What My Hip Replacement Taught Me About Business Ownership

Facing a surgical bone-cutter, anesthesia, and grueling physical therapy is not my idea of fun. Yet, I managed to brave through it, having just had my hip replaced. Upon reflection, I am most pleased with the results now. However, in advance of the surgery, I had experienced much fear, anxiety and pain avoidance. 

Facing One’s Fears to Get Ahead

I witness similar fears and anxieties in my professional life too, although of a different origin. After all, I am a franchise matchmaker and coach who helps navigate aspiring ‘wantrepreneurs’ through the exploration of business ownership.  

While most Americans dream of owning a business, many put off any exploration. A feeling of some void in one’s life or career distress, like physical pain, can be a real motivator! Taking cues from one’s discomforts and focusing on outcomes enables forward progress.

Personally, what began as a modest ache in my hip evolved over years into a huge quality-of-life issue. The most rudimentary of activities became agonizing. I was even forced to give up certain cherished sports.  

In business, I coach people who find themselves in a dead-end or unsatisfying job, cut off from promotions and raises. Others suffer from work-life imbalance, having their jobs outsourced abroad, or seeing their new boss bringing in their own personnel. Worse, some have been laid off. 

Their discomfort, although of a different form, has impacted their lives like mine – serving as a catalyst for life change.

We often are creatures of familiarity and may rely on short-term remedies for life’s challenges. I dealt with my hip as best as I could…depending on shots, exercises, and stretches. Despite my best coping efforts, I realized a radical fix was necessary to achieve a pain-free and productive existence – surgical intervention. After several trusting expert consultations, talks with friends and colleagues who underwent replacement, and careful analysis of data…a new hip seemed prudent. 

X-raying Your Goals, A Great First Step

Like many patients, some executives-in-transition, corporate refugees, and others become open to diagnosing the symptoms behind what’s blocking their goals and career distress. For them, business ownership is not an automatic solution but simply considered a possible solution worthy of an examination. 

Yet, self-diagnosis is difficult, underlying why many business explorers trust us to diagnose their situation. Akin to an x-ray, we identify their preferences, goals, wants, needs, financial targets, etc. We build them a business preference model – pinpointing their desires (e.g., independence, flexibility, control, etc.). Thereafter, we match them to a prescribed franchise(s) whose model they can leverage, then help them research it.

The devices used in hip replacements are limited. Franchises are not, and their breadth across all investment levels impresses nearly all. Most franchise candidates are surprised at the resulting right choice, realized only after an expertly guided, robust research campaign. For them, owning a franchise can add to their lives as much flexibility and mobility as a new hip!

No Guarantees, But Lots of Expert Help

Client trust bolsters my ability to help diagnose and prescribe solid solutions for my clients. Comparable to hip replacements’ track record, our performance is strong. 

Success in buying a franchise cannot be guaranteed. But, the path leading to it is aided by balancing emotional with pragmatic, fact-based perspectives and making educated projections in one’s analysis. 

As for me, I’ll go on helping clients see how business ownership can create a better life. Mine will certainly be improved by my new-found hip solution and pain-free/mobile functionality.

No Pain, No Gain

Delaying my decision further and wishing for a magic remedy for my hip arthritis would have been foolish. I regret waiting so long. Yes, I’ve experienced post-surgical incisional, tissue, and physical therapy discomfort and the rehabilitation process has taken time. However, my expectations are being fulfilled, attributed to an unwavering commitment to self-improvement. 

These same ingredients are needed to find and succeed in the right business. If your goals are not being realized, take action. Owning a business could be the answer. You may later regret not looking.

There’s no self-employment age cap, and fortunately, franchises have ready-made models to leverage…making it easier to launch a business. Some can even be operated on a semi-absentee basis! 

Prescription for Getting Ahead

Like a ‘scary’ hip replacement surgery, one’s imagined fears and anxieties surrounding business ownership don’t typically measure up to the actual experience and results. Be brave, do bonafide research, and put trust in the experts around you to help make a thoughtful and informed decision. Buying a franchise business is surely less permanent than a new hip! In the end, it may be a perfect fit. 


Guest writer, Frank Dunne is New York’s Hudson Valley & Capital Region owner of FranNet.

May 18, 2017