It’s not always easy to part ways with the stability and familiarity of a long-term corporate career to pursue the dream of running your own business.
Rob Kerrison, a married father from Cambridge, spent many years in a successful corporate marketing career before finally realising the great money and stability his executive job had been offering him wasn’t worth the sacrifice of his happiness and the valuable family time he was missing out on. Kerrison finally took the plunge and left his corporate marketing career in 2010 to follow his dream of running his own business. He now owns and operates a successful Tutor Doctor franchise with his wife Lynne, and hasn’t looked back since.
In two years, the Kerrison’s have turned their business into the fastest growing Tutor Doctor franchise in the UK, tutoring 350 children in less than 18 months with a net gain of five new students per week. They’re well on-track to achieving their five-year plan to make £1 million in annual sales. Kerrison has no regrets about leaving the corporate world, and now enjoys an all-around better quality of life that includes plentiful family time and the ability to control his own income by putting dedication and passion into his business.
Like many other corporate executives who have poured years of their lives into a company, Kerrison’s career in marketing had become increasingly redundant, leaving him feeling exasperated, exhausted and unhappy. He was driving home one evening in 2009 during his daily five-hour commute from the office when a discussion on the radio about franchising drew his interest.
Kerrison was intrigued after hearing about other corporate executives just like him who left their careers to go on to open their own franchised businesses.
“I knew I really wanted to go out on my own, but I didn’t have a specific trade I was good at,” Kerrison said. “But my career had given me excellent people skills, a voracious work ethic and I had been trained by some of the best businesses in the world.”
Kerrison left his job and began exploring franchising with the help of MatchPoint Franchise Business Advisor David Pearce. Pearce helped narrow his list of possibilities down to three franchise systems, with the closest match being Tutor Doctor. But instead of going with his gut instinct that told him to open a business, Kerrison walked away and took on another high-level position in marketing—a decision he would soon regret.
“The job I went to caused me to be away from my family three nights a week and it just became less and less enjoyable,” Kerrison said. “The fact that I’d almost taken the plunge into franchising was always in the back of my head, and I realised my heart just wasn’t in a corporate career anymore.”
Kerrison quit his new job without hesitation and called Pearce to tell him he was ready to open a Tutor Doctor business immediately.
“When I left my role as director of that marketing agency, my colleagues asked what I was going to do as it seemed like such a strange and massive change of direction,” Kerrison said. “I told them, ‘I’m going to help children be as good as they can be,’ and that’s what I still say today—it’s a great thing to be able to do that and build a successful business at the same time.”
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