Once a year I am fortunate to be invited to attend the Leadership Florida conference.  It is an amazing gathering of leaders from across the State of Florida.  As well as reconnecting with a group of amazing people that I feel truly fortunate to be associated with, the event attracts a cadre of amazing speakers.  The topics are wide ranging and always thought provoking.

This year one speaker stood out – Don Yaeger.  A longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated and 11-time New York Times bestselling author, Don has spent his career interviewing top performing athletes including Michael Jordon and legendary coach, John Wooden.  His stories cut to the heart of success.  For over an hour he discussed the anatomy of success.  It was both enjoyable and eye opening.

Some of the topics he discussed parallel Chapter #3 of The Educated Franchisee, but others take it to the next level.  With Don’s permission, I would like to share highlights from his book ‘The 16 Characteristics of True Champions’.

How they Think

  1. It’s Personal – They hate to lose more than they love to win.
  2. Rubbing Elbows – They understand the value of association
  3. Believe – They have faith in a higher power
  4. Contagious Enthusiasm – They are positive thinkers.  They are enthusiastic – and the enthusiasm pays off.

How They Prepare

  1. Hope for the Best, But … – They prepare for all possibilities before they step on the field.
  2. What Off Season? – They are always working toward the next game.  The goal is what’s ahead, and there’s always something ahead.
  3. Visualize Victory – The see victory before the game begins.
  4. Inner Fire – They use adversity as fuel

How they Work

  1. Ice in Their Veins – The are thoughtful risktakers and don’t fear making mistakes.
  2. When All Else Fails – The know how – and when – to adjust their game plan.
  3. The Ultimate Teammate – They will assume whatever role is necessary for the team to win.
  4. Not Just About the Benjamins – The don’t just play for money.

How the Live

  1. Do Unto Others – They know character is defined by how they treat those who cannot help them in return.
  2. When No One Is Watching – They are comfortable in the mirror.  The live their life with integrity.
  3. When Everyone is Watching – They embrace the idea of being a role model.
  4. Records are Made to be Broken – The know their legacy isn’t what they did on the field. They are well rounded.

“Greatness is available to all of us who do common things uncommonly well” Don Yaeger

Zac – Retain Job

With two years of experience as a franchisee, Zac discusses his discovery process and business success while sharing advice with those who are considering franchise ownership. With a background in finance, Zac retained his high level corporate position while building his franchised businesses.  At the time of this recording Zac had just signed leases for his second and third locations.

Moriah and Rob – Career Transition

Moriah was unhappy with corporate America.  She did not know what she wanted to do next, all she knew is that she did not want another job.  During her exploration, she discovered franchising and franchise coaching.  Due to a lack of immediate knowledge and experience, Moriah found great value in both The Educated Franchisee and the Franchise Coaching Service.  Today Moriah is both successful and happy in her new franchised business.

Aimee – Resale

This resale was one of those rare opportunities where everything lined up – under-performing business, reasonable price, great territory, strong franchisor and a great match to Aimee’s skills, goals and objectives.  With a career in project management, Aimee was very systematic in regard to her due diligence and was able to “think fast while thinking slow”.   Aimee’s systematic approach to everything she does has led to a successful takeover and, after one month in business, she is exceptionally busy.  Best Advice – “Take a vacation before starting your business.  You need to be well rested and ready for an intense ride.”

Leida and Shaka – Siblings

Shaka has a background in business and Leida is a medical professional.  Leida and Shaka started off feeling that the process was intrusive.  It was too personal and the questions were too sensitive.  The ‘Aha Moment’ was when they finally began to look at companies.  At this point the pieces began to fall together.  They began to understand the ‘Why’ of the process.  By the end of the process, they knew that they had discovered the right business and managed to move beyond their fear.

Scott – Veteran and 1st Responder

After a career in the U.S. Air Force and Dept. of Defense, Scott was looking to make a change.  Scott decided to take control and create wealth through business ownership.  Scott shares his path of discovery both in as a person and as a business owner.  Well spoken, Scott discusses the fact that the process provided a structured approach leading to an educated decision.  Decision making is always a challenge.  Scott’s advice is to avoid letting fear control your future – “make the jump and your life will be much better”

Victor and Alma – E2 Visa Applicants

Victor and Alma were looking for Fast Food Franchises.  Although it is not required, after several calls they decided to fly across the country in order to meet in person.  We built a vision that included more than simply a business for E2 Visa.  The match also needed to match their skills, ability and life style.  With a background in corporate finance, Victor and Alma were able to secure a business that allowed them to both secure an E2 Visa and achieve their personal goal.  The discussion regarding the E2 Visa process begins at minute 4:54.  Best advice – “Call Rick Bisio, Just call Rick Bisio. Your life will be way easier”

Aaron – Seasoned Entrepreneur

Aaron has an impressive background as a D1 Football player, founder of an educational institution and philanthropist extraordinaire.  Aaron attacks everything he does with exceptional energy, focus and determination.  Aaron has been in business several years, he’s opened 5 locations, founded a charitable giving foundation with the franchisor, and has started a beautiful new family.  Honestly, I am in awe of Aaron.  I predict Aaron will become president of The International Franchise Association.  Along the way he will create amazing businesses and improve many people’s lives.  In this video, Aaron shares his story and some of his thoughts regarding business ownership, franchising and wealth creation.

Shelley – New to Ownership

With a successful career in talent recruiting, Shelley was new to business ownership.  She did not have a parent, sibling or mentor to use as a business ownership role model.  As a result, we began the process learning about what it means to be a business owner.  The first question was, ‘Should Shelley become a business owner?’  After that, Shelley took a deep dive into the due diligence process, turning over each rock carefully and deliberately.  The best advice Shelley has for you – “Do your homework and find a great franchise coach to help you.”

Joe – Retain Job

Joe is a project manager with a young family.  He has a friend who has built a successful multi-unit franchise system.  As a result, Joe understood what it means to build assets that create controllable income streams.  With a young family Joe was focused on finding a franchise business that he could grow into multiple locations while also retaining his job.  Joe is process focused and really dove into the investigation process to make sure he was making the right decision.  Most Surprising Part of the Process – “The beginning..The assessment about me, my skills and my goals… I really appreciated that.”

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