Six Questions With Don Aslett
1 | Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Don Aslett, founder of Varsity Contractors. I’m a serial entrepreneur in the cleaning industry. Through it all, I’ve been (and still am) the janitor, an executive, author (40 books), speaker, soap salesman, spokesman, and land developer, to mention a few. I still made time to be a Scoutmaster, Little League coach, and stay active in my church.
2 | Why did you choose the cleaning industry?
It chose me! First, cleaning earned my way through college, and I realized everything in life works better when clean… so I saw a great opportunity in creating in an industry everybody seemed to want out of. One of my favorite examples would be to blindfold me, take me into a building to the janitor’s closet, and I can tell you exactly how clean the building is.
3 | How did your family help you with accomplishing your goals?
In the cleaning industry, there are many tasks that can be done at any age. So, it was common to bring family on jobs and put them to work. Most important was having a spouse that could wrangle our six kids when we were growing the business.
4 | If you could have dinner with one person from history, who would it be, and why?
Benjamin Franklin, or maybe Thomas Edison. They were ‘doers!’ The world needs more ‘doers’ and less talkers. And, they changed the world.
5 | What music, movies, or books inspired you to succeed?
Classical music, no debate. I love old movies. The one that comes to mind is “The Fountainhead.” I seem to watch this oldie a couple times a year. I just bought a copy of “A Christmas Story,” not that old, but the story is. I was the exact same age as Ralphie in the exact time. I can still remember the Red Ryder BB gun. Books are too many to list, but “Atlas Shrugged” comes to mind.
6 | Can you give us one sentence that best describes your philosophy of life?
My Dad used to say you “Can’t farm from the coffee shop.” I’ve adapted that to “Keep your hand in the toilet,” meaning we need to keep connected, keep yourself on the job. And that’s why I’m still doing tours at my Museum of Clean in Pocatello, Idaho at the age of 87.