Many aspiring entrepreneurs look to business ownership as a means of maintaining a better work-life balance. SpeedPro franchise partner Pat McGinnis was able to not only find a work-life balance with SpeedPro, he also found ways to use his new business to give back to the community.
How He Got His Start at SpeedPro
Traveling every day for work, Pat McGinnis was essentially unable to see his family during the weekdays. He decided he needed to make a career change when his daughter, who was in seventh grade at the time, confronted him about it.
In 2006, Pat discovered SpeedPro Imaging, and found the franchise opportunity came with a flexible schedule to spend more time with family.
“SpeedPro was a great business opportunity with a strong model and demand – and even more importantly, it allowed me to sell a product I believed in and found interesting,” Pat said. “Obviously, the first year requires a little more time and dedication, but the flexible scheduling allowed me to take time off for my children’s school events and see my family regularly during the week.”
Pat’s wife, Susan, also became involved in the business and worked alongside Pat as a co-owner.
“Working with my wife was great, too, because we are good partners, and I was able to see her even more often,” Pat said.
Now, 13 years later, Pat and Susan’s kids are grown –daughter Megan is 26 and has a family of her own, and son James just turned 22.
“Life has an odd way of working out sometimes,” Pat said. “It was important for me to spend time with my kids when they were growing up, but it’s actually even more important now – particularly with my son.”
A Life-Altering Injury
In 2014, James, then a high school football player, was poised and ready to go to college – until he suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) during a game. In the years since his injury, James has made incredible progress but still receives around-the-clock care and regular therapy to regain more motor function.
“Being a business owner is great because during the critical 7.5 months at a rehabilitation hospital I was afforded the ability to take off Mondays and Fridays to go to his therapy and see how it’s going,” Pat said. “My wife primarily works with James today. But, having that flexibility and being able to be there for my family is a tremendous gift that I don’t know I would have if I worked elsewhere.”
Pat and Susan have long been involved in philanthropy, working with organizations whose causes range from juvenile diabetes to leukemia and other chronic illnesses, especially in children.
But, after James’ injury, they realized an even greater need for their work– and they’ve continued to find creative ways to leverage their business to give back, especially when it comes to various brain injury awareness events.
Going the Extra Mile for Charity
Pat, Susan and James often participate in different charity events – whether it involves walking or running races or providing free marketing collateral. Over the years, Pat has offered his services free of charge to different charity runs, including printing large-scale banner announcements and advertisements, as well as directional signs to guide runners along the route.
“When you go to different charity events, you realize you’re the one who’s truly blessed – you forge new friendships and meet people with such strength and determination,” Pat said. “And, there’s really no opportunity as good as the opportunity to spread love and kindness – my son has taught me that.”
“As a small business owner, just be present and let people in your community know you’re out there and ready to help in any way,” he added.
Pat recommends finding causes you’re passionate about or have a personal connection with. Every cause he and his family have worked with has affected them personally.
He suggests working with clients for a common charity cause to deepen these client relationships. It’s also important to plan the timing of the events with your business schedule so they don’t interfere with one another.
“Every year, we try to pick one or two charities to work with,” Pat said. “Sometimes, it can be tough to balance charity work with business, but you just have to find the best strategic times. For example, our busiest times are late spring and early fall, so we’ll try to schedule philanthropy work around those times, and give back during our slightly slower months.”
What They’ve Gotten from Giving Back
Pat says each of his charity experiences has been humbling. And, he and his family have forged new friendships and business relationships through their extensive charity work.
“Working with charities is, I think, one of the best things you can do for your business and for yourself,” Pat said. “Instead of getting caught up in deadlines, it’s important to have some perspective and enjoy the journey. And, everyone is fighting a battle you may or may not know about, so just be kind – in business and in life.”
To learn more about a community-driven, flexible business opportunity that allows you the free time to give back, read about some of the perks of being a SpeedPro studio owner.