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How to Become the Michael Jordan of...
Tips from successful business owners that have made them the master of their industry.

Everyone knows the name Michael Jordan. And most agree that he was the best basketball player of all time. But what makes him so iconic? A few seconds of Google searching will lead to pages upon pages of articles gushing about No. 23’s championships, MVP awards, scoring titles and team rankings. But beyond those accolades, Jordan has also created a precedent for how successful and famous an athlete can be outside of his or her trade.

In one of his most quoted moments, Jordan said, “I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” That lesson is one that can translate to any professional in any industry, which is one of the reasons why he remains such a prime example of excellence for so many.

1851 Franchise recently spoke with talented professionals in differing segments of the franchising industry—both of which stand out as being at the top of their “game.” While they might not have their own line of Nike sneakers, they echo some of Jordan’s traits, like a willingness to adapt in order to succeed, putting the team on your back, and a true belief that you can be the best.

Adaptability = Success

After studying acting, directing and playwriting, Bob Gregg made a huge career change after taking a position with Potbelly Sandwich Works 16 years ago. He worked in multiple positions for the brand both in Chicago and Dallas, helping to grow the company from six shops to more than 375. Always on the lookout for great new brands, Bob was introduced to Arkansas-based Slim Chickens. He was attracted to the growing “better chicken” concept and adapted his focus to a franchisee perspective, beginning franchising with the brand earlier this year.

“I have been fortunate to have many great mentors.  As a team, we are driven to use the best of what we have learned and adapt our knowledge,” Gregg said. “Slim Chickens is the best “better chicken” concept in the market, and we have the capability to differentiate ourselves from the competition.”

Gregg will develop a total of 15 locations in the Dallas market within the next five years. He and his business partners have already opened three locations in just the past four months.

Another professional in the industry who is known for an adaptable, non-stop attitude in order to succeed is Founder and CEO of GYMGUYZ, Josh York.

He has grown his mobile fitness concept to nearly 100 units in 18 states since beginning franchising two years ago. He has adapted from running the business out of his parents’ dining room and training all of his own clients to functioning as a national franchise concept with a corporate office in Plainview, New York.

Put Your Team on Your Back

In order for Jordan to rise to the top, he knew that he needed his teammates to support a greater goal to not only win games, but win championships and become the best.

Both York and Gregg agree that teamwork is essential to working toward a goal of being No. 1, and they focus a huge amount of time and effort on making their teams as strong as possible.

“When an employee believes in the company, they will engage in each other’s ideas and strive to make it the best company it can be,” York told 1851 Franchise in a previous interview. “I always want my company to set this example. Having franchisees buy in to your core values will only benefit their business and the franchise system as a whole.”

Gregg echoes a similar sentiment.

“I approach every day with my team as a teacher at heart,” Gregg said. “Our focus is to be teachers in our approach every day in our restaurants and understand that we are there to challenge and recognize everyone that works for us. Ensuring you are challenging your top performers as well as those with a need to improve is critical.”

Believe It

More than anything else, Jordan was relentless in his drive to be the best, and he pulled out all of the stops, both on and off the court, to make it happen. A belief of being the best is important to achieving it.

“We behave the same as the culture that we’re laying out,” Gregg said. “Slim Chickens has a commitment to ‘life changing chicken.’ This is a core of our culture that we communicate and truly stand by it. We’re not here to just open a restaurant, we want to make a difference for our team and customers in our community.”

For York, the belief is there. There is no doubt to him that GYMGUYZ is already at the top of its segment in the industry, and he won’t stop until he has created a worldwide empire.

“I don’t think we are the best, I know we are the best,” York said. “Being the Michael Jordan of our industry all comes down to one thing: having the edge. Everyone wants to be a millionaire and drive the nice car but they don’t want to do the work. That is where we are different. We give it our all to build this into what we want it to be. We put in the work that we need to in order to be successful as a business and reach new heights—and then some.”  

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