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IAM1315 – Founder Runs a Modern and Remotely-Operated Cleaning Company

Podcast Interview with Neel Parekh

Neel Parekh is the CEO and Founder of MaidThis, a work-from-anywhere cleaning franchise focused on Airbnb cleanings. MaidThis has been called “the franchise for millennials”, given its fully remote model and new-age spin on an old-school cleaning industry. As he built his business to reach millions in revenue, Neel traveled globally for five years while managing a fully remote team, living the “digital nomad” life.

Neel is also a host of The Remote Local Podcast, which discusses how to start a remote local business and travel the world.

  • CEO Story: After college, Neel worked in the finance industry. Realized that he was not a finance guy, he started different side hustles and it was the cleaning service that clicked. When it took off, he made it full-time and now scaling it up through franchise.
  • Business Service: Focused on cleaning vacation rentals which are on automated schedules when the client checks out. Residential cleaning with automated schedule and notifications.
  • Secret Sauce: For the business – new age, tech-savvy, easy as possible. For personal – identifying the problems quickly and what the core problem really is.
  • CEO Hack: Planning ahead of time. Priority task, “what is the biggest driver of my business?” It helps you elevate much faster.
  • CEO Nugget: If you don’t like doing something, pay and outsource it quicker. Free up yourself and do something more meaningful.
  • CEO Defined: Having the freedom to dictate your company in the way you actually want. Almost an extension of you, it’s there to serve you.

Website: www.maidthisfranchise.com

Twitter: NeelBParekh


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Transcription

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Neel Parekh 00:00

So no matter how the day goes wrong, if you at least have in the morning have gotten that one task done, which you've already determined is the biggest driver in your business, it helps you elevate and move much faster. Hey. If I hit these things, it's a successful week. I've done these things. I don't feel like I haven't done enough for the week because I said, this is what I'm gonna do, and it's just the top priority items.

Intro 00:21

Do you want to learn effective ways to build generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening into a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you nicely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:48

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Neel Parekh of MaidThis. Neel, it's great to have you on the show.

Neel Parekh 00:57

Thanks for having me, Gresham. Excited to be here.

Gresham Harkless 00:58

Yes. I'm super excited to have you on. And before we jump into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Neil so you'd hear about some of those awesome things. And Neel is the CEO and founder of MadeThis, a work from anywhere, cleaning franchise focused on Airbnb cleanings. MaidThis has been called the franchise for millennials given its fully remote model and new age spin for an old school cleaning industry. As he built his business to reach millions of revenue, Neel traveled globally for five years while managing a fully remote team, living the digital nomad life, and Neil is also host of the remote local podcast, which discusses how to start a remote local business and travel. Well, Neel, super excited to have you on one pack one podcaster to another. Are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO Community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Neel Parekh 01:43

Let's hit it, man. I'm excited.

Gresham Harkless 01:45

Let's make it happen then. So to kinda kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit. I know I touched on it a little bit when I read your bio, but here a little bit more about see your story. We'll let you get started.

Neel Parekh 01:53

Yeah. Sure. So, actually, right out of college, I started working in the finance industry. So I worked in, Tech Venture Capital Investing Companies, from companies that I found invested about twenty million dollars, and from comp deals I worked on, there's about a hundred million dollars of investment over a few years. So I was there, climbing the corporate ladder, and I realized, like, I'm just not a finance guy. This is not what I wanna do. Long hours at a cubicle, spreadsheets in the night. Just wasn't my life. Right?

So, you know, I decided, hey. I wanna try something else. Let me try to start a side hustle. So a couple years in is when I was just trying out things, wind lighting, seeing what works in most stuff was a flop. Tried e-commerce, like, digital marketing, online blogging, just nothing was really hit. Finally, Gresham, have you heard about reddit.com?

Gresham Harkless 02:39

Yes. Mhmm.

Neel Parekh 02:40

I was on Reddit when I should have been working and read a post of a guy who started a cleaning company, and I thought, you know what? Let me try this. He posted the steps here, and it just started working. I started realizing in hindsight that's because it's a very old school industry. I was doing just things which are, like, current marketing, but in this old school industry, and it was working. And, anyways, my main goal was a couple of things. I wanted to provide financially for my parents and quit my job and travel the world.

I had to build this local business in a way that was conducive for me to be able to travel from anywhere. So a couple years into my job, I think at that point, we were just hitting thirty thousand a month in revenue or so is when I decided to quit, go full time, go to one minute, apply it to South America, just started building this remotely, and growing it. And within that first year of going full time, the business doubled.

It kept growing from there. So that's my story. And then, just last year, we started, the franchise model. Now people were saying, hey. Can I copy what you guys are doing? And I said, sure. Let's just do it via franchising. So just looking for a handful of motivated folks who just literally wanna copy and paste what we're doing in their own city in the US. So that's where we're at now.

Gresham Harkless 03:48

Nice. I absolutely love that. And it's so funny. I just was on a call with somebody and I was just saying the exact same thing which you just said is that a lot of times people start franchises because they've had so much success and they have a replicable model that they wanna try to pass on to other people. So it's great to hear that you've been able to create that model and then have opportunities for other people as well too.

Neel Parekh 04:09

Yeah. Appreciate it. And like, it it's funny, franchising, like, I always thought it's such an old they can, like, franchisees, that's what my parents do. Like, I I you know? But another thing, I I like going into old school industries. Franchising is old school industry, like, all these guys are doing the same way thing same thing they've been doing forever. So, you know, doubling down on bringing technology and and new processes to the old school industry is what I'm doing in franchising.

Gresham Harkless 04:33

Yeah. I absolutely love that. And I think so many times and I don't know if you went through the same experience when you were trying to find thing, so to speak. But we always are looking for whatever the new shiny thing is that we could lean into, but sometimes it's looking at what exists and bringing those new ideas to something that is an old industry like you were able to do it's sometimes the biggest innovation and creative thing that you can implement.

Neel Parekh 04:57

Absolutely. And the reality is I feel like it derisks a lot of things. Like this industry exists. No businesses are making money in it. You just have to do a little bit better. Right? So I think it derisk a lot of things as well.

Gresham Harkless 05:09

Yeah. And I almost feel like at the heart of business, it's all about minimizing as many risks as possible. Most people, they get people that are in business or the people that are jumping out of airplanes and blindfolding themselves and driving on motorcycles and things like that. But really, at the heart of business, you're trying to minimize the risk as much as possible so that you could succeed as much as possible.

Neel Parekh 05:29

Yeah. Very well said.

Gresham Harkless 05:31

Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more. I know you touched a little bit upon the business, franchise, can you take us a little bit more on how you're serving your clients, where you're serving them, and how you're making the impact for the clients you're working with?

Neel Parekh 05:43

Sure. So let me talk about a little bit corporate and kind of what it is we're doing. So we're actually the first and only cleaning franchise focused on vacation rental. So this whole Airbnb short term rentals thing popped off recently, last few years. And, all of a sudden, these Airbnbs need a cleaning service. Right? Turnover cleaning service, high volume between guests. No one's really doing it. No one's doing it with a text bin, so we could actually sync into the calendars of Airbnb host or VRBO host or anyone, automate the scheduling.

Anytime there's a guest checkout, automatically schedule cleaning with us. So we do that plus residential cleaning and residential cleaning with the new age twist meeting, online booking, fly rate pricing, log in to reschedule, automated notifications, like, just trying to make it as convenient as possible. That's kind of the strict of what we're doing, from, like, the individual level, and that's how we've grown.

On the franchise arm, or offering is exactly that as a package for the franchisee. Right? So if you wanna have a local business copy systems, if you wanna do it completely remote and travel the world like I did, we do half of this. We do tons of things for you as part of this, and you get a copy of the blueprint as well. So that's the business service we're offering now.

Gresham Harkless 06:48

Nice. I love that. And, again, just to get that opportunity to kinda lean into the expertise and knowledge and imagine things that are worth all the rolling up your sleeves and things that probably didn't go according to plan that you probably went through in building the business, you get to kinda jump start with all your knowledge and information.

Neel Parekh 07:06

And just time collapsing. Right? Like, I made so many mistakes. At the beginning, I was doing it as a side hustle on my job and we had our first cleaner. I didn't know how to pay the cleaner. He was like, okay. Just, like, come outside of my building. I'd go to the ATM, Grab cash, car drives by, I'd give the guy money. And like everyone in my building could see me going outside and giving the guy money in the car. So you're a drug dealer, for sure. Like, no. I'm not. They're like, not.

Gresham Harkless 07:31

Yeah. I just have a clean business. Yeah.

Neel Parekh 07:33

I don't wanna tell them that either. So I was just like, alright. I explain what I'm doing over here.

Gresham Harkless 07:39

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.

Neel Parekh 07:41

Yeah. So luckily, hopefully, I like, my franchisees don't have to look like drug dealers anymore. They I can tell them exactly how this works.

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Gresham Harkless 07:48

Yeah. So I know we don't have a blueprint or anything in front of me, but I can assume that's probably not in the pages of the blueprint about, like, how to get cash.

Neel Parekh 07:57

Chapter one. Don't be a drug dealer.

Gresham Harkless 07:58

There you go. Yeah. There you go. I love that. So, but let me ask you this. I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself, the business, the combination of both. But what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

Neel Parekh 08:12

Sure. And question for you. Do you mean for the business or myself personally?

Gresham Harkless 08:16

Either or.  Or a combination of both.

Neel Parekh 08:18

Let's do both. For the business, the brand has for millennials, new age, tech savvy, focused on, like, Millennials, Gen Z, just people who want convenience. If you wanna book from online, if you want automation, no, like, in person estimates. Just as easy as possible. It's a stick of what we're doing with both the service offering as well as the franchise. So that's the unique service offering what we're doing in addition to going after short term rentals and Airbnbs, which is high volume. So I think that's our secret sauce. It's just kinda being very new agent current in a very old school industry. Personally, secret sauce, I think  I feel like I have been, compliment on my team for identifying problems quickly.

Meaning, if they bring a problem to me, I could say, okay. Well, here's the real problem. Here's the core of the problem. Right? And kind of building that skill set over time. It's taking a long time. But if you could quickly identify what the crux of the problem is, then all of a sudden you're not putting much band aid on stuff. You just go figure out what's the actual problem as opposed to just the symptoms. So I felt like it's taking a while to develop that superpower, but that's that's kind of what, is leading us now.

Gresham Harkless 09:24

Nice. I absolutely love that. Do you how how were you able to train yourself to do that? Was that something that you feel like you had a knack for over time, or was this something that you just started to work on different issues, like, as you were kind of experimenting and saw that this was something that you could use as super hour.

Neel Parekh 09:40

Yeah. Really good question. I think generally with superpowers, you don't really know it's a superpower until you get enough people telling you about it, and you're like, oh, I guess it's a superpower, I guess. For me, I'm sure it was not natural. I think it's just me putting out enough fires to kinda see patterns naturally. Right? It just just occurs after you do something repetition to say, this is the real problem. Or, hey. This is the real problem. And whenever I'm sure everyone listening can attest to this. If you're the owner, the founder, you're dealing with all these problems. Right? So as long as you don't try to put a band aid on it and really think what's the real problem? You will develop everyone will develop the same superpower very quickly.

Gresham Harkless 10:18

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Neel Parekh 10:29

Dude, let me tell you something that's been game changing, and it only takes me five minutes. Seriously. I plan the next day the night before. And I know, like, it's not people would say this all the time, but I'll tell you why so game changing for me. Because in the morning, if before I used to wake up, look at my email inbox, which is what people are demanding of my time, right, which is probably not as high priority. Reality is all tasks are not made equal. If you check mark a bunch of stuff on your task list, doesn't mean you really made progress. That just means you check marked a lot of stuff off.

So the cool part when you start planning ahead of time with a clear mind the night before, you should have identified what is the biggest driver in my business. I'm gonna put that as number one task list. It's the first thing you do in the morning. It's written at the top. That's what I gotta do. So no matter how the day goes wrong. If you at least have in the morning have gone that one task done, which you've already determined is the biggest driver in your business, it helps you elevate and move much faster.

So having that shift has also caused me, like, less anxiety just because I know, like, okay. I've already planned that. Like, hey. If I hit these things, it's a successful week. I've done these things. I don't feel like I haven't done enough for the week because I've said this is what I'm gonna do, and it's just the top priority items. So that's actually been very game changing for me, and it literally takes a few minutes the day before. That's it.

Gresham Harkless 11:46

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And so I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So it's a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. I like to say it might be something you would tell a franchisee, or if you hacked into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

Neel Parekh 11:59

Yeah. Oh, man. I don't even know where to start with this one. One thing I guess advice I'd give to everyone is, if you don't like doing something, pay and outsource it quicker as opposed to just leaving on you and getting it done. Because sometimes you people, especially entrepreneurs, we do use grunt forces to get stuff done. And what I realized time and time again is, like, if you really hate something that you feel you think like, oh, I'm the only one who can do it, figure out, like, how to pay more more than you might be comfortable with just to get it out of your way because that'll free up your time and energy to do something more meaningful.

For me, even now, I have trouble because I don't wanna pay for stuff unnecessarily, but there's some stuff where I'm like, I just hate doing this. Like, why am I doing this task repeatedly? And I wish I would have told myself, dude, it sounds like big money now, but in the future, it's not gonna be that much money. Just get it out of your way. So that's just kind of a nugget I would love to pass on to myself in the past.

Gresham Harkless 12:55

Nice. And definitely tell my younger business self that as well because, I think it's so valuable to make sure that we're drilling into that. And I love how you said the time. Obviously, time is of great value, but also the energy. There's limited amount of energy that you have, and you wanna put that towards the solutions, the things that ultimately you are only gonna be able to do the best level for yourself and for the organization. So spending that energy in the best possible place is gonna help you move forward as well.

Neel Parekh 13:20

Exactly. Exactly.

Gresham Harkless 13:23

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO, and we're hoping to have different quote, unquote CEOs on their show. So, Neel, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Neel Parekh 13:33

Being a CEO, I guess I equate that to being a founder. Man, it goes so many different ways. For me, being a CEO means, having the freedom to dictate your company in the way you actually want. And a lot of times, I say this because I believe your business should be almost an extension of you where it's there to serve you as opposed to you are serving the business. So if you're a CEO, that doesn't mean I need to serve this business at the sacrifice of my life. You're the CEO. You could literally make this company what you want as long as it's serving others in the way you want. So using that wisely.

So what it means for me is, like, I wanna be CEO because I wanna provide freedom for myself as well as freedom for my team members. Time, location freedom, monetary freedom, that's what I wanna do. So that's my goal as a CEO is to provide that level of freedom. That doesn't mean I will sacrifice my life for the detriment of that because, luckily, I'm the CEO, and I could actually decide that. So, yeah. Being the dictator of your of your own company in a positive way is what it means to me. Gresh, I'm sure you've answered this in previous podcasts. Same question to you. What is your answer?

Gresham Harkless 14:36

Yeah. For me, I mean, I think it's ultimately about, like, kinda what you said about freedom, but I think it's also a way by which you're able to kinda create your own path in your own lane. I've always said that entrepreneurship to me is equal hope. And I hope a lot of that hope is in alignment with what you said because it's the opportunity that we sometimes don't realize we have, I don't know that a lot of people, I myself, have not been groomed to be an entrepreneur, to be a CEO to be a business owner. So once you realize that, hey. I can think something, and I have this vision, and, oh, it came to fruition, it becomes hopeful because you start to see problems. You start to see certain things, and you get to create hope in whatever way you decide in a hope to see hope.

Neel Parekh 15:16

Wow. Well said, man.

Gresham Harkless 15:17

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Well, that's why I call it the I AM CEO Podcast. So there we go. And there we have it. So, you know, I definitely appreciate that definition. Obviously, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best people could get a hold of you, find out about the franchise opportunities, and all the awesome and do you have any team we're working on?

Neel Parekh 15:40

Yeah, absolutely. So, if anyone has questions for me at all about anything, you go to neelparekh.com or MadeThis franchise, maidthisfranchise.com. I'm pretty active on Twitter, so message me over there as well. And just, I guess, ask for all the listeners, I am looking for a handful of franchisees for this year across the US who wanna copy the blueprint of what we talked about here, have remote local business, and just grow. So if you or someone you know might be interested, just shoot me a message.

Gresham Harkless 16:08

Nice. I appreciate that. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes as well too so that everybody can follow-up with you. Thank you so much for doing that. Appreciate you for taking time out, of course, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Neel Parekh 16:18

Thanks so much, Gresham.

Outro 16:19

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Title: Transcript - Tue, 13 Feb 2024 02:38:10 GMT

Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2024 02:38:10 GMT, Duration: [00:16:51.59]

[00:00:00.10] - Neel Parekh

So no matter how the day goes wrong, if you at least have in the morning have gotten that one task done, which you've already determined is the biggest driver in your business, it helps you elevate and move much faster. Hey. If I hit these things, it's a successful week. I've done these things. I don't feel like I haven't done enough for the week because I said, this is what I'm gonna do, and it's just the top priority items.

[00:00:21.19] - Podcast Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening into a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you Nicely. The information you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:48.50] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Neel Parekh of Maid This. Neel, it's great to have you on the show.

[00:00:57.20] - Neel Parekh

Thanks for having me, Gresham. Excited to be here.

[00:00:58.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. I'm super excited to have you on. And before we jump into the interview, I want to read a little bit more about Neil so you'd hear about some of those awesome things. And Neel is the CEO and founder of Made This, a work From anywhere, cleaning franchise focused on Airbnb cleanings. Maid This has been called the franchise for millennials given its fully remote model and new age spin for an old school cleaning industry. As he built his business to reach millions of revenue, Neel traveled globally for five years while managing a fully remote team, Living the digital nomad life, and Neil is also host of the remote local podcast, which discusses how to start a remote local business and travel. Well, Neil, super excited to have you on one pack one podcaster to another. Are you ready to speak to the IAM CEO community?

[00:01:43.20] - Neel Parekh

Let's hit it, man. I'm excited.

[00:01:45.00] - Gresham Harkless

Let's make it happen then. So to kinda kick everything off, I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit. I know I touched on it a little bit when I read your bio, but here a little bit more about see your story. We'll let you get started.

[00:01:53.79] - Neel Parekh

Yeah. Sure. So, actually, right out of college, I started working in the finance industry. So I worked in, tech venture capital Investing companies, from companies that I found invested about twenty million dollars, and from comp deals I worked on, there's about a hundred million dollars of investment over a few years. So I was there, Kinda climbing the corporate ladder, and I realized, like, I'm just not a finance guy. This is not what I wanna do. Long hours at a cubicle, spreadsheets in the night. Just wasn't my life. Right? So, you know, decided, hey. I wanna try something else. Let me try to start a side hustle. So a couple years in is when I was just trying out things, Wind lighting, seeing what works in most stuff was a flop. Tried ecommerce, like, digital marketing, online blogging, just nothing was really hit. Finally, Gresham, have you heard about Reddit dot com?

[00:02:39.19] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. Mhmm.

[00:02:40.40] - Neel Parekh

I was on Reddit when I should have been working and read a post of a guy who started a cleaning company, and I thought, you know what? Let me Try this. He posted the steps here, and it just started working. I started realizing in hindsight that's because it's a very old school industry. I was doing just things which are, like, current marketing, but in this old school industry, and it was working. And, anyways, my main goal was a couple of things. I wanted to provide financially for my parents and quit quit my job and travel the world. So I had to build this local business in a way that was conducive for me to be able to travel from anywhere. So a couple years into my job, You know, I think at that point, we were just hitting thirty thousand a month in revenue or so is when I decided to quit, go full time, go to one minute, apply it to South America, Just started building this building me this remotely, and growing it. And within that first year of going full time, the business doubled. It kinda kept growing from there. So that's my story. And then, just last year, we started, the franchise model. Now people were saying, hey. Can I copy what you guys are doing? And I said, sure. Let's just do it via franchising. So just looking for A handful of motivated folks who just literally wanna copy and paste what we're doing in their own city in the US. So that's where we're at now.

[00:03:48.90] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. And it it's so funny. I I just was, you know, on a call with somebody, and I was just saying the exact same thing which you just said is that A lot of times people start franchises because they've had so much success, and they have a replicable model that they wanna try to pass on to other people. So it's great to kinda hear that you've been able to kinda create that model and then have opportunities for other people as well too.

[00:04:09.80] - Neel Parekh

Yeah. Appreciate it. And like, it it's funny, franchising, like, I always thought it's such an old they can, like, franchisees, that's what my parents do. Like, I I you know? But another thing, I I like going into old school industries. Franchising is old school industry, like, all these guys are doing the same way thing same thing they've been doing forever. So, you know, doubling down on bringing technology and and new processes to the old school industry is what I'm doing in franchising.

[00:04:33.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. I absolutely love that. And I think so many times and and I don't know if you went through the same experience when you were trying to find thing, so to speak. But we always are looking for, you know, whatever the new shiny thing is that we could Kinda lean into, but sometimes it's looking at what exists and bringing those new ideas to something that is an old industry like you were able to do It's sometimes the biggest innovation and and creative thing that you can, implement.

[00:04:57.80] - Neel Parekh

Absolutely. And the reality is I I feel like it derisks a lot of things. Like, you know that this industry exists. No businesses are making money in it. You just have to do a little bit better. Right? So I I think it it de risk a lot of things as well.

[00:05:09.60] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And I almost feel like at the heart of, you know, business, it's all about, you know, minimizing as many risks as possible. Most people, they get, you know, people that are in business or the people that are, You know, jumping out of airplanes and, you know, blindfolding themselves and driving on motorcycles and things like that. But really, at the heart of business, you're trying to minimize the risk as much as possible so that you could succeed as much as possible.

[00:05:29.39] - Neel Parekh

Yeah. Very well said.

[00:05:31.39] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. Absolutely. So I wanted to to drill down a little bit more. I know you touched a little bit upon the business, Franchise, can you take us a little bit more on how you're serving your clients, where you're serving them, and how you're making the impact for the clients you're working with?

[00:05:43.00] - Neel Parekh

Sure. So let me talk about a little bit corporate and kind of what it is we're doing. So we're actually the first and only cleaning franchise focused on vacation rental. So this whole Airbnb short term rentals thing popped off recently, last few years. And, all of a sudden, these Airbnbs need a cleaning service. Right? Turnover cleaning service, high volume between guests. No one's really doing it. No one's doing it with a text bin, So we could actually sync into the calendars of Airbnb host or VRBO host or anyone, automate the scheduling. Anytime there's a guest checkout, automatically schedule cleaning with us. So we do that plus residential cleaning and residential cleaning with the new age twist meeting, online booking, fly rate pricing, log in to reschedule, automated notifications, like, just trying to make it as convenient as possible. That's kind of the strict of what we're doing, from, like, the individual level, and that's how we've grown. On the franchise arm, or offering is exactly that as a package for the franchisee. Right? So if you wanna have a local business copy systems, if you wanna do it completely remote and travel the world like I did, we do half of this. We do tons of things for you as part of this, and you get a copy of the blueprint as well. So that's the business service we're offering now.

[00:06:48.69] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I I love that. And, again, you know, just to get that opportunity to kinda, you know, lean into the expertise and knowledge and imagine things that are worth The all the the the rolling up your sleeves and things that probably didn't go according to plan that you probably went through in building the business, you get to kinda jump start, you know, your this, with all your knowledge and information.

[00:07:06.30] - Neel Parekh

And just time collapsing. Right? Like, I made so many mistakes. At at the beginning, I was doing it as a side hustle on my job and, You know, we had our first cleaner. I didn't know how to pay the cleaner. He was like, okay. Just, like, come outside of my building. I'd go to the ATM, Grab cash, car drives by, I'd give the guy money. And like everyone in my building could see me going outside and giving the guy money in the car. So you're a drug dealer, for sure. Like, no. I'm not. They're like, not

[00:07:31.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. I just have a clean business. Yeah.

[00:07:33.80] - Neel Parekh

I I I don't wanna tell them that either. So I was just like, alright. I explain what I'm doing over here.

[00:07:39.39] - Gresham Harkless

Exactly. Exactly. Yeah.

[00:07:41.80] - Neel Parekh

Yeah. So luckily, hopefully, I like, my franchisees don't have to look like drug dealers anymore. They I can tell them exactly how this works.

[00:07:48.69] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. So I I know we don't I don't have a blueprint or anything in front of me, but I can assume that that's probably not in the pages of the blueprint about, like, how to get cash.

[00:07:57.00] - Neel Parekh

Chapter one. Don't be a drug dealer.

[00:07:58.80] - Gresham Harkless

There you go. Yeah. There you go. There you go. I I I love that. So, but let me ask you this. I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. And this could be for yourself, the business, the combination of Both. But what do you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique?

[00:08:12.39] - Neel Parekh

Sure. And question for you. Do you mean for the business or myself personally?

[00:08:16.10] - Gresham Harkless

Either or. Either or. Or a combination of both.

[00:08:18.50] - Neel Parekh

Let's do both. For the business, the brand has for millennials, new age, tech savvy, focused on, like, Millennials, Gen z, just people who want convenience. If you wanna book from online, if you want automation, no, like, in person estimates. Just is easy as possible. It's a stick of what we're doing with with both the service offering as well as the franchise. So that's the that's unique service offering what we're doing in addition to going after short term rentals and Airbnbs, which is high volume. So I think that's our secret sauce. It's just kinda being very new agent current in a very old school industry. Personally, secret sauce, I'm I think it's just, you know, I I feel like I have been, compliment on my team for identifying problems quickly. Meaning, if they bring a problem to me, I could say, okay. Well, here's the real problem. Here's the core of the problem. Right? And kind of building that skill set over time. It's taking a long time. But if you could quickly identify what the crux of the problem is, then all of a sudden you're not putting much band aid on stuff. You just go figure out what's the actual problem as opposed to just the symptoms. So I felt like it's taking a while to develop that superpower, but that's that's kind of what, is leading us now.

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[00:09:24.20] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. Do you how how were you able to kinda train yourself to do that? Was that something that you feel like you had a knack for over time, or was this something that you just started To to kinda work on different issues, like, as you were kind of experimenting and saw that this was something that you could, you could use as super hour.

[00:09:40.60] - Neel Parekh

Yeah. Really good question. I think generally with superpowers, you don't really know it's a superpower until you get enough people telling you about it, and you're like, oh, I guess it's a superpower, I guess. For me, I'm sure it sure was not natural. I think it's just me putting out enough fires to kinda see patterns naturally. Right? It just kinda just occurs after you do something repetition to say, this is the real problem. Or, hey. This is the real problem. And whenever I'm sure everyone listening can attest to this. If you're the owner, the founder, you're dealing with all these problems. Right? So as long as you don't try to put a band in on it and really think, k. What's the real problem? You will develop everyone will develop the same superpower very quickly.

[00:10:18.00] - Podcast Intro

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a a

[00:10:20.20] - Gresham Harkless

a a little bit, and I want to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have. But what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:10:29.29] - Neel Parekh

Dude, let me tell you something that's been game changing, and it only takes me five minutes. Seriously. I plan the next day the night before. And I know, like, it's not people would say this all the time, but I'll tell you why so game changing for me. Because in the morning, if before I used to wake up, look at my email inbox, which is what people are demanding of my time, right, which is probably not as high priority. Reality is all tasks are not made equal. If you check mark a bunch of stuff on your task list, doesn't mean you really made progress. That just means you check marked a lot of stuff off. So the cool part when you start planning ahead of time with a clear mind the night before, you should you've identified what is the biggest driver in my business. I'm gonna put that as number one task list. It's the first thing you do in the morning. It's written at the top. That's what I gotta do. So no matter how the day goes wrong. If you at least have in the morning have gone that one task done, which you've already determined is the biggest driver in your business, it helps you elevate and move much faster. So having that shift has also caused me, like, less anxiety just because I know, like, okay. I've already planned that. Like, hey. If I hit these things, it's a successful week. I've done these things. I don't feel like I haven't done enough for the week because I've said this is what I'm gonna do, and it's just the top priority items. So that's actually been very game changing for me, and it literally takes a few minutes the day before. That's it.

[00:11:46.50] - Podcast Intro

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. And so I want to ask

[00:11:48.39] - Gresham Harkless

you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So it's a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. I I like to say it might be something you would tell a franchisee, or if you hacked into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

[00:11:59.50] - Neel Parekh

Yeah. Oh, man. I don't I don't even know where to start with this one. One thing I kinda I guess advice I'd give to everyone is, if you don't like doing something, pay and outsource it quicker as opposed to just leaving on you and getting it done. Because sometimes you people, especially entrepreneurs, we do use grunt forces to get stuff done. And kinda what I realized time and time again is, like, if you really hate something that you feel you think like, oh, I'm the only one who can do it, figure out, like, how to pay more more than you might be comfortable with just to get it out of your way because that'll free up your time and energy to do something more meaningful. For me, even now, I have trouble because I don't I don't wanna pay for stuff unnecessarily, but there's some stuff where I'm like, I just hate doing this. Like, why am I doing this task repeatedly? And I wish I would have told myself, dude, it sounds like big money now, but in the future, it's not gonna be that much money. Just get it out of your way. So that's just that's kind of a a nugget I would love to pass on to myself in the past.

[00:12:55.89] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. And and definitely tell my younger business self that as well because, I think it's so valuable to kinda make sure that we're drilling into that. And I love how you said the time. Obviously, time is, you know, of great value, but also the energy. There's limited amount of energy that you have, and you wanna put that Towards the solutions, the things that ultimately you you are o only gonna be able to do or do to the best, level for yourself and for the organization. So spending that energy in the best Possible place is gonna help you move forward as well.

[00:13:20.70] - Neel Parekh

Exactly. Exactly.

[00:13:23.00] - Podcast Intro

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. So I wanted to to

[00:13:24.50] - Gresham Harkless

to to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means To be a CEO, and we're hoping to have different quote, unquote CEOs on their show. So, Neel, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:13:33.70] - Neel Parekh

Being a CEO, I guess I equate that to being a founder. Man, it goes so many different ways. For me, being a CEO means, having the freedom to dictate your company in the way you actually want. And a lot of times, I say this because I believe your business should be almost an extension of you where it's there to serve you as opposed to you are serving the business. So if you're a CEO, that doesn't mean I need to serve this business at the sacrifice of my life. You're the CEO. You could literally Make this company what you want as long as it's serving others in the way you want as long as it's serving you in the way you want. So using that wisely. So what it means for me is, like, I wanna be CEO because I wanna provide freedom for myself as well as freedom for my team members. Time, location freedom, monetary freedom, that's what I wanna do. So that's my goal as a CEO is to provide that level of freedom. That doesn't mean I will sacrifice my life for the detriment of that because, luckily, I'm the CEO, and I could actually decide that. So, yeah. Being the dictator of your of your own company in a positive way is what it means to me. Chris, I'm sure you've answered this in previous podcasts. Same question to you. What is your answer?

[00:14:36.50] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. For me, I mean, I think it's ultimately about, like, kinda what you said about freedom, but I think it's also me, you know, a way by which You're able to kinda create your own path in your own lane. I've always said that entrepreneurship to me is equal hope. And I hope a lot of a lot of that hope is in alignment with what you said because it's The opportunity that we sometimes don't realize we have, I don't know that a lot of people, I myself, have not been groomed to be an entrepreneur, to be a CEO to be a business owner. So once you realize that, hey. I can think something, and I have this vision, and, oh, it came to fruition, it becomes hopeful because you start to see problems. You start to see certain things, and you get to create hope in whatever way you decide in a hope to see hope.

[00:15:16.10] - Neel Parekh

Wow. Well said, man.

[00:15:17.50] - Gresham Harkless

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Well, that's why I call it the Iam CEO podcast. So there we go. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:15:21.29] - Neel Parekh

Yeah. Yeah. And there

[00:15:21.70] - Gresham Harkless

we have it. So, you know, I definitely appreciate that definition. Obviously, obviously, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know, and, of course, how best people could get a hold of you, find out about the franchise opportunities, and all the awesome And do you have any team we're working on?

[00:15:40.00] - Neel Parekh

Yeah. Absolutely. So, if anyone has questions for me at all about anything, you go to Neel Parekh dot com or made this franchise, m a i d t h i s franchise dot com. I'm pretty active on Twitter, so message me over there as well. And just, I guess, ask for all the listeners, I am looking for a handful of franchisees for this year across the US who wanna copy the blueprint of what we talked about here, have remote local business, and just grow. So if you or someone you know might be interested, just shoot me a message.

[00:16:08.00] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I appreciate that. And to make it even easier, we'll have the links and information in the show notes as well too so that everybody can follow-up with you. Thank you so much for doing that. Appreciate you for taking time out, of course, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

[00:16:18.60] - Neel Parekh

Thanks so much, Gresham.

[00:16:19.79] - Podcast Intro

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I m c e o dot At CEO, I am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at Blue sixteen Media dot com. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Junior. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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