A lot of people don’t realize what we actually find rewarding in our line of work.
They forget that we got into this business very intentionally; we laid this career path for ourselves, because we like to share stories, talk to people and relate to people. We don’t care whose stories we’re telling – they don’t have to be our own – they’re all interesting.
No Limit Agency is a team of good storytellers. But in order to do our jobs well, we need to be good story extractors, too. We need to find good, wholesome, human interest stories where others might not see them. That’s what No Limit Agency excels at. There’s a whole bunch of us that do this and do it well.
One of the most rewarding parts of my job is telling these stories on behalf of the people behind the brand’s logo. We focus on the name on the back rather than the name on the front, if you will. A franchisee is still a member of their community. They are often people who were interested in becoming their own bosses and are eager to reciprocate their own good fortune back into the communities, towns and cities they and their families call home. One of those people is Ronnell Bryant.
Ronnell has spent the past 23 years serving our country in the military, and for the past year has been gearing up to retire from his position in order to head back home to Charlotte, NC to operate a Lennys Grill & Subs franchised location in town. He’s owned it for the past year and his son, Ziggy, has served as the general manager while Ronnell prepared for retirement. Ronnell is a people person himself, and treasures being a local business owner. He gets to work alongside his son, cater to his neighborhood and serve them up quality food. He loves the simplicity of it all.
This is a story that did not need much extraction.
Speaking with Ronnell is easy. He’s enthusiastic and motivated about the next chapter in his life, and it’s easy for me to get that message across to reporters, too. His enthusiasm for his business is infectious and makes my job easy, but just as rewarding.
“I didn’t know what to expect when I first heard that we had our own PR firm,” Ronnell joked. “It was at our summit that I had the chance to speak with someone from No Limit for the first time, and I learned a little bit about what you all do and I got excited.”
Once I heard Ronnell’s story, I reached out to a few Charlotte-area reporters. A managing editor at one of the city’s weekly newspapers was interested in profiling Ronnell and his journey to entrepreneurship. That story ran at the end of November and did an excellent job at conveying the type of business owner Ronnell is: caring, passionate and community-minded.
Sure, it wasn’t the Wall Street Journal, but I was proud as hell that I was no longer the only one to know the awesome tale of Ronnell and his journey to Lennys and entrepreneurship after over two decades of military service. In December, I was able to get Ronnell a segment on the nightly news for the CBS affiliate in Charlotte and Ronnell joked that it’s made him and his son local celebrities.
“It felt like a revival,” Ronnell said. “Sometimes it feels like we’re working in the trenches here every day, but it’s good to know that we have you guys at NLA working to get our name out there, keeping positive. I don’t know if you could tell by the sound of my voice, but it was a key to our success and it’s rejuvenated me.”
This is the stuff that’s really rewarding. It’s admittedly exhilarating to help put together a story that shows up on national TV or on a website with millions of readers, but helping share Ronnell’s story somehow feels just as, if not more, impactful. His appearance on the evening news in December has already opened the door to a couple more opportunities on WBTV in town, and I was thrilled to hear it.
Collaborating with franchisees and sharing their stories with their neighborhoods is my job, and I get to be the storyteller. And I’m not the only one like this on my team—that’s what makes this place, NLA, one of a kind.