Would I Hire Me?
While it may seem like a very rudimentary question it can be the biggest introspective question that any prospective business owner asks before they either make the final decision to start a business or retreat back to the perceived security of a job.
If a job candidate was to ask themselves if a hiring manager at a large corporation should hire them the answer would invariably be “YES!”, but committing your own funds to back yourself in business raises different fears and concerns than it does when someone else’s money is betting on your ability to deliver in a job. Is it fair to compare hiring yourself to a company hiring you? Yes! Either way someone is betting on your ability to produce at the job in question.
In the case of taking a corporate job you will likely know many of the parameters of that role from your past experiences and what you learn from the potential employer during the interview process. But we know that corporate America is sometimes unpredictable. You may find that the job you accept there has unexpected duties, hours or stress. So, you will have to adapt and adjust along the way to better perform in the job and to meet your personal goals outside of the job.
Alternatively, if you were to look at going into a franchise business your approach will be different, but only slightly. Your past experiences will inform you on what key roles in business entail; sales, management, marketing, finance, etc. You will evaluate the team you have to help you in the areas where you are not the specialist needed for the specific role. You will evaluate your support team from the franchisor. You will analyze the success comparable peers have had in the same role you are considering. You will do an exhaustive evaluation of the company and the opportunity.
As you are doing your investigation the franchisor should be going through the same kind of process with you to make sure you are a good fit for their system. Their goal should be to only offer franchises to those they sincerely feel can succeed in the business. Their success from their relationship with you ought to be closely tied to your success with their system.
With both parties looking for every possible reason to say no, if you come to a point at the end of a franchise investigation where there is an opportunity to move forward then you have hit the point where you get to try to cross the ultimate personal hurdle. One of my closest mentors, Jeff, told me years ago that it is a bit like when we climbed the ladder for the high dive at the pool as a kid. First you sit in the shallow section of the pool watching the big kids go off the high dive, and loving it. This is your proof that it works and how to do it safely. Then you start jumping in from the side of the pool, but realize you are not really having the same experience that big kids are.
Then your day comes. You climb out of the shallow end of the pool and dripping wet you go over to the high dive and grab the hand rails. You feel like everybody at the pool is watching you. Slowly you climb the ladder, feeling like you are climbing Mt Everest! Now it’s time, step by cautious step you walk to the end of the board and look down.
At this point you have two options while you stand on the high dive as a kid:
1. Jump to the center of the pool as you have seen it done successfully before and take your seat in the big kids club.
2. Slow turn and climb back down the ladder without jumping. Either way you will likely get to the ground safely. But the first will feed your sense of confidence and your love of adventure and trying new things as it changes your perspective a bit. The later will likely feed your self-doubt which could keep you from ever climbing the ladder again.
We know, as do the franchisors, that not everyone will take this leap from employee to employer (could they? YES! But, they won’t all have the confidence). Many will see how others did it and slowly climb the ladder as they do their investigation of one, or more, franchises. They will walk out to the end of the high dive board as they do validation calls and visit the franchisor at Discovery Day. All along the way hearing their own self-doubts and the advice from well-meaning friends and family telling them never to take a risk, but rather to stay in a job where the rug could get pulled out from under them any day. Some will get to the end of the board and turn around, just walk away because of their own self-doubts.
Now, I would have to ask anyone that goes through a franchise investigation, if you have confirmed that you have the requisite skills to be successful and that the franchisors system has worked for countless others then why would you not hire yourself to perform that job?
If your in-depth investigation found either that the franchisors system did not work or that your model (skills, strengths, etc) did not fit them then have your advisor, if you are using one like us, find companies that are a better fit. But let’s assume that there did exist a proven franchise system and you have built the skill set you would need in your years as an employee. If that was the case then we are back to self-doubt and fear. Here is the best solution I have found at this juncture: Make sure you did your homework and trust you will hit the center of the pool when you jump!
Because if you would not hire you, who should?
Mr. Knauff 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 startup 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.
For more information, visit the website: www.georgeknauf.com