Posts Tagged ‘Al Lautenslager’

June 28th, 2012

Escaping the Danger of the Comfort Zone – With Guardrails

By Al Lautenslager, AG Regional Franchise Development Director

When the controversial book Danger in the Comfort Zone was first released in the early ‘90s, those who were working nice corporate jobs and earning nice salaries and benefits took note. Soon after, terms like right-sizing, down-sizing and cap-sizing became the buzz. It forced people to look outside of that proverbial comfort zone, to see the writing on the wall and investigate the possibility of doing something different – in many cases, something completely different.

I was one of those looking to break out of the comfort zone, without taking the plunge with no safety net. I needed help – a fast startup, something almost turn-key in nature. Quickly, my thoughts turned to a franchise business.

I wasn’t alone then, and things haven’t changed much in today’s times. Corporate jobs are being eliminated. Burnout among executives is rampant. People are yearning to “do their own thing.”

Some of the phenomena mentioned above can be attributed to the pure entrepreneurial spirit. Corporate frameworks restrict entrepreneurial thoughts and actions; by breaking free, we free our entrepreneurial spirit. How can we embrace that spirit, while mitigating the risk? Often times, the answer is the protection of a franchise network – the assistance, structure and support we need to help ensure our success.

Some turn-key franchise businesses are like purchasing a job – a cookie cutter model, where an owner follows a set recipe. Others are wide open as far as creating, starting, and running a business, one that builds equity and yields a return on investment.

Dave Buzza, AlphaGraphics’ VP of Global Development, is quick to point out that the ownership of an AG franchise is like driving on a six-lane freeway. The owner – or the driver in this case – can drive any direction at any speed anywhere on that interstate. The franchise organization is the guardrails that prevent the driver from going into the ditch. If you keep your eyes on the road, you’re less likely to hit the guardrails.

Be careful of that comfort zone, find your highway, know that the guardrails are in place as you like them, and drive away. The danger – or lack of it – is more in your control.

If you’d like to explore the AlphaGraphics opportunity, please click here to visit our interactive online brochure.

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