New Year’s Resolution: “Change My Destiny”

It that most wonderful time of the year… When we all start assembling those New Year’s Resolutions that we will try to carry forward for our own benefit.  For the past 15 years you would find “1. Spend more time at the gym” on my list.  There are a few problems with that resolution I have been so fond of trotting out which cause it to be an almost certain failure.

The first problem with it is that it is not specific, where are the goals of what I wanted to achieve that can be measured? Second, I have gone to a place and looked busy for long periods of time but sought no expert advice, guidance or process improvement. Third, I am not being held accountable to meet my goals; I have not incorporated friends and family into my process as my cheerleading team.

But I am not alone!

Every winter I get the great honor of talking to hundreds of amazing corporate executives, many that come to me after years of taking the same approach to controlling their destiny that I have with my gym resolution. They have looked busy to anyone watching from the outside, they have not brought on an expert to guide them and they have not formed a team from their family that can act as their cheerleaders and hold them accountable to making measured progress towards their goal of being the business owner, not an employee, and building both ongoing revenue and an asset they can sell.

So, if you are reading this publication and are currently employed I would have to ask:  What is holding you back from your dreams?!

Here are some quick myth busters:

“I could not give up my paycheck cold turkey.”

  • Great, I would suggest a semi-absentee or absentee business that you can ramp up while you keep pursuing your job or career.
  • Five to 10 hours per week split between you and possibly a partner or family members is all it takes.
  • This WOULD be a real brick and mortar business with a manager leading the staff.
  • This is NOT a part time home based opportunity that is entirely dependent on you and where would come home to after a long day, spend time with your family, have dinner then try to build a another business at night when you are tired and most people are not doing business.  Most of those endeavors are doomed from the start.

“I don’t know if I have the skills to be a business owner.”

  • Chances are you have one, or both of the most critical. Those are management or sales skills.
  • A franchise is an outstanding starting point if you have this doubt. A good franchisor will measure your skills before offering you a franchise then make sure you have all the tools and resources to adapt your skill set to their operation.

“I don’t have the cash to start a business today.”

  • It is very common for our candidates to use outside funding solutions to get their business started.
  • Not being able to buy their house with cash has not stopped many home buyers.
  • On the lending side there are conventional and SBA as well as equipment leases to pursue.
  • There are some creative approaches where professional service providers roll over your retirement account in such a way that apparently does not trigger taxes or the withdrawal penalty.  This approach would let self-guide those investments and invest in your company rather than a typical retirement fund where a fund manager you don’t know will invest in companies where you don’t know the CEO and he, or she, does not know you.
    • A note of advice:  Don’t go and just empty your 401K!  There are professionals who do this.

“The idea of taking risks in my career or in business is scary to me.”

  • Interestingly, business owners consider being an employee to be very low potential and high risk.
  • Risk scares us all, but the feeling of risk is amplified by unknown. Eliminate the unknowns but conducting a good search and using professional resources.
  • Remember your first time on the high dive at the pool? Taking a step like owning a franchise can feel like that at first, but in time you may have as much fun with it as many of us do!
  • Physiologically, the feeling of fear and excitement can sometimes feel like the same thing. Maybe the feeling that held you back was actually excitement!

“My spouse does not want me to leave my job.”

  • Maybe they have seen an approach similar to my gym resolution and need to see a higher level process being executed.
  • Spouses are more supportive in the process of selecting a business when they are involved from day one. They will have their own questions to ask that may be very different from your questions.
  • Spouses like to know that someone in the mix is operating as an advisor, not a salesman. We work through this with candidates and their spouses all the time.

So, is this your year, the year you finally take concrete steps towards controlling your financial and career destiny? Independence and control in an insecure job world is an achievable goal for many people, even folks who thought it to be impossible. The tools and resources are there, you are reading one of them now. It is just a matter of taking your approach to the next level and getting an expert advisor and executing a good investigation or the best options in the market that are perfectly matched to you.

As for my gym resolution, I have specific goals and a professional trainer who will keep me on course and make sure I am using best practices.

I’ll see you at the gym and hopefully we will get to talk about your interest in franchises someday!

Mr. 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.

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