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How many of us spend hours daydreaming up ways to start a new career to rid ourselves of a boss and the rest of the annoyances of the humdrum 9-to-5 existence? Related: Ready For A Career Switch? Consider A Franchise More than half of American adults want a new career or to start their own business, according to CreativeLive’s inaugural Creative Jobs Report. Surely, it’s not surprising that people have a deep yearning to express their creative selves. According to the Small Business Administration, 63% of net new private sector jobs come from small businesses. Just over 400,000 new businesses are started each year, according to the SBA. The obstacles can seem daunting, especially when considering all the responsibilities you may have picked up along the way, like a mortgage, children, or even aging parents. While it may sound risky, there is a great way to get started that lowers your risk and comes with a complete toolbox to get you past the start-up phase. That is a franchise. The advantage of a franchise is it comes with a time-tested system as well as a network of franchisees already operating the business who can tell you how the company’s promises pan out in the field. All it takes is the decision to commit the time to a little research to help you find a business that works for you.

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Everybody knows the job market is a bear, which is why lots of people decide to stay put in go-nowhere jobs. Better the devil you know is how the thinking goes. But is that really true? For women, a number of studies now support what many strongly suspected — that real barriers exist that slow or prevent women from advancing into the upper echelons of corporate America— the places where long-term strategic decisions get made, you know, the power circle. Related: The Entrepreneur’s Checklist: 7 Things You Need To Start A Business While we’ve seen some well known examples of women breaking through to lead big corporations, think Kraft, General Motors or Yahoo. Many more are left by the wayside and told to “lean in.” Nothing can be quite as demoralizing as not receiving your due advancement or compensation based on the work you perform. A recent study showed that women are underrepresented at all levels of American corporations; they’re less likely to advance than men and face more barriers to senior leadership. The 2015 study by McKinsey and LeanIn.org showed that at the current rate of progress, it would take a century for women to achieve gender parity in the executive suite. The truth is that for many people, the very best way to test your mettle is to start a business of your own. By taking the reins for yourself, you can see how high your hard work and ingenuity can take you. The good news is you don’t have to invent the wheel to make a go of it. There’s a perfectly wonderful time-tested method for starting out on your own, that is, with a good franchise. Instead of fighting ingrained, systematic conditions that might repress or even crush your growth, you can learn from a network of experts and backroom expertise and grow with a franchise business. The opportunities go way beyond fast food and cars. Lots of great franchises are thriving in business services that tap expertise acquired in corporate America. I tell my clients that a six-figure income is within reach and the upside can be considerably higher. The most important part of the entire process comes before you sign any contract and put up your sign. The key is to make a selection to match your expertise and skills and find a good franchise operation that can help get you where you want to go. This is where talking to a franchise coach or two is well worth your while. They’ve already done significant vetting and can help steer you toward operations that help new franchisees succeed and away from those that exist merely to milk their franchisees dry. Sometimes, it seems these clunkers get all the press, but lots of good franchisees are growing their earnings and achieving the work-life balance everyone craves. In fact, jobs in the franchise sector are growing faster than in the economy overall. So take charge of your career and start investigating starting a business today.

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