Women in Franchising Shannon Russell
I never imagined that what started as a fun bonding experience with my child would eventually lead me to become a successful multi-business owner. My son has always been interested in playing with LEGO® bricks. He was fascinated by the ability to build exactly what he wanted. Watching the wheels turn in his head showed me this may be more than just a fun toy. At the time, there was no way I could have imagined just how far playing with LEGO® bricks would take me.
I was lucky enough to live out my dream career as a television producer for more than 16 years. I worked with the biggest names in entertainment like MTV, E!, Popsugar, Yahoo!, and more. With that dream career of over a decade came a lot of traveling, long days and long commutes. There came a point when I was ready to be home more and play a more active role in my children’s lives. When I thought about my next move, I kept my kids in mind and I searched for an opportunity that wouldn’t take too much of my time away from them. I went to graduate school for teaching, but I knew that was not the right fit. When I noticed how intrigued my son was building his LEGO® creations, I dedicated time to research STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education to see if there was a business I could build around this. It wasn’t long into that research that I found Snapology, and my choice became simple.
At first, I had the idea of building my own STEM education center, but once I came across Snapology, I instantly felt their curriculum and ideals matched what I was trying to accomplish. To me, it made perfect sense to buy a Snapology franchise. As a first-time business owner, it was important to partner with the franchisor to have all the best curriculum, marketing and overall expertise. It was the best choice I could have ever made. The benefits of STEAM education today are endless. It helps kids learn in a hands-on entertaining and educational way. Students are able to use their imagination as they build and create projects, all while they are learning. My favorite aspect of teaching STEM/STEAM is the confidence kids feel when they accomplish a project and share it with the class. It’s so much fun!
Owning my own business was an amazing life change for my family. I now work from home or at my brick-and-mortar location that is five minutes away. I am much more present for my kids and they can come to work with me and take classes. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for me to be the mom I want to be and provide for my family. I am able to use my skills from my previous career in a new way with the business. It has truly become my second dream job.
Snapology allowed me to grow as a person and become even more confident in myself as a leader. Owning this franchise provided me with the tools and guidance to really grow my business into a success where I am able to provide for my family, create the lifestyle I want and employ an amazing team of employees – all while serving my community by teaching kids and providing activities and experiences for families. I have been lucky to grow my Snapology franchise to a place where I have an amazing team, a network of fantastic partners, and a growing customer base. This entire experience has been transformative for me and it’s inspired me to recently open a second business (Second Act Success) where I work as a career coach and host a podcast helping women to change careers and take a leap into a new opportunity to find their true happiness, whether that is through opening a franchise, pivoting to new job, or embarking on their own new career adventure. It’s a wonderful opportunity to give back to others, so they can find an opportunity to create the life they want, just like Snapology created for me. I am constantly telling my clients about all the benefits that come with a franchise. I advise others to do their research before making that career leap. If you know your current situation isn’t working for you, like I did, it’s time to start looking for other opportunities that will better serve you. I ask clients, ‘what are your priorities?’ It’s all about doing the research to know what you want, and when you feel comfortable take the leap and go for it. I will forever be grateful to Snapology for allowing me the opportunity to now own two businesses, as a mom of young boys, and create a life I love.
My advice to others contemplating franchising is to look at what resources you may attain from joining the franchise model, and compare that to what you could possibly do on your own. To me, the support system, materials, and resources of a franchise system far outweighed what I could have possibly done on my own at that time. Also, be sure to do your research and speak with other current franchisees to get their feedback. I speak to a lot of potential franchisees for Snapology and I am always honest about the organization and I hope it helps them while they are on their search.
Now after living out my dream career in television production, owning a Snapology franchise, and becoming a career coach and podcast host, I feel like I can do anything. It is not every day that you get to have a second dream career, especially one that involves your family. Being a Snapology franchisee is more than just my career, it gave me the courage to take a big leap and now I am able to help others make a similar leap. It has been a pivotal aspect to the second part of my professional life and it has opened many doors for me.I am extremely proud of the businesses I have built, and most importantly to be the mom I want to be for my family.