(PODCAST) Risk, Reward and Happiness
In this episode, Fibrenew Franchise Partner, Jason McDowell shares some incredible insights.
- He discusses the transition from a 9 to 5 paycheck into business ownership
- The positive impact on his family
- The feeling of “making people feel happy every day”
Jason McDowell had had enough of his corporate job. The organization’s philosophy was to do the bare minimum for the customer and get away with it. “At best, it wasn’t a good business model and at worst it was completely immoral,” he says.
One day, the lightbulb went off and he realized he needed to chart a different path.
But, when the professional coach he was working with introduced him to the Fibrenew concept, his first inclination was: “Okay, what else do you have?” The franchise didn’t seem right for him at first blush.
Spoiler alert: He ended up becoming the proud owner of Fibrenew West Des Moines where he’s expanding his business by following the process and providing great customer service to the people he serves.
But at first, he didn’t see himself restoring and repairing furniture. Still, the more he learned about Fibrenew and the business model and people behind the brand, the more he liked what he saw.
“I love the fact that, at Fibrenew, it’s all about taking care of your customer. And knowing that if you do take care of the customer they will take care of you in return,” he says. “The better you take care of them, the more likely they are to refer you and help you find other business. It just felt like the natural way to do business.”
More people than he expected want to restore their furniture
McDowell was surprised by how many people are willing to invest money into restoring furniture.
“I think it’s great we’re able to bring life to these pieces of furniture that they really enjoy.”
Take, for example, the customer who phoned him one evening panicking that she had spilled red wine all over her couch. She sent him photos that showed a “giant splatter all over the couch.”
McDowell told her the way leather works, it was going to be very difficult to remove a stain that large. At the end of the phone call, she said she wanted him to come out to see what he could do — the piece of furniture just meant too much to her. And, she appreciated his honesty.
Make your business more human
In his old career, everything was all about metrics — the customer was just another metric to measure. But running a Fibrenew has helped him look past that and instead focus on the person in front of him.
His personal instincts kick in whenever he meets a new customer. He genuinely wants them to witness the best results possible. Whether or not they decide to work with him, he assesses their situation and recommends a solution based on their needs. He says he’s building a long term reputation for his business in the community, which can pay dividends down the road.
He’s found that the more human you make your business, the easier it is to work with people.
Getting through the first few months
The first few months of launching a business aren’t easy. McDowell says it takes some time to ramp up. But, the biggest thing that got him through those first few months was that Fibrenew had a process. “I’m not trying to reinvent the wheel — other people have done this and have been successful,” he says. “I kept telling myself that I need to keep at this and follow the process.”
As he’s added customers and faced challenging restorations and repairs, he’s grateful that there’s a community of Fibrenew owners there to help him. When he gets stuck on projects, he mentors have been there to assist and talk him through a job. “Having them to call on is truly invaluable,” he says.
The positive impact on his family
The ability to write his own schedule and work at his own pace has been life-changing.
Recently, McDowell had an interaction with his son — he was joking around with him and his son looked up and said: “Dad, you have been in a great mood lately.”
It was one of those a-ha moments that validated why McDowell made the decision he made. Joining the Fibrenew franchise has helped him sort out the family side of his life. He was making money before, but he was miserable. And it was rubbing off on his family.
Now, he’s able to pay the bills but, most importantly, be happy and enjoy his day.
Answering initial objections
His parents were the most concerned about him making the jump into being a franchise owner. They felt like he was throwing a salary away.
“Think of your family,” they said.
That’s exactly what McDowell was doing — he was thinking about his family.
It helped that his wife, cautious at first, was there to cheer him on and both encourage and challenge him. Without his wife’s support, he said this would not have worked out.
Betting on himself, building it himself
What solidified his decision was to realize that the person he most wanted to bet on was himself:
“If I have to take a risk, there’s no one else I would rather take it on than myself.”
Something he keeps in mind everyday is where he came from professionally and how awful it was — and how thankful he is to be able to live his family life the way he wants to live it.
“I’m telling you, life is so different for me right now than it was 7 or 8 months ago. I’m so thankful this opportunity came along to give me an outlet to channel my positivity.”
And when people ask him about Fibrenew and how he enjoys it, he says he loves that Fibrenew tells him what to do, but not exactly how to do it.
“It feels like Fibrenew has provided a Lego kit that I can build the way I desire to.”