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Finding my Why

Updated: Dec 22, 2022

It is hard to believe that 2022 is finally coming to an end. When the year started, we were all still dealing with COVID and its effects. We finally were feeling like things would get better. In many ways, things have returned to a semblance of normalcy. Aren’t we glad? Sheesh, what a few years it has been!

I don’t know about you, but I am excited for what the next couple of years will bring. That may sound incredibly optimistic considering what is happening in the world around us. It has to be better then what we have dealt with these past few years. To that end, I decided I was going to take this time, during the holiday break, to invest in myself. That involved reading a book by Simon Sinek titled “Start With Why”.


I have to preface this by explaining why I chose this book. In my new role as training coordinator at UC Davis custodial department, we have been working as a management team on goal setting. Our director, Finis Jones, started us out by challenging the team to develop our vision and then our mission statement. This led me to look at my own personal vision and mission statement. Since I have been enthralled with TED talks from Simon Sinek about leadership, I thought I would see what books he had written about the topic.


If you have not read this book and you are a business owner or manager, I would highly recommend it. Simon uses real world examples of companies such as Apple, Harley Davidson, and Southwest Airlines to demonstrate how having a very clear vision of why you do what you do can drive not only an organization, but literally a culture. I am sure we would all agree that these companies have done just that. Whether we agree with how they do business or not, it is abundantly clear, they have had an indelible effect on our society.


The book Start With Why helped me to understand that it is not enough to know what you are doing or how you will do it. These are not what differentiates us. It is why we do what we do that people will follow. An example is that of Harley Davidson. We all know that they make motorcycles. They are not the only ones who do this. Yet when we look at what they represent, it is hard to argue with why they exist. They are the embodiment of free spirted. When you think of Harley Davidson, you think of being out on the open road, freedom!


Ok, so why do I do what I do? I spent quite a bit of time thinking about this. For me, I love helping people. I always have. I think back to when I was in elementary school and my teachers telling me to focus on my own work, instead of trying to help others. My problem was, as they loved to point out, I talked too much and was always trying to help others out. This fundamental truth about me has pervaded my whole life.


In everything I have done, as a sales rep, sales manager, regional sales person, operations manager, trainer, and now consultant, it has always been about helping people. When I took a job in the janitorial supply industry after working as a janitor for a number of years, I had no idea that it would give me the platform to utilize what my teachers felt were my weaknesses, talking and helping others. Over 35 years later, through a career of working in sales and service, I continue to love to help people and share what I have learned. In 2016, I began conducting training workshops, and by 2019, I had become a Certified Professional Trainer through the International Sanitary Supply Association.


How do I do what I do? As I stated, I love helping people! Whether it is helping individuals or organizations, I strive to assist them to reach their goals. I created CleanTek Institute to serve as forum for cleaning organizations to get the resources they need to succeed. I have chosen to collaborate with the ISSA and other associates who share my passion for helping people. ISSA’s mission is simple: To Change the Way the World Views Clean. This aligns with our mission at CleanTek to aid individuals and organizations in the service industry to attain their goals.


It is with this sense of clarity that I am looking forward to the next few years. Now, I would love to hear from you. What is your Why? What is your purpose? If you need help with this, I would encourage you to read Simon Sinek’s, Start With Why.


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