It was an amazing week, hundreds of franchisors competed to get the ticket to present to our team. There were 95 top franchise brands selected for quality, not by lottery. They sent their people, the best in the business on the franchisor side of the fence. They gave stellar presentations updating us on their brands and the segments they operate in.
But with all of the mission critical information we gathered, that was not the most impactful part of the visit for me.
Let’s talk about Maryann for a moment. You will remember her after today, and she may help change your life.
After meeting with almost a hundred franchise brands it was time to head home, so 4 of us jumped in an Uber to get to the airport. After clearing security we decided to grab a bite before hopping on our respective flights. We picked a full service local restaurant that had an outlet there and saw a number of our team and the franchisors had come to the same decision.
We were seated and waited for a long time, finally one of our group got up to ask the hostess to send someone over. Up shuffled Maryann apologizing for not getting there sooner.
Maryann was a very kind older woman, maybe late 60’s or early 70’s. She looked you in the eye. You just knew there was once a young bold and sassy waitress that could run circles around everyone else in the building and crack jokes as she did it.
She took a drink order and promised to be back soon for the food orders. Glances were exchanged at our table.
Returning with the drinks she moved slow, her hands shook a bit, she shuffled along very intensely focused on what she was carrying. Putting the drinks on the table there was some spillage.
But all of that was fine with us, we knew she was doing her best.
As she walked away, David summed it up perfectly: “She is not doing this because she wants to…”
Just like that David handed all of us possibly one of the most meaningful takeaways from the meetings over the past week.
We were here to be reminded of why we do this. We do this to help people find their perfect future, the future they choose, the future they build.
I wonder what would have happened if we could jump back in time. Could we have found her perfect franchise? I like to think we would have taken a real run at it. There are so many stories in franchising of hourly employees finding ways to build empires. Some of the largest franchise ownership groups started just that way.
Here is your takeaway: Maryann is here to serve as your motivation over the fear of making a change.
Her job was relatively good to her and she could perform it well when she was young. Time takes a toll. No matter how we dream of retirement most employees will have to work into their 70’s to pay the bills. They won’t be enjoying retirement, doing the things they dreamed of and relaxing on a beach somewhere.
Most people are working just to cover obligations at that age, living off of their retirement and savings as their costs increase.
For years my Father joked about being the old guy in the blue vest handing out the happy face stickers at the front door of Walmart. He was saved from that by cancer. But he and my Mother never lived a single day in the retirement home they bought on a river in FL.
Maybe that is why I felt for Maryann. But I digress.
Maryann likely gets up early 5+ days per week, commutes to the airport. Walks in from the outlying employee parking areas, clears security to spend her days on her feet. She carries heavy food trays and handfuls of drinks. It is honest work, but not what you want to be doing in your 60’s/70’s.
Where will you be at that age? Will you have built an empire that provides some ongoing income while you are in retirement? Will you have sold a business so you could bank cash for retirement? Will you have handed the business you built down to your kids so they can take care of you with the assets you built?
Or will you be more like Maryann? Working when you don’t want to be?
There are few ways to become secure working for someone else. Go create your security. Own the asset you build.
And, if you stop by a business and see someone that is not working because they want to, you won’t have any trouble finding them. Be kind, be patient, tip well. Let them motivate you to be bold. Maryann would appreciate you remembering her and taking care of them.
George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many of the top franchise ownership groups in the world. With over 25 years of experience in both start-up and mature business franchise operations he is uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of Building their own empires. Whether you have an existing portfolio or searching for your first franchise, he can help you to pursue your dreams. Contact the Franchising USA Expert, George’s Hotline: 703-424-2980.