May 30
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It was an odd request for a couple of reasons; first, my dad rarely scheduled a meeting with me or my siblings, if he had some thing to say, he just said it when the thought crossed his mind. Secondly, he was not one to offer unsolicited advice to me, or anyone else for that matter. So when my Dad told me that he wanted to sit down with me at a specific time to “talk about your education,” I was not sure what to expect.

What occurred was one of those few “life changing” events that occurs when you least expect it. My Dad sat me down to talk about my college major and the decisions that I would be making over the next few years. Since I was paying for my own education, my Dad told me that my choice of majors was mine to make…but he strongly suggested that I major in something that I love so that I would get good grades, which was the road to getting a good job. He went on to tell me that he made a terrible mistake in his own major, choosing one that would make it easy to get a job, but not one that he was passionate about. My dad never loved his job and his career was truly a “job” and everyday was a “day to go to work.”

I took my Dad’s advice and majored in Biology with an emphasis on my great love…BIRDS! I continued my education and got a Master’s Degree in Ornithology, not knowing how I would use it in my future career. Now, here I am, 23 years into my career at Wild Birds Unlimited. I don’t actually study birds anymore (at least not professionally), but I do get to talk about the hobby of bird feeding and help people turn their passion for the hobby into a business opportunity. I was lucky enough to turn my passion into my career.

So my point is that the best way to ensure that you never work a day in your life is to choose a franchise concept that appeals to your own personal passion. Entrepreneurship comes along with long hours and lots of hard effort, even when you join an established franchise system that has well documented and proven “Best Practices”. Working hard is only fun when you love what you do and are passionate about your concept.

That being said, passion comes in all shapes and sizes. You may decide that a fast food franchise is the right concept for you even if you aren’t a fan of the food. If you are passionate about operating a business, managing and developing a staff and having control over the way you spend your day, a fast food franchise might be perfect for you. Some franchisors don’t even want franchisees who want to work in their franchised stores. The hair cutting sector is well known for the fact that they often do not want stylists to be their franchisees. They are looking for franchisees who will manage the stylists and focus on the business operations- not the customer interactions. I have a friend who is an owner of a hair cutting franchisee. He is not passionate about hair (he doesn’t even have any), but he is passionate about the business operations- and that is why he loves owning his hair cutting franchises. He is also passionate about the hobby of bird feeding, which is why he loves owning his three Wild Birds Unlimited franchises too!

Here at Wild Birds Unlimited, we need franchisees who are passionate about both the hobby of backyard bird feeding and passionate about the behind the scenes business operations. We are an owner-operated system that needs franchise store owners who will connect with their customer base and enthusiastically promote the bird feeding hobby. Wild Birds Unlimited franchise store owners become their individual community’s hobby expert- and without passion, it is impossible to make that happen.

So, when considering which franchise concept to pursue, take a step back and make a list of your own personal and professional passions. Let that list help you make the best decision possible of possible franchise concepts so that you can turn your passion into your career. Never “work” a day in your life…just follow your passion!

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