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Labor of Love

For Jack and Diane*, the road to becoming franchisees is a waiting game.

This story appears in the September 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

A pregnant elephant gestates for more than a year. Yes, I know that for all good things, you must wait, but imagine feeling pregnant for over a year but not knowing if you're actually going to have a baby. That is precisely where Jack and Diane have been for the past year, after purchasing their fast-change oil-center franchise. Their "baby" is their business, but right now all they have to show for their investment is a signed franchise license and a written purchase offer for a great site. The venture must be financed, and more obstacles stand in the way. If everything falls into place, they might open their newborn business in six months.

Having a life-changing event looming on the horizon has affected Jack and Diane's everyday existence. They both express a sense of resignation about their limited leisure time, and they know when the store opens, a vacation will be out of the question. Jack entertains his psyche by visiting his potential site-imagining the day when the cash register sings a happy song. Those dreams flicker into the background as he heads for his "real" job.

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