*Shakes hands with person we never met*
“Hi, I’m Jack”
“Hi, I’m Jacqui”
“Wow! Jack and Jacqui – That’s Cute. haha”
What’s even cuter than matching names? Running a business together. OK – not that cute. It’s actually very messy and really, really hard.
When we toyed with starting Pristine, we were just a couple of 27 year old kids – tired of wasting our determination and dedication on companies who just didn’t seem to appreciate us. So, we did what any normal people with a good-paying, easy corporate jobs would do – we quit…..eventually.
We thought it would be so easy running a business. And, in a way, I’m glad we were so naive because I’m not sure we would have done this if we knew how hard it would be.
We started building the business in the nights of October of 2015, laying down the framework so that we could launch as seamlessly as possible. We would work our day-jobs and come home to take care of our 1 year old so we could get him to sleep and work on Pristine. And work, we did…every single night for the next 3 months. We were exhausted but we knew it would be worth it.
Jack left his job in January 2016 and we hit the ground running….ok…..crawling because we had ZERO clients and we started a seasonal business in the dead of winter – like I said, I’m glad we were so naive. Eventually, the weather got warmer, we started getting inquiries and Jack sold his first few jobs while I worked to keep us afloat financially.
With dedication to our customers and top-notch customer service, we were eventually killing it. Our first son was just over a year old. Life was eeeeaaassssyyyyy (We now have 3 kids under 4…if we only knew how good we had it with 1 kid)
I finally quit my job and decided to work at Pristine full-time. I had a gut feeling that the sales I could bring it would far outweigh the salary I left behind – I followed that gut feeling and excitedly put in my 2 weeks notice to follow this dream I never knew I’d have.
Then, on my first day working for Pristine, our 1 and only truck broke down – transmission. $8k to fix it and 2-3 weeks out of service, we were SWEATING. It was the most frustrating and scary time in our lives. We never pictured having zero revenue and losing jobs that we worked so hard to book because we just couldn’t get to them in time.
That was hard – and it tested us, big time. I can’t say we went through that situation perfectly as husband and wife. We fought, we took out frustrations on each other, we didn’t know what we were doing and it showed. It was a weak time in our marriage but, we came out stronger partners (in both life and business). I don’t have any pictures of that truck because I burned them all! I hated that truck. Here’s the replacement..
Looking back now, I have to laugh and appreciate that time because it really taught us that even in the darkest moments of running this business together, we have two, very simple choices – to fight or, give up. To get smarter or stay complacent. Sink or swim. We always chose to fight. And even though it still feels like we are drowning sometimes, we learned how to keep the other person afloat just when they need it most. Whether it’s more support in the office, at home, a simple hug, or a vent session – we are there for each other.
Fast forward – we are heading into our 4th year at quadruple the revenue we had in our 1st year, hired our 1st employee, had 2 more kids, and bought our second truck. We are excited, united, and ready to take on this industry head- on but, I truly don’t think we would run this functionally if we hadn’t gone through those dark times in the beginning.
So, whenever we are going through a rough patch – whether in business or life, I remind myself of those days and how they kinda ended up being life’s biggest lesson for us. Then, I smile, take a breath, and step forward.