Meet a few people who have greeted challenging circumstances as opportunities for a new kind of success.
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By then he’d also launched Spinners as a part-time enterprise. He’d purchased a 10-foot trailer, written a business plan and landed a few clients, but the business was little more than a hobby that made some money.
When Woods received word in October 2008 that the financial group was letting him go as a result of the economy, he was a recently married new homeowner. He looked briefly for another corporate position, but everything had dried up. Woods resigned himself to the reality that his moonlight business would have to become his full-time job, that he would become a business owner during the worst economic climate in America since before World War II.
Six months after launching, he had close to 200 clients and serviced a geographic area that extended from the Main Line of Philadelphia west to Oxford, Pennsylvania, south to Rehoboth Beach and beyond. His clients range from competitive trail and road bicyclists with $5,000 mounts to parents who need quick repairs on their kids’ dirt bikes. Woods provides tune-ups, drive train cleaning and overhauls. When he is not putting more than 400 miles a week on his Suburban Outback and trailer, he is doing bike repairs in his garage at home or fixing bikes at charity races and triathlons as a volunteer.
Woods misses the predictable nature of the corporate world, as well as the healthcare benefits, the 401(k) packages and the salary he once made, but the trade-offs of starting a business in a downturned economy notwithstanding, Woods enjoys one advantage: He is a lone wolf. He once counted 18 bike repair shops in his service area, none of which provided at-home service. “I’m creating a new category,” he says. “I don’t have the rent, the utilities and the overhead to pay. I can provide service and convenience at prices that are lower than regular bike repair shops.
“I am working more now than I ever did, but it’s more rewarding and enjoyable,” he says. “What drives me to do this is that bicycling is an enjoyable, low-cost form of entertainment, and my business is enabling them to do it more frequently and without delay.”
Page 7: Fresh Starts, continues...