Remember the old career adage of “40 years and a gold watch” where one worked for the same company for the entirety of their career, received a gold watch (or some other symbolic item) at their company retirement party, and went on to enjoy the rest of their years in supposed blissful retirement? Yeah, well that’s not the way it works anymore. Now, most people change companies, and even careers, about 7 times in a typical 40-year career span!

Ask James E…After 17 years with Verizon, and advancing from General Manager to the Director level, James was the unexpected victim of some “organizational changes that included combining several roles and the elimination of my job”. Up until this point, James had been very flexible, doing what was best for his career. That included moving his family five different times with Verizon. Growing up as an “Army brat”, moving around was a very familiar pattern to James. However, once the family settled in Colorado he made a promise to his teenage son that they would stay put until he graduated from high school. His wife Adria added a bit more finality by falling in love with Colorado and deciding it was where they should plan to retire.

Within a week of being let go from Verizon, James had an unexpected episode of Bell’s Palsy which landed him in the emergency room at the hospital. A few routine tests also showed a completely unrelated, yet potentially very serious, heart issue. Three clogged arteries resulted in triple bypass surgery!

Planning Your Future with a Franchise Investment

James said, “This experience, and the time recovering, had my wife and I reevaluate our priorities in life. If I had died, no company would continue to provide for my family. They would have sent a condolence card along with a final check.” He then added, “I want to be in a position where if anything happens, my family will be taken care of.”

In addition, James said, “We also wanted to be in a position to give back to our communities and make a difference. This would require funds and time. Corporate America paid great but was very demanding when it came to time. My wife owns her own business and does well. It’s demanding, but she can control when she works, and the pay is very good. I decided that I wanted to be in a similar position where I could take my skills and talents and grow a business where it would support my family, and eventually give me the freedom of time to spend with my family and give back to the community.”

So, he decided to take control and started exploring business ownership. James was introduced to Stacy Swift, with Franchise Matchmakers, through the career transition firm he was working with. After learning more about James and what he wanted in a business, Stacy presented him with several options to consider. James actually decided to invest in 2 very different business options in the end!

What Franchise Opportunities are Right for You?

The first is a completely passive, investment opportunity that will provide income security to help cover some standard monthly living expenses (more details on this one in a future newsletter!), and the second is a fast-growing service concept called The Brothers That Just Do Gutters. Although James had certainly never pictured himself in the gutter business, here’s what he had to say about choosing this particular concept:

“I was looking for a business that would allow semi-absentee ownership with the idea of hiring a general manager and allowing them to run the business, with the idea of going back to corporate America. This business was scalable, had great founders, had an employee development program in place, and had great margins to boot. The more I got involved in the startup process, the more I wanted to be involved vs. being a semi-absentee. I may eventually go back to a corporate job, but for now, I’m looking forward to getting this business off the ground and running it with someone so that I have the option of time when I need it.”

And James definitely has many interests to fill his time! He shared, “We just became certified foster parents in the state of Colorado. We have years of foster experience in the past where we have had 25+ children come through our home and both of our children are adopted from foster care.” On a personal level, he added, “I enjoy movies, doing things with friends and family, and DIY projects around the house.”

James is also a veteran who served 6 years in the Idaho Army National Guard, and he looks for ways to support veteran causes and organizations.

Investing in a Franchise is an Investment in YOU!

Finally, when asked what he sees in the future, James said, “In the next few years, I see myself growing these two businesses to the point where I can replace my corporate income and have the freedom of time to travel with my family and support the community organizations and causes that are important to me. I have even talked with my son about purchasing another vending machine business in a year when he gets his driver’s license so that he can run while finishing high school.”

He then added, “Longer term, I would like to be in a position where I have enough passive income to support my family’s needs and we can decide how large we would like to grow a business, if we would like to start other businesses, or if we would like to spend the majority of our time giving back and helping others.”

James definitely has an entrepreneurial spirit and was willing to make a big change in his life to focus on what he found was most important for him and his family. The future looks very bright indeed!

Franchise Matchmakers is a team of franchising professionals that are dedicated to helping people explore business ownership as a career path. Contact us at to find out more about franchising options that may suit you.

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