When identifying a good business opportunity, sometimes you have to take the chance of failure, go with your gut and pursue it.
The self-made success stories of Gary Findley, Tariq Farid and Gigi Butler are perfect examples. They’ve grown their businesses from the ground up, refusing to take no for an answer and at points were the only one to believe their idea would work. Today they are some of the superstars in the franchise industry. It wasn’t an easy ride to success, and they’re not done yet!
Small Town, Big Dreams…
Gary Findley, CEO of Restoration 1 and bluefrog Plumbing + Drain, recently sat down with Franchise Times and revealed his journey to self-made success. A story unique in itself… he was just a small-town country boy who graduated high school with 23 people and married one of them. He spent his high school days working as a farmhand and after graduation, went to work for the railroad.
His goal wasn’t to go to college, but to make money.
Findley’s job at the railroad wasn’t a glamorous one, but he didn’t give up. He was determined to move up the ranks and he volunteered to stay after hours to learn the ropes from his supervisor. One day they needed someone to fill in a leadership role, and he was the only one who knew how to get the job done. Shortly after, Findley had 100 peers in his rail gang, and bosses who treated them with respect. He learned to enjoy his job, no matter what it might be, and take care of the people around him – something he now practices every day as a CEO.
After going through a bankruptcy and closing down his next business, Findley was determined to find a new way to take care of his family, so he took a leap of faith. He turned down a VP job with a steady paycheck and took a chance on a fitness concept his friend approached him with called “Curves.” After eight years, Findley grew Curves to 8,000 units nationwide.
Gary then went on to create the Findley Group – a partner to franchise businesses. And now his focus is on making Restoration 1 and bluefrog experience the same type of growth and success as Curves.
He’s a dreamer, a believer and a hard-worker. And we have no doubt that he won’t stop until he’s back at the top with these new concepts.
An Immigrant Finds The American Dream…
Tariq Farid moved from Pakistan to America with his family in 1981. His family had little to no money and his father worked two jobs trying to make ends meet. Farid began delivering newspapers, cleaning yards and working other odd jobs to help his family with financial needs. The foundation of Farid’s entrepreneurial future began to unfold when he started working in a flower shop at age 13
Then at age 17, Farid bought and opened his own flower shop. He focused on customer service and before he knew it, the shop began to bloom with reoccurring customers.
That was just the start of Tariq’s entrepreneurial journey. After working in the flower shops for years and creating a POS system of his own that he sold to neighboring businesses, Farid created what is now known as Edible Arrangements. Many doubted he could sell specially cut fruit, but he was determined for it to be successful. Tariq went with his gut and now leads over 1,200 Edible Arrangements locations in 10 countries.
Since founding Edible Arrangements, Farid has started his own foundation – a philanthropic, non-profit corporation that provides support for worthwhile causes in the U.S. and around the world. He also serves as CEO of Naranga – a franchise management solution for all types of businesses.
From Cleaning Houses to Baking Riches…
Moving to Nashville in 1994 from California to pursue a career in music at 15-years old, Gigi Butler supported her dream by cleaning houses during the day and singing in honky tonks at night. While she loved music, she also had a passion for baking.
As the years went by, she decided to take a chance on her cooking talents instead of her voice. She took a huge risk and opened a cupcake boutique in a high rent area just off Music Row in Nashville in February of 2008- not far from the bars where she sang.
Soon after opening, Gigi’s Cupcakes became a Nashville delicacy dessert of choice and now ten years later, it has expanded to more than 100 locations across 24 states… making Gigi’s one of the largest cupcake franchises in the country.
And while Gigi Butler continues to bake delicious cupcakes, she’s now also selling good smelling candles and releasing her first book later this year.
Success Turns to Serial Success
As you can see from our hard-working clients, self-made successes often turn into serial successes. And with each new success, the PR quotient goes up with a new story to share. As PR professionals, we have the opportunity to shine a spotlight on our clients and help them grow their already successful businesses.
Success doesn’t always happen overnight, but our clients are proof that with hard work, dedication, and passion, you can turn a dream into reality.