The Value of Forward Thinking – An Interview with Jill Frey, Cummins Facility Services (Inspiring Women, Episode 26)
Cummins Facility Services CEO Jill Frey joins host Betty Collins to discuss her company’s growth and how forward thinking has aided her success journey. She also shares her experience of being a female in a male-dominated industry. “Inspiring Women” is presented by Brady Ware & Company.
Betty’s Show Notes
You’ve got to be a forward thinker.
You’ve got to be proactive if you want to move forward and get through the “what ifs” when they come. Forward thinking is not always easy. It might not be your personality. So you’ve got to at least have somebody on your team who’s a forward thinker, who can push you to do more, think bigger.
In this episode, I speak with Jill Frey, President & CEO of Cummins Facility Services. I consider her the definitive forward thinker.
Cummins Facility Services (CFS) is a national multi-faceted facility management company servicing Fortune 500 companies across the US. CFS is a 100% women owned enterprise.
Cummins provides services including janitorial, landscaping, snow removal, HVAC, security, floor care, and light maintenance to manufacturing plants, retail stores, medical facilities, schools, corporate offices as well as the hospitality industry. Jill took over leadership of the family business, which began in 1972, after graduating from the University of Toledo in 1994.
About being a female in a male-dominated business category…
So in my opinion, it’s all about respect. You’ve got to stand your guard and you’ve got to really stick up for who you are. I’ve been in this industry literally my whole life. And people can try to say that they can bully me around. But I started in this industry rolling up my sleeves and working with my employees. I know how to do it. I know how to strip and waxer. I know how to do all of that. And that’s gotten me so far ahead. I get so excited about my industry and my employees and my people and what’s going on. And I think if they don’t take me seriously, it’s going to come back on them.
Jill talks about how have she navigated through this COVID-19 time, and what she thinks that this industry will look like in the future…
It has changed our life. And the quote that I like to use for this is what 9/11 did to buildings, COVID-19 is doing to disinfection and facilities. And I truly believe that. Nobody’s had a guidebook. No one’s had a book of “this is what you do here.” It’s never existed before. And so we had to reinvent that.
And her clients are appreciating her outlook, her forward thinking and quick action…
Our clients were telling us that the information that we were sending out is the best information that they are getting from any of their sources. It was amazing. We’ve had so many clients sending us letters of thank you, presidents of companies. Thank you so much for cleaning our facility.
And she ends our interview with three great quotes, and here is one of them…
The best way to predict the future is to invent it.
Betty Collins, CPA, Brady Ware & Company and Host of the “Inspiring Women” Podcast
Betty Collins is the Office Lead for Brady Ware’s Columbus office and a Shareholder in the firm. Betty joined Brady Ware & Company in 2012 through a merger with Nipps, Brown, Collins & Associates. She started her career in public accounting in 1988. Betty is co-leader of the Long Term Care service team, which helps providers of services to Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and nursing centers establish effective operational models that also maximize available funding. She consults with other small businesses, helping them prosper with advice on general operations management, cash flow optimization, and tax minimization strategies.
In addition, Betty serves on the Board of Directors for Brady Ware and Company. She leads Brady Ware’s Women’s Initiative, a program designed to empower female employees, allowing them to tap into unique resources and unleash their full potential. Betty helps her colleagues create a work/life balance while inspiring them to set and reach personal and professional goals. The Women’s Initiative promotes women-to-women business relationships for clients and holds an annual conference that supports women business owners, women leaders, and other women who want to succeed. Betty actively participates in women-oriented conferences through speaking engagements and board activity.
Betty is a member of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and she is the President-elect for the Columbus Chapter. Brady Ware also partners with the Women’s Small Business Accelerator (WSBA), an organization designed to help female business owners develop and implement a strong business strategy through education and mentorship, and Betty participates in their mentor match program. She is passionate about WSBA because she believes in their acceleration program and matching women with the right advisors to help them achieve their business ownership goals. Betty supports the WSBA and NAWBO because these organizations deliver resources that help other women-owned and managed businesses thrive.
Betty is a graduate of Mount Vernon Nazarene College, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. Betty is also the Board Chairwoman for the Gahanna Area Chamber of Commerce, and she serves on the Board of the Community Improvement Corporation of Gahanna as Treasurer.
“Inspiring Women” Podcast Series
“Inspiring Women” is THE podcast that advances women toward economic, social and political achievement. The show is hosted by Betty Collins, CPA, and presented by Brady Ware and Company. Brady Ware is committed to empowering women to go their distance in the workplace and at home. Other episodes of “Inspiring Women” can be found here.
Betty Collins: Today, I’m going to interview someone who is just the definition, to me, of forward-thinking. She’s just always been that way and forward-thinking is so crucial to success and there are no guarantees in life, professionally or personally. There are so many unplanned events and circumstances, like a pandemic, or whatever, a loss of a crucial employee, or fill in the blank. There’s all kinds of things that come at you, and if you don’t forward-think to always try to be ahead of things, it’s really hard, sometimes, to head those things head on. They just come. It’s not about if, but when. Will you be ready to always answer what is next? In the good and the bad times, not just in the bad times, not just in the pandemic times, you’ve got to be a forward thinker. You’ve got to be proactive, if you want to move forward and further, and get through the what ifs when they come.
Betty Collins: In addition, the marketplace, your industry, technology, etc., it’s always changing and it’s better to be ahead of it or even just, “Hey, I’m the driver of the change in my industry.” On vacation this year, I was walking on the beach, and I’ve told this story in several other podcasts, but it’s one of my favorites. It’s this little boy; he’s maybe eight to 10 years old, and he was really excited because he caught this fish. It was about seven or eight inches long. I approached him on the beach, and I asked him what he was going to do with that fish. “Are you going to throw that out? Are you going to eat it? You going to give it back? What are you going to do?” He immediately, very aware of his surroundings, seven or eight years old, he says, “First, you need to socially distance.” Of course, I just went, “Oh, wow.” His mother was looking at me like, “What is she going to do?” I said, “Thank you so much.” I did, and then he said without hesitation to me, “The fish is a bait for a bigger fish.”
Betty Collins: I thought, “Wow.” My husband could see my head. He just knew what I was thinking. He’s like, “We’re on vacation.” I said, “I know,” but wow. To me, this is a forward, big thinker. He’s only, again, a small kid, but he wasn’t going to just eat and be satisfied today. He wasn’t just going to throw the fish back in. He was going to catch a bigger fish. He was going to do something in the future with that fish. Immediately, I thought of our guest today, Jill Frey, who’s the president and CEO of Cummins Facility Services, which we’ll refer to that as CFS in the future. She’s always asking and thinking, and she’s always- she’ll call me and say, “I just need to pick your brain,” or she does that with her team. What could be and what should be; those are two different things. The could and the should, are they both important when you’re asking those questions, trying to get ahead, trying to do one plan, trying to drive your change? Remember, it’s not about if, it’s about what. What do you do? You have to be a forward thinker and it’s not always an easy, easy … It might not be your personality.
Betty Collins: You got to, at least, have somebody in your team who’s a forward thinker, who can get you to go further. Today, I have with me, she is the definition of forward-thinking, and she’s the owner, again, of Cummins Facility Services. It’s a family-owned business. She became that owner. It’s been around since actually, 1972. I mean, they do everything under the sun for janitorial services, landscaping, snow removal, HVAC, security, floor, you name it, they do it. I can’t give away what she’s thinking about doing now or what she is in the process of doing now, but … And two, as a successful business owner and executive, she’s very involved in things like young professional organizations, YPO, young executives, women’s business enterprise, as well as ISSA. Just, she’s helping me with a young woman that we’re trying to get into the marketplace. Just a dynamic resume, right out of college, in 2020. That’s who she is and that’s who she likes to help. She’s active in her local community, involved with Ruling Our Experiences, ROX, R-O-X, and a leader in ME programs. She has a special love for diving; that sounds fun, enjoys running; not so fun, and travel; I could do that. She’s a single mom of two, really great children, Savannah and Spencer. Jill, welcome to our program today, and thank you today for taking the time to do this podcast.
Jill Frey: Oh, Betty, it’s my pleasure. I love time with you, so anything I can do to get more Betty time is always fun. Thank you for all those kind words. Thank you for believing in me, always. I appreciate everything that you’ve done for us, so thank you.
Betty Collins: She’s just a great. What I want you to do, Jill, is just take a few minutes and tell your stories of Cummins. I mean, I’ve heard it and we don’t have an hour, but give us the highlights of the story of Jill and Cummins.
Jill Frey: Thanks. I like to be funny. I think I’m the funniest person in the world and so, because people don’t laugh. No, no. If you hear something, it’s because I’m trying to be funny. Anyway, so, my parents started a company in 1972. I grew up the daughter of a janitor, which is always fun, let me tell you. I graduated from college, from the University of Toledo, and my parents said, “Hey, we’ve just paid for your college. Can we go on a vacation?” I said, “Absolutely. Go. The sky’s the limit. Wherever you want to go, go for it.” They went on a trip to Honduras to go diving and they ended up buying beachfront property, called me and said, “We’re not coming back. The company’s yours. Good luck.” We had 15 employees at the time and we did business in one town, literally one town. Today, we self-perform business all over the nation. We are in 40 states; really, really good. We pay taxes, we pay people. I can call the phone and I can pick up my phone and say, “Who’s the supervisor of this state?” And we have someone there. We’ve grown substantially. It’s been so fun. When I grew that whole time, it was all about my employees.
Jill Frey: When I took over the company, when my parents gave me the company and said, “The company is yours, good luck. Run with it,” it was all about, “How do I keep the employees that I have, and make sure that I can continue to give them a job? How do I grow them? How do I make them successful?” That has always been my why, and I think that’s really important for me to remember every day, that that’s why I get out of bed in the morning. My life has literally, in the facilities industry, been revolving around my employees and how to make them as successful as I can. It’s a story of Cummins, but you’re completely right. We’ve moved out of janitorial and into more facilities maintenance, HVAC, snow removal, landscaping, security. We’re in the tech sector now. I really do think buildings can talk, and so, I am trying to enable them to do that, so I know what’s going on inside my buildings. My children have grown. I need something now to communicate with, and I guess, I feel like those are my buildings.
Betty Collins: Well, not only have you grown Cummins and you have a great team- I can’t, we’ll talk about that in a few minutes, but you’re also an industry leader. You’re pushing cutting-edge stuff. You’re involved in that, as well as a thought leader. You’ve gone beyond, “This is my company, and this is what we’re doing today. This is what my industry should be doing.”
Jill Frey: Thanks, Betty.
Betty Collins: You’ve been really great about that. We’ve had some fun times, created a nonprofit, just to do that, right?
Jill Frey: Right, exactly. You know my stories.
Betty Collins: You’re always out, somewhere in the future. I remember the first time I ever met you. I was with your COO and your CFO. We were going over different things, and you said, “Look, Betty. My role is to go figure out all this crap we need to do, and then these guys do it.” You’ve just been this future person and some of the ideas you were throwing out that day, I went, “Oh, my gosh. I wonder if she’ll ever really do that,” but I mean, you’re ahead of it. How has that thinking in the future, being somewhere in the future, how has that played in your success? Then give us an example of when you weren’t forward-thinking and it held you back.
Jill Frey: Thank you. Thanks for asking those questions. I got into a conference room with Betty and her team, and obviously, she’s an accountant. She’s my accountant. She’s amazing. She’s fantastic. I highly recommend her to anybody listening to this podcast. She’s changed our company. I was squirming in my chair and I said, “Betty, I feel naked right now. I’m completely naked in front of all of you people, and there are men in the room.” She said, “Jill, you’re fine.” I said, “I don’t do this.”
Jill Frey: “I go and I solve problems, so you’re right, Betty.” That’s exactly what I said, and thanks for remembering that. Yes, I am always trying to be out in the future. One example I can give you is one of my largest clients about 15 years ago. We were still a state player, state competitor in janitorial services. My biggest client says to me, “We’re going to go out for bid, and your choice is to lose your business with me or grow five times.” I thought, “Oh, my goodness, how am I going to do this? Because if I don’t conquer this, I’m going to lose the business I have.” Biggest client, all of my employees, I’m going to have to lay them off. It would be a nightmare. I went out and I found a partner, and that is how we grew our business into so many states, because our partner said- in fact, we were in Mexico at the time, as well. I literally got on a plane, went down to Monterrey, Mexico, and started touring.
Jill Frey: We had 20 facilities down in Mexico that we were taking care of. That’s me, trying to be futuristic, because that company wanted one neck to choke, and that neck was mine. Knock on wood, we still have that client today. I’ve made the right decision and we grew. We took on all those facilities, we took on Mexico. I’d have accountants, attorneys in Mexico. You could see this little blonde beboppin’ down there. I mean, I’m sure it was just a vision to be seen, but we did it and we succeeded. The company knew that they could trust us and that we had their best interests at heart. That’s how I had to be a futuristic with that. I came back and I said, “Hey, team, we’re going to be doing business in all these states.” They looked at me like I had five heads. They had no idea.
Jill Frey: “How are we going to do the payroll for that? Who’s our bank going to be? How do we pay people in these other states?” That was very interesting. I could see that if I would have said, “No, I’m not prepared for that,” I don’t know where I would be, today. I would have lost my biggest customer. I wouldn’t be in all the states that I am in today. That would have had a huge impact on my success, on my company, on my employees. That’s a really interesting story. At the time, I didn’t know how well that was going to unfold. That’s, I think, how my forward-thinking was. I don’t really have a story on not forward thinking, because if anybody asks … There’s a slogan in the company, ‘what would you all do?’ It was always about what I would do with a client, the client always right. You are always taking care of the client, always do that.
Jill Frey: On the flip side of that, if the client asks us to do something, the answer is always yes. “Do you clean windows?” “Yes.” I can give you an example of this. My father started a company in 1972. About 1980, Honda came in, got the huge Honda contract there in Marysville, and he went in to do some cleaning for them. Honda said to my father, “Do you clean windows?” My father said, “No, we don’t clean windows,” and he never got the contract with Honda. From that point, I’ve always said, “Please make sure if they ever ask us to do anything, we say yes. If they ask us to go to a different state, yes, we will do that. If they ask us to take on another responsibility, yes, we will totally do that.” Anything a client asks, the answer’s always yes.
Belly Collins: You can have a client like Honda, because you wouldn’t even think twice. Even if you didn’t even have any window experience, you’d go, “We absolutely clean windows.” Then you call your team and say, “How do we clean windows?”
Jill Frey: That’s exactly what I would do.
Belly Collins: That’s what’s so awesome, right?
Jill Frey: Yeah, that’s happened.
Belly Collins: That’s why I like being in meetings with your team and with you guys, because you’re always, “Well, Jill is going to do this now.” I go, “Oh, okay. All right, so now what?” They make it happen. Let’s talk about your team, because you have an amazing team. I’ve been very impressed. Part of that is because you value them. They play a part of your success, certainly, but how do they deal with forward-thinking and fast pace and constant change? Because you are never going to be in neutral or “Look at what we used to do.” You’re going to be looking, “We’re going and we’re going fast and furious.” Not everyone can think like that. Tell us about your team and leading them, as a forward thinker.
Jill Frey: Oh, I do have the best team in the world, you’re absolutely right. I trust them and I enable them. I give them the power to make decisions. I do not multi or I do not micromanage them at all, and I let them know that, “Listen, if you need a micromanager, this is not the place for you to be. I’m just going to assume everything I ask you to do is going to be done perfectly.” Yeah , they’ve had a hard time. One of my team, I’ll ask for something to be done and she’ll say, “That can be done, but it’s not going to be done in jail time.” Everybody knows that jail time is now. Like, “Let’s go, jail time.” That’s been really challenging for me and as we grow, I still have those key people that I call and I just called one of them today and I said, “Hey, I had a whole truckload of stone I’m having delivered out to the office.” They’re like, “Do we need a truckload of stone?” I’m like, “I don’t know. I just got it. It’s going to be there. She’s like, “Jill, I don’t manage stone delivery.” I’m like, “Okay, we’ll figure out who does, great.”
Jill Frey: I don’t know who everybody is, so I just still go to those main players. You’re right, they have to adapt to that and God bless their souls. I mean, they’ll be like, “Jill, I’m in the middle. Today’s Monday, it’s a big day for me. I don’t have time to figure out stone delivery,” but they always do and they always make it happen. They’re fantastic, and they love when I forward-think. One day, I had them all look outside and I said, “Do you see that big, blue, beautiful sky?” They said, “Yes, it’s gorgeous.” I said, “Someday, there’s going to be airships out there and they’re all going to be delivering packages via drones.” They didn’t believe me. I just said, “What? You don’t believe me?” I got all these news articles for them about all these airships that are being built, and we’re working on part of that as well. It’s opening your mind and you never know what is going to come out of my mouth.
Jill Frey: It’s just like, “Is she serious? Really?” That’s where my team just- I mean, they focus on what they need to do, but they have to know, in their job as well, I’m looking at all these other possibilities because I want to make sure they’re secure in their jobs and they have a very bright future. I want them to feel like, “Okay, Jill’s taking care of me. She’s protecting me and she’s making sure that we all have jobs to do, and we might be up cleaning airships, someday.” As strange as it sounds, it will happen, and I want to be able to be the first one to say to them, “Oh, my gosh, can you believe we’re in an airship?” I mean, Elon Musk, he’s got some really cool ideas. I mean, there’s a lot of really cool people out there, but anyway, hope that answers the question.
Belly Collins: It does, and the other side of it, though, is the one thing I think you do well, is you’re a forward thinker, but you listen to what they have to say. They may change you not to be so forward thinking or maybe, you’ll go, “Hey, actually, now I see that we can even do more.” You listen to what they have to say when it comes to forward thinking and their reservations. Then you guys come together, but you’re the ideas person and everyone knows that. That’s what’s great about it. Then you just keep moving ahead, faster and further. Even where sometimes, you can’t move fast, you just can’t because there’s so many components to it, but if you want to grow 30%, you’ve got to have even a bigger line of credit, so you have to watch that stuff. When your team comes to you and they say to you, “Hey, what are we going to do about this?” And you’re going, “We’re still going to get there, and they’re going, “Okay.” I do like the jail time thing. That’s good. That’s good.
Jill Frey: Thanks, Betty.
Belly Collins: No, but I mean, you guys work together well, and that’s why you had the success you’ve had. COVID-19- and I’m tired of talking about it, but it’s still very much a reality, of course, has changed our world. You, as a cleaning company, obviously, that’s now even a bigger, bigger deal. How have you navigated through this time and what do you think that your industry looks like in the future?
Jill Frey: Thanks for asking the question, and I agree. I am as tired with that pandemic as ever, but it has changed our life. The quote that I like to use for this is ‘what 9/11 did to buildings, COVID-19 is doing to disinfection in facilities’. I truly believe that in each- and nobody’s had a guidebook. No one’s had a book of, “Okay, this is what you do here.” It’s never existed before, and so, we had to reinvent that. I didn’t feel comfortable sending people into the office, so we sent everyone home and we had to learn to hire people. We are hiring 75 people a week, virtually. We had to put all new systems in to do that. We are sending out newsletters every other day, communication with our clients, how we’re handling their building. They wanted to know what we are using, who we were going in, if they’ve been COVID-tested. What of our regulations, what are policies and procedures based on this? We didn’t have any policies and procedures based on COVID-19. I thought it was still a beer. I thought, “Oh, it’s Corona right?”
Jill Frey: Of course, we all adapted to that, and our team was so fantastic. The information that we were sending out, our clients were telling us, is the best information that they are getting from any of their sources. It was amazing. We’ve had so many clients sending us letters of thank you; presidents of companies. “Thank you so much for cleaning our facility. We did not have a COVID outbreak,” or one of- this was a food processing plant. 40% of all food processing plants had COVID outbreaks. They said, “Thank you so much for working with us, for being our partner and making sure that in this ecosystem, that our environment is safe and protected.” Yes, cleaning is completely sexy right now. It has not been sexy before, but oh, my goodness, it is in the limelight.
Betty Collins: Yes, it is.
Jill Frey: It’s been really fun to get that attention, but it’s like, “Oh my gosh. Okay, we have attention now.” It’s making sure we are that great company. I wish I could tell you, I don’t have the amount of money that we spend on bonuses this year, but it’s astronomical, with everything that’s going on with unemployment and trying to hire people and retain people and COVID bonus, it’s unbelievable. I feel like I’m reinvesting into the company. About seven years ago, I bought about four machines. They’re called electrostatic machines. They’re by Clorox 360. Technically, these were the first generation and they’re called ByoPlanet. Clorox 360 ended up buying these rights, and so, the second generation was called Clorox 360. During this COVID time, electrostatic disinfection became hot as all get-out. If you don’t know what it is, it’s basically a charged chemical that comes out from a gun. It wraps around and disinfects a surface. I had been selling this service for seven years. Nobody wanted it. Nobody wanted to talk about it. Nobody wanted to think about it. They thought that I was an alien with this gun, that they never wanted to see again. I can tell you, those guns were $7,000 or $8,000 apiece and we bought four of them. My controller, as Betty can contribute, is very tight on money. For me, asking to spend, what, $28,000?
Betty Collins: Seven years ago.
Jill Frey: Yeah, seven years ago, he was like, “All right, Jill Frey, but we better be using these things.” I’m like, “Yeah, we’re going to use them Missy-” oh, sorry, “We’re going to use them, I promise. We’re going to use them.” Let me tell you, we have been using those guns. Now, you can’t even order them. You can’t even touch them. They’re as hot as all get-out. I can literally say we are leading the industry in disinfection and now, we have another tool that’s even going to get- not get rid of electrostatic, but it’s going to replace it in a lot of opportunities. It’s just, I was so thrilled that I got to say to my team, “You know those guns we bought seven years ago, we’re finally using them.” It was hilarious because we are using them so much, they are breaking. The batteries went dead. I felt like we are on Guardians of the Galaxy. We were trying to put the spaceship back together again. It was hilarious. We got through it. We just kept pushing and pushing because you just couldn’t find them anywhere. You couldn’t find electrostatic guns, but anyway. COVID has been a true learning curve. The office has been amazing. I’m so grateful and blessed for how much we’ve gotten through it, and gosh, I hope that 2021, I hope it’s got a brighter spot. You brought up a subject I could talk hours about. Sorry.
Betty Collins: No, but that’s what you’ve always, since I’ve known you, it’s, “We’re going to buy this product and we’re going to use it and sell it.” It takes time to take these guns and get your money back sometimes, but in that case, man, you just- now, you are definitely ahead of the game, that’s for sure.
Jill Frey: It was fun. It was really fun.
Betty Collins: That’s for sure. Let’s go into the fun question, which is, women who are forward-thinking, aggressive- we wouldn’t see them as aggressive- are not always appreciated, Jill Frey. Have you ever just experienced that pushback or get the look? I know I have. How do you handle that aspect of being a woman business-owner? Especially- you’re a forward thinker. I mean, you’re ready to go.
Jill Frey: Being a woman, my industry is a male-based industry. I mean, I’ve always been looked at as the black sheep of the family. I mean, people like to see me at conventions and they’re always kind to me, but it’s really funny when I call them and say, “Hey, I’m bidding on your facility, and it looks really bad, so you really got to clean it up in there.” “I really don’t want your facility, so if you could do a good job, I won’t take your account from you.” I’ve built a lot of respect in my industry over the time because I don’t play their games. Some people have taken accounts from me, and I’ll go in and say, “Listen, you took one of mine. That means I take three of yours, so let me know when you’re ready, because that’s going to happen.” I had one guy take me out for drinks. He had to have two Manhattans, he’s like,”Okay, stop.” I’m like, “Oh, okay.” In my opinion, it’s all about respect. You got to stand your guard and you’ve got to really stick up for who you are. I’ve been in this industry, literally, my whole life. People can try to say that they can bully me around, but I started in this industry rolling up my sleeves and working with my employees. I know how to do it. I know how to strip and wax floors. I know how to do all of that, and that’s gotten me so far ahead. I think that when you walk into a room, I mean, you can hear the passion in my voice. I get so excited about my industry and my employees and my people and what’s going on.
Jill Frey: I think if they don’t take me seriously, at the end of the day, it’s going to come back on them, just like this electrostatic gun. You know how many men I walked in and said, “Yeah, I’ve got this great gun,” and they’re like, “A gun? Really?” Now, they’re calling me, begging me to get into their facilities. I think it’s just that you have to take yourself and you take yourself seriously and just go into a room and just say, “Listen, this is what I got. If you don’t want it, the end of the day, you’re going to be the one-” I mean, you don’t say this, but you’ve got the look on your face of, “All right. Well, I tried to tell you so, but, here’s my card. When you need me, let me know.” You’re kind about it, but just, you can’t let that get to you. You got to go in, know what you can do and know what you’re good at, and then rock it out of the park. Just recently, as you know, Betty, I started a nonprofit trade organization in my industry and it’s based on IoT. I went to a leader in our trade association, said, “Hey, I got this idea. I want to create an open API standard for the globe, for technology in facilities.”
Jill Frey: He had eight other people on the phone, it was just me. They went through all eight people, and all eight of those people said, “I don’t think there’s a need for this in our industry right now. I don’t see the opportunity at all. I don’t see it.” Like, “Okay, that’s great. Would you mind to sign this non-compete form?” They said, “Nope, we have no trouble signing that.” “Okay, great.” Today, I just got off of a phone call. They want to partner with us because this is what they see as the hottest trend going internationally, and they see such a demand for it. Of course, I didn’t get a call from the main guy. I got a call from somebody else. That, when you know what you’re doing and when you- or you have a feeling that this is going to happen, just go with that gut. In your industry, you know what’s going on. You know what the trends are. You know what problems need to be fixed. That’s my fun story.
Betty Collins: I love it. I love it. That’s awesome.
Betty Collins: I always go back to my kids. I learned a long time ago when they were that lovely middle age, the middle school time. Just drove me crazy. When I would get the look from them or the rolling of the eyes or whatever they were throwing at me, I started doing it back to them. Of course, they’re middle-schoolers going, “What are you doing?” I said, “Oh, I thought we were communicating. I thought this is what we were doing.” I feel like that in business, at times, especially if you’re considered aggressive woman, and I am, a lot of the time or that I’m going to say what’s on my mind. I’m a pretty straight shooter. You’re going to get some pushback with that, as a business owner, but especially as a woman business owner. I just wanted to hear your perspective of how you do that, so thanks for sharing that story. I love it. That’s awesome. I love the fact that he called and said, “Hey, I want to be involved now.” That’s too much.
Jill Frey: I know, right?
Betty Collins: That’s cool.
Jill Frey: It crushed me. That day was just such a crushing day. Betty, you’re the same. You are so awesome. You are leading your industry and my company depends on you so much. Like I said, you’ve changed our whole company and for the better and we’ve put our complete trust in you. We knew we could. You’re that industry leader, and that is so awesome. Once you find it, it’s an amazing partnership that you’re so grateful for. We’re all in this together. We are all in this together, and we’re going to get through it together. That’s where you use your networking. I mean, just so many people you’ve introduced me to- has been amazing. You rockstar.
Betty Collins: I appreciate all those. Usually, the guest, I’m supposed to be doing that to the guest, but Jill, thank you for doing that back to me. As of what I call- you call me all the time a rock star, and I call you the same thing. As the rockstar of cleaning industry, give us your final word. What thoughts would you want to leave this audience today?
Jill Frey: I love quotes and I have a book that I journal in every day. Then when I get done with that, I have to find new quotes to put in the front of the journal. Then I live with those quotes throughout six or eight months. I have three, if that’s okay.
Betty Collins: That’s good.
Jill Frey: I had to cut it down to three. This one’s really fun. ‘Logic will get you from A to Z, imagination will get you everywhere’. That’s from Albert Einstein.
Betty Collins: Love it.
Jill Frey: ‘Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging’. That’s Joe Campbell. I really like that one too. I think that one’s fantastic. This is my favorite. This quote has carried me through two books and so, it’s in my second book here, and it says, ‘the best way to predict the future is to invent it’.
Betty Collins: Nice.
Jill Frey: I truly believe that that is the best way for you to see what your future is, is you have to understand what you want and then you have to create what you want, whether that’s in your life, in your business, in whatever realm that is, create your future. That’s my favorite one right now.
Betty Collins: That’s a great way to end the podcast, especially on just forward-thinking being crucial to your success. Well, Jill, again, Jill Frey with Cummins Facility Services. If you need a good cleaning service, she’s your girl. I just appreciate your time today, getting your perspective out there and we really appreciate it. This is Betty Collins and thank you for joining today. I hope you have a great day.