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Having cake and eating it, too


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When I told family or friends I was enrolled in journalism school back in college (circa the 1890s), I often encountered the same response: “So you want to be the next Pat Miles?” 

Most of you don’t know that Pat Miles was, at the time, a co-anchor of the 10 p.m. news on our local CBS affiliate here in Minneapolis. She broke a couple of barriers in the 1980s (Okay, there. I said the decade.) She was the first female anchor of the local news in the Twin Cities, and later, as was reported on the front page of the local paper, was whisked away to a competing station for a gargantuan sum of money. At the time, she was this city’s “it” girl.

So, when journalism school was mentioned, everyone thought of her. But, no, I did not want to be the next Pat Miles. At the time, I was a little too timid for that, and perhaps didn’t have the gutsiness to imagine that someday, that could be me. And besides, I wasn’t going into that kind of journalism. I was taking marketing communication and ad classes at the J school. And I had no idea what I was going to do with that. I hadn’t thought that far ahead. My dreams were a little foggy at the time. I just wanted to get through that next midterm.

The star of our cover story this month, Gina Butler, was different. She knew from the age of 7 she was going to be a country singer. And she worked it, cleaning the houses of Nashville’s elite by day, singing at night. Maybe it would’ve been nice to be more clear about my destiny—like Butler.

Well, it turns out, we both are not doing what we thought we would be at age 20. You can see that I don’t work at an ad agency, and our cover photo reveals Butler isn’t concentrating on being the next Faith Hill. Cupcakes. That’s it. You’ll have to read FT Managing Editor Beth Ewen’s compelling story on her visit with Butler, and what next adventure is in store for her. 

Mary Jo Larson

Mary Jo Larson
Publisher 

Mary Jo can be reached at 
612-767-3200 or at mlarson@franchisetimes.com

With this being the January issue, it’s a good time to talk about beginnings: This month, you’ll read our new feature, Living Large. The goal is to bring you the continuing stories of three emerging brands, and how they will approach the challenges set in their way. Each month, Beth will report on a different aspect of running a franchise brand, and how each concept will deal with that issue. Will they accomplish their goals? Many times, yes. Will they always do everything correctly? No. But they’ll learn and so will we. In this issue, they set their goals for the upcoming year. Next month: dealing with legal challenges.

We have plenty more in store, as well, from our annual 20 to Watch feature—those trends, people and companies we’ll follow throughout 2015—to bringing a boxing franchise to Mexico. We’ve even brought you the story of one franchisee who was part of a TV news sting operation. (Note: She helped with the sting. They did not sting her. Still a fun read.)

Who would’ve thought franchising could be so interesting? Not the 20-year-old me—but working in this business is, as my 20-something kids would say, “cake.”

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