Series 3: Recognition

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Following her first two blog articles on ‘Purpose and fulfilment’ and ‘Teamwork’, GAC founder and former sailor Christina Handasyde Dick, concludes the series tying in with the Tokyo Olympics by reflecting on the subject of ‘recognition’ and draws further parallels between her experiences as an athlete and as an entrepreneur.

Christina founded the business that would become Guardian Angel Carers soon after reaching number one in the World Sailing Rankings in 2007 to qualify for the Beijing Olympics. Many of the motivators that enabled her to achieve success as an athlete are similar to those we look for in potential business partners.


These days, a wide range of athletes, sportswomen and men are incredibly well financially rewarded. But I never met a single Olympian who wouldn’t be doing what they do – running, jumping, swimming, riding, throwing, climbing, sailing – irrespective of whether they had made it to the top, or the material rewards available to them.

When you’re a kid, and you discover the sheer joy of your favourite sport, you’re not thinking about a career, it’s just the thrill of the game. But there is one other thing about sport that just about everyone thrives on and loves, and that is positive recognition.

Whether it’s from a coach a teacher, a parent, the power of a kind, supportive, positive word is incalculable. And, here again, I would draw a parallel with business – but particularly our business. Everyone I know who works in care is like a sports-person – they start off doing it because of one simple motivation and fact – in our case, because we really do care for people. But it’s still incredibly motivating to receive recognition when you know how hard you work, quite often behind the scenes.

It’s always rewarding to hear good things from the son or daughter of someone that we care for. It’s equally rewarding to know that your boss and your employer appreciate you – that is something that we try to ensure always happens at GAC, that everyone receives recognition for their hard work. As a potential franchise owner, there are of course, as in any field, good financial rewards to be had from creating a successful business, and we very much want that to be the case.


To return to the Olympics one more time, the outpouring of happiness that competitors have shown on the podium has been another amazing feature of Tokyo 2020. I wonder if the lack of crowds and the limitations on the usual interactions with coaches, family, team-mates have meant that medallists had less opportunity to really express their feelings. But again, it shows just how much everyone craves recognition. You’ve trained for years. You’ve had your highs and lows, and you’ve worked yours socks off away from the crowds and the TV. Now you want your moment of recognition for all the sacrifices you’ve made.

Have you noticed – by the way – the sheer variety of Olympic events in which Team GB has achieved a medal at these Olympic Games? At the time of writing Team GB is bouncing around between fourth and sixth in the table in terms of Gold medals won. But if you look behind the table, you’ll see that Team GB has won medals in more sports than any other nation – including USA, China and Japan. It’s a tribute to the sheer range of skills and sports at which we excel. As a franchisee, you’ll need a wide range of skills too, especially in your first few years, before you start to grow and appoint specialists to different departments. But, just like all of our varied medallists, you’ll find that if you start with the right motivation, the recognition, and the rewards will come.

Franchisee opportunities at Guardian Angel Carers

We have an ambitious target of doubling the number of business partners/franchisees by February 2022. If you are interested in discussing a GAC franchise, please contact us here.