This month is for the dreamers! You know the ones. Everyone thought their idea was too big, too crazy, or too forward-thinking. Fast forward through years full of hard work, grit and determination, and those dreamers are now the entrepreneurs you’re listening to on podcasts, watching on TV and reading about as the faces behind some of our favorite brands.
As an agency that has enjoyed handling PR for some of the best entrepreneurs on the planet for more than 18 years, we love sharing the stories of how some of the best in the business have made the journey from dreamer to entrepreneur. After all, it’s a story that media doesn’t get tired of hearing because we all love a success story. Through sharing the stories of the amazing entrepreneurs on our roster, we’ve uncovered the unique journeys these self-made entrepreneurs have experienced.
The entrepreneur behind the largest cupcake franchise in the country
Her dream changed after moving to Nashville from California at 15 to pursue a career in country music. Following her passion for baking and chasing a new dream in a new industry, Gigi Butler took a huge risk by opening a cupcake boutique in Nashville in 2008 just down the street from the bars where she sang. Soon after opening, Gigi’s Cupcakes became a Nashville delicacy dessert of choice and now, nine years later, it is the largest cupcake franchise in the country with more than 100 locations across 24 states! An entrepreneur who wasn’t afraid to chase a new dream, Gigi’s story is a perfect example of sweet success!
The American Dream
A prime example that the American Dream is still alive and well, Tariq Farid, founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements, has achieved tremendous success, but it wasn’t easy getting here.
As a child, Tariq and his family immigrated from Pakistan, they spoke no English and his father worked as a machinist by day and at a fast-food joint at night. Tariq also worked several jobs growing up, including working at a McDonald’s cleaning bathrooms before he made his first entrepreneurial move by purchasing a flower shop while still in high school.
Tariq never stopped dreaming and those dreams payed off when he was inspired to create bouquets made of fruit while he was running his flower shop. No one else was doing it and he was told many times that’s exactly why he wouldn’t succeed with his entrepreneurial idea. Proving them all wrong, today Tariq runs one of the most successful franchises in the world, allowing others to achieve their dreams of having their own business.
But don’t just take it from us, hear it from the dreamer himself as Tariq recently shared his entrepreneur story with Forbes.
This entrepreneur knew that business success was powered by more than money alone
Growing up in the family business, Dina Dwyer-Owens knew the importance of values in leadership and business success. She has lived that out during her tenure at Dwyer Group as the company has expanded into a billion-dollar international business. She credits much of that financial success to the company’s rock-solid system of core values and the theme she champions to Live R.I.C.H. (following Respect, Integrity, Customer focus and Having fun in the process). While many companies have values, approximately 95% of them don’t do a thing with them. The EntreLeadership podcast recently featured Dina as she shares how values can add value to your bottom line.
Where franchising isn’t for entrepreneurs
It’s true, many of the best franchise opportunities have been founded and led by some of the greatest entrepreneurs. But that doesn’t mean that entrepreneurs also make good franchise owners.
As Gary Findley, CEO of Restoration 1 and bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, points out in his latest blog, we shouldn’t all be dreamers. The best franchisees are those who can follow a system, not try to reinvent it. And that’s the great thing about the franchise business model. Some of us are made to join in behind the entrepreneurs before us and utilize the brands and systems they’ve built as a way for us to be our own boss.