In a traditional office, the water cooler is a prime spot to have a friendly chat with others and troubleshoot work for avon-related problems that come up. So, what do you do when you’re working from home, and the only other living thing around may be a lowly plant? If you are part of a franchise, the first place to look for brainstorming buddies or mentorship is within the franchise system.

Shari Marsh, a home-based Cruise Holidays professional in Florida, has two franchise owners she actually calls her “water cooler buddies.” They speak on a regular basis – sometimes daily. “You know, if I worked in an office, they’d be the ones I hang out with in the lunch room, and we’d talk about our businesses and challenges,” said Marsh. She added that they bounce ideas off each other and share frustrations as well as victories.

Another Cruise Holidays home-based franchise owner, Judy Kendall, made similar comments.They met at a Cruise Holidays training session a few years ago. Now, Kendall says, “Having that one relationship with her has meant all the difference for me. We can call each other at any time with any question. That in and of itself is a huge benefit. It helps me keep sane and I don’t feel so overwhelmed, knowing I have someone to turn to,” said Kendall.

A good franchiser will also have some sort of franchisee-led leadership team, such as a franchise advisory board. You can seek out mentorship from the person who is assigned to be your franchise advisory board representative. Ask them to teach you one or two things they learned early on that helped them a lot. It may be just the inspiration you need to help get you going.

As Marsh puts it, “I need my water cooler buddies…working as a home-based professional it’s so easy to forget that we are a team of people all enduring the same challenges and conquering the same fears and yes, sometimes, attaining the same goals. It takes a team, even if the team doesn’t work in the same building!”


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