“I felt most fulfilled in business and life when I was sharing with, inspiring and nurturing others.” by Carolyn Dufton.
It took selling a successful franchised business for me to realise what drove me: inspiring others to succeed.
My career began as an insurance broker, which was satisfying, but never left me fulfilled. I was destined for more, but I could never define exactly what ‘more’ was. I discovered that more after developing the franchise Hire for Baby. Like many business ideas, I saw a gap in the market when attempting to hire baby equipment for my first baby.
After lots of research and writing a business plan, I placed an advertisement in a local paper without any baby equipment to my name. The phone started ringing, I started buying… quickly, and my business Hire for Baby was born in 1988. Soon we were servicing clients within a 100 km radius.
I wanted to expand the business, and after reading an article on franchising, I sought professional advice. The first Hire for Baby franchise was sold in 1992. Being a franchisor fulfilled me. I reveled in inspiring and nurturing my franchisees. We had so much fun working and sharing together.
In 1998, with a successful business and 25 franchisees, I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse, so I sold the business on.
But I missed helping others in business.
I couldn’t get used to the phone not ringing with someone wanting advice or support in their franchise. I realised, I felt most fulfilled in business and life when I was sharing with, and inspiring and nurturing others.
The loss I felt after selling Hire for Baby, reminded me that any future business venture should include a large degree of sharing and nurturing. That’s probably not a common philosophy for franchising professionals, which is why I form such strong bonds with my clients at my franchising plus consultancy.
For me, this is the essence of good franchising.
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for me in franchising. I’ve recently helped many franchisee clients challenge their franchisors, saving some from losing their homes. Whilst I achieved great victories for some clients, the reality is that there are many franchisees in well-known branded systems quietly sinking.
A new client from the UK forced me to look at franchising in a positive light again. Ant Parker, engaged me to assist him in expanding Moo Music into Australia. One successful franchise was piloting the franchise system in Queensland and they had received further enquiries about franchising in Australia.
Ant allowed me access to the inner sanctum of Moo Music and the more I saw, the more inspired I became. I felt like everything that I had been dreaming of achieving in creating fair franchising had been created in this very simple, but effective, model.
Just as in the Remington ad where Victor Kiam was “so impressed with the product that he bought the company”, I decided that Moo Music Australia was too great an opportunity to miss out on, and I am now the proud Australian Franchisor (or Farmer) of Maggie Moo Music Australia.
I never dreamt I would be a franchisor again, however, knowing that I am in an environment where sharing, inspiring and nurturing others is part of the business culture, sits so well with me.
It’s what has helped me succeed in business with integrity. It’s my Y.
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Thankyou.. YMag Team