At 42 years of age, Tom Finley was fed up.
He wasn’t approaching retirement, nor had he been laid off. But after decades of working in corporate America, Finley was ready to take his career in a new direction.
“I was tired of working for somebody else,” Finley said. “I was sick of the bureaucracy. When a problem came up with a client, I wanted to be able to handle it, not go through the corporate process. I was ready to go into business for myself.”
Rather than go it alone, he got in touch with Anna Wilds of Franchise Locators. Like many of Wilds’ prospects, Finley wasn’t very familiar with franchising. Following their first meeting, Wilds recommended some reading to become more familiar and comfortable with the topic.
“I felt more confident since I understood what we were doing and why,” Finley said. “Although I was still skeptical, I wanted it to work, and we were able to move forward.”
After Wilds and Finley discussed his goals and preferences as a business owner, Wilds went to work researching franchises for him to consider. Although he spent most of his adult life working in real estate management, Wilds knew that his abilities were more important than experience when it comes to franchising.
“Tom connects well with people and is terrific at building and managing teams,” Wilds said, “He wanted to control the outcomes for his customers. He is self-motivated, and has natural initiative, leadership and follow through. All of those things make him well suited to the franchises he evaluated.”
At the end of the franchise discovery process, Finley happily accepted the award of a commercial cleaning franchise. Good-bye corporate America, hello business ownership!
“We opened our doors in January of 2013 and did everything the franchisor told us to do. That was one of the things we loved about franchising. We didn’t have to figure it out. We had a proven model to follow,” he said, “This year we are ahead of where we were expected to be.”
As Finley continues to settle into life as a successful entrepreneur, he remains grateful to Wilds for the guidance she provided that led him to the life he always wanted.
“Were it not for Anna, I’d probably still be working for someone else doing property development management and not really liking it,” he said, “I grew to trust Anna, and I’m glad I did. She took a genuine interest and made sure I found what was right for me.“
“Throughout this process, she educated us, helped us find a franchise that matched not only my abilities but also our lifestyle. She put us on the path to success. I have no regrets making the change from employee to entrepreneur.”
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