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Success Story Podcast

Brian Scudamore – Founder & CEO of O2E Brands | 1-800-Got-Junk Scaling Secrets

By October 19, 2022January 18th, 2023No Comments

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About The Guest

Brian Scudamore is the founder and CEO of O2E Brands, the banner company for 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING, and Shack Shine.

Brian is a serial entrepreneur, known for pioneering the professional junk hauling industry with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?. Since conquering that market, he’s gone on to apply the O2E (ordinary to exceptional) formula to the painting and home-detailing industry with WOW 1 DAY PAINTING and Shack Shine.

Currently, he’s at the helm of a burgeoning home-service empire; each brand has franchise locations in every major metro in North America and Australia. He’s a respected industry leader and speaker, well-known in the business community for his belief in people and passion for innovation.

His companies have made celebrated appearances on ABC Nightline, Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, CNN, The Today Show, Oprah, and CNBC. Brian’s story has been featured in Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, and he contributes regularly to other noteworthy publications.

Brian is a strong believer in ongoing personal and professional development and has attended programs offered by MIT for several years. If he’s not launching a new brand or coming up with a new, big idea, he’s biking or hanging out with his family in Vancouver, BC.

Talking Points

  • 00:00 — Intro
  • 02:50 — Brian Scudamore’s origin story
  • 04:06 — First few successful and unsuccessful experiences
  • 06:15 — Motivation behind building 1–800-GOT-JUNK?
  • 08:44 — Marketing strategies that had a great impact while monetizing and growing 1–800-GOT-JUNK?
  • 11:18 — Leadership lessons and solving people’s problems
  • 14:00 — Finding the right people and scaling a franchise
  • 17:24 — What is the right hand that guides people on what to look for?
  • 19:16 — What should be kept in mind while hiring people?
  • 21:11 — Franchising & scaling 1–800-GOT-JUNK?
  • 23:25 — What allows Brian Scudamore to maintain the quality of the organization among all the smaller owners?
  • 26:06 — While deploying a franchise, what are the things owners should be taught and where should they improvise?
  • 27:35 — What does Brian Scudamore’s book teach entrepreneurs?
  • 29:24 — Building a vision that matters
  • 31:47 — Finding the people that bring this vision to life
  • 34:29 — Creating systems so that the things one has already figured out don’t break down
  • 36:38 — Brian Scudamore’s entrepreneurial insights and lessons
  • 38:13 — Where can people connect with Brian Scudamore?
  • 38:35 — What keeps Brian Scudamore up at night?
  • 39:24 — The biggest challenge Brian has ever faced in his life
  • 40:54 — The most impactful person in Brian Scudamore’s life
  • 41:59 — What would Brian Scudamore tell his 20-year-old self?
  • 42:31 — What does success mean to Brian Scudamore?

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What is the Success Story Podcast?

On this podcast, you’ll find interviews, Q&A, keynote presentations & conversations on sales, marketing, business, startups, and entrepreneurship.

The podcast is hosted by entrepreneur, business executive, author, educator & speaker, Scott D. Clary.

Scott will discuss some of the lessons he’s learned over his own career, as well as have candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures, and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas, and insights.

He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their stories to help pass those lessons on to others through both experiences and tactical strategies for business professionals, entrepreneurs, and everyone in between.


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Machine Generated Transcript


people, entrepreneur, franchise, business, franchise owners, HubSpot, find, person, build, hire, eric, grow, Oprah, big, podcast, learning, brands, pitching, systems, called


Brian Scudamore, Scott D Clary


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Scott D Clary  00:26

Welcome to success story, the most useful podcast in the world. I’m your host Scott D. Clary. The success story podcast is part of the blue wire podcast network as well as the HubSpot Podcast Network. That was my podcast network has other great podcasts like marketing made simple hosted by Dr. JJ Peterson. Now Marketing made simple brings you practical tips to make your marketing easy and more importantly, make it work. If you like any of these topics, you definitely want to go check out the show how to write and deliver a captivating speech, how to market yourself into a new job, how design can help and also hurt your revenue, creating a social media ad strategy that actually works. If these topics resonate with you. Go check out marketing made simple wherever you get your podcasts today. My guest is Brian Scudamore. He is the founder and CEO of OTV brands, the parent company of one 800 got junk. Wow, one day painting and Shaq shine. each brand has franchise locations in every major metro city in North America and Australia. Brian is the author of the books WTF or willing to fail, how failure can be your key to success as well as the author of BYOB, build your own business be your own boss. He’s a regular contributor to Forbes he writes about small business ownership, franchising and building corporate structures. Companies have appeared on major media outlets, including ABC Nightline. Good Morning America, Dr. Phil, CNN, today’s show Oprah and CNBC. This story has been featured in Fortune Magazine, The New York Times, Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal. We spoke about all things entrepreneurship, franchisee business growth, a couple of key topics we went into how to fail as an entrepreneur and why you should. We spoke about vision peoples and systems. We spoke about the playbook to building a franchise model and how it can benefit you as an entrepreneur. We spoke about growth strategies that he’s deployed when his company was going from zero to a million, a million to 100 million. And then 100 million to a billion we spoke about hiring the right people. And then we spoke about the importance of as an entrepreneur, founder, visionary versus implementer how you always have to have somebody to complement your Yang to your Yang. So when you build out a company, understand your areas of opportunity, understand your strengths, understand your weaknesses, and hire out your executive team as well as your as well as your employees to balance out what you’re not great at and that self awareness is such a huge opportunity and requirement to be a successful entrepreneur. So let’s jump right into it. This is Brian Scudamore. He is the founder and CEO of O2E brands.


Brian Scudamore  03:17

Yeah, it was probably a bit of a happy accident. But if I look back at my life, in the early years, I lived in San Francisco, I’m in Vancouver. Today I’m a Canadian, but I was born and raised for the early years in San Francisco and I used to work at my grandparents army surplus store. They had this little mom and pop shop in a dodgy area of San Francisco. And I remember selling stuff, working the cash register meeting clients meeting other employees and I just had fun. To me business felt like a game. And still to this day, even though we’ve got a $600 million business, it still feels like that same game. And that had to have been one of the catalysts and and it just it started me down the path of I am going to start my own business one day. and everything led me that direction, whether it was dropping out of school, being a disrupter in a bad way in high school and elementary school. I just learned from doing and from building stuff and trying different experiments with little businesses at a carwash as a kid. And I used to sit there and set up these car washes on weekends and hire friends in the neighborhood and they’d be out there marketing on the busy streets and we’d pull in cars and wash them and make a ton of money and just have a blast doing it.


Scott D Clary  04:33

So what was the so you were always you’re always somewhat of an entrepreneur. So what walk me through, walk me through some of the first things that you did that were successful that weren’t successful, why they didn’t pan out lessons that you learned that ultimately allowed you to build a $600 million company?


Brian Scudamore  04:51

Well, there’s a lot there. We could talk the whole episode answering some of those questions. So if I think about some of the big lesson And that led me to where we are today. When I was maybe I’ll go back to just the very beginning with my one 800 got junk founder story and moment I was in a McDonald’s drive thru of all places. Yeah. And I’m going to McDonald’s drive thru, I see this pickup truck with plywood sides. It said, Mark’s hauling on the side. And I looked at that truck, and I was trying to find a way to pay for college. And I saw the truck and went, you know what, there’s my ticket, I had $1,000 in the bank spend 700 on a beat up old Ford of my own and put plywood sides on the box. And off I went driving down alleys laneways and had a business it was called the rubbish boys back then. And I had a vision for something bigger. So even though it was just me, it was the rubbish boys. And we said we would stash your trash and flash. And it was essentially just to pay for college. But it turned into me learning more about business running a business than I was learning studying in school. And being the Add type I am I dropped out of school put all my eggs in one basket, started running this junk removal company full time, rebranded it eventually as one 800 got junk, and was ready to take on the world. Now, it was a slow and steady race, the first eight years is what it took me to get to a million in revenue. And I look at today and I go we do a million in revenue, some mornings. And so the momentum has really built up. But it took a long time to get there. And it was just success, failure, success, failure, and just over and over learning, but being so excited and invigorated by what I was learning on the streets, so to speak, versus what I was learning in school.


Scott D Clary  06:42

And that’s that that like one 800 got junk, when you were building that out eight years to get to 1 million in revenue. That’s that’s a tough grind. Because there’s probably a lot of jobs that could have paid more than a million dollars in eight years if you just started working. So when you build this out, how did you stay motivated through all of this? What was the thing that kept you pushing forward? What was the thing that got you to think? You know, what, if I stick with it long enough, I’m gonna get to where I want to be.


Brian Scudamore  07:10

I don’t know if I was smart enough to think that way and go if I stick this out long enough, I think I just found a spot that I was enjoying myself. Yes, it was a grind. Yes, it was long hours. But I still felt like I was playing that game I mentioned full speed. And it was just this fast paced always on trying to figure things out. One of the things we learned in the early days was marketing the business through free press. And my remember, my girlfriend at the time said to me, you got to call up the press and tell them what you’re doing. And I’m like, who cares about some junk man who started with 700 bucks. And she was right, she was smart. The Press did care, we ended up on the front page of the local newspaper. Millions of people read about us that morning. And so I think what kept me going was just this constant challenge of learning new things, how to hire people, how to fire people how to get free press how to grow a fleet, in the early days, five years into the business, a point where I wanted to quit and walk away was I had 11 employees, half a million in revenue at the time. And they say one bad apple spoils the whole bunch. I probably had nine of my 11 were bad apples. And I just had to say, you know, I’m done. And I was done with that group. And I said, I’m sorry, I’ve let you down. I haven’t given you the love and support you needed to be successful. And I don’t know if I can make this work. And I started again. And I committed to finding just as this hat I’m wearing today. It’s all about people, I committed to finding the right people and treating them right. I knew that as a leader. I didn’t pick the right positive, optimistic people for my business. And off I went and found great people and I think back to, you know a long answer to your question. What made the difference and got me to stick with it was once I figured out how to find the right people how to hire happy people. It just made it so awesome. Every day was enjoyable. And I knew we could grow something together.


Scott D Clary  09:11

Okay, so we have to go into people in a second. We’re gonna go into people. There’s a couple of things, we’re gonna go into failure, we’re gonna go into people, but the lessons that you learned because one 800 got junk was like the thing that put your name on the map and then you built a o to e and then you build all the other brands after that. What was the lever that you pulled when you were monetizing? And growing one 800 got junk that brought you from the 500k Arr year five to a million and then some What was that thing and it’s a service based business. So you’re growing through traditional marketing strategies, but what’s the one thing that you found had the biggest impact when you’re trying to grow this out? Because obviously something hit was it the maybe it was the people I don’t know. What’s that thing?


Brian Scudamore  09:53

We were so small that it’s hard to go back and go what was the one big thing? I think part of it was me just staying focus Just and nose to the grindstone and sticking with it. I mean, as you said, I could have made a lot more money doing something else in those eight years. But this was a long game for me. I don’t know if again, I knew it at the time. But I got out there. And it was that grassroots guerilla marketing, it was doing things without spending a lot of money on marketing, trying to stand out with a shoestring. And so in the early days, we got on The Oprah Winfrey Show, we were, I think, 3 million in revenue at the time when we got on the Oprah show. And that was just us reaching out and pitching Oprah over and over and over and being tenacious. And then we land in front of 35 million live viewers on television, it was huge. And we continue to have those types of wins. Whether it’s the Ellen DeGeneres show a few months ago, we get this magic happening, because we envision it. And then we work together as a team to make it happen. So what was the one thing? I think it was probably people, but it was, even though


Scott D Clary  11:01

you went big with some of these PR efforts, that’s that’s huge man.


Brian Scudamore  11:06

But we we don’t and we don’t stop, we continue to try and do big things. Because as you can, you might be able to see it looks cut off a little bit. There’s a sign behind me, it’s kind of fun to do the impossible by Walt Disney. And sometimes you put something out there, like, let’s get on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, I’m gonna get interviewed about something. We didn’t even know what it would be. And we talked our way onto the show. And I’m sitting there getting interviewed in front of millions talking about possibility thinking, and can you imagine what we can build and how to inspire big possibilities and others. So we love challenging that status quo.


Scott D Clary  11:44

And even that one particular story with Oprah, I was watching some podcasts before we jumped on, and it was about getting out of your own way. So let’s let’s do some like leadership lessons. Some things that, you know, you said, when I was in it, it wasn’t so clear, but Hindsight is more or less 2020. So what are some leadership lessons? That particular one I thought was a great story. So getting out of your own way, as a leader? Why is that an issue with people? How did you solve for it?


Brian Scudamore  12:10

It’s it’s the biggest thing, Scott, it’s entrepreneurs get in their own way, all the time. And we are on limiter. And in terms of the ceiling of growth, I think we can experience because an entrepreneur has a great idea. And they have this predetermined way that they see the world. But we can’t build things alone. I don’t imagine you’re building what you’re doing by yourself. You’re out there raising money or raising awareness, you’re trying to build something with the help of others. That’s what entrepreneurs need to do is get out of their own way. There’s that quote, if you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Most entrepreneurs I’ve met over the years, believe that they are the smartest person in the room. I’ve worked hard to be the the least smart person in the room, so that I’m always surrounded by someone who can contribute bigger, better ideas. Our president Eric Church who runs OTB brands ordinary to exceptional, he’s been with us for almost 11 years. And the guy is a rock star. And he can do things that I couldn’t possibly ever do. And so I had to get out of my own way to empower Eric to grow the business now proof that he was the right person and that he’s done it the right way. And I couldn’t do it. I got the company to about 100 million in revenue. Once I got out of the way of the day to day operations. Eric took it to 400 to 500 to 600, he’ll get us to a billion. I couldn’t grow our other brands, while one day painting where we paint people’s homes in a day. And shad shine, where we shine people’s homes, their windows, their gutters, power washing the whole bit Christmas lights, those brands are growing like crazy through our franchise model, finding great people and helping them build on a playbook. We couldn’t do that and grow those brands. If I was in the day to day at the same level that I was with one 800 got junk, we had to find other leaders. I’m not scalable. No one is. And so it’s a it’s a big lesson. I’m glad you highlighted that one because we’re we get in each other’s way all the time. Not, not you and I but ourselves.


Scott D Clary  14:17

Some I’m sure I’m sure we work together I probably get in your way too. But we got to work. We got to work through that event. Everybody has this issue. It’s not it’s not it’s not just one entrepreneur. It’s not it’s not an individual case. Everybody gets in their own way. I think that the most successful entrepreneurs, and like now I see it’s like it’s your it’s your hat and my goodness, it’s like it’s your it’s your brand. It’s people it’s how do you find the right people? And you’ve done that a few ways. You’ve done that in your own organizations, you probably got a really harsh dose of that when you had to get rid of nine of 11 people at 500k That’s not an easy thing to do. And then now you’re hypersensitive to how do I find the right people but then it’s also in your franchise model where again, you’re finding the right people so let’s let’s break down both let’s talk about finding the right people in an org. Let’s talk about how you found somebody to scale it from 100 million to four or five 600 million. What is the right person? And how does an entrepreneur look for that, so they don’t end up in the spot where they have to let go of like 80% of their team. And then let’s also talk about the franchise model, because there’s also a right person concept that you’re that you’re trying to solve for when you look for a franchise as a reason why you’re doing franchises, versus just scaling out operations internally. So, so



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Scott D Clary  15:43

do internal first.


Brian Scudamore  15:45

Yeah, finding the right people and treating them right. How do you find the right people? I my answer on that is my opinion is find the right person for you. So in my new book, BYOB, build your own business, be your own boss, I talk about a woman, Lonnie Skinner, who was president of Starbucks of the US operations. When I brought her in to run my tiny little company. Here’s someone who had 30,000 people in her employed amazing woman super sharp, incredible smarts. She wasn’t the right leader for me. And why she wasn’t the right leader for me is she I don’t think she had a lot of experience working with entrepreneurs. And so after 14 months of trying to work together, we did some great things. But essentially, the business almost went bankrupt. Because both of us weren’t working together in the same way that we needed to, I needed to find the right leader for me. Now she’s gone on to be wildly successful, bigger than she would have been probably with us in something else. But what I realized was the right leader for me, had to complement my strengths. And my weaknesses. It had to be a yin and a yang. And I got out there and I looked for Eric, and what I wrote was a almost a little mini painted picture of vision of the ideal person I was looking for. And I got it out to my networks, and three people unrelated in different parts of the planet, wrote me back and said, you’re looking for Eric Church. They didn’t say, Here’s five people you should consider or I might know someone, they said, This is the person because I was so clear on who I described. And the reason why Eric was the right person for me in the end, because we’re all different as entrepreneurs, was he just understood the quirks and the sort of intricacies of entrepreneurs. He didn’t realize this until he and I were chatting, but all he’s ever worked with was the right hand to an entrepreneur. And he understood how to manage them and what was different and unique, and all their shiny objects and squirrels running all over the place. And he’s been an amazing friend and mentor and professional to grow the business. So it was finding the right person for me. And it was learning from my failure of how I got what I thought was the right person. I mean, x Starbucks, President, man, I hit the jackpot. No, I didn’t hit jackpot for me, wrong person for my business.


Scott D Clary  18:09

I’ve heard this a lot, actually. And this is actually something that I’ve taken into my own company, it’s, I’ve always shied away from hiring MBAs, or execs from, you know, like fortune 500, because it’s difficult to operate in a startup environment. If you could even distill some of Eric’s personality traits or management style. So at least somebody has a framework to for what to look for, because maybe they don’t know what to look for today. What would that right hand be?


Brian Scudamore  18:40

Well, you know, I’m going to answer that with a book. There’s a book called rocket fuel. And you know, Wickham, and I, the other name is escaping me, but rocket fuel. We Eric and I read this book, or I did what an entrepreneur like I do is I skim Eric, Reddit, and we compare notes. And we both said, Wow, this is us. This is I’m the visionary. He’s the implementer. And the book gives a framework as to which one are you? Most entrepreneurs are visionaries. And how do you find the implementer someone to execute on your vision, your plans? And so the personality of Eric is rigorous, disciplined, follow through accountability, things that don’t often describe entrepreneurs. I get to be the idea guy. Now Eric brings amazing ideas as well. But we just we we know our unique strengths and opportunities of how we work together. But his personality of just that rigor and discipline and precision. He’s, he’s unbelievable. And so I think an entrepreneur needs someone to balance them out. So again, where we’re, as entrepreneurs often very add and shiny objects. How do you find your balance of someone that can stay focused for long, long periods of time, and ensure that you execute on what you see


Scott D Clary  20:00

Very smart. And then let’s let’s pivot from the hiring the best possible people internally to also because I also just want to point out that the type of personality that you hired for an Eric, of course, I was at an executive level, but the people the balance, the yin and the yang, and the understanding the entrepreneurial and startup environment that permeates every position in New York, if you hired somebody even, that wasn’t an executive, they just had an exceptional amount of years of experience, I find that and feel free to comment or whatnot. But I find that that can be detrimental just because their process is so ingrained and entrenched that they can’t see any way of doing it outside of the way they did it at a at an F 100 or fortune 500 company. So I think that that personality, the startup mindset, and the ability to understand your strengths, your weaknesses, and your existing team strengths and weaknesses, even if it’s a five person team, you still got to be cognizant of that. And like the too big person, the person, I think that another example is like Mark robear is from HubSpot. He hired like a account executive from a huge software company and it was just like a mess. It was an absolute mess, right? Because they only operated in that environment. But okay,


Brian Scudamore  21:14

I think you know, Scott, what comes to mind is it is it’s the stage of your business. So I had Cameron Harold, who was our CEO from 2 million to 106 million, and great friends still to this day. We were fire Ready Aim types, both of us. So instead of being planful and discipline, like Eric, we were like, let’s just go absolute Mavericks. A Cameron was the right person for that right stage. Eric is the right person for where we are now in a ton of runway. So I think it’s how do we find the right person for us and the right person for the stage of growth that we’re at? It’s not easy, but I think it’s something to keep top of mind.


Scott D Clary  21:56

Let’s talk about franchising. Let’s talk about franchising as a model, because I’ve never spoken to anybody on this show that has franchised anything, actually, it’s probably a detriment to the show. But it’s a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs and for business owners. So why did you decide to do this? You didn’t scale one 800 got junk through a franchise model? Correct. It was just a pure or did you?


Brian Scudamore  22:15

No, no, I did. I saw I grew the rubbish boys, which became 100 got junk for eight years to a million and then I started to look at franchising. It took me 10 years to get to the point where I had something that I could franchise. And for me, franchising was how do you like McDonald’s? How do you have these cookie cutter type systems and processes that others can follow? It’s a playbook. And I chose it because I’ve always been in love with what Ray Kroc, the one who popularized the McDonald’s brand, how he built a business where people had skin in the game, this was their business. He just gave them a playbook and a recipe, and then the coaching and support to really grow. And we did that with one 800 got junk once we franchise the business. We went from 2 million to 100 million in six years. And it was just hyper growth for us. And we’ve done the same thing with Shaq shine and wow, one day painting. We’ve done it a lot faster, because now we have the proven recipe for how to franchise an organization. But I chose it because I wanted people to be owners. I wanted them to think and act like owners. I wanted them to be owners. And I wanted us to build something we were really proud of together. I just


Scott D Clary  23:29

want to take a second to thank the sponsor of today’s episode HubSpot. Now, they don’t call it the sales destination. It’s a sales journey. And on that journey, you want the best tools and support to keep you and your customers connected every step of the way. HubSpot is an all in one CRM platform that is impossible to outgrow and ridiculously easy to use, meaning you never have to worry about it slowing you down. That’s because HubSpot is purpose built for real salespeople with real customers and real problems to solve. With customizable hubs and tools that you can add and subtract as you grow. And an interface it’s just as easy to use if you’re a team of one or 1000 HubSpot is built for you and your customers to grow together. Wherever the journey takes you. Learn how HubSpot can help your business grow And it’s interesting because every CEO will always say oh, I want the employees to feel empowered and to feel like owners, but it doesn’t really ever happen candidly, unless they have equity or they’re on the cafe board. They have a little bit of the company because it’s hard for anybody to be as passionate about the company as the CEO or the founder or the owner is so the franchise model solves for this. But how do you do the franchise model correctly? What’s the what’s the thing that allows you to maintain the quality of the organization amongst all these smaller owners?


Brian Scudamore  24:40

Yeah, but back to the hat again, it’s all about people. So as franchise owners, it really is finding the right people and making sure that they are empowered to grow a great business with us. We use the word franchise partners. One of the earliest things I did was changed the word from franchisee to franchise partner, because I felt we depend on their success. They depend on us. And this is a partnership. So we would often over the years get a franchise owner who says, we’re your customer. And I’d say no, we’re each other’s partners. If you don’t succeed, if I don’t succeed, we have to work together to make magic happen. Franchising is interesting, because it’s not for everybody. I would never have become a franchise owner, where I don’t think I would have. But you take Paul guy who’s our first franchise partner who started in Toronto, he, he actually worked for our operation in Vancouver, drove a truck across the country to Toronto and started the first franchise. It took me eight years to get to a million in revenue, which is slow. It took him one year to get to a million in revenue, because he had a proven recipe, and today, he’s got 100 million in revenue across his franchises. Now, what I found interesting about franchising is very similar to sports. I’ve had conversations recently with Shaquille O’Neal who spoke at our conference. And he and I have kept in touch. And here’s a guy who doesn’t need to build the race car, he just wants to drive the race car, right? You look at him with sports. He’s a franchise king. He’s got about a half a billion in wealth through franchises that he owns. And I asked him, why did he get into franchising? He said, it’s just like, it’s just like sports. He goes, I know how to build a winning team, I know how to lead someone to a championship, I find the right people, I plug them into a brand. And off, they grow. I don’t need to invent the systems and the brand. But I know how to grow it with the right people. And that’s where franchising back to Paul guy or first franchise owner, he understood that his leverage was use a playbook that’s already in place and crank it up quicker than I ever did.


Scott D Clary  26:51

And when you when you deploy a franchise, what are the things that you want to teach over to the owner? Versus what? What part do you want to let them run with on their own? Is there any benefit to any portions of the business, them having creativity in the execution or the deployment?


Brian Scudamore  27:08

Yeah, so we say to our franchise owners take the first year just to follow the recipe. If you have better ways to do things that you discover, make notes of those. And after the first year, let’s talk, our best ideas absolutely come from the system, think McDonald’s, the Big Mac, that Ronald McDonald, you know, these things came out of franchise partners heads, we know that our best and brightest ideas come from our franchise ownership. And so we tap into those. And everyone benefits when there’s a winning idea. But we don’t want them in the beginning. We want people to follow the recipe and understand some of its faults, our systems are never perfect, because things are dynamic, and they change. But it’s taking the best practices, understanding them and then layering on top. So if you think of a pilot, a very checklist oriented job, where you just don’t want to risk anything, you don’t want someone being innovative in any way, do this differently and actually testing it on the fly. You want someone to have the patience and discipline to go, here’s something we should consider. Let’s talk about this. But let’s not just try it right out of the get go.


Scott D Clary  28:19

Now, one other theme that you speak about quite often. And I actually would I would ask like, if if there’s more to franchising, then we can go into it. But I think that, obviously, what’s top of mind for you, or it seems to be at least is that you, you have sort of summarized all your entrepreneurial experience in your latest book in BYOB and build your own business. And now you’re teaching over some of like the core steps for every entrepreneur franchise are not just the things that they should think about when they’re trying to start from scratch. So we can do one of two things we can do, we can do a bit more on franchising, or if you feel like that’s like a concept you’ve spoken about a lot. We can speak about some of the things that you’re really passionate about, that you wrote about in the BYOB, build your own business, and why you think that these are things that entrepreneurs have to pay attention to so we could do like a intro to entrepreneurship entrepreneurship one on one for the next couple of minutes to talk to you whatever you want. Hey, you


Brian Scudamore  29:09

know what, it’s up to you. It’s your show. Yeah, okay. No, I you know what, let’s talk about the, you know, BYOB, build your own business, be your own boss and why I called it two things was some people want to be the boss, they want to be in charge. They want to be the person leading the way the other some others. It’s building your own business. It’s, it’s wanting to build something and create and leaving a legacy. But the three things I talk about in the book that I believe are key in any business, franchised or otherwise is vision, people and systems, having a clear vision of where you’re going to then rally the people who you’ve chosen are the right people to be on your sort of ship. And then have the systems and processes that keep everybody accountable to excellence that hold people to the here’s our best practice. until we find another best practice to achieve amazing results.


Scott D Clary  30:06

So let’s go into let’s let’s unpack all three, let’s give a cursory look at all three. So vision. So how do you establish vision because people hear about vision, it’s on some company’s websites. Sometimes it’s not really adhere to or really understood by anybody outside of the copywriter for a few landing pages when they first spin up a site. So how do you actually build a vision that matters that permeates your organization that everybody can buy into and evangelize? And, and that’s something that means something?


Brian Scudamore  30:32

Well, I’ll start with the story, Scott of how I discovered the power of vision. And I didn’t know it at this very moment in time when I came up with this. But I was at my parents summer cottage, little shack on the water. And I was in a bit of a doom loop where my business was at a million dollars. But I thought, I don’t know if I love what I’m doing. I don’t know, if I have the education having dropped out of school. I don’t know if I have the business idea that can be as big as something could possibly be. And so I said, Okay, enough negativity, I pulled out a sheet of paper and I started to write what I could see in the future using my imagination and nothing but and I said, we’ll be in the top 30 metros in North America, by the end of 2003, which was five years out, I said, we’d be on The Oprah Winfrey Show, we’d be the FedEx of junk removal. And I envisioned what this could look like, I took the picture from my mind, put it into words, and then I started to share this with others. And I got it did invigorated me it got me focused and excited on something I could see. But I shared it with people. And one of two things happened with the group that I shared it with. In my company, half the people ish said, Brian, you’re smoking some hope dope, like you are not going to be on Oprah, you are not going to be in 30 cities, like give it a break. The other group said, Wow, I don’t know how we’re gonna get there. But this is compelling. And I want to be apart. So a practice we’ve put in place is having this painted picture, this one page, double sided. A picture says 1000 words, why not take those words and share them? With everyone in your organization, everyone that touches your organization, potential employees, future employees, whatever it might be and say, Do you see what we see. And it’s been powerful, because almost every vision that we’ve ever set for ourselves, as impossible as it might have seemed, it’s all come to fruition, because we know clearly where we’re going. We don’t know how to get there, we don’t even try and think of how to get there. We just understand the destination and then rally as a team to make that win happen.


Scott D Clary  32:31

And then that, that dovetails into the second point, which is the people that bring this vision to life. So that’s the thing that we have to find for So you spoke to it a bit. But you even mentioned the story previously, and I alluded to it, he didn’t go into it. But there’s probably other stories. It’s when you want to get onto Oprah. And you found this, I think young person who just like, kept going and figuring it out, I had no idea how to do it. So tell that story. And it’s an incredible story. But also, how did you find that person? How do you find like, 10 of those people?


Brian Scudamore  33:01

Yeah. So we hire an attitude train on skill. So when we tried to get on Oprah, it was actually hiring our first PR hire, I had been the person that had always pitched the press. I didn’t know how to scale that. So I said, let’s find someone who’s got the energy and enthusiasm that I do that can tell a great story over the phone, who doesn’t mind smiling and dialing over and over and over. And so we found this guy, Tyler Wright a lot of energy, great enthusiasm, but knew nothing about PR had never pitched PR in his life. And so we found this guy and I said, Okay, we have this Can you imagine while in our office with big goals and things we want to accomplish, and one of them is to be featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show. And I remember he used to just look up at that, can you imagine and he’s like, I’m gonna make that happen. It took them 14 months alongside of pitching other media outlets, of course, but he was relentless. He just kept calling up Harpo studios, emailing, faxing the whole bit, and just saying like, here’s our story. And it was tenacity. And what it’s recognizing this goes back to letting go of control. While I was good at pitching the press and telling a story or helping to find an angle. I couldn’t do it day in and day out over and over and over, but Tyler could. And so the day Tyler got us through to Oprah as producers and they said we want you to come out to LA we’ve got a hoarder. We want you to clean it up. We want you on the show. I mean, Tyler jumped up out of his seat in an open office environment, just screaming. We’re like what is going on? Because he landed the mother of all media hits. Oprah Winfrey, and someone I mean, how does that even happen when you’ve got somebody that has zero experience, and this is their first job doing PR and they learned that, again, the value of hiring people based on what they believe what they’re excited about. and the attitudes, they have much more than the skill, we were able to train him. And he in turn trained us because he found new ways of doing things having not been constrained by, here’s how you do PR.


Scott D Clary  35:14

And then Okay, so now we have a great lesson on vision on people, what was the last thing and that was three things. System System System systems, the most important, so then you don’t have to, you know, you can sort of remove yourself and, and create these processes. Okay, so how do you create these systems? What’s your strategy for creating things so that whatever you’ve done, and you figure it out, doesn’t break down?


Brian Scudamore  35:34

Yeah, so systems to me are what is your one page shouldn’t take more than a page? What’s the best practice for anything you do? How do you list it out into a checklist or some sort of simplified process of, of here’s a reference for someone else who is about to do what you do over and over and over that works incredibly well. It could be how to pitch the press, it could be step by step, here’s what you need to do. So that you don’t miss a step. So for example, one of the things I taught Tyler with the press was when someone from the press says, No, I’m sorry, that’s not a good story, or there, it’s not something that we’re interested in. And it would be a step on the checklist, as you always have to ask that person. What’s missing? What would make it a story. Because if you have the USA Today on the other line, or CNBC or doesn’t matter, someone big and you’re finding out what’s missing, that journalist will tell you what’s missing, which will then give you an idea that you can plug in when you’re pitching the New York Times or when you’re pitching someone else big and land it. And we did that over and over and over. So a system is how do you have predictable results by not missing a step? Again, back to the pilot example, you’ve got a pilot on a plane, you don’t want the missing point 17 on that checklist, because that could be the end of that flight. You want someone making sure they’ve covered everything. A system is just a way to get your people on board with the best way to do something. Now, as we talked about with franchise owners, we want better systems, better ideas, we want innovation. So you have to be willing to challenge the status quo, but it is having a process and then knowing when you need to refine that process and make it better.


Scott D Clary  37:23

And then last question before we do a couple rapid fire to close this out. What’s one last entrepreneurial insight lesson you’d want to teach over that we haven’t covered? Anything that’s really impacted you that you think if you’re an entrepreneur starting out, this is something you have to know.


Brian Scudamore  37:40

Yeah. 100%. So my first book was called WTF willing to fail. I didn’t know the title of the book when I wrote it. But at the end, the title jumped out because I realized, man, I failed over and over and over. And that’s made me who I am. The last piece of the commentary, the the wisdom, whatever you want to call it is be willing to fail. When you make a mistake as an entrepreneur. I learned this from Ben Zander, who was the conductor of the Philip Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and has written some great books. When you fail, just go Ah, thank you. Wow, awesome. Have the right attitude because there’s a gift in that failure. If you’re willing to unwrap it. There’s a gift there somewhere that will say, Okay, someone not, you know, people asked me I did a podcast this morning and someone said, what would you change? One thing you could change in your life? I’m like, you kidding? Nothing. I needed to fail all those times. I wouldn’t take any one of them away. Because I needed to learn that failure. That mistake which allowed me to be better and bigger. Later on, if I didn’t fire those 11 people. Would my company have grown? Of course not. I would have stalled out because I didn’t figure out the recipe of how to find the right people. And that came from a failure.


Scott D Clary  38:57

Amazing. Okay. Before I do rapid fire, what are the socials websites? Where do people go connect with you?


Brian Scudamore  39:03

Go to Google, put in Brian Scudamore. You’ll, you’ll find me. Instagram. Wherever you want to go. Whatever works for you. I’m not on Tik Tok yet.


Scott D Clary  39:12

Well, one day, one day we’ll get we’ll get you dancing on tick tock. Something. All right. You’ve had incredible success. But what keeps you up at night right now?


Brian Scudamore  39:24

That’s a great question. The what keeps me up at night. The I mean, I sleep really well. I do. But it’s that constant thought of how do we find more great people as franchise owners? How do we show people that franchising is a really awesome, it’s awesome enough for Shaquille O’Neal. How do we show people it’s a it’s a good path for someone that wants to start their own business. And they might not have an idea. They might not have an idea that they can take to go hey, here’s the next Instagram. You don’t have to necessarily have the idea sometimes the big idea is execution. I have someone else’s methodology or playbook. So that keeps me up. How do we find those people? How do we educate them?


Scott D Clary  40:06

How What’s the biggest challenge you’ve come overcome in your own personal life? What did it teach you?


Brian Scudamore  40:14

That’s a great one. Probably one of the biggest ones is my ability to focus. You know, I mentioned my ADD, I mean, truth is, I’ve never sat through a formal diagnosis of my ADHD, because I don’t have the patience. You know, and I’m not trying to be funny. It’s true. I am. So add that I can’t read books. Back in the days when he used to go to the movie store Blockbuster and get a video I would look at the pictures. That’s how he chose movies. I could never read the back because it was it was too hard for me to stay focused on the words. Yes, I can write but I have a hard time reading. But I’ve learned to manage my my focus. I think the lesson for me was just like failure being a gift. My inability or my challenge with focusing is also a gift. I think differently. I find some great ideas occasionally. But it takes a lot of mental energy to get through the weeds at times. And so just systems and processes to help me stay focused. I work in short, Sprint’s I find ways to what are times of the day where I’m more effective than others, where are places that I work more effectively and stay more focused than others. I do some of my best work outdoors walking the dog or ski and on the slopes. Understanding that that’s not a that’s not something I’m doing just because I want to have fun. It’s actually even just a better focus and better idea generation for me.


Scott D Clary  41:39

If you had to pick one person, obviously, there’s been many, but pick one person has had a major impact on your life. What did they teach you?


Brian Scudamore  41:46

Hmm, oh, that’s great. My grandparents, my grandparents who ran an army surplus store in San Francisco called Lorber surplus. Everyone in the neighborhood, it was a dodgy area of San Francisco. And everyone on either side of them all the shops would get robbed constantly, it wasn’t uncommon to see a shop owner run out and chase someone down the street who just robbed their cash register. My grandparents in their 20 years in that location got robbed twice. And the reason why they rarely almost never got robbed was the word out on the street was You don’t mess with the laborers. They’re such wonderful people. They used to give when someone would come in off the streets, they would give them an ear give them the love and support they needed. They’d never give them money when they asked but they gave them what they really needed, which was love. And so I think the learning I got from them for how to take care of people has absolutely had the biggest impact on my life.


Scott D Clary  42:43

If you had to tell your 20 year old self one thing, what would it be?


Brian Scudamore  42:47

Be willing to fail just you’re gonna mess up a whole ton in life. You’re gonna fail at a school after school after school, 14 schools from kindergarten to college, I talked my way into college without finishing high school. But the only diploma I have is my kindergarten diploma. And I mean, it’s just the reality school didn’t work for me. I love learning. I dropped out of school, I did not drop out of learning. I just found a different way to educate myself.


Scott D Clary  43:15

And then last question, what does success mean to you?


Brian Scudamore  43:19

If my kids want to hang out with me when? When they’re adults when they’re grown up? That’s success. They of course they want to hang out with me right now, but and I I stole that from Paul or Falah who was the founder of Kinkos. And


Scott D Clary  43:35

it’s good. It’s a good thing to try to aspire to. It’s a steal away.


Brian Scudamore  43:40

It was so clear to me. You know, when I met him, he had just sold the FedEx FedEx for gazillions had a private jet had this and that more money than you could ever imagine. And that was his answer. And I’m like, wow, money doesn’t matter. It’s making meaning it’s having people surround you that you love and yeah, it’s awesome.


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