How a Corporate Layoff Changed My Life…

For this week’s blog post from FranNet of DFW & Oklahoma, we thought we’d change things up a little bit by getting personal. We feel it’s important for our clients – and our prospective clients – to know who we are, what motivates us, and how we relate to the idea of exploring an entrepreneurial future. Roxanne Rapske, who handles our Dallas-based clients and inquiries, wanted to share her personal story with our audience.

This is about facing those seminal moments in your life, and her first-person account really captures the emotions, feelings, and uncertainty she faced following a corporate layoff. This is Roxanne’s personal entrepreneurial journey. She begins the story with a description of her circumstances on the day it occurred:

The Backstory

“I was in mortgage banking for 20 years. When the markets imploded, I lost my income overnight. I worked on a 100% commission basis. The night before, I had gone to bed with $10MM worth of loans in my pipeline and woke up the next day to $400,000. The Feds had ceased all of the wires going out on what they called the “Alternative A” products. I had two FNMA A-paper loans in my pipeline. That was it. An estimated 3.5 million people in my industry were let go, so the prospect of going out and finding another job in my area of expertise was not an option.”

How She Responded

“There were a lot of things going on in our lives at that time. My son was eight. My mom retired when I had him and essentially became our full-time nanny. My husband traveled globally, and I was working an insane amount of hours. Thankfully, my mom was there to help us raise him. Once this happened with my job, my husband’s response was, ‘You can stay home, go back to school, volunteer, or start a business, you just need to figure it out!’ Easier said than done, right? Looking back, I’m sure I picked the most difficult choice. I actually went down the path that most of my clients now choose – entrepreneurship. I began exploring business ownership opportunities. I loved frozen yogurt, therefore, I thought I should own a frozen yogurt store. But the concept I was interested in wasn’t selling to new franchisees in California, only to existing ones. I then went down a rabbit hole researching smoothies. I was on Weight Watchers at the time, and quickly realized I could blow my entire days’ worth of points on one smoothie due to all the sugar in them. So, I finally found a healthy low-sugar option that I liked, but who knew a smoothie shop was $400K to open? Then, I thought, ‘Well, who is going to be there at 5:00 a.m., to get ready for the breakfast crowd?’ Me, I guess. I began to wonder how this was going to improve my quality of life.

Franchising to the Rescue

“Around this same time, a friend of mine had sold two businesses and was researching franchises. So, she decided to become a franchise consultant. Through her, I learned about this option and thought it would be a great fit for me, as my previous role in mortgage banking was very consultative. I felt called to do something that would make a difference in the lives of others because I knew firsthand how uncomfortable this type of transition can be. I started my business in the worst economy we’ve ever seen. It was scary, hard, and discouraging. I have to give credit to my husband, who probably believed in me more than I believed in myself. We had to sell our home, downsize, and get on a very strict budget. But as a new business owner, I was finally on the right track. It was during this same time period that I turned to running. It was a way for me to alleviate my fear and stress while keeping clear of all the other less healthy choices I could have made.”

Looking Back on Everything Now…

“I honestly don’t have the words to describe how grateful I am. When I was downsized, I felt it was one of the worst things that could have happened. But in hindsight, I’m so grateful for this opportunity. I was so busy running as fast as I could on the corporate hamster wheel, I may never have gotten off on my own. Owning my own business gave me my life back. All of a sudden, I was able to drop my son off at school, pick him up, and take him to sporting events. These were things I was never able to do while working for someone else. I always say that I became a better mom, a better wife, daughter, friend, and human being. I wasn’t as stressed and had more time for the things that really mattered in life. I used to work a ton of hours, then would bring even more work home. There was never a break. Even when I went to the hospital to have my son, I had to call someone from work to come and pick up the box of loan files I had with me in the hospital. Is that any way to live?”

On What the Future Holds

“I believe I will continue to work full-time for the next five years doing exactly what I do now. I love what I do and love helping others navigate what can be a very daunting process. I think we have a lot of data now, post-Great Recession and post-pandemic. There are a lot of businesses that not only survive but thrive in down economies. There is always an opportunity, you just need to know where to find it. Don’t let fear get the best of you. Believe in yourself and realize we all have transferable skill sets. Business ownership is not for everyone, and neither is franchising, but it’s a great solution for many of us. I encourage anyone reading this to reach out to at least have a conversation. My role as a franchise consultant is to provide education to my clients. I help them understand franchising versus other avenues of business ownership. I want my clients to make informed decisions about what makes sense for their situation.”

A Final Quote to Consider

“We recently interviewed a performance coach, Chris King, on our Unpredicted Entrepreneur Podcast, and he had an amazing quote: “Of all the crazy bets I’ve made in my life, the safest bet was on myself.” I would have to agree with this. Most people think it’s crazy to leave the comfort of our corporate jobs and start our own business. But maybe we’re just crazy in a good way! And, with layoffs impending, is corporate really that comfortable? Or safe, for that matter?”

We hope you enjoyed reading about Roxanne’s personal story. If it resonated with you, or you’ve been thinking about business ownership, we’d like to hear from you. We are uniquely qualified to match your potential with the possibilities that come from small business ownership through franchising. All you have to do is allow FranNet of DFW & Oklahoma to be your guide. Our no-cost, no-obligation consultations have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs in North Texas and Oklahoma secure a future that belongs to them and them alone. If you’d like to get started on your own entrepreneurial journey, we’d love to introduce you to a whole new world of possibilities through franchise ownership.

Aug 16, 2022