Michelle Spitzer

Management 1997
Owner at MaidPro of Southwest Florida

Becoming the Boss: How a Classroom Assignment Turned into a Life-Changing Career

It’s not every day that an individual enters college as a student with a dream and leaves a budding entrepreneur. College is a time for learning and building upon skills and foundational knowledge that can be used to build a career, start a business or advance within the field. It took one business course for Michelle Spitzer to draft a plan for her future business, which led to a life-changing experience.

“Dr. Gene Landrum became one of my first mentors,” Spitzer said. “He was an excellent professor and wanted you to learn from real life experiences.”

Spitzer enrolled in Hodges University’s (then known as International College) Bachelor of Science in management degree program in 1995. While taking a business course with Landrum, who was the founder of Chuck E. Cheese, she was given the assignment of writing a business plan.

“He [Landrum] taught us to think big and to think outside the box,” she said. This type of thinking led Spitzer to use her independent cleaning job as inspiration to create a plan for a much larger business, saying, “During this time, I was cleaning homes independently to make some extra cash while going to school. I decided to write my business plan on creating a cleaning company. While going through this exercise, I decided I might be onto something and decided to implement it.”

Today, Hodges’ management program is designed to benefit not only individuals who seek to advance their careers but entrepreneurs and those seeking to be self-employed, much like Spitzer. Hodges’ management program emphasizes the importance of human resources, organizational productivity, quality and success.

On track to becoming her own boss, this new venture was a drastic change from Spitzer’s previous career as a Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) account representative in Champaign, Illinois. After her position at BCBS was eliminated, she moved to Naples, Florida, to be closer to her parents in 1993. Possessing an associate degree from a local community college, she received encouragement from her mother to go back to school and earn a bachelor’s degree.

“My mom encouraged me to complete my education. She highly recommended Hodges University because she had obtained her paralegal degree from the school,” Spitzer explained.

The flexibility of the courses and ability to start her own business while still in school left a lasting impression on Spitzer, who graduated with her bachelor’s degree in 1997. Founding Michelle’s Classy Cleaning Services while in school, Spitzer received an opportunity to become a franchisee with MaidPro in 1999.

As the owner of MaidPro of Southwest Florida, Spitzer admits running a company isn’t easy, but it is rewarding, saying, “I see my business as a platform to ‘Improve the Quality of People’s Lives.’ I hear stories every day of how we make a difference by taking care of their [our customers’] household chores.”

Since converting her business and joining multi-million dollar MaidPro, Spitzer’s company has consistently been the number one revenue producing franchise out of 250 locations with more than 109 employees and five locations throughout Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Reflecting on her experience at Hodges, she encourages others to not let fear get in the way of pursuing a goal, offering the words, “My education inspired me to start my own business. It changed my life. You have nothing to lose, only everything to gain.”

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