Until two years ago, Mary Bylone was rolling along comfortably on the journey we call life. The registered nurse, rose through the ranks for four decades, all the way up to a chief executive position at a prominent health care system in Connecticut. But changes within the industry had Mary plotting a new course for her life, personally and professionally.
In early 2016, Mary – the owner of four Newfoundlands and two cats – met with Steve Rosenkrantz of The Entrepreneur’s Source®. Steve worked diligently with Mary, emphasizing it’s the vehicle that gets you to your goal. After a three-month process, Steve and Mary determined what best matched her Income, Lifestlye, Wealth and Equity goals , Aussie Pet Mobile – the leader in mobile pet grooming – was that vehicle. Less than a year in, Mary oversees a staff dedicated to helping pets feel and look good.
Our FranchiseMatch.com team sat down for an interview with Mary to gain some insight and guidance for other career professionals who are considering going into business for themselves. Here’s what she shared with us:
Hi, Mary! Tell us a little about yourself and your career prior to going into business as a mobile pet groomer.
I spent my entire career as a nurse. I was inspired by a nurse who took care of me after I was involved in a motorcycle wreck that kept me in the hospital for weeks. I began my professional career in 1977 as an operating room technician, became a registered nurse in 1980 and gradually worked myself up to become a chief nursing officer. I also was heavily involved with several nursing organizations, including the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. So, I spent many days on the lecturing circuit, as a speaker and as a consultant.
What was the impetus that sparked your career change?
I have a passion to help others. But I also have the entrepreneurial spirit lurking inside me. As the industry became focused more on the numbers and less on the people both receiving and providing the help, I wanted out. So, I decided to leave the industry a couple of years ago. However, a quick discussion with my financial planner helped me realize (I was 59 at that time), I didn’t have enough in retirement to live comfortably passed age 70. The plan was further complicated, when my wife was laid off from her job as a nurse at another health care system. That caused some lean times, but we survived as a family. The good news, she found a new job after a brief search.
So how did Steve Rosenkrantz and The Entrepreneur’s Source® get you on a pathway toward success?
I took advantage of placement courses that I was referred, and was fortunate to meet Steve. It was his class, “From Employee to Entrepreneur,” that specifically stood out. I became apprehensive, when I discovered the class was on franchising. But Steve quickly calmed my fears. Steve and The Entrepreneur’s Source® prioritized the concept of I.L.W.E. (income, lifestyle, wealth and equity) to make informed choices , which fit my goals, needs and expectations . One slide during Steve’s presentation drove the point home. It was a picture of a sports car. The slide read the franchise drives you to your goal. Steve then offered this analogy, “you think the guy who sells porta potties really loves dealing with them? No, he looks at porta potties as the vehicle that’s going to get him to where his goals are.”
Even though I was personally sold on Aussie Pet Mobile early in the process, Steve made sure I reached out and talked to owners of a variety of franchises. The difference is now I’m confident with my choice . Steve made sure I did the proper research. If I wake up in the middle of the night, I am not worried about whether I made the right franchise choice.
What attracted you to Aussie Pet Mobile franchise?
I knew out of the gate I didn’t want a retail storefront – brick and mortar was out of the question. The fact that I could work with pets appealed to me. I love their business model. They met and surpassed all my listed benchmarks. Their attention to detail is fantastic. I have participated in dog shows so I am familiar with the equipment. APM uses the top of the line equipment on our clients. We deliver a unique service – hair washes and cuts, skin moisturizing, teeth brushing – to dogs, cats, I’ve even groomed rabbits and a ferret, all in the comfort of the pet owner’s driveway. What ultimately pushed me over the top was their leadership: It impressed me from the beginning.
Thanks Mary! Any parting words of wisdom for those who are considering making the business ownership career shift?
Owning your own business certainly has its challenges. But I can get up in the morning, have my cup of coffee, and spend time with my dogs before I begin my day. At first I was sour on the idea of franchising. But my wonderful interactions with Steve introduced me to a world that I’m glad to be a part of. I think if you’re going to look at a franchise, it’s a necessity to have franchise coaches, like Steve at The Entrepreneur’s Source®. I’m glad I went that route because I’m fully prepared for this new journey. Their system works! To be honest with you, I can’t say enough good things about the experience I had with The Entrepreneur’s Source®.
If you’re interested in learning more about the hundreds of fantastic franchise partners we work with at The Entrepreneur’s Source, get started on your own personal journey into franchise ownership by visiting FranchiseMatch.com today!