I stare at the ceiling. I count sheep. I listen to the crickets outside my window.
For the last two hours my cell phone display has illuminated the bedroom walls as I check the time over and over again.
Fifteen minutes feels like days.
An hour feels like eternity.
I want sleep.
…and even though my schedule is completely empty for the day ahead, I need sleep.
Stress is a formidable foe, and for a quite an extended period of time, it’s gotten the best of me. I have no appetite. I’m constantly in a state of worry…
…and, as I’ve mentioned before – I cannot sleep.
Starting a pest control business was supposed to be easier than this.
The customers were supposed to come in droves. My community was supposed to see my flashy new truck lettering or my beautiful mobile responsive website and instantly choose my brand over the ones they had known for years.
“How foolish are these people?”, I’ve often asked myself.
“I’m less expensive!”
“I’m more trustworthy!”
(Sigh)”What am I doing wrong???”
I spent much of my days and sleepless nights searching for the answers.
And I FOUND answers: A new widget on the website, newspaper ads, Groupon, Angie’s List…
…but unfortunately, I just couldn’t find the RIGHT answers.
I have yet to learn that reputation takes time.
So in that moment, the period I now call the dark ages, I continued to struggle.
“If I could just jump ONE spot on Google, the masses will come”
“If I could only afford a billboard on Watson Blvd, my phone would ring off the hook”
Thoughts like these filled my head over and over again.
I check the time. It’s 3:04am.
Four minutes? Seriously?
I give up. I go to the living room for my nightly dose of infomercials.
I aim the remote at the TV mounted on the wall. The dark room quickly fills with that flickering dim blue hue we’re all familiar with.
Meanwhile, just four miles away:
It’s 3:05 am. She can’t sleep. Her mind is racing.
She’s a single mother of two. She’s new to the area and has no idea where to turn.
Just six hours earlier, she discovered a bed bug infestation in her daughter’s room.
Taking a break from her research on this growing problem, she checks up on her children.
They’re soundly asleep in her bed. It’s safe there because she vigorously checked every seam, every pillow, and every crevice before she even thought about laying them to rest in that bed.
She returns to the living room and her laptop to make decisions on which pest control companies to call. The morning is still another five hours away. She’s got a list of the companies that open at 8am.
Thinking out loud she says, “Maybe if I call at seven-thirty, somebody will be in the office and pick up. Maybe one of their guys lives close and they could send him over here before he goes into work.”
Right now, she needs peace of mind. She needs more than a money-back guarantee. She needs someone to show up at her door with confidence.
Most likely, she’ll hire a complete stranger that wears a familiar uniform and drives a familiar looking truck. Not the best situation, but at least she’s seen the logo before, right?
… But then again, maybe she’ll call that tiny company she’s never heard of. Maybe she’ll put her trust in that battle-tested bed bug veteran – that bald-headed, cocky fella that’s going to answer the phone on the second ring – the guy from Titus Pest Control.
Something tells me she WILL call Titus…she’ll call ME.
… and when tomorrow night rolls around…
… she and I will BOTH sleep well.
About the Author:
While a large part of his time is consumed by his pest control operation, Steve Jackson is also a husband and father of two. In his off time, he enjoys watching college football, catching movies, and spending quality time in his Warner Robins community. He has a passion for marketing and loves to write.
He also has a strange habit of writing his bio in third person.