sophie who works for Socially Present. We had a delightful meeting at Providence’s Panera yesterday about my Facebook page. I’ve already received one more like, and the ads she created for me are shouting out a great maid service that saves people lots of time!

If you are in need of a great social media expert contact my friend Sophie. Her contact info in Nashville is (270) 908-1984, and

Tell her Daniel sent you!

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Staying Organized

IMG_5052Here is something I think Dave Ramsey emphasizes in Entreleadership, and I have found it to work in real time.

Friday after we came in from our rotation of houses I was intentional about organizing and clearing my desk. I really think sometimes the difference between success and failure is being organized.

We all know people who don’t want the mess and clutter cleaned up because they “know” where everything is. To each his own, but I’ve found more times than not if I stay organized, handle each piece of paper 3x tops and keep good notes I am more productive. I also help more people, and I’m a better husband and father.

Getting there has been an arduous journey, but after 7 years of being in business I think I’ve got a better handle on it then I did.

It feels good, and what’s more in decreases the time I spend in the office, and I have more time to do things that really matter.

Thanks for reading good people.

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In Business and Pleasure

12820641748My customer, mentor and friend Sam Davidson is cool because cool people care. Grant it, in reality Sam and I are just business associates, but the fact that this man gave me all the books he’s written, Seth Godin’s The Icarus Deception and generous tips every time I clean their lovely home shows you the man cares for Nashville, and the local business we are doing here.

Sam Davidson cares because he knows it gives people hope.

The man doesn’t darken the door of any church on Sunday morning, but it represents Jesus better than I do, and I’m in church every Sunday morning with my arms lifted high as the praise team is leading us in worship.

Do me a favor. As we head into the weekend, whether you go to church, believe in Jesus, believe in God or not, let’s try not to judge a soul. Let’s give everyone we lay eyes on the benefit of the doubt, and let’s remind ourselves that life is hard in business and pleasure, and if you err, err on the side of honey rather than vinegar.

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