Starting a business from the ground up can be scary. There are a lot of things you have to take into consideration and often times, the beginning is full of trial and error. It’s a learning process and trusting the process will move towards the greater vision is almost harder than the daily ends and outs of what is needed to build it. It’s one thing when you have investment money to put into the foundational pieces of building your business but what about when you are starting a business from nothing? Our friend Amanda shares her story of what it was like for her when starting her cleaning business, 20/20 Ecoclean.
Getting To Know Our Friend Amanda
From Single Mom to Thriving Business Owner
Amanda grew up in foster care almost all her life. At 14 years old she ran away and got her first job at Burger King. Since that time she was used to working in order to provide for herself. She dropped out of school after the 9th grade and never received her High School Diploma; often times working multiple jobs to make ends meet.
When she was 16 years old she got pregnant with her first child. Working became even more of a necessity in order to provide for her growing family. She never received child support, so her income was the only monetary means she had to pay her bills and provide them shelter and food. Over time Amanda had five other children with different dads, experiencing abuse and environments that were unhealthy for her family. Her last child was born when her fourth was just 11 months old. Because of demanding medical conditions that arose with her last child, Amanda had to take off time from work to be there for her son.
Coming to a Crossroad
As a single mom, trying to provide for a family of seven was extremely challenging. Amanda moved around from job to job trying to find the perfect fit that would provide for everyone but nothing seemed to be working. Around this time she met her husband. He worked in the contracting business and given some time finances became steady but they needed more. In 2015 she started working for a cleaning company but realized she wasn’t making enough, yet she felt confident in what she was doing and it was during this time that she came to the decision to start up her own business.
She didn’t have any referrals or money to invest in the beginning process but she knew she had to do something that would help take care of her family’s needs, so she quit and started up her own company 20/20 Ecoclean. At first, the business was very slow. At times it seemed hopeless. She went door to door promoting her company in hopes of building a clientele. She didn’t know if it would become what she hoped for but she stayed with it and persevered.
Amanda’s sister ended up recommending her services to a family living in the southern Oregon area. It was this opportunity that became the game changer for both Amanda and her business. Unsure of what she wanted to charge for her services as a new company, Amanda met with the referral and undervalued her working pay. To Amanda’s surprise, the client offered her more than she was asking and it was in this moment that Amanda realized her work was of greater value than she deemed herself worthy of.
Amanda continued cleaning for her client and began building her business through word of mouth. She did a little bit of advertising and to this day, still uses advertising methods but her greatest asset is her clients. Over time, Amanda established her cleaning business through hard work ethics and pursuing referrals. Not long after, Amanda’s husband quit his job in construction as it was proving inconsistent and started helping with her business. Now, her husband and her older children all contribute to the family business that is growing beyond their original dreams.
Don’t Give Up
Amanda had a lot going against her with not having graduated with a diploma and having started a family in her teen years. Her background in foster care was both a challenge and an asset for her as it taught her to be resilient and shaped her thinking towards a readiness for change. Not having everything that most kids have when growing up may have been hard but Amanda grew up to not only become a contributing part of society, but is raising a family that contributes to a healthy society as well as a thriving business that contributes to our economy. Her hard work and perseverance allowed her to start a small business from nothing into something.
Amanda’s story is a story among many where regardless of what life has handed you, we all have the opportunity to go after what we dream and when we go after our dreams we often find the smallest opportunities paving the way for our dreams to come to fruition.