Richard Branson said,
“success cannot be measured in wealth, fame or power, but by whether you have made a positive difference for others”
I think this is an epic quote but the true importance is often lost! We’ve all heard about business leaders who are incredibly successful, but they end up wishing they’d spent more time with their children or building relationships. I was intrigued at a recent meeting where a room full of 70 business leaders were asked what their reason for being in business was. The individual speaking to the group made an offhand comment that ‘all reasons for people being in business boil down to money or fame’ which caused them to be berated by the disagreeing crowd. What’s your reason for being in business?
Understandably, every business needs finances to survive, but amongst that group of business leaders, almost every leader was in business for a different reason. For some, it was proving something to themselves, for others it was to fix a societal problem, but rarely did anyone consider financial reward or fame the main reason.
For me, it’s about inspiring individuals to grow and develop. When I’m on my deathbed, I know I’m not going to be wishing I’d made another £100,000, I’m going to be looking at the relationships I’ve built and the lives I’ve improved. You’ll have your own thoughts on this, but I’m going to hazard a guess that it’s people related. As Simon Sinek points out in Start With Why, this thought process is extremely significant as it changes the way you make decisions in your business.
In Inspiring Millennials in Franchising: Part 1, we discussed the importance of mentoring to the Millennial generation (those born between 1981 and 2001). I’m shocked at how few franchisors truly mentor their franchisees.
I recently spoke to a 25-year-old franchisee who had bought a child activities franchise from an established and reputable franchise brand. I asked her about the biggest challenges she faced and she explained that every single part of the business was a challenge, she already had industry experience, but no knowledge of sales and marketing, no knowledge of finances and no knowledge of managing people. As an incredibly driven individual, she was able to grow the turnover of the franchise she purchased by 25%, but she believes she could have grown it by significantly more if she hadn’t spent ‘hours trying to figure out what to do’.
My next question was, how much support did you get, to which she replied, “we are left to get on with it”. Let me be clear, she did receive support up front initially by way of initial training and systems, but she never received true mentoring. The Collins Dictionary defines this process as: “To mentor someone means to give them help and advice over a period of time”. Sometimes Millennials know what this looks like and can seek out the help required, but often, this is an unknown and requires a more proactive approach from a mentor to help prepare for and guide the individual through challenges.
As a millennial myself, I can speak first hand about a significant number of mentors I’ve had who have helped me achieve my goals. Some just provided a brief chat over coffee one time, while others spent two hours every week for nearly six months with me. At both ends of the scale, these had a profound impact on my life, but I can boil it down to one key element; they all gave me time.
I believe that in our hectic, super automated, driven lives, we often forget that taking the time to support people can have so much impact on their future.
Every business moulds and changes over time and Stryde is no exception, our focus has gradually driven us more and more to look for ways to help individuals and mentor them. It’s what lead us into focussing our whole business on the franchising sector, the incredible opportunity to change lives.
What is your underlying ‘why’ or reason for business and how is it shaping your decisions?
This article is part 2 of a series of articles delving into the mindset of millennials and how to gear your franchise up to be successful within the millennial generation. It is written by Kieran James, 28-year-old business leader of Stryde, husband, soon to be father of two and passionate developer of people.
If you’d like to find out more about how we’re supporting franchisee mentorship, please call 0330 043 4589 or email firstname.lastname@example.org