7 min 45 sec

College Student Earns $20,000 a Month Cleaning Houses

A Washington, D.C. student identifies problems in the cleaning industry, then starts a customer service-driven company.
Customer Service Power of Observation Research Service

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What It's About

A college student creates a successful cleaning service with an emphasis on customer service.

Business Model
Skills Required
Customer Service & Research
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Think Maids offers simple online booking, easy cancellations and rescheduling, and the ability for clients to share special cleaning instructions. The company is also easy to contact by phone, email, or even text... and they try to respond within 3-5 minutes. This has a ton of value for customers and potential customers, and it's great for repeat business.

Fun Fact

Christopher says the best part of this experience is having enough time to do the things that he wants to do. Since business has picked up, he has worked hard on automating and delegating as much as he can. He even took a 10-day trip to Japan in November and was happy to see that his business didn’t burn down while he was away.

Notes from Chris

Episode 87

If you've been following the show, you've probably heard me discuss the Power of Observation and how important it can be in the world of side hustles. A popular method that we've seen in other episodes is to look at the service you use on a regular basis and notice things that can be improved.

In today's story, a college student recognizes major flaws in the cleaning industry and offers a more customer service-driven alternative that brings in around $20,000 a month. Oh, and he’s also able to take off and go to Japan for a week, and not have to worry about the business at all.

Cleaning companies are a substantial industry with each market offering numerous options, but many of them are unreliable and have hidden costs. Even as a student, Christopher Schwab saw a huge demand for transparent, high-quality cleaning services, and he believed he could fix many of the complaints people had about cleaning companies.

Focusing on addressing the three biggest problems with the industry—reliability, the hassle involved with booking, and lack of honesty or integrity—he created his cleaning service, Think Maids. He has now built it into a full-time job that allows him the freedom to travel and do the things he wants to do.

Your assignment: Make a list of all the businesses and industries that you think could be improved. How would you fix them?


  • Think Maids: Learn more about Christopher's customer service oriented cleaning service
  • Thumbtack:A service Christopher used that connects people to pros across multiple industries
  • Google Adwords: If you're interested in A/B testing and experimenting with different ad styles (among other things)
  • Nextdoor: A private social network for your physical neighborhood and community

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

Chris Guillebeau

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Quote of the Day
"I just graduated from university and was working on my side hustle my final semester. I grew it enough that once I graduated it shifted effortlessly to my main work now."
—Christopher Schwab #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau