I grew up the youngest of 10 kids. While we were not “dirt poor“, we definitely went without at times! My father was a very unsuccessful real estate agent. My mother,… well isn’t it obvious?  She was a saint! I remember when I was around five years of age, she told me she was going to go to work at the nursing home about half a mile from our home. Her day would start at 6 AM. That meant that my sister would have to make sure I got to school every day.  My wife and I have raised two daughters. I remember asking my mom “How did you raise 10 kids!?”. Her reply: “Honey… We prayed a lot”. 

All of my siblings and myself became entrepreneurial pretty quickly out of necessity. No one was going to give us a sweet 16 car for our birthday. In fact, incredulously, my father charged us “rent” beginning at 16 years of age. I remember having to give him $15 a week beginning in 1984.   That would be about $40 in today’s money.  I mowed lawns. Cleaned gutters. Shoveled the snow from driveways. Anything to make money.

Toward the end of high school, I had no idea what I was going to do when I grew up. I did have an interest in broadcasting. I enrolled in the local community college. And then I finished my degree at Webster University.   My career took off, selling advertising first, for the campus newspaper, and then for the local weekly community newspaper. I was able to get a job at KRJY radio. And so my journey into media advertising sales began.

After a short stint at KSDK TV, the NBC affiliate in St. Louis, I left there to join CBS radio and the St. Louis Cardinals radio network. I learned so much about running a business. I was managing a $9 million PNL. I had almost 30 people reporting to me. That… was an education!   My exposure to franchising began here because most of my clients were franchisors and franchisees.  I really got to understand the franchise model very well.

Toward the end of 2002, my favorite boss decided to leave CBS Radio to run her own franchises. She owned several Sylvan learning centers in St. Louis and Chicago. This deepened my exposure and understanding of franchising. I knew at that point it was my time to consider franchise ownership

In 2003, I started as a franchise consultant. I’ve never looked back. Since then, I’ve helped over 600 people join a franchise.