I work daily with people yearning for a fresh change in their career path and their means to earning a living. They’re looking to start a business or buy a franchise opportunity as an avenue to greater fulfillment in their work, control over their growth and to achieve financial goals. Great, let’s get started!
The beginning stages of the process are typically very exciting as you prepare to explore the various options. You begin to realize, “wow, there are a lot of ways I might be successful as an entrepreneur and I see many other people just like me who are doing it!”
As you plunge further into the research, sobriety sets in and the “oh!” statements start. The entrepreneurial hopefulness shifts to…
“Oh…It’s not realistic to immediately replace the income I’m used to.”
“Oh…I’m going to have to retool my skills to a different environment.”
“Oh…I’m truly responsible and accountable for everything and everybody.”
“Oh…Schedule freedom comes after I’ve grown the business a while.”
As much as we seem to crave change, most of us secretly only want to change what we don’t like and maintain what we do like. Put another way, we want the benefits of change without risk and discomfort.
All of us are wired to avoid discomfort, but nature shows us that from uneasiness comes some of our greatest achievements. Think of what a chrysalis goes through, struggling to be free from the cocoon to emerge a beautiful butterfly. Before the emerging creature can break free, it must take in air and expand. It’s forced to wiggle and twist uncomfortably in a space now much too confining. Only after creating a crack in the structure of the cocoon can the newly formed wings reach toward the sky.
You probably know where I am going with this…inherent to change is risk and discomfort. Cliché – yes, but still a fitting metaphor. A caterpillar must undergo discomfort and even pain during metamorphosis. It hurts for a while, but in the midst of the transformation, the tiny creature somehow understands that newfound freedom awaits on the other side of the cocoon.
Bill Love, FranNet client and franchise owner with Floor Coverings International, talks about that first year in business in terms of “surviving the breakers.” Bill overcame his own form of discomfort with the help of his fellow franchisees and earned the top spot in his organization within his first three months! His story inspires and shows us that subsequent to the uncomfortableness, the good stuff does come. Soon, the statements of resistance start to become affirmations.
“I love the greater sense of control that I have.”
“My efforts feel different knowing they are going towards my benefit.”
“I’m meeting great new people and feeling more connected to my community.”
“I’m working hard but can choose my schedule and be there more for my family.”
In my franchising seminars, I share more stories of successful franchise owners who pushed passed the temporary pain and of those who turned back to the path of least (short term) discomfort. The difference in the two comes down this: You will only make the change if you are convinced that NOT making the change will lead to greater pain.
Whether in business for yourself or for someone else, most would agree that what we focus on tends to grow. If we choose to focus on all the benefits we will gain from making the changes instead of the pain, the discomfort and fear we rightfully feel will diminish as those benefits expand. I’d love to hear your thoughts on change, so message me on LinkedIn or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leslie Kuban is a nationally recognized franchise industry expert, CFE (Certified Franchise Executive) and owner of FranNet of Atlanta; a locally owned and operated franchise consulting firm. Leslie and her team have helped more than 400 individuals and families achieve their dreams of business ownership
In 2017, Leslie led her Atlanta team to become the Top Achieving Enterprise Office in North America. Additionally, she was named Top FranNet Consultant for 2017.
Leslie is a guest lecturer for the MBA and EMBA programs at Emory, Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State. She is a founding member of the Georgia State University Franchise Entrepreneurship Advisory Board. To learn more, contact her directly at 502-530-0143 or email@example.com