Why I Started a Cleaning Business

The Day I was Fired

In early 2013, my world was flipped upside down.  I was fired.  I will never forget the moment.  My boss told me to meet her that Monday Morning.  I remember walking into the office.  I remember my boss putting me on a conference call with the human resources department.  I remember listening to the lady, over the phone, explain that it just wasn’t working out.

I remember walking out of the office, through my store (the store I managed). I remember the “strangeness” of saying good bye to my top employee.  It was over so quickly.

It was a surreal moment.  As with so many things in life, the “significant moments” come with an Emotional Paradox.

On one side of the paradox, I was extremely relieved to be out of that work situation.  It was so dysfunctional, and frankly I hated it.

One the other side of the paradox was the feeling of anxiety.  I was the main “bread winner” for my family, and I had just lost my steady “paycheck.”

I remember driving home to my empty house.  I remember getting out a piece of paper and trying to calculate how long I would be able to pay the bills.  I remember telling my wife that I had been fired.  I remember that she cried.  I think I did too.

Searching for a New Job was Hell

Though I don’t remember the exact dates of when everything happened, I do remember the MISERY of the job search.  I also remember the MISERY of standing in the “unemployment line” to get my “unemployment check.”  It was Hell for me.

For most of my life, I would have been characterized as a leader.  In academics, things came pretty easy to me.  In high school, I was in “accelerated classes,” and in college I was in the “Honors Program.”  I graduated with a High GPA, and I made the “Dean’s List” on several occasions.

Out of college, I was hired to the “Management Training Program” with Sherwin Williams, and I quickly worked my way up the food chain until I was managing the Sherwin Williams Paint Store in Buckhead, Ga.

From this retail management world, I moved to Banking.  I was in banking from 2003 to 2012.  (I think, but I don’t remember the exact dates.)   I then left banking to pursue work at a Non-Profit Organization.  It was and is a very respected non-profit,  but, for whatever reason.. they fired me within about 6 months of hiring me.

Yes, it was very hurtful to both myself and to my wife.

I was in my mid-30’s.  I had a wife.  I had two children, and I had no job.  I would have to start over.

The Agony of the “I almost got a Job”

At the time, I considered “looking for a job” to be my job.  I often went to the library to work.  It really helped to get out of the house and at least “feel like” I had a place to go.

However, finding a New Career was very hard.  I filled out On-Line Applications, and I made appointments with folks to try to get the word out.

I let people know that “Adam Johnson, the great Adam Johnson, was available!!”  They were no longer impressed.

Do you remember all that talk that we got, when we were young… “If you get good grades, you will get a good job.”  That is simply not true.  There is so much more to finding a “good job” than just “getting a good education.”

One of the most promising opportunities came in the form of an “Insurance Underwriter” for a respected company in Chattanooga, Tennessee.  I was told that there had been a lot of people who applied for the job.  (I remember the number being about 190, though I can’t say for sure.)

I made it to the finals of the application process.  I had been invited to do two “in person” interviews at their Chattanooga office.  I gladly drove the 320 + miles round trip for each interview.  I happily did it.  It was much better than sitting in the library filling out “On-Line Applications” for companies that would probably never respond.

The final interview was one of the strangest moments in my life!  After my long drive, I got there.  I had been told beforehand to prepare a presentation.  I was ready, but when I got there, they “through me a curve ball.”

I was told that I would be presenting with one of my fellow applicants.  In other words, I would be co-presenting with a competitor to a group of decision makers!!!!

For simplicity sake, let’s call my competitor “Lucy.”  Lucy was a very nice girl.  How was I to play this?  I did not want to come across rude, but I also did not want Lucy to look smarter than me.  It was a real conundrum.

It got even stranger.  Lucy and I were told that we could not prepare our co-presentation in private.  We were told that our preparation would be done in front of the decision making panel.

Can you imagine?  Now, when you say things like…

“Lucy, what do you think the risk model should be for “x?”

In the back or your mind you are thinking…. “Do I look dumb asking this question?  What is the panel thinking when they see me ask questions.  Do I look weak?  Perhaps I should not ask Lucy, but rather tell her what think it is.”

I imagine Lucy was thinking the same thing about me.  It was awkward.

In the end, I did not get the job.  I suspect “Lucy,” a lady who already worked at the company, and a lady whom I am sure was very qualified, got one of the open slots.

I had the “honor” of being in the “Finals” of this job sweepstakes, but after all that work, I was at the same place that I had started.  I was sitting in my house with NO JOB.

This is the backstory that led me to Start My Cleaning Business.

How this Story Can Help You

As of July 2018, TurnClean Services will have been in business for 5 years!  Wow!  Praise God!

As I wrote the article above, I can’t say for sure if every detail is accurate.  Its amazing, time does dull the memory a bit, but I do remember the raw feelings that came with being fired.

I also remember the day I decided to Start My Cleaning Business.

Today, I am grateful that I was fired.  I love being an entrepreneur, and I would not want to be anything else.  Its been a hard, hard journey getting to this point, and frankly, I am still on that journey.  There is still so far to go, but I do take satisfaction knowing TurnClean Services has made it to its 5 year birthday.  🙂

One of the most valuable things for me on this journey was and is having a friends and mentors who have advised me along the way.  One such friend and confidant is Travis Cassell.  He was one of the main reasons that I started TurnClean Services, and I can tell that story at a later date.

If you are thinking of Starting a Cleaning Business, You Need a Mentor

As you might guess, I have started offering coaching sessions to folks who desire to start a cleaning company.

I have attached the details here…..    https://www.turncleanservices.com/coaching-for-new-cleaning-business/

Whether you are looking for “On-Going Coaching,” or just a “One Time Conversation” to ask questions, I would encourage you to visit the above site.


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