Dixie Darr

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2006 at 6:46 am

Buying a Job

“I’d love to sell out completely. It’s just that no one’s willing to buy.” John Waters

An engineer who had just been laid off came to one of my workshops and declared his interest in buying a Subway franchise. He had a friend who had done that and was doing very well. I asked him if he had ever worked in a fast food restaurant. No, he hadn’t. Did he have any idea what kind of work was required by a Subway owner? No. He was focused completely on the amount of money he could make.

Laid off corporate employees who get a buyout sometimes think that the way out of the revolving door of employment is buying a franchise. They may, in fact, be good prospects because a franchise is the closest you can get to being a corporate employee while remaining self-employed. A franchise isn’t, however, a guarantee of success. These people seem to regard buying a franchise as buying a permanent job.

I suggested that the engineer spend a week or two working at his friend’s restaurant and seeing first hand what it would take to be an owner. He seemed to think that he would just hire others to do all the work and he would spend his time counting his profits. He saw himself as a kind of gentleman farmer, never getting his own hands dirty. In fact, owning a restaurant probably means working long hours doing every job in the place. Then at least he could make a thoughtful decision about whether or not it would work for him.

Making a decision about work based solely on the money you may make is almost never a good idea. As the writer Annie Dillard observed, “How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.”

©2006 Dixie Darr. All rights reserved

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