You might be surprised that there are several parallels between parenting and running a franchise. Let’s look at a few lessons you can apply.
As any parent will tell you: having a child isn’t like having a pet. You’re in it for the long haul, through childhood and beyond. If you get the whim to buy a franchise, understand that this is both a financial and an emotional investment, and you likely will run the business for the foreseeable future. Sure, you might not run it “for life,” but you should go into the transaction as if you were so that you set yourself up for success.
I remember when my son was in his Terrible Twos (and Threes and Fours) stage. Every day, after hearing his defiant “no!” I would remind myself: this was just a phase. Then it would fade away and something new would take its place.
Your franchise business, too, will have phases. At the beginning, you’ll be getting your bearings. Then one day, you’ll be on more stable ground, and can think about what you want next. You might decide to buy multiple franchises or sell the business. When things get stressful, remind yourself: it’s just a phase.
Parenting is one of the most challenging jobs in the world (and a grossly underpaid one). You’re responsible for molding a little being into a functional human, and guess what? He rejects everything you try to feed him. One day he will become a teenager and reject everything you try to tell him. It’s a thankless job much of the time.
Have no disillusion about running a business. It’s rarely glamorous. You won’t be lounging on a beach while your business runs itself, likely. You will, however, be spending long days (and some nights) mired in payroll, inventory, and bills. If you’re lucky, you will enjoy it.
If you could apply a magical ointment to a baby and instantly turn him into a successful man, that would take the fun and learning out of the parenting process. Neither can you rush your business to financial success and stability. It takes time (see: phases). You learn as you go. You never stop learning, in fact. And once you hit one milestone of success, there’s another one just around the bend beckoning you.
Both parenting and running a franchise can be immensely satisfying and rewarding path for those who are so inclined. Just remember: both are a journey, so enjoy the path rather than trying to rush ahead.