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Why ShelfGenie Inspired Me to Embrace a Weekly Interstate Commute and My First Corporate Job

Posted Sep 28th, 2018

Let me start by saying, I am a serial entrepreneur. I love the challenges that go along with starting something from nothing and developing it into a successful business.

In 2009, I found the ShelfGenie franchise opportunity and was immediately interested in the business because it inspires franchise partners to be entrepreneurial business builders.  I believed in ShelfGenie’s scalable and sustainable business model where franchise partners thrive by working ON the business, not IN it.

So, I began my journey with a little wooden box that changed my life. I decided to jump in with both feet.  In less than ten years, my business partner and I have expanded to six successful territories throughout North Carolina – becoming one of many ShelfGenie franchise partners who has thrived with this “designed to scale” custom shelving franchise that works best in the hands of enterprising, entrepreneurial business owners.

ShelfGenie has changed my life in another way, too – it sparked a powerful connection and lifelong friendship with our previous CEO, Allan Young.   In 2016, Allan asked me if I would be interested in becoming ShelfGenie’s Chief Operating Officer. That meant continuing to run my franchise territories in NC WHILE taking over the COO role at the Atlanta, GA headquarters.

I was flattered by the offer but needed to give this some thought.  After all, this would be starting my first official corporate job after enjoying the freedom of business ownership for years…and wow – what a commute!  I said I would consider it but wouldn’t be able to relocate to Atlanta due to personal and professional obligations in NC.

However, my belief in ShelfGenie’s growth potential was so strong that I decided to go for it after consulting with my family.


A Weekly Interstate Commute Begins

And so, it began – a new challenge and a weekly interstate commute to Atlanta.  A Monday morning alarm at 4:30 am to get out the door from my North Carolina home and on the first plane to Atlanta. Then, work at ShelfGenie’s headquarters from Monday to Thursday before taking a flight home late Thursday night to work remotely from my Raleigh office on Friday.  (I am thankful to have a great team and fantastic business partner in NC that allow me to run my ShelfGenie territories by working a few hours at night and over the weekends!)

There it was – taking on an executive role at my first corporate job while still maintaining the franchise territories in NC. You’re wondering why – and perhaps more perplexing, how – do I do it? I love it, I believe in it!   I am always willing and eager for the next challenge.   Working this hard for something I love and believe in is just something I’ve always done.

And then the next challenge came about a year ago when Allan asked me to take the reigns as CEO.  My answer?  Bring it on!

Allan and I agreed – it just made sense. I understand the business from both sides and it’s become my passion. I can speak to owners from their perspective because I have been through the same, or similar, situations (learn more about my CEO Vision for ShelfGenie in this video).


All About Passion

For me, the passion in this business comes from who I am as a business owner and as a person.  I believe in the company, the people and the franchise partners.  I enjoy the grind and love the challenges.

Most people would think it’s crazy to own and operate six franchise territories while taking on the role of CEO, but I think it speaks to the power and effectiveness of ShelfGenie’s business model. If you are focused and concentrate on the bigger picture the rewards are significant. It’s about finding great people – in fact, there is no design or installation experience required – and building an effective culture that employees can also believe in!

Interested in learning more about the ShelfGenie franchise opportunity?   Download the free franchise information report here.



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