Around 2 to 3 years ago, the very popular, very well known pharmaceutical organization that I was working for was acquired by a much larger pharmaceutical organization and despite the great success I had over the years, I was let go. It didn’t matter that I had never finished outside the Top 12% nationally as a Territory Representative, or that I was the #1 Specialty Representative in the country for three straight quarters or that all subsequent positions including District Manager, I had solid success. At the end of the day, its all about the bottom line for many of these organizations and that is okay….they simply want to take care of shareholders and being as profitable as they possibly can and sometimes this means trimming the workforce. I never took it personally, and I was very fairly treated and compensated as many were….but I had to figure out my next move…..
I think I’ll start a business!
For a short time after getting fired I worked for a contract organization who was contracted with a very well known major pharmaceutical company. It was a good deal where the skills that I had procured over the years more than prepared me for a position that frankly required less work than the one I had been fired from. In other words…it was easy. I wasn’t fulfilled though!! I was searching for more!
My wife was a business owner when I met her and had been for many years. She is a well known Interior Designer who works on very expensive homes with price tags in the multi-millions. All of her very wealth clients were business owners who seemingly had endless amounts of money to spend on expensive furniture and upgrades to their ridiculously amazing homes. They were living a life that simply was well beyond what I can provide working as a District Manager or even higher at a pharmaceutical company. It got me thinking!!
I have the type of personality that when I get interested in something, I go full tilt into learning all that I could about it. My new interest became business ownership. Working as a pharmaceutical District Manager I often had to take a train to middle or even south New Jersey which gave me ample reading time. So I jumped straight in to learning all I could about business ownership and what it entails. I read every book that I could get my hands on. Business owners, or at least the successful ones, are wealthy….I thought, “why not me”? I though….”I can do this man”!! One of my best friends was also a business owner of a major beauty supply wholesaler and he did very well for himself. Business oenrs were all around me basically and though I had a good life in pharma….I wanted more!!
I flirted with owning my own Insurance agency, even taking it to the step of becoming an official candidate…the last step being that I would have to wait for a territory to open where my family now lived in S. Florida. Once that happened, I would be able to interview with the powers that be, to become an owner of my own insurance agency. I spoke to every insurance agent owner that would get on the phone with me in preparation for my big shot at potentially getting my own agency…but it never came. The territory I wanted never opened up, so it was time to see what other opportunities interested me.
I got in touch with a franchise coach. A franchise coach basically gets paid by franchise organizations to bring potential franchisees to their doorstep. Being a franchisee interested me because I had not owned a business previously and it appealed to me to have the support and guidance of the franchise. My franchise coach basically presented many opportunities considering my interests and we landed upon 3 choices. She put me in touch with these three franchises and basically, each tried to sell me on why their franchise was the best opportunity for me.