Right At Home Owner 'Woots' After Marriage Amendment Defeat
"By the way, did you see we DEFEATED the Marriage Amendment?" wrote Paul Blom in an e-mail to this blogger. "Woot! Woot!" He owns a Right At Home franchise in Minneapolis, and he's been an outspoken advocate to try to defeat the constitutional amendment that sought to define marriage as between only one man and one woman. Minnesota voters rejected the proposal by a nice margin November 6.
Blom gives a great interview in the November/December issue of Franchise Times, in which he describes how he used to keep quiet the fact that he and his business partner, Bob White, are also life partners. Before, he worried that the elderly clients his franchise serves would reject his company if they knew he is gay. Eventually though, he decided to quit "pussyfooting around" and answer honestly when one of his clients teased him, wondering when he would find a nice young gal to marry. "I would be married already, if it were legal," he replies now, and is finding that statement leads to a conversation.
Blom is one of the rare small-business owners we've seen who is willing to take a public stand on a controversial social issue at his company headquarters, where he posted bright orange "Vote No" signs in the months before the November election. He believes in building an "authentic" life, where he is the same person in every situation. He thinks such authenticity is boosting his company's fortunes, too, based on employee surveys that cite the trait when they've named him top CEO of a mid-sized business three years in a row in a local daily newspaper project.
To his inspiring example for other entrepreneurs, we echo his thought: Woot! Woot! Read his full interview here, then tell us what you think.