Meet a few people who have greeted challenging circumstances as opportunities for a new kind of success.
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Phil Woods is checking his car’s GPS tracking system for the location of his next meeting, the first with a new client. She has agreed to enter a contract with Woods’ company that will extend until fall, so he wants to arrive early and make a good impression. It is his second meeting of the day, a day interspersed with phone calls to other clients and other work he’ll do when he returns home later that afternoon.
When Woods arrives, he calls his client from outside her office building in downtown Wilmington. Minutes later Caroline Honse opens the side door and walks her GT Transio commuter bicycle toward Woods, who is waiting near the trailer on his car. It bears the name of his company, Spinners, in crisp black letters. Honse gives Woods a checklist of work items. Woods then lifts the bike onto his trailer, resets the bike’s speedometer, realigns its tires, repairs its gears, adjusts its seat and handlebars, and tunes its brakes. In less than an hour, the meeting is over, he hands Honse her bicycle, then drives off.
Woods began Spinners Mobile Bicycle Repair in 2008, but the idea of a traveling bicycle repair shop began when he was an economics major at the University of Delaware. As a student working part-time as a technician at Wooden Wheels in Newark, he noticed that customers who left their bikes for repair had to do without them for several weeks. Added to that delay was the difficulty some customers had in getting to the shop. A competitive bicyclist, Woods understood the feeling of being without a bike for a long time.
The plan was simple: Woods would open what would be a bike service shop he could take directly to customers. It would wait for several years, however.
Woods, now 28, graduated from UD in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in economics, then started working as a market analyst for ING Direct in Wilmington. By the time he left in April 2008 to take a similar position with a start-up financial group in Wilmington, his career had kicked into high gear.
Page 6: Fresh Starts, continues...