“Family before Business”, Making the Definite Decision

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September 22, 2017
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September 22, 2017

It is impossible to grow your business and balance family life? The business needs you to put in the big hours, the kids understand? You can’t have a family and a fast growing business? Something just has to give, you just can’t do that.

But you can and It all starts with a definite decision. 



Throughout my business life, I have had endless self-proclaimed experts tell me, ‘you can’t do that’. I found that whenever some expert told me it couldn’t happen, I was very close to it happening. It became a sign that I was about to hit a big outcome, and it drove me to work that much harder at whatever it was.

My most famous, or infamous, naysayer was my very first accountant, Gary. Gary was my accountant when I first started down the road to becoming a franchisor. I was a 27-year-old horse trainer, running a successful mobile car cleaning business. I made a definite decision that I was going to franchise the concept, and create a national brand. So, I made an appointment with Gary the accountant as you do when you are required to make a decision like this. Gary’s office was in a little suburban shopping centre. It was just Gary and his one receptionist come admin assistant – it was a small office.

I sat down in front of Gary with my optimistic attitude, a cool logo, drafts of manuals, $20,000 in my bank account, and a business plan in quite a large notebook. I planned to go big, go national, or go home. I was going to recruit 20 new franchisees in the first 12 months, market hard, and make James Home Services a national brand.

When I told Gary about my big dream, what do you think he said? First, he laughed – loudly. I don’t think I have ever heard anybody laugh any louder. And then, it went a little something like this:

Gary said, ‘No-one is ever going to buy franchises from you!’ I said, ‘What the …….’

He replied, ‘Why would they buy franchises from you, instead of the established systems?’

My response: ‘Because we will be better than everyone else!’ To which he replied, ‘You will never get it off the ground.’

‘Can you just sort out the company structure? I’ll deal with the actual business,’ I said, unimpressed.

And, as they say – the rest is history! I kept Gary on as my accountant for those first 12 months, just to prove him wrong of course. I recruited over 45 new franchisees in that first 12 months alone! We were off to a flying start, and James Home Services was born.



I recruited over 45 new franchisees in that first 12 months alone! We were off to a flying start, and James Home Services was born.



You do have to decide what you want to achieve. I understand that may sound simple. After all, you make important decisions every single day. You also change your mind daily; it’s the normal pattern of things.

Some decisions will not impact your life forever, while others will. When you are definite on your long-term decisions, it gives you clarity. In today’s world of uncertainty, to lead a growing business and growing family, the true north needs to be a definite decisions. If you want to start on your journey, you must start with a decision as to where you want your journey to end.

Every day, you will be faced with decisions that can, and will, write your story. The decision to have or not have children is clearly one that will form the basis of your ‘big story’. Today many couples aren’t having children as young as previous generations. The traditional or ‘old school’ family unit is no longer the norm. Or you may already have a successful business, and are now considering introducing children into the story. Or maybe you are deciding not to have kids at all. Either way, make a definite decision. Making no decision is the worst decision of all.

I have seen many business owners struggle with the definite part of the decision-making process. Typically, if you come out with, ‘what if I change my mind?’, you may well decide to change your mind at times.

Many things in life are negotiable, other key elements should never be negotiated away. Challenging your own thinking to give you the clarity you need is the starting point.

There is a process that helps us make those definite decisions. Clarifying what outcomes you want to achieve and don’t want to achieve becomes a very powerful tool in the decision-making process. When you have decided where you are heading long-term it gives clarity to the decisions you make every day.

Let’s have a look:

  1. Give yourself a ‘time out’. Deliberately give yourself time out of the game to think things through. it can be 10 minutes or two months depending on the ‘size’ of the decision.
  2. Inspect the decision. What is the real long-term outcome you are trying to achieve? What are you uncertain about? What is ‘real’ and what is only a movie in your own head?
  3. Brainstorm options. If you need external information then
    do your homework. Be patient and careful with those you get advice from. Make sure it’s professional advice, not just a mate’s opinion. Be open to the information but make up your own mind as to whether you want to take that advice on board.
  4. Evaluate. This seems to be the bit most people don’t do. They free fall even after they have the full story, too scared to decide. Be brave; buy into your vision. Use the logic, not the fear, to make your decision.
  5. Be pragmatic. Clear the fog. Put aside other people’s agendas. Disregard the gossip or what may be the ‘nice’ thing to do. e question is, what long-term outcome are you planning to achieve? Now you must decide and stick to your decision.