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When my son was 19-years-old, he had to fly by himself for the first time. He had very little travel experience, other than family vacations, and had to catch a connecting flight home during a semester break.

While he was at the airport during his short layover, he called me several times to ask what he was supposed to do next. It occurred to me, after what seemed like the twentieth phone call, that he had never had to make a connection on his own before. I pictured him standing in the middle of Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, looking like a deer in headlights.

He was so frustrated and furious because he didn’t know where to go to catch his next flight. And he just couldn’t bring himself to ask anyone for assistance. I was helpless on the other end of the line encouraging him (or yelling at him according to his version of events) to ask someone – anyone – for help. Experienced travelers know every airport is different and every travel experience is different, but it’s hard to convey this to someone when they haven’t done it themselves.

It broke my heart to hear my son say he would almost rather go back to his dorm and spend his break alone than endure figuring out that airport.

Then he hung up on me.

This whole incident reminds me of how prospective business owners can be. After a layoff or a change in career, some people consider business ownership, and come to me for help. But, most of those people end up going back to work for someone else, even after they start the research process.

Why?

Because it’s just easier to turn around and go back to the familiar way of doing things than it is to take a calculated risk. Plus, it’s just plain scary.

When I work with clients on finding the right franchise business for them, I do my best to guide them as much as possible. I help them with their expectations and assumptions, but there’s a lot they have to learn on their own. At FranNet, we try to reduce the fear and anxiety by giving people a road map. We let them know that it’s okay to be scared, but to push through until the end, even if the answer to business ownership turns out to be “no.”

But still, most would rather give up their dreams of business ownership, because it’s just easier to go back to their comfort zone.

Business ownership is a risk for reward situation but for most of those who persevere (I’m one of those, by the way), they would never go back to work for someone else. We worked our way through the pain and came out on the other side, all for the better. There’s a level of confidence gained in overcoming fear and taking the right action steps.

So, what would you do if you’re considering buying a business, franchise or otherwise? Would you work through the pain and fear, or would you rather turn back? The option is yours.

As for my son? He made it home okay. He wasn’t very happy with me at the time, but I pushed him to finally ask for help.

I only hope he’ll continue to ask for directions!