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Cold Feet?

As it becomes harder to turn back, our franchisees get a taste of buyer's remorse.

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

After many months of work, expense and struggle, Jack and Diane* have finally signed a build-to-suit lease for the construction of their franchised oil-change operation. Instead of celebrating this huge move toward their dreams, Jack is glum. "Diane said I got really quiet for two days," he says. "She couldn't figure out what was going through my head."

It is a unique idiosyncrasy of human nature that when we reach a major milestone we have dreamt of for years, the immediate result may be a state of stress, remorse and unhappiness. People experience remorse when they feel they have committed an action contrary to their moral code. Buyer's remorse is characterized by feelings of regret, self-hatred and a desire to make the wrong thing right.

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