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Here’s your kick in the backside


Mentors come in many different forms. At my first job after graduating from college, I didn’t have a formal relationship with my mentor, but she was a seasoned veteran of the company who liked me.

She gave me the lowdown on how things worked in an office setting. Her sage advice: “If you think you’re irreplaceable, don’t let the door hit you on the backside on the way out.” Her version was a little saltier, but you get my drift.

The interpretation? When you think you are irreplaceable, you’re not. You always need to add value, no matter how long you’ve been with your current job. Once you get complacent, it’s time to move on.

She gave me that advice some 25-plus years ago, and it’s never left me. I’ve never once thought I was irreplaceable, and I hope that’s made me work harder and accomplish more throughout the years. I’ve had more mentors who have helped me grow in other ways. Mentors, whether formal or informal, are invaluable as you make your way in your work world.

And that leads us to our cover story this month. Two skilled franchise execs have teamed up to be just that: mentors.

Franchise Times Executive Editor Nancy Weingartner visited the new office of Franworth, the brainchild of David Barr and John Rotche. Barr himself has been a franchise CEO, sits on about 10 boards, and has private equity interests in the franchise sector. Rotche has been a CEO for two franchise companies, and served in senior executive positions prior to that. The two met at an industry conference, and decided together they had something to offer young franchise companies and their founders.

As Barr says, franchisors soon learn they have to be experts in both their business, and franchising. And if you’ve never grown a franchise before, there are many mistakes to be made. Why not bypass some of those?

Mary Jo Larson

Mary Jo Larson

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

As Nancy reports, Rotche and Barr have pulled together a team of talent to help franchisors grow in exchange for some portion of equity in the franchise company. Franworth has a couple of brands as clients already. When you read Nancy’s story, you’ll find out their philosophy on mentorship, and more.

While the articles in Franchise Times don’t always scream mentorship, if you read between the lines, you’ll often see stories where there is a mentor relationship—like the one between mother and daughter duo, Sherri Meyer and Nicole Newkirk, respectively. Franchise Times Reporter Tom Kaiser writes about Newkirk’s insatiable drive to experience life and run her own business. Meyer told her to come home first, and learn from the family operation, an Epcon home-building franchise. You’ll be surprised to find out what happened next, and how the two have grown to learn from each other.

But we have more in this issue: what can happen after you hear the sickening sound of your phone hitting the pavement; burritos served from a vending box; what’s hot and what’s not in fast casual restaurants; and how when Darth Vader speaks, people listen.

One thing I’ve learned: Grab knowledge wherever you can, whether it is among the pages of Franchise Times (optimal choice!) or from the wise office mate two cubes down. You’ll never be complacent, and you’ll choose when it is time to head for the door—and better opportunities.

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