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Eight years ago Shirin Behzadi was recovering from surgery to remove a life-threatening brain tumor. During a rehabilitation process that took two years, Behzadi had to learn to walk again, to speak and, as she tells it, to take ownership of her life and help others do the same.

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The cupcake business is hard work, but it's not incredibly complex. Mix flour, butter and sugar and sell the treats. That simple but effective model was the foundation for Gigi's Cupcakes, the cupcake chain started in 2008. But a group of franchisees say that simple model became unsustainable.

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Huntington Learning Center and The Goddard School each fills its own niche in the education space. But one thing they have in common—decades of franchising experience and the tales of ups and downs to show for it.

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Alejandra and Louis Font are in the business of selling dramatic life transformations, and have the personal experience to back up the you-can-do-it messaging that's the foundation of their Camp Transformation Center weight loss boot camps.

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What was your upbringing like? My father founded HouseMaster but growing up he was a Fortune 500 marketing executive. His father immigrated from Ireland and my father grew up working with his dad in food and beverage. That taught him he wanted to be in business himself and that he didn't want to be in food and beverage. After 15 years of corporate America he was ready to jump. In the early ‘70s, there was no franchising in the home inspection market.

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There's a new breed of kids education, preparing them not just for the jobs of the future, but the logic of the future. If everything is digital, then kids today need to understand the basic logic of code.

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When I asked Jameson, The Gents Place barber behind my straight razor shave, what was up with my hot-towel blindfold, he said it's meant to be relaxing. But as a first-timer at the business end of a straight razor, it was not.

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Real estate is bonkers. The competition for inline spaces is stiff and it's a brawl for a coveted end cap. That means franchisees are looking at every way to keep growing, including taking on the challenge of historic buildings.