NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – In her book “Permission to Screw Up,” millennial entrepreneur Kristen Hadeed shares candid stories about founding her company and the bumps and bruises along the way.
Student Maid employs college students as housekeepers, dog walkers, etc.
Hadeed tells CEO Radio host Ray Hoffman she chose the most difficult business model in the world.
“I think the cleaning industry is a really tough industry. You have work that isn’t glamorous, and it’s hard to make someone feel valued when they’re cleaning a toilet. And then you add on top of that that we only hire students, and for many it’s the first job they’ve ever had and some haven’t even made their bed before,” she says. “So we have to teach these students who don’t have job experience how to clean and keep them feeling valued while they’re doing it.”
Hadeed always had an entrepreneurial spirit as a kid, competing with classmates and writing a paper titled, “How to retire by 20.”
Student Maid started when she fell in love with a $99 pair of jeans in college. She earned the money by placing a cleaning ad on Craigslist, and things took off from there. Soon she hired other employees and they were tasked with cleaning the school’s apartments in between semesters.
But that’s when they hit their first bump in the road. She had 45 employees quit at once.
“For me, that was the turning point and that’s what made me want to stick with this business, because I was obsessed with trying to figure out: How do I get people to want to work with me and want to do this job?” she says. “That’s kind of when everything changed and I decided Wall Street wasn’t for me, and I was so excited by this challenge in front of me.”
From there, she learned a lot of lessons as a leader and developed a set of 10 core values for the company.
Now, she consults other companies on how to create a similar of culture.