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Why kids should read magazines


When your kids are doing something positive for themselves, you like to reinforce it—support them, if you will. Even when they are young adults. So was the case with son Ben, who told me a few weeks ago he had started working out again. Cool! I can support that!

As a magazine junkie (which is a good thing to be when you are in my business), I love strolling through the magazine racks at Barnes & Noble. I came upon a Men’s Health magazine, which boasted headlines such as “125 Best Foods for Men,” “The Anywhere Workout” and “Eat Right on the Road.”

Love it.

But screaming out at me were the salacious headlines, as well, which had to do with the opposite sex. Please, I’m not writing them here.

As a mom, I want to be supportive, but I felt wildly uncomfortable buying that magazine for my son. And I’m sure Ben is more comfortable NOT receiving it from me, too.  (You’re welcome, Ben.) I put it back with the rest of the magazines. And then I had the “Hey, I could have had a V-8!” moment: I’m sending him Franchise Times instead.

Franchise Times, you ask? Why would 23-year-old Ben possibly want to read Franchise Times this month? Let me count the ways:

1) There is superstar and basketball great Shaquille O’Neal gracing the cover this month. As always, the sports stars we feature have a tie to franchising. O’Neal is an investor and spokesman for The Original Soupman franchise. That’s going to pull Ben in.

2) He’ll get investment insight from NY Yankees great Reggie Jackson. Seriously, I want him to read that. I can tell him, his dad can tell him—but if Mr. October tells him, different story.

3) Ben’s a Green Bay Packers fan, and we have a story about former Packers wide receiver Don Beebe. Yes, that’s the third sports star for this issue. Beebe’s franchise, House of Speed, trains professionals and non-professionals alike to, well, speed up. (Where was that franchise when Ben was in high school and I needed him to clean his room?)

4) And, because we don’t know when to quit, we added just one more sports star for good measure: Jamal Mashburn, former NBA player, whose teams included the Mavericks, the Heat and the Hornets. The multi-unit franchisee grew up believing that sports were the means to the end—the end being a successful business career. In Executive Editor Nancy Weingartner’s story, there was a turning point in his life when he knew he wanted to be in business. Find out what it was.

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

5) Our franchise focus is on fitness this month. Need I say more? Ben can peruse the franchise businesses that focus on helping all of us be healthier. He’ll either get inspiration to stay on the running track or to start his own business. (Don’t miss the story featuring the very quotable Jaime Brenkus, franchisor of Slim & Fit.)

But for all our readers, there’s more than just sports in this issue, too. There always is. Take our round up of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference—learn what the experts are predicting for 2012.

Or, our annual 20 to Watch, where we put the franchise people, companies and trends under a microscope for the next year. We also followed up on some of last year’s 20, just to see what they accomplished.

And for those in the mood to ride wild, check out reporter Julie Bennett’s story on Williston, North Dakota, where the oil boom has sent the unemployment rate there plummeting. The town has the feel of the gold rush days in 1849. What do the franchise folks there have to say for their crazy uptick in business? You’d be surprised: Not all roads are paved with gold.

There’s so much variety in this issue, you might enjoy it as much as Ben. Let’s just say when you read our headlines, you won’t put it back on the newsstand—or in this case, your inbox.

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