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The Golden Ticket

Can a franchise hold the key to your dreams? Meet 3 people who took a chance on franchising and changed their lives.

This story appears in the January 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When life throws you a curveball, you can either step aside or attempt to hit it straight on. Here's an inside look at two people who took aim and were able to find success even when faced with life's most challenging adversities, and another who managed to dodge the ball completely. Their stories are unique, yet one common thread runs throughout: For all of them, salvation came in the form of a franchise. Read on to find out how these franchisees were able to find hope and help through franchising.

Life After a Layoff

Sometimes it takes getting laid off from a job to realize what truly matters in life. At the age of 40, Ythan Lax is doing handstands and cartwheels--literally--but it wasn't so long ago that he was struggling. Having devoted 18 years to various marketing and PR jobs, his final payoff was being laid off in 2002. He was faced with the daunting task of finding another job when the job market for his industry was at an all-time low. That year was filled with dead-end interviews, as one company after another decided they didn't have a position to offer Lax after all. He attempted to start his own business, but found he lacked the direction to strike out on his own. His year of searching and having to rely on his wife's teaching salary was taking its toll. "I was getting very depressed," recalls Lax. "For me, that's a very noticeable change in my personality. I'm always up, always in a good mood. I see the bright side of just about everything."

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