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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/.


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.


The Entrepreneur’s Source: Why Entrepreneurship Is Less Risky Than Employment

Originally Published in Forbes, 8/8/18: Choose Freedom Over Comfort: Three Reasons Why Entrepreneurship Is Less Risky Than Employment. Written by Terry Powell, Visionary Founder of The Entrepreneur’s Source.

I have to laugh when people say that they would never quit their job and start a business of their own. “It’s too risky,” they tell me. This comes after they tell me that they’re in a dead-end career and have a desire to find a better way. It’s amusing to hear that because I think the biggest gamble is to work for someone else. In fact, I believe entrepreneurship is the safest career path.

Of course, that is what you’d expect me to say. I’m the founder of the nation’s leading career transition coaching franchise and specialize in guiding entrepreneurs on their journeys of discovery. You’d expect me to say that you should strike out on your own and that you’re far better off not working for “the man.” But I truly believe in my gut that it’s riskier working for someone else than working for yourself. It’s why I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was a teenager.

So, if you’re thinking about leaving your current job but can’t quite muster up the nerve to jump out of the plane and pull the ripcord, let me encourage you to trust yourself and jump. In fact, I’ll give you three reasons why entrepreneurship can actually be a safer move than staying where you are.

People do get laid off.

I’m not trying to scare you. We are in a period of economic prosperity and job growth, so if you love working for someone else and don’t feel like worrying about it, that’s not surprising. But the economy fluctuates, and layoffs can and will happen. Four years ago, according to a Rutgers University survey, one out of five American workers had been laid off in the past five years and about 22% of those who had lost their jobs still hadn’t found another one.

Times are much better now, but even during good times industries can slip and layoffs and terminations can occur. You might one day be considered too expensive for your company. You could, one day, be in a job with good benefits, making six figures with five weeks of paid vacation and the next day be collecting unemployment and wondering how you will support yourself and your family.

So, if you have been thinking about starting a business, create your future career transition at a time of your own choosing rather than waiting for something unfortunate to happen (such as a layoff or job elimination) and then feeling like you are being forced to start your own business. Do it on your terms and your timeline.

Working for yourself means you can never get fired, laid off or told your position has been eliminated.

This is why I love working for myself. Sure, things can go wrong. Businesses sometimes fail. We all know that the worst can, and sometimes does, happen no matter what path you take in life. But what is unfortunate about working for someone else is that it’s possible to excel at your job and do everything right — and still lose your job.

If you’re working for yourself and doing everything right, that doesn’t happen. Nobody can come up to you and tap you on the shoulder and tell you that all your hard work and dedication is no longer needed. When you are working for yourself, only you can tell yourself when to stop working.

You’re the decision maker.

This is where the freedom really comes in. Of course, a lot of entrepreneurs discover that they don’t always have as much freedom as they thought they would when they become their own boss. If you own a franchise, you may have employees to schedule and train and orders or inventory to manage. You will certainly have customers to make happy. Until you have a great manager or two in place who you trust, you probably aren’t going to go vacationing in the South Pacific for a month, and even then it may be more like a long weekend.

Still, you’re the one who decides if you want a second or third business. You can have as big or as modest and stable a franchise enterprise as you want. You’re also the one who decides if you’re going to cut out of work early for the weekend or just to go watch your kid or grand-kid’s soccer game — without clearing it with a supervisor or manager first. When you run a business, there are responsibilities, to be sure, but all that hard work you’re putting into your business is for your company. It’s for your family. It’s for you.

If you really want to stay at your corporate gig, that’s up to you. But from where I stand, the people who take a leap of faith and pull the ripcord are the ones who truly have control.

There will be some late nights; but these tradeoffs will be YOUR decisions. The Entrepreneur’s Source® (TES) 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/.



The Entrepreneur’s Source: What to Consider When Making a Late Career Transition

Originally Published in Forbes, 7/16/18: Three Things To Consider When Making A Late Career Transition. Written by Terry Powell, Visionary Founder of The Entrepreneur’s Source.

We all feel stuck in our jobs once in a while.

As a career transitions coach, I realize not everybody is at the point in their life where they’re ready to talk to a professional. So, if you are considering a new career and want something better in life, here’s some advice you might find helpful.

You are not alone.

Everyone can use career advice, and it isn’t a weakness to ask for it. No matter how intelligent, seasoned and experienced you are, as the old saying goes, it’s hard to see the picture when you’re inside the frame. We’re all better off when we bounce ideas off one another.

Try talking to some of your family members, like your spouse or your kids or your parents. Bring your friends into the fold and get their opinions on what you should do. You can even ask your attorney or pastor. You have many people in your life who could help you make a smart decision about your career.

And chances are, the people you talk to will understand how you feel. We all struggle with whether to stay in a position. A recent study of 4,900 professionals found that 33% of adults are bored with their job. And if you’re at all worried about losing your job, you aren’t alone there either: Twenty-one percent of adults fear being laid off from their job.

Many people change careers, including middle-aged and older Americans.

You may see yourself as someone who should soon start considering lounging on a beach in Florida. But remember that old cliché (which happens to be true): Age is just a number. You can do whatever you want with your career, no matter how old you think you are. And that’s exactly what people are doing. In the last several years, key media outlets like CBS and Entrepreneur Magazine have reported a trend in older Americans switching careers later in life.

In fact, in a recent report on retirement, The RAND Corporation found that many Americans retire then either go back into a new career or start up a new business. One of the authors called retirement “a fluid concept,” and said, “Significant numbers of older people move in and out of the workforce. Retirement isn’t necessarily permanent.”

So you shouldn’t feel as if you’re unable to leave a position late in life. In fact, many older Americans end up consulting in their industry, sometimes for the company that they were previously employed with.

Many senior citizens also buy franchises. There are numerous reasons franchises are attractive for older adults. You can be as busy as you want, hiring employees, scheduling, doing payroll and ordering inventory, or you can have your managers do it and go spend the afternoon gardening or seeing a movie. There’s plenty of work that can come with owning a franchise, but the more successful you are, the easier is to scale back and let your employees handle most or all of the labor you’d rather not do.

There’s nothing wrong with staying put — for now.

If you strongly believe that you need to leave your job but are resistant, there’s nothing wrong with deciding what to do later. After all, it’s easy to get anxious and create an urgency that isn’t really there yet.

If you are dissatisfied with work but feel that it’s too late to change jobs, maybe it’s actually just too early. Maybe you should wait a little longer until you’re truly comfortable making an exit and, in the meantime, use the extra time on the evenings and weekends to explore and consider what you might like to do someday for your second or third act.

Changing jobs or starting a business, at any age, is a big decision. You’re right not to want to rush. But you’re also right to not want to feel stuck, so if that’s how you feel about your career, talk over your options with someone. That’s a conversation and a gift to yourself that you’ll never regret.

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. It’s the first step to breaking the cycle of the daily grind. We’re not saying it’s not going to include hard work.

There will be some late nights; but these tradeoffs will be YOUR decisions. The Entrepreneur’s Source® (TES) 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/.



The Entrepreneur’s Source Asks: Do You have “Wanna Get Away” Dreams?

As the carefree days and warm nights of summer come to a close, so does (for most of us) the extra time spent with family and friends… and all too soon, it’s back to work and the “real world.”

Have you ever dreamed of what it could be like to trade your office desk for the beach house porch deciding if windsurfing, boat time, fishing, or all three, will be among your top priorities later in the day?  Here at The Entrepreneur’s Source®, we call it the “Wanna Get Away?” dreams – those times right after a vacation where you’re sitting at your desk staring at endless emails and knowing you will be traveling like crazy again away from your family.

We’ve all had those daydreams, and it makes you think about what it would feel like to actually ACT on those “Wanna Get Away?” moments by permanently leaving the corporate world.   You aren’t alone – most workers have zero job satisfaction because they have no chance for vertical movement within the company and are forced to cover several jobs, including their own. This situation robs them of their joy and motivation. Plus, like you, they are fearful of being swept up in the next round of downsizing, to create a better-looking bottom line to entice corporate suitors.  Isn’t it time to start taking more control from the Battered Career Syndrome?

According to a new Bankrate survey, only 36 percent of respondents who get paid vacation days plan to use all of them this year. About 13 percent of workers with paid time off don’t intend to use ANY of their vacation days.

Fear, an uncertain employment climate, and lack of professional growth opportunities is no way to earn a living, but many choose this path because they have bought into the belief they have no other way. This is the “Battered Career Syndrome” in a nutshell.   But are they (and YOU) truly candidates to ACT on the “Wanna Get Away?” feeling…and not just for a week in the summer?   YES – and we can help you do just that at The Entrepreneur’s Source® (TES).

At TES, we believe no one should settle for the “new normal” of corporate America today. Terry Powell, the visionary founder of TES, says there is another path: becoming self-sufficient by owning your own business, as an entrepreneur.

“The professional coaching environment The Entrepreneur’s Source® provides can help those suffering from ‘Battered Career Syndrome’ discover new options for career development,” says Powell. “We can show them how they can truly take control of their professional and personal future to achieve the Income, Lifestyle, Wealth, and Equity they, and their family, deserve.”

Powell outlines four key steps to start your transition away from “Battered Career Syndrome®” and going from Employment to Empowerment®:

  1. Purchase our Your Career 2.0® book which is your survival guide for the Battered Career and Investor Syndrome®: https://www.amazon.com/Your-Career-2-0-Survival-Battered/dp/1501025848/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1500062396&sr=8-1&keywords=your+career+2.0
  2. Assess your Goals, Needs and Expectations
  3. Create a well- defined plan that shifts you to your Income, Lifestyle, Wealth and Equity goals
  4. Be coachable and open to your possibilities, options and dreams by working with a The Entrepreneur’s Source® Career Transition Coach

The time is NOW never to feel the “Wanna Get Away?” blues ever again. You deserve more than your current job which has little security and zero chances for advancement while forcing you to cover more jobs for less pay.   No wonder you “Wanna Get Away!”

Pack your bag to investigate the experienced coaching and proven strategies The Entrepreneur’s Source® offers to help you assess your skill sets to find the right fit for a franchise business of your own. Who knows? You could be enjoying the opportunity to work from anywhere – like the beach-instead of a corporate office!

To start your journey today from “Employment to Empowerment®” and find your franchise match with a TES Career Transition Coach, get started at http://www.franchisematch.com/.