Hard Work Pays Off
He’s not ashamed to admit that at one time in his life he was homeless. But today, Kalen Gaetz is a franchise owner with Mr. Rooter – and a mighty good one too!
“I feel fortunate as a business owner that I have the ability to help people who want to help themselves.” That is what Kalen, of Mr. Rooter in British Columbia, recently shared. Wouldn’t you know it? He looks at success as a way to help others. It reminds me of something my father Don Dwyer would always say: “The best way to help someone is to not give them a handout, but to give them a job.”
Kalen knows first-hand the truth behind this statement.
From homeless and jobless to hard-working and ambitious
In 2002, Kalen had just graduated high school in the small town of Squamish, British Columbia. Mixed in with the wrong crowd and making poor decisions, he decided it was time for a fresh beginning and to turn his life around. He took off on his motorcycle and drove 10-hours to the nearest big city, Calgary. Working temporary jobs with no consistent revenue, Kalen was homeless and living on the streets. As a day laborer he always noticed the Mr. Rooter office. One day, he decided to take a chance and he went in and dropped off his resume. He had low expectations of landing a job.
John Romney, the franchise owner of the Calgary Mr. Rooter, was the recipient of Kalen’s resume and offered Kalen the break he needed. “I was as green as grass,” said Kalen. “I’ll always appreciate Mr. Romney taking a chance on a homeless kid and hiring and training me, which essentially set me on my career path.”
Kalen worked for John for one year and then moved back to BC where he took on various construction jobs. During this time, he earned his journeyman plumber license. He then went to work for Jason Melenchuk, the franchise owner of Mr. Rooter in Kelowna. Are you seeing a pattern here?
At the age of 26, Kalen decided to buy his own Mr. Rooter franchise, in the sister city of Kamloops. And he simultaneously became another success story of Dwyer Group’s “People Like You” referral program, where franchise owners recognize business ownership potential in friends, peers, and – yes – even their own employees.
People Like You and paying it forward
“I was a journeyman plumber, so I could have started my own business, with my own name. But I decided to buy into the Mr. Rooter franchise because I believe in their values and systems and recognize them as an elite plumbing service provider,” Kalen said.
Kalen credits his franchise consultants, Sue Halford and Bobbi Sullivan for guiding him. Six years into owning his own business, Kalen admits, “I still call Bobbi day and night for personal and professional advice. She is like family to me.”
Kalen continues to work hard at growing his business and expanding his team. “My favorite part of owning a Mr. Rooter is that I’m in a unique position to give people careers they can be proud of.” And he’s paid it forward as well, recommending others for the “People Like You” program who have gone on to own and operate their franchises across Dwyer Group service brands. They have included Rainbow International Restoration in Kamloops, BC and Mr. Rooter in Lethbridge, AB.
Kalen is a fabulous example of the incredible transformation that franchise ownership has on those who join our service brands. And here’s to the many wonderful “People Like You” who are now part of the Dwyer Group family.
Dwyer Group now has more than 2,600 franchise owners in 11 countries around the world who account for more than $1.3 billion in annual system-wide sales. For more about Dwyer Group franchise opportunities visit HERE.