by Stephanie Maldonado
Change is inevitable. Whether that change is good or bad, there is always opportunity to learn and grow from the experience.
And when starting a business, it’s important to remember change is the only constant. Sara Core, a Jonas Project Veteran owned business, is all too familiar with this concept. She and her sister, Amy, worked for three-years on what would eventually blossom into Millennium Family Entertainment Center. They started as part-time working moms with a dream of going into the million-dollar family entertainment industry. Their facility is equipped with laser tag, bumper cars, and a play area – really anything kids could ever need for a great night out.
This passion project was a team effort for Sara and Amy, so the last thing Sara expected was for her role to shift dramatically. The reality is that things take time to cultivate and that is true in both business and relationships. But dynamics in a relationship can change and ultimately affect how a business is run; this was the case with Sara and her sister. Amy decided to take a step down from her managing role, leaving Sara with a giant hole in the management team.
“She went from being a full-time onsite manager to being there maybe one day a week when we needed her. I had to absorb all the different job duties that she did and kind of take over everything,” said Sara.
It certainly was an adjustment; one that her Jonas Project mentor, Ted Horton-Billard, helped her to navigate.
“It is not uncommon for business owners to encounter these kinds of challenges. The successful business owners manage to anticipate a lot of those problems in advance and set up systems that mitigate that kind of situation, if it should occur,” said Ted.
Now Sara has to deal with running things on her own – management, HR, and the business financials. As any business owner knows, it is a huge financial undertaking to keep the doors open and actually make money. You can’t just walk away when things get tough, this is your investment and your future on the line.
“Starting a business will put you on an emotional rollercoaster that few people are really prepared and capable of handling; that’s why so many businesses fail,” said Ted.
To top it off, Sara was dealing with some personal banking issues. She unfortunately got sucked into the Equifax scandal and found herself dealing compromised accounts and identity.
When everything seems to wrong at once, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and focus on the wrong things. Luckily, Sara had the love of her husband and kids, guidance from Ted, and support from The Jonas Project to keep her moving forward. Sara currently has over 30 employees and just appointed a new assistant manager.
“If this thing falls apart, it doesn’t just affect my life. It affects a whole bunch of people’s lives and that is just extra motivation to keep on going,” said Sara.
Like many other business owners, Sara learned that change is all a part of the process and the way you handle that change sets the tone for the future of your business.