Tech Entrepreneur Changes the Franchise Industry
Carey Gille is the Co-founder and CEO of Franchise FastLane, an accelerated turn-key franchise sales organization (FSO). The FastLane team works with select brands to perfect their discovery process, deliver qualified franchisee leads, and drive explosive growth. Carey has an extensive background in the franchise industry, having worked in both the franchisee and franchisor sides. Before FastLane, she founded ItsDeductable, which was acquired by Intuit, and Sojern, the world’s largest boarding pass and data travel advertiser.
Welcome to The Future Is Borderless podcast with David Nilssen, we feature top entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world, those who bring a global mindset and a unique perspective to their life and business. Now, let’s get started with the show.
David Nilssen 0:20
Hi, I’m David Nilssen, the host of this show on The Future Is Borderless we connect with global business leaders who I think are unbound by traditional thinking and those that I think are challenging the status quo. Our mission is to uncover innovative ideas, cutting-edge advancements and proven strategies, the fuel that we need for our personal and professional lives. And the goal here is to make sure that we’re equipping ourselves with things that we need to thrive in a constantly changing world. Now this episode is brought to you by DOXA Talent. DOXA helps businesses to source full-time highly-skilled workers from all over the world. And as a result, these companies can scale faster, increase margin and improve culture. They provide everything from accountants to sales development reps, virtual assistants, even software engineers, to publicly traded companies and local small businesses. If you want to learn how to grow your business with offshore talent, simply visit doxatalent.com. All right, well, I’m excited for our program. Today. I’m going to welcome Carey Gille, the CEO of Franchise FastLane as our guest today, and she has a really extensive background in the franchise industry, which includes working on both the franchisee and the franchisor sides with three different franchise concepts and leading development for multiple brands. One of Carey’s early entrepreneurial successes was co-founding a company called Its Deductible, which was later acquired by Intuit and remains an integral tool for TurboTax users even today. She also co-founded an organization I think it’s Sojern is that right? Okay, great. And today, that’s the largest boarding pass and travel data advertiser in the world. Now, most recently, she started a Franchise FastLane, which is a franchise sales organization, or FSO, which we’ll talk a little bit more about later, because I know many of our listeners won’t be as familiar with what that is. But they are dedicated to driving extraordinary growth for select high-quality brands. And today, it’s the number one episode in the country boasting over 50 employees representing 20 brands and having awarded more than 5000 territories nationwide. And for those of you that aren’t in franchising, that is a torrid pace. In 2022, Southfield Capital acquired FastLane, and that further solidified its position in the industry. So with all of that, Carey, welcome to The Future Is Borderless.
Carey Gille 2:33
So good to be here, David. Thank you.
David Nilssen 2:35
Yeah, excited to have you. I do want to talk about franchising and what you’re doing it FastLane. But since I mentioned in your bio, that you’ve started and sold multiple companies, specifically in tech, I want to just ask, curious about your experience as a tech entrepreneur and how that has influenced the success that you’ve seen in franchising and with FastLane.
Carey Gille 2:56
Absolutely, it’s an interesting story. So let me back up a bit. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. I mean, I just remember that from the time I was in high school, just deciding, I want to have my own vision, my own dream, leave a legacy for my kids impact communities. It was just a desire from the very beginning. I didn’t know what franchising was. So in my mind, David, that was startup, right, I would go start something. Tech was the booming industry, right. That was the thing, then was technology. And so I partnered with a couple gentlemen, we’re all kind of graduating about the same time very young. And we started a business called It’s Deductible, as you mentioned, and the whole premise of this company was, if you accurately valued the items you gave to charity, then you could benefit from a larger tax break. And you’re also benefiting others right through your donation. And so it was an absolute startup, we had a license with an accountant in Lincoln, who wrote this valuation workbook, we turned it into software. And we had no marketing budget, we were literally off icing out. It’s so fun to think about it. We were off icing out of McDonald’s. Brand new. And so we had no marketing budget. And so in the absence of that, I wrote a press release, so straight out of college. And we started sending that around to local media. And pretty soon I was traveling was a unique evening news story, especially around tax time was, Did you know that if you valued your items, here’s what you can do. This is the deduction you can get. So I started traveling, and probably because I was too young and dumb, didn’t know any better. I sent it to the Wall Street Journal, probably because I didn’t even know to be naive. And I’m never going to forget the day that I was walking out of a local interview, and my phone rang and I answered it, and it was a girlfriend. And she said, Carey, you’re on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. They didn’t call me they didn’t warn us. It was above the fold the written Wall Street Journal, the physical copy, and it took off that day. We had maybe sold 400 copies total and that day, it was like that super work bowl commercial where it just absolutely took off. And it was an amazing experience. And so as we continued then I spent a lot of time in New York City as a tax expert on CNN Headline News, MSNBC, US News and World Report almost two years just as a spokesperson for that company. Absolutely. It’s ironic now looking back because I had made me file my own taxes, independent of my parents one or two times. And H&R Block took note. And we started negotiating partnership with them when Intuit called and that is Scott Cook. He’s a corporate icon. And we sold the company to Intuit I stayed for five years, there was a bit of a square peg round hole. But I still learned a lot during that time, I reported directly into Scott Cook, and I got to present to him on a quarterly basis learned about Net Promoter voice of the customer. That’s when I started Sojern during that time as well. But I was anxious to get back home to the Midwest, I was living in California pretty much going back and forth. And I heard of Ryan Zinke. And he had this company called Complete Nutrition. Yeah, the franchise. And I didn’t know franchising, but it was fitness. I love fitness. It’s how I start every day. And we went to lunch I was anxious to get home, my five years were up. And I wanted to be back in something entrepreneurial. And he said, we want to sell 20 locations over the next 20 months or so, put my head down, got to work came on a CDO, and we sold 240 locations. And so that company I bought three of my own fell in love with franchising. And this really brings me to my favorite definition in all of Webster’s Dictionary, which is vision, which is a clear and compelling picture, which is corporate America clear, compelling 3% raise a year, so many days of vacation benefits package, right? But of a preferable future. What does that make you think of that makes you think of business ownership, being at your kids games, leaving a legacy? Vision is those two things together? And when I found franchising, I went, whoa, this is both. This is a business model I can follow. It’s been proven by franchisees, with a five-year plan, but the opportunity to be a business owner, I was smitten, never looked back. Franchising has been my end game since then.
David Nilssen 7:07
Yeah. So you got involved in in Complete Nutrition. And since then you’ve been involved with lots of different brands, and then started FastLane, which we’ll talk about here in just a second ago. But what did the technology world provide you that maybe is unique and interesting and sort of help been a catalyst of some of the success that you’ve seen?
Carey Gille 7:25
Good question, technology is all about thinking about what isn’t there yet cutting edge. And when we started Franchise FastLane, there was a bit of a standard model for an FSO a bit of a, find somebody with a big reputation, and put them on the phone and put them to work. And we came in and we’ll talk about it in a minute. I know, we built a model that was completely different based upon technology, and technology for the consultants for our leads to follow through the process. And it was so differentiated. And I really think learning all of that in my early tech days, I was able to apply that to a new model that was very different. But it differentiated our offering.
David Nilssen 8:06
Yeah, well, it’s funny, so many of the people that listen to the podcast know that I started a company called Guidant Financial, which does a lot of work in the franchise space. So I was there when you guys sort of made your splash and hit the scene. Yeah, 5000 awards later, which is just mind-blowing. It’s just impressive to see what you guys have done. So I think what would be really helpful that before we go much further, Franchise FastLane is an FSO, we tried to franchise sales organization, but most of our listeners probably won’t know exactly what that is. So do you mind just sort of sharing where the FSO fits and why they’re needed?
Carey Gille 8:42
It’s really a good question. And you’re right, it is confusing. If franchising isn’t your world, our slogan is you drive your business we’ll drive your growth. And obviously, that’s brand facing. So the premise of this concept is there are many franchise brands out there. And I talked to 191 last year to find the eight that we onboarded so very familiar with their challenge. You get a franchise brand owner on the phone, somebody who started a brand, they’re ready to grow nationwide. And you ask them about their business. And David, you could walk away from the phone, they are pumped up, right, they’re excited, and they are talking about this is what I do and here has helped my brands differentiated. But then when you ask the question, how do you plan to grow? How do you find the one to find the right people to carry the flag of your brand into markets nationwide? And I’m not kidding, every time it’s crickets.
David Nilssen 9:31
So if I build it, they will come right.
Carey Gille 9:35
They do not know. And of course, this is their brand, somebody’s going to represent whatever they built in a market far, far away. It has to be the right match it has to be the right franchisee with the right franchisor. And so it needs to be a very articulated clear system by which we find those franchisees and make that match and they don’t know how to do it. So that’s what we are we’re an FSO we represent the brand and we bring that brand out to potential business owners, we explain what it is we talk through the FTD, we introduce that brand. And then we find the right fit for that brand. And we help people go through a full discovery process, it takes somewhere between six to eight weeks, where we educate them on the brand, they come to a confirmation day so they can see it meet the leadership. And then they make a decision. It’s a little bit like real estate, where if you think about buying a new home, there’s usually a real estate agent that represents you as the buyer. But there’s also a real estate agent that represents the home. Right? That represents the seller, and that’s a bit what we are, we are representing the seller, because we want to help them grow strategically with the right people and in a healthy manner nationwide.
David Nilssen 10:39
Yeah. So it’s funny, you said something a second ago that fascinating to me. You said, you talked to 190 plus brands, and you chose eight, so that automatically I can do the math, right? 4% acceptance rate? Tell me what is it about the 4% versus the nine that makes you say, yes.
Carey Gille 11:02
Isn’t that also just astounding? How many brands are reaching out? I will answer your question as well. But we do not have an outbound inbound marketing strategy at all for brand recruiting. So that is organic. Those are brands who heard what we do. And have seen the success and the ranking with entrepreneur and Inc, 500 and others and have said, How do I get in there? How do I figure this out? How do I grow like fashion brands are growing? So there’s a need for this. So we have a list of necessities and niceties that our leadership team put together? Because we realized very quickly into the company brands are going to be asking us for help. How do we choose the brands that are right, we call our brands the next big thing. And we talked to a number of brands to find it. And it’s everything from first of all the financial strength to support the growth we will usher in because our brands grow anywhere from 40 to even 200 territories per year. So that takes the financial strength, many of them are backed by private equity. And that’s how they can do that. Or they have an investor. But with first we prove that out, then we look for a differentiated business model. I’m sorry. But if you’re just another house painting company, I’m going to have a tough time making you sound any different than all the noise already in that space. Right. So we look for something that’s absolutely differentiated. And then honestly, we really dive into that FTD will talk about the FTD, the Franchise Disclosure Document where we make sure the investment is reasonable that there’s an item night team that shows proven earnings for franchisees we call the franchisees that are already there to make sure that they’re happy in the system. Those are really the things that we’re looking at how long is the return on investment? We really do. I mean, I think our brand vetting processes at this point four to five months we fly out we meet them are these the kind of people we want to work with. So that by the time we say Franchise FatsLane, just signed a new brand, I can walk in with real strong competence that this is a brand that’s ready to represent the FatsLane and FatsLane represent them.
David Nilssen 12:55
Wow, I mean, it’s not surprising to me again, as I shared earlier, the fact that you guys have awarded 5000 territories that is unheard of. So I can see that that would, word travels fast, and I can see why people would be knocking down your door. But it’s still I love the discipline behind the acceptance rate, we do this at DOXA where you know, of all the virtual assistants that apply only 1% get accepted. And that just means that we have a high bar. And that’s means, you know, similar for you guys, that means that you’re likely representing those brands that are best in class. Not only good for the brands, but also good for the people that are choosing to invest in those things. So it’s pretty cool.
Carey Gille 13:29
We all want to call five years from now that says thank you, thank you changed my life. I spent 30 years in corporate America, I didn’t think I had the courage to leave, I found this brand. It’s a perfect fit. And today, my family is so grateful. And here’s why. That’s the call you want. And that’s only gonna happen if you work with the right brands.
David Nilssen 13:45
100%. Yeah. Tell me a little bit about your values. I’m just curious, like, what are the core values of the business? I’m assuming that they represent your own and like how have they sort of like, helped influence the decisions you guys have made?
Carey Gille 13:58
You’re right, this is big. This is a big part of who we are as an organization. It’s literally in, in our DNA. Our mission is to drive extraordinary growth for the chosen few you talked about that drive extraordinary growth for the chosen few. Now when we worked on that it was drive extraordinary growth for our brands. No, we don’t just drive growth for brands, we drive growth for franchisees who come in and grow who they are in their profession and who they are in their career and their families. We drive growth for everybody who’s in the FastLane, right? Everybody who’s out there, either whether you’re running territory checks, or whatever you’re doing, we’re growing you as a FastLane employee. So that’s when we came up with something a bit more generic and vague in nature, which is the chosen few. So we’re going to find the right people in the FastLane, the right brands, and then the right franchisees, and for our consultant partners who obviously bring us those franchisees we want to be driving growth for their businesses as well. So that mission was chosen, and every word was carefully selected in line with what we do. And then we have a vision to set industry standards. We want to be the one thinking of the next thing first. And that’s through some of our software and the brands that we’ve brought on and some of the new programs we’ve introduced through to the industry. But then we have five core values. And you talk about carry, how have those changed over the years? We started with four. And then we talk about those four, and then I’ll get to the fifth one. The first one, be gritty, be hungry, bring it, be gritty, be hungry. Bring it if you’re in the FastLane, I don’t care what your role is. I mean, last week, we had one day where we ran almost 1200 territory checks in one day, one day, though, that support specialists that’s having to keep up with 1200. Territory checks. It’s amazing. So I don’t care if you’re in that, or you’re in sales, or you’re in marketing, everybody has their heads down, and they have to be gritty, be hungry. Bring it, no surprises. No, we don’t mean surprises are great if it’s your birthday. But in most cases, in our day-to-day work, something hit you in the middle of the day, we work really hard. I think maybe that’s the core value, it’s hardest to live up to no surprises that requires clear communication, clear planning. David, it’s a tough one, dry fast results we work hard to drive fast results have each other’s back, and a team that’s moving this fast if you’re not willing to help somebody who has a need that day, or somebody who needs to take the day off because something happened with their family, it’s so important have each other’s back. And then the last one, we were probably two, three years in with those four core values. And we kept meeting as a leadership team and thinking something’s missing. They’re all internal. What we do every day that we’re so passionate about is this life change that we drive through those 5000 territories. I love that stat. But why do I love that stat because it represents life change. It’s not about the stat, it’s the life change. And so we added our fifth one, which is inspire life change. And like I said, they’re literally in our DNA, they really are. We nominate them for each other when we see them exemplified throughout the week, we put in a nomination in namely, which is our system. And then we have our team meetings, we pull a name out and we do a drawing, you get a $50 gift card. And so it’s just part of every meeting, because I think those core values have to be what brings our organization together as we align and continue to deliver value for our partners.
David Nilssen 17:18
Yeah, I love that you guys added some, I think some people think about values is something that you sit on a wall and it just cement I do think that to some degree, those should be non-negotiable. And they should last the to, last through time. But you know, at times you learned we added one around diversity and inclusion at 1.2. Because we were always that was one that we valued, but we weren’t actually asserting well enough within our own organization. So I love the no surprises. By the way, I’m a big fan of surprises, as long as people give me a heads-up in advance. But totally get it. I want to go one step further. Because you were talking about values, I think you did a great job of also just sort of sharing some experiences there in terms of how you think about employee engagement. But in today, I mean, people are struggling to find talent, if they can find it they’re struggling to afford if they can afford it, they’re struggling to retain it. How do you guys think about nurturing culture? And where do you sit on this all in the office versus remote discussion?
Carey Gille 18:15
Honestly, when somebody if I only had 10 seconds to ask the answer the question of Carey, what did you do? Right? When you started this, you know what I would say, people, people, people is what we did, right? So the question you just asked is so important, we could have come up with the right core values, we could have come up with, an amazing Strategy. But if you don’t have the right people in the FastLane, the right partners, both on the brand side, and on the consultant side, we wouldn’t be where we are today. So the question you’re asking is the right one. Culture is so important. And as we’ve continued to grow, we keep coming back to are we retaining the culture? We do by annual reviews? And I have to tell you, we’re nearly 60 employees. And the most common themed feedback we had on the positive side, we always ask what are we doing? Well, what do we need to improve on we ask that every year was your culture, your preserving culture as we grow? You continue to preserve culture as we grow. And I think even though you’re kind of like, why are we looking at core values? Again, we meet every other week. And that’s the top of every meeting, why we talk about how a consultant saw this exemplifying because that’s why we have to be so committed to where we came, right. We have to be so committed to that. So think when you think about Carey, how do you get this talent? If you think about franchise development, if you’re really good at what you do in our career, typically, if you work directly for a brand and I did this at Complete Nutrition, you’re going to sell yourself right out of a job, right? So when I was Ryan at Complete Nutrition, when we sold those 220 territories overnight, he walked into my office and said, Carey stop, we have to stop we have to get them all open that do you want to lead marketing and I went no, that’s not what I love. I love franchise development. And so in the FastLane the nice thing is we can bring in an expert like Don Tonelli, who had sold himself out of a job multiple times, we can bring him on. And now he’s on his third brand. And the fascinating because he did such a great job with brand one and brand two, that we’re always going what we’re going to bring Don, because he’s so good at what he does. So now he can sit in the FastLane, and I can just keep bringing him home runs, and he can just keep hitting them.
David Nilssen 20:18
Yeah. So that’s amazing. That’s funny. In my experience in franchising through guidance, we used to say, same person, different logo, and I never really connected the two of them. But you’re right. If they’re successful in their role, they can’t be there long, because at some point, the brand sort of the growth curve for the brand is going to shift. Right. So that’s your circle. All right, so do tell me how do you guys think about office space.
Carey Gille 20:40
First of all, I want to clarify that if you’re in sales in the FastLane, you don’t live in Omaha, Nebraska, which is where our headquarters are. Salespeople can live anywhere, why shouldn’t they they’re zooming all day, just like you and I are doing right now. And they’re talking to people about their brand. And so we’re already a remote organization, half the team works every day from their home office, half the team. However, we have a leadership team and a support and marketing team, which is about half of those 60 that are in Omaha that are the infrastructure, the backbone of what those salespeople do every day. And so they’re all in Omaha. And we were in the office five days a week before the pandemic hit, pandemic hit. And of course, everybody had to adjust. And so everybody went home. And we provided equipment, and we sent people home, everybody had their own computer, their own monitors, and I was worried about it. I really was. And in 2020 was our best year. And I think it is because franchising is really enticing to people who start to see corporate risk, right, and it was our best year. And so we did well, whether we were remote, whether we had a flex schedule, or whether we were home. So when we went back and we just have a new office, we actually have only been at our new office for two weeks now. And it’s a wonderful office. I love it there. But we only require in office Monday through Wednesday. Everybody works home Thursday through Friday. So it’s a flex schedule that allows you to be in the office and collaborate with your co-workers, three days a week. But if you need to switch the laundry in between calls, you can do that on Thursday and Friday. And I think it’s healthy.
David Nilssen 22:10
Awesome. Well, I think it’s great that you guys have defined sort of how that works. I think that a lot of people are still struggling through it, which is why I like to ask the question. Well, that’s great. Tell me a little bit about the recently you guys took on private equity. What does that mean for the company and its future like what do you expect from FastLane going forward?
Carey Gille 22:28
Yeah. I was really excited about this stage. You’re right, it happened in May of last year, Southfield Capital is the name of the company. They partner with growing companies in the middle market right where we’re at. And so what we’re excited about is not only do they bring us more financial strength, because they do, but they also their investors, their managers, their advisors, and they have a proven track record. And so we were thrilled from the moment that happened in the FastLane, like I said, we drive extraordinary growth. But then a really our relationship with that franchisee stops at the signing of the franchise agreement. And so what I’m excited about Southfield is a really want to build, we’ve built an incredible platform, we need to expand it. We would like to help with things like organic marketing, which really we don’t do today, consulting for field support Z marketing, insurance, bookkeeping, payroll, credit card processing, I’d like to be able to provide more services for our brands, whether it’s through acquisition of companies, whether it’s through partnerships, and we just weren’t able to do that on her own. And Southfield is very enthused around that. In fact, since we started partnering with them, we’ve already launched two major programs that are new to us. One of them is our Mastermind program. So now our brands meet on a regular basis at a platform that we provide. And we have the moderator. And they’re learning and growing together, which is, just started and the feedback I’m getting is really remarkable. Because you can imagine we sign them. They’re the best brands and franchising, I think we carefully selected them. And then they all face the same challenge of keeping up with expedited growth, because they’re all in the FastLane. So learning and growing, how do you set up a call center? Right, Brian, they should learn from one another, who are the right manufacturers for my rank. So all those little things, they sound small, but they’re big when you’re trying to open that many territories in a year. So we launched that, and we’re launching a carpool program. And the premise of that one is there are some brands out there who don’t want to be in the FastLane. They don’t want to grow up 50 Plus territories a year, they need to grow it 10 They need to grow at 1520. And so what they do is they come in and they sit on our infrastructure, our support our technology, HubSpot, our CRM, they’re coached by a coach that we have in the FastLane that’s been in development for many years, but they keep their development in house. It’s not a fascinator on the phone for them every day, their developments in house and they just sit on our infrastructure. So they’re organized, they’re accountable to a calendar, their territory checks are done for them, their leads are registered. They wake up just like our directors and their calendars all done. You know, they just follow the plan. So we’re just launching that we’re actually still in our trial program with 10 brands and it’s going really well, so there’s an example of just a couple ways that we’re expanding on what we’ve built because of our partnership with Southfield.
David Nilssen 25:05
I think that’s so smart. So you guys are transitioning from a service to a platform. investment? That’s great. Yeah, super smart. I can see why there would be a lot of need for that, because you’re right. There’s a lot of franchisors who go through FSOs. And they’re the FSO, like a FastLane can be a catalyst to super high growth and some of the brands, you know, unfortunately don’t prepare well for that. And I think, you know, giving people a path to more sustainable growth is probably a good thing for a lot of brands.
Carey Gille 25:35
Exactly. Right. Exactly. An on ramp off ramp. I think we’ll have some in the carpool that eventually go. Okay, now, I do want to be, and then we’ll have some in the FastLane that say, Okay, I’m pretty much sold around the country. How about I bring it in-house? I think it’ll help our brands transition too?
David Nilssen 25:51
Yeah, I think that’s right. And well, you started Complete Nutrition, right? You sell to and now you’re like, Whoa, we got to open these make sure that we support the franchisees, right, so that people may shift between them as well. That’s fascinating. All right. Well, I’d love to hear a little bit. I love asking entrepreneurs about the mistakes that they’ve made that they like really learn from and just curious if there’s something in your, I mean, something that comes to mind. For me, it’s always like how I handled the 08 crisis. Like, when the pandemic came, I felt like I was absolutely prepared because I really failed in 08. I’m just curious, like, if there’s something just, in your experience, where you’re like, you know, that is a lesson that I probably didn’t play out the way that I want it to. But boy, who helped me long term?
Carey Gille 26:32
I learned a great deal. But no, there’s a couple things that come to mind, we’ll have mistakes we can talk about, right? So when the company sold to Intuit, I agreed to stay for a number of years. And I look back on that now. And I think it helped me grow into who I am. I think that time in corporate America helped me be better in my commitment to franchising today, because it really gave me discipline to understand one side of the market that many of the franchisees it costs today, they’re working in corporate America, and I have a perspective now. And I can relate with that, because I’m not sure I ever would have landed there if it wouldn’t have been for that acquisition. So maybe that was a bit of a mistake to agree to a timeline, then again, like you said, it then contributes to who you are later as in as a professional. So maybe that another one that just comes to mind right away, is after Sojern. And as I was finding my home and franchising, I had another startup that I got pulled into primarily as a favor to others. And I stayed for about 18 months. And I didn’t love it. And it didn’t inspire me, it didn’t make me want to get out of bed in the morning. Even if it was the right title, because it was the right title. I just didn’t love it. And I’m sorry, 18 months is too long, to stay in a role that you don’t love that doesn’t just give you goosebumps from time to time that you don’t want to be on a podcast talking about. Totally. It’s just a mistake. And it’s not what I want my kids to do when they watch me in my career. So I see that as mistake. If you don’t get up in the morning, you don’t go this is what I do. This is why I love it. And this is why I want to continue to do that. And this is how it impacts others. Move on.
David Nilssen 28:13
Yeah, I have a similar philosophy, I always say if you don’t like the people you work with believe in what you do, and feel like you’re growing as a person with a better job somewhere else. Right? Like there’s better opportunity, but like the whole idea for us and culture is like, yeah, you got to really like the company you work for and what they’re trying to achieve and the problems that they’re solving and the people that you work with otherwise, what’s the point? I love it. Tell me about that. So that was sort of the what did you learn from it? Like, what are the things that you love most about your role today?
Carey Gille 28:43
The favorite part of my role? I have three sons, I talked about my kids, I have three sons. And when I go back to that vision, again, that clear and compelling picture of a preferable future, what I want to share my why they’re my why I mean, on top of the 5000 territories in the life change, we’re growing across the country, for brands, and for franchisees, we’ve had seven brands now sell the private equity. So think about that life change that we not only drove for that brands family, but also the 5000 territories now around the country and communities outside of what we’re doing on a larger mission. It’s those three boys, and they watch me every day. And I want them to find vision someday, I don’t want them to see me in a 95 that I don’t love and to not come to dinner table without an exciting story. And so they see that they see that in me is that vision. My oldest son, I have a big age gap and my kids my youngest is only 10 My oldest is 21 just turned 21 And he told me just at the end of the semester, recently said mom, I got the highest score on my statistics final and he was kind of laughing because he never saw that as a skill of his and he said look at this and they bring it all up on an app that score at the top here. That’s mine. That’s what I got. And right away I went wow. And but where was I at all tempted to say you should be an actuary or esthetician, no, because David, he doesn’t love that. That’s why he was astounded. He got the high score, because it’s not his love. It’s not his passion. This kid traveled with me when he was little and told me he wanted to be a pilot. He now flies three times a week, he just passed his commercial license. What does he want to do? He wants to fly planes. And I don’t care if aviation is a bad decision from a compensation perspective, compared to being an actuary, none of those things matter. What matters is what he wants to do. And when he can’t stop talking about when he’s home for break, and that’s aviation. So I want to show my kids vision. And I feel like this role here at FastLane allows me to do that as prime my favorite part of the role is simplifying that.
David Nilssen 30:42
I love that because with kids, you don’t recognize how much you’re modeling. And so even that, like, how you enjoy your workload, which you spend more time at work than you will probably do with your family, at least most people do. Right? They’ve got to see that that is something that that’s fulfilling, and it’s not taken, right. So yeah, I It’s funny right now I’ve got, I’m a little bit or I should say my kids are a little younger, and then I’ve got a six and a five-year-old right now we’re dreaming of becoming butterfly catchers. I can’t wait to get to that point in my life.
Carey Gille 31:17
I’m sure there’s vision in there somewhere.
David Nilssen 31:19
No, it’s vision, I don’t want to, I’m not gonna critique it. I know, we’re getting close to the end of our time. But I do want to just end, a lot of people that I come in contact with are either right on the cusp of starting a business, we’re already starting to validate whether they have product market fit, just wondering if there’s a lesson that you could share through your own entrepreneurial journey that would help a newer, aspiring entrepreneur.
Carey Gille 31:43
Let’s throw out a couple books. And then a quote that inspires me. I’m a reader. I read over 150 books last year, I just feel like when you stop learning you stop growing, right. And so as an organization right now, we’re reading Story Brand. And that’s a Building a Story Brand, it is so good. And I think probably no matter what your career, you should read this one, because I think so many of us have the wrong impression of how we should communicate what we do, and who the heroes should be in our story. Because we think it should be us and we shouldn’t be the hero, we should be the guide. And you’ll read all that story brands. So I think that’s a really big one, our leadership team is reading Make Big Happen. And that’s a really good one, too, all about growth and how to drive that growth. And I love Good to Great, it’s just a good one. I’m sorry about the flywheel and getting growth going. So there’s a couple books that have really inspired me. But when I was in business college, there was a quote that hit me and it’s an old one. It’s Henry Ford. But it’s whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right. Whether you believe you can or you can’t, you’re right. And as I say that to you, there’s a poster right here in my office that says that there’s another one downstairs in my home gym when I’m on that fifth mile, right? It has just continued to inspire me, whether you believe you can or you can’t. You’re right. It all starts with that. And at 22 I was pretending I was a tax expert on CNN Headline News. It doesn’t make sense. But I believed I could. At Intuit, I led a team of programmers at a very young age. At Sojern, we got all the airlines on the same platform at Complete Nutrition, we set a goal of 20 territories, and we sold 220. And now we’ve built an FSO that looked nothing like the FSOs before us, we have over 50 employees and almost 30 brands in the 5000 territories. It is a mindset. And I think even when you said Carey, what’s a mistake you made? I think in that other role, I never believed it. I was just going to work every day. But when you find a vision that you’re excited about it, and then you believe you can do it. And I mean, get other way, you’re gonna get her done.
David Nilssen 33:43
Awesome. Well, we’ll leave it there. We’ve been listening to Carey Gille, the CEO of Franchise FastLane. Carey, where can people go to learn more about the work that you’re doing?
Carey Gille 33:52
That’s franchisefastlane.com is the best we have number of handles and all of them but franchisefastlane.com is the right place to start.
David Nilssen 33:59
Awesome. And we’ll put that and the book recommendations in the show notes. So thanks again for being on the podcast.
Carey Gille 34:06
Thank you, David. It’s been a pleasure.
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