How much can a one man show make?


How many of you are one man shows, and what is your motivation to stay that way?


I am a one man show and have been for almost 10 years now. My wife helps me when time allows at the times the kids are in school. I like my gig because I don’t have the stress of employees and the overhead that comes with it. I run a super tight storefront route within a 25 mile radius around my house, different city a day and only away from home for 22-25 hours a week. I get up at 4am everyday with my wife who makes me a fresh smoothie and get all my tags ready for the day and I am out the house by 5am. I can get all my work done in 3 days, 5-6 hour days but I go out on Tuesdays for 3 hours to break up things, because who wants to work 8 hours? So I work a quick 4 days a week. LOL I service over 200 storefronts on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly schedule, and most of my clients I have had for the whole time doing my route.
My motivation is my family, when that alarm goes off at 4am it sucks, but I know my wife is going to be getting my stuff ready and my boys need me to build something for the present and future. So they keep me motivated as it is easy to sleep in if you are weak minded. I just don’t want to deal with training and risking employee issues quite yet. I want to leave that part for my first son in a few years to start helping on a regular basis.
My wife and I do about 50 houses a year without any advertising, just word off mouth and people seeing me on my route getting a card from me.
People ask me why I don’t grow and work 40-60 hour weeks, well It is because I am a family man and I love my family. I spend so much time with them it might be overload but I would not want it any other way. When my wife homeschooled the boys we went on so many vacations and so many daily adventures but I was able to get all my work done so I did not miss out.
Long winded here but you asked for motivation and why a one man show, so here you go! :metal:



Super response. Love the fact that you leave us with no doubt that you are where you want to be. Not long winded at all. I would thank you for sharing in such great detail. I think this serves as inspiration for those with similar family values.:+1::+1:


Right on! In my book it is all about family, before this gig I had a dirtbike repair shop sitting in the shop 10 hours 6 days a week with my wife and first son just waiting for work when the economy hit hard here and I strived on my route. Never thought I would be a window cleaner, but I consider myself a business person/owner as well which pumps it up a little. Here is a picture of my son in October at 10 years old 5:15am just killing it in front of me while I squeegee behind him. This was his first full day with me and I cherish that day so much, we had a great time. Just remember your family is always behind you ( hopefully ) and get out with confidence and kick some green backs @ss! I’ve been stalking all your posts and have the best wishes for you!


This post was like listening to a “relax and enjoy the sounds of Zen” CD. lol

I actually felt the stress slip away for a moment.

Im the total opposite of you, and truth be told… Im jealous!
Id kill to be home laying with my (getting old) k9, keeping each other warm a few days per week.

Good for you, man!
(and thanks for the smile/warm feeling)


Thanks for the kind words J-Rod!!!

This picture above is priceless. The fact that he is way ahead of you is a great sign of intrinsic motivation. The pedigree of a good running parter.


Man some beautiful words.

My son is turning 10 this March. He has been bugging to come out :+1: I can show the wife your post it’ll help with the whole “I’ll get up early too” thing he says. Lol!


Thanks guys, I thought I would get grief for my write up as being lazy LOL, nice to hear from you guys. My son would ask me a lot to take him out, and I was always nervous like he would slow me down, but when I finally took him this day, he jumped out of bed within a couple seconds of his alarm going off throwing on clothes and getting ready. I was in utter shock how great of a front man he was for me. He picked up the pole and went to work like a pro. The day took the same amount of time as by myself and I so enjoyed it. But… the next day my 7 year old had to have his turn, that was a lot harder for him as he is so much smaller. We still had a great day just hard for him. But 10, worked good, hopefully your wife lets you take him out.


The lost art of passing the trade down to the apprentice, as a coach my goal was not teach the technique of the game. It was to teach them the love of the game. Then the teaching becomes easy. Think of it this way. A short term lose in time for a long term gain. Also somewhere tomorrow in the world off window cleaning someone is going to start new for the very first time. Maybe can’t sleep they are so nervous about tomorrow. There’s your boy fearless, learning new skills and hanging out with his hero. Need I say more!


same as above^^^^

love being Solo no stress! well some but not like when i had workers.

we also homeschool our kids and i like the time we get too spend with them. our kids also have learned too work janitorial side.

my son has worked various times last two years he’s now 7. he loves too work and learn he also goes with his Pa who owns a pool company

i also get him time with various customers who own businesses as well. too many people depend on schools too help their kids figure out how too work.


Truthfully, you see this less and less now days. Technology and being logged onto Xbox, or PS3 is the norm. These are experiences and memories that will told many year from now around the dinner table. Priceless!


I do WC and carpet cleaning solo but I try to have a helper for janitorial. I had to lay my janitorial employee off in November but I am training a new hire for janitorial as I type this.

He is only 18 and I have to keep saying “Don’t stop your hands to talk.” My East Prussian uncle used to scream that at me when he was training me to be a fisherman when I was a teenager. I think he’s nervous and that’s why he’s talking so much.


HBM, is it your intention to stay a two person operation. Or did you try and feel that it was not worth all the extra challenges that go along with more employees?


my kids own none of those consoles. they have an ipad they get too use every once in a while.
no tv either we dont own one.

they read and play OUTSIDE! lol


Great posts all. Glad everyone is finding what suits them. Just want to mention one point; don’t assume that having employees means you don’t value your family and spending time with them. There’s hard work up front but the payoff (not monetarily only) is astronomical.


@anon55228717. Such a great post! I am a one man show and work 4 days a week as well. We get a ton of rain, so keeping a day open each week helps a lot. If it storms one day, I can go do the outside of that house on my day off. I used to be so stressed out working 5 days a week trying to work around the rain. Now I have very little stress. My wife gave me the idea to start working 4 days a week. I love that woman!


I need to have an employee doing janitorial during the busy season so that I have more time for WC and carpet cleaning. Finding and training a suitable employee is challenging but necessary.


Aren’t you working 5 days a week if your working on your day off?


I always look forward to your responses Jeff. I rarely have to work 5 days a week. Have a great weekend man!


Just a question based off what you said.