He sees his way to profits by washing windows of opportunity
September 18, 1999
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Washing windows can be a real pain, particularly in mansions that grace the nation's capital. Yet one resourceful entrepreneur has made a lucrative career out of it. The only problem is the continental commute.
Philip Bregstone, 39, spends nine hours a day for 14 weeks polishing windows in the wealthiest neighborhoods around Washington. Then he goes home to his family's farm in Colorado.
"When I'm here I work really hard, wash a lot of windows, kind of make the family needs," says Bregstone, scrubbing away in Washington. After that he goes to his farm near the town of Nyland.
"When I'm back there, my wife works and I get to take care of the kids. ... It's a wonderful experience."
They call him 'Dr. Glass'
Bregstone, otherwise known as "Dr. Glass, put himself through Syracuse University washing windows in his native Potomac, Maryland.
"It just so happened that there were a certain number of sports stars, Patrick Ewing and Sugar Ray Leonard, who lived in the neighborhoods where I was washing windows, so they started using me."
He now makes about $500,000 a year. His success having piqued the interest of budding window washers, Bregstone created what he calls a "business in a box" a year ago to teach others how to squeegee their way to financial independence.
One of his proteges, Rev. Jesse Andrus, trades a Bible for a belt laden with cleaning supplies during the week.
"I'm off on weekends; I make an excellent income," Andrus says. "And it's been a real blessing."
Clients are impressed with Bregstone's work, and his values.
"He's more interested in showing other people how they can do it than he is in expanding an empire himself, and I really admire that," Knight Kiplinger says.
For Bregstone, the rewards are ample -- raising chickens, goats and his children in rustic and natural surroundings.
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