fbpx
Danielle Jenkins founder of Domestic Divas Explains How You Dont Have to Let Your Circumstances Define Your Life

Danielle Jenkins founder of Domestic Divas Explains How You Don’t Have to Let Your Circumstances Define Your Life | Ep. 169

Danielle Jenkins founder of Domestic Divas Explains How You Don’t Have to Let Your Circumstances Define Your Life | Ep. 169

Danielle Jenkins founder of Domestic Divas Explains How You Dont Have to Let Your Circumstances Define Your Life
Danielle Jenkins founder of Domestic Divas Explains How You Dont Have to Let Your Circumstances Define Your Life

Summary

Danielle was flat broke, over $50,000 in debt and in a dead end relationship. One day she decided not to let her circumstances define her, took control of her life and turned it around.

Fast forward from the moment of that decision  to twelve months later, she created a compay, had a long list of customers, bootstrapped it, and paid off all her debt.  

You’ll be rooting for her sucess the whole way through this epsiode.

Listen in to hear her inspiring story and all the tips she offers fellow business owners.

Brandon: 

Hello Friends, welcome to the Edge. 

Brandon: 

Today. We have likely the most inspiring story of an entrepreneur that we’ve had on the show so far. 

Brandon: 

Danielle Jenkins is the founder and ceo of domestic dealers. 

Brandon: 

She was living with her boyfriend. 

Brandon: 

They were flat broke, she was driving down the road Hungary and did not even have enough money to buy a candy bar. 

Brandon: 

And to make matters worse, she’s driving with her boyfriend’s daughter who she was taking care of at the time as if it was her own daughter and this is a heart wrenching story where they break up. 

Brandon: 

She gets her daughter taken away, she’s completely broke and she reinvents herself In the matter of less than a year. 

Brandon: 

She goes from being $60,000 in debt and broke and feeling like she has nowhere to go to running a successful business and on top of it, she never raises a single dime. 

Brandon: 

She’s bootstrapped the company the whole time. 

Brandon: 

You are absolutely going to love this story, whether you are just getting started or you’re a business owner who’s making millions of dollars a year. 

Brandon: 

It’s an inspirational story that will have you cheering for her all the way through Danielle Jenkins Ceo and founder of Domestic Divas. 

Brandon: 

Here we go. 

Brandon: 

Welcome to the Edge podcast, your weekly playbook about the inner game of building a successful business, making you a happier, healthier and richer business owner and here’s your host, Brandon White. 

Brandon: 

Hey Danielle. 

Brandon: 

Hello, how are you? 

Brandon: 

Good, how are you doing? 

Brandon: 

I’m good. 

Brandon: 

Thank you, appreciate you joining us and taking a break from your pull activities today. 

Brandon: 

Thank you. Yeah, it’s so lovely. It’s beautiful weather here in Montreal. It’s so nice and honestly, it’s a nice little break to come in and do some work for the afternoon talk to you. So I was super excited. We could still do it today. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. Right on. Well, I’m glad we finally connected you. 

Brandon: 

You must have a lot of business because you sound like a very busy lady. I mean, I’d like to say so, yes, we are very busy and you know, I don’t want to say that it comes in waves. 

Brandon: 

It’s always been very busy on our side. But right now with Covid with, with, you know, all of the new contracts we’re dealing with so much more need for our services, but so much less work because not many, you know, we’re finding that not many people, you know, we can’t hire as much and it’s not just our industry, it’s, it’s every industry right now are really struggling in the workforce. 

Brandon: 

So, so we’re, you know, we’re up here, but we also have people that don’t want to join us. 

Brandon: 

So it’s really difficult, you know, to be able to keep up with that. So we’re kind of next out right now, which is great. 

Brandon: 

It’s great problem off. 

Brandon: 

So will people not, don’t want to come to work because of exposure in Montreal or or is, I mean here in the United States. A lot of people, they have a program that some people are making more money staying home then they are working. 

Brandon: 

Is that the same thing with you? 

Brandon: 

It sure is. 

Brandon: 

So, um, actually not from Montreal. So I’m from just north of Toronto in Ontario. I’m here in Montreal with a friend. Just No, no, that’s okay. No problem. And, and actually we are expanding this way as well. So we are working on projects out here in Montreal. 

Brandon: 

I’m a little bit of a crazy person. Sometimes my staff will tell you, I will take it all and deal with it going from, you know, when it comes into getting in there, I will figure it out where they’re going on, you know, we’re really dealing with the staffing issue and stuff like that, but we figure it out. 

Brandon: 

We always do. So, so that’s why we’re here in Montreal. But in regards to the staffing issue, yes, we are battling that the serb, we call it the, I think it’s the universal, the emergency relief benefit or something like that or the Canadian universal relief benefit or something like that. 

Brandon: 

So, yes, that’s what we’re dealing with right now. 

Brandon: 

So we’ve never paid minimum wage to begin with. 

Brandon: 

We have always had an extremely great crew. 

Brandon: 

We really wouldn’t need to be hiring if it wasn’t for the influx of services needed. So if we were where we were client based wise four or five months ago, it wouldn’t be a problem because we’ve had the same people for you know four years. 

Brandon: 

But it’s now that we’re needing to get new people to keep up with the new growth of of services and clients. That’s where we’re running into the problem. So that’s what we’re currently working on. 

Brandon: 

Well that sounds like it’s a big challenge and I know here the United States it is as well. 

Brandon: 

I want to go back and hear your story because I actually would never know it talking to you. 

Brandon: 

But you’re originally from England, aren’t you? 

Brandon: 

So so how do you get from England or what you were born in England? 

Brandon: 

Yes. 

Brandon: 

So you’re born in England and then you you came to Canada. 

Brandon: 

Can you help our listeners understand your story a little bit and how this happened. 

Brandon: 

I mean you don’t even have the inkling of a accent. 

Brandon: 

I know and everybody is so sad. 

Brandon: 

I know if it wasn’t for my U. K. Passport they’d never know. So, so how far do you want me to go back? You want me to talk about how the company got started or kind of how I got started and I think how you got started and then how you started the company and how it led to where you are today? 

Brandon: 

Sure, okay, we can definitely do that. 

Brandon: 

So okay. Born in England, West Midland. So just west of Birmingham. 

Brandon: 

So my family, my whole family is all is all in England. I grew up there my whole life. I went to school there and moved from England when I was eight years old to Canada. So my family moved here because, and, and this is the craziest thing. 

Brandon: 

We came on vacation when I was about four or five and they fell in love with Canada and they said that’s it. We’re moving, we’re moving to Canada Three years later we were in a tiny tiny place called Mall Mark. 

Brandon: 

My dad actually came over a few months prior to my brother and myself and my mom and and he came over to buy a house, get a job settled and everything like that came over and uh found this tiny, tiny little house in the tiniest little village About two hours north of Toronto In, you know, with with five ft of snow. 

Brandon: 

Like you think that it was something you’d see in a movie, you know, with, with Antarctica or something? 

Brandon: 

It was absolutely crazy. So I still remember my dad picked us up three months later he moved in the August I believe in November, it was my mom’s birthday’s in November 30. 

Brandon: 

He picked us up at the airport in this awful Trailblazer vehicle and it was the only vehicle he could get in. You know, it’s such a short amount of time. Obviously funds limited, you know, we didn’t have a whole lot of money and all of our money just went into moving a different country. So he picked us up on this Trailblazer, the whole bottom of it was resting out and we get to Toronto and he picks us up and then we get north of Orangeville for our Canadian listeners. 

Brandon: 

I’m sure they know exactly where, where these places are, but basically imagine you know city and then two hours straight north and by the time you get straight north You are literally in the middle of nowhere and it’s about a 10° temperature difference. 

Brandon: 

So we get up there and there is like four ft of snow we’ve never seen so in our life before because we just came from England and at the time there was no snow in England, like we had never grown up with snow. 

Brandon: 

And and so you know my mom was freaking out like where are we going, where are we now? 

Brandon: 

And the house was actually heated with a wood stove. 

Brandon: 

So we had no electrical heat, no gas heaters, all wood. 

Brandon: 

And I still remember I was only eight but I still remember this. 

Brandon: 

I remember walking into this house, my dad had our mattresses put in our, in our rooms, my mom went over to the wood stove and was like where’s the switch? 

Brandon: 

How do we turn it on? 

Brandon: 

Well of course, you know my dad moving there didn’t have time to get the firewood, didn’t have any time to get any of that. 

Brandon: 

So it was just you can imagine the chaos. 

Brandon: 

So my mom actually with warming the upstairs of our, you know, as a tiny house, it was about 1100 square feet with the oven. So she had turned on the oven and opened the door and that was how we were warming up the house for the first week. So that was our first little venture in Canada. So shortly after, you know, life went on, we went to school in the january. 

Brandon: 

So we stayed off until christmas at that point and then we enrolled for january start. 

Brandon: 

That was a big change as well. Coming to a different school even though we’re, we all speak english, it’s still very different. So I, another thing that I remember very fondly was obviously the accents being very different in Canada. 

Brandon: 

We pronounce or entertainment us, you know, we pronounce it like, like the word caught isn’t caught a fish like caught. So Au in England we pronounce that much more abrupt, so it’s caught right. 

Brandon: 

So here I remember I was doing my spelling test after coming back from the holidays and I had introduced myself to the class and there was a new number and of course I talked funny and so we were doing this spelling test and the teacher set out the word caught how Canadians spell it, I would say it. 

Brandon: 

So I wrote down what I thought was C O T. 

Brandon: 

Like a bed, like a cot and so afterwards you were going through the letters on the chalkboard and you know going through all of the correct spelling and I felt like a complete idiot because I now had to learn, you know the difference in all of that. 

Brandon: 

So that took a lot of adjusting. 

Brandon: 

I made friends very quickly, I lost my accent very quickly then about three months. 

Brandon: 

And uh that seems to happen with people who are very young and moved to a different country. 

Brandon: 

I believe it’s under the age of 13 or 14. Your voice box isn’t fully developed yet so you can actually adjust accents. So that’s that’s that that’s why I don’t have an accent and that’s why I’m here in Canada. And shortly after we just did you know the usual family thing and went on with everything. 

Brandon: 

My parents actually divorced three years later after moving to Canada, my dad moved out and uh and so that was another big change. 

Brandon: 

And then just after that, you know we just did the regular thing. 

Brandon: 

So then I guess you know school went on and I wanted to become a lawyer. 

Brandon: 

So that was my big plan was to become a lawyer. 

Brandon: 

Why do you want to become a lawyer? 

Brandon: 

I think if I’m being brutally honest, I think I was a very intelligent child, I was very good academically. 

Brandon: 

I was very focused on my studies and I think it was just that typical grow up, get a job, become a lawyer, doctor a nurse or you know something in that accountant or something like that and then in my head that was what I wanted to do. 

Brandon: 

So you know we had family friends who are lawyers as well. We one of our first family friends was actually a lawyer here in Canada and I think it was just you know that’s what I was exposed to. It’s you know when people say if you’re looking for red cars, that’s what you’re always going to see. And so I think I was just kind of you know, pushed around in that like legal the old and that I should have completed that. 

Brandon: 

So that’s what I was based on the or focused on going to school for. 

Brandon: 

So I spent my pretty much my, you know my grade 78 years which is very young to be starting to think about a future. But I was thinking about it, that was my plan. 

Brandon: 

And then grade 9 to 12 I was fully focused on going to law school. 

Brandon: 

So in grade nine and 10 I actually did summer schooling to be able to get my credits quicker. So I did regular schooling and summer schooling got all of my credits quicker. So by the time grade 11 came out I actually had enough credits to graduate. So I took great 11 and did an internship with mike it’s funny my current corporate lawyer who does everything for the company, I did my, my internship with him. 

Brandon: 

So that was pretty cool how everything’s full circle. 

Brandon: 

So we did the internship and then shortly after that I got into a relationship with a gentleman and that this is how the birth of, of the company started. 

Brandon: 

So we get together, I was at the law firm while you’re working at the law firm. 

Brandon: 

No, I met a gentleman that I went to school with in high school in high school and how old are you At this point? 

Brandon: 

I was 17. 

Brandon: 

Well I want to ask another question. 

Brandon: 

Who what what did when your dad moved to England and moved you here? 

Brandon: 

What was he doing for a living? 

Brandon: 

And did he have a transition job when you moved here? 

Brandon: 

So he’s always been a mechanic? 

Brandon: 

He was a heavy, like an 18 wheeler mechanic, diesel mechanic. 

Brandon: 

So he was that in England and he actually got on, do you know the trucking company? Can worse. Yes. Yeah. So he actually got on with them when we first moved to Canada. So that he’s very figured that he was going to get a job because people need mechanics and he wasn’t worried about that I guess. 

Brandon: 

I mean that’s a bit pretty big breast. 

Brandon: 

Right? So do you have, did you ever ask him like, Hey man, you just brought us to this 1100 square foot house with no heat and like how are we going to pay the bills or what, what’s the deal? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I mean, I guess my mom had faith in him. 

Brandon: 

I guess so I guess that I guess it was a good face, but then it did unfortunately didn’t turn out well. 

Brandon: 

Huh. 

Brandon: 

No. 

Brandon: 

And uh yeah, it’s funny how like, you know, takes those funny turns. 

Brandon: 

But you know, that’s one thing I’ve never asked him and or my mom, I guess maybe one day I should, but I mean at eight years old, you’re not thinking that you’re like, okay, let’s go. Right. Um Yeah, so, so that that, that uh so exact, you’re in high school, you take an internship because you think you’re going to be a lawyer because it seems like the right thing to do to make a living. 

Brandon: 

You meet this guy in high school, which is sort of normal and but it doesn’t sound like it’s a normal occurrence. 

Brandon: 

So what happens when you meet this gentleman? 

Brandon: 

So I meet this gentleman and things are great. 

Brandon: 

I mean, you know, at 17 again, you’re, I mean, I was maybe not typical 17 year old because I was very focused on my future. 

Brandon: 

I was planning on going to school and you know, having this great life, but I meet this gentleman and long story short, I don’t want to get into the very fine details. 

Brandon: 

Long story short, it was about a 3.5 year relationship. 

Brandon: 

He had a daughter from a previous relationship and the daughter was very young for just a minute, so you need him in high school, but he has a so was he in high school with you? 

Brandon: 

He was graduated at this point. 

Brandon: 

Okay, I’m just I’m just trying to figure this out because, you know, when you said he has a daughter, I’m like, wow, maybe they do do things differently in Canada uh no, Danielle, those things differently. 

Brandon: 

Okay, that’s an important point. 

Brandon: 

Thank you. 

Brandon: 

So, you meet this guy, he does he and he has a daughter when you meet him. 

Brandon: 

Yes, Okay. 

Brandon: 

How do your parents feel about this situation at this point? Because you’re 17? 

Brandon: 

I mean, like I said, I maybe wasn’t the typical 17 year old. I had worked every weekend, every evening after school from the time I was about 13, I was always very ambitious, always very smart. I wasn’t really a typical partier at that age, you know, like very, I feel like I was very different in that sense at that age. So, my mom has always been my number one supporter, my number one, and I know that sounds very pushy because it’s like what everybody says, but it’s very true because she’s kind of like a hard ass about it, you know, she’ll say you figure it out on your own. 

Brandon: 

I’m going to tell you what I think and you’re stubborn and strong willed enough that you’re gonna have to figure that out on your own? 

Brandon: 

So they weren’t too happy? 

Brandon: 

I mean, at this point my dad and I weren’t really communicating, you know, very often, you know, he had moved and gotten remarried and stuff and so my mom and I are very close and uh and she basically said that you know, you’re, you’re paying on your own figuring out and you know, where do you meet this guy with a kid? 

Brandon: 

You’re gonna laugh when I say this? 

Brandon: 

He was a hockey player, Brandon and uh and that’s a big deal up here and ah so you married? 

Brandon: 

Was he in the NHL? No, no, no, no, I mean, I think that was the plan, but no, so, so there was a little stardom there to, and did you go to a hockey game and meet him or do you meet him at the, like you’re not in a bar, you’re clearly not that sort of lady? 

Brandon: 

No. 

Brandon: 

So we uh we had mutual friends again, like we kind of knew each other through school, you know, even if I was in like grade nine or 10, he I think was in grade 12 at that point, so we knew of each other and we just kind of connected on social media I think was facebook or something, but needless to say the story gets very exciting. 

Brandon: 

And so yeah, so I meet this guy, he has a daughter from a previous relationship, the baby was very young, the, and I had thought about this very thoroughly because I thought, okay, how is this going to affect my life And I mean, exactly, so I figured you know what, he has weekend custody, he can, you know, see the baby on weekends. 

Brandon: 

I still work, I still have my life, I still have my plan, it’s every other weekend we can deal with that. 

Brandon: 

You know, at this point I can be you know, dad’s girlfriend and still do my thing. 

Brandon: 

So shortly after that unfortunately and it was it was quite sad the biological mother actually became, she got involved with drugs, became a heroin addict. 

Brandon: 

So long story short, you know, she didn’t come through very strong, she didn’t really complete rehab and all of those things. 

Brandon: 

So my current partner and I got custody At 17/18. 

Brandon: 

So how’d that feel? 

Brandon: 

That was, it was crazy and I’m going to be honest, I mean we could talk for days about that time in my life. 

Brandon: 

It was it’s the hardest thing to do when you see a child that has been neglected and ran through shit and I hate even, I shouldn’t even say this on here, but honestly at such a young age by the one person who was supposed to protect and love and care for her the most and it was so hard and I mean, you know, we grew up not wealthy by any means, but I mean we are as a family, we always still had everything. 

Brandon: 

My parents still took care of us. 

Brandon: 

Didn’t matter how hard they had to work. 

Brandon: 

Everything was always there, everything is always taken care of. 

Brandon: 

So I had a really hard time understanding again at 17 slash 18 it was around that, I don’t know exactly the age, but it was 17 or 18, it’s a lot of responsibility, right? 

Brandon: 

And you’re trying to process how all of this is going on. 

Brandon: 

And I feel like I kind of took the reins on a lot of the situation that’s going on. 

Brandon: 

And so you know, we were in court battling this whole situation with Children’s aid society, not for us because of that situation. 

Brandon: 

You know, Children’s aid society wanted to keep her obviously with my partner at the time and myself because we could provide a stable home people out of the system. 

Brandon: 

So yeah, so it was a lot, it was court dates, schooling work, trying to figure out being a mom At 18 years old. 

Brandon: 

And so we we did it, we got through it and at this point, I mean I didn’t have anybody like you know, I was broke, I was high school students slash interns students slash new mom and trying to figure out my life, you know, but I had worked my butt off for the last probably five years and put a whole bunch of money away savings. 

Brandon: 

Uh funny on friday saturday Sundays I worked at the chip truck from nine a.m. Fish and chip truck? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, like a like a burger shack, food food truck, truck. 

Brandon: 

Yeah and you need food. 

Brandon: 

Yes, french fries, burgers. 

Brandon: 

Well those things, how fun was that? 

Brandon: 

You know what I love that I served the same 100 people for like six years of my life, you know, and they were a part of my life. 

Brandon: 

And I it’s funny actually one of them that was a regular that lived very near to the chip truck location. 

Brandon: 

She’s actually on the chamber of commerce in our city for business owners. 

Brandon: 

And so when I opened the company, she said, oh my goodness, it’s you please come and join our chamber. 

Brandon: 

So it’s so funny. 

Brandon: 

I love the connections. 

Brandon: 

I love I’m a master and total lover of networking and meeting people and uh and all of those things because I feel like that’s what’s happened my whole life. 

Brandon: 

I just feel like all of these relationships are so full circle. 

Brandon: 

Do food trucks need money? 

Brandon: 

I mean they were paying me a good chunk of money and so I’d imagine so I just don’t know, I don’t I don’t know, I watched that food truck show and you know, maybe back in the day, maybe there’s not a lot of food trucks up there if you go to L. A. Here, There’s like five million food trucks. 

Brandon: 

They’re all super good. 

Brandon: 

But my understanding is that they got to have like, did you have a catering business along with that. I’m just curious, you know, so I believe it’s probably one location it was on, you know, one very important road. Everybody knew where they were, it was very famous location. Everybody knew about them for their chip and their burgers and things like that. 

Brandon: 

And it was just the loveliest older woman who ran it and she owned it. Her and her husband prepared everything and then there was myself and her that that ran it for like six years, wow, that’s cool. 

Brandon: 

I didn’t mean to get off track but you know, it’s a cool part of my life. It was, it was very cool part. So so yeah, so that’s why that’s kind of my start of my working career. So let me just you stock a bunch of money away working at a food truck after you moved to Canada. 

Brandon: 

You accelerate your education because You’re 17, going on 40. 

Brandon: 

uh you meet this guy, he’s got a daughter, he winds up getting custody, you become a mom and you’re going to school and your intern and you think you’re going to be a lawyer and are you living together? 

Brandon: 

So at this point I’m not 100% sure of the timeline, but at one point we were and I can’t remember if it was previous, I think it was Quite previous to getting the custody. 

Brandon: 

100% the biological mother actually lost her rights to the child. 

Brandon: 

So he ended up getting full custody at that point. 

Brandon: 

So it was around there, but at one point we were living together. 

Brandon: 

Yes. 

Brandon: 

So you think you’re gonna get married? 

Brandon: 

Yes. 

Brandon: 

What did you both think that? 

Brandon: 

I’m not sure. 

Brandon: 

I think I think at 17 or 18 and you know, now there’s a child involved and now that I see my life at this point, I’m like, okay, well this is this is what I’m doing with my life now, you know? 

Brandon: 

So I’m okay with it. 

Brandon: 

Again, it was one of those things where I think I adjust and this is where I learned a lot of the things we’re going to talk about afterwards. 

Brandon: 

But this was a pivotal moment in my life. 

Brandon: 

It really was. 

Brandon: 

I mean, at the time I thought my life was over. I thought that yeah, like moving just a few months down the line. But yes, at this chapter in my life, I was, you know, I was there was no happiness. There was no goal. There was no ambition. This was my life, I was a mom and I was going to, you know, take care of this child and deal with the stuff that had come with that. 

Brandon: 

And there was no kind of light at the end of the tunnel, why aren’t you, why you said there was no happiness? Why why weren’t you happy? 

Brandon: 

So After we get the custody of the child, the relationship, I mean it was I was 18, he was 24, I think it just it wasn’t a good relationship, right? 

Brandon: 

And again, like we were older than what we typically were number wise, just, you know, on the maturity level, what we had went through and things like that. 

Brandon: 

And so the relationship wasn’t working out, I was sticking through it because I had like fallen in love with this little child. 

Brandon: 

Again, the back of your head thinking like I can’t do this to this child after what her real mom just did, you know? 

Brandon: 

So I really did put up with a lot of Stuff for the sake of her because again, like it really just play with your mind. 

Brandon: 

I mean for anybody who’s ever went through it, you know, kind of step parent, even just becoming a step parent, it’s so hard, you know, you’re dealing with things that you really have no 100% control over. 

Brandon: 

You can’t say saying like, you know, it’s hard, it’s so hard and there’s no easy way to put it, I can’t even explain it, but it’s very difficult and so, you know, the relationship just wasn’t great. 

Brandon: 

I put up and put up and put up with things, you know, just for the sake of the relationship in the situation and then after that, you know, some some pivotal moments happened which you know obviously a private life and I just said, you know, I can’t do this anymore. 

Brandon: 

And uh it was, Getting to a point was very toxic. 

Brandon: 

It was draining me. 

Brandon: 

There was nothing, I wasn’t complaining school, it was just getting bad. 

Brandon: 

And so I said, you know, I can’t do this anymore. And it was like one day was that one day when you when I mean this has been building up clearly right? But is there one day when you when you when you just you remember where you are and you say to yourself, I’m out or was it just a culmination? 

Brandon: 

Okay, so it was it was a build up for sure. 

Brandon: 

It was definitely a leading up to that point and I remember sitting in my mom’s living a dining room and just bawling my eyes out and I had the baby with me and I just said like I like I can’t do this anymore, I don’t know what to do. 

Brandon: 

And you know, with my parents being divorced to my mom and obviously went through the same kind of thing, I mean my dad that chose to leave that situation, but when I was sitting there and it just hit me and I just thought, you know, I can’t live my life like this anymore. 

Brandon: 

There was, you know, for example, there was just some toxic traits that were you know, not great, like following me to work, I mean, I guess, I guess we’re going to get into this Brandon. 

Brandon: 

So basically, well did you think that you are going to say that and I was going to let you skip over that? 

Brandon: 

No, because this is part of your story. 

Brandon: 

This has made you who you are, this is what’s built your resilience, this is what has made you older as you’re young and able to go and have enough confidence to build a business. 

Brandon: 

So yeah, yeah, we are we are we are getting into it. 

Brandon: 

Okay. 

Brandon: 

So for the time when things were okay in the relationship, we, you know, things were good. 

Brandon: 

I was again working at my internship, I was working hard, I was having two part time jobs. 

Brandon: 

I was taking care of everything financially, physically energetically emotionally and at the time the guy that I was with the child’s father, he when we got together, he actually had a great job in the union and all of a sudden as I started, you know, as our life kind of became one and now you know, we have got custody and we were living together and you know things were just kind of you know together, he just, you know, there were days where he just wouldn’t go to work um and he would say, oh you know, they don’t need me today or whatever, right, it happens in the union, I get it, you know, things happen, but then it became very consistent and then it was, I got laid off and then it was they don’t need me and then it was this and then it was that so here I am 18, 19 years old struggling. 

Brandon: 

I’m like Brandon, I remember did I remember one time I was driving, I had one credit card at the time and I remember driving and I was starving like so acting hungry and all I wanted to do was go and get a chocolate bar from the gas station because at this point that’s literally all I could probably afford and my card got declined and I couldn’t even get a damn chocolate bar and it just like all of these things, you know, over the course of a couple of years we’re just building up and building up and building up and it wasn’t his fault per se but there was no contribution to anything, you know, I had just 17 slash 18 years old been and and put myself in a situation to help like you know, I guess I could have really just went, oh you’re getting custody now, you know, she became a drug addict, I’m just gonna peace out like I’m not dealing with this but I didn’t I couldn’t, my heart couldn’t do it. 

Brandon: 

Then I thought it was stupid. 

Brandon: 

Now I realise why like you just said why I had to go through all of those things that made me who I am today but I’m going to stop, I’m going to just stop, you said it wasn’t his fault, that actually is your fault when you don’t take responsibility for yourself and do the things, especially when you’re dating a younger woman, you just got custody of a of a child. 

Brandon: 

It was all his fault in the fact that he didn’t take responsibility for things. 

Brandon: 

So why do you think that you you say things like it’s not his fault because I don’t want to put the blame for, you know, something silly and and maybe I should now, but at the time, you know, I I knew that me not having enough money for a chocolate bar was not entirely his fault, you know, let’s just put it that way. 

Brandon: 

So there were things that obviously, like you said, you know, accountability and responsibility and all of those things that he could have definitely done, but at this point in my head being very naive, being very young, so stressed, I can’t even imagine anybody going through that. 

Brandon: 

Like I I own a company now, I don’t think I’ve ever been as stressed as what I was at that age, you know, so going through all of that and then it was just building up and building up and just all of these silly little things and you know, I was doing all of these, like, again, working, dealing with him her my life, so my day was something chaotic, like I’d wake up at four, get myself ready, get the baby ready, take her to daycare due to the drug issue with the biological mother, she was actually development delayed, so she wasn’t where she was supposed to be at her age. 

Brandon: 

So I had her in a like a montessori daycare to try and enhance her skills because she was delayed. 

Brandon: 

So you know, I take her to school, go and do my internship, go and do my job, come back, pick her up, take her home cooked dinner, do laundry and you know, do it all over again. 

Brandon: 

And I did that for about two years. 

Brandon: 

Was that the food truck job, internship, food truck with only weekends. 

Brandon: 

And then I also did three days a week at a chinese restaurant, just like them. 

Brandon: 

I don’t think I really did break it, I really don’t think I did. 

Brandon: 

But yeah, so you can imagine, you know, like the stress that 18 years old and you know this is the time when you’re supposed to be enjoying your life with your friends and going to prom, I didn’t go to prom. 

Brandon: 

You know, again, I grew up very quickly because of this the whole situation. 

Brandon: 

So we had went through all of that and it was building up and building up. 

Brandon: 

So then there were things, you know, accusations of affairs, accusations of you know doing things that just didn’t even make sense with my life, you know, again, but I just told you my routine one, how would I have time to even see someone you know? 

Brandon: 

And then, you know, after the accusations for a few months, then after that it was following me to work to make sure I was going to work, you know, watching in weird places if I was coming from the correct way where I was supposed to be coming from work, things like that. 

Brandon: 

So it just built up and built up and there was one pivotal moment where I came home one evening. 

Brandon: 

Um and at this point we were actually living, it was a very short time was about two weeks. 

Brandon: 

We were living at my mom’s home, I forgot even why, but we were there and he was in so my mom has some property and there was like a gully, like a little ditch on the edge of the road and I came back because they were 9:30 PM. 

Brandon: 

So the song was just setting and as I was pulling into the driveway, he was literally laying in the ditch and I pretended like I didn’t see it because I don’t mean to laugh, but I mean this is this this is crazy. 

Brandon: 

I know, I know this is what I mean, I’m telling you like that’s what I said, like, well just leave both details out. 

Brandon: 

But now you have now, you know, and now you understand why. 

Brandon: 

So I, he ended up walking over to me and I said, what are you doing? 

Brandon: 

And he said, well I wanted to make sure you were, you know, coming the right way back from work somewhere else, would I be going right? 

Brandon: 

Like come on. 

Brandon: 

So anyway, so we ended up going inside at this point I was exhausted, I’m pissed off, I’m, you know, embarrassed, like there’s just all these silly things going on in my mind and we end up getting into a huge argument. 

Brandon: 

So my little brother, he’s currently 21, he is the most perfect little brother And son in the whole wide world. 

Brandon: 

He’s so protective of myself, my mom, he’s a hard worker, he’s great. 

Brandon: 

So at this point he was also living at my mom’s house because I believe he was like 14 or 15 at the time. 

Brandon: 

And so my partner and I ended up getting into a huge argument had due to the whole crazy pants thing and we start arguing on the back deck and he actually then physically like aggressively pushed me into the wall. 

Brandon: 

My younger brother heard it came out and like he’s 14, this guy’s 24, he’s you know, losing it. 

Brandon: 

So then a fight erupts and just just insanity. 

Brandon: 

So my mom hears everything comes up. 

Brandon: 

I’m now with the baby, my mom’s dealing with the boys and it just got intense and it was just overwhelming. 

Brandon: 

It was awful. 

Brandon: 

So my mom called his mom, which they weren’t really the greatest support system either to be honest. 

Brandon: 

So my mom called his mom and said listen like I don’t know what we’re gonna do here. 

Brandon: 

We obviously have to try and figure something out for the baby. 

Brandon: 

Daniel is 100% committed to taking responsibility of this. 

Brandon: 

But this like living situation, this relationship cannot continue because this is what just happened. 

Brandon: 

So we tried to do the counseling thing, we tried to go through all of that. 

Brandon: 

It wasn’t helping, it wasn’t getting any better. 

Brandon: 

So, So again, all of these little things leading up and uh you know, I was stressed financially, I like beyond stressed financially at this point it’s not even like I really like I didn’t own a home to have, you know, lines of credit and stuff. 

Brandon: 

It was literally just, I was working 24/7 to not have any money to even buy a chocolate bar, you know, and just pay the ridiculous daycare bills, my vehicle, his vehicle, which was actually on my like it was in my name and then we’ll get into that later. 

Brandon: 

And uh and you know, just the credit card, like just insanity. 

Brandon: 

So I was beyond financially stressed. 

Brandon: 

I was exhausted and just like I just was like not fulfilled, like there was nothing, I wasn’t completing my schooling, like I wasn’t going to law school, I put that on hold because of everything going on and I couldn’t afford it. 

Brandon: 

And so I pushed that off. 

Brandon: 

So it’s like ok, I’ve just given up what I wanted to do, I’ve just done this, I’ve just done this, I’ve just done this. 

Brandon: 

But there was nothing, there is no fulfillment, no happiness. 

Brandon: 

The only happiness really was like, the hugs that I would get from the little girl, like, at the end of the day, like that was that was life, right? 

Brandon: 

So, I remember sitting in my mom’s living room or kitchen and just saying like, I can’t do this, I was bawling my eyes out, I’m stressed, I’m exhausted and she said, well, you have to make this decision. 

Brandon: 

You know, you have the support if you want to continue raising the baby, we, you know, will help you get there. 

Brandon: 

I spoke with the Children’s Aid Society and said, listen, like I know that I’m not her biological mom, but I’ve just raised her for three years, almost three years. 

Brandon: 

So, you know, like, could you help me here? 

Brandon: 

And they said, you’ve been like, number one mom to her, so we’ll help you. 

Brandon: 

So basically, a few days after that, I had a huge anxiety attack. 

Brandon: 

I’ve never had anxiety attacks in my life. 

Brandon: 

I after that one, I’ve never had one since, but I had one, I was driving and I started hyperventilating out of nowhere. 

Brandon: 

So I call my mom and she says, okay, pull over, don’t drive. 

Brandon: 

At this point, my hands were going numb, my feet were going numb, I couldn’t breathe, I was throwing up profusely, just insane. 

Brandon: 

And so I went to the hospital, they said obviously I was having a lot of mental stuff going on. 

Brandon: 

And so then they put me in touch with counselors and therapists and all of those things. 

Brandon: 

And I mean, not many people knew this stuff was going on in my life. 

Brandon: 

You know, my friends really didn’t know, I didn’t have a lot of friends to begin with because of when do I have time for friends? 

Brandon: 

The people that I went to high school with, I wasn’t really close with anymore. 

Brandon: 

So it’s pretty much just me, him, the baby and my family. 

Brandon: 

And so, so we did all of that, and then shortly after I just said, I can’t do this anymore. 

Brandon: 

So we ended up calling the relationship off. 

Brandon: 

Then we did a week on, week on your week off things. 

Brandon: 

So I had her for a week, he had her for a week and so we did that for about two months, which it where it seemed to work. 

Brandon: 

I mean, I was again prepared to take this on, I just raised her, I was all she knew was a mom. 

Brandon: 

I was not ready to rip her heart out again. 

Brandon: 

So we went on with it and I was starting to get at this point, I was now living with my mom because at this point I had no money, like, yeah, it was bad. 

Brandon: 

And um, but at this point, like we were still him and I were still sharing the what finances we did have. 

Brandon: 

We were still sharing everything. 

Brandon: 

It was just living arrangement. 

Brandon: 

That was just the best thing for both of us because neither one of us could afford or do anything for ourselves. 

Brandon: 

We have to do it together. 

Brandon: 

So, and you know, it really, the worst thing is I watched my mom a single mom, raised my brother and I after my dad left and watch her struggle and, and after relying on my dad because she was saying her mom, my dad supported her. 

Brandon: 

But then my dad left and just said like that’s it. 

Brandon: 

You know, my mom didn’t take him for spousal support, child support or anything. 

Brandon: 

So you know, I watched her as well struggle to raise my brother and I did a phenomenal job. 

Brandon: 

And so then I was in the same shoes at a much younger age. 

Brandon: 

So we were doing the joint custody thing and then one day he just literally snapped. 

Brandon: 

I was at my mom’s house. 

Brandon: 

So I had actually finished work about two hours early. 

Brandon: 

I remember this day, like it was yesterday I finished work about two hours early and it was a friday. 

Brandon: 

So how the arrangements were, is that I would, we would just a sunday to sunday and then switch. 

Brandon: 

So it was his, he was going or it was my weekend to have her for the rest of the weekend. 

Brandon: 

So it was a family function or something and he had asked, he had called and said he listened, can I pick her up on saturday, take her to the function, you know, and we’ll, we’ll do that and say, yeah, that’s no problem. 

Brandon: 

So on the friday I called him about two o’clock and I said, hey, I just finished work early, I’m going to go home, I’m gonna have a nap. 

Brandon: 

Like honestly, I feel like I hadn’t slept in three years at this point and he said, okay, no problem. 

Brandon: 

I said, if you want to pick her up tonight, that’s fine, you know, like do your thing, it’s not a problem. 

Brandon: 

Like I tried to be kind of, you know, understanding even though I really didn’t want to let her go ever. 

Brandon: 

I mean that’s something that I’m sure any divorced parents have to deal with. Right. 

Brandon: 

So I did that. And so when I got to my mom’s house, my step dad was there who has been, you know, my pretty much my dad for me and he was there with a friend And they were in there and we were chatting and I just said, you guys, I’m gonna go lay down, I need to have a sleep. 

Brandon: 

And it was about 3:00 at this point. 

Brandon: 

So all of a sudden I stepped out on his friend leave. 

Brandon: 

Well his friend’s truck was still in the driveway. 

Brandon: 

I was also at the house and so about five minutes after my step dad left the house, my partner at the time, he came into the house literally like a bull in a china shop destroyed. 

Brandon: 

My mom’s house, came in through the front door open, broke the law holes in the drywall, Just destroyed everything. 

Brandon: 

And and thought that I was there with my stepfather who is 67 his friends, yeah, so I’m sleeping and he comes in doing this and so I’m like what the f is going on? 

Brandon: 

I’m freaking out because he had already, you know, we already went through this aggression aggressive spurt before and so I call my step dad, I’m I’m petrified and so I put myself in the, in my bedroom kind of locked myself in there. 

Brandon: 

He had taken my car keys which had the only car seat that we had in my car. 

Brandon: 

And so he had taken my car seats sparky’s, He went out after he could hear me on the phone with my step dad because my step dad is not going to put up with this. 

Brandon: 

He said he was on his way back. 

Brandon: 

So so my boyfriend took my car keys, went into my car, took the car seat, locked the doors and left my keys in the car and then he took the car seat, went to the daycare, picked up the baby and literally Brandon that was the last day I saw her. 

Brandon: 

So he at this point we were going through the adoption process for me to actually have legal guardianship of her. 

Brandon: 

C. 

Brandon: 

A. 

Brandon: 

S. 

Brandon: 

Were helping with all of that. 

Brandon: 

They had written letters. 

Brandon: 

You know, Daniel is great but it obviously takes time him being the biological father really has all stay in it and even though him and I didn’t get along, he knew that I was the best thing for her at this point. 

Brandon: 

And uh yeah, so he took off with my with the car seat when I picked her up, called the lawyer on the way and said we’re not going through the adoption, that’s it. 

Brandon: 

Danielle is gone and that was that? 

Brandon: 

No. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

So I literally had, you know, my my baby that I had raised for three years uh kind of ripped out of my arms. 

Brandon: 

You know, I literally dropped her off at daycare that morning, never knowing that I pretty much would never see her again. 

Brandon: 

So you know I’m losing my mind. 

Brandon: 

I’m calling the police, I’m calling CIA. 

Brandon: 

Yes. 

Brandon: 

And and unfortunately I mean obviously for selfish reasons, it’s not like he was providing her poor home. 

Brandon: 

It’s not like she didn’t have all the essentials and CIA. 

Brandon: 

Yes. 

Brandon: 

Said unfortunately like our hands are tied. 

Brandon: 

There’s nothing that we can do. You know, he’s biological father, he’s providing her at home and even down to asked when I was asking them questions with the whole situation. 

Brandon: 

You know, even if he was providing her an awful home and not giving her the basics, they wouldn’t just call me and say, hey, you’ve just raised her for three years, do you want her before we put her in the system, they would automatically put her in the system, right? 

Brandon: 

And so just like there was so much, there’s so much, so shortly after that, that day after that happened. 

Brandon: 

So he was a cardholder on my credit card. 

Brandon: 

He was also on my savings account, which, and the only reason that this happened was because when we ended up getting custody, we had not full custody stuff so we needed cribs and diapers and clothes and just like the whole night. 

Brandon: 

So me working so much, I said, here go, you know, use my savings account, that’s the only money we had and I just worked my ass off for six years to save this money that I was going to use for school and so you’re going to see how all these things tie into each other. 

Brandon: 

So I, so that day, like I said, he was a cardholder, my credit card, he was on my savings account and his car was like, it was in my name, I financed it for him because he didn’t have any credit. 

Brandon: 

So that day he took my baby and then went and he took all the cash max of the credit card, which I think at this point it pretty much was maxed out like in general like that we weren’t doing well financially and I think it was only a $2,000 credit card. 

Brandon: 

But at that time like that’s a lot of money. 

Brandon: 

And so we he whatever was left on there, he kind of maxed that out. 

Brandon: 

He took all the money out of my savings account and because he was on the account, even when I went to the bank, they said like it’s shit, but what are we gonna do right? 

Brandon: 

Like there’s nothing we can do. 

Brandon: 

And then he had the car so I had no money. 

Brandon: 

I was in debt. 

Brandon: 

I literally didn’t even have enough money to pay my insurance that week. 

Brandon: 

And so I didn’t know what to do. 

Brandon: 

I was losing my mind brand and I like literally I was a basket case for weeks. 

Brandon: 

I had to see a therapist, a counselor just because the whole, not even just the stress of everything, but just losing Olivia, you know, like the baby will cut you some slack. 

Brandon: 

Thank you. 

Brandon: 

You know, thank you. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, I think losing your mind is warranted. 

Brandon: 

That was well warranted at that point. 

Brandon: 

Thank you, thank you. 

Brandon: 

So yeah, so that was that. And so I remember sitting in the bedroom that I had at my mom’s place and I just sat there and I just like I just cried. 

Brandon: 

I just broke down. 

Brandon: 

I had nothing. 

Brandon: 

I had nothing to show for it. 

Brandon: 

I wasn’t going to school, I couldn’t go to school, I had just basically put my program, you know, that I wanted to go to and had been accepted to put it off for a year and a half. You know, like just every single thing that I had not done for myself for the situation had just been totally taken away from me and I was just left like an emptiness. 

Brandon: 

And uh, and I had to see some counselors and you know, I said after being able to deal with whatever was going on, I sent him a letter and I basically just said, I don’t understand your decision, but whatever decision you’re making, that’s up to you, you know what’s best for your daughter, but please never call me or don’t call me every three months and say, oh, do you want to see her? 

Brandon: 

I want you to basically tell her that I’m, I’m gone. 

Brandon: 

Like I’m dead. 

Brandon: 

Like, basically the best thing to do and I said to him because I’m not going to be a part of, you know, ruining her life, ruining her or giving her mental games or anything like that. 

Brandon: 

You know, the best thing to do is to just say that I’m gone and hopefully one day she’ll forget me. 

Brandon: 

So at this point she was Almost five. 

Brandon: 

So I mean like strong mental development at that point, right? 

Brandon: 

And uh, to this day, I don’t know where she is or if she knows about me or like what they’ve told her. 

Brandon: 

So seeing counselors and stuff is that maybe one day she’ll find you like, who knows? We don’t know at this point and, and then we’ll have to worry about it then. 

Brandon: 

But for the time being when I was I was there, it was so hard. 

Brandon: 

It was so hard. Like I said, I literally just felt like I had nothing. I just sat there and just like my whole life when I said, like, I felt like my life was ending that that was like that day I think for about three months. So then I was like, what am I gonna do? Like literally I had no job. Well I had my job, but I mean like I had no future at this point because I had no family to take care of. That was plan for a little bit and just all of these little things. 

Brandon: 

So then I needed to make some money because I had to pay my insurance. 

Brandon: 

So I called my dad like, you know, typical little girl like daddy, I need some money, My real dad and I told him the situation and he didn’t give me the money for my insurance. 

Brandon: 

So my mom scraped together between what I had what she had and we put the money together for my insurance. 

Brandon: 

And so then it was just, you know, time to just get over it and at that moment I I kind of sat there and and moat for about 34 days and then it just kind of hit then like I can’t let this affect my life, like it’s time for Danielle to like grow the fuck up and like let’s go like go time I was 19 at this point. 

Brandon: 

So I said that’s it like we’re going I can’t go to school. 

Brandon: 

So I had planned so after I’ve gotten over all the shit and and grew up and you know, spoke to the counselor, not that I didn’t say grow up, I mean like just like put on my big girl panties and go right. 

Brandon: 

So I spoke with the counselors and they basically said and one thing that really kept me going throughout the whole thing was the only reason he took her because I had a really hard time with why he took her for me because it’s not like I wasn’t wasn’t a good mom or anything like that. 

Brandon: 

And so it really played on my mind a lot of of why he did this and they said like he you didn’t need him for anything, no money, not that I had a lot of money, but I didn’t need him for any money, didn’t need him for a place to live, I didn’t need him for anything at all except for. 

Brandon: 

And he they said that that was the only way that he could hurt me back was taking her away from me. 

Brandon: 

So that’s what he chose to do. 

Brandon: 

So that was the only thing after hearing, you know, I did 34 months of counseling and after hearing that one sentence, I felt like I could kind of move on. 

Brandon: 

I think that’s good. 

Brandon: 

I think he sounds very insecure and that’s basically my read from listening to you is he’s a very insecure person and anybody who crosses the line of physical, it’s one thing to play around, right? 

Brandon: 

It’s another thing to get physical with somebody in a harmful way. 

Brandon: 

That line, it’s not ambiguities, it’s very straight and you understand it and generally people do things physically when they lose control and in his case he was losing control or actually already had lost control. 

Brandon: 

I’ll be honest, you know, if I was dating someone like you at the time and be like, well we got a real go getter here, like I’ll take care of the kid. 

Brandon: 

She’s clearly going to figure out the, you know, the business or something here and be supportive because that would have been a better bet than probably where he is today. 

Brandon: 

And you know, I don’t, I don’t know, daniel people, I’m a spiritual person. 

Brandon: 

So I believe the universe works in very mysterious ways sometimes and I do believe that I don’t know if there’s this thing called karma, but people have this thing inside them that is a self regulator and you know what you put out there comes back. 

Brandon: 

So I hope for his sake that it doesn’t get his act together for his daughter and I’m sure that somewhere down the line she will find you. 

Brandon: 

And I think the truth of the matter is is not that hard to find people anymore. 

Brandon: 

So if you really wanted to, but I think you made some really hard decisions and and maybe some good decisions in the sense that you know, I’m from a divorced family, a single mom, my dad was there, but every other saturday or every saturday, you know, it was really my mom who was the, I mean, you know how it is, it’s, there were three of us that was it, you know, whatever, whatever we had, we had, but you know to know how hard that is. 

Brandon: 

So I’m, I imagine that was extremely hard for you. 

Brandon: 

You seem to say it rather easily right now, but I’m sure that that was very painful. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, yeah, definitely and it definitely was, I mean I can talk about it very openly now, but then like I said, I literally felt like my life was over. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, yeah. 

Brandon: 

There’s really no other way to put it, that was like the best way to put it right and you’re so right about, you know, the whole spiritual thing and what you put out, you get back and and that’s kind of where this all, you know, kind of put in a little pot and shook up and here we are today. 

Brandon: 

So at this point that was going on in my life, I was still considering going to law school, so I think this was around the february and I was like okay, I have a few months, six months, I can go in september so february ish, I was like, okay, I need to make some money, these spirits and stuff, what are we going to do? 

Brandon: 

So where we grew up just around that location, there was actually some very prestigious weekend homes, vacation homes. 

Brandon: 

So I said, you know what, on top of what I’m currently doing, I’m going to start cleaning houses to make some money, pay off the debt. 

Brandon: 

What made you think, what, like, where do you come up with that? 

Brandon: 

Because so far you work in a, in a food truck, you’re an intern in a law firm, do you just brainstorm this? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, it was literally like, okay, I need quick cash and I’m not into drugs and I don’t, I don’t want to do drug dealing. 

Brandon: 

So it was, you know, the best next day and I was good at cleaning and I was very clean person. 

Brandon: 

And so that’s what I decided to do. 

Brandon: 

So I made up these little flyers and I went around and put them in people’s mailboxes and within, you know, 34 days I had, you know, say 10 clients starting up, so I would clean them on evenings or weekends, depending on their schedules and I’m not kidding. 

Brandon: 

It was like, there’s nothing I can even say in between. 

Brandon: 

It was basically like there was that day where I, I did that I took on those 10 clients And by the August so what’s up, February March, April May June July on six months. 

Brandon: 

I had An immense amount of clients. 

Brandon: 

I had hired my two best friends. 

Brandon: 

We had company T shirts, which was the coolest thing and I had paid off almost $60,000 in debt. 

Brandon: 

Holy cow, that’s incredible. 

Brandon: 

How did you come up with your name? 

Brandon: 

I love these questions. 

Brandon: 

I totally love them. 

Brandon: 

So funny story when my mom and my dad actually divorced, my mom went and started doing some light housekeeping just during the day, three days a week. 

Brandon: 

She also had two other part time jobs as well and she just googled like clever housekeeper names or whatever. 

Brandon: 

So one of them came up. 

Brandon: 

It was dazzling diva or something, something like that. 

Brandon: 

Like something quirky. 

Brandon: 

So then when I needed to do this, I was like, okay, I need something obviously, you know, that just sucks the sticks in my head because my mom did it. 

Brandon: 

And so we came up with, it was just domestic divas at the time when it was just myself and my plan is to just make money and then go to school and never think about it again. 

Brandon: 

So then august comes around, I replenish my savings, paid off debt. 

Brandon: 

I still had the car to worry about. 

Brandon: 

So at this point I was still paying for the car every month. 

Brandon: 

It was in his name, he blocked me, stopped paying for it. 

Brandon: 

I ended up taking into small claims court because a brand new sport setting, like a hand, a sport or something, whatever it was, it not like it was like, you know, a Lamborghini by any means, but I mean at the time it was to me, So I took him to small claims court, he ended up following, you know like there he got a report of like you know 23,000 or whatever. 

Brandon: 

So you know my biggest dream was like to get that money because I would like set me up for life right? 

Brandon: 

And I still have never got that money and I never will, but it’s there about the judgment, it is one of that and so paid off a whole bunch of debt, put money back in my account, figured out what I was going to do that was going to be it. 

Brandon: 

I was going to go to school, life is gonna be good, we were on the right track. 

Brandon: 

So then august hit and now I have like a huge decision to make because now I have a couple employees, I have lots of clients that love me and I see how much money I can make, like I was making 10-K. 

Brandon: 

A month, Right? 

Brandon: 

In six months? 

Brandon: 

I did 10K a month. 

Brandon: 

So why did they love you the clients, they love me. 

Brandon: 

Like are you just really good at cleaning? 

Brandon: 

I guess so yes. 

Brandon: 

No, I mean like you know I’m a very personal person, you know, I know that I’m, what I’m getting to is you did a really good job and I’m doing a really good job. 

Brandon: 

Get you referrals right for for listeners out there who are trying to figure out, yes, you you obviously have a very outgoing warming personality but you did a good job and that spread and that’s really is that fair to say? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

Yeah definitely. 

Brandon: 

100%. 

Brandon: 

I mean our whole Business literally went from delivering those 50 flyers to a few homes and went from those 1st 10 clients too. 

Brandon: 

Well within the six months I’d imagine that we got, you know, something like 150 clients or something and they were all word of mouth because at this point we have no facebook page with no instagram page. 

Brandon: 

It was just called Danielle’s cell phone. 

Brandon: 

You know, it’s under a text until you wanted to clean your house. 

Brandon: 

So that uh yeah you’re fair to say that I guess, you know, they just really love the service doing a great job and being consistent, reliable, all of those things. 

Brandon: 

So uh so there we were and then I had to make a pivotal decision of, do I go to school or not, do I continue with the big dream of becoming a lawyer and I decided not to because again, like the money was great. 

Brandon: 

I had struggled, watched, my parents struggled their whole life, we had struggled growing up, you know, just the whole situation and I said, and not that I did it for the money, I did genuinely love the job. 

Brandon: 

I loved cleaning people’s houses. 

Brandon: 

I was very good at it. 

Brandon: 

I loved making the other, like the clients very happy. 

Brandon: 

I loved getting the text messages from them going, oh my God, you know, we just got up to the house is absolutely amazing, you know, thank you so much. 

Brandon: 

Like, like that, especially going through what I just went through for the last however long that was a huge positive mentality shift, right? 

Brandon: 

And one thing I can honestly, and this will also come out later on and when we’re talking, but one of the big things that I really, oh to myself is, you know, that shitty moment of me sitting in the middle of my bedroom at my mom’s house and going like Montana, like, like, like let’s go, you got to do this. 

Brandon: 

Like you can’t mope in your misery forever. 

Brandon: 

You know, you can’t be a victim forever. 

Brandon: 

You can’t, yes, it’s awful and all of this shit just happened, but it’s time to go, like we got to do this right and that was my own mentality that brought me to move forward because when I do a lot of mentorship with a lot of new entrepreneurs or when I go into the high schools, I do a lot of this and I guess I can tell you this later but I do a lot of group sessions with some high school students and stuff, you know I’ve had some awful home life or you know they have business ideas and stuff and they just want to bounce them off me and and my number one thing that I always tell them is never let your circumstances stop you from doing you. 

Brandon: 

You know what you know just because your dads are raging alcoholic, that shouldn’t mean that you can’t pursue the life of your dreams or just because something bad really happens to you, that doesn’t mean that you just work a little harder and you’ll get there like that’s our biggest thing and that’s what I always say, that’s kind of the thing that I have built to do with the mentorship in the group sessions and stuff because it’s so important for people to know that you cannot be a victim because once you’re a victim and you have that victim mentality you will never ever ever take your life and you’ll never have it in your control, you’ll always be controlled by that victim kind of mentality. 

Brandon: 

So yeah, so so that’s where we were. 

Brandon: 

So in august how did you know I got a question. 

Brandon: 

How did you price, how did you know how to price? 

Brandon: 

Did you do it by the hour or did you do a set fee for the homes? 

Brandon: 

So when I first started we were doing is that fees And then just like everything you learn very quickly when things you know when you get taken advantage of and things like that. 

Brandon: 

So we were doing set prices and then you know the set price that would typically take us two hours. 

Brandon: 

The clients were then making it take 12 hours because they have giant party and uh then didn’t clean up their house then Now we’re there for 12 hours at at $100 and that’s about $12 a course day or you know an hour and that doesn’t cover anything else. 

Brandon: 

So you learn very quickly. 

Brandon: 

So then we went into the our our route. 

Brandon: 

So now you charge an hour lead. 

Brandon: 

Yes 30 40 50 whatever dollars an hour. 

Brandon: 

Well that’s a that was an easy lesson to learn wasn’t it? 

Brandon: 

I share my whole life are some serious lessons learned and you know I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Brandon: 

I really wouldn’t because oh my God. 

Brandon: 

Well well why wouldn’t you have it any other way? 

Brandon: 

Because like I said you know about the circumstances and the things that happened to you. 

Brandon: 

I really honestly Brendan if I had if I could think about it if all of that stuff didn’t happen, like, I don’t even know where one, I don’t know what I would do, like where I’d be like, would I be a single mom with, with these Children? 

Brandon: 

Not that it’s a bad thing by any means, but I mean, you know, not enjoying my life dealing with all the crap from that situation, no career that I love, no ability to travel and live life so gratefully every day. 

Brandon: 

Just and even my mentality, I mean going through all of that, I was always a very outgoing ambitious person, but my whole mentality, you know, has changed now, you know, I’m very grateful and very blessed for the days I take lessons and I always say that everything in life is either a lesson or a blessing. 

Brandon: 

There’s never anything like, I mean crap happens, we all know that, but they’re either good things that are coming or their lessons to be learnt. 

Brandon: 

And uh and that’s that’s kind of how I live my life now and you know, my whole mentality has changed very um sometimes people can say I’m a little crazy, like I was saying earlier, you know, when things come at me, it’s it’s an opportunity and I never ever ever want to let that go, right? 

Brandon: 

So I always do everything we possibly can to take advantage of that opportunity and and make it happen for everybody. 

Brandon: 

So when do you get involved with beauty pageants? 

Brandon: 

I Coming okay, 2019. 

Brandon: 

So two years ago. 

Brandon: 

So skip a couple of years, the company is doing amazing. 

Brandon: 

We’re killing it. 

Brandon: 

We’re expanding across Ontario were doing a great job. 

Brandon: 

When you’re expanding is mostly word of mouth. 

Brandon: 

Are you advertising? 

Brandon: 

What are you doing still to this day? 

Brandon: 

I’d say our businesses more word of mouth than anything at all. 

Brandon: 

You know, we had our facebook page, we had our instagram page at that point, we definitely were not doing radio, But it was still like I said, even will say 90% of it is still word of mouth just from doing a great job, being consistent, being on time, being reliable, things like that. 

Brandon: 

That really is part of our even today to our training with all of our new staff members that is, you know, we can teach people to train or to clean. 

Brandon: 

We can’t teach people have those core values and you know, those skills. So that is our number one. That is what we look for. If if they’re late to training, we don’t even continue training. 

Brandon: 

So you have a list of, So I have like a list of 11 traits that I look for in anybody who joins the team. 

Brandon: 

Do you have that? 

Brandon: 

Yeah, we do, we have that in our training manual. It’s not 11. I know, but but there is some core thing and if they violated you basically say they’re out. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, yeah, definitely. You know, if if they show up to the job or the office on the first interview or the first orientation day wearing track pants and look like they just rolled out of beds. 

Brandon: 

Not that appearance is everything, but it’s definitely a good first question when you’re going into clean someone’s home. 

Brandon: 

Same with being late, if you’re late, we don’t even continue. There’s a few things that we definitely look for. Like I said, we can train somebody to clean how we want them to clean, we can train them to be a decent person. Do you own all of the trucks and the cleaning things or how does that or how does, how what’s your business model from? 

Brandon: 

Well do you do you is everyone an employee of your company or are they independent contractors and they have to supply their own car and cleaning materials and then you pay them a wage or you manage all the supplies and everything. 

Brandon: 

So we do absolutely everything. You coordinate everything. 

Brandon: 

Yeah. Our company, our management or office staff. We coordinate everything. So that was another big question to ask in the business thing. You know, do we subcontract people and get them to go out and do this or do we hire them and train them and take on that liability and all of those things. 

Brandon: 

So we made the decision that because I am 1,000% in or nothing at all, I wanted all of the people to be under our, I say this like like you know Hitler or something, I wanted everybody to kind of like under our control but in a positive way, you know, I wanted it to be our company, I wanted to be our standards are branding our products like just everything to be in sync and uniform and I just wanted the whole thing to be a very unique force and I guess that’s the best way to put it. 

Brandon: 

So yeah, so everybody’s employees, everybody, they, we have the cars, we have our products like so everybody’s on the same boat, everybody has the same thing going on. 

Brandon: 

So there’s no, you know mismatch of quality or anything like that. 

Brandon: 

Isn’t that hard to, I mean isn’t, wasn’t I mean how do you figure out how to buy all those? 

Brandon: 

I mean those are hard assets, I mean vehicles are, I mean you have a fleet of vehicles, I’ve seen your pictures, I was just wondering, so I was like, well maybe she buys the stickers for him, but you actually own them. 

Brandon: 

I mean that that’s not a small, there’s a lot of overhead there I guess I would say so when we first started, I, you know, again and as you go in business obviously you learn these things are the best ways to go about these things. 

Brandon: 

So when we first started and we had you know like our first eight employees or something, so everybody would drive their own car, we would pay them mileage. 

Brandon: 

So, you know, whatever the miles were, but then we ended up getting people stopping at walmart and going grocery shopping, you know, and then billing me for their mileage to go grocery shopping, which is fine if it’s one person or it’s a free thing, but when you have eight of them doing it, you know, like they’re all doing it every day, it adds onto your bill quite quickly. 

Brandon: 

So then we figured out that mileage tracking mileage was difficult. 

Brandon: 

So then I said, okay, why don’t we just do hourly? 

Brandon: 

So then we started adding on just an extra hour and a half of pay per day and saying, if you want to go to walmart and waste your time, go that we’re not paying mileage for it, but here’s an hour and a half a day on top of your regular pay to cover it, right? 

Brandon: 

So then after that it got to a point where then we were paying more Remittance taxes because there was more payroll. 

Brandon: 

So, you know, you learn these things right with the government because the government doesn’t really help you, They don’t give you a handbook on how to figure this out, You have figured out on your own. 

Brandon: 

So then from that point, I figured out that it was actually cheaper to lease vehicles, then it ends up being cheaper to lease the cars than to pay the Remittance tax and the extra wages and stuff like that. 

Brandon: 

So that’s how we figured that out. 

Brandon: 

So how big are you right now? 

Brandon: 

Like like how many employees? 

Brandon: 

Um Okay so on God on the residential side So we have 20 24 residential employees. 

Brandon: 

And then we have our new crew fleet of Divas coming in actually starting our new training program next week. 

Brandon: 

So they’ll be starting next week. 

Brandon: 

We do a 2 to 3 month training program with them depending on their performance. 

Brandon: 

And then they go out on their own after that to clients. 

Brandon: 

So they’ll be coming in next week. 

Brandon: 

So then there’ll be another five on the commercial side. 

Brandon: 

We have 17. 

Brandon: 

They’re the ones that deal with all of our you know manufacturing plants, Y. M. C. A. Locations, all of those things. That’s what they that’s what they do. And then we also have a post construction division so it’s not as big because it’s not as consistent and obviously not with Covid it’s not as crazy but you know there’s a lot of building up here in Canada kind of slowed down during folded. 

Brandon: 

So previously you know a project would build a condo building office buildings, medical center and stuff like that. 

Brandon: 

They would build it we would go in and uh and clean it after that and then get ready for the investors the owners or whatever. 

Brandon: 

Yeah and incredible congratulations just so you know, I didn’t let you off the hook of the, of the beauty pageant stuff, so we’re gonna go there. 

Brandon: 

So I just, I I wasn’t gonna let you skip over like, oh yeah, we’re doing well, but I really appreciate you sharing that and congratulations, because that’s uh as a really great success story for, for you and and well deserved and certainly you’ve worked really hard. 

Brandon: 

I can’t imagine you not working hard having talking to you for however long we’ve been talking so far, which is almost 9.5, but so what is the beauty pageant thing here? 

Brandon: 

So that was just like a very fun moment in my life. So my cousin, because we lived in England or moved from England, my my cousin who is my age, She competed for Miss England, Miss UK. 

Brandon: 

So she competed for 2018 and she was actually miss firming um in 2018, Then in 2019 she was competing for Miss England, like number one top of the country, that’s what she was doing. 

Brandon: 

So she was in her pageant and she was talking to me about it because you know, that’s great and all of these things and it was very cool and I was like, you know something my thing, I’m not into the huge I lashing and you know, the gallons, I love gowns by any means, but it’s still, you know, not my thing to France on a stage with them, I’ve never done it before, I’ve never done the modeling thing, just you know, not really my thing. 

Brandon: 

So she said, you gotta, you gotta do it, you know, they’re great and so in the Miss World or Miss Universe and things like that as you know, when they stand on stage and they go, what would you want if you became president of the World Peace? 

Brandon: 

Well a little bit different than that, right? 

Brandon: 

Yes, it’s not an airhead bubble, bubble head saying it, it’s actually they do make you and they want you as a, you know, either like a philanthropist or somebody who is very involved in in the world to try and help with problems, so there’s quite a lot of money involved in the pageant world And uh if you win, you know, you get $100,000 or something like that and it goes towards your initiative or the program or whatever you’re passionate about. 

Brandon: 

So she, I guess my cousin was, she was doing her interview with this world and they were asking her her questions, you who inspires you, who, you know all of those cliche questions and they said who inspires you and she said, well I have a cousin, she lives in Canada, she has her own company, she does a lot of charitable stuff, a lot of french pit stuff, so she’s kind of like my, my motivation, my inspiration surely inspires me to be a better person. 

Brandon: 

Work hard. 

Brandon: 

So then the director of Miss World England contacted the director of Miss World Canada and contacted me. 

Brandon: 

So this was like the saturday and they were competing, we were competing for Miss Ontario the following weekend, and she calls me up and she goes, hey, heard about you, we want you to compete for Miss Ontario. 

Brandon: 

This is what, you know, like, that’s not really my thing. 

Brandon: 

She’s no, we really want you, you’re you’re great. 

Brandon: 

We’ve seen pictures of you. 

Brandon: 

I don’t know how, probably just on special media, you know, we think you’d be a great foot and everything that we’ve heard about you and your morals and your family used we think will be a great fit from this world. 

Brandon: 

And I said, okay, sure, I’ll try it out. 

Brandon: 

What do I gotta do? 

Brandon: 

So fill out this application, give us however much money and show up on friday night in Toronto will be competing for Miss Ontario. 

Brandon: 

Well, don’t don’t you have to I mean, I’ve seen that movie, Miss Congeniality, because my wife’s watching it. 

Brandon: 

Well, actually I watch, it’s sort of funny, like, don’t you need to know how to walk and all this sort of stuff. 

Brandon: 

Yes, yeah, you do. 

Brandon: 

You really do. 

Brandon: 

So, I mean, you’re showing up on friday, did you practice all week. 

Brandon: 

Did you watch a movie? 

Brandon: 

I mean I’m only halfway joking here. 

Brandon: 

Right? 

Brandon: 

No, you’re you, I mean, everything that are suggesting could be very, very accurate. 

Brandon: 

So what they do is you show up on a friday and the the actual contrast is on the sunday. So you have all day friday all night friday all day saturday, all night saturday night to learn and and they judge you the whole learning process. So we’re now at this point competing for the next round. So we are competing to get into the Miss Canada trial competition, which is actually a week long at the end of that week you get crowned Miss Canada. 

Brandon: 

So this was the first kind of preliminary. 

Brandon: 

So I went down at this point now I knew I needed address already had heels because of her work. 

Brandon: 

I you know, business meetings and stuff, but they were what you would typically wear to a business meeting or what you wear pageants. So I order what I thought would be a gorgeous black ball gown, but it’s not a pageant gown. 

Brandon: 

So I ordered this friday night, I’m on my way to Toronto at this point I’m running a company as well right? 

Brandon: 

Like I’m doing business phone calls, I’m running staff and I’m like trying on a friggin gown for Miss Ontario. 

Brandon: 

So I went down on the friday night picked up my dress got a spray tan because Hello of course you have to get a spray to him and I got my eyelashes done, went on friday night. 

Brandon: 

Met my roommate, lovely woman. 

Brandon: 

Her name was mega, she is a genius, she was actually studying science and technologies in western at Western university here in front in Ontario so like super smart and and just a lovely woman. 

Brandon: 

She was my roommate so she’s never done a pageant before either. 

Brandon: 

So her reason for going to a pageant was because she was going off you know to go to school and be a crazy genius bath woman and she decided to take and have some fun prior to doing that. 

Brandon: 

So we had a great time and so the friday night saturday, the saturday night we did that we learned how to walk, we learned how to dance, we found a routine and we had to do it and they taught us everything in the whole time. 

Brandon: 

We are exhausted, we are being judged, we had interviews, it was very, very intense, I have never done a pageant off in my life and it was crazy and they judge you on it. 

Brandon: 

So then sunday comes around and it’s pageant day so we did it all morning and then the pageant was at like five o’clock at the night So there were, I think like 52 of us or something like that so we end up going and I end up getting like second or third crown like what you know, I’m four ft 11, never done a pageant in my life before. 

Brandon: 

All the previous miss Ontario’s Miss Super Nationals missed this Miss that were all there and I got my crown. 

Brandon: 

So I then, yeah, thank you. 

Brandon: 

So then I end up being crowned. 

Brandon: 

So how they do that up here is a crown you based on your area. 

Brandon: 

So I was living in different county, which kind of took over the northern side of Ontario and so that was my title. 

Brandon: 

So from that point on I had that was May, so when I had until august two, do you know, community stuff, get all of my judgment to that point to be able to get into this Canada. 

Brandon: 

So then I started doing, you know, I already did a lot in the community already, I already did a lot of charitable events I just now instead of showing up with Danielle, I showed up as Miss Different County, so you know, those were all documented and recorded and fill then in the august we went to Miss World, so I had to get a few gowns and we just did it in Toronto for the week. 

Brandon: 

We, it’s like, you know the first one but much more intense and we go and we do dinners with sponsors and stuff like that in Toronto and at the end of the week we then do Miss Miss Canada and I didn’t when I didn’t place you know in the top five or anything, but it was the coolest experience, very neat, I met some phenomenal women, some very cool people, you know, just different business owners and stuff in the city and just like, yeah, I just had a great time. 

Brandon: 

It was fun. 

Brandon: 

People say that, you know, they asked me if I was disheartened that I didn’t win. 

Brandon: 

Not at all, honestly, again, blessing in disguise, less than learned never to run a pageant in case that you win because while you’re running a company, because if I would have won, you’re then obligated to travel the world and compete from this world and you know, like there’s a lot of, a lot of things, I don’t know if I could have actually taken that position running a company, you know, so, um, so yeah, but it was a lot of fun and what I do it again, probably not if I wasn’t owning the company maybe, but this time in my life I definitely would not, but it was a very cool experience and I think, you know, young women definitely showed you really get in tune with who you are and your skills and your strengths and if you even like pageants, I mean that’s a, that’s a good skill to have, you know, if you like getting the tan and the eyelashes all the time, if that’s your thing, then, you know, it’s just cool things that you learn and then like the public speaking, I had already done a lot of that because of work obviously, but it was very cool to see people who had never public spoken before learn how to do it and do it well. 

Brandon: 

So it’s very cool experience. 

Brandon: 

So what do you say? 

Brandon: 

Well, first of all, congratulations because anybody shows up on friday and gets the crown. 

Brandon: 

I mean, I think we’ll cut you some slack again in this show. 

Brandon: 

I don’t think anybody, not that you couldn’t, but there’s a whole like people spend their whole life doing this this thing. 

Brandon: 

So I think you did well and I want to ask you though. 

Brandon: 

So there’s a narrative out there that pageants really aren’t good for women or they put women in a bad light as I see you take a deep breath and uh adjust your hair for this question is what would you say to that? 

Brandon: 

Okay. 

Brandon: 

I think that it’s good. 

Brandon: 

I can see the negative. 

Brandon: 

I really can. 

Brandon: 

I’m a very confident person. 

Brandon: 

So okay, how do I do this the best. 

Brandon: 

So yeah, I’m a very confident person, right? 

Brandon: 

I know what I’ve done, I know that I can, you know, do work very well. 

Brandon: 

I’m also, you know, I take care of myself physically. 

Brandon: 

You know, I go to the gym, I take care of myself, But you’re in a room with 60 gorgeous women women for a whole week. 

Brandon: 

You are exhausted. 

Brandon: 

You are being judged on everything. 

Brandon: 

You do what you wear, what you eat, how you look, how you walk, how you present yourself. 

Brandon: 

So again, it’s a fine line, how do you, you you put yourself, you’re not forced to go into a pageant, right? 

Brandon: 

Like you choose to go into a pageant. 

Brandon: 

So to say that they’re negative or that they are bad for women, I wouldn’t necessarily say that they are if it was forced, you know, you hit 14 years old and you have to go into a pageant, probably you know. 

Brandon: 

But like I was saying about, you know, you’re in a room with 60 plus beautiful women, it’s unless you’re mentally strong and confident, it’s very easy to be torn down yourself. 

Brandon: 

I mean there were times where never have I ever questioned, you know, my appearance or my body is self esteem or anything like that, but there were times where there I’m exhausted, I’m sitting there and I’m going, oh my God, this girl is beautiful, she’s going to beat me, you know, like you’re you’re doubting yourself. 

Brandon: 

So there were so many things like that, I don’t think it was negative, I think it was a good lesson learned because I’m also in terms of myself, so I think it also depends on the person because you know, if you’re very confident, which I know I am I and I, you know, I know who I am and what I have to offer and you know, all of those things, I wasn’t really doubting myself, it was just like heat of the moment pressure exhaustion, all of those things, but if you had put yourself in and you did question yourself and you let it get to you, I could imagine that that would be very detrimental, but again, you choose to do that, right? 

Brandon: 

So it’s not one of those things where you’re forced to do it and you’re forced to be put into this bubble of of women and cattiness and and beauty pageant craziness. 

Brandon: 

But even that there’s no cattiness, like everybody really did support each other, but I think that’s also why they go through the vetting period of making sure that you’re exactly who they want, you’re not. 

Brandon: 

Uh and I mean in this world anyways, I mean it could be different in smaller pageants, but in this world Miss Universe, things like that, they really do value you as a person, They don’t, I want you to be an Airhead, they don’t want you to be, you know, silly, they want you to be a smart modern woman who knows exactly you know where she’s going, what she’s doing and uh and has the confidence and the intelligence and all of those things. 

Brandon: 

So yeah, it’s it’s tough to answer that because I also, like I said, I have seen the negative effects of it, I’ve seen people who have lost and have totally went on a downward spiral. 

Brandon: 

I have also seen questions on judgment, people have asked me about that as well, so how do you take pageant girl a who has her passion is saving the animals and she goes out and does fundraisers every week and all of her money gets donated to charities for animals, she’s the same height as me, she looks just like me, she walks just like me, it’s just like me, whatever, but that’s her permission, but then you know, using myself as an example my because of my journey and everything that I’ve done, my whole my whole mission was to assist young entrepreneurs with kind of having backing mentor ship it, there’s not much of it or there wasn’t, you know, now I think with social media there seems to be but there really isn’t Something great for like young start up entrepreneurs, it’s usually people who want to pay like $20,000 a month for coaching and stuff, so I really wanted to support new young entrepreneurs and that was my plan, so I created a whole platform and you know, even pre Miss World, I did so much mentorship, so much group coaching, all for free and so anybody who did pay for it, I donated to these programs and things. 

Brandon: 

So the big question is is you know, how do you take what that person did and how do you judge and say that she’s a better Miss Canada than I am, you know, not that it upsets me, I’m just using the two as a comparison, but you know that’s that’s where people question, you know, then people start questioning the judges who is sponsoring who and so you do see the, the negative judgment behind it. 

Brandon: 

Do I believe it? 

Brandon: 

No, I just think you know there are certain things that you’re just better out than others and I’m just not the best Miss Canada, but I’m a great business owner. 

Brandon: 

Well I, I agree, I appreciate you sharing that and and answering that. 

Brandon: 

Not an easy question. 

Brandon: 

So what’s next for now that you’ve expanded? 

Brandon: 

You have three business lines, you have a domestic, you have a commercial, you have a post construction, it was domestic divas when you started. 

Brandon: 

Right? 

Brandon: 

Yeah. 

Brandon: 

And now is it, is it Danielle Diva and everything’s underneath underneath it. 

Brandon: 

What is the new name? 

Brandon: 

So it’s just domestic divas cleaning cult. 

Brandon: 

And the reason we did that was to ensure that it was grouped. 

Brandon: 

You know, we can have our different divisions when it came to the residential side. 

Brandon: 

The commercial side. 

Brandon: 

So we wanted to be able to differentiate between the two or the three I guess. 

Brandon: 

So we wanted to do that. 

Brandon: 

So that’s where we’ve kept it and what’s next for you? 

Brandon: 

Like do you, I mean there’s always this thing out there that says, oh bigger is better that I have not found that is always the case bigger is different, but bigger doesn’t always make me and you make more money seeing a lot of businesses get a lot of revenue, I think, you know, you mentioned social media, I, I worry a little bit about the accuracy, let’s just say of the social media entrepreneurship thing out there. 

Brandon: 

I think I get to say that after my, my career here, but a lot of people talk about revenue and they want to say more revenue is better. 

Brandon: 

I tend to believe that depending on what you’ve done now, if you’re a venture backed company and your tech company, you’re probably gonna lose money for a while, but you’re still going to get a multiple of your revenue. 

Brandon: 

But in all honesty, in the realm of business tech is a big part, but there’s like an enormous amount of businesses like yours out there that from a numbers perspective command a much bigger number and in a lot of cases, you know, I would, I tend to believe that you should manage your business outside of this tech and maybe a few other things like bio science and engineering, drugs that, you know, profitability is what really builds wealth. 

Brandon: 

Not right, not anything else. 

Brandon: 

So, Are you thinking you want to be bigger? 

Brandon: 

Are you thinking, Hey, I’ve got my account takes me at 50 plus people for you. 

Brandon: 

That’s a lot of dynamics in HR and all sorts of things. 

Brandon: 

What are you thinking? 

Brandon: 

That’s a great question. 

Brandon: 

Okay, so honestly things change almost daily and I know that sounds funny, but it really does things pre Covid plans were difference during Covid plans were different after Covid plans for different. 

Brandon: 

So right now, you know, and again, I’m very good at the whole pivoting what we have to do to deal with the current circumstances. 

Brandon: 

I mean, clearly that’s like in the whole the whole subject of this talk, right? 

Brandon: 

So pre Covid, we weren’t planning on, on doing things well now it’s an opportunity right now that we’re currently working on. 

Brandon: 

One of our projects that we’re currently working on is because of the staffing issue. 

Brandon: 

We are actually partnering with other companies or other, especially the hospitality industry where we are now providing staff to these locations. 

Brandon: 

So, you know, it’s beneficial for all parties involved. 

Brandon: 

That’s a big thing for me too. 

Brandon: 

I like to see everybody kind of rise. 

Brandon: 

I don’t want to be taking out the next guy. 

Brandon: 

I don’t want people to suffer. 

Brandon: 

I don’t want people to not do well, just because of something that’s going on right where we can kind of help in that department. 

Brandon: 

So not something we’re working on. 

Brandon: 

I’ve been approached about doing franchises. 

Brandon: 

That is a big thing that always sits in my mind because, and the reason people ask about the Franchising, really anybody can can pick up a broom or mop and say that there are cleaner. 

Brandon: 

There’s no question about it, right, the reason people want us to franchise and think it would be a great story, a great idea is because we like when I started the company and figured out that I was actually going to do the company and not, you know, go to law school, I kind of took all of the things that I created and created our actually created our business dynamic. 

Brandon: 

So our training manuals, how we wanted to do things, how we did things, our standards, you know, our values, just everything to do with the company. 

Brandon: 

Like I really did hone in on all of that and create it even down to like our whole system for scheduling clients, like I probably spent hundreds of thousands adults will know, maybe not that much, but you know, a lot of freaking money going through every system, you know, salesforce, like just all of the systems to try and make the company work. 

Brandon: 

I ended up working with a company, we customize the whole system, the whole software to work with our companies. 

Brandon: 

So you know, I’ve really kind of nailed down every single aspect of the company when it comes to the company like, you know, like every single thing that we could possibly need. 

Brandon: 

So when people say can we franchise, it’s more so for that, you know, it’s not for the staff, it’s not for the cleaning products, it’s not just for the cleaning, it’s our checklist, it’s our system, it’s our programs, it’s our training, all of those things. 

Brandon: 

So we’ve content discussed and thought about continuing with what we’re doing and then people just kind of buying in maybe not Franchising but maybe creating where they can like buy a course to learn these things or they like there’s so much that we could talk about and so much that we could do with this. 

Brandon: 

But that’s where we’re currently at. 

Brandon: 

People are really recognizing how we’ve taken a regular industry and really turned it and created that management and that actual business model. 

Brandon: 

And so I really don’t know what the next step is brand. 

Brandon: 

I’m being totally honest with you, but there’s so much opportunity and so much potential that I really don’t know if it’s going to stay where it is, what we can do with what we currently have going on. 

Brandon: 

I don’t want to franchise where people just pay me, you know, 500,000 and then just go and create a secondary domestic divas cleaning co And the reason being I’ve created this company from the ground up literally with blood, sweat and tears. 

Brandon: 

And I don’t want somebody to just throw money at it and then just ruin the reputation of the company. 

Brandon: 

You know, I’ve seen it happen. 

Brandon: 

I’m sure you’ve seen it happen where the quality just goes out the window and I don’t want that to happen and I know that people say don’t get too attached and don’t get too personal with it, but you know, I have created this and I don’t want people to hear that name and go, oh I know the girl that started that and then go, oh well, Susie over here also works for them and they’re awful. 

Brandon: 

Right? 

Brandon: 

So I don’t want that. 

Brandon: 

So if anything, I would probably sell it before I franchise or we would figure out how to be able to create the company to be spread more without it being franchised, if that makes sense. 

Brandon: 

So again, with the management, the system and all of those things to be able to go from there. 

Brandon: 

So I really don’t know what’s going to happen next. 

Brandon: 

Um, we’re just kind of going on day to day right now with the normal things that are happening and with things that are changing daily for us, I’m sure you guys too. 

Brandon: 

So we’re just, we’re just having fun with it. 

Brandon: 

You know, every day is a challenge. 

Brandon: 

Sometimes. 

Brandon: 

An awful challenge. 

Brandon: 

Sometimes a great challenge. 

Brandon: 

But it’s, it’s a challenge that we’re doing it. 

Brandon: 

And you took a break, Was that self regulated break that you’re on right now for your friday, saturday, sunday? 

Brandon: 

I think you told me maybe thursday, I can’t remember, is this uh, did you do a mental check and be like, hey, daniel needs to check out for three days or what’s the deal? 

Brandon: 

Well, let’s just say Daniel really never checks out. 

Brandon: 

That’s probably the best way to put that. 

Brandon: 

So actually my best friend, she’s a nurse and during, obviously, Covid has been run into the ground as well. 

Brandon: 

And we used to see each other almost every other day and we haven’t seen each other in a really long time And you know, I really like traveling and, and as just she pre Covid, we traveled a lot. 

Brandon: 

Obviously Covid has now prevented that. 

Brandon: 

And so we’re both going a little stir crazy. 

Brandon: 

Um, we both missed each other. 

Brandon: 

We both needed some down time. 

Brandon: 

And uh, I love the fact that again, I created the company and the management and you know, the systems that we have where I can do my job pretty much anywhere. 

Brandon: 

You know, for the most part I do business development on the commercial side of things. 

Brandon: 

So I speak with the company owners that want to hire our companies. 

Brandon: 

That’s what I love doing that. 

Brandon: 

And yes, I’m the owner ceo president, whatever you want to say. 

Brandon: 

And I love being involved on the business development, especially on the commercial side the residential side is taking care of. 

Brandon: 

We have great staff and managers there, we do a weekly check in there. 

Brandon: 

So everything that we do again, yes, Covid has been awful. 

Brandon: 

But it’s also taken us like that next step on the virtual side. 

Brandon: 

Right. 

Brandon: 

So we did a little bit of zoom in a little bit of phone calls pre Covid, but we like to get together before we get together at the office, we go to the boardroom and now everybody can just do their own thing. 

Brandon: 

Well sometimes do it at even nine o’clock at night, you know, everybody’s had dinner will have a glass of wine and we’ll just do this and, and it’s so great because I can be in Ontario, I can be in Montreal, I can be in church and keiko’s, I’m gonna be wherever I want to be. 

Brandon: 

Maybe not church right now because of Covid, but, so that’s what I like. So kelly and I decided that we were going to come two months. 

Brandon: 

We all for three days. She’s in between some crazy stuff right now as well with her position and her career. So we came here and I said, if I have to do work, I can do it pool side. So here we are. But it is a little bit of a mental check out. I mean, you know, we haven’t really been, we haven’t booked ourselves. Let’s just say, you know, usually I would do is zoom calls from 9 to 10:09 a.m. To 10 p.m. Every day all day. And I haven’t been doing that while we’ve been here. So it’s been nice to have a little bit of downtime. Let’s just say, well that’s good. I want you to know that it’s okay to check out every once in a while, I might be similar to you or you might be similar to me because in some older, but yeah, every once in a while you got to check out or, or you won’t make it. 

Brandon: 

Yeah and I am a firm believer of that Brennan? 

Brandon: 

I really am. People like to have these set routines, these set and I tried it. I’ve tried to do the once every three months, I’m going to go on a three day mental check out and I’m going to not answer my phone and I’m telling you three months ago, I could do that three months ago right now or three months later today, I cannot check out, I cannot turn off my phone. 

Brandon: 

We are so busy and again, you know, I am in total, I totally take advantage of opportunity. 

Brandon: 

I don’t want to ever be in a situation where I could, you know, miss out on an opportunity and right now we’re going through the world crisis, we’re going through the world’s problems and and for some it’s a great opportunity for some people are suffering but I I can’t not take advantage of this opportunity. 

Brandon: 

I mean I have families and stuff that rely on the company to expand and grow and provide, you know work for them. 

Brandon: 

So I don’t want to miss that, right? So it’s hard to judge when the right time is when you do need those mental checkouts, but right now is not the time because it’s exciting and there’s so much going on but we still came to Montreal to uh to have some fun so well we appreciate you taking time out of your half check out to join us today. 

Brandon: 

What are your three H. 

Brandon: 

P. 

Brandon: 

T. 

Brandon: 

S. High percentage tips Or in other words I was actually thinking about this today when I was working outside I was actually reading and you know it’s weird when you do these things Danielle like you do these things other things and you really get really good idea is doing them. 

Brandon: 

But anyway I somehow got into chopping down the branches of the palm tree out front and then I saw some weeds and I didn’t feel like the plant was getting enough water through the weeds. 

Brandon: 

Probably more than you wanted to know. 

Brandon: 

No you you do the same thing as I do you just kind of you know go on. 

Brandon: 

And I was thinking are they really high percentage tips or do I want to ask you messages that you would tell yourself now that you’ve built your business and no more that you wish you had told yourself. 

Brandon: 

So do you have three of those? 

Brandon: 

Oh yes I could I could really give you 10. 

Brandon: 

I’m not going to though because that will probably be another three hours of conversation. 

Brandon: 

But definitely my number one whether it’s a high percentage tip or whether it’s a lesson to be learned or whether it’s something I should have told myself 10 years ago and for all the people that will be listening to this. 

Brandon: 

I mean we all know we see it every day on social media just like work hard and and work well, you know like yes, you know we’re talking mental checkouts and things like that, that’s all good for self care and performance, but at the end of the day it’s hard work you have to put in the work, you have to do it, I do not care what anybody says I follow like staying with you, you know, you just mentioned the whole social media entrepreneurship thing, I follow so many people that are like oh you know we’re card not smart or work smart, not hard, yes, work smart, but you also have a freaking work hard, you know like it’s not just going to come to you tomorrow because you know you’ve signed up for an instagram course and you’re now a social media entrepreneur and you’re going to get a check for $30,000 in your bank tomorrow, it’s not gonna happen so you know work hard, find your skill and and create your craft and then we’re part at it, you know, don’t jump around because in three months time it’s not producing, you know that $100,000 check, you can’t go and buy your Lamborghini tomorrow, you know like all of these things and I laugh because these are what people believe when they become business owners, they think that oh I’m a business owner now, I’m gonna buy some business cards and I’m gonna have a couple meetings and why can’t I buy my Lamborghini two years later, you know, like that’s literally how the world kind of put that, you know in your head these days, so my number one is work hard and, and don’t give up, like really, you just have to stay consistent and work hard, so I guess consistency ties in with the work hard thing, but you know, just just stay consistent, work hard and and just develop it and and and continue, you know, building your craft and you’ll get there like you really well, whatever you do in anything really, that is the number one key, and I’m sure people tell you that all the time, right, it’s like consistency and working hard and that I found has created where we are today, so, so that’s number one, number two, let’s think, I guess like what this whole podcast thing is about, you know, don’t let those things stop you from creating from creating a life that you want and the dreams that you have, you know, like, like I said, if I would have known or I guess if I didn’t know before what my life was going to have and I wasn’t resilient and didn’t show up and didn’t go get your head out and go, I don’t even know where I would be, I would not be in Montreal right now with my best friend, enjoying, you know life and and running my company online, I definitely would not be doing that. 

Brandon: 

So I don’t know where I’d be, but yeah, don’t let your circumstances or the, you know the shit that happens to you stop you from going where you want to go. 

Brandon: 

If anything let it be like that fire underneath you, right? 

Brandon: 

And and to get going because it’s going to feel awful for the first, however long it’s going to stop, you’re going to feel like you can’t get out of it and even if it takes you five years, but just like, don’t let it stop you, right? 

Brandon: 

Like you just have to keep going with whatever you’re doing and just, you know, don’t have a victim mentality, that’s a big one, you know, everything happens to everybody. 

Brandon: 

And you know, back to our, like when I was telling you about our training manual and those core concepts that we have for our employees, I had one lovely, lovely young girl that came to us for a job and and we spoke and she was wonderful and she had also, like not the greatest upbringing and she had, you know, some awful things going on at home. 

Brandon: 

But then for the first, during her training, she was great. 

Brandon: 

As soon as we put her out on her own, all of those trades that we don’t want came and I said to her, I said, listen, like why are you late all the time, why is this happening? 

Brandon: 

Why is this happening? 

Brandon: 

And she was so well every excuse was because of what was happening to her this and and it was just I’m not sleeping because of this and it’s just one thing after the other and I called her into my office and I said listen, I said as long as you keep playing the victim card and keep letting these excuses and you know get in your head and give you the reason to not be high performing and not do your job or what you’re supposed to be doing for you or the company you’re working for, you’ll never ever ever succeed and you’ll never ever ever basically feel good really. 

Brandon: 

You’ll always constantly be done on yourself. 

Brandon: 

So I always like to say that when I when I’m doing mentorship or group sessions or anything like that is just you know, never have that victim mentality maybe for a little bit, you know pride for five minutes a day, have a day in bed, cry whatever drink of all the wine, whatever whatever you have to do. 

Brandon: 

But then don’t let it like don’t let it stop you because we all have those days right? 

Brandon: 

Like we all have those shitty days but after that you really have to just get going and not let those things hold you back. 

Brandon: 

And um number three this is applicable to me and I’m sure to a few or more listeners, but if I would have known where I was going to go or where the company was going to get to five years ago when I started it, I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting those courses, the programs, the training, all of those things. 

Brandon: 

But I felt like I always kept myself in a limit. 

Brandon: 

I always kind of went, I’m going to develop these for what we have now. 

Brandon: 

I never thought about the future and what we could be. 

Brandon: 

So I feel like they could have maybe saved a lot of time, maybe the first three years because it wasn’t until about two years ago that I actually went, we’re taking Global and this is what we have to do to get there and this is what we have to put in place to get there and to be at that level, there’s almost like pre setting that we’re already at that level. 

Brandon: 

So we’re doing the work now before we get to that level, you know, hiring enough people having enough management, having all those systems in place. 

Brandon: 

Because before, like I said, the first one or 123 years, we would get to that place. 

Brandon: 

And then I go, oh my God, now I have to develop this, this and this and this to support what we currently have. 

Brandon: 

So I feel like I was almost, I put like a glass ceiling almost on on some timeline because again, you see stuff on social media and it goes, oh, you know, like take it easy and you know, like slow down and a plan is a plan. 

Brandon: 

And if you don’t plan, it’s going to be like, you know what I mean? 

Brandon: 

Like there’s all these like quirky things and and half of them are true but half of them really get inside your head and I just wish I would have had the same mentality that I do now of like go big or go home literally on it on an insane level. 

Brandon: 

So I didn’t waste that time and I didn’t, I have to stress about it as we were growing. 

Brandon: 

You know, So now our company is set up whether we have what we have now or if we were to take this Canada wide, we would be able to have the infrastructure and the systems to be able to support it. 

Brandon: 

So it sounds very cliche to whoever will be listening on here but like literally don’t put a glass ceiling on it and like chase your dreams and and don’t put a stop on it. 

Brandon: 

You know, if you want to go Big Go Big and don’t let anybody tell you or yourself tell you otherwise. 

Brandon: 

So you know, that’s just like a little bit of actual experience behind that work he’s saying. 

Brandon: 

But it’s true. 

Brandon: 

You know, now that I realize that that’s what it actually means, then you know, it works for everybody well really appreciate you sharing those three things and we’ll have to get to the other seven in another show. 

Brandon: 

Yeah, definitely. 

Brandon: 

We can definitely do that. 

Brandon: 

Where can our listeners find more information about you and domestic divas co okay, so we’re very busy on social media. 

Brandon: 

So on the business side of things, you can find us on facebook social media or on instagram story in our website. 

Brandon: 

So our handles are all at domestic divas cleaning co very easy. 

Brandon: 

I’m sure it’s probably going to be in the title of the show or something. 

Brandon: 

So that’s really easy. 

Brandon: 

Our website as well. 

Brandon: 

Just W W W dot domestic divas cleaning co dot org. 

Brandon: 

It’s actually a dot org. 

Brandon: 

And then for me, you can find me on instagram that’s probably my best my instagram is more of my personal life, my inside my personal life. 

Brandon: 

So I share, you know, a little bit about my, my business and you know, you know, achievements and things like that. 

Brandon: 

But it’s more so what I do like now when I’m in Montreal, you know, with my best friend and you know when I’m here and so you’ll see a little bit of that. 

Brandon: 

So my hashtag or no, my hashtag my handle for my personal social media, my personal instagram is at Miss D Jenkins, J E N K I N S and then you’ll find me there and I will accept your invite to follow me. 

Brandon: 

Well, thanks a lot for sharing everything today. 

Brandon: 

You shared some really personal authentic but hard to talk about things and I’m really grateful for that and you coming on the show. 

Brandon: 

Thanks for being generous with your time and joining us for this episode of the edge. 

Brandon: 

Before you go, a quick question are you the type of person who wants to get 100% out of your time, talent and ideas. 

Brandon: 

If so. 

Brandon: 

You’ll love our monthly edge newsletter. 

Brandon: 

It’s a monthly playbook about the inner game of building a successful business. 

Brandon: 

In each newsletter, we pull back the curtain on our business and show you exactly what’s happening. 

Brandon: 

The real numbers, real conversion rates, lessons learned from failed and successful strategies and How we’re investing the money we make from our business to outperform the general stock market. 

Brandon: 

We lay out what we’re doing to get 75% conversion rates on our product pages. 

Brandon: 

How we’re optimizing our facebook instagram and other paid ads to get our leads under $3.87. 

Brandon: 

The results from our email A. 

Brandon: 

B. 

Brandon: 

Tests, results from strategies. 

Brandon: 

I test to get more done in less time that allows me to ride my bike 100 plus miles a week workout, spend time with the vet and still successfully run our business. 

Brandon: 

How I’m investing the money we make from our business that has led a retirement account to average 20% over the last 10 years. 

Brandon: 

The exact stocks, E. 

Brandon: 

T. 

Brandon: 

F. 

Brandon: 

Cryptocurrencies and other investments were buying each and every month and tons of other actionable information. 

Brandon: 

Imagine the time and money you’ll save by having this holy grail of business intelligence. You can take all of it, apply it to your life as an entrepreneur to avoid costly mistakes and be happier, healthier and richer as a fellow entrepreneur who’s aiming for nothing short of success, you owe it to yourself to subscribe, check out the special offer with bonuses for you as a listener at Edge newsletter dot com. 

Brandon: 

Again, that’s e g e newsletter dot com

Subscribe to the Build a Business with Brandon Podcast on your podcast player below👇