How Do I Deal with the Internet Keyboard Cowboys? How Do I Determine Accuracy?
Every day. Literally every day, we read posts in forums and groups. And there is always that one individual that has a comment about EVERYTHING even when it wasn't solicited. Some groups are unfortunate and have more than just one of that type! But what are you to do when you want to grow your business and need to learn?
Focus on your business. Keep the ego to a minimum and try to find a mentor. Before the internet-age, your mentors were your vendors. They understood the equipment, products, chemistry and could give you tips and tricks. The internet-age gave a voice to EVERYONE. And I think we might all agree that for some folks, this wasn't a positive. As a newbie into the industry, it's hard to differentiate what information is true and accurate and what information is downright dangerous. But when the "keyboard cowboy" spouts off some information with such authority, who are you to question it? You should.
The most over-used piece of advice is BLEACH. And while it is necessary in a variety of cleaning applications, it can be used in the wrong places, in the wrong strengths or mixed with a product that isn't compatible. It isn't always appropriate. And because it comes in a variety of strengths (dollar store, grocery store, big box hardware store, pool store), the general advice of "50/50 dilution" doesn't always work. Why? Because part of the equation is missing. We first need to know where the bleach strength is starting. Do you know your starting bleach strength? You should....really you MUST. So, depending on your starting strength, that "50/50" recommendation might work and then again it might not.
50/50 of 12.5% bleach = 6.25%
50/50 of 10% bleach= 5%
50/50 of 6% bleach = 3%
Injection methods differ as well. Downstream? Soft Wash? X-Jet? All of these have different dilution rates and if I downstream that last mix, my final bleach strength is almost nothing. Then you wonder why the mix didn't work. Math is super-important in this industry. If it's not your strong-suit, then at least know your starting strength and your dilution rate for whatever application method you utilize. That information can help a mentor or qualified person to assist you.
Question the information. Ask "why?". It's important in your learning process to understand the rationale for the answer. Use acid on rust. Yes, but WHY? As you learn the reasons behind some of the actions, then you can understand and apply that same knowledge to other similar situations.
Just because it's on the internet doesn't mean it's true. Protect yourself. Keep that ego in check and learn from a mentor. Remember your customers are watching you, just like we watch our customers. Your behavior can be a turn-off to a potential customer or your next potential vendor!
Focus on you and your business and leave the internet keyboard cowboys to their rambling ego-driven ways. Those folks aren't handling your business or your bills.
Now get out there and be successful!
- Kimberlee Handl