As my 30th birthday approached, I had a wife and two little kids that I loved, my very first mortgage on a brand new starter home and a job I absolutely hated.  Two or three nights a week, I didn’t leave the office until 8pm.  In addition, my work week Monday through Friday, I was also required to work every other Saturday.  Somehow, I had become the guy I always knew I never wanted to be – the guy who was never home, always working and who would miss his kids growing up.

So, at my 30th birthday I blew out the candles on my birthday cake, leaned over and told my best friend that I was giving myself one year to figure out how to work for myself.  I had no ideas, no skills, and no savings.  But, I’d think of something.

One year later, I was a newly minted thirty-one year old.  I had the same job, the same mortgage and a third child on the way.  Oh, and I still had no savings.  No money to invest in a business and no money to float me if I left my job.  But I did have one thing that was different.  I had an opportunity.  A good friend of mine had done very well for himself in franchising and had just started his own franchise consulting company.  I knew nothing about franchising but I knew my buddy was making more money than I was and, more importantly, he was working for himself, setting his own schedule and working from home.  I wanted that.  I wanted that so badly.  And I had made a promise to myself a year before.

But, I still had those pesky responsibilities.  Kids that needed to eat.  Bills that need to be paid.  And no savings to live on if I actually quit my job.  What could I do?  I did what any reasonable and responsible husband, father and sole breadwinner of a family would do.  I counted up exactly how much room I had on all my credit cards and, the same week my third child was born into this world, I quit my job and went to work for myself in franchising.

It was a terrifying time.  But, looking back, I was far more terrified of not doing something.  My oldest child was another year older and, since I had made that promise at my birthday party a year earlier, nothing had changed. I had missed another year of his growing up.  More importantly, I could see clearly that nothing was going to change unless I made a bold, drastic move.  I was imprisoned by my bills and the job that paid those bills.  I wasn’t going to have more opportunity or less responsibility anytime in the future.  I had to break out.

Luckily, not only did my work in franchising work out, but I fell in love with it.  Franchising was everything business.  Having graduated with an English degree, my work in franchising was like a real world MBA program.  I learned every aspect of business, from sales and marketing to operations and finance.  And franchising was everything entrepreneurial.  Every day, all day, I was working with like-minded individuals who thrived on unbridled passions and calculated risks.  Franchising was a world filled with entrepreneurs who were brave enough to pierce the veil of fear that separated them from their dreams and courageous enough to find out the same things I’d learned.  Those shackles that had bound them were all of their own making.  And those shackles weren’t nearly as binding as we think.  With a little planning, a little prep work and a little prayer, our entire work lives can change with one decision.

Today, I get to spend my time helping  folks that are just like I was.  They feel constrained and claustrophobic in their careers.  They want to make a bold move but aren’t exactly sure what that move looks like.  And I get to tell them that they really can work for themselves.  They really an work from home.  They really can stop traveling and set their own schedules.  Those don’t have to be dreams.  They can be reality.  After twenty years in franchising, I’ve lived it.  I’ve worked it and I’ve coached it.  I’m confident I can help.