In his own words: Dream2Clean owner Larry Rickman
Name/title: Lawrence D. Rickman/owner, Dream2Clean
Number of years in this job: 4
Years in this profession: 4
Education: Indiana University graduate in business
Last book read: “What’s the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences” by Brian Solis
Favorite flick: OK, but I was 10 and I still love it. One of my high school buddies works for Lucasfilm and my son now loves it: Star Wars
What’s on your iPod: Easier question to answer is what isn’t on my iPod … from classical to country, rap to ’80s hair bands, its all there
Spouse, kids or pets: Loving wife Renay has been by my side for 22 years. We have been married almost 17. She is truly my inspiration to be a better person everyday. We have two great kids: Kyla, 16; and Braedon, 14. Our hiking companion Banjo, our rescue dog, is 7.
Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about your company and the duties of your position:
Larry Rickman: Dream2clean is a residential and commercial cleaning company that launched in 2009. As the owner, I have responsibility for all facets of the business, including client management, marketing, human resources, accounting — pretty much you name it. I was well prepared for this role after spending 20 years in corporate retail, and much of that spent leading teams. I cut my teeth managing stores and working with every level from executives down to the new employee. I came into this position well prepared for the trials and tribulations of running a small business.
NNBW: How did you get into this profession?
Rickman: When you are raised by a mother with a bit of OCD and a father that was retired from the Air Force, you learned pretty early on that cleaning was just part of the daily routine. Couple that with my experience working with cleaning contractors across the United States and voila! the ingredients for owning a cleaning company.
NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in your career?
Rickman: You aren’t successful unless your people are. Teach them, develop them, push them — and never let up. When they are successful, that impacts those that work for them, their clients and ultimately the good of the entire organization.
NNBW: What do you see as keys to your continued success as the economy in Reno-Sparks continues to improve?
Rickman: Finding truly great and driven folks to join our organization. If people aren’t on the top of your priority list, don’t expect your business to be on the top of theirs.
NNBW: What was your first job?
Rickman: I worked at Ponderosa steak house as a bus boy when I was 15. I had the pleasure of washing dishes, scrubbing the grill hood, scrubbing floors, scrubbing bathrooms, etc.
NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren’t you working it?
Rickman: I get to work my dream job everyday — I get to run my own business. Our goals of launching employees into owners is getting closer every day. That’s when the true fun gets to happen.
NNBW: Have any advice for someone who wants to enter your profession?
Rickman: Don’t be afraid to become your own boss. My fear of doing nothing is stronger than my fear of failure. Want to own your own business? Be innovative and be great!
NNBW: What’s the most fun you have had on the job?
Rickman: Early on in the businesses infancy my wife and I did most of the work ourselves. We got snowed in up in Northstar when cleaning a 3,500-square-foot condo at mid-mountain. It was a tough 15 hours in the hot tub.
NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Rickman: If you are going to be in business be the innovator. Don’t follow the status quo in your industry or you will be the status quo. Leaders don’t follow, they lead. Get out front and don’t look back.
NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?
Rickman: Working out at our favorite gym and being outdoors.
NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
Rickman: I would have gone into business for myself when I was 16. My lawn mowing business at that point could have been 30 years in business at this point.
NNBW: What has been your biggest professional accomplishment?
Rickman: Starting this business and surviving the dreaded first two years. Loving life today less than four years in.
NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?
Rickman: Heard from a 13-year-old at the recent TEDxUnR: “The most annoying question posed to a kid is: ‘What do you want to be when you grow up’?” His answer to that question: “Happy!” Simplistic but true. I never knew what I wanted to become. It wasn’t until I was 40 that I realized I wanted to be happy.
NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?
Rickman: I wouldn’t retire, but I would find a way to be more happy than I am today — perhaps moving to a place with an ocean view and telecommuting as needed with the team. Technology is a beautiful thing if used to your advantage.
NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?
Rickman: I saw Styx here in Reno — those guys still sound awesome!
NNBW: Where’s your perfect vacation spot?
Rickman: Secluded beach bungalow with no WiFi/Internet.
NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?
Rickman: I’ve lived in 28 different places in my life. I have been all over the eastern side of the United States, and I have to say that Reno and northern Nevada is great. It has outdoors, nightlife, a developing downtown/midtown area that has some great local businesses. The food is great, people are friendly … I think this place has a real opportunity to become the next Austin, Texas sort of town.
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