Like many franchise coaches, I'm on the road quite often. And while it's never fun to be living out of a suitcase and spending time away from your family, road trips are an excellent excuse to get out of your comfort zone and connect with new people who can provide you with a fresh and exciting new perspective.
About a month ago I was flying home from a meeting and was fortunate enough sit next to a man named Lindon, an incredibly thoughtful gentleman who challenged me to provide three quick-hitting tips that would help people enjoy business success. Lindon, a professor, public speaker, and author, asked quite a bit about my book, The Educated Franchisee, and then asked me the following question once he realized that my job was to help aspiring entrepreneurs realize their dreams of business ownership through franchising:
"You have just returned from the doctor with bad news regarding your health and tomorrow you have to speak with a large group of future entrepreneurs. It very well may be your last presentation. What are the three most important lessons in business? What are the three things a person has to get right in order to succeed as a franchise owner?"
What a great question. Think about it from your perspective. What would you say if you had 24 hours to live and you had to leave behind three tips - and three tips only - for those aspiring to thrive as a business owner?
At first I started developing a long list of attributes but then I saw the beauty in Lindon's request. Limiting your message to three items is hard and demands choices. A short list of three items is stronger.
So, here's what I shared with my friend Lindon:
- It All Starts with Discipline – Emotional, Financial, Time - It is extremely difficult to control your future as a business owner without understanding how to manage your emotions, your time or your finances.. Having the discipline to spend less money than you make is key, whether you focus on earning more or spending less. Otherwise, you will always be indebted to others and therefore make it nearly impossible to have full authority over your business' future. Maximizing our most precious asset, time, is also essential. And finally, not letting your emotions cloud your decision making can be the difference between success and failure.
- Your Future and Success is YOUR Responsibility - Unless you first believe in yourself, nobody else will believe in you. Your future is ultimately your responsibility. Don't wait for the perfect time or opportunity - create it. When all is said and done, you are in control of your future and the decisions you make for your business. If you are not happy with the way things are going, the power to change it is 100% in your hands. If you choose to do nothing about it, there is no one to blame but yourself. Whatever you decide to do, responsibility for the consequences are yours and yours alone. If you live with this belief system, you will empower yourself to do what is required.
- Imagine You Live In a Glass House - The vast majority of successful business owners will tell you that the foundation of any successful business is one built on integrity, ethics and honesty. Act as if everything you say, all that you do, and each decision you make is out in the open for all to see and hear. Make sure you can be proud of your actions and that you are building a reputation based on honesty and trustworthiness.
Over the last 15 years, I have helped thousands of franchise prospects find the right business ownership opportunity for their personal and professional needs, and I can honestly say I have never seen someone enjoy long-term success without paying close attention to the three pieces of advice above. Those three takeaways don't guarantee success on their own, but all three are certainly key contributing factors to long-term success as a franchise owner.
How would you respond to that question? What are top three things someone needs to know to be a successful franchise owner in your opinion? Please feel free to use the comment field below. I'd love to hear your thoughts!