Mike thought he had about a year left with his current company and if he could hold on, he would get the stocks he was promised at the time he was hired and we would have a bigger cushion. Unfortunately, our plans did not fit in with his company’s plan and he was given a severance package. I still had my job with a shrinking client base and paycheck. It did not look good for us. We made the decision to leave Corporate America and say goodbye to the paycheck.
Disturbing Fact 4: There are often 3 people applying for every new job (often times those other candidates are much younger).
Looking back, this was a blessing in disguise. Right behind us were 2 different future Comfort Keepers owners and we were able to buy the first franchise in the Northern Virginia area and we secured 3 options with prime territories thus locking in our success. Time is always of the essence with hot new concepts.
We signed the dotted line and we went to training. We took notes, made plans and followed the system. Mike and I rented a very small office from HQ Global Workplaces and nicknamed it the closet (it was smaller than our closet at home). Mike had a base of operations and I followed him into the business shortly after. We had a lot of sleepless nights, long days, and we never regretted our decision to buy a franchise.
Mike and I were in the system for 13 years. A new record for both of us. During that time, we saw family members face long periods of unemployment, being under employed and or under paid plus the depletion of their savings. We were able to steadily grow our incomes and wealth during the same time period.
Disturbing Fact 5: We are seeing peak incomes decline once one passes the age of 45 (not unusual for many to see their income decrease 20-30% IF one finds a job). It is rare to see our incomes continue to rise as our experience grows. Incomes used to peak in our mid-fifties… now many are seeing their incomes peak out in their mid-forties. For women the peak income age is even more distressing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics women’s income are peaking at 39 years of age. That trend is an alarm bell for many willing to ‘hear’ and see the signs. While we can fight the trends, we cannot dispute the facts.
Is there light at the end of the tunnel or is it just a train coming. Mike and I believe it is light. Business ownership through franchising is a great way to gain control of one’s own destiny and provide greater ‘long-term’ security. If the ‘right’ business is selected one can achieve not only multiple income streams, but often also produce equity, long term independent income and wealth protection NOT provided with many J-O-Bs. An added bonus is that when you retire, assuming you can, you cannot sell your J-O-B, but you can sell your business or businesses.
Business ownership does come with risks. It is often virtually impossible to eliminate risk unless one also eliminates opportunity. For many people approaching or passing the age of 45… the risk of business ownership may be less than the risk of job insecurity, declining lengths of employment, declining pay scales, and other factors. Also, be aware that if you lose a job it is becoming increasingly more difficult to find a replacement (especially at that pay scale one once had). Stay tuned for Part 3 –