Do you relate to John Smith?

After finally arranging an appointment time that matched our schedules, John Smith (not his real name) and I sat over a cup of coffee for a chat about franchising. As it turned out, it was more a chat about the past, present, and future life of John Smith and his family (wife and 2 children under 12). Even though I’m a franchising advisor, I was pleased to discuss his scenario in detail – my goal was to help him identify and investigate the right business model that could help he and his family achieve their financial and lifestyle goals.

The picture John Smith painted was this – corporate executive, six figure salary, lovely wife, two healthy kids, living inner city, late thirties, with a strong asset base. Sounds pretty good? He continued on…works 60-80 hours a week, needs $1500 net every week to run his household, spends little time with his wife and children – and when he does he’s worn out. Would like to renovate and sell properties, but never gets the time. Wants to play golf well but never has the time to practice. If he stopped working tomorrow, would have enough cash reserves to last about six weeks – then he would have to begin selling his assets. So what’s wrong with John smith’s situation? To most people – nothing. He earns good dough and he sacrifices things for the privilege. To John Smith – he had no balance. He had no time-flexibility. He had good income – provided he kept working. We soon discovered that John Smith needed to create a scenario where his income was similar – or even better, and his working hours were less, and more flexible.

OK, so he wanted to earn more, work less, and work when he wanted to – doesn’t everyone? Was this possible? Was this realistic? Why doesn’t everyone do it? The answer is – of course it’s realistic. I had met scores of people with strong incomes and time flexibility. Most of them owned multiple sources of income.

The challenge for most people is that they don’t know how to achieve this goal, and even if they do figure it out, they are not prepared to change their mindset, move out of their comfort zone and take two steps backward to make ten steps forward.

Anyway, back to John Smith. After discussing John’s life and goals in detail, it became clear to him that he chose the lifestyle he has now – and therefore he could easily choose another lifestyle. After reflecting on things with his wife, and circle of advisors, he moved into a business model that had the scope to open multiple sites. Franchising was ideal because the operational and marketing systems had already been established and proven. His plan was to get in the first location, and work very hard to meet his minimum financial commitments to his family. Next he would open a second site and later a third site. In three years he would have three businesses, all under management, and he would work about 40 hours a week. 20 ‘in’ his business, and 20 ‘on’ his business. This all spread over the week so he could take his kids to school, have lunch with his wife, and play golf Sunday with friends. He aims to make between $150k and $200k a year from his businesses to fund his lifestyle and his investments! And in the mean time he’s built three pretty good assets!

Steve Finn wrote this article. Steve is an advisor to Franchisors, Franchisees, and Potential Franchisees and the founder of Australia’s only national franchise broker network.

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