Striking the right work-life balance and staying engaged on the job are ongoing struggles regardless of profession.
However, James Gimbel found a solution to these challenges that suits him – becoming a Capriotti’s franchise partner. Although he owns three locations in two different and far apart states – two stores in Iowa and one in Nevada – his schedule is flexible enough to allow him to spend time with his two young children, ages 2 and 4. While he’s at work, James enjoys feeling versatile because he learns something new every day.
James was looking forward to a career in occupational therapy (OT) after graduating with a masters in OT shortly before learning of the Capriotti’s franchise opportunity. But the prospect – and food – was too appealing to resist, and he became a franchise partner. He opened his first Capriotti’s in 2010, then opened a second and purchased a third in 2012.
“It’s unlike anything else,” he said. “You’ll never find better quality in a quick-service/fast casual restaurant. And, it was appealing to be my own boss at the age of 23. To be able to run my own business, which blossomed into businesses, seemed like the right thing to do.”
Fortunately for James, he didn’t fall into that all-too-common rut of trying to balance work and personal life. Nor has he ever experienced boredom at work.
Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance
With our jobs placing more and more demands on us, thanks in part to technology, workers feel the work part of the equation far outweighs the life portion in the work-life balance. Sixty-six percent of full-time employees do not believe they have work-life balance and 33 percent of adult workers work the weekends or holidays.
James, however, steps away from work when he feels like doing so to spend time with his kids during some of their most formative years. They’ve been able to take some short road trips and James has time to coach his 4-year old son’s T-ball team.
“I can take a day off here and there as long as I get my work done and I feel comfortable with how the shops are running,” he said. “I don’t have to worry about getting off work on time to coach T-ball, or I can set my schedule to accommodate that activity.”
Constant Learning Means Never Having a Dull Day
One of the reasons half of American workers are unhappy is because variety and the opportunity to learn are lacking from their jobs. For entrepreneurs, learning new skills is paramount to success.
The career transition from healthcare worker to restaurateur brought challenges – mainly running three franchise businesses – but it also brought an opportunity to learn a lot for James.
“I learn something every day,” he said. “This is not the career path I prepared for through college. It’s different. But, I feel more versatile because I’m learning this whole new skill set that includes managing people, balancing budgets and food costs and all these other things I wouldn’t have learned otherwise. I feel like I can do anything.”
Entrepreneurs Should be Flexible, too
Achieving the right work-life balance and having the opportunity to continually learn requires entrepreneurs to be flexible. You’ll need to be able to roll with the challenges if you’re switching careers or entering a profession that’s outside of your field of study.
“If you can do that,” James said, “you can achieve things you otherwise might not be able to do.”