My Motto: I offer honesty and integrity and never waste valuable time, money or resources. Period.
I think that most of us have a motto or creed by which we live our lives. But we don’t always have the opportunity to clearly state it and write it into words.
For many years, I was the same way. It took a particular experience for me to find the clarity needed to write my personal creed down – and to remember it always.
The Back Story and How It Came To Be
Several years ago, before I began working in digital marketing, I owned a franchise store. Namely, I was a franchisee of Wild Bird Centers Of America.
At first I felt like I was living the dream: I was a local small business owner and the community loved me, my employees and my store. We were very successful and had a great relationship with the franchisor. That relationship lasted a long time – nine years.
One day everything changed. The franchisor decided to change vendors. We were forced to use a vendor from which our main staple products would cost much much more, and for which we would not be able to charge more. The market would not bear it. That means our margins would be much less as well. We would not be able to survive.
There was upheaval across the entire franchise group. Many decided to close their doors, a few deals were made, and still others decided to “grin and bear it”.
For the uninitiated, know that franchise agreements are written with the franchisor in mind, NOT the franchisee.
I wanted to break away from the franchise, but they would not accept any kind of buyout. I refused to accept changes that were unfair to me and my business. Eventually the franchisor decided to sue me, even though I had never missed a payment to them and never said any unfair remarks.
Sadly, I decided I could not fight them, so I closed my store. Solely because of the decision made by Wild Bird Centers America, it was a loss all around:
- A loss for the community – our store was unique and offered something that no one else did
- A loss for me and my employees – we were doing something that we loved to do
- A loss for the franchisor – cutting off their own foot
Wild Bird Centers of America did not offer honesty nor integrity. And, in the end, wasted time, money and other resources.
My motto came out of my sour experience as a franchise owner.
By The Way, As a Franchise Owner, You Are Not An Owner
After my experience, I found that many franchise groups have similar pains – and some are worse.
Here’s the naked truth – something you don’t think of when you are being wooed by a hungry franchisor:
When you purchase a franchise, you are called an owner, but you are not one. The person who owns the franchise group is the owner.
PS You are not even an employee.
PSS You are the sucker who has put down good money to share someone else’s dream, but you are the last one to make any money.
- Your franchise fees have to be paid first
- Franchise marketing expenses (or other expenses) have to be paid first, even if they are not doing any marketing
- Your employees have to be paid first
- Your rent has to be paid first
- Your utility bills have to be paid first
- Your vendors have to be paid first
- If you are interested in community outreach, that comes first
You are dead last. It’s harder than you think to make money as a franchisee.
And you don’t own your business – not really.
- The franchisor makes the rules
- The franchisor has the right to change the game
- The franchisor can grant as many other franchise licenses as they like – and make money from all of them without much extra effort and,
- The franchisor has the right to leverage multiple store opportunities (you can only open multiple stores if they allow you too – and you pay for those rights too)
A Paradigm Shift
Network marketing – and affiliate marketing – is different. The most important variable is “leverage”.
Leverage gives opportunities. Leverage means I can build as big as I like, and do it using my methods. Teaching and helping others. I gain leverage from my relationships with others who work together with me.
As a network marketer I still rely on companies that have been created and developed by other professionals. There are literally thousands of networking companies out there.
I have selected a few. For me, it is important that they offer content or funnel marketing programs that all types of entrepreneurs can use to grow and be successful, whatever their passion or interests.
How is it different – where is the shift?
As a network marketer:
1. I have the right to leverage multiple opportunities by introducing others to the company. I help those other individuals so that they, too, can leverage the opportunity.
2. The number of opportunities that I am allowed to create is endless. Everyone is invited – we just have to determine if it is a good fit for you.
3. The more people I invite who stay, the greater my income (and theirs) as I leverage the power of having that person on my team.
4. Through training, that person’s ability to get a team going of their own will be increased greatly, again, leveraging the power of teamwork.
5. It is my job – through honesty and integrity – to help you decide if it is a good fit by training, educating and coaching.
6. There is always an option – go for it or don’t. It is not my decision. It is yours. BUT if you decide to go with it, I will work like hell – if you are willing to do the same – to create your success – with honesty and integrity.
I decided long ago that giving of myself to others is how I like to live my life. I firmly believe the saying, “what you give comes back to you a thousand fold”.
I will never again live my life working with anyone who does not also believe in honesty and integrity.
I will seek to work with those who are also not interested in wasting valuable time and money.
Life is just too darn short.
The Bottom Line
Giving is getting.
Sharing is Caring.
Giving your knowledge and wisdom does not detract from your worth – it adds to it and builds trust.
Hello there, Marsha! Oh wow, sorry you had to go through all that experience. Personally, I don’t have much experience working as a franchisee. It’s really crazy how despite all the work and all the good relationships you established, and everything you did for that franchisor, they were not appreciative of all you did. I am sure they lost a lot more than they had anticipated and it serves them right! One thing I admire is that despite such a terrible experience, you still found strength and encouragement to keep moving forward and here you are today as a successful affiliate marketer who continues to help others! Thanks for all you do!
Thanks for your kind words, Mike!
This post made me chuckle a bit, I understand that owning a franchise is not even as dainty as I thought it would be. I empathize with you on your experience but now you have seen the ‘light’…lol… but I applaud you for sharing this so that people like me can learn from it. thank you again and keep moving.
Thanks, Chika. It’s not that easy to share about the unsavory things that happen in life. Hopefully, everyone can, in fact, learn a little something from my experience.
I’m so glad that you put out the reality of becoming a franchisee. It is a lot of work and you are building someone else’s dream. I can’t believe some of the insane fees that are charged to become a franchisee sometimes. I think McDonald’s charges over 100K. That is before even opening the store. There are some advantages to franchises. You do start out with name recognition. But it is always a struggle to make money as a franchisee.
Hi there, Marsha! That is really unfortunate with your previous job experience as a franchise owner. It just seems like there are so many things going against you. I am glad that you were able to find something even better though! You provided some really great benefits when it comes to taking part in network marketing. This encourages to keep on going in this new business world and I have been learning a lot from your posts. I wish you much continued success!