“Rags to riches to rags” — that saying has endured for centuries through many cultures because family success, whether fame, fortune, or otherwise, rarely survives through the third generation. In the United States, only 30 percent of family businesses make it through the second generation, while only 12 percent make it through the third.
You Can’t Spend Pride tells the story of one family business, Mister Kleen, that has defied the odds. Not only are three generations of the family working in the company, but Mister Kleen has grown to be a multi-million-dollar operation that ranks among the top 10 percent of businesses in its industry.
Narrated as a first-person account by the co-founder, Mary Ann Clark, and her son and current company president, Ernie Clark Jr., You Can’t Spend Pride tells the improbable story of how the family built their business from cleaning one client’s office in the evenings to maintaining millions of square feet of high-security and commercial space throughout the Washington, D.C. area.
And success certainly didn’t happen overnight. The family fought through financial challenges, health issues, and many bad economic times over the course of decades to get the business on solid ground—now employing more than 400 people.
You Can’t Spend Pride is a must-read for anyone looking to start their own company, having difficulty growing their current company, and most certainly for anyone running a family business. Filled with stories and solid entrepreneurial advice, you’ll find yourself immersed in the inspirational history of Mister Kleen as it rises from a home-based business in 1976 to the trusted leader in high-security and commercial cleaning in the Nation’s Capital.
All proceeds from the sale of this book go to the Cancer Research Institute:
Learn more at CancerResearch.org.