From Wall Street to Franchising: How Goldfish Swim School Changed This Family’s Life
22 years ago, Larisa and Jeffrey Posner met working for a large investment bank on Wall Street. Today, they are the proud parents of three kids and the successful operators of two Goldfish Swim School franchises in their home state of New Jersey.
How does one go from being a Wall Street investment banker to being a swim school franchisee? The Posner’s story illustrates how making the right career choice for your family can open the door for incredible opportunity as multi-unit franchisees.
After years of commuting into New York City, long hours at the office and the stress of the financial industry, the Posners were looking for a new professional challenge. An unexpected conversation between Jeffrey and his colleague led to a connection with a friend who owned a Goldfish Swim School franchise in Chicago. Intrigued, the Posners began their research into the brand.
With their business background, the Posners were sure to do their due diligence when they dove into the Goldfish system. They spoke with other Goldfish franchisees, and eventually sat down with Chris McCuiston, co-founder & CEO of Goldfish Swim School, and the leadership team to talk about next steps.
After meeting the leadership team and seeing who they’d be working with, the decision was clear: leave Wall Street and open up a swim school in their community. The amount of support they felt from Goldfish on day one reinforced their decision. Jeffrey and Larisa have always had an entrepreneurial drive, and were excited by the opportunity to own a business together that provides the children in their community with access to a life-saving skill.
“Being a Goldfish franchisee is extremely rewarding,” said Larisa. “Since opening our first school, numerous parents have come up to us and said that their child fell into a pool on vacation, or saw a kid struggling to swim at camp, and that they were able to save themselves and others because of what they learned in class. We are teaching these kids how to be a hero in the water, for themselves and others.”
The Posner’s first Goldfish Swim School opened in November of 2017 in Livingston, NJ. After the first location opened, Jeffrey continued working on Wall Street while Larisa ran day-to-day operations at the school. Just prior to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Jeffrey decided it was time to step away from his job and join his wife full time at Goldfish. Now that their first location was off the ground and running, it was time to begin the process of opening their second school. On November 2, 2021 the Posners opened the doors to their Springfield location.
For Larisa and Jeffrey, this unexpected career pivot has changed everything about their day-to-day lives. The opportunity to work with families and teach children how to be safer in and around the water has meant the world to them.
The Posner’s Goldfish Swim School locations have also become a family affair, giving them lots of additional time to spend with their kids. After so many years of working in a demanding and high-stress environment, Jeffrey and Larisa get to show up to work together every day and have fun. Their passion for the business has also trickled down to their three children.
Their youngest son was 10-years-old when they first started franchising with Goldfish and he soon began taking lessons at their first location. He was never a strong swimmer, but the Goldfish curriculum proved successful yet again, helping him grow in his swimming abilities and confidence in and around the water. Now, four years later, you can find him walking around the pool deck making sure everything is running smoothly during lessons. Their other two children, one a senior in high school and the other a sophomore in college, work at Goldfish on weekends and when they are home for breaks.
Running their Goldfish Swim School business as a family has been a true blessing for the Posners. “We originally met at work, so this was a full circle moment for us,” said Jeffrey. “Of course, we were excited to go on this journey together. We knew that to be successful in this next chapter of our lives, we needed to keep an open line of communication and come together as a team like we always do.”
Goldfish Swim School has given the Posners the time and freedom to live the life that they have dreamed of. Owning a franchise with a purpose-driven mission and following a proven playbook for success has given them the opportunity to make room for what really matters in life.
For the Posners, that means a healthy balance of entrepreneurial success while driving carpool, attending school sporting events and spending more quality time with their children.
For more information on Goldfish Swim School and its franchise opportunity, please visit https://www.goldfishswimschool.com/franchise-opportunities/ or call 248-801-1850.