How I Consciously Became A Frugal Carpet Cleaning Owner
As I’m driving my carpet cleaning van down the road, I pass some of the most beautiful cars, BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis and I think to myself, I can afford to drive those cars. I imagine most don’t own them outright, they’re probably paying between $400-$500 a month. I can afford that. I then picture myself driving down through Connecticut on my way to Foxwoods in this beautiful car. Then I pull into my driveway and stare at my thirteen year old Volvo. It’s nice, not a scratch and it runs beautifully. I own it so I don’t have to pay any interest to a bank. Then I say to myself; how will my life be any different driving that BMW or Audi. The answer is it won’t!
I have numerous carpet cleaning accounts with many millionaire business owners and they all have one thing in common, “They buy what they need, not what they want”. Eighty percent of these owners don’t drive luxury cars, they don’t live in million dollar homes, and they work just as hard as the first day they started their businesses. The other twenty percent who flaunt their money are usually the ones who inherited the business from their parents and never had to work for anything. We have all heard of impulse shopping and for business owners this becomes more of a challenge because we’re constantly purchasing goods and services.
The day I realized I was a frugal carpet cleaning business owner was when I went out to dinner with my wife. After squeezing into a pair of slacks and sitting at the table in the restaurant, she asked me, Are those the same slacks you got married in twenty years ago? “I stated that they were and there is a small moth hole in them to prove it. I stated I don’t need to buy slacks because we don’t eat out often. Then I thought about that beautiful picture at Bed Bath & Beyond that I wanted for my family room, but I didn’t really need the picture. I wanted it. Well needless to say that was a year ago and I never bought it! That night I started to realize just how efficiently I run my business. And I do nothing on the cheap. I use the finest chemicals and equipment that the carpet cleaning industry has to offer including giveaways to my customers.
So how did I become a frugal business owner? I trained myself without even realizing it! Here is what I would do. I would go into carpet cleaning supply stores, department stores or even grocery stores, and while shopping, when I saw something I was interested in purchasing, I would ask the question; “Do I need this or do I just want it?” I would say seventy five percent of the time it was something I did not need. I think of the thousands of dollars that I have saved from not buying stuff I didn’t need. I used to write “Tony buy what you need not what you want” and I would put it on the wall in front of my desk. After a while I would take it down and write it over to reinforce the message. I started writing a list of items before I went into the store, and I would only buy those things on the list. Whenever I go shopping I feel there is someone right next to me telling me to get what you need Tony and move on! There are many of us who shop impulsively for the instant gratification it gives. But we can be trained to do just the opposite! After time goes by you will do it subconsciously.
1. Write yourself at least three notes that state: I will buy only the things I need not what I want. Put these three notes where you will see them throughout the day. Take them down in two weeks, write them over and place them in other places. Do this exercise until you realize you longer need these notes.
2. When you go into any store including your supplier, ask the question “do I need this or do I just want it”? If you need it, buy it, if not, move on!
3. It’s also very important to remember the things that you would have purchased if you were not being frugal.
4. Buy yourself a notebook and at the end of each day I want you to write down all the items that you wanted to buy but didn’t need and the cost of the these items. You will soon start to realize not only are you saving thousands of dollars but that money can be reinvested in your company which will produce even more profits!
This exercise is not as easy as you may think. You’re going to feel sad at times when you do not purchase something you really want, and you’re going to feel bad when you buy things you know you didn’t need. The emotions are incredibly strong, because we have been raised to believe money is for spending! We all feel at times a sense of entitlement and we rationalize this with, well I worked hard this week or I have that extra money coming in. Do you want to be a frugal business owner? Here’s a blue print, Good Luck!