With our new partnership with Sports World in Santa Fe, Mexico City, SafeSplash® Swim School is now the largest brand in North America. This major international expansion really puts us on the map in terms of name recognition and bringing the best in swim instruction to children.
Culture fascinates me. I’ve always had an overwhelming curiosity to understand the culture that is the basis of groups. Culture binds people. Countries have a culture, groups of like-minded people have a culture, almost everything has a culture...even groups of bowlers have a culture. Culture drives groups to behave in specific and often predictable ways. Companies have a culture.
Corporate culture is hard to create and even harder to manage. A leader needs to manage a company’s culture carefully and with intent.
In Japanese business, culture dictates that the senior leader in the room sits furthest from the door in a meeting room.
Early in my career, I was told that sales is a game where it is easy to keep score. There is no hiding…the customer either buys or doesn’t buy. While this is true in sales, it is a bit harder to know where you stand with respect to competition as you are running a business from a general management perspective, especially in industries where there is imperfect information.
It is a lot of fun to be an entrepreneur. It is incredibly rewarding. It is exciting. It is a chance to chart your own course. It is an opportunity to build a legacy for and your family. It is a personal challenge. It is an opportunity to create real wealth. It is a learning opportunity.
But from my perspective, the best thing about being an entrepreneur is freedom, one of the most innate sources of satisfaction that we have as humans.
I was talking to one of our franchisees last night over dinner. He is both a franchisee of SafeSplash and a franchisee of a trampoline concept. Prior to becoming a franchisee, he was deeply involved with corporate strategy at Intel (the technology company). He is an incredibly smart and accomplished guy…someone I have a lot of respect for. Growing up in the high tech industry myself, we got talking about career choices and what we both thought about leaving high paying careers in technology to become entrepreneurs. I asked him if he’s happy with his choice to leave the “corporate” world. His response was, “Matt, I’ll never go back to that. I can’t. The freedom and fulfillment I have as an entrepreneur/franchisee and is incomparable. Even if they begged me to come back, I don’t think I could. I’d choke.” I couldn’t agree more.
That said, there are many different ways to become an entrepreneur, but to me, the choices can be characterized by one’s tolerance for risk and the concept of buying vs. building.
Own assets that appreciate, rent assets that depreciate is a financial concept that we have heard often from “experts” throughout our lives. But there is an inherent fallacy in this guidance...this advice leaves out an important concept that is critical to those that seek to build significant wealth. A slight, but important, modification to this phrase makes it much more wealth oriented: Own assets that appreciate and generate cash flow, rent assets that don’t. I consider assets that fit this category, “perfect assets” and when I find one like this, priced right, I work hard to buy it as fast as I can, because they are rare. Assets that typically fit this category more often than not are privately owned businesses. The problem is that