This interview is part of the Chasing Dreams interview series. I've interviewed a variety of entrepreneurs and small business owners who have chosen a different path in life in order to go after his or her dream career. Have an entrepreneur in mind you'd like to learn more about? Let me know! Today's interview is with Amy Hunter, a friend of mine from college. We both graduated from Shippensburg University in 2010 with degrees in marketing. I worked at Subway for 4 years, and we both have a passion for health, wellness and entrepreneurship, so naturally, I had to have her on the blog! Read on to learn about her journey buying a Subway franchise with her boyfriend while in their early twenties.
At what point did you know you wanted to follow this career path? How did you know this was the right direction?
I explored the idea of owing my own business my senior year in college. My partner, Alex and I looked around at all of our options and because of our lack of previous business ownership experience we decided franchising was best for us because of their strong brand recognition, proven methods, and relatively low start-up costs.
What are the biggest struggles you've faced while trying to achieve your dreams?
A lack of capital. There were very strict requirements regarding obtaining financing. After several interviews and meetings with different financial institutions everything eventually sorted itself.
Owning your own business can be tough on the body and mind, between long days, instability and really putting yourself out there to reach your goals. How do you stay healthy? Do you have any rituals that help you stay centered?
Early on l made a commitment to eat healthy. I enjoy making my own smoothies using fresh fruits and vegetables. I also enjoy indulging in a SUBWAY veggie delight with avocado. I try to exercise as much as I can by practicing yoga and squeezing in mini workouts before I go to bed. I end my day by reading a good book or one of my favorite blogs.
Speaking of putting yourself out there, overcoming rejection is a big part of chasing dreams. How do you bounce back?
No. It was actually the opposite with the Subway franchise. They are always excited to have young, enthusiastic people on board.
What do you do when you're having an off day- maybe feeling down, struggling with self-doubt, or just unmotivated?
I shift my thoughts from focusing on the negative by reminding myself of everything I am grateful for. I also talk it out with Alex which quickly reminds me that I'm not alone on this journey and that we are in this together. Sharing my doubts with him always makes me feel better. Sneaking a SUBWAY cookie doesn't hurt either!
What is one misconception people have about you and/or your profession?
The most common misconception is that we are rich and have a lot of free time. Starting out, it is the exact opposite. You have no free time and are financially restricted.
What is one of the biggest lessons you’ve learned along the way?
How to prioritize my time. There are only 24 hours in a day and you have to learn how to utilize them. Each and every second is precious.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a life coach?
Make sure you do your research. Know the ins and outs of the business you want to get into. You have to understand that when you own a business it's more than just a job. It is part of what defines you. Franchising is a unique business because you have to have the entrepreneurial spirit to be motivated to be successful but at the same time you have to have the discipline to work within a set plan.
When do you feel the most inspired, alive and the most like YOU?
At my restaurant working with Alex and our dedicated staff which are extremely hard working. We are grateful to have such an exceptional group of individuals working with us.
What people, books, music, etc. inspire you?
I am inspired and motivated by anyone that works hard and has a passion for what they do. I now realize how much effort goes into becoming successful.
Describe your favorite moment or accomplishment in your career so far.
I am proud to have been in business for almost two years. With our anniversary coming up in November, and after reflecting on the ordeals we had to endure, I have come to realize that they really were learning experiences and amazing accomplishments.
What’s the most exciting thing going on in your life right now?
I enjoy each day as it comes. I'm excited about my future and planning my next business adventure!
Amy Hunter is the owner/operator of a Subway franchise which has been in operation since November of 2012. She graduated from Shippensburg University in PA with a BSBA in Marketing in 2010. She is passionate about yoga, bike riding, and living a healthy lifestyle. Amy currently resides in Harrisburg, PA.
Have questions for Amy about owning a franchise? Ask her in the comments!