When did you join APA as a League Operator?
In May 2019 I became a League Operator.
Did you play in the League prior to becoming an LO? If so, why/how did you join APA as a player?
I played a little in the APA, but I mostly played in the “competitor’s” league. In my defense, there was not an APA League in my area. Funny story, I came to find the APA franchise opportunity after winning 1st Place at the BCA national tournament and taking home a whopping $600 before expenses! It inspired me to find a better league and I discovered that Galveston County was available for purchase.
What made you decide to become an LO?
My special gift in life is convincing people to hang out and play pool with me. It was an easy transition to get them to hang out and play pool and PAY me to do so. Actually, discovering this APA franchise opportunity could not have come at a worse time in my life! My wife was 6 months pregnant and we were still trying to recover financially from IVF. And, little did I know that a pandemic was also right around the corner!
Despite not being in the best place financially to take a risk, or not knowing how I was going to manage a new career with having a newborn and a “regular job” nor how I was going to possibly have the time or energy to figure it out, it is still the third best decision I’ve ever made in my life.
Do you run the business by yourself or with other(s)?
I own the business solo, but to say I do it alone is laughable. I rely on my family and friends and now my League family and friends for every single thing that has made this League a success. They constantly lend their helping hands for everything from recruiting new members to keeping my toddler entertained when he’s in-tow for a tournament weekend.
What is your favorite part of being a League Operator?
The people. I will admit that not being active in the APA prior to owning the franchise that I didn’t exactly “buy in” to the “it’s different here” mentality. I played pool for the better part of 20 years and I’ve definitely made friends along the way, but the dynamic is just different. The people really do become your family. The culture is different.
I had only just gotten started before the pandemic. I was closed for about 8 months and during those 8 months, people that I barely knew were reaching out to me all the time to check in and make sure my family and I were okay. I found myself missing my League work daily. It was baffling! Who misses work?! I’m not sure if the pandemic put it in perspective for me or if it was an inevitable discovery, but the people make this job worth it.
What is the hardest part of being a League Operator?
The paperwork! I wouldn’t consider myself a strong administrative professional and my office constantly looks like a paper mill exploded on my desk. Oh. And having to give out that “I Beat the League Operator” patch. (haha!)
What motivates you?
I would have thought my answer to this would be money, but I don’t think it is. I think being good at my job motivates me. I’m always striving to do more things to improve my players’ experience. Because I was new to the APA, I‘ve mostly learned everything “on the job” and every time I learn something new and cool that my colleagues are doing, I try to mimic their success. It’s not about what’s better for the pool; it’s about what’s better for the people.
What advice would you give to other women aspiring to be business owners?
You’ll figure it out. All of the questions and all of the doubts will eventually fade away when you just put one foot in front of the other and just take the plunge.