Fast Track Your Calling With Gerren Sprauve

He became a janitor on purpose to find his calling 

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Life Tips you'll learn today on The Sales Podcast...

  • What is your life calling?
  • Came to the U.S. in 2001 after college from the Virgin Islands
  • Family of educators
  • Soon became dissatisfied in business
  • His wife was frustrated in work
  • They were open to new opportunities in life
  • Their waiter/busser wasn't happy and Gerren thanked him...and that put a spring in his step
  • So he soon quit his job and became a janitor

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  • He called companies who tried to sell him a franchise
  • He started handing out fliers to grow his own janitorial business
  • He was too broad in his initial marketing
  • Would've narrowed his niche at first
  • Still friends with his first client, a residential client, "and we're still friends"
  • It was all difficult because the devil is in the details
  • It was hard to find mentors
  • Worked with "Service Magic" for leads at $18 each
  • He asked qualifying questions
  • Better service or consistency or better cleaning, and sometimes they're just looking for a friend
  • He didn't have "game" back in the day when he was dating, so approaching people cold was hard
  • He didn't have systems set up at first
  • Worked as a courier as well so people would welcome him
  • Kept a jacket in his car, cleaned overnight, headed out when a lead came in
  • Started in 2006 and was grinding for probably four years
  • Building a business is key
  • He was frustrated when he realized he was tied to his self-employed job instead of owning a business
  • He switched from 45 contractors via two companies to employees
  • He couldn't steal them, but he didn't know them, but he saw how stressed they were
  • The contractors weren't happy
  • The cleaning company quit on him and fired the contractors in 2014
  • He showed up, and there were 17 staffers ready to work
  • He had to buy $10,000 in material right then
  • Organization and processes were not his strengths
  • Met someone at Toast Masters, and he became her first client
  • He remained focused in the 2008 downturn and always sought to add value
  • Those lessons have helped him during the 2020 COVID-19 downturn
  • "Meet...learn...share?"
  • Met a business coach through Dan Kennedy, who recommended he write down things for his own case studies
  • We are created for a reason that God knows
  • We have plans, and God chuckles
  • God has awakened someone who needs to meet you
  • Ask God, "meet...learn...share?"

Links Mentioned In The Sales Podcast


Wes Schaeffer: After all these years, I get to speak to the man, the myth, the legend, all the way from Orlando, Florida, author of fast track you're calling Gerren Sprauve. Welcome to sales podcast man, how are you

Gerren Sprauve: Hey, I'm doing very well wasn't doing well. Happy to be talking to you live.

Wes Schaeffer: So, so now you challenged me. So now I'm going to sit up straight and I've got a list of 37 questions I'm going to ask you. We're going to be very rigid

Gerren Sprauve: Very structured

Gerren Sprauve: That's not, that's not what

Wes Schaeffer: You know, I didn't try that. I think, I think I made it through three episodes of, like, all right, I'm gonna send these guys are like this was years ago.

Wes Schaeffer: These questions. So a first time I did that way to make washes the thing went forever. And I tried it. I think one or two more times. Like, yeah, I'm not doing that anymore. We're just going with the flow, man.

Wes Schaeffer: You, you have an interesting background and for our listeners when you're talking about fast track your calling. We're not saying cold calling this is more like your calling in life right

Gerren Sprauve: That is true. That is true. Yeah, absolutely. And, you know, the more I am on this journey of being more aware as to my purpose. I'm like why I'm in business.

Gerren Sprauve: The more I realize that there's a lot of personal work that has to be done in order for me to be most effective out there in the sales field. So yeah, absolutely.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, I've always said you know the guy I had him on my podcasts.

Wes Schaeffer: Few years ago and I just flew to Alabama to help my dad with little storm repair and drove over to Pensacola, and met with

Wes Schaeffer: My friend Steve Clarke. He was my sales mentor, he always said, you know, selling is a calling serving is its purpose questioning is the process and a sale may be the solution, right. So he's like, do you feel like what you're doing is you're calling

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: You know, and that's what you what you get into, but I mean you you emigrated from the islands, right, when did you come to the US.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah. Well, when I moved to the mainland. It was in 1996 when I was on my way to college.

Wes Schaeffer: Oh, cool. All right.

Wes Schaeffer: And, you know, in the mainland. I guess technically I mean it is the US but well there's us and the British Virgin Islands. Right.

Gerren Sprauve: Now, my mother. She's from British Virgin Islands. Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: Gotcha. Alright, cool.

Wes Schaeffer: So 96

Wes Schaeffer: You're going to college and then but you ended up as a janitor. So what walk me through that transition

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: Did you always own your own business or did you fall on hard times and you ended up being a janitor, like what what happened.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah so. So no, I didn't own makin islands. My father had a business and my uncle's they had businesses. So I've grown up kind of in that whole

Gerren Sprauve: Environment of business ownership, as well as educators. So my grandmother, my mother, my brother, my sister. They're all educators, so I fallen into that valley.

Gerren Sprauve: Um, when I moved here to Florida in 2001 after graduating college. I got my first job and I was ecstatic. In the beginning, and then two, three years into it.

Gerren Sprauve: I became very miserable because I recognize that I wasn't able to do the things that I love doing. I was on the phone talking to people all the time, but it wasn't

Gerren Sprauve: The kind of conversation like what you and I have. I like enjoying like listening to you, listening to people who are in business and their challenges and so forth. So I was eager to find something different.

Gerren Sprauve: I just didn't know what it was, but I became very open open to whatever that was going on around me.

Gerren Sprauve: My wife. She was miserable and frustrated in her job. And so we were both quite open and had an opportunity when I was taking her out for dinner.

Gerren Sprauve: I saw this gentleman who was wiping down the table, and he didn't look happy.

Gerren Sprauve: So, as he wiped down the table, and he finished preparing it he kind of walked away and I looked at him, I said, Excuse me, sir. Thank you.

Gerren Sprauve: And he turned to me and he's wondering like why are you telling me. Thank you. And I said, well, you didn't just wipe down the table you prepare the place for my wife and I have dinner. If you didn't do that. You wouldn't stay here, which is a sale.

Gerren Sprauve: He looked at me, and then he began to smile and he took off to another table and he started wiping it down, he, smiling and he's looking around and you know just full of excitement and I looked at my wife, like, yo, I want to do that again.

Gerren Sprauve: So again, I told you I was wide open. Several months later I quit my job to become a janitor. The reason a janitor is because I wanted to understand why he was so frustrated. What went on in his brain and made him click and then realize like, yo, I am actually preparing places for people

Gerren Sprauve: And from that, that moment I did, I made a bold step. It was scary but but i did it live.

Wes Schaeffer: So you just

Wes Schaeffer: Went to what you just found a cleaning company said, hey, I want to be on work for you.

Wes Schaeffer: Did you start your own business.

Gerren Sprauve: So I went around and I started interviewing companies like Jamie King and jam pro and they were trying to get me to, to, you know, all the franchise. And I told them up.

Gerren Sprauve: Tell me, what would be the difference. If you guys made a sale.

Gerren Sprauve: And gave me the job, or I made a sale and gave me. It gave myself a job and they said, Well, you know, we'll go out there, we'll get accounts for you. And then we'll give you, I think it was like

Gerren Sprauve: I forgot the Senate, but it was really crazy and I said, and you're going to give me that amount because you did what

Gerren Sprauve: Because you've

Gerren Sprauve: Locked in a sale was like, I can do that. I can talk to people and they're like, No, no, no, no. You need to go through us. Nothing. No, no, no, no. I think I can do this. And, um, I just stepped out there and started handing out flyers.

Gerren Sprauve: The more I think about it. It was crazy and scary, but I was that frustrated. So something has to change.

Wes Schaeffer: And so what were you doing I. What was your W two job before that.

Gerren Sprauve: Oh, so I worked for an insurance company as a claims adjuster doing workers comp claims calling on employers calling on employees making you know helping us to get back to work, you know, talking to attorneys.

Wes Schaeffer: Right, but

Gerren Sprauve: The conversations weren't up my alley.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah. So you're like, All right, you print out some flyers, you say, I'm going to become a janitor.

Wes Schaeffer: Now, and I got imagine I mean like we all know like kind of how to clean right counters dirty. My wife's one get mad.

Wes Schaeffer: I know how to clean to her standards. So actually, I guess, deep down, married men have the potential to be great janitors right but i mean like commercially. Come on. It's a little different.

Gerren Sprauve: It is

Gerren Sprauve: It is

Gerren Sprauve: Um, the cleaning wasn't the hardest part. The hardest part for me was a six foot four black guy go T i didn't have always didn't always smile as much walking up to people saying, hey, I will clean your home or I will clean your office.

Wes Schaeffer: So what did. What did you focus on home or commercial or both or whatever.

Gerren Sprauve: I focus on anything because my wife was at home. Well, she wasn't literally at home, but she was expecting me to continue taking care of my financial obligations.

Gerren Sprauve: Right, so

Gerren Sprauve: I was open to anything, anything that are cleaning. I was I was willing to do

Gerren Sprauve: Mm hmm. I

Wes Schaeffer: Mean, even that would be a lesson. Right. I mean, looking back, would you have picked a niche. Would you like targeted a neighborhood or or a business district, you know and and tighten that that farming, a little bit.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah, great question. Great question. I think I would have looking back, I would, I would have

Gerren Sprauve: Stuck with commercial, residential for me was, um, was very personal and

Gerren Sprauve: Seeing that I had a home. I knew how it felt to have somebody a stranger walking into my home. And so I was always respectful of people's homes and privacy and

Gerren Sprauve: Thinking about bringing on employees to go into someone's home was was scary for me. I don't think that I had the tools necessary to train the team to have the right mindset.

Gerren Sprauve: To go in to someone's home and respect their home. I think it was easier for me to make that transition through commercial properties. So I would have focused on commercial

Wes Schaeffer: So who was your first client. Do you remember


Gerren Sprauve: Yes.

Gerren Sprauve: And we're still friends, my first client. There was a home and their name was Connie.

Gerren Sprauve: Yes, Connie and and David foot to be exactly last names. Oh, they're on Facebook. They might they might hear this but also people awesome people

Gerren Sprauve: There my first time.

Wes Schaeffer: So I, how did that work. I mean, did you have contracts. Like, where do you get this one thing I'm gonna jump in. But then you realize the devil really isn't the details like what does my contract. How do I accept payments, you know, hell, and he cleaning supplies me

Wes Schaeffer: How do you know

Gerren Sprauve: So that whole that whole process was pretty difficult for me because I i was oftentimes went out looking for people who were already in the industry.

Gerren Sprauve: For mentorship and no one wanted to share information at least the people that I came in contact, but they weren't interested in

Gerren Sprauve: Action with me. They felt like I was going to be their competitor. It just didn't come out well. So I went through, I believe it was service magic. I'm not sure if they're still around, but they would get leads and sell them to you at $18 a pop

Gerren Sprauve: Have to be very quickly be quick because they were going to send out those same least the three other

Gerren Sprauve: Companies, so I got on the horn and I started them as soon as the lead came in, I would call and

Gerren Sprauve: I got an opportunity to to get before a few folks and sell myself, of course, a lot of people close their doors didn't respond to me.

Gerren Sprauve: You know when I showed up again six foot four. I'm going to clean your house didn't really go well. So I had to work on my craft. How was I going to show up.

Gerren Sprauve: But I show up with a smile on my face. You know what I were to khaki pants and a white shirt to kind of look neutral enough. You know, I tried so many different things for them to allow me into their space and have that conversation. So it was a process, man.

Wes Schaeffer: So service managers, giving you lead but they're not giving you a contract right like paperwork. So, like, how do you, you know, like what do you sighs It just verbal. Yeah. How come every other week. And, you know,

Wes Schaeffer: 100 bucks. I mean, how do you

Gerren Sprauve: How do you even do this the way that I did it in the beginning when I didn't have much information was, I would ask them.

Gerren Sprauve: How you know do you currently have a cleaning service or do you currently have a vendor, they would say yes or no, um,

Gerren Sprauve: What would you like to improve like why am I here is what I would ask them, and they will tell me all the different things that he wanted to have done better.

Gerren Sprauve: Than I would ask them, would you mind share with me what you're paying this person or this company, sometimes they will share. Sometimes they wouldn't, but they would give me a number, sometimes

Gerren Sprauve: And when they did, I would ask them, and for that amount you wanted them to do say what and they would tell me. And you're saying that you're not getting that

Gerren Sprauve: So if, if you were to increase that a little bit. Do you think they would have done better for you, Gary. None. And I don't want, I don't want them anymore. I'm looking for someone new.

Gerren Sprauve: What's that price and I will increase the number that they will then he mentioned to me just a little bit because if they were looking for an improvement than I should be that improvement.

Gerren Sprauve: You know he's

Gerren Sprauve: Also a little bit more is what I thought. And that's kind of how I started picking up clients. Now, they weren't always profitable but I there were a lot of lessons that were learned through that process.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm hmm.

Gerren Sprauve: None of that didn't do the paperwork. It was just by word in the beginning until I got it.

Wes Schaeffer: Did you do windows.

Wes Schaeffer: Windows. Do you do windows.

Gerren Sprauve: I do like literally before I came here to my office. I was just setting up for my team windows literally

Gerren Sprauve: Hi. Nice. Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: never understood that. We don't do and why is our windows, really that hard. What's the problem.

Gerren Sprauve: You know, sometimes they can be. And I think some people are fearful because hard water gets on the glass.

Gerren Sprauve: And get far as the process. Sometimes it's time consuming. Sometimes you can exit the glass and then that becomes a whole nother

Gerren Sprauve: Problem, we'll just run from it because it's not as highly productive.

Gerren Sprauve: If you don't price it well.

Wes Schaeffer: Right. What are people really looking for when they're hiring you. Are they are they looking for, like, the best clean of their entire lives so

Wes Schaeffer: Their family could eat off the floor. If they had to, or is it just is it consistency is, you know, because how do you handle like scope creep because it happens in any business.

Wes Schaeffer: Right and so do they want that deep clean every time or like a man's all just kind of decent lungs. Nothing's obvious dust devils are blowing across, you know, I'm fine. Just, just keep it.

Wes Schaeffer: Make my house respectable

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah. Well, I mean, let's go back to what your coach told you. Back in the day, you know, we talked about asking questions. You know, and, and I find that when you ask questions, you find out exactly what it is that's that's agitating that customer

Gerren Sprauve: So sometimes we get clients because they want better customer service.

Gerren Sprauve: Sometimes we get clients because they just want consistency. You're dependable you show up when you say you're going to show up.

Gerren Sprauve: Sometimes they want to improve the clean all together. Sometimes I found, I found some clients are looking sometimes looking for a friend like something, strangely enough,

Gerren Sprauve: Someone that they can talk to even while they're there. So, so I have had clients who have kept us on because we brought value to their organization meaning when we showed up.

Gerren Sprauve: You know, we saw issue that we're going on. We will talk to them about it and we would actually bring solutions that has nothing to do with janitorial just ideas that we read in inked magazine or you know something in borders in a bookstore.

Gerren Sprauve: So it's all a different thing. I mean, people are asking for, for you to show up for different reasons. And it's our job to find out what that is. I think cleaning is just the vehicle that gets us in the door. This is that they're looking for. So we focus on those things.


Wes Schaeffer: So let's go back to the whole good the undercurrent of what you mentioned is racism, right. I'm a big six foot four black guy.

Wes Schaeffer: Up. I mean, and you're in the Deep South. I mean, it exists. I grew up in the South. I know it's there.

Wes Schaeffer: Have you seen people like over time. Do you think it has gotten better, or do you think like you just got better and maybe people are more accepting of you.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah, you know,

Gerren Sprauve: That I'm gonna go with the ladder on that one.

Gerren Sprauve: Because okay so going up in the islands.

Gerren Sprauve: My the you know the the doctors were black the attorneys were black. The teachers of black, you know, everyone looked like me, so there wasn't that much of a glass.

Wes Schaeffer: You have many good looking people in that what you're saying they're just all gods and goddesses. What is that I need to move, man.

Gerren Sprauve: You know, a nice tan on you would look just like

Wes Schaeffer: A pretty good back a little French Creole me baby. That's right.

Gerren Sprauve: So,

Gerren Sprauve: Um, because of those things that I mentioned to you, for me at least, I, I was focused on what I would say would be the right things for me.

Gerren Sprauve: So my father entrepreneur, someone who served the community religiously, sometimes even more than his family, he, he served the hell out of the community, um,

Gerren Sprauve: He talked about always being solution oriented. So for me it was if I showed up and they slammed on my face. Okay. Well, that didn't feel good.

Gerren Sprauve: Like, what could I do. So I'm looking at my cell phone, you know, just thinking about myself. Sometimes I would keep this space right and I would go to the mirror.

Gerren Sprauve: And I look at that space. And I'm like, ah, hmm, what if I rubbed it out and I just came like this, you know, I mean it was just always a progression of what can I do differently, what can I do better to solve that problem racism was not the first thing that came into my mind.

Wes Schaeffer: I'm

Gerren Sprauve: A big guy. I could be, you know, intimidating looking so it was like, How can I stand back further for them to see me and I'm not right in their face. So there were just so many things I worked on.

Gerren Sprauve: Right wanted to get better. So that's, those are the challenges that I i work to overcome.

Gerren Sprauve: Less and if somebody didn't want me in their space for whatever reason, then I was fine with that.

Gerren Sprauve: I just wanted to along the way.

Wes Schaeffer: Right, yeah. So

Wes Schaeffer: Did you do things like flyers and direct mail or mean it was it was everything. Anything and everything. I was just door knocking. In the beginning, just to see Him face to face Orlando's first deals

Gerren Sprauve: Right, right, right, right. So I go back and I and I

Gerren Sprauve: I was just talking to my, my wife, the other day and I told her, you know, when I was a kid, I wasn't a guy who could just walk up to a to a girl randomly and just start spinning game like talking to them and just getting them going.

Wes Schaeffer: I just couldn't do that.

Gerren Sprauve: For me being a friend. And then if we were a match or if we felt good around each other. Hey, let's do something

Gerren Sprauve: But also, so the whole idea of walking up to strangers was very difficult for me internally to even do so. Yes, I've tried to flyers. I think you and I, like, I met you.

Gerren Sprauve: Back in the days when I was really into like Dan Kennedy type stuff, you know,

Gerren Sprauve: It will push an infusion soft and all these different you know mechanisms funnels, and so forth, right, like I wanted to do all of that. But that was so far ahead of me.

Gerren Sprauve: Like I was just the soul guy a self employed guy one guy out there doing this. I didn't know how to set up systems and things of that nature and

Gerren Sprauve: So, so a lot of what I did was flyers or word of mouth like I became friends with people.

Gerren Sprauve: Added value to their lives. And then when they would ask me like, Well, you know, what do you do, I would mention it to them again when you should talk to

Gerren Sprauve: And that was my way in. And that was most comfortable for me, whether it was the right thing, or the wrong thing. It was just what was most comfortable for me to start getting clients and even, even when I started, even when I while being a janitor. I took on the job of being a career.

Gerren Sprauve: Because I saw that the UPS guy would be able to come into the office and everybody's loving the UPS guy a York air. I'm like, I want that, like, how can I

Gerren Sprauve: Career Express. So I got a job with Korea express so I can deliver packages and as I did that they welcomed me into their offices and then I would ask them, hey,

Gerren Sprauve: You have someone cleaning your office, no guarantee you know somebody. As a matter of fact I hand him the card. And that was how I picked up a couple more clients, man. So it was I tried everything was

Wes Schaeffer: Man, I mean, look, that could be really smart. I could also get you fired as a career.

Gerren Sprauve: It could be

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, I mean you gotta be careful.

Wes Schaeffer: But then how would you have time, would you clean it nights or just or was it like our time was a career.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah, so, so I would do the courier work during the day, or in the late afternoons, because that's when the bulk of their business was going on like around three, six, I would do that. And then after that I would go and clean but I will always have a jacket in my car.

Gerren Sprauve: Because I would clean through tonight.

Gerren Sprauve: Man, I miss my wife during those times. I will clean through tonight. And then in the morning if I got a call or leave from service magic.

Gerren Sprauve: Have to throw on the jacket, real quick to head out to the account or, you know, and try to talk to people. So I was always ready and I was always on the go. I'm just always prepared for for anything, man. So

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: How, how long would you say you were grinding before like you had some system, you're like, Okay, this is a real business, not just a side hustle.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah, yeah. Okay. So I started in in 2006, I would say.

Gerren Sprauve: For years, about four years. And the reason why it took me that long. And I think this is the one thing that people run into. Okay, so I'm a firm believer

Gerren Sprauve: About building businesses, not just being self employed. Okay and here's why.

Gerren Sprauve: Sometimes I will look online. I would see that you would go and you're out with your family, you know, and you're traveling and

Gerren Sprauve: And I'm like, Okay, well, what's he can work from anywhere. So he's good. But then I remember the days when I wanted to travel with my family or my wife for Thanksgiving.

Gerren Sprauve: And I couldn't go because I have clients to quaint and it's like I want, I want to go. I love Thanksgiving. I'm going to call my family, but I have to clean.

Gerren Sprauve: A friend of mine. His name is George brandy, he mentioned to me says Gehring. Have you ever thought about building a business versus being self employed and I was like, well, what's the difference, because again, I was just in grind mode. He said, Let me tell you, when he told me about it.

Gerren Sprauve: I got introduced the next to the book by Michael Gerber the E myth why small businesses fail or something like that. What to do about it.

Gerren Sprauve: And when I read that and I started understanding systems and the reason behind systems and how it works and the freedom that you get, how do I want this.

Gerren Sprauve: So I went out and I started contracting help assistance until I switched from contractors to them employees but it took me. It took me at least three about three and a half years to get it. Mm hmm.

Wes Schaeffer: So how big was your team at that point of contractors

Gerren Sprauve: Contractors I had on. Well, I probably had

Gerren Sprauve: 45

Wes Schaeffer: Oh, well, they were all contractors

Gerren Sprauve: They were all contractors. Yeah, I was working a fossil so

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah yeah yeah had that out there.

Wes Schaeffer: So much if you have 45 contractors and now you make them employees, like from a cash flow standpoint, I mean do you do you go from 45 contractors to 30 employees.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah.

Gerren Sprauve: Great question. Yeah. So, so I didn't have, just to be clear, I didn't have 45 different contracted companies I had

Wes Schaeffer: Tony individuals. Right.

Gerren Sprauve: Into yes

Gerren Sprauve: Yes.

Gerren Sprauve: It will work for those companies, um,

Gerren Sprauve: Oh you stopped out, you said about the companies.

Wes Schaeffer: That provided the labor.

Wes Schaeffer: Correct. Oh, gotcha. Okay, so that

Wes Schaeffer: That made it easier for you to manage. But you're now you're given up you're given up higher margin right because of their overhead.

Gerren Sprauve: Correct, so high and no connection no real connection with the people.

Gerren Sprauve: Right. The, the owners of the company, hoping that they will follow through on what we talked about

Wes Schaeffer: Now you've got a transition. You can't steal those people probably right.

Wes Schaeffer: So you gotta get you gotta go bring on your own.

Wes Schaeffer: Pete and I gotta hire you got to interview, get on board.

Gerren Sprauve: But let me tell you this. Here's what happened though, so I was looking at those employees those contracted employees and they were looking exhausted.

Gerren Sprauve: bloodshot red eyes veins popping out of their size, their temples and I'm like yo. Are you guys okay but they wouldn't say anything because I'm not their

Gerren Sprauve: Their, their, their boss, but I would watch them. I would show up sometimes I'm a short to the job and just hang out in the parking lot and just watch them go. And I'm like, These people don't look happy.

Gerren Sprauve: And and one day I was speaking to this happened over a period of time, but I was speaking to the owner and asking her, okay, what's going on with your team getting there. Okay, they're fine. They're just a little tired.

Gerren Sprauve: Okay, why doesn't your team perform well again we'll figure it out. But she was always quick to get that check

Gerren Sprauve: And I was always delivering it. You know, do do my part, but it came a point in time where she got frustrated with me because I was asking too much of her that she just quit on me one Monday morning, literally, I have worked until three that morning.

Gerren Sprauve: Got up at six came into the office when I came in. There was a gift bag on my desk with all the keys to my accounts and she just quit.

Gerren Sprauve: And when she quit. She fired all those employees.

Wes Schaeffer: So I can be good for you.

Gerren Sprauve: And it was it was I did at the time, but I showed up and it was calling the people and I'm like yo, like you guys okay and they're like, don't worry about it. We got people like what do you mean we got people

Gerren Sprauve: Like, don't worry. We got people I showed up to one of my accounts and they were like 17 people out there and they said if you would hire us. We will work for you.

Gerren Sprauve: Immediately I had employees. I had on my jacket I took my jacket off and I asked them, I said, Where do you need me to go and they're like, No, you're the boss. I'm like,

Gerren Sprauve: You're the boss. Where do you need me to go grab a vacuum right now when I clean and they started telling you what to do. I was out there vacuum in the hell out of things, man. Cleaning go and that's how I built my team literally started with 17

Wes Schaeffer: That's pretty cool, though.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, but then you gotta scramble right you got to like find an HR company you're like,

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: We need people on how do i do payroll and there's a whole lot that people

Gerren Sprauve: Don't get

Wes Schaeffer: It. Oh, no.

Gerren Sprauve: You doing this.

Wes Schaeffer: Again uniforms.

Wes Schaeffer: Right insurance.

Gerren Sprauve: I mean,

Wes Schaeffer: It all changes.

Gerren Sprauve: Quickly, quickly, I have to pull out 10 grand was that Monday afternoon, just like that.

Gerren Sprauve: To buy new equipment, because she took all their equipment. You know, like you said, Man aprons towels, all kinds of I have to buy everything like just right then and there to stay in business.

Gerren Sprauve: It was crazy.

Gerren Sprauve: It was crazy.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah, to you. That's the stuff that people don't recognize is happening behind the scenes, man.


Gerren Sprauve: Not always fun.

Wes Schaeffer: That's what I do, man. That's what I do.

Wes Schaeffer: So who's the first. Who's the next person you hire do you hire an office manager, do you, you know, do you hire a scheduler like because because you basically went from yourself with contractors to now, you're a company of 18

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah yeah

Wes Schaeffer: Who's 19 and 20

Gerren Sprauve: Right, so I'm all about. I love smile. I love people who aren't business okay just automatically. I love people. And then I love people who are in business.

Gerren Sprauve: So I'm always looking for people who I can give an opportunity to I recognize that my strengths weren't organization like

Gerren Sprauve: Processes and so forth. So I went out and I found me someone who was rigid in those areas and she was just starting her business like literally we met at Toastmasters and

Gerren Sprauve: We went out for coffee or something got to talking, find out what she was doing what I needed. How's I would you be willing, I became her first client.

Gerren Sprauve: And from there, she helped me to put structure in my business and we fought because I'm not again, not a structured guy, but that was the first person that I hired someone who could handle my operations.

Wes Schaeffer: But was she a contractor, though, or

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah yeah

Wes Schaeffer: Okay, yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, so she now is creating like so peas and stuff.

Wes Schaeffer: Right.

Wes Schaeffer: So just basically looking like okay, it's all chaos. We're just going to start

Gerren Sprauve: Fresh

Wes Schaeffer: Streamline and things

Wes Schaeffer: Cool. So that is so where are we 2006 that's 2010

Gerren Sprauve: That's about, yeah, that's about 2000 2010 no no 2010 is when I started contracted services.

Wes Schaeffer: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Gerren Sprauve: Or with employees. This occurred around 2014

Wes Schaeffer: Okay, yeah, you

Wes Schaeffer: Know, well, let's back up then because you you're grinding and oh six when the economy is booming. And then the economy is not booming from

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: Right. I mean, you're in Orlando, though. I mean, maybe it maybe I'll weathered it better with tourism and stuff. But I mean, they're still at had to. It was a downturn nationwide.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, how'd you grind through that.

Gerren Sprauve: So you remember I told you in the beginning, where if I was confronted with a problem. I would look at myself first. So even when that occurred when it was occurring. I was like, this TV.

Gerren Sprauve: Garen you know your, you know, your system, you know your wife expects you to get up in the morning when she gets up to go to work. You got to get up and go to work.

Gerren Sprauve: So I continue to do those things and and I continue to carve out time in my day to network with people and just build relationships, and when I was networking

Gerren Sprauve: I wasn't looking for accounts directly. I was looking for ways to add value to these relationships. So I would come home very excited to my wife. Oh my god. Joe, you should have seen had a great conversation with yesterday.

Gerren Sprauve: She would slow me down and ass did we pick up a new client. No, no, no, but

Gerren Sprauve: Let me tell you about Wes, and I'll be so excited. But it's that excitement that people saw in me and they said, you know what, I'm going to take a chance on this guy.

Gerren Sprauve: Let me introduce you to somebody else, introduce you to someone else and I stay focused. So as companies were closing shop.

Gerren Sprauve: I remain focus. I started talking to my clients who were sending people home and I would say, well, what if you cut back my hours, a little bit. I don't come let me not come five days, but I can three days. And now you can have some extra funds to save someone's job. It was like, what

Gerren Sprauve: What why you asked. No, we're not going to do that, you know, we're going to find the person we're going to keep you

Gerren Sprauve: And that's what kind of happy to keep me grinding through that period. So it was all about adding value, no matter the situation.

Gerren Sprauve: You're in business. If you're struggling. How can I have add value so that West can stay in business. So that's, you know, Lucy can stay in business.

Gerren Sprauve: That was my focus. And that's always been my focus and that kind of just kept things putting along the enemy. Like I truly, truly believe that God was like yeah, he was fully involved in all of this.

Mm hmm.

Wes Schaeffer: So how did those lessons help you in 2020 when we get another downturn.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah, yeah. Same thing, same thing. And I'm happy for those lessons lessons. It's very important.

Gerren Sprauve: And this is where people may say, you know, failure versus lessons I look at it as all lessons mine because when I'm at my desk and things are kind of tough.

Gerren Sprauve: I remember how God helped me back in 2008 2009 and I just go back to that period. Agreed. And it's like, Okay, God, who am I supposed to meet today. What am I supposed to learn what am I supposed to share. And those are the three questions that I start my day off with and

Gerren Sprauve: I just leave. I just go out into the day and if I bumping someone, it's like, I hear you. Okay, what am I supposed to share. Like sometimes people talking to me and I'm like praying, like, God, what am I supposed to share

Gerren Sprauve: And I'll just share work and then just things happen less like I don't know man. I'm not, I'm not out there being a sales. I'm out there, adding value as best as I can and then things happen.

Wes Schaeffer: Mm hmm.

Wes Schaeffer: Yeah, so why why the book is that a distraction is that

Wes Schaeffer: Taking away from the janitorial business is it increasing it.

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah. Um, so the book. You know, I had a coach and I met him through a guide him through Dan Kennedy and that's something I'm

Gerren Sprauve: And he always talked to me about writing down like the case studies of things that I've done like what just happened today. Before he became into the office. I'm going to write that down.

Gerren Sprauve: And he says, You just never know Garen when this will be valuable to someone else. I was like a booklet, The gang wider book for what, like who's gonna

Gerren Sprauve: But I wrote things down and the one, the one thing that I always refer back to is this was, if you're going down your highway and you see there's an accident ahead and I'm following you. Let's just say three, four miles behind

Gerren Sprauve: If you see there's an accident. You can call me and say, Yo Garen there's an accident. I want you to get off on the next exit, so you don't get stuck in this traffic.

Gerren Sprauve: That information that you've given me just three miles behind helps me to get off, take a detour and get to my destination on time. That was valuable. So if I look at what I've done.

Gerren Sprauve: Just in, you know, just in this little in isolation. If I look at what I've done is there someone who is two or three miles behind me. Who can benefit from what I've learned.

Gerren Sprauve: And that's the question that I asked myself, and that was a question that gave me permission to comfortably write the book.

Gerren Sprauve: Share. Again, just give it to somebody. You just never know how it's going to help them. And if it helps them then. Yay. Y'all when y'all get to our destination and also that's that's the reason behind writing

Wes Schaeffer: Unless it has a lot of pictures, man. It's not going to help me. All right, I

Gerren Sprauve: Mean, they were

Wes Schaeffer: Big prints small words, lots of pictures. Okay, you got to know your audience.

Gerren Sprauve: Let me. I gotta write another one.

Wes Schaeffer: Man Very cool. And so, but it's, I mean you just recently released it right


Gerren Sprauve: I'll just because he's a new waters. I mean, the plan that I had in place was totally different, um, I was just like, let me give a little bite sized bits to people, you know, hopefully it's you know perks up their attention. And let's see. But in January. That's when we're planning on launching

Gerren Sprauve: Not official

Wes Schaeffer: Well, this will come out. Just in time.

Wes Schaeffer: The deal there. Cool.

Wes Schaeffer: So what

Wes Schaeffer: I haven't asked us in a while my my guests, but I would, I would ask

Wes Schaeffer: You know, so imagine our listeners there they're jogging. They're biking. They are wherever driving, they can't do anything and

Wes Schaeffer: at this exact moment, but I always tell people don't want to just to listen right to get take action from something that you learn so

Wes Schaeffer: What would you recommend our listeners do as a result of listening to this, like, Okay, finally got a warm, fuzzy go add value be nice to people, blah, blah, blah.

Wes Schaeffer: What do they do the next 45 minutes next hour 24 hours.

Wes Schaeffer: Right to move the needle in their professional making personal lives. I mean, whatever. What would you say they go do this one thing

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah. Yeah, so, so, so I said it already an alum and you see a plasma my hands because

Gerren Sprauve: This is where I'm a visual guy, too. So when you have your lives, and you do your Bible study. You talk about certain texts, it, it, I feel good about that because it's like okay that's at the heart of this guy. So his audience.

Gerren Sprauve: Either they're people of faith or

Gerren Sprauve: Are they love West, really, really, you know, a lot. And they're willing to just deal with his faith talks, but I'll say this again.

Gerren Sprauve: I believe that we are created for a purpose for a reason, right, and our Creator knows exactly how he wants to use us

Gerren Sprauve: We often have these ideas and these plans. These goals that we want to set for ourselves. And he's like, Oh, that's cute. That's real cute Garen here's what I want you to go

Gerren Sprauve: Kinda like Jonah in that situation. Alright.

Gerren Sprauve: So today, I believe that God has

Gerren Sprauve: Awakened someone who needs to meet you, plain and simple.

Gerren Sprauve: And he's asking for us to be aware, be obedient be open to that meeting.

Gerren Sprauve: But we don't know who that person is. And the person may not look like the person who is going to give us a sale, though, I hear you but you don't know

Gerren Sprauve: So I say ask God, these three questions in the morning. God, who am I supposed to meet today. What am I supposed to share what am I supposed to learn

Gerren Sprauve: If you just keep those three and walk into the world just staying open. You will be surprised.

Gerren Sprauve: To be experiences that you have

Gerren Sprauve: It's all I got, man sales will come. It will come, things will happen if you just ask those three questions. Who am I supposed to. What am I supposed to share what am I supposed to learn

Gerren Sprauve: This is where I say go sell something

Gerren Sprauve: Yeah.

Wes Schaeffer: Wait, wait, a map.

Wes Schaeffer: That out. Now I gotta go at it, man.

Wes Schaeffer: Very cool. Eat learn share. All right, man. Well, I'm glad I met you I learned some stuff. And we're going to share this thing. All right.

Wes Schaeffer: It's all your fault.

Gerren Sprauve: I'm glad we stayed in contact, man.

Wes Schaeffer: Very cool. All right. The website is give to them again. Fast Track your calling, calm and you may hopefully we'll get it resolved, but you may need the www. So if it doesn't come up, put the www in there, but it's fast track your calling, calm and avail yourself of this good book.

Wes Schaeffer: All right. Alright, G.

Wes Schaeffer: Look at that.

Wes Schaeffer: Nice man, that's nice.

Wes Schaeffer: All the way from Orlando. I'm gonna come see a man, you know, my, my family, they don't they don't know and it's my fault. It's my fault because I married a Southern California girl and they think Disneyland is like all that in a bag of chips and I'm like, Oh, oh no.

Gerren Sprauve: You gotta get a little bit of Disney World.

Wes Schaeffer: You've got to go to the world.

Wes Schaeffer: is way different.

Wes Schaeffer: I'll convince them of that will come see


Wes Schaeffer: Man Have a great day.