OK, a little confession here. This blog is really self-serving!
When I was 20 years old I knew EXACTLY what path my life was going to take. I knew when I was going to graduate from college. I knew what job I was going to get and in what city. I knew who I was going to marry and when it was going to happen. I knew how many kids we were going to have and when we were going to have them. I knew what their names were going to be. I knew where I wanted to vacation and when I wanted to retire. I knew where and when I was going to buy my first house. I could easily make this list much longer!
After 20 more years have gone by I can relate to what Forrest Gump had to say. NONE of my predictions came true. Nope, not a single one! If you had told me 20 years ago that I was going to own my own business I’d call you crazy. If you told me it was going to be a window cleaning business I would think you had me confused with someone else.
I have travelled down many paths in my 40 years. In my adult life I have attended and graduated from Arizona State University, I have taught 1st grade, 2nd grade, emotionally disabled children, and directed a family literacy program in the Gila River Indian Community. I’ve also opened a child care center for elementary and middle school children and been the director of Christian education programs at two churches.
I’ve owned five houses, been married three times, been a foster dad and a step-dad to two different sets of kids. I can’t even count how many times I’ve moved from one house to another! I now find myself back in the same zip code I lived in as a child and through much of college.
In my various past careers I craved the respect I received because of the title I held. Telling someone I was a teacher always got the predictable response of something like: “Oh, bless you for what you do! Teachers don’t get paid enough for all that they do. You’re make such a difference in the lives of those children.” When I created and ran a childcare center the statements were similar. When I took 20 squirrely 7th graders tubing down the river with a youth group I received appreciation and admiration from their parents and others in the church.
When my window cleaning business was in it’s infancy I was very concerned about how others would react to this rather dramatic career change. What would my friends and family think? How would others react when I told them I was a window cleaner? My business coach can confirm that I had a REALLY big hang-up over all of this!
I’ve learned a lot since then. A lot about cleaning windows, a lot about running a business, a lot about myself. I’ve learned that there is true value to every job; no matter what it may be. I take a lot of pride in what I do. There is pride in looking at a house after I’ve finished cleaning some truly nasty windows. There is pride in providing for my family’s needs. I feel proud when I receive sincere appreciation from my clients. I feel pride every time I read the various reviews my clients have written about me (you can see some of them here: target=”_blank”>http://www.yelp.com/biz/clearly-professional-window-cleaning-tempe).
I may not know what path my life will travel or what my destination will be, but I do know I love where I’ve been, I love where I am . . . and I am excited about where I’m going (wherever that may be)!
“One day your life will flash before your eyes. Make sure it’s worth watching.” –Unknown