12 Steps for Job Addicts

The first step is admitting you have a problem.

For many years I have seen people for whom I have great respect follow a 12 step program to gain control over a dependency they had.  Theirs was a chemical or physiological dependency, for many of our candidates their dependency is on a job.  They don’t feel comfortable taking control over their earnings and starting a business using the same skills that they feel make them valuable to a potential employer.

First let me say that nothing in this article is meant to slight the efforts and accomplishments of those that follow the well-known 12 step addiction program.  I have huge respect for anyone that pursues living a better and healthier life.  All I want to do here is look at the idea of dependency and how those that have trouble breaking away from being dependent on a job might do so.

Let’s go back to that first step, admitting you have a problem.  For many it is hard to see why a job may not be in their best interest.  We do not live in the business environment of our Grandparents prime years any longer.  Downsizings are too common to bother publishing in newspapers any longer, jobs are not guaranteed and executives often have a lot of employer entries as well as pay gaps on their resumes.  For older professionals the pay gaps increase and subsequent jobs often pay less as employers want younger/cheaper employees.

Where is the problem?

A seasoned professional will, best case, maintain a paycheck in trade for time away from their family to build a business owned by somebody else.  Time away from family often increases in direct proportion to pay and title.  Nobody’s child ever said “Dad, I wish you had worked more”.

The owners or shareholders of the company get all the benefits of their employee’s efforts. And, yes, sometimes the owner’s children will inherit the company you build.  The owners go into the future building their portfolio, the employee drains their 401K to try to get through retirement.

Second Step is reaching out to a higher power

The really good news is that there are people out there who have taken these steps before you and know the path to finding your sanity.

“Hi, my name is George and I used to be a job addict.”

Much like any good change agent, those that help you find your way should not be focused on selling you books, classes, personality tests or anything else.  There are experts you can reach out to for free assistance, I am one but there are countless others.

The third Step is to make the decision to be open with, and reliant on, your expert advisor

The process is typically simple and straight forward, your expert advisor can guide you through all the twists and turns.  If you pick the right advisor you will have instant access to decades of experience that you would have a hard time replacing at any cost.  While you bring experience in your area of expertise, franchising is a very unique world and your adviser can save you time, money and trouble.

Step four is to do a personal inventory

We call this your model, it is a complete summary of what would make you a good fit for a franchise system.

Steps five, six and seven involve looking how that personal inventory fits as a possible business owner, where being an employee was not a good fit and what might result from making this change

We often here candidates say “nobody ever asked me that before but here is what is important to me…”.  This personal inventory is critical to future success, it is a living document and we update them with candidates that come back for more business acquisitions in the future.

Step eight is to discuss this possible path with your spouse, step nine is to involve them in the process

Your most important partner may be your spouse, for this reason you will want to bring them into the conversation so that they can be involved and feel part of the process.  It can be very difficult for candidates who skip these two steps then find their spouse has questions, fears or things they want to contribute.  Spouses always get involved, the only question is when and how smoothly that goes.  Waiting until the end of the process rarely safes time, effort or frustration.

Step ten is to continue to fine tune your personal inventory as you go through the franchise investigation process

Since employees usually focus more on what keeps their employer happy than where they will find happiness themselves it is not uncommon for us to find part of their model that we need to update as we go through the investigation and they discover options for how and owner can work that they had not considered previously.

Step eleven is to give ongoing thought and contemplation to life as an employee and how that could change for you and your family as a business owner.

Remembering your “Why” is important as you consider this change so that you don’t default to your job addiction.  If you would be a valuable employee for a company, then you must be equally as valuable as an owner of your own business!

Step twelve is to grow as a business owner and help those that are job addicts to make the change, find independence and control over their income streams

This is where your experience acts as the example they can relate to and you refer them to an expert like me.  You will find that friends and family mention when they talk to you that they have always wanted to own their own business too, feel free to help them find their own success!

There are the 12 steps for jobs addicts.  What will your success story be?  Let’s go find out!

George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many companies; Public, Independent and Franchised, of all sizes and in many markets. His 20 plus years of experience in both start-up and mature business operations makes him uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of going into business for themselves in order to gain more control, independence, time flexibility and to be able to earn in proportion to their real contribution. Contact the Franchising USA Expert George’s Hotline 703-424-2980.


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