Ken Carfagno’s incredible journey through the cleaning industry serves as a testament to the power of determination and resilience. Over the course of 18 years, Ken has overcome numerous challenges, emerging as a successful business owner. His story began when he found himself at a crossroads, working as an engineer and questioning the direction of his life. A quote during a company luncheon struck a chord within him: “If you want to have my job and my life, you will have to give up your personal life and sell out to the company.” This profound realization sparked a change in Ken’s perspective. He knew he didn’t want to sacrifice his personal life for career success. Despite facing adversity, including being let go by his company and grappling with bills as a new father, Ken acted swiftly to secure his future.
In 2005, Ken took a leap of faith and established his own cleaning business, even though he was burdened by $160,000 debt. Supported by his wife, Teresa, and fueled by his faith, Ken maintained a positive attitude as he embarked on his entrepreneurial journey. With each passing year, his business flourished. However, he soon realized that working 60- to 70-hour weeks was not sustainable. Driven to find a better balance between work and personal life, Ken devised a strategy centered around the concept of “Monday and Friday mugs.” By optimizing his efficiency, he managed to maintain his profit while reducing his workweek to just three days. Once he achieved this milestone, Ken set his sights on an even more audacious goal—working only two days a week while maintaining his revenue. Through dedication and smart planning, he soon achieved this dream. Along his path to success, Ken discovered a genuine desire to help others avoid the mistakes he made in his early days. This passion led him to establish the SMART Cleaning School, where he teaches his knowledge to aspiring individuals in the cleaning industry.
Ken’s achievements in the cleaning industry were not a result of overnight success. Instead, they were the culmination of a decade’s worth of relentless effort, determination, and perseverance. In this podcast episode, Ken shares his commitment to maintaining a positive outlook, which played a pivotal role in his journey. He recounts a breakthrough moment when his wife approached their apartment complex manager about the cleaning staff’s challenges. This encounter led to Ken’s first referral and eventually a preferred vendor relationship with Coldwell Banker. By listening to Ken’s story, listeners will gain insights into his approach to creating and living the lifestyle they desire. Ken’s journey not only allowed him to reclaim his time and enjoy precious moments with his family, but it also empowered him and his wife to eliminate their $160,000 debt and take control of their finances.
As the conversation unfolds, Ken dives into his decision to transition from residential to commercial cleaning, illuminating the advantages and opportunities this strategic shift presented. Drawing from his wealth of experience and expertise, he articulates the reasons behind this move, providing valuable insights for those interested in the commercial cleaning sector.
About Our Guest(s):
Owner of Carfagno Commercial Cleaning
Ken has seen it all in the industry. From struggling with debt to rising above and creating the lifestyle that he always wanted for he and his family. He started a solo cleaning business in New York in 2005. Ken eventually built his business to $60,000 in profit by only cleaning two days a week. In 2018 he sold that business for $80,000 and moved his family to his hometown near Philadelphia. Ken and his wife, Teresa, also have five children. Every year his family takes a month-long vacation to Florida to create life memories. In 2022, Ken was recognized with the cornerstone award for small business of the year in Indian Valley, Pennsylvania.
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