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The Entrepreneur’s Source: Want to Find Out What Drives You? Go Back to Your High-School Self

Originally Published in Forbes, 6/1/18: Find What Drives You, Even If You Have To Go Back To High School To Figure It Out.  Written by Terry Powell, Visionary Founder of The Entrepreneur’s Source.

If you want to own a business, you’d be surprised what you can learn from your high-school self.

I remember it like it was yesterday. I was far from a model student, but I stood there in shock when I read my senior superlative in the yearbook: “Least Likely to Succeed.” Looking back at it, I have to laugh. There is zero chance that superlative would make it into yearbooks in today’s everyone-gets-a-trophy world.

But receiving this label has driven me every day since. I decided that instead of just making a living, I was going to make a difference. And in doing so, I would silence the doubters.

Here’s what’s fascinating for anyone considering opening their own business. It may seem like a million years ago, but perhaps your high-school self can teach you something. Your high-school self wasn’t jaded. Back then, you were fearless and thought anything was possible, even if it seemed impractical or illogical. So, if you want to go forward, it may be time to look backward — back to who you used to be in high school. Looking back to the spirit of your younger self may just provide the jolt you need to make the transition into entrepreneurship.

Trust me on this. It’s how I had the confidence to start my $14 million-a-year company. Not that it has been an overnight success. I started my company in 1984 and began franchising in 1997. But I wouldn’t have the company I have today if my 36-year-old self, dazed after a bankruptcy and divorce, and with three kids to support, hadn’t asked my high-school self for guidance and motivation.

I had been a serial entrepreneur until that rock-bottom moment. Since I was a kid, I had always been interested in running my own business. And when I did have a talk with my younger self — OK, not a literal talk — I started thinking back to my high school days, and I suddenly had a newfound clarity. I remembered that senior superlative and realized that much earlier on, when I was starting out, I had always been looking for mentors who could offer advice on starting a business.

Maybe back in 1984 I was a little crazy to start a franchise coaching business. I was, after all, coming off a few hardships. And compared to what I know now, part of me wonders what I was thinking. But fortunately, I listened to that inner high school student, and I didn’t worry that maybe I wasn’t ready to start my business. I didn’t decide that starting the business wasn’t practical. I just did it.

You can, too.

I’m not saying starting your own business is easy. It isn’t. But if you’re looking for guidance and ideas on how to start your own company, there are several strategies you’ll want to start working on.

• Do your research. That is, if you have an idea for your business, do you have any evidence that the market needs another restaurant, daycare, accounting firm or whatever business you’re considering starting? You may want to consult your community’s chamber of commerce or the U. S. Small Business Administration (there is probably a local office near you). Even if you’re determined to open up a business in an extremely competitive market, you’ll want to know what you’re getting yourself into.

• Talk to people you respect. That may be your spouse, your best friend, your attorney or accountant, a pastor, a career coach or maybe a friend or acquaintance who is a business owner. But once you have an idea for a business, you shouldn’t attempt this alone, not without first soliciting opinions and advice from people you respect. They may see problems — or solutions — with the business you’re starting.

• Develop a business plan. This is extremely important, especially if your company is completely new and untested (although even individual franchise owners need business plans that are in sync with the goals of the specific national franchise). You want to have a blueprint for becoming and staying profitable, and any lenders or investors you work with will want to see that as well.

Disheartened by everything you need to do? I hope not. In fact, I hope you’re energized by the idea of being your own employer. This is an exciting step you’re going to take.

Bottom line: Before you found yourself working for a hotheaded boss, before you were overwhelmed by student loans, car payments and utility bills, and before you realized how hard being an adult can be, you were YOU. And I’m guessing you weren’t discouraged and that you thought the future was bright and that anything was possible.

It is bright. What we forget as adults is that, despite leaving school, we never stop learning. There is a business out there for you, one that’s an ideal match for your goals, needs, expectations, experience and interests. You just have to figure out which business is the perfect fit for you.

So, maybe you don’t know what you want to do now that you’re all grown up. But I’ll bet your younger self knows — especially if you received a less-than-stellar senior superlative!

If you’re ready for your Career 2.0®, visit our website and look around. There are a lot of professional resources available to you there. The Entrepreneur’s Source® can help put you back in control of your own destiny.   And if you’re ready to get started finding your franchise match, get started at http://www.franchisematch.com/.

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The Entrepreneur’s Source: Want To Run A Business With Your Spouse? Three Reasons You Should Buy A Franchise.

Originally Published in Forbes, 4/18/18: Want To Run A Business With Your Spouse? Three Reasons You Should Buy A Franchise. Written by Terry Powell, Visionary Founder of The Entrepreneur’s Source.

When you’re running a business with a partner, solving disagreements can be particularly vexing. But when you’re married and running a company, it’s even more challenging. After all, it makes it difficult to go home, decompress and complain to your husband or wife about your business partner. And your business partner may not feel he or she can vent either.

Still, there’s no doubt some couples thrive as married entrepreneurs. Many entrepreneurial couples say running a company together can create a tight bond. At The Entrepreneur’s Source, our coaches have helped many of these couples uncover the possibilities, options and dreams associated with owning a business together.

At the same time, there are obviously some couples who shouldn’t run a business together — and maybe shouldn’t even be married (but we won’t get into that). Running a business with your spouse certainly isn’t for everyone.

But if you think it is for you and your better half, consider buying and running a franchise together versus starting a business from scratch. We’re not just saying that because franchises are our specialty. We really do believe that while some types of businesses can break a couple’s bond, a franchise can strengthen it. Here’s why.

A franchise reduces the financial stress of starting a business.

Buying a franchise is expensive, exciting and, sure, scary. But at least your startup costs are in writing. You know what you’re going to spend and what you will get for your money, and you know that you’re buying into a proven business model.

If you and your spouse are starting, say, your own online T-shirt store or opening your own new restaurant, you don’t have reams of data and company history to reference, where you can feel confident that your money is going to lead to a successful business. And you may not even know how much you’re going to spend. You might imagine that you’ll need $100,000 to open your first restaurant when really, you should budget half a million.

It’s easy to imagine that at some point, if you hit a rough patch and the customers aren’t showing up, one spouse may become very nervous that you’re both throwing money away.

This isn’t to say that individual franchisees can’t fail, too. But, again, you’re buying into a successful business model, and you both know that. So, that first year is going to be much less stressful than the couple who starts a business on their own and may be throwing money into a dark hole.

A franchise offers a clear path to follow.

It isn’t just that a franchise model has clarity with startup funding. It has a blueprint for how the business should run every day.

Obviously, there’s enough freedom in every franchise system that a couple — if they don’t work well together — could still theoretically argue. You could both be hiring your own employees, for instance, and if one of you wants to hire a certain worker and the other doesn’t, sure, a couple might argue.

But for the most part, two spouses running a franchise are following a system, and since you both believe in the franchise, there shouldn’t be a lot of stress (beyond the usual day-to-day stress of running a business). And odds are, you won’t have any serious stress or disagreements because chances are, like many couples running a business, you each will be working on areas of the franchise that fit your interests and skills. Many couples find that each person has their own strengths. So maybe one of you does the hiring and scheduling and accounting, while the other takes care of the marketing, inventory and sales.

A franchise can offer marriage counseling.

OK, don’t take that too literally. But, seriously, all franchisees are working with a franchisor — the headquarters. It’s easy to imagine a couple fighting over that online T-shirt website or restaurant, both blaming the other for the reason the business is hemorrhaging money and not feeling as if there’s any income available to hire a consultant.

It’s also easy to imagine a married couple with a franchise and wishing sales were a little higher, then turning to the franchisor and getting support/training to help get the couple back on track.

All of this being said, the success of any married couple running a business does come down to the couple and their collective skills, energy and enthusiasm. It’s also safe to say that your marriage should always come first before the business. In fact, it’s probably better for the health of your business if your marriage does come first.

If you’re looking for some inspiration and wondering how couples run a business together, Peggy Cherng, co-CEO of Panda Express, told Fortune magazine a few years ago, of working with her co-CEO husband, Andrew, “Being married does not always make working together easy. We had to learn how to resolve business disagreements. It’s not ‘Your way is best’ or ‘My way is best,’ but the alternative way — which incorporates everybody’s ideas — is best. In 2010 we reached our goal and had sales of $1.069 billion.”

Really, it doesn’t matter if you’re a married couple running an entire franchise or one unit. The fact is, you two are a unit, and as long as you always treat each other the way all couples should treat each other — with respect and good communication — you’ll probably find that not only will your marriage thrive, but so will your business.

Another way to look at it: When you’re working together, always treat your husband or wife as a professional. If you don’t, that’s when things can really get personal.

If you’re ready,  to become empowered, and not just employed, while really defining your Income, Lifestyle, Wealth and Equity (I.L.W.E.) goals, The Entrepreneur’s Source® wants to talk with you. Just click on this link http://www.entrepreneurssource.com/contact.html to get started.

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