Crippled CEO Blog #174:
Yesterday was my dad‘s birthday — the seventh one that has passed since he passed away.
Life Saver Pool Fence is the company that he founded with my mom, Ruth. And it is the business that I took over running at 21 years old in 2003. These days, I don’t know why a person as smart and prudent as he was would let a 21 year old run the company that was his family’s sole income, but he did. And as crazy as that sounds to me now, coming up on my 41st birthday, given how much we have grown over the last two decades, maybe he’s even smarter than I’m giving him credit for.
As much faith as he had in me, as much as he apparently believed in me, I think he would be surprised by what we are doing today, the undertaking that we started in the middle of 2022 and finally rolling out now, eight months later. Him and I had spoken about it from time to time, but it was always discussed in the way you talk about a dream. It was too hard, too expensive, and too complex. It was an endeavor difficult for seasonal veterans that we knew nothing about. There was too much to unravel and too much to learn — especially because, like everything in business, it might not work. In fact, it might backfire entirely.
This fantasy was franchising.
Life Saver already has a network of dealers in 29 states across the country. And while we do a lot for our dealers, the amount of support and assistance a dealer requires is nothing compared to a franchisee. The process of setting up a new dealer pales in comparison to setting up a new franchise. And the work required to set up the franchise entity and program itself — legal, administrative, operations, marketing, training — has been herculean.
And throughout the process, we have had naysayers telling us it’s a bad idea. The actual experts we have talked to all agree that we are doing the right thing, but that doesn’t stop negative opinions from adding weight to the doubts you are already carrying.
But we launched it. That, in itself, was a thing my dad thought was impossible. And by all accounts, it seems like it’s going to be great.
I can’t think of a better way to honor my dad on his birthday than to make his impossible dreams come true.
I don’t think a lot of people get to do that. I couldn’t be more grateful.
(Do you know who saw her dreams come true last night? Your mom. And her dreams would be somebody else’s nightmare.