When Don and Gretchen Bantock first purchased a Bedshed franchise in 1986, John Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’ was a newly released hit song, Crocodile Dundee had premiered in April and Bob Hawke was Prime Minister of Australia.
A lot may have changed since then, but Don, now aged 82, still gets up to watch the furniture trucks go out every day at 8am, and is actively involved in his Bedshed store. He does this because he loves the freedom to be his own boss, chart his own destiny and work in an industry he loves.
It seems like the Holy Grail. But how did Don identify what will get him up every morning with a spring in his step? We asked Don to share some tips on finding your passion and keeping it alive.
Q. How have you kept your passion alive for so long?
A. Two ways. Firstly I make sure I appreciate and thank my lucky stars every morning that I work for myself, I’m in control of my own destiny and I’m in a supportive business environment. Starting a business can be pretty daunting and being able to do this with the support and backing of an established company makes it a lot easier. Secondly, I surround myself with the people I love at work and that makes it a joy. Our Bedshed franchise is a family business - my wife and I run it together, we’ve worked with our nephew and son in law in store and our son owns his own Bedshed franchise a few miles away.
Q. How do you know when it’s time to move on from a job or career?
A. I think it’s as simple as dreading Monday. If you start thinking about the week on Sunday night and feeling sick at the thought of the coming morning, it’s time to move on. An ideal situation is when you’ve worked on a weekend, and haven’t really considered it a working day because you spent it having fun with your family.
Q. How did you know franchising was for you?
A. I enjoyed my previous roles but found as a managing director I wanted to be making money for myself, not for the company. It was this that spurred me to look for a business opportunity. I didn’t set out to buy a bedding franchise – it’s not that I’m passionate about selling beds per se, but more that I was looking for a business that wouldn’t become obsolete. And people are always going to need beds! It was only later when I had the store up and running that I started to really love the industry; helping people make a once in a decade purchase and providing for my family.