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“The mission has always been to transform a traditionally simple service and ignite it with convenience, trust, and quality – we’re creating a lifestyle change.”

AmberMaids.com was launched in February 2013 and has recently achieved noteworthy success and positive feedback from new and current customers. Amber Maids is a cleaning service that allows customers to schedule residential, commercial, vacation rental, and custom cleanings through its convenient online booking page. Their mission is to make household cleaning an easy, simple, and stress-free process. While most major service industries rely on hourly fees, extra costs, and contracts, Amber Maids differentiates itself from the market by having affordable flat-rate fees, with a satisfaction guarantee – if you’re not happy, then you’ll get a re-cleaning service on the house. They’re taking Southern California by storm and casting a high-tech format into a traditionally low-tech industry.

The company’s Founder and CEO, Eddie Yoon is only 24 years old. While he’s always showed a natural flair towards entrepreneurship with previous support and managerial roles from a range of successful start-ups, this is his first, true solo start-up. “It’s always been my goal to launch my own venture. It’s one of the most stressful, remarkable, and life-changing experiences. The mission has always been to transform a traditionally simple service and ignite it with convenience, trust, and quality – we’re creating a lifestyle change.” Today, the company boasts an impressive revenue of $XXXX (per month) and is well on its way to hitting the $XXXXX (per month) figure goal-mark in the coming year.

MO: How did you come up with the concept of Amber Maids?

Eddie: The idea is not novel. There are countless services that are similar to this around the world. It seems that the trend these days is wrapped around the central concept of tightly bridging the gap between technology and product/service. If you search across the web, you’ll find a website, product, or service for almost anything. It’s incredible how fast the venture world is moving right now. If you have a brand new concept, then you need to do everything in your power to not only press for a successful launch, but also to build the mindset of continual improvement. If you create a new software application, then it’s impressive. But you need to understand that someone out there is taking notice of it and is willing to work himself or herself to death to improve your product and create something even more valuable for the target customer base. That should be enough to motivate you to protect your concept. If anything, challenges are necessary and will push for a broad improvement in the overall viewpoint of your entire industry. If you’re truly one of the best at what you do, then you’ll be rewarded.

Another subject I want to touch base with is how every single person has a smart phone now. I certainly didn’t have a smart phone until I reached high school, which was normal back then. If you look around, elementary school children all possess smart phones and are very knowledgeable about the latest technology gadgets and applications. What I’m trying to say is that in the next 5-7 years, we’re going to experience an unprecedented influx of services based around mobile and web applications. We’re already seeing it with the room/hotel booking services from AirBnB, the taxi cab services from Lyft, and the private jet services from BlackJet. These companies aren’t trying to create a brand that every single person uses, like Microsoft and its Office Suite products. They’re giving a direct answer to sizeable, demanding, and profitable industries. It’s worth noting that AirBnB was not welcomed with open arms. VC’s who heard about the concept laughed at it because they said that no one would use it. Well guess what happened? This past New Years, they booked more reservations than Las Vegas. I love saying that you’re considered crazy if your idea fails, but hailed a genius if it succeeds. These guys knew what they were doing. It’s about taking measured risks and genuinely believing in your idea. That’s worth more than anything you’ll ever gain. The public’s acceptance of it is just the icing on the top.

These trends and thought processes are what essentially served as the driving engine for Amber Maids. The cleaning industry generates over $1 billion dollars per year. I’m not here for the whole pie, just a slice. With the geographic area and West Coast customer base that I’m currently servicing, my primary responsibility is to create a cleaning service that does its job and invokes trust, quality, and satisfaction. Also a personal shout out to Rohan and Kevin for being my mentors throughout this entire process. They are future millionaires who’ve helped me more than they even know.

MO: Can you talk about the development process from first having the idea to getting it to market? Were there any early challenges that you didn’t anticipate?

Eddie: I spent two straight months with research and development. I literally started handwriting and typing some notes and layering them around my work area as daily reminders of what I had to accomplish for the week. My work area and walls are still filled with my early notes, milestone goals, and year-end goals. I keep them up there because they’re fond reminders of the beginning of the journey. In hindsight, I could have spent less than a month with R&D, but I wanted to be 100% sure that I knew every single aspect of the venture, in terms of industry knowledge, managerial agendas, customer service plans, payment processes, and legal aspects.

The early challenge was working with my web designers and coders. I hired freelancers who I was referred to, so decided to take the plunge rather than working with a local team. This was mostly because I saved a ton of capital but also because it was something new that I’ve always wanted to do. Basically, I hired three separate teams (after sourcing through hundreds of other potentials) with one of them being the original team I was referred to. They were all based in Pakistan and India and spoke conversational English. They always called me “Sir” which was awesome.

Well, the major problem was that their time zone meant that they were working from 7pm to about 7am in the morning, Pacific time. As such, I was forced to stay up until 3am-4am just so that I could communicate with them in real-time and expedite the process. It was frustrating because I would show them exactly what I wanted and there would still be coding and designing errors. Eventually it was fixed and the website reached its final stage. My colleague warned me that it was going to be really hard communicating the designing, wire framing, and coding to the exact layout I wanted. I think I underestimated her, but now I know. No regrets though! I saved a lot of business expenses and learned a lot throughout the entire process. It was fun!

MO: Where does your passion for entrepreneurship come from?

Eddie: I’ve always loved start-ups. There’s something incredible about creating something from literally scratch to a full-on service that provides real value to customers. I believe that everyone should experience building their own company at one point in their life. You’re going to fail in the beginning, but you’ll learn so much. I’ve failed many times with a series of random start-ups, but I learned very important lessons from every single one of them. They’ve all stacked into a series of steps for me and that’s how I reached the stage I’m at now. Never be afraid and just go for it. There are two things that will happen: you’ll fail and nothing will come out of it, which would have happened anyways if you didn’t try, or you’ll succeed.

I’m really lucky to have had the opportunity to work with incredible entrepreneurs. I’ve gained some really interesting insight into a lot of industries, such as hair/beauty, dance/entertainment, and social technology, among others. These individuals came into my life at various points and served as immense motivational forces. They’re easily the most brilliant, persistent, and unique people I’ve ever met. If the idea sounds ridiculous, they’ll still continue onwards because they know it’ll work. If they have to eat cup noodles for months straight so they can save enough money for their business, they’ll do it. If they have to sacrifice sleep and work without pay for an entire year, they’ll do it. All of them helped shape who I am today. It’s the culture of entrepreneurship that I love. The community has so many inspirational figures and a plethora of mentors that give back to others. It’s a self-reviving circle of knowledge and success that defines the industry and builds a positive foundation of optimism and endurance.

MO: What’s one marketing strategy that’s worked really well for you so far?

Eddie: Honestly, this is one of my biggest challenges to this day. Google Adwords has been a focal point for me in the early stages and so has organic SEO, or search engine optimization. Fortunately, I dabbled with SEO in the past out of pure interest so I had some familiarity from it. Google Adwords wasn’t too difficult to learn, but if you really want to master it, then you have to take some time to learn the details. I didn’t want to just set up a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign without any knowledge. I would have lost a lot of money. It’s fun when you gain a more thorough understanding of your marketing channels because you have real analytics and real data that provides direct insight into what works and doesn’t work.

Other than that, it’s really just word-of-mouth. If you’re providing amazing customer service and really doing a great job with cleaning, then people will refer you. There’s really nothing stronger than that. You can visit Yelp, you can visit online reviews, and you can read as much as you can about a business, but you’ll still have some lingering doubt. But when your neighbor, your friend, or your cousin tells you that they found a trustworthy cleaning service, then it’s worth more than gold.

MO: Why do you think that being humble can actually be viewed as an asset?

Eddie: Being humble is such an important part of your overall characteristic and long-term personality. Everyone who achieves any type of success at a young age will have a moment when their ego and confidence gets the best of them. I’ve been guilty of that many times in my life. Sometimes it has to do with your background, your experiences, or your inherent personality. What I do know, is that you can change it. And you should strive to. Finding the perfect balance of confidence where it becomes an attractive characteristic is the real test for everyone. It’s possible and you’ll be in a much better place when it becomes your reality.

For me, reflecting on my journey from the very beginning has been enough to stay humble and be humble. Honestly, there was a string of weeks where I hardly slept and would work 60-70 hours just on the business. I sacrificed a lot of weekends in the early stages. I can tell you that the hours from 2am-4am are very lonely. But I noticed that I would be very productive during this timeframe because I had no distractions. Therefore I had no excuses. It was all a choice. I learned a lot about myself during these long hours. I learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was, and that determination really has no limits. If you really care about succeeding, then you’ll pass this test.

There is no doubt that the company was, and still is, a big part of my life. It’s almost like having your own child. It sounds weird, but when you become so invested in a business, you will do everything in your power to give it life. That’s the closest comparison I can give to how much care and love you can have towards something of this nature.

MO: Can you share some of your insights and experiences regarding motivational aspects that many successful entrepreneurs seem to possess?

Eddie: Motivation is everything. At one point, you really need to ask yourself what is motivating you to do what you’re doing. Keep track of your daily habits and actions. Everything you say and do is an outward expression of your inner self. Steve Jobs figured it out when he took psychedelics and went hiking. His mantra was simplicity and functionality. Some people discover their motivation after experiencing traumatic events. These can trigger hidden beasts within you. Others are just born with an alpha personality that engulfs their nature and serves as ridiculous ambition. I’m not saying that you need to ingest psychedelics, experience hardships, or be naturally motivated to succeed. Anyone can reach a goal if they truly believe they can, and if they truly act on it. It may sound cliché, but there’s a reason why it’s constantly emphasized. You need to stop thinking at one point, and just do it.

Your motivation should never be about money. If it is, then start gambling. It should never be about fame either. If it is, then become a celebrity. Every single successful person that I’ve talked to triggered their motivation by desiring a change or wanting to provide a treasure. This means building an idea that you love. At some point, you’re going to want to show it to the world. And you will have to, whether you’re ready or not. It might not be fully ready, but it’s never fully ready. Just read about Google’s early history and look at where they are now. We’re all perfectionists. This is the normal process for every new idea. You’re going to be met with a lot of harsh criticism and hatred. This is necessary and will only strengthen you for the huge roadblocks and mountains you’ll have to climb later. You need to be ready for this. What happens afterwards will be the true test of your character and motivation. Are you willing to fight for your idea? And if so, why? If not, why? This is the difference between mediocrity and extraordinary.

When you truly start to discover what your motivation in life is, then nothing will be able to stop you. You need to take some time alone and really enter a deep stage of thought to find out. It’s different for everyone. You’ll know when it’s temporary motivation, something that’s fake. Don’t lie to yourself and start living a life that’s true to you and not what others expect of you. Just express your true feelings because that’s how you’ll find yourself and find ultimate happiness. I encourage everyone who cares about their future success to find out what that is, right now. You’ll gain a newfound sense of appreciation, fulfillment and respect for yourself that will lead you on the most important journey of your life.

MO: How has your approach to and perception of entrepreneurship evolved since starting your first business?

Eddie: Entrepreneurship is the greatest metaphor for life. You truly get out of it, what you put into it. My approach will always be based on this philosophy. It’s taught me how to act, think, and live. Every single person that I’ve met in my life has contributed to something that shaped me to be the person that I am today. Life is a learning experience that you have to accept responsibility for. That’s what I’ll always appreciate and remember.

My perception of entrepreneurship coincides along a similar pathway. It’s painful, stressful, and emotional. It’s like separating from a long-term girlfriend, with an uncertainty towards both of your futures with the stark realization that it’s over. But it’s also blissful, incredible, and breathtaking. Like the moment when you know you’ve met the love of your life and everything is right in the world. There’s going to be so many ups and downs, so many highs and lows. But you can’t truly appreciate the highs without experiencing the lows. The point is, you’re going to make it no matter what. Your life will inevitably change as a result of challenging yourself with this journey.

It’s a crazy experience that’s made me so much more resilient in all aspects of my life. You learn the value of hard work, the bitterness of failure, and the reward of persistence. It’s another layer to your existing life. Soon it becomes the primary layer of your life and others become a secondary layer. This is important but you should also keep in mind that family and friends are layers that you should always remember to stay in touch with. Keep close bonds with people that you love, because they will provide you sparks of inspiration and support when you most need it. Find that balance with all your life’s layers and you’ll discover true success.


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