Just a few months ago, Mike Saunders, 44, was in what some would call not a good place.

Just a few months ago, Mike Saunders, 44, was in what some would call not a good place.

A divorce, a house fire and the end of a 23-year career led Saunders to a new chapter in his life.

The Marysville resident was raised in northwest Ohio before he went to work at Honda nearly two decades ago. He started there as a machinist and left last fall as a cost accountant.

"It's a good company," he said. "But I had been looking to do something else for a while."

For his next step in life, he wanted something that was much different than his previous career. He met with a franchise consultant to see if there might be a chain that would fit his interests.

That's when Saunders found Shelf Genie.

"They had a lot of systems in place to help the franchisee," he said. "It fit my budget. It fit my personality. Organizing has always been something that interests me."

Shelf Genie is a franchise business that builds and installs glide-out shelving systems to fit into existing cabinets. He operates the only franchise in Ohio.

A typical day is vastly different than his work at Honda, he said. He is able to drop his 9-year-old daughter at school, tend to some of his appointments, talk with his designers or set up meetings on his time. He may work until 11 p.m. on some days.

"A lot of days, I'm putting in a lot more hours, but it's enjoyable. I have a blast," said Saunders.

He hopes to keep growing the business and plans that this will be his last career change. In the meantime, he keeps a perspective on his recent life-changing events.

"In the house firemI lost things. Nobody was hurt; nobody was home. I was lucky a lot of my keepsakes - photo albums and stuff - were in the basement. For the most part, I didn't lose that stuff," he said.

Shortly before he became a franchisee, he watched the movie, "It's a Wonderful Life."

"The one scene that got to me was when George Bailey has all these problems and his whole house was filled with people coming to his aid," Saunders said. "I want to make a big enough difference in people's lives that my house is filled the way George Bailey's house was. I want to make a difference in people's lives.

"I feel like I'm in a better place right now than I've been in a long, long time."