Occupation: Franchise Consultant and Owner of FranNet of Atlanta
Favorite Productivity Tool: Boomerang for Google Suite
Most Recommended App: Lyft
Last Thing You Read: Atlanta Business Chronicle
Tell us about your journey? My 21-year career in franchising has been a fantastic adventure and the credit goes to my father for paving the way! Investing in a franchise opportunity was how he transitioned his career and our family’s livelihood from being an employee to being an entrepreneur. For over thirty years, our family has been involved with several franchise brands in tutoring, photofinishing, and business services. I worked in some of these businesses as a student and became a managing partner of a Mail Boxes Etc. franchise shortly after graduation from Vanderbilt University. With the support of my Dad and a strong franchisor behind me, I was successful and quickly developed solid business skills in marketing, sales, customer service, small business financials and employee leadership. In 1999, I pivoted and found my true home as a FranNet franchise owner and consultant. FranNet is the North American leader in franchise consulting with over 50 franchise offices and 30 years of helping thousands of individuals and families successfully chose a franchise that meets their needs and goals.
What's your favorite part of your day? First thing in the morning - it’s a new day and a new adventure!
When do you feel most successful? When I see my clients being acknowledged in the media for their success as franchise business owners and community contributors. I know I’ve played a part in creating entrepreneurial success stories and jobs for their employees.
What do you do to recharge when you’re feeling drained? If I am feeling stretched too thin it means I have let something slip in nutrition, sleep, mediation and/or exercise. Rectifying those breaches usually gets me back to center quickly.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur? As I mentioned, my first franchise was a Mail Boxes Etc., which I took over in the spring of 1996. Supported by a strong parent franchisor and fellow franchisees, I began to build my business, form relationships with repeat customers and increase revenue. I was my own boss and growing, but I never accounted for the impact the business would have on my lifestyle. When the holiday season rolled around, I knew I would be busy, but I wasn't prepared to work beyond exhaustion, spending evenings and weekends in a much different way than ever before. I loved my business and my MBE family, but I began to almost dread the holidays, which is my favorite time of year. In time, I also realized that the business might not be the best fit for my skills. I liked to be out and about during the workday and this model called for a behind the counter management style. I was aware of the sacrifices I was going to have to make, but had I really thought about it, I may have made a different decision. It wasn't until after I had sold my MBE business that I was introduced to the concept of franchise consulting. I was immediately attracted to what FranNet does because it's a process I wish I had gone through. How much more successful would I have been if I had worked with a franchise consultant to walk me through all the questions I needed to be asking, mostly of myself?
How do you optimize your day? I learned early on to hire the best help possible to help optimize my productivity. Delegating minor tasks like calendaring, event planning and other administrative tasks frees up my daily schedule to do what I do best, which is focus on my clients needs.
Who is the person/people who allowed you to imagine more? I definitely have my Dad to thank for giving me the gift of an entrepreneurial spirit. He insisted that I work and that I take jobs that would teach me a skill that would benefit me later. I knew something about sales, customer service, daily reports, working in a team, and managing others upon college graduation. I did not know it at the time, but all that prepared me to take on running a franchise on my own at 22 years old. Dad has never been bashful about telling me directly and many others how proud he is of me. At times, working for yourself will test your confidence and those words of belief and pride mean a lot, especially from a primary model in my life.
What does imagining more mean to you and your story? To me, imagining more means first letting go of the fears that may be holding you back. We all fear change, but if we are to imagine more, we must embrace it. In my franchising seminars, I share stories of successful franchise owners who pushed passed the temporary pain and of those who turned back to the path of least (short term) discomfort. The difference in the two comes down to this: You will only make the change if you are convinced that NOT making the change will lead to greater pain. Whether in business for yourself or for someone else, most would agree that what we focus on tends to grow. If we choose to focus on all the benefits we will gain from making the changes instead of the pain, the discomfort and fear we rightfully feel will diminish and we can be free to imagine more.
If you could do more of one thing every day what would it be? Eat chocolate!