A colleague and friend of Mary Beth Gibson once asked her what she would be doing if her success was guaranteed. After some time contemplating, she responded by saying that she would open nonprofit that helps women with low self-esteem learn to soar. Then, unexpectedly, her friend probed further and asked why she wasn’t working on that dream.
However, Mary Beth would have loved to start a nonprofit as she described, the thought was impossibly scary to her. She was the Director of Human Resources at a Fortune 500 company where she made good money.
Mary Beth and The Entrepreneur’s Source Franchise
Fast forward a year, and Mary Beth’s job was unexpectedly eliminated in an unprofessional way right before her 40th birthday – forcing her to reevaluate where her future would go. In the past, Mary Beth had envisioned how great it would be to own her own business, and some of her friends and her would even meet after work and brainstorms business models over happy hour, waiting for the perfect opportunity or idea.
After some discussing her options with The Entrepreneur’s Source’s Gus Lurillo, Mary Beth began considering moving from the HR profession and becoming an entrepreneur. After considering her options, Mary Beth invested almost all of her life savings in an Entrepreneur’s Source franchise, “the very business that helped me discover the possibilities,” as Mary Beth puts it.
Just three months after launching her The Entrepreneur’s Source Franchise, Mary Beth received some devastating news: She was diagnosed with breast cancer. Mary Beth continued to thrive in her new franchise making placements for potential franchisees while simultaneously receiving treatment.
The encouragement of Mary Beth’s friends and colleagues at The Entrepreneur’s Source franchise helped her fight through her cancer.
“During that year, I learned a lot about running a business, and I learned a lot about me,” she said.
The Start of Beyond Boobs!
Mary Beth found that she needed other women to lean on and talk to during her cancer experience. She jokes that she “accidentally” started a non-profit, her long-time dream, with her friend Rene during the process. In the fall of 2006, Mary Beth and some other women with breast cancer came together and discovered that many of them had a delayed breast cancer diagnosis based on myths about breast cancer.
This insight inspired Mary Beth and the other women to share “The Things We Wished We Had Known” about breast health to help other women take charge of their own health, and in the process created Beyond Boobs! Today, The Beyond Boobs! website is overflowing with health information to educate women to help them take “charge of their breast health.”
Mary Beth’s Gratitude for The Entrepreneur’s Source
Before losing her job and being diagnosed with breast cancer, it would have been hard for Mary Beth to predict that she would have helped start the Beyond Boobs! non-profit. However, once the obstacles that kept her from starting a non-profit were removed – her job, corporate sector salary, stock options, bonuses, benefits and other perks – she was able to more easily envision a new future.
“Going through the franchise validation process through The Entrepreneur’s Source gave me the confidence to believe in myself, try new things and dream big,” Mary Beth said. “My time as a coach gave me a wealth of knowledge and experiences about running a business. Without The Entrepreneur’s Source, I never would have made the transition from corporate America to co-founder and director of Beyond Boobs.”
Although Mary Beth experienced many roadblocks over the past few years, she recognizes that these struggles have only made her stronger because they led her to her entrepreneurial path. Mary Beth is very grateful for having found The Entrepreneur’s Source franchise because it helped her become equipped and learn the necessary skills to start and run her own non-profit.