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Just grow up

Finding the fun in what you do


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Sometimes, as we all do, I wonder what I want to be when I grow up. When I am 65, do I want to retire, or will I continue to work? I can’t imagine days of empty time on my hands. Our issue this month proves that inspiration is all around us, we just have to look.

Take our cover story this month: Anthony Martino, 73, is a self-made businessman who didn’t finish high school, let alone college. While not the recommended way of achieving business success, it worked for him. He quit high school as a junior and went straight to work. And he built his business, three different franchises, by giving others opportunity, too. His philosophy, as Managing Editor Nancy Weingartner writes: "he was more interested in people who could do the job, as opposed to people who had the credentials to do the job."

Another one of my favorites is the Re/Max franchisee who saw opportunity and acted upon it—in Africa. He sold his house, gathered up his family and moved to Mozambique when he saw a dearth in the untapped market for real estate agents. He did his research, hooked up with a local agent, and is building his business, as well as volunteering for a world mission organization helping locals create sustainable businesses.

Long-time friend Jeffrey Kolton took yet another idea and made it work. An attorney by trade, Kolton is known to many as a "deal guy," putting together transactions in the franchise sector. His latest venture, though, is a true labor of love. He has joined forces with Women’s Health Boutique to get the franchise to where it is needed most: in hospitals. When Kolton’s late wife Barbra was in the oncology ward of their local hospital, he had to leave her bedside to find the "accessories" or medical items cancer patients need. Having access to those items at the hospital would make the lives a bit easier of those whose lives have become very, very hard. Kolton has worked with the franchise to help the first hospital become a franchisee, and will help the franchise roll it out to other health care facilities.

I tell 17-year-old son Ben, who really is deciding what he wants to be when she grows up, that if you like what you do, working hard at it will come naturally. When I say this, Ben, who incidentally works at Starbucks as a "barista," probably thinks, "Um, I wish she’d move away from in front of the TV." But I know some of it is sinking in. Why, just the other day, he brought work home with him: a double-blended espresso frappuccino just the way his mom likes it.

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