Founders' Corner

My name is Mark Baird. I am the founder of I write about everything that helps US veterans, the organizations that support them, and US small businesses.

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How Being a Janitor Changed My Life

Before I became a successful business owner, I took a lot of different low wage jobs. I left home when I was 15. I dug ditches for two water districts, by hand and shovel, in water and mud up to my knees. I was a busboy, a store clerk, and a salesman a dozen different times. But the job I enjoyed the most in those early days, before turning 21, was when I was hired as the janitor for the second floor of the Santa Barbara General Hospital. That is the job that transformed my life.

My supervisor was a World War II, African-American, former Army Sergeant. He was the best boss I ever had. He taught me how to be an outstanding janitor. In a few weeks, I could keep my floors just as brightly polished as his. I took pride in my duties. Doing an outstanding job made me feel like my life had worth. I was a high school drop-out, and poor; but, I was good at my job. Knowing that, meant a lot to me back then. It still does.

I loved the work; but, I was still struggling every month. By then, I was married and had a daughter. We still needed food stamps to feed ourselves, even though I always had a job. I was walking down a dead-end road, so I started my own janitorial business. – I kept a job. But after work, I would go out and look for cleaning accounts. My first clients were a Good Earth restaurant, and my town’s community center. They each took me an hour a night to clean. And they paid twice as much as my 8 hour a day minimum wage job. – I was hooked!

Here is the KEY to why I became a very successful janitorial business owner: I always had the mindset that I provided an integral and essential service to my clients that was critical to their success. My clients paid me well. I felt a responsibility to provide services that greatly exceeded any service they had hired before. I did many things that were noticed and for which I received praise; and, I did things that no one would know about or notice. I made sure that my cleaning products were Green. I took week-end courses to further my ability to be a better janitor.

In order for employees to maximize their work hours and focus their talents on the work for which they are being paid, they need a clean and safe work environment. It was my duty to provide it.

In order for a business to be seen as professional by clients and potential clients, they must have a professionally clean and tidy office environment. This is essential to their sales and growth. I knew that my services were critical to my clients' business growth. It was a significant responsibility. -- This is the Key to being a successful and “professional” service provider for any business owner. It is the backbone of our successful US Military Maintenance businesses.

If you are a US veteran and would like to become a US Military Maintenance business owner; and if you have a true passion for employing and working alongside other US veterans, then read some of my other posts about this non-profit program HERE. – You can also call USMM owners by clicking:

If you decide that it sounds like what you have been looking for, and you want to know more, then contact me:

Mark Baird/  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 760-730-3734

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Hello, I'm Mark Baird and I founded Hire Patriots. My wife and I are 'helpers.' We are concerned about meeting the practical needs of our US veterans veterans and their families. We began a job board for local residents to post chores that they need help with. It has been very successful. Thousands of local US Military and veterans partially or entirely support themselves from our website. We are looking for others near US Military bases who would also like to have a website for their location. We also hold welcome home parties, military marriage retreats, job fairs and create military family gardens.


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