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From Cleaner to Company Owner Comments

  • By Cheryl Schantz
  • March 15, 2013

household chores

When Cheryl Schantz realized her company was making four times what she did for each house she cleaned, and decided to strike out on her own, it was a major Financial Turning Point for her.—and for her three kids.

I started having children when I was young, and had three by the age of 20. I’ve been on my own ever since, and, for years, I struggled to find good work.

Instead of being able to get a good education, I was a full-time mother. I got jobs occasionally just to get by. But I always ended up doing the same type of work—mostly housecleaning and waitressing.

I worked for several different companies as a housecleaner and, being the clean freak that I am, I was good at it. I also retained information about other aspects of the field, like pricing, bidding, and how they sold the job.

After gaining years of experience, I felt like I was just working too hard for too little pay. And that’s no joke. Say a client's price was $150. I went into the home and had three hours to get the job done. I would make $27. The supplies might cost $8. The rest went to the company.

Subtract $35 from the $150 fee and the company was making an average of $115 per house! That’s more than four times what I got. Imagine if they had three houses per day per employee, I thought: They could make about $345 per person per day. Wow!

That did it. I realized that I had enough confidence and knowledge to branch out on my own. And on December 26, 2006, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Cheryl Schantz

I kept my job at the cleaning company initially because I figured business would be slow at first. To start out, I advertised my business, Cheryl’s Touch, on Craigslist. In my first month, I made $1,600! That's very good compared to the $70 I was making cleaning three houses a day.

People were telling me to not be discouraged because cleaning businesses usually start out slow. But mine did not. Cheryl's Touch really took off. It was so successful that I actually had to quit my other job way before I thought I would.

My business continued to grow, and now I have all the clients I need. I'm making enough money—finally—to live comfortably.

Read more inspiring Financial Turning Point stories:

Find out how Gina Nykerk paid off $16,000 in school loans.
See how Janet Alvarez found a balance between giving and getting.
Learn how Katie Westover got a nursing degree and got rid of her debt.

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