5 characteristics that separate high-performers from underachievers

April 9, 2022 in Mindset

Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by The ZenMaid Team

The following article is based on a presentation by Alonzo Adams at the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted and organized by ZenMaid. Alonzo is a business coach and the CEO of Busy Bee Cleaning Company.

Think of the most successful maid service owners you know. The ones who are busting through the common expectations of what a maid service company can be. What do these people have in common?

Now think of maid service owners who are just trying to get their business to the next month. What do they have in common?

According to business coach Alonzo Adams, what separates high-performing business owners from underachievers is drive. 

Drive is what pushes people through difficult times and the peaks and valleys of entrepreneurship. It’s what helps them make hard decisions, get the tough work done, and keep going despite challenges. Drive is what makes people relentless in the pursuit of achievement. 

Alonzo believes drive is made up of 5 characteristics:

D – Discipline

R – Resilience

I –  Intention

V – Vision

E – Effectiveness

When combined, these characteristics can help you create massive growth in your cleaning service. Here’s a breakdown of each characteristic. 

D is for Discipline

“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn

Discipline is committing to your goals every single day. It’s what gives you focus so that you’re not changing your businesses every time you hit a roadblock. 

Discipline also leads to consistency which builds trust between you and your employees, and you and your customers. They know what to expect and that you’ll always deliver on your promises. 

When you make decisions based on discipline, focus, and consistency, you make the choices that are right for your business. 

Think of top professional athletes like Tom Brady, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods. Discipline is what allowed them to practice each day to build the skills that would make them the top athletes in their sports.

R is for Resilience

It’s inevitable that there will be challenges and storms to weather in your business. There will be customers lost, competitors who don’t play fair, employees who disappoint you. Having resilience means gaining strength from these situations. Instead of allowing negative events to knock you down, you find the lessons, move on, and continue to grow your maid service. 

Resilience also contributes to the energy that you bring as a business owner. Your energy affects your employees and your clients so it’s important to be aware of the effects your words and actions have on others. Focus on being resilient so that you’re always showing up as the most powerful and inspiring version of yourself. 

When you’re resilient, you’re not afraid to fail. You know you have the ability to get back up, to keep fighting, and get back on track. Be like an athlete who knows that there’s always a chance to catch up in the fourth quarter. 

Persevering through challenges will help you learn that problems create opportunities. We’ve all witnessed this during the pandemic – businesses of all kinds pivoting to meet the needs of customers in the moment. 

Be creative and resourceful, you never know what great things can grow from challenges. 

I is for Intention

“Excellent is never an accident. It’s always a result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives – Choice, not chance, determines your destiny.” – Aristotle

Living life with intention means that you don’t allow the events of the day, or other people, determine what you do. You’re deliberate with how you start your day, the tasks you do, the food you eat, and the way you handle yourself in your relationships.

An intention to accomplish your goals means being purposeful about how you spend your time. It means saying yes to things that are outside your comfort zone that will move your business forward, and saying no to time-suckers like scrolling through Facebook or binge watching a show on Netflix.

To be intentional, end each day with a plan for what you’ll do the next day. This will help you focus on priorities and stay on track, even if an unexpected situation arises.

V is for Vision

Do you remember the exciting vision you had for your business when you first started it? Where is that vision now? Do you have the same enthusiasm for it?

If your vision has changed, or you’ve forgotten what got you passionate about this business in the first place, it’s time to find another vision. 

An inspiring vision, or goal, for what you want your business to become, is what gives energy and life to your company. Define your vision for your business a year from how, five years from now, and seven years from now. 

Get every idea out of your head. Make a list or create a vision board by putting together pictures that represent your ideal business and life. Don’t edit yourself. Go big. See you business beyond what is today. 

Have you ever had a dream that felt so real that you felt waves at your feet, or like you could almost touch the people in it? That’s how vivid the vision in your business should be. Share this vision with your employees, lenders, and vendors. Help them understand your purpose and where you’re headed. Your vision is your sales page for your future. 

E is for Effectiveness 

“Focus on being productive, instead of being busy.”  – Tim Ferriss

Busy doesn’t always equal success. There are people who are always busy, but never get far in their business. The reason for this is because they aren’t effective. The most effective entrepreneurs know how to get the most important things done. They know how to stay focused, manage their time, and measure results.

Being effective means being decisive, even when choices are difficult. It means knowing when to let clients or employees go. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone, building confidence in your abilities, and getting things done. 

This can mean blocking time out in your calendar so you focus on the tasks that bring the most value to your maid service.  It means that you don’t multitask, but manage one important task at a time with efficiency.  

Delegate what doesn’t need your attention. If you don’t already have one, consider hiring a virtual assistant so you can focus on the most important things. 

Finally, know the difference between the things you can control and the things you can’t. Worrying about things that are out of your hands is a waste of time and energy. Save that time and energy for bringing your bold vision to life. 

Learn more:

For more resources on how to grow and perfect your cleaning business, check out the replays from the 2021 Maid Summit, hosted by ZenMaid. The summit featured more than 60 presentations from other maid service owners who shared tools and strategies to help you achieve the highest levels of success in your business. 

If you found this article helpful for your maid service, you may also like:


Amar is the founder and CEO of ZenMaid Software, Inc. He started and ran Fast Friendly Spotless, a maid service in Orange County, CA. With the help of customized software to automate work he successfully operated the service in under 30 minutes per day. He created ZenMaid scheduling software to help other maid service owners do the same.

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