Being a business owner comes with a lot of crap. In our company, literal crap that comes by the gallon. So when you do what we doo, cleaning up dog doo, inevitably you get some prank calls from kids (I can’t blame them) or voicemail from people wondering just how you pick up the poo. But then you get the questions that even in a million years of a jazillion buckets of poop pick-up, you never could expect. And sometimes someone drops a load of,“Huh?!!?!?” bigger than what a Great Dane can pile up. That’s a house pooper.
One of those calls came from an elderly woman. Voice of an 80-year-old angel: “I need some waste removed.” Easy enough. “I let my dog poop in the house. Can you clean it up?” That knocked us over about as fast as the day we realized one of our five-poodle-families needed Pepto stat. A house pooper. Because let’s wake up and smell the feces: if they let the dog poop in the house, what other mess will they leave behind for you to stick your foot in? House poopers come in all shapes, sizes and smells. In every business, you meet them. They tempt you. Your bank account stinks at the time and the project smells like easy money. Maybe it’s the customer you cut your rate for in hopes of a bigger fish. Or the quick job that shouldn’t take too much time. But eventually, you find yourself working so many hours on the project, you make pennies. Or cutting your charges so much that it sets an expectation you will keep dooing that.
Knowing when to say no can be just as important as knowing when to let go. Sometimes the crap you get from a client ends up being more than it’s worth. Just like when you bring a puppy into your home, Fido needs to be the right fit, and so doo the people you work with. You may not feel like you can fire a client, but step back and think of how much more productive you could be for someone you work well with. Bottom line, no matter how much crap you handle in your business, house poopers will always show up. You just need to know how to show them the door.