jb-1916

Recipe for Failure in the Janitorial Cleaning Business: The Flying Grasshopper Story

The Flying Grasshopper Story

I walk at a local park several days a week. It’s basically a 6 ft. wide asphalt paved path that
winds through a field of trees, tall grass and even a few pretty good size ponds.

Anyway, during one of my walks, the actual asphalt path was particularly covered with
grasshoppers -all kinds, ranging from:

1. The super small ones, to

2. The middle size ones that can get some kind of tar-like gunk on your shirt when they jump up
on you, all the way up to

3. The larger ‘flying’ kind.

I haven’t looked into it, but my guess is there’s something about the warmth of the pavement they
like – no, like isn’t strong enough – apparently got to have.

Well, one of these larger flying ones that was up ahead sitting right where I was headed – jumped,
as I got near him and flew to what I thought would be into the field – to safety.

But not this one – he just flew ahead of me about 25 ft., but didn’t get out of the way.

He didn’t jump to safety on either side into the field – but, instead just plopped himself down,
right back in the middle of the path.

I know, not amazing of a story yet, but the difference is that this was only the beginning.

That’s right, as I came storming (walking) directly at him again – he did the exact same thing – jumping about 25 ft. ahead only to land directly in the middle of my way, again.

Long story short, he didn’t quit, he didn’t change his strategy a bit – and kept narrowly escaping me stepping on him!

#1. I was so fascinated and I think I would have followed him indefinitely – only stopping for injury or darkness, just to see how this would end.

#2 Afterwards, I wanted to report it to the nearest scientist for further study; but didn’t. (kidding)

Ok, he eventually, and I mean eventually, jumped out of the way (into the field) – but only after following this habit nearly half way around the park.

Fine, the ‘grasshopper story’ isn’t going to become the subject of a block buster movie any time
soon – so why did I share it with you today?

Now, I know the reason why this behavior happened could be chalked-up to something as simple as chance or just one grasshopper instinctually trying to find a warm spot on the pavement.

But, it was remarkable how this one grasshopper stubbornly stuck with his futile strategy -
mindlessly, endlessly – but never quite getting to his goal ( a place of safety where he wouldn’t get
stepped on.)

Ok now to the point, and I think there is one, is this:

Sometimes, we can be like that grasshopper – continually, endlessly, mindlessly, doing the same
thing, over and over again – but never really changing the outcome.

It’s like the old definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again – but expecting a different result.

Are you or I ever like the grasshopper in how we run our cleaning businesses?

If you’ve answered yes, good for you, for being honest, and don’t despair – the first step to getting real results, different results, desired results is knowing that what you’re doing now is not working.

The next step is doing something (planned, thoughtful) about it by making a real change.

Please leave your comments below. Thanks, Dan

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