If you’ve heard of Martha Stewart (who hasn’t), then it’s time to hear about Debbie Sardone. If Martha is the home decorating expert, Debbie is the housecleaning expert.
Debbie is co-owner of The Clean Team Catalog and the not-for-profit, Cleaning For A Reason which just passed the $3,000,000 mark of cleaning services given freely to women who are battling cancer (check out this video as shown on Oprah). Debbie is the author of Barternomics (everything you want to know about bartering for what you need). She is a speaker on such topics as “The Death of Perfection” and “The Sassy, Sensational Leader Within.” And she is the housecleaning expert.
Debbie Sardone is also a lifelong learner. She says, “I love learning!! I am always trying to learn and grow.” Just as she has honed the process of house cleaning, she has honed her process for keeping fresh knowledge flowing into her work. You’ve heard me talk about the benefits of focus and boundaries. Debbie understands them and focuses on seeking information to satisfy her customers’ needs and enhance her business. “I read two favorite magazines consistently: Success Magazine, and Entrepreneur Magazine. I also check out Entrepreneur.com for articles and ideas. I go there first when I have a business issue.”Debbie is always buying books recommended in the book summaries from Success magazine, too. “I either read them or listen to them in audio form when I’m working out or traveling,” she says, “and I highlight and underline in my books, too.”
Debbie also keeps her goals for learning as she scans widely – even as she listens to the radio on her way to the office. As she explains it, “I study other businesses. I am constantly in search of other models for doing business. When I find one that is interesting and doing well, I check their websites to see their framework, their solutions. I want to see how these other firms have solved the problems I’m having or how they successfully used an idea I want to bring into my business. For example, I heard about a company on the radio this morning that offered a guarantee that really had me excited about a new way to attract customers. I couldn’t do exactly the same thing, but I am thinking about it to see what could be useful to my business. For example, I want to find out what requirements they use for the guarantee. Do their requirements spark any ideas for my business? “Over the years I’ve studied other maid service websites to get ideas for my cleaning business, and when I started my non-profit for women with cancer I carefully reviewed the most popular cancer sites for ideas on content, layout, and inspiration. I study success stories and add my own creativity rather than re-invent the wheel.” said Debbie Sardone during a recent interview.
In this blog I have talked about the insights gained from looking at work from another discipline, Debbie does it from another industry. “If I were to look only at my competition, it would not be the same. The competition has the same limitations they put on themselves. I want to study business from other industries to discover new ways of thinking about my own business and find, unexpected, an idea that just makes me want to ‘slap’ myself on the side of my head for its obviousness.” That’s scanning the field while keeping a sharp focus.
How do you maintain focus while scanning the field for another perspective? “My focus comes from never forgetting who my customer is and what my mission is. Everything else is up for grabs. Things change, methods and approach will vary, but staying true to who your real customer is, and your core mission, is the only way to stay focused during changing times.” Said Debbie.
So, how do you maintain focus while scanning the field for another perspective?
Photo by Groundhopping Merseburg