Adventurous Pair Abandons Day Jobs; Finds Gratification In Restaurant Franchise

I recently spoke to Carl and Betsy, operating partners at Culver’s of Iron Mountain, Michigan. Carl and Betsy tested the waters of the restaurant business, and then took advantage of a franchise program to get their new business started quickly and successfully. They are proof that taking action with help leads to faster results than struggling alone.

 

Tell us a little bit about yourselves and what you were doing before Culver’s.

 

C  “Before we started on the Culver’s adventure, Betsy and I were both working in the Denver, Colorado, area. Her parents had been in this business for quite some time and they talked to us about a possible new restaurant in Houghton, Michigan. We’re like, ‘Where the heck is that?’ Betsy worked for Kroger doing graphic art and I was a professional motorcycle technician at a dealership. I twisted wrenches all day and she played on computers all day, and we’re like, ‘Yeah, let’s try something different.’ Houghton was definitely different.”

 

B  “My parents own a Culver’s in Marquette and they have a Culver’s in Escanaba. They wanted to open another one but they didn’t want to do it without somebody else from our family helping them. We kind of approached them at the same time they approached us and they asked, ‘Do you want to do this?’ And we decided, ‘Sure, let’s quit our jobs and move back to the midwest.’”

 

C  “It was a huge lifestyle change for both of us but it was worth it. Houghton was crazy. I’d never seen that much snow in my life.”

 

Before you opened the restaurant in Houghton, had you thought about business before? Did you ever think you wanted to own your own business?

 

B  “I think everybody at some point wants to work for themselves. To not have a boss.”

 

C  “I could never go back to working for somebody else ever again, I don’t think. I like what we do too much.”

 

B  “The opportunity was presented to us and we decided to jump on it to see how we could make that work. To see if we could be successful running a restaurant.”

 

C  “Yeah, and it wasn’t like ‘You have to do this for the rest of your life and you’re nailed down to Houghton.’ We agreed to a 5-year plan to see where it goes. We could see where it was going and we liked where it was going, and then they gave us the opportunity to branch out on our own here.”

 

B  “We became franchisees last summer. We had to go through a training program that Culver’s puts on. We graduated last July and started building the Culver’s in Iron Mountain, Michigan, in September of last year. It all happened really fast.”

 

What was the best thing about the transition from working at your day jobs to this?

 

C  “Not really having to answer to a direct supervisor who is over your shoulder all the time. That was nice for me. The people I worked for in Colorado were great and I was friends with them, but there were times I just wanted them to go away.”

 

B  “I think from my perspective it’s a lot harder work, but we put so much into it. It’s more gratifying.”

 

C  “I’ve never worked this hard in my life at any job, and I’ve done everything from construction to mechanic and other service industry jobs. This is by far the toughest, but I wouldn’t change anything.”

 

B  “Physically and mentally, this is a tough job because we’re in here every day on the front lines, directing the crew and helping our guests. We want to be here for our guests, and it’s definitely the hardest we’ve worked, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.”

 

What I find interesting about you as a franchise owner is that you’re in the thick of it. I don’t know about Culver’s, but I’ve noticed that for most establishments in this industry, the franchise owner is more like the investor. You guys are different. Is that because of Culver’s or because of you or is it just a model you’ve adopted?

 

B  “It’s kind of a little bit of everything. We see how other businesses run and we see that they don’t run well with their leaders on the front lines helping guests directly but we would be considered operating partners in this Culver’s. My parents are partners with us.”

 

C  “There are a couple of different shareholders who helped us with the costs of getting this thing going and of course they have interests in our day-to-day operations. But they need people who know what they are doing to be in here running it. It’s required of us to be present.”

 

B  “We want to make sure that our team is trained to do things the way we want them to do things and we do that by being here and leading by example and putting in the work on this end.”

 

C  “You can tell that your team members appreciate (our involvement). We’ve had lots of team members since we opened here say, ‘I’ve never gotten to work directly with the owner of the business’ so it strikes some as unusual, but we find that it works pretty well.”

 

So you’re hustling in Houghton and you’re putting in the grunt work. Was starting the store here always in the back of your mind or did it come along as you were working at the business?

 

C  “It kinda came along. I think in our minds we wanted to be owners but we weren’t sure if it was gonna happen or where it was gonna happen. We started to see the restaurant get better and better and be more successful, and we kinda figured out along the way that, ‘Yeah, we could do this on our own.’ We just needed to save money which was the main concern to get a franchise started.”

 

To give people a frame of reference if they don’t know what a franchise is, you pay a fee to get into the business model and it’s like you’re given a system to run. You get to run it and, in turn, you get part of the profit. Every franchise is different. There are tradeoffs. The less money you put in, the less profit you make. Would you mind sharing Culver’s requirements?

 

B  “Our fee is 6% of sales. The initial investment is around $50,000. Once we started getting into Culver’s franchise, we started to realize that if we were going to work for any franchise, Culver’s was probably going to be the best one.”

 

C  “They have a really good layout. If you follow this manual and follow all the directions, you get this.”

 

What I find with franchises is that some franchises do an awful job and some do a great job. Sometimes those manuals that they give their owners are idealistic. Sometimes they are a little bit blown out of proportion in order to get people into the model, almost like network marketing. Since you’ve been in it for 5 years, have you found that model to be true based upon what they instructed you to do?

 

C  “With Culver’s very much so. They are realistic. They make changes to their operations consistently. It’s not a physical book, either. The franchise has very strict standards about everything in the restaurant and to help follow up on that, it’s broken into districts so we answer to a district manager. Our district manager is great because she’s very strict. When we first met her and she first came in, it was a little rough. I thought, ‘This lady is tough and she’s beating me up about everything,’ but it was for a good reason. When we first opened the Houghton restaurant, I didn’t like where we were ranking regionally or even nationally. We were in the bottom of the barrel that first half year that we were open. In working with our regional franchise business consultant, we raised our standard from the 500th ranked Culver’s to the top 20 within a year. Our consultant had a lot to do with it because she was strict about the protocol and rules. And our parents and our parents’ partners were kind of the same way too. They wouldn’t settle.”

 

B  “We kinda decided if we were going to do something we were going to be the best at doing it.

 

C  “Why do you enter a race to get second place?”

 

What was your biggest fear about doing this? What were you really concerned about?

 

B  “I think, ‘Are people going to like us?’ That’s what everybody wants. We want people to love our food and we want to be profitable.”

 

C  “I had a fear of not liking the town we were gonna move to. I looked up Houghton online and it had the most snowfall on the whole planet. You get there and you’re trying to be positive and you end up liking it for one reason or another. And even starting the restaurant here in Iron Mountain, that was still a concern of mine. You know, you weigh the pros and cons of the area. Am I going to end up liking the place or am I going to hate it? So far so good.”

 

B  “I wanted the community to love us because I like this community and there are so many good things about it. And I worry about letting the community know that this is their Culver’s. We want it to be theirs.”

 

C  “A lot of people have this idea that you’re some big corporation moving into town; that you’re not privately owned and operated. They all think you’re part of this big giant system that’s coming to take dollars from the little guy across the street. We’re not here to put them out of business. We’re just another choice when it comes to what people what to eat.”

 

Talk to me about the light at end of tunnel that you talked about. What do you mean by that?

 

B  “We’re always striving toward something else and there has to be something that you’re building toward. There has to be another 5-year plan after you reach year 4-and-a-half of your first 5-year plan. So we have to put something into play. Right now, we didn’t come up with a new plan. We came up with a 3-year plan to build sales in this restaurant. You’ can’t really look too far beyond that. Now we know how the 5 years is going to go because we’ve already done it.”

 

C  “I don’t think it’s beneficial to look too far down the road. I kind of like Bill Belichick’s mentality to take it one game at a time. It’s the same thing here. I can’t worry too much about what’s gonna go on next month. I see it, but I’m more concerned with what’s gonna happen tomorrow at 10:30 when I open the doors. I think if we stick to that plan, we’ll gain some fans in this community and it will pay off for us immensely.”

 

C  “The light at the end of the tunnel is that we’re profitable and successful enough to put money away into our own personal savings account so we can either start up another Culver’s in the future or retire. Whatever. That’s the light at the end of the tunnel.”

 

Do you want to start another Culver’s?

 

C  “It’s too early to tell.”

 

B  “We haven’t even been open a year, and that’s the hardest year. It just eats you up.”

 

C  “The first few months leading up to opening and the months after you open it’s like you’re in a fistfight every day. It’s rough mentally and physically. It wears you out. We’re just trying to get to a place where the place doesn’t necessarily run itself, but we can concentrate our efforts to grow sales.”

 

You said that in the first year it’s really difficult. A lot of entrepreneurs can usually tough it out through burnout. You’re laughing, but how have you been able to deal with that stress and been able to cope?

 

B  “We take our days off. We’re here when we need to be but we don’t work 7 days a week. We usually leave town. We do something that forces you to relax. Being on a plane forces you to relax because you can’t do business while you’re on a plane. We typically take Sundays off because that also forces you into some downtime because nobody does business on Sunday so you don’t have to answer emails or phone calls so Sunday is a really good day. That helps.”

 

What would you say is the most stressful aspect of ownership? What gets your goat?

 

C  “The most stressful part is the people that work for you. The employees. The guests are typically pretty darn easy. I don’t want to sound like I’m on a soapbox here, but the employees are definitely the most stressful and most difficult part of owning and operating this kind of business.”

 

B  “But I think many other kinds of businesses feel the same way about that.”

 

C  “Yeah, it’s not just us. We go to marketing meetings and we talk to other owners of Culver’s and it’s the same everywhere. The unemployment rate in this county is 3 percent so if you want a job you’ve got a job. The kids that work for us, the majority of them are great. We did a grand opening and we hired 80 people and just kind of winged it. The managers we had been training for a couple of months did most of the interviews and I think there were some lessons learned on both sides of the managerial table.”

 

For those that are interested in getting a job, what are the top things you’re looking for in people?

 

B  “We’re looking for people with a good work ethic. They are few and far between these days. But there are young people who still have it. There are some people in Houghton in their 20s that have a really good work ethic. Simple things like being on time. It’s the basics of having a job. We’re trying to teach the kids the basics.”

 

C  “Nobody is telling them. The school and their parents, they aren’t letting them know that you’ve made a commitment to that job. You asked for the job and they gave you a job and now you have a responsibility. I think sometimes that might have gone in one ear and out the other or was never told to the younger generation. It was kind of surprising and I guess I had kind of forgotten about it. When we initially opened, we were having our training week, and the pure amount of BS you get from new hires, we were like, ‘Really?’”

 

B  “There was lots of crying. They were very emotional. We have to change ourselves. We adapt.”

 

Did you learn to fire quickly?

 

C   “We didn’t really have to, not in this community. They kinda weed themselves out. Like, ‘This isn’t for me.’”

 

B  “If you tell them this is what you need to do to have a job here, then they just don’t come back. They don’t like that.”

 

C  “These are the requirements. You’re gonna hear me keep saying the same thing over and over again until you get it. If you’re not getting it, well then, ‘Have a nice day.’ I don’t think I’ve actually fired too many since we opened the store here. One maybe?”

 

Out of 80 people, that’s really good. That means your batting average is really high.

 

C  “A lot of them just figured it out on their own. Some of them were nice about it and gave us a heads up. Others, you just ask, ‘Where’s so and so? They’re supposed to be here and they’re not. Uh oh. Guess they don’t want a job.’”

 

B  “On the flip side, we want to be the employer of choice.”

 

C  “We want people to have fun when they come to work; to enjoy this job. It’s not bad. I mean it’s heated and air-conditioned. It’s minimum wage, but I think minimum wage is pretty good in Michigan.”

 

It’s hard to attract the right people when it’s the lowest pay.

 

C  “It’s a good starting place even at minimum wage because there is a progression to allow you to move up from crew trainer to shift leader to manager to general manager to eventually own your own Culver’s. Culver’s shows you exactly the progression.”

 

B  “You can start as a team member and ultimately end up owning your own Culver’s.”

 

C  “We’ve already done a bunch of promoting from within since we’ve opened, too. Not everybody is just a team member here. We have a couple of shift leaders in training and with that comes more responsibility and more money. It’s not a bad gig.”

 

What has been the most rewarding aspect? You guys wouldn’t be hustling your butts off if it wasn’t somewhat rewarding. What makes it worth hustling?

 

B  “We can use Houghton as an example. We really did a lot to build that restaurant and we put some really good people in charge of that restaurant and trained them from 15 years old.”

 

C  “The general manager of the Houghton store started out as a team member and now she’s in charge of that ship. She sails that thing on a daily basis.”

 

B  “She does a good job and that’s the most rewarding part; seeing someone retain what you taught them.”

 

C  “And of course there’s also the sales in that store. It went like this when you opened the doors and then it went crashing down and then it slowly builds back up.”

 

I remember when you guys built this place there were cars backed up to the highway. I was like “Holy Cow, what’s in their ice cream? What are they actually selling?”

 

C  “It was the same way here, too. We had liftoff. Our grand opening was huge. Then it drops way off like it’s dropping off a ledge and now we’re slowly trying to build it back up the same way we did in Houghton, with the training of our team members.”

B  “By getting better at what we do every day.”

 

*******************************

 

Marketing is the key thing to getting people in your door. What is an effective use of time when it comes to marketing? How do you convince them to come to Culver’s?

 

B  “We do a lot of sponsoring.”

 

C  “We do advertising on paper and radio. There’s an advertising budget for our region. You’ll see a lot of Culver’s ads between 4-6 p.m. There’s a local store marketing plan for every restaurant. We just have to figure out what works best in this community. Right now we’re doing what we know: coupons in newspaper and ads on radio.”

 

B  “We have e-club and text club.”

 

For the millennials?

 

B  “Yeah.”

 

I was going to say I don’t have radio. I don’t have TV. I don’t know if I’ve seen anything from you guys.

 

C  “And you probably don’t read the newspaper because nobody reads the newspaper.”

 

B  “So we’re not reaching you if you don’t have radio or TV and you aren’t part of our e-club or our text club.”

 

C  “Culver’s is also working on ways to advertise on certain websites online so the ads pop up.”

 

What are the benefits of the e-club or text club?

 

B  “If you sign up for either at Culvers.com, you can pick your nearest Culver’s. It’s not just for this one. You get a free value basket just for signing up.

 

I like free food.

 

B  “And then on your birthday you get a free sundae.”

 

And what if you have a daughter who is under 18 whose birthday is in two days? Set up an email and sign her up?

 

B  “You can actually sign up as a family, up to a certain number of members. You get the benefits of flavor lists so you can see when your favorite list will be out.”

 

C  “The Culver’s app is pretty nice too. If you’re incredibly in love with buttered pecan, as you are driving around, it will notify you about what restaurants are featuring that flavor of the day.”

 

B  “With our e-club and text club, we send alerts regarding things that are happening. We have a sundae of the month and different things going on. We’re having National Cheese Curd Day on October 15. We’re doing free cheese curd upgrades in value baskets. So keep coming back for all of that good stuff.”

 

C  “Culver’s developed their own holiday a couple of years ago. We’re actually gonna turn it into a whole weekend of celebrating cheese curds.”

 

Do you have more than one flavor of cheese curds?

 

B  “Nope. All cheddar. White cheddar and yellow cheddar mixed together in the bag.”

 

C  “We’re doing our first benefit coming up soon, too.”

 

B  “We do this program called Culver’s Cares and we donate 10 percent of sales between 4 and 8 to a charity or church or somebody trying to raise money for a cause. The Kingsford Crush Roller Derby Team approached us last month and I was talking to the girls and we decided to put together a benefit so that benefit will be on Tuesday, October 17th.”

 

C  “We’ll have some members of the club in here helping to deliver food.”

 

I didn’t even know we had a roller derby club. Where do they practice?

C  “I didn’t either. Maybe we’ll find out on the 17th.”

B  “We’re going to help them raise money.”

C  “And maybe a little awareness about what they do.”

Running a Coaching Business – March Review

Finished is better than perfect.

Attempting to write about business while building a business is difficult. Often, building the business takes priority over this blog. However, there is power from reflection.

Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.
– Peter Drucker

MARCH REVIEW

Current Clients: 5

No growth there, despite my goal to provide 4 complimentary coaching sessions this month. About 2 weeks into March, I had two people say “yes” to my coaching, however both backed out right before signing the coaching agreement. One said no due to emergent family issues (the coachee had to cover family care while her spouse had to work more), the other client received an offer to his dream job!

Side Hustle Fast Track For Pharmacists

My goal was 10 students, and we ended with 12 total. The first and second modules are completed, and our course produced our first success story!

A few more students found success within the weeks following. More on that later.

Complimentary Coaching : 5

My goal was four this month, but I was able to provide 5 sessions this month. The more the better.

Gain 2 clients: Failed

APRIL GOALS

Launch Side Hustle Fast Track For Pharmacists

I launched a beta group for this course last month and over-achieved my goal of 10 students and received 12.

This month I will host the course on Teachable and hope to promote a webinar

Provide 1 Complimentary Coaching Session per week

Growing a Coaching Business – February 2017 Review

Two months of 2017 are finished! Time flies whether you’re amazingly productive or surprisingly unproductive.

January was a month of setting up 2017 for success. And February was a month of introspection. Sadly, I found myself lacking. I made this comment to my mastermind group: “I should be farther along than where I am today.”

My mastermind group agreed.

The main reason I haven’t progressed as a side hustle entrepreneur is my lack of commitment to ONE thing for an extended period. Over the last nearly 5 years of entrepreneurship (on the side), I switched my focused about every 8 months on average.

Significant Accomplishment: Choosing a niche

Momentum is created only after diligent action.

That’s why I committed my next 18 months to ONE project: Project White Coat Freedom (unspecific tentative title).

My goal is to help pharmacists create inspiring lives and careers. I will accomplish this goal by speaking, writing, coaching, and creating courses.

I will share more developments below and over time.

Current Clients: 5

I gained a new client and finished two contracts in February.

My process to grow my coaching practice is simple: coach, coach, and coach.

I aim to coach one person per week (who isn’t a client) and provide them with an excellent experience. Whether or not they choose me as their coach isn’t my decision. I know that many will say no to my service, but I eventually find the right client who is ready to rock.

Mastermind: Wake up and Hustle

This continues to be a value-add service for my coaching clients. I added 2 people into the group who are not my coaching clients. Why, you may ask?

Building a business on the side isn’t about making money fast. The most important step you can make in growing your business is growing relationships. I don’t grow relationships because I want money. I offered value to these 2 people who joined my mastermind because I know it will help them and they will help me in the future.

Side Hustle Course for Pharmacists

Five students signed up for $50. My goal is max of ten students.

I made the price so low because I want people to sign up fast. Make it a “hell yea” as it were. I’m after people who want quick wins because I’ll use their testimonies for the next round of sales.

Action Journal + Feedback

Initial feedback is coming in from Action Journal users. The feedback I’ve received thus far is: we need a weekly page to guide us throughout the week.

Podcast Cruise

Loads of fun. Jared Easley and Dan Franks did a great job hosting this small and intimate experience. A cruise conference is my favorite type of conference thus far.

Add 2 Testimonials – finished

You can see Karan and Daniel’s testimonials.

Invest “more” with lending Club

I signed up for $100/month deposit a few weeks ago. Time to get serious this year with investing. You can see my portfolio performance over 2016 here.

MARCH GOALS

Coach 4 people “for free”

This is a simple coaching process to grow my business. I know that about 50% of the people I coach will say “yes” to my coaching program (based on my track record). However, I don’t coach simply to make money.

I coach because I love coaching. I love helping people get closer to their goals

Gain 2 Client

Coaching 4 people should yield 2 clients based on my performance.

I love having a full practice. A full practice means cash flow and I’m more productive.

Launch the “Side Hustle Fast Track for Pharmacists” Course

I love teaching, and I love creating courses. This time (after creating 5 courses online), I’m doing things right. I presented at 2 webinars and closed 6 spots for the beta course. My goal is 10 people.

Launch new pharmacy website

I committed the next 18 months to helping pharmacist love their work (outside or inside the profession). I thought about using this website to host this, however I decided to go for a new website to build brand and authority quickly (also for SEO purposes).

Create funnel for Pharmacy Career Course at RXVIP

I joined as a partner with RXVIP. You probably never heard of this company. What they aim to do is to revolutionize the way pharmacy is practiced in your doctor’s office. Yes, a pharmacist will be your home clinic.

Our first initiative is to create courses on how any pharmacist can do this.

Would You Say Your Child’s Dreams aren’t Worth It?

Imagine for a moment that you are a parent. If you’re already a parent, imagine you have this conversation with your child.

Child: Hi Mom/Dad!

You: What’s up?

Child: Could I have $100?

You: That depends. What for?

Child: An art class

You: I didn’t know you were interested in art.

Child: Yea, I think it’ll be a lot of fun. Plus, I love drawing. You know I spend more time drawing in class than taking notes. I could even try to sell what I create and save up for a car, because you won’t buy me one.

You: Har, Har. Very funny. Well, you could take that class, or you could spend more time watching TV, hanging out with friends, or getting a “real” job. That’s what you’re supposed to do. Heck, you might as well not learn how to draw. You’ll never make money from doing that. Others have tried to do that and failed miserably.

Child: But you don’t know that.

You: Trust me, I know. I’ve been around longer than you. That kind of stuff doesn’t make anyone money. I don’t want to waste money on something that won’t be worth it. If you want to go to the class, you can figure out how to raise the money yourself.

Sounds like a silly story, right? Well, after interacting with hundreds of professionals (especially pharmacists), I discovered the majority of people convince themselves that their dreams aren’t worth investing in.

They tell themselves things like,

  • “This idea will never work out.”
  • “I don’t know how to start.” – and they rather would remain stuck than spend money on a course or product that could help them move forward
  • “Why would I waste money in a course/class/mentor?”
  • “I don’t know if it’ll work out, so there’s no use trying.” – and never learn anything
  • “I want a guarantee that this class will make a return on my investment.” – no one can guarantee anything. You can guarantee that if you take action, you’ll move the ball forward

If you wouldn’t say “screw your dreams” to your child, then why do you tell yourself that your dreams aren’t worth investing in?

If your dream is

  • to start a new career path,
  • launch a new business idea,
  • sell your art,
  • write a book,

wWhy wouldn’t you invest money for the potential return?

Is your dream so cheap to you that you’d rather buy a new TV than create a better future for yourself?

Imagine if JK Rowling spent her cash on a better home, rather than invest in an editor before Harry Potter was published.

Imagine if Warren Buffet spent his first dollars on a new comic rather than a new book on investing.

Imagine if Steve Jobs bought a new car rather than his first computer parts that later built his first computer.

Each had a dream that was worth spending thousands of dollars, and their investments paid off over time.

Would you deny investing in your child’s dream? If not, then why wouldn’t you invest in yourself?

Is Hiring a Coach Worth the Cost?

Does hiring a business coach waste money?

I remember when I first heard the term “Life Coach.” Immediately, I judged it as a job taken by a college drop out.

One of my favorite shows Parks and Recreation has a few skits poking fun at the idea of life coaching.

Over the last 4 years of my entrepreneur journey, I hired 5 coaches.

I hired each of them to help me with aspects of my side business. But I found our discussions often turned to answering questions about my life like,

  • Why do I procrastinate?
  • Why can’t I finish projects on time?
  • Why do I struggle with following through with my word?
  • Why do I chase distractions?

While I received valuable advice about business from each coach, I am more excited about the changes within myself. One of my clients had a similar experience, “You’d think the extra money would be the thing most people would be thrilled about, but I’m more excited about the positive mental changes. I faced my own negativity for years. I would tell myself things like, ‘No one will buy from you,’ or ‘You don’t have enough credibility.’ With Alex’s coaching, I found myself telling myself a different story. I’m hopeful for the first about my business!”

What I learned over the last 4 years of hustle, if you can change the way you think, then you can change the way you act. My five coaches helped me evaluate and change my thinking (especially all my negative thoughts), which allowed me to take faster action.

I track how much money I spent on coaches over the last four years, and how much revenue is generated from my endeavors. And if you check out my homepage, you can see how well those investments paid off. I paid coaches $125 to $400 per hour of time. But my return on my investment is calculable

Is hiring a coach worth the cost?

Perhaps a better question is, “Are your dreams, goals, and ambitions worth the investment?” or “What are your dreams worth to you?”

If your dream is not worth spending a few hundred dollars, then your dream isn’t worth much to you. Think about all the little things you buy throughout the week that give a momentary pleasure (coffee, fast food, Netflix subscription). Those dollars spent could be used on your big dream.

Imagine if J.K. Rowling thought her book idea wasn’t worth spending money on editors before submitting Harry Potter to big publishers, or if Chris Pratt didn’t pay for acting classes because his dream wasn’t worth it, or if… You get the picture.

You could set aside a few dollars every month and invest it in yourself. Use this month to buy a course to teach you a specific skill, or hire an expert to do it for you.

Don’t view your money a zero-sum game. Your money won’t be wasted on any coaching because, if you find a good coach, you will change the way you think and thus the way you act.

The Burden of Choosing A Niche

Anyone who tells you the path to success is clear hasn’t walked the path yet.

I won’t pretend that I have it all together, as much as my inner pride wants me to pretend so.

My greatest struggle as a side hustle entrepreneur is choosing a business model and sticking with it.

I realized that over the last 4 years, I changed my path 4 times.

I started with leadership and self-development for 8 months on the Leadership Dojo.

I did Pharmacy education on pharmacyschoolhq.org for 8 months.

I tried for 10 months to grow a self-development podcast called the 66 Day Experiment.

I did coaching for side hustlers for the last 8 months.

I know those months don’t add up to 4 years. That’s because I distracted myself with shiny objects (distractions) in between projects.

These businesses generated awesome revenue, but money is easy to make. I could do just about anything and generate a profit.

My burden is knowing that I’m at a crossroads as my next step as an entrepreneur. I could do so many things, but I am not 100% confident in a single one. Plus, if I choose a new path to walk, a new niche if you will, then I question myself by asking, “When will you give up on this endeavor? When will you grow tired and shift your focus on a new topic?”

I don’t know the answer yet.

But that’s okay. There is no success roadmap. My wife reminded me today that Edison failed 1000 times before finding the right filament for the light bulb.

I may have “failed” 4 times, but that doesn’t mean I can’t succeed in the future. Plus, those failures did make money!

There’s hope for you if you feel the same as me. You may not be sure what to do next. But what I do know is this: take one small step forward to the next idea.

Say “Screw It” to Fear

This morning I faced my fear of hosting webinars: by hosting a webinar. eeck!

Well, I hosted it. Totally messed up the tech side of it, but I rocked it with all that I had.

 

I found out 32 minutes before the webinar of my grave error. Fortunately, I recorded myself quick using Zoom and uploaded it quick as I could.

Even after my techie failure, I found the medium fun and thrilling to teach! I will do more webinars in the future for certain.

Cheers

Can You Bounce Back From “Failure?”

 

My wife and I talk about failure once a week.

This past week I deemed myself a failure. My wife and I recently attended Podcast Cruise and I took the week off from my 28 day writing challenge.

Every day I struggled with my challenge and my motivation to follow through with writing every day. And because I struggled, I told myself that I’m a failure. And so, I didn’t write! I fulfilled my own negative-prophecy.

And that is when most people give up. We tell ourselves that we will never succeed because we messed up once.

Imagine if we told our inner doubts to infants learning how to walk. “Well, you fell on the ground again. I guess  you can’t walk.”

Like any infant would, we need to get up and try again.

Cheers

So You Hate Your Job…

I spoke with a frustrated pharmacist last week. He wrestles with the decision to quit his disappointing job. He reached the “top” of the corporate chain, or at least as high as he wanted to go. This pharmacist spoke powerful words about how much he hated his position, “I jump from job to job and can’t seem to find the right fit. Is *this* all that life has to offer me?”

I speak with at least one pharmacist a week who wants to leave their job.

I felt his pain, because I was there too.

I hated a past pharmacy job with burning passion. My reason was slightly different than most because I dealt with bullies. My life was miserable. I wanted to quit. I remember coming home to my wife and saying, “I don’t know how much longer I want to do this.”

Pharmacists everywhere know there is rising tension in our profession, especially in retail pharmacy. The latest polls show retail pharmacist job satisfaction declining at an abysmal rate.

If you are a stuck pharmacist (or any job) who hates your job, don’t fear. You’re not alone, and there is a way out.

The First Step

Give yourself the room to accept where your current situation.

You see, a part of me felt like my situation was all my fault. I felt almost like I deserved my predicament. I felt trapped.

It was like I tried to deny my situation to myself and others. I didn’t want people to know that I was unhappy with my job. I felt like if people knew, I would be labeled a failure, an idiot, a fool.

I felt like if I tried anything new, like a side-hustle business, I would be seen as a failure because I can’t figure out my career or that I would be labeled one of those weirdo’s who talks about dreams and goals.

The first step I took was admitting, “I’m here for a reason. This isn’t my perfect career position. I need to create a plan.”

I had to accept where I was, so that I could move on.

So many pharmacists I speak with blame themselves or others for their dissatisfaction.

Let go and move on.

Overwhelmed and Stuck Pharmacists

There is no end to the things you could start in order to change careers or start a business idea.

If you considered changing jobs, you could…

update your resume

update your LinkedIn profile

reach out to your network

attend a networking event

join a pharmacist association

search job websites

ask a friend for a recommendation

I felt overwhelmed just writing all those tasks. Being overwhelmed is like looking up to the top of a skyscraper and being told, “Make it to the top” without knowing there are stairs. It’s impossible!

So rather than trying to do too many things at once, we feel stuck, overwhelmed. It is easier to not take any action at all.

We tell ourselves it feels better to not do anything. We would rather accept our current amount of stress in the moment, than to push forward in making a change. Which in turn, only creates more stress and anxiety.

Take ONE Small Step

The way to the top of a skyscraper starts with one step. You don’t have to do everything at once. You simply need to take one step to get out of your situation.

Make the next step so small and easy that others would laugh at you.

For example, find and open your CV on the computer.

You may roll your eyes at this example, but that’s the point.

You don’t want to commit to a large task if you have too much resistance. You’re likely to say no to anything that sounds too big to do at once.

If you don’t take small step now, no one will take it for you, and you’ll continue in the same state.

One definition of insanity is doing the same over and over and expecting different results.

Take one small step.

Open your resume

Ask a friend for feedback about your crazy business idea

Heck, send me a private message

Don’t let your inner resistance stop you from making a change that could make your life better.

The job market is too big (despite what you may think). There are too many ways to make a living in this life.

There is no reason why you work at a job you hate.

The Reason Why You Can’t Finish Your Side-Hustle Projects

As of February 2017, I currently coach 5 side-hustle entrepreneurs who have day jobs. Each of them live busy lives. One of them works a full-time pharmacy job, has 2 kids, stays involved with industry groups, and has a few hobbies too. Life is busy for the side-hustle business owner.

I offered a coaching session to a fellow side hustler back in August 2016. We talked about his niche website, his following, and how to grow his audience and business so he could one day leave his soul-sucking day job.

We spent the majority of our coaching session together discussing his biggest obstacle: perfectionism. He wanted to launch a course for his email list, but felt like there were too many things stopping him from finishing it.

Have you felt like that?

Maybe you feel the urge to check one more blog post before moving forward. Maybe you believe you need to do more research before you work. Or maybe you want to scrap the entire approach and start a new one.

Whenever I hear about a project like this from a coaching client, like a book, course, or product, that is not finished, but in their words “requires more work”, I know there is a procrastination issue.

There’s something major missing from the client’s life:

DEADLINES

A quick story about the power of Deadlines.

Évariste Galois was a young French mathmatition during the early 19th century. One night, he got into a fight with another young man over a woman, and Everest was challenged to a duel.

Everest knew he would likely die in the duel, because he was a nerd (I know from experience as a nerd who fights a masculinity battle he can’t win).

Everest had so many ideas about theoretical algebra in his mind, but never put it on paper. He thought to himself, “If I don’t write this now, it’ll be lost forever.”

He wrote in his journal all night and into the early morning hours up until his duel. Sadly, Everest died in the duel as he predicted.

Months later, a friend sorted through Everest’s belongings and found his journal. As a fellow mathematician, he couldn’t believe Everest’s theoretical writings. The friend sent the journal to the local college, and later, Everest’s theories about algebra became breakthrough discoveries in the math field.

Deadlines are required for dreams

As a side-hustle entrepreneur, we begin our journey with passion to chase our dream. Our passion is quickly tested with trials, obstacles, rejections, and disappointments. We find ourselves lackadaisical about the journey after defeated by our obstacles.

Take the step now to set a deadline for yourself. Don’t think far off. Identify your first simple step that can be done in 15 minutes, then set a deadline for when it will be completed.

Bonus step: give yourself a reward when you complete your deadline. You’ll find yourself creating a new habit if you continue to give yourself rewards when you complete tasks.

Goals without deadlines are simply dreams that won’t happen.

Don’t let another wasted hour go by without identifying your deadlines!

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