"Pursuing ambitions can be a dangerous venture. With a newly accompanying child means working a second job, and so I work today as a window, driveway and gutter cleaner in Chester for my son."
Historical context is everything.
Born in 2012.
Losing your income before your child comes to term would be a nightmare scenario for most, and it was! Today, I'm happy to explain how becoming a gutter cleaner in Chester empowered me and gifted my son a fighting chance in this crazy world.
To make a long story short, I had fifteen successful years as a web developer that brought me into the beautiful City of Chester.
However, fate changed the course of my life, and now I'm the proprietor of House Proud.
This change came about because my web-based business was devastated by changes in government policy towards the green energy sector. An industry I was heavily invested in back in 2012.
I had to find a new revenue quickly as my baby boy was born shortly afterwards.
I aimed to keep a roof over my newly-born son's head but give my customers more of a clean than they'd expect from a gutter clean service.
This obsession became our mission statement.
I feel it's important to note that I have brought my highest level of scrutiny to my gutter and driveway cleaning service. I'd been pioneering customer-orientated standards within the solar industry four years before government regulation arrived.
What's most surprising in this exterior cleaning adventure is my increased well-being. Spending fifteen years of web developing in front of a laptop was beginning to take its toll on my physical health and mental well-being.
They say that mind and body are connected, and I found this to be true as my fitness through hard physical work began to build me up both physically and mentally.
The joy of working outside and in some of the city's most beautiful gardens is a perk of the job that I didn't expect. Today, I feel privileged to live and work in this beautiful city called Chester.
Thankfully, all this allowed me to spend extra time with my Son, and it's this that I appreciate.
I always clean more than is expected, and it's this attitude that led me to be Chester's most recommended gutter cleaner.
A gutter cleaning service that others can merely imitate.
Onwards and upwards.
I had noticed a local window cleaning competitor had begun offering 'full external cleans' were before I began they didn't. Where most window cleaners only clean the glass, my innovative service, make sure your whole house is looking its best. This is important if you are proud of your home.
We're still the original and always the best.
For most of my adult life, I have never really considered being a dad. Parenthood was always something everyone else did. But now he's here; I love it.
I love making Brandon laugh; I even love changing his nappies. But before I get too gushy on you, I have to confess that the earliest stages of daddyhood for me was a complete nightmare. Since 2004, I've been optimistically pursuing a career in the solar panels industry.
As global warming becomes a more urgent issue and the price of heating our homes projects increasingly higher, it made sense that people would begin to adopt alternative ways to cushion themselves from traditional forms of power generation.
As a keen and self-taught web developer, I began to use my combined interests to create awareness of solar panels through my website called Power My Home. Everything was going well, and as the business began to show fruition, my optimism for the future started to grow.
However, after the financial crash of 2008, the government (at that time) seemed to be heavily investing in greener technologies too. This was all to change though when the austerity government came to power, and one of the earliest victims of the cuts was (yes, you guessed it) the solar industry.
With only a deliberately damaging two-week warning, the industry went into meltdown as multiple incentive cuts throughout 2012, put off many people from considering such technology during that earliest austerity period.
Money has never been that important to me previously, as I believe we are the luckiest generation of human beings to have ever walked on the Earth, but when a newborn child is involved, my view quickly changed.
To cut a very long story short, Brandon's first year on the planet was also my worst.
The challenge of remaining his dad had just begun.
I believe gutter cleaning services should be about keeping the whole external house clean. With my specialist equipment, I set-up and haven't looked back. The responses and feedback from my customers have been overwhelming kind.
With many recommendations under my belt, I am happy to report that the darkest hours have been replaced by a sunnier dawn.
I believe that to appreciate the good times; one must first encounter and conquer the bad times.
I hope this is true for me and my precious son, Brandon.
I would like to thank all my customers who have reinstated my faith in the future.
I am happy to report that Brandon is growing quicker than I could ever have imagined and loves his weekends with his daddy.
Thank you to our earliest customers.
It's been a year since I first set-up my solar-powered exterior cleaning business and what a year it has been.
I remember my first day with a bag full of freshly printed business cards and nothing but a belly full of anticipation and determination in equal measures. I set-off on my bike to find as many houses with dirty windows as I could, unfortunately, I finished that day; weary, deflated and wondering if I had made the biggest mistake of my life.
The van was prepared, the state-of-the-art equipment was installed, and although it had a few leaks in the system, I had already invested all I had in the embryonic House Proud.
With a fast growing baby Brandon getting bigger by the day, I stuck my cards everywhere and anywhere while using my web development skills to fashion together a web presence. I knew getting my web site into Google's good books would take a bit of time, so I worked on it evenings and got out and about to find those crucial first customers during the daytime.
One thing I remember vividly was that one new customer seemed to lead to another, almost like following a trail of breadcrumbs. With many recommendations under my belt, my confidence began to grow, and something unexpected began to happen. People were paying me extra to clean other external features using my high-reach extendable pole system.
Another unexpected aspect of the business came when people wanted me to clean conservatories, clear gutters using my ladders and powerwash patios, so suddenly the business was not only growing, but diversifying too.
After a fruitful summer, the winter months were closing in fast, but I still didn't have enough customers yet. Nevertheless I had the spring back in my step, but unfortunately, it was not going to last.
The van broke down spectacularly on the A55 as Christmas was just on the horizon. The timing chain snapped and this meant a whole engine rebuild was required. Not a cheap fix and financially this nearly broke me as the fruits of my summer’s labour vanished in a single garage bill.
I write this, as the daffodils are now appearing and summer is just within our grasp. However, the winter months have been a real struggle as one after another, my laptop died, fridge freezer breaks, my car is crashed into and the wettest January and February in a hundred years takes its toll.
With that said; what has surprised me the most, is the overwhelming kindness that my customers have shown me. I now love being out and about during my day, as opposed to my previous incarnation as a web developer, where I only had Radio 2 for company.
And with a diary full of prompt paying customers today and a website that now brings me many more enquiries, the future may now allow me to think about employing someone to help me continue to provide the service my customers deserve.
Thank you for your prompt payments.
© Your Image Matters 2019