Cleaning businesses can learn three powerful lessons from the Pilgrims who traveled to the Americas. Apply them and improve your operations!
This month in the United States, Thanksgiving is celebrated as a day to express gratitude for the many good things Americans have in their lives.
According to historical sources, the Thanksgiving tradition began in 1621 when a settlement of English colonists called the Pilgrims shared a feast with members of a local Native American tribe, the Pokanokets.
But there is more to the story of the Pilgrims that can help cleaning businesses be more successful today. The Pilgrims faced many trials and challenges while traveling to the Americas and after they first arrived.
We will focus on three main hardships the Pilgrims faced that cleaning businesses can learn from and apply to their operations:
The Speedwell was not seaworthy
The Pilgrims originally planned to take two ships to the Americas, the Mayflower and a smaller ship, the Speedwell. But soon after they got underway, the Speedwell began to leak. After failed attempts to fix the smaller vessel, the voyage was delayed and the Speedwell was returned to port. All 100 or so Pilgrims later boarded the larger Mayflower and set sail again to the Americas.
Disappointment can seem to arise at the worst times, especially for cleaning businesses. Long-time customers could leave or quality employees might suddenly take a better job elsewhere. But the important thing is to be “solution-minded,” no matter what.
The Pilgrims didn’t scrap the plan altogether because one of their two vessels wasn’t reliable enough to make the journey. They decided to cram more tightly onto the Mayflower — which would have involved more discomfort and suffering along the way — and adapt.
When plans need to change and the result will be a little more unpleasant, remember what the Pilgrims did and choose to push on.
On the bright side, it won’t involve months of sailing on a cramped ship.
Storms prevented a desired landing
Because the Speedwell had to return to port and the journey had to start over again, the delay forced the Mayflower to travel during the middle of storm season. The voyage was anything but pleasant for the seasick passengers, and to add to the frustration, the storms pushed them off course. They landed in present-day Massachusetts, which was far north of their desired destination.
Have you ever initiated a well calculated plan or idea for your cleaning business but ended up far away from where you anticipated? Have unexpected delays caused you to miss profitable opportunities?
The Pilgrims on the Mayflower could have been consumed with complaining about the delay or blaming the severity of the storms, but they took a step back and understood reality. According to the Pilgrim Hall Museum website, their food and supplies were already stretched thin at this point and traveling further would have been unwise. They decided to start life in a different place than they wanted to be.
As BSCs, it is important to not dwell on blaming outside causes for delays or undesirable results. Be positive, keep moving forward and start from where you are now.
Winter prolonged difficulties
The Pilgrims worked to build a new settlement for several months after they first landed. This required them to ferry back and forth from their temporary living quarters on the Mayflower. During their first winter in Massachusetts, the spread of sickness and starvation claimed the lives of about half of the company. Circumstances didn’t start to improve much until Native Americans came to their aid and taught them how to grow and gather food.
There is one main lesson to learn from this hardship: humility.
The Pilgrims didn’t just try to survive and do everything on their own. When the Native Americans found them, they didn’t refuse help and assistance.
No matter how long your cleaning business has been around, it’s important to accept the assistance and guidance of mentors and outside resources like conferences or trade shows. Especially when certain areas of your business might be suffering.
CleanTelligent Software offers many services to help cleaning businesses be more successful, such as mobile inspections and work orders. Learn about our cleaning business software on our solutions page!