Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sometimes We Just Don't Know What We Need

Well, it's been almost 6 months, so I guess it's time for another blog post. I'm all for consistency.

It's been a busy few months for us.

A few years ago I became pretty interested in opening a franchise. The company is called "The Clothes Mentor" and I love their stores and business model. . When I first became interested in this, we didn't have the resources because we were waiting for our vacation home to sell. Once that sold, we decided to remodel our kitchen and so we continued putting this dream on the back burner.

Finally, at the beginning of 2016 we revisited it. I loved the business model and we felt like it would be a great challenge that was relatively risk free and fun. Since Lilly would be starting Kindergarten in the fall and Charlotte would be able to do a 2-3 day preschool program we thought it was a good time to begin the process.

So we did. We spoke with a bank and were pre-qualified for the loan. We started having conversations with the franchise company and were fairly deep into that process as well. Finally, we booked our plane tickets to go out to Minnesota to meet with the company and then pay the initial franchise fee.

In the weeks leading up to our trip, I was still pretty excited about the idea but also had a few reservations. Having not really worked outside of our home since having kids I was not certain what being gone most days (and for long hours) would mean to our family's dynamic.

We also received the Franchise Disclosure Documents (about 180 pages) and had been reviewing them. We were under the assumption that we would be receiving the financial information on every franchise currently open but in reality only received the information on about 60% (which is a big difference!)

And then, about a week before we were supposed to leave I was informed about a part-time finance position at our church. This was a position that I'd been interested in for the last fifteen years but wasn't aware that it would be opening up. I remember when John and I first got married and I was finishing my degree (finance) he asked me what my perfect job would be. I told him I would love the opportunity to one day do finance at the church.

So I had a dilemma. On the one hand there was this exciting opportunity that was also a bit risky. It meant that I might be away from my kids for most of the week (or even weekends) and we weren't quite sure if it would make that much money. On the other hand there was a position that wasn't quite as exciting, but I knew I would love it. My kids would eventually be in the same building as me during the day (their school is a ministry of our church) and I would be able to work with some of the kindest and greatest people I know. I stayed up most of that night questioning which way to go, but in the end it was an easy decision.

I feel like on the outside it wasn't that big of a decision. But for me it was. This job is one I will hold for a long time and the decision between the two would most likely determine what the next 20-30 years will look like for our family. And it was all because one of my friends sent me a simple text message about the job being open. 

I've been at the job now for two weeks and it's been wonderful. About 50% of the job is comprised of things I've done before and am competent in. The other 50% provides enough of a challenge to keep each day unique and interesting. I've worked at a number of companies in the past and by far my favorite positions were ones where the work was interesting and the people were good. This position has both. What I'm most amazed about though is that God saw the bigger picture and realized what I needed. I thought I knew what would be good for us but I was wrong. He knew before we did that we would be overworked, stressed and would most likely regret the franchise in the end. I'm so glad that He is wiser than me. I'm also grateful for the friends I have that He uses as instruments to get his message across to me. Because sometimes I'm hard of hearing.

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