With so much going on at Acceler8Success Cafe I know it’s easy to miss a newsletter or two, or possibly our Question of the Week slipped by without you noticing, or an announcement we may have made just seemingly got lost amongst the busy news feed. Well, just like an experience at your local cafe, I really want Acceler8Success Cafe to be conveniently located when you desire or need to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, and catch up on some reading.
Okay, I may be going bit far with this, but my goal is for Acceler8Success Cafe to be your virtual cafe. A place where you may frequently visit to enjoy a few minutes to yourself. I’d like the experience to be memorable by providing learning opportunities, by presenting a different perspective & insight, by spurring thought & reflection, by encouraging interaction, and by spotlighting topics that, frankly, may not be as front and center as they should or need to be.
To that end, Acceler8Success Cafe is open for business daily, seven days a week. For the benefit of current & aspiring entrepreneurs, our daily newsletter will be delivered each morning. Our Question of the Week along with an occasional announcement will be delivered at various times throughout the week.
As a way to jumpstart the week ahead, we also will deliver a weekly review each Sunday morning which will include articles you might have missed during the previous week. My goal is to provide an opportunity to begin the new week with information and ideas that possibly could accelerate your success.
Conquering Fear “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
3 Steps Ahead of Business Ownership Whether doing so as an independent business or as a franchise there are important initial steps to take to ensure that business ownership is practical and feasible. Due diligence is essential in order to make the right decision – one that will go a long way toward minimizing risk of failure.
Sorry. Your Application Has Been Rejected! Despite being financially qualified and with a proven track record of success, is it possible for franchise candidates to be rejected for not being a “right fit” for a brand?
Vision to Reality: A Deliberate Journey A deliberate approach led to the creation of the Acceler8Success mantra that is often seen alongside a black panther whose approach in getting to its goal is nothing less than deliberate.
Maintaining Work Life Balance Here’s to a great weekend and a productive stress-free week ahead. Please share this with others as there are far too many that have a difficult time managing stress and especially so during what are seemingly uncertain times.
Are you ready for National Small Business Week May 1-7, 2022?
As we prepare to celebrate National Small Business Week 2022, it’s the perfect time to announce the new franchise & business opportunity platform by Acceler8Success Group. In its final stages of development, I anticipate an official introduction within the next 7-10 days.
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn
Why is there reluctance to say, I am an entrepreneur? I’ve been asked that question many times. Heck, I’ve asked that question of myself on more than one occasion. It seems, at times we’re prouder to call ourselves, Founder or CEO or to say, I’m a business owner. Why is that?
Are those titles more respectful than, entrepreneur? Yet, we hear of late, we’re in an entrepreneurial economy. So, is that a bad thing or a good thing, and especially if we have a hard time fully admitting to entrepreneurship? Or should we just be entrepreneurial in how we approach our work, whatever that truly means?
Are we claiming to be in an entrepreneurial economy to justify the disappearance of the lifelong career at one company and this is just a way to say we need to create and prove ourselves over and over again, and forget the gold watch?
Back to the reference of being an entrepreneur… Is there a stigma of being a dreamer, always looking for something better, bigger, faster as opposed to what some believe is mundane, repetitive work with the security of a paycheck? Often, I hear it’s mostly due to yesterday’s immigrant mindset of being thankful to just have a job, yet it’s that same immigrant mindset that is the epitome of entrepreneurship.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs
We are living our fears.
Actually, I believe it’s because of fear — fear of failure, fear of what other people think, fear of the unknown, fear of the what if, fear of starting over, fear of change… But it’s when those fears are hit head-on and the adrenaline rush of success far outweighs those fears because you know, deep in your heart that you have a deeply ingrained talent that can and will make a difference.
Does that mean failures aren’t possible? Hell no, but it’s working through those failures, those blips, those aberrations that provide experience and resiliency to improve and innovate to make the next step, the next task, the next venture successful. That is entrepreneurship. And it’s when I don’t consider what I do as entrepreneurship, is when failure mostly occurs. Conversely, it’s when I focus on what I do as an entrepreneur, complete with that thinking outside the box and failure is not an option perspective, and when focused more on results as opposed to opinion of others, THAT is when success mostly occurs.
Yes, I’m an entrepreneur. My focus will stay as such as it is not only good for me, but also for my family and for those that rely on me to help them achieve their wishes, hopes and dreams! Why? Because I believe in possibilities, as without them, there are none.
Franchising is not often considered by the approximately 139 million Millennials and Generation Z population (as of 2020). But, with so many qualified people looking to start or extend their careers, and on their own terms, every job option merits consideration.
First things first. Let’s understand who makes up this segment of the U.S. population that will make up the majority of the workforce for the next 30-40 years:
Millennials were the largest generation group in the U.S. in 2019, with an estimated population of 72.1 million. Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials recently surpassed Baby Boomers as the biggest group, and they will continue to be a major part of the population for many years.
Generation Z is the most recent to have been named, and many group members will not be able to remember a time before smartphones and social media. However, the group already makes up around 20.35 percent of the U.S. population, and they are said to be the most racially and ethnically diverse of all the generation groups.
The number of Baby Boomers, whose generation was defined by the boom in births following the Second World War, has fallen by nearly six million since 2010. However, they remain the second-largest generation group, and aging Boomers are contributing to steady increases in the median age of the population. Meanwhile, the Millennial and Gen Z generations continue to grow, and a big reason for this is the increasing number of young immigrants and refugees arriving in the United States.
Thanks to Adecco’s ‘Way to Work’ survey, which surveyed 1,001 Americans who are mostly currently in college or recently graduated and in their late teens to mid-20s, the primary differences between the two generations and how these differences might play out in the workplace have been identified. Three key takeaways, or differences between Millennials and Gen Z regarding work include:
Members of Gen Z are more concerned about the cost of education (21% of respondents), compared to Millennials (13% of respondents).
Millennials value stability (34%), while Gen Z puts more of an emphasis on finding their dream job (32%).
More Gen Zers follow their parents’ influence (42%), compared to their Millennial counterparts (36%).
So, what about business ownership and franchising, once the American Dream of Baby Boomers?
Here are five important considerations for Millennials and Gen Z open to this path of entrepreneurship:
Affordability. Most people between the ages of 18 and 35 cannot afford $800,000 for a brick-and-mortar business but a home-based business might cost between $40,000 and $60,000. There are a vast variety of franchises. Millennials and Gen Z can find one that fits their budget as well as their ideal income, lifestyle, wealth and equity.
Digital Minds. Both groups are digital natives who can capitalize on the Internet to grow their business. Every type of franchise can benefit from someone proficient in the cyber realm, whether that be growing an at-home business in pajamas, creating a digital work force or driving business with a creative social media campaign.
Control. Some franchises have a web presence that is systemized from the top. If that’s the case, Millennial and Gen Z candidates need to decide if controlling the social presence is important to them or not, then choose a franchise accordingly.
Do Good. Many young people are as concerned their life work be meaningful and socially responsible as they are with money. A franchise allows Millennial and Gen Z candidates the opportunity to “do good” while being their own boss. Franchises exist for dog sitting, tutoring and healthy food, among countless options available for those looking align livelihood with their social mission.
Difficulties. Both generations like their own voice on social media, their own marketing plan and are generally excited to execute their next big idea. Franchisors offer a replicable model so customers know what to expect. A Millennial or Gen Z candidates who decide to become a franchisee must be sure they completely support the system they choose.
As the future of works rests on the shoulders of Millennials and Generation Z, changes to the work force will continue and most likely, not return to any semblance of what was common pre-pandemic. I guess the most important questions (concerns) for me are, Will Millennials and Gen Zers pull professional culture in opposite directions, or do both generations have common ambitions? After all, the workplace structure cannot be a work in progress forever.
Owning and operating a small business was once the exclusive domain of the risk takers of the business world. The true entrepreneur had a distinct flair for creativity, innovation and vision. He, and I emphasize “he”, knew how to operate outside-the-box. He knew how to make things happen. Many times, this individual had little choice as he knew from an early age, he would be responsible for shaping his future and for making it on his own. Formal education was usually limited and often just a far-fetched dream. Corporate life was not even an option. Besides, he couldn’t be told what to do, how to do it and when to do it. No way. No how.
Well, times certainly have changed in the business world. More so recently as many individuals are again faced with economic uncertainty. An advanced degree is no longer the fast track to success. As such, many individuals especially more women than ever before are deciding enough is enough. Wanting to control their own destiny they’re increasingly choosing small business ownership as opposed to leaving their future in the hands of Corporate America.
Sure, the financial aspects are vitally important. That’s a given. However, today’s new small business owners describe their number one priority as establishing true balance in all areas of their life. They desire the freedom of furthering their own personal growth but will limit that growth by their abilities and resources, finding it more important to help others improve the quality of their lives and build long-term mutually beneficial relationships; both business and personal. They firmly believe people and relationships to be the foundation of success even more than money itself as they have determined money (profits) will be the end result of their actions.
This is where the road gets tricky as a decision must be made between starting their own venture and assuming total risk or reducing the learning curve and limiting the risk by investing in a franchise where they would be in business for themselves but not by themselves. The key questions posed by many emerging small business owners are asked very emphatically, “Can I achieve my goals and objectives as part of a franchise system? And do I have what it takes to be a franchisee?”
In addressing these questions (and concerns), it’s relatively easy to analyze the two and realize, beyond the viability of a particular franchise brand as addressed in due diligence of the franchise concept itself, the answers are really contingent and dependent upon each other. The answers actually lie in understanding the mindset required to be a franchisee. Once understood, a choice must be made regarding the desired path either as an independent small business owner or as one of the hundreds of thousands of franchisees across several thousand franchise concepts worldwide.
The typical franchisee must be willing to follow and adhere to a franchise company’s business system and ultimately, promote the same within their new franchise community at all times. It must be completely understood the system cannot be changed by the franchisee nor can their business be operated differently than the franchise company requires as the system is proven and uniform across the chain. It’s this uniformity throughout the organization that is paramount to brand awareness leading to company and franchisee success and is the foundation of an interdependent relationship between both parties to the franchise agreement.
A franchise is almost definitely not the right choice for the business maverick or renegade. Certainly, there is an important place in business and in our hearts for these unique innovators. If not, we wouldn’t know Apple or Amazon as they’re known today. Even McDonalds, as probably the greatest franchise of all time that stormed through the country under the leadership and direction of a true maverick, Ray Kroc, would not have been successful without franchisees being required to strictly follow and adhere to the McDonalds system without fail. No questions asked and no room for negotiation.
Entrepreneurs will be around for centuries to come blazing trails as never before. Some will actually plan to choose franchising as an expansion strategy and build the foundation of future franchise concepts. They will provide a choice for tomorrow’s small business owners on whether to go it alone or invest in a franchise. And it will be those franchisees of tomorrow that will follow, promote and expand those systems that will prove to be the steel, bricks and glass built upon the foundation of new franchise companies. Thus, continuing the growth of franchising as it increasingly expands throughout the world, giving back by affording people more opportunities and options in determining the path to small business ownership that suits them best.
I’ve been asked time and again to post the following article that I’ve written about in 2011 regarding my own personal experience as a multi-unit franchisee where I succeeded at first, only to crash and burn later on. Over the years, this article has been posted on several of my blogs, picked up by numerous other blogs & online publications, and discussed on various podcasts. I have received numerous comments and inquiries about the article and my experience as well as individuals sharing their own personal experiences and requests for assistance. Although I cringe at the thought of any business failing, I admire and respect the fact that franchisees and franchisors alike (small business owners and individuals & teams running larger organizations as well) know when to put their pride aside and ask for assistance, and I always look forward to providing my experience and expertise to help determine a practical resolve to their problems.
I’m proud to say this article has been instrumental in helping a number of businesses keep their doors open and work towards recovery. On the other hand, I’m also sad to say several businesses were not as fortunate, but at least the owners were able to exit with dignity and in few cases, with less liability than they previously thought possible. And, in one case, the business owner actually exited in the black when we were able to facilitate the sale of her business when she previously thought about just walking away. Considering the difficulties many small business owners, restaurant operators, franchisees, entrepreneurs and organizations have experienced over the past two years and with challenges continuing, I’m sharing this article once again.
Fear and Consequences of Failure (unedited from 2011)
I can personally relate to the trials and tribulations of owning franchise businesses as I have “been there and done that” and have experiences on both ends of the spectrum from achieving overwhelming success to dealing with bitter failure. I have definitely come to understand the fine line between success and failure in trying to nail down the American Dream.
I know it is sometimes counterproductive to even mention failure which is why the subject is always avoided and never discussed. Yet, it’s out there and it’s real. Once franchisees face the possibility of failure and its very real consequences, they can be motivated to understand that failure is not an option and commit 100% to a plan that addresses immediate problems and provides solutions accordingly. Even if it’s necessary for the plan to be quite drastic or aggressive due to prevailing circumstances, franchisees that unequivocally realize that failure is not an option are prepared for immediate action.
Let me emphasize one point. Franchisees should not view poor sales and disappointing profits as either potential or immediate failure and stick their heads in the sand. I made that mistake in the past and suffered the consequences. Instead, franchisees should build upon the courage it took to become a franchise business owner and recommit to success as they did when they first took the entrepreneurial plunge.
They need to remember their wishes, hopes and dreams that prompted the decision to own their own business. They need to remember the admiration of family and friends when they heard about the new venture. They need to remember the excitement when they actually signed the franchise agreement.
Unfortunately, there’s a very distinct possibility the root of the problem is embedded in the franchisee’s actions, non-conformity to the franchise system and unwillingness to face reality. However, as there was some shining light evident during the franchise award process, it may not be a totally lost cause if the franchisee is made to completely understand the implications and consequences of failure.
As franchisors are faced with the potential of closed units [during this recession] that may be the result of things out of their control, it’s imperative they don’t lose even a single unit just because a franchisee just flat out needs a snap back to reality. It’s worth the effort.
Let me clarify something. I failed as a franchisee. Not because of anything the franchisor did or didn’t do but because I put and kept my head in the sand and did not face reality. I could go on and make excuses about things that happened around me but at the end of the day I could have turned things around if I got my own head out of the sand, made some difficult decisions and took full, immediate responsibility.
Unfortunately, I was scared of failing. I was afraid of what people would think. I was ashamed at what other franchisees, ones I put in business, would think of me. I couldn’t even think of facing my family. All lame excuses for not taking responsibility. Maybe a hard swift kick you-know-where would have helped.
Did I mention that I previously ran the franchise company where I failed as a franchisee? Did I mention I was elected by fellow franchisees, President of the National Advisory Council? Did I mention that I owned and operated five franchise units?
If I had clearly understood the implications and consequences that were looming on the horizon and if I was able to get my big ego out of the way and address things head on, maybe I could have survived. Maybe I could have at least implemented an exit strategy that would have, in some small way, paid back the loyalty and support of my employees, family and friends.
In the end, I may not have survived because it may very well have been too late when and if I finally took action and responsibility. But maybe I could have at least exited with some dignity. Also, I could have saved many innocent people a great deal of hardship, embarrassment, wasted effort and ill-spent resources if I did face reality. This includes my family, my employees and yes, my franchisor; all who believed in me.
Yes, it was a tremendous learning experience but not one I would bestow or wish on anyone. Now, all I can do is to offer my experience to anyone in the franchise industry that needs assistance. As we [prepare to enter 2012] in the realms of economic uncertainty, I’m certain already difficult situations have been compounded but I’m confident a snap back to reality could only help. If just one franchise business is saved from the consequences of failure, then we’ve made progress. Progress we’ll continue to build upon.
Sometimes regardless of how well entrepreneurs plan and despite how much effort they dedicate to something, they often fall short of their goals and the end-results cause a multitude of challenges and problems. Ultimately, it can adversely affect their financial position, reputation, relationships, team spirit and much more. It can also start to spiral into personal life and affect family, health and overall well-being.
Unfortunately, such situations are often perpetuated by denial when placing one own’s head in the sand.
Think of it this way… If we are to put our own head is in the sand, our most vulnerable ass-et would be sticking out in plain view. Some will laugh. Others will point and snicker, definitely telling others. And a few will take advantage of the situation and current position of vulnerability.
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy
Sadly, many business owners put themselves in that position. Not because they swung and missed. Not because they didn’t see the forest for the trees. And not because they just flat-out saw something that wasn’t there. Instead, it’s because they didn’t keep their head high, accept the situation, learn from it and move on, and with laser-focus. That is exactly what true entrepreneurs do when faced with failure.
Why Embracing Failure is Key for Entrepreneurial Success
Starting a business is anything but easy. From raising the appropriate capital to arming yourself with the right resources, there are a lot of steps to take and a lot of places in which one wrong decision can threaten everything. And while a small fraction of new business launches go off without a hitch, most experience at least a few roadblocks along the way. After all, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first four years.
In many ways, entrepreneurship is as much about luck as it is about skill, and there’s not always a way to avoid failure. However, learning how to rise above failure and turn problems into possibilities can be the deciding factor between making things work and shutting down your business. This is why embracing failure is the key to entrepreneurial success.
Flexibility, control and legacy are common entrepreneurial motivations. Being in the right mindset helps entrepreneurs maintain their entrepreneurial motivation when challenges arise. A positive attitude, meditation and a strong support system help to sustain enthusiasm for not only running their business, but also for exploring possibilities and opportunities while thinking about how to capitalize on the same.
As part of our commitment and dedication to entrepreneurial success at all levels, Acceler8Success Cafe has been developed to provide current and aspiring entrepreneurs information and resources to help them succeed, and to also provide a relaxing way to stay motivated.
“My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had — every day I’m learning something new.”
-Richard Branson, founder Virgin Group
NOTE: Please pause video before moving from one to another. Thank you!
Are You an Entrepreneur? The Answer Might Surprise You! (credit: addicted2success.com)
They don’t wait to be told what to do, or for conditions to be perfect, or to be handed the resources they need on a platter. In the spirit of a famous slogan, they just go out and do it. End of story. Sounds simple, right? But it’s not an easy process by any means.
It’s this kind of spirit that sees success as inevitable after hundreds of failures, rejections and setbacks. It’s this kind of spirit that enables the entrepreneur to pick themselves up off the floor, dust themselves off, and start all over again, even where the outcome is uncertain. It’s this kind of spirit that can hold a dream in perfect suspension in the imagination, believing in it even in the face of all odds, until the day it’s there in solid reality.
And the best part? You don’t even have to be building your own business to have entrepreneurial spirit. You can be working to transform a business – someone else’s business, or even the ‘business’ of a non-profit, university or government. This is called being an intrepreneur.
Admittedly this can be extremely challenging. You often won’t have control over all the resources you need. However, don’t forget our definition! Entrepreneurs progress with determination towards their goals despite not having the resources under their control. That’s the entrepreneurial way.
However, what’s the fun in taking the easy path in life all the time? Entrepreneurship is a challenge, one that can be daunting due to the weight of its expectations in the final result being a success for both yourself and the people you serve and employ. Regardless of all the scare tactics one can tell themselves when thinking of becoming an entrepreneur, there is so much more this journey offers than just a monetary benefit.
Becoming an entrepreneur is not just about the hard work you put into opening a business, but also about the personal growth one endures as well. The path of entrepreneurship is one that can test an individual in many ways, but ultimately, teaches invaluable life lessons that can’t be taught in a classroom or at a seminar.
Here are some examples where becoming an entrepreneur can grow a person in ways that one never thought possible, and why experience is so crucial in becoming a better leader and boss.
Ready or Not: My Experience Launching a Side Hustle in 121 Days (credit: success.com)
The handwritten check arrived in a plain envelope. I signed and deposited it right away. Normally I would have then shredded it. But not this one. I’m saving this one.
It’s from my friend Fred “Honey Pot” Williams, a 61-year-old gastroenterologist and beekeeper, and it’s the first revenue from a side hustle I started with another friend, the first check I’ve gotten since graduating college for producing anything other than words. It feels like the first check of the rest of my life.
That’s certainly an overstatement. But I’m excited to stretch out into something new and for conceiving, planning and executing the first product: an adventure I dreamed up called 50-50-50 in which Honey Pot, eight others and I hiked 50 miles, biked 50 miles and canoed 50 miles, all in one five-day weekend. The 50s were a hook to celebrate my 50th birthday and just happened to form a great marketing shtick for an adventure trip.
I’ve had a thousand half-baked side hustle ideas; this is the first one I’ve allowed to cook until it was edible. The difference between all those half-baked ideas and this delicious one is simple: passion. I wanted, needed, had to try this one.
Life’s too short to pursue things you don’t love. If you’ve got that idea—that challenging, exciting, can’t-get-it-out-of-your-head-idea—I urge you to stop thinking about it, stop daydreaming about it, and start doing it.
Maybe you can learn from my journey. Here’s how it went.
Entrepreneurs are from all walks of life. They have different levels of skill and education. Some take more risks than others, but risk is there, nonetheless. Of course, there are many, many other characteristics and traits, and many combinations thereof.
So, really, what is an entrepreneur? What does the term mean? Are there varying degrees of being an entrepreneur – different classes, different levels?
These were some of the questions I have asked over the years in various LinkedIn groups and podcast interviews, and also in impromptu interactions. Below are some of the insights and perspective from a wide cross-section of individuals (entrepreneurs, corporate executives, small business owners, and even a number of restaurant servers, retail clerks, construction workers, and high school & college students).
What is the definition of an entrepreneur?
In a few cases, the definition provided included a specific word ahead of ‘entrepreneur’ almost as if to prequalify the definition. Doing some research, here are actual definitions of the shared terms:
1) Born Entrepreneur: Somebody that from an early age was active in earning money in exchange for products or services. These people never considered becoming an employee.
2) Must-preneur: Somebody who through chance or circumstance sees no other option than to become an entrepreneur. This might be due anything from to age to an utter lack of job opportunities
3) Opportunistic Entrepreneur: Somebody who sees an opportunity to start a business but has a contract to provide services to their current employer. E.g., Head of IT starting his own company to provide services to their previous employer
4) Executive Entrepreneur: Somebody who has reached the top of an executive ladder and views starting their own business as a way to progress further. They usually have a decent amount of money saved up and an extensive business network to tap into.
5) Family Entrepreneur: Start a business in order to spend more time with family. Lifestyle is the main motivator.
6) Mumpreneur: A mother who sees no other way of earning a flexible income whilst raising her family. Usually runs a highly efficient business.”
A couple of definitions seemed to be well thought out apparently having run through their minds before…
“An entrepreneur is a person who will see the embryonic seeds of an opportunity well in advance of others. Others will eventually only see a lost opportunity. An entrepreneur will see risk as an opportunity. Others will see opportunity as a risk. An entrepreneur will look forward to the challenges and hard work that an opportunity will bring. Others will only see an uphill struggle. An entrepreneur will continue to work at that opportunity irrespective of setbacks, make mistakes, pick themselves up and learn from their mistakes. Others will give up the fight when the going gets tough. An entrepreneur will work outside of the normal business framework in order to feel free and unrestricted while others will have a need to build an even stronger framework in order just to feel safe. When the opportunity is finally realized, an entrepreneur will not say ‘I told you so’. An entrepreneur will say to themselves not others, ‘I knew I could do it’. Others will say, ‘I wish I had done that’.”
“I think that we all, at one time or another, have what we believe is a great idea, the difference is that the entrepreneur will seize it, grab the ball and run with it, where most people will look back and say: I woulda, coulda, shoulda; the difference is implementation and execution. When I was a youngster, I used to ride horses a lot and the first lesson you are taught is when you get thrown off of the horse, you immediately get back on, for if you don’t, you will have a fear of doing so for the rest of your life. I would agree with you that being a business owner does not necessarily mean that you are an entrepreneur; most people who buy a franchise are looking for security (avoidance of risk), a structured environment and direction as to what to do and how to do it.”
Personal experience and emotions played into a number of responses. Here are a few that were definitely very heartfelt:
“For me- it was a burning desire to create something that would change the world. Simply owning a business was not my motivating factor.”
“I was tired of being told how to run a business by people that had no clue how to manage people or a business. When you get to that point you just say screw it, I am doing my own thing. You are never alone either. surround yourself with people that are positive and are open to you sharing ideas at a much higher level.”
“For me, it was an opportunity to offer a service that my former employer would not or could not provide. I also got tired off working my butt of to benefit someone else. Owning my own business has given me the opportunity to spend more time with my family and to provide them financially.”
“An entrepreneur is someone who doesn’t like following rules. Someone who wants to eventually make them. For me, I became an entrepreneur because I was sick and tired of working for a bunch of idiots. These goofballs were making way too much money…and I wasn’t. So, I took a risk. Joined my dad’s franchise consulting firm in 2001. Now, I’m a solo entrepreneur. And the King of the Castle. It’s been a fun ride. There are several more roads for me to cruise on. Join me.”
“The more I sold, management would adjust my comp plan to lower my pay. I got burned out on them fundamentally not getting that the more sold the better off everyone would be. So, I became a competitor starting with a folding chair, table and legal pad. Now I have lost my table and chair! Just kidding, I have never looked back.”
There were a few negative and somewhat cynical responses. Two that I remember quite well:
“I thought entrepreneur was French for unemployed. Can’t we just be business owners?” and “I always think of an entrepreneur as someone who can’t find or keep a job and justifies his existence by saying he is an entrepreneur.”
And here are a couple of my own comments from these exchanges…
“I believe the derogatory comments have been increasing because so many individuals lost jobs during economic downturns and then decided, well, I’ll be an entrepreneur. It really doesn’t work that way for true entrepreneurship. For them, it’s about the money. It’s about survival. It’s about replacing a job! That is not entrepreneurship.”
“Entrepreneurship, to me is looking to make a difference. Looking to change the way things are done. Sure, money is great, but money should not be the only result of your actions and success and certainly not the primary force from the beginning. Think about the true entrepreneurs of the world… Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Mark Cuban and of course, there are many more. Quitting school, operating out of garages, pushing to be leading edge with something different, disagreeing with the way industry leaders were doing things, and the list goes on – it wasn’t about the money or even the thought of riches to come. It was about change. It was about making a difference. It was about taking risk when they didn’t even think there was risk involved because they knew they would succeed. It was their conviction to perfection.”
Entrepreneurs do exist at many different levels and there are many within small business today, and the number is growing. As such, I’ll share this academic definition:
An entrepreneur is one that wants to make a difference, doing so by motivating and encouraging change all the while being aware of risk but challenging risk with clear perspective and innovation, never losing sight of their goals and the always driving forward even in the face of setbacks and failure.
Per Merriam-Webster: entrepreneur en· tre· pre· neur | \ ˌän-trə-p(r)ə-ˈnər , -ˈn(y)u̇r, ˌäⁿn- \ Definition of entrepreneur : one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.
Per Investopedia: An entrepreneur is an individual who creates a new business, bearing most of the risks and enjoying most of the rewards. The process of setting up a business is known as entrepreneurship. The entrepreneur is commonly seen as an innovator, a source of new ideas, goods, services, and business/or procedures.
Study.com has an interesting course with an animated video about the definition of an entrepreneur. Take a few minutes to preview HERE.
There is even a 10-minute video for children about what it means to be an entrepreneur. Definitely share this with your children or grandchildren. You can view it HERE.
Let’s keep the discussion alive. It’s too important a topic not to. So, what do you think? What is an entrepreneur? After all, being an entrepreneur is difficult enough without being misunderstood!
With the Great Resignation still in full swing, a lot of people are choosing to take control of their personal and professional future by exploring entrepreneurship.
Of those who realize their entrepreneurial potential many choose owning a franchise as the vehicle to take them from employment to entrepreneurship due to the already proven business model and built-in, ongoing support system, among other benefits.
If becoming a franchisee seems like the right path for you, follow the tips below to find the perfect opportunity.
1. Keep an open mind, then focus. No one wakes up and says, “I want to be in the septic tank industry,” but I know someone making a lot of money and meeting his lifestyle goals doing just that. The bottom line is: Don’t rule out a business without learning or seeing what the day-to-day will look like.
It’s important to find a franchise that allows you to reach your desired income, lifestyle, wealth and equity goals. For instance, think about a mom returning to the work force who knows she wants to interact with children on a daily basis. There are hundreds of options that allow her to do just that. Now, she needs to decide if she would like to be hands on as a teacher or if she would rather manage a facility that tutors children in math. Deciding between the two is easy if she considers which day-to-day position she would prefer and how that will impact her other goals.
2. Be proactive with your research. After you’ve determined what role you want in a franchise, it’s important to start scouting different options. Physically visit many different franchise locations to see if there is a void in the marketplace and start thinking strategically about how you could fill it.
Next, browse the web to see what is available in other areas and determine whether or not it will be a fit in your community. For example, if your neighborhood has many well-run restaurants but none dedicated to ethnic food, it may be time to look for Mexican franchise restaurants within your budget.
3. Make sure the franchisor has experience. Before signing on to a franchise, it is essential to ask the franchisor about the executive team and its past industry experience. A potential franchisee should look for a company that has a corporate store — or better yet several — that have seen success that can be replicated. If this isn’t the case, find out if the company leaders have had significant experience at another franchise and are now applying that knowledge to this concept.
4. Reach out to other franchisees. When asking other franchisees about their experience, it’s important to take the good with the bad and to examine a large sample size before making a statement about the franchise in general. I call this the “dilution factor.” If one franchisee says they can’t turn a profit at their store, make sure it isn’t because they refuse to clean the bathrooms and their customer service is lacking. By talking to a wide array of people you can get the best feel for the franchise as a whole.
5. Read the franchise disclosure document carefully. The first thing to look at is how much a franchise would cost to purchase. If the money is there, then check out “item 19,” which lays out the financial performance representation. Make sure you have a financial advisor who can look at that item with you and see the type of profit a franchisee can make on average.
Finally, take a look at the post-termination clause in the agreement. I am a big believer in exit strategies, because sometimes you may later find a franchise is not the right fit and sometimes things just happen. In any case, it’s important to protect yourself should there be a situation where you want to disembark from the franchise.
Author’s Note: If you’ve been thinking about exploring business ownership and live in and around the Orlando area, then you will not want to miss The Great American Franchise Expo March 26-27 at the Orange County Convention Center and April 9-10 in Miami at Miami Airport Convention Center. Learn about future dates at FranExpoUSA.com.
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