The 2X Undercover Boss Guest and Founder of, Steve Greenbaum on How to Know When It’s Time to Franchise

Show Notes

Steve Greenbaum shares how to know when it’s time to franchise your business model and why your motivation for franchising must truly be to help the franchisee (new franchise owner).

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing Steve Greenbaum who is the founder of PostNet, a former Chairman of the International Franchise Association and Steve has appeared on Season 4 of CBS’s Undercover Boss (which can be seen on Netflix) and a special episode called Undercover Employee.
  2. What was it like to be on Undercover Boss?
    1. It’s a lot of work. A lot of time on the road. You don’t get a lot of time to yourself.
    2. They ask you a lot of questions and it is tough.
    3. Imagine you are in a persona of the character and having to go through TSA security with your disguise on that obviously doesn’t match your driver’s license.
    4. My motorcycle persona came as a combination of Game of Thrones and my love for motorcycles.
  3. Steve Greenbaum I know that you’ve had a ton of success at this point in your career, but I would love to start off at the very beginning of your career. What was your life like growing up and where did you grow up?
    1. I grew up on the Northside of Chicago
    2. My parents divorced when I was 2 years old
    3. The most difficult part of it was that my parents were very at odds with each other.
    4. It was oftentimes abusive for me and my 3 brothers
  4. Steve Greenbaum When did you first figure out what you wanted to do professionally?
    1. I found work to be the release from my troubled upbringing
    2. I loved not only doing the work and looking back and taking pride in the work that I had done
    3. I started working full time at 15 years old
    4. I found that I really was able to shine in sales positions
    5. My dad started a bar and a large chain of educational schools
    6. He was probably the best salesman I have been able to be around
    7. He was a good role model as a person, but he was a  great role model in business
    8. Where a lot of kids grew up with a father to get advice, I was able to learn from him about how to be around people and carry yourself in business and go after what he wanted
  5. PostNet went on to become a huge business…but how did go about founding PostNet in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1992?
    1. My father and a business partner got involved in a retail mailbox business
    2. We decided to develop an independent mailbox concept
    3. We launched it and from 1985 to 1991 developed 400 independent locations
  6. How did you go about funding the company?
    1. I got a little bit of help from family to get it up and going
    2. There was huge demand during the time
    3. We used the capital from the retail stores to fund the independent stores
  7. Steve Greenbaum What was the hardest part of starting the 400 locations?
    1. People wanted more support
      1. Legal support
      2. Benefit support
  8. How did you go about getting your first 10 customers?
  9. When did you first feel like you were truly beginning to gain traction with PostNet?
  10. You began Franchising PostNet in 1993…how big has it now grown to?
  11. What kind of people should franchise?
    1. The brand that you build is critical to the success of the company
    2. How you systematize your business is what makes it work
  12. How do you know when you should franchise your business
    1. If the pure motivation is just to build and sell, that won’t be the right motivation
    2. You should want to improve the customer experience and deliver your product or service at a better level
    3. Franchising is a way to help and enrich the people around you and lift them up
  13. What have you shared with Jonathan Barnett as a mentor?
    1. A lot of my time with Jonathan has been spent looking at the future of the company and how to take it to the next level.
    2. Having the right structure and brand to help each person in the brand to feel like they are the top priority
  14. You sold PostNet to MBE International in 2017…what  were the driving factors that led to the sale and what is MBE?
    1. What led to the sale is that I had a business partner I had been working with for many years.
    2. I started to see that they were able to be better equipped to help our franchisees
    3. After considering the sale, I started to become about what might come next for me.
    4. I always wondered what kind of CEO I would be in a different industry and that curiosity played a big part in the decision.
  15. What is Full Contact Franchising about?
    1. Most franchisors don’t only struggle with growth, they also face employment and management issues and I feel that it is my calling to help in that.
  16. What is your goal with Full Contact Franchising?
    1. I see it as providing balance between franchisors and franchisees
    2. Franchising is great business as long as everyone is winning
    3. One of my goals is to help young and established brands to recognize that part of being successful is taking care of yourself as well
  17. Steve Greenbaum At what point in the process is the right time to reach out the Full Contact Franchising?
    1. If you are 10-200 locations and want to add and build value for the business and its franchisees

NOTABLE QUOTABLE: “Franchising is a journey, not a destination” – Steve Greenbaum

  1. I know that you are a serial entrepreneur who has experienced massive success but even the best of us experience some low points. What was the lowest low of your career?
  2. When you were at the bottom, what did you learn most from this experience?
  3. Today, I’d love for you to share with the listeners about the kinds of projects that you are up to?
  4. How, you come across as a very proactive person…so how do you typically organize the first four hours of your day and what time do you typically wake up?
  5. What are a few of your daily habits that you believe have allowed you to achieve success?
  6. What mentor has made the biggest impact on your career thus far?
  7. What advice would you give the younger version of yourself?
    1. I would say self, make more time for yourself, your family. No matter how much you love this business, if you aren’t taking care of the people around you and yourself, you need to reevaluate it.
  8. We find that most successful entrepreneurs tend to have idiosyncrasies that are actually their super powers…what idiosyncrasy do you have?
    1. My superpowers are 
      1. Passion
      2. Attention to Detail
      3. Sense of Urgency
  9. What message or principle that you wish you could teach everyone?
  10. What are a couple of books that you believe that all of our listeners should read?
    1. Crushing It – Gary Vaynerchuk
    2. Start with Why – Simon Sinek

ACTION ITEM: On a scale from 1-10 rate your satisfaction with your life in each of these areas

  1. Faith
  2. Family
  3. Finances
  4. Fitness
  5. Friendships
  6. Fun
Business Coach | Ask Clay & Z Anything

Audio Transcription

Today we interview the two time undercover boss Steve green ball. Andy shares how you will know when it’s time to franchise your business and what it’s like to work with the founder of Oxi fresh Jonathan Barnet.

TIS the season to go under cover.

I want to make sure are we are here to help small businesses thrive. CVS Friday, please button your shirt. Looks like he might’ve been from the 70s find out who’s been naughty. This is one of our major

TIS the season to go undercover.

I want to make sure are we are here to help small businesses thrive. CBS Friday, please buy your shirt. Looks like he might’ve been from the 70s find out who’s been naughty. This is one of our major failures. Sorry man. Who have killed my machine, who’s been nice. I give you information on PostNet. What about me? I’m a little bit more handsome and cooler. Received the greatest gift of all. It’s here right now. We say it. I can get up to hug you. A Joanie new undercover boss, CVS Friday.

Dr Z. It is ecstasy. When you are next to me. And on today’s show we have a guest by the name of Steve, Steve, Steve Greenbaum. What’s going on?

Hey guys, everything’s great. How you doing

Man? I’m excited cause I’ve never had a guest on the show with the last name bomb. And I know you spell it differently, but every time that I say Steve Greenbaum, I’m going to hit the bomb button.

Can you say your name when you’re in an airport? I mean, cause you’re, I mean is that must be tough to travel. Do you have to do a lot of private jets? I mean, how, how is that?

It’s awesome. Not a problem.

Okay, beautiful. Just never take bombs. I mean,

Now let me tell you about this guest here. Thrive nation. I went to see, I want sometimes the introductions need, need, need a certain subtlety. Yes. A certain clarity. A certain certain Avalon. So I’m going to grab my megaphone real quick and I’m going to read the announcement here. With that settled.

There you go. Nice. Nice move. Nice. Very subtle. Well that’s annoying. Yeah. Don’t, don’t do that anymore. That’s just, no, don’t do that. Yes. Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen, on today’s show we’re interviewing Steve green. Bob who is the founder of PostNet today, former chairman of the international franchise association. And Steve has appeared on season four of CBS undercover boss, which can be seen on Netflix in a special episode called undercover employee.

Steve, how is this possible, my friend? What, what life decisions have you made that allowed them to choose you and select you out of all the entrepreneurs? Why did they choose to have you on the undercover boss show? That’s awesome.

Yeah, thank you. I think, you know, they, they’ve looked to find people that have a story that people wanting to hear about and that can learn something from. And so hopefully I was selected because they thought I could add value and maybe help you know, sort of not only elevate entrepreneurship but you know, kind of show how you can do good and do business at the same time.

What was sort of, what was it like to be on the show? I mean, did you, you obviously did a good job. You’re on twice. I mean, what was it, what was it like? Was it, was it, is it heavily scripted? Is it just they put a camera on like a helmet cam and follow you around? I mean, what’s it like to be on the show?

Yeah, well there’s only so many details I can share according to some of their agreements. But what I would tell you is it’s a lot of work. It’s quite a bit of time on the road. You have very little personal time to yourself. Yes, there is a lot of conversation. Communication. They ask a lot of probing questions. They learn a lot about you. They really want to dig deep, sort of for your personal why, your personal value proposition. And I’m, you know, it’s, it’s tough. And sometimes it’s tough to get face to face with yourself like that, but it was a good experience for me.

Z, my next preferred compared question, I’m not going to ask it now because I had written down here. What were the names and the social security numbers and the addresses of all the people who worked on the show with you. Well, I’m going to skip that on the road again. I didn’t know. Do you have to drive it? It was like a truck driving. Do you hate a lot of trucks stops on the way? I mean when you’re on the road a lot, is it like you’re really, you’re on the road or you fly around or you tell us that we can you,

We were on the road a lot. We flew. What you guys might find interesting is imagine you’re in this persona of the character and the disguise I was in was fairly permanent for the period of time I was in it. And so can you imagine if you’ve got a good disguise and if anyone has the time to go look, mine was pretty good. Getting through TSA in an airport when you show me your driver’s license and then they look at you and go, wait a minute, that’s, that’s you. And sometimes the producers have to come along and help you get through.

I knew you had trouble going through an airport. I just knew it. Steve Greenbaum has a problem going through airports. Green bomb this just in this, just in, it’s my third bomb of the show. I’m like, I’m triggered, I’m trigger happy. Okay. Now here would be my first real deep, deep questions. He isn’t, cause we kind of transitioned into the deep part of the show or with the deep part. Now you’ve had a lot of success obviously, and you’re continuing to have success. But what was like the very beginning of your career? I mean, what was the life, what was life like growing up for you and, and you know, just tell us what, where, where it all started.

Yeah, sure. So pretty humble beginnings. Grew up on the North side of Chicago area called Rogers park. Nice community. My parents divorced when I was very young, around two years old and both of them were hardworking people. My mom was a waitress, my dad worked in sales, he was an entrepreneur. He started a number of small businesses. And I think the most difficult part to be honest, is that they were, they were very much at odds with each, each other. And you know, we found ourself. I had three brothers caught in the middle of their trauma. I would tell you by today’s standards, it wasn’t just difficult. It was oftentimes abusive. But I had a great relationship with my brothers. On a, on an interesting note about Steve Greenbaum, that’s unusual. I met my best friend, well, we were too young to know each other by the way, but my mom came into the hospital to have me as his mom was leaving. They shared a room for about a day, became friends and we grew up together, went to kindergarten together, went to grammar school together. So my best friend literally has been in my life since I was born.

See who go. Who else can say that now I’ll tell you. You can say that Steve green. Bob can say that Z. Now, Steve, when did you figure out what you wanted to do professionally? I mean, there’s a lot of things he could have become a, a professional bowler or a, a, a, an amateur bowler. He could have been a I bowling, you know the guy at the bowling alley, he rents you the shoes. It sprays him. He got, he could’ve been the pretzel vendor at the bowling alley. Devin, you’ve been to the bowling alley. I mean there’s a lot of key positions there. He could put the bartender at the, at the bowling alley that’s open one night a week in broken arrow. It could be a pin setter. It could have been a pin setter and a pin maintainer. He could’ve been one of those ball cleaner guys. He could’ve been the guy who puts the Rose inside the ball, like in the movie King pin. Why didn’t you go bowling is a, at for, for a profession. And then what w when did you figure out what you wanted to do professionally?

Yeah, well actually, ironically I did bowl as a kid and probably probably spent too much of my hard earned money bowling.


But to come to come from a kind of a, you know, tough upbringing like I did, I kind of found work to be the release for me and I, I loved to work. And so from a very young age, you know, preteen, I shoveled snow in the winter. I raked leaves in the fall. You know, I did lawn mowing and had a service and I loved not only doing the work and it kinda gave me a great kind of head space to operate in. But, you know, looking back at the work quality work and taking pride in it, I don’t care what it was. And so I think that’s something that really kind of was my, my, you know, created my clarity. I started working full time at 15 years old and I’ve done a lot of things from digging ditches and working in service departments too, moving into sales roles. And actually that’s where I really shine and I’m actually worked with my dad and some of his businesses that he developed. But I kind of knew early that I loved, you know, again, that idea of, you know, hard work and the results that you get from it. And, and through working with my dad, the idea of helping people get started in business and succeed in business, that’s just resonated with me and kind of probably kicked off my PostNet career.

What did your dad do for a living and where, where were you, where were you based in the United States?

Yeah. So Chicago,


Yeah, North. Yeah, North side of Chicago.

Oh, man. Cow.

Holy cow. Thank you, Harry. Kerry, sorry about that. Harry Carey just wanted to say something.

Harry Carey was a kind of an icon in my life at that time. Not only that, but the Cubs. But my dad started a bar, started a large chain of educational schools started several different business opportunities. He was probably the best salesman I’ve ever been around in my life. And he was, you know, you know, interesting role model as a person, but an exceptional role model as an entrepreneur.

Could you tell me about your relationship with the cups? Were you a big fan of Ryne Sandberg? Sean Dunstan? We, we are deep dark into the Cubs. Lord. Did you care? Was it casual? What was the relationship like with, with the Chicago Cubs?

Yeah, so my, my relationship was huge, but you’re revealing my age because my relationship was with Ernie banks run Sanoe John caisson fair. Yeah. So I, you know, the Cubs, I was a Cubs fan in the 70s.

You can go is deep into this or as shallow as you want. You can punt if you wanna just wanna ask you, you mentioned that your dad was a great role model in business and maybe interesting was the word. Personally, could you, cause I think there’s some listeners out there was he, we all come from families, many of which have come from divorces families where they haven’t had a great role model as a mom or a dad. And somewhere we have great role models or sometimes it’s confusing cause someone can be great in one area and bad in another area. When you said interesting, what does that mean?

Yeah. So what it, what it means is that having divorced parents often times we didn’t see my dad for long periods of time or it was weekend visits. And so he was in and out of my life really until about my teens or maybe a little bit later on. So, you know, we’re, a lot of kids maybe had a father to turn to for advice. A father, you know, I really kind of grew up with a weekend father and sometimes not even a weekend father. So that that was what I, but what I can tell you is what I learned from him about the, you know, the way to treat people, how to run businesses and, and listen, I will tell you, he was a big bold figure. I don’t agree with everything he said and did, but he had the courage of a lion and I saw him make decisions and move on and go after what he wanted in a way that I think really inspired.

Now you, you started PostNet in Las Vegas, Nevada in 1992 and is he I’m what was the art we’re always curious about the founding of companies you didn’t know. Was he like the postnet that became a huge company? But there’s something magical about starting a company Z depo. You started drop Tom your Oh yeah. It’s just fantastic. Was it, were you there, were you nervous? Were you excited? Were you both? Talk to me about the hair on fire moment when you decided to start your optometry clinic. How many years ago, by the way? It was the move 2191 is when I started it. So that’s what, 28 years? 28 years ago did you, was it, were you, were you nervous state when you started your business? Oh, I think there’s always a little bit of nervousness, but you turn that into, you know, performance kind of going on stage, you know, you have, if you don’t have a little butterfly in your stomach, then you’re probably not taking it serious enough.

And so for me it was, it was a combination of that. But you know also that, that, that, that vision that you’re going to be successful and do whatever you need to do and work as hard as you need to work to make it happen. So, you know, I mean, yeah, that was the good old days box. That’s a hat. That’s a hot second ago. When you bought a bank where you nervous? Well I wasn’t until we closed on and then like the next month we had the great recession. It’s like, have good timing. All right, so we’re going to Vegas. The [inaudible] 92, they were going back to 1992 with Steve green balm. Yes. Folks, here we go. So Steve, I want to ask, yeah, how did you go about starting PostNet? What is PostNet, what was PostNet talking to us about how you started PostNet

Sure thing. So my father and a business partner and got involved in a retail mailbox rental business back at that time, mailboxes weren’t available for rent and so that was kind of how I got interested introduced to the retail mailbox business. And then we decided to develop a kind of an independent mail center concept. Some of you may remember mailboxes, etc. But, you know, retail, shipping, mailbox rentals, you know, packaging, gift wrapping, really basic business. And in any event, we launched this independent non franchise business and literally from 1985 to 1991 developed over 400 independent mail and parcel centers. Wow. What was unique? Go ahead. I’m sorry.

So you said 400?

Yes, 400.

Between what years?

1985 and 1991.

I just want to marinate on that for a second. We need to marinate just for a second. Sorry, I just need to this he just said between 1985 and what year is he? [inaudible] 91. That’s one. He grew 400 something for that. It’s like having children. I mean that bout correlates with you that that deserves for me to hit the Steve green bomb button one more time. I just, he just dropped a Steve Greenbaum on me. Okay. Steve. Steve green knowledge. Bob Steve 400.


How, how, how did you fund this thing and where did you do, were you, did you have like a snow cone stand on this, on the side of cartel, the cartel? Did we as selling bell bonds to shady criminals or how did you get the funding to do this?

Yeah, you know, so quite frankly got a little bit of help with family on getting the retail mail talk, mailbox business going opened up several of these small retail shipping businesses in Las Vegas. And it was a very interesting commodity at the time because ups and FedEx did not have delivery to retail, you know, to, to the community other than if you wanted to ship a package, you had to go to a commercial area and, and work in a commercial counter with limited hours. And so the idea of, and then if you wanted to rent a mailbox in Las Vegas when it was booming and growth in the late seventies through really the nineties you had to wait waiting lists three to six months. So huge demand. We, we rented out, you know, thousand mailboxes in a business as quick as we opened them. And so great demand. And what’s interesting is we use the capital from the success of the retail stores to fund the independent development and consulting firm. And the success of the independent development and consulting firm formed PostNet the franchise company. And we never had any debt, no venture capital, no angel investors. This was purely self-funded on the strength of the business model and hard work,

400 locations. What was the hardest part of building those 400 locations?

Yeah, you know, I don’t remember a really hard part. I know that doesn’t sound very truthful, but you know, we were helping people identify a name for their business and find locations and get trained and open. I guess maybe the hardest part was that people wanted more support. They wanted a collective name or a trademark. They wanted business negotiating national discounts support. And that’s what prompted the decision to franchise, quite frankly, because those independent businesses we’ve put together have nothing to do with the a PostNet that we opened subsequently. We didn’t convert those PostNet as a new brand and we built forward.

Talk to me about franchising. What kind of people out there should look to franchise their business and what kind of people should not?

Yeah, so I’m not sure you asked it. You asked a question in a unique way. A kind of people that should franchise their business would be people that know and understand the power and the value of a system and trademarks because the, the identity and the of the business and the, you know, the brand that you build and the promise that that brand creates is critical to the success of the company. And then more importantly, the operating system, how it delivers its products and services and provides value to the customer is number one. It’s the second part of what I thought you might’ve been asking is how do you know if you want to be a franchisee or buy a franchise? And that’s a, that’s a different discussion, which I’m happy to expand on if you want to go there.

Let’s talk about the, the let’s say I have a business right now and I have a plumbing business. I’m doing about $3 million a year doing plumbing and Z people like me and my company’s called something like, you know, Gary’s plumbing, but your name is Clegg. Let’s hypothetically in, in, in an alternative universe. What say that. Okay, Gary’s plumbing. Here we go. So bring it on here is it’s curious plumbing. And I am Gary and when the phone rings I answer the phone and we do have out half our business is commercial, half is residential. That’s fair. There’s no scripts, there’s no systems. There’s no checklist. There’s just Gary and a group of like seven or eight dudes. We’re very profitable though. But it’s scary to think about what happened. What would happen if Gary disappears? It’s scary to think what would happen if Gary pieces out. I mean, could the business carry on without Gary? Why is it so scary? Cause it’s all, it’s all in Gary’s head. Talk to me about how the business owner knows if it’s time to franchise, to become a franchise, to build a franchise system that they could sell to a ward, to other potential franchisees.

Yeah. So I would say to you that if the pure motivation is to build and sell, I don’t think that’s the best motivation to create a frame based company. If the motivation is to help people succeed in business and in life through franchising and provide a better customer experience, then that’s the right reason to do it. And how you would know is not only if you had a very successful business model yourself, but if you were able to create a set of standards and implement a method of doing business and operation or an operations manual and you were able to transfer that knowledge or knowhow and again, associate that with a business name or trademark that spoke to your value proposition that you could build that stands for something more than just plumbing, but would stand for why people should choose you or do with you over anyone else. So what I would tell you is franchising is a business scheme isn’t the best idea. Franchising is a way to help enrich and lift other people up around you and enhance the customer experience. But idea

Jonathan Barnett, the founder of Oxi fresh, he and I are partners on a couple different ventures. He speaks very highly of you and I, I’m not sure if that’s because you’re, you’re, you’re paying him like you’re going to be, maybe you’re buying lunch for him every day or something or what would the, but for, I mean, a long time. I mean, I’ve known John for 12 years and for many of those years he’s spoken highly of you. Any views you as a mentor. Why have you decided to invest time and Jonathan Barnett specifically and what kinds of things have you had? You know what I mean? I’m not asking you the intimate details of your relationship, but he speaks so highly of the mentorship you’ve provided him. If you can recall, what kinds of things have you have, you and Jonathan talked about as it relates to scaling and opening more and more Oxi fresh franchises.

Yeah. Well, you know, thank you for the comment and I’m, I’m, I’m, I feel, you know, equally strong about him as a entrepreneur, as a friend. He, he’s really an impressive person with respect to the way he looks at business. But a lot of my time with Jonathan, Jonathan, both in the past and even most recently, has a lot to do with looking at the future of the business and systems, processes, structure and strategy because he’s a fast growing brand and his technology platforms and his value proposition are extremely high. But how to take his company from where he is in size and revenue to the next level. And then Jonathan, of course, and I know because you’re involved, is looking at integrating other potential furniture brands to expand platform. So, you know, again, having the right structure and organization and strategy to be able to ensure that every franchisee and every brand feels like they’re the most important brand and franchisee in the system is critical to the success of the company. And that’s something that I, I love to do. That’s just kinda how I’m wired. So my work with Jonathan, you’ve got this incredibly smart entrepreneur that has some of the best tech and marketing technology I’ve seen in franchising. But tackling a lot of big issues about how to make sure we grow intelligently and properly and ensure that we keep our value proposition strong. So that’s the side of the kind of the house I sit on with Jonathan and it’s a lot of fun.

I don’t know whether this is accurate because [inaudible] this just ends. Some of the things that we read on the internet are not true. What, I know, I know I’m wrong. I know mr [inaudible] kind of upset with us there, but I read that you guys merged with or sold a PostNet to MBE international in 2017. What were what were the big benefits of, of teaming up with these guys and why did you decide to move on to a new thing?

Yeah, yeah. So it was actually a sale, really didn’t team up with them. Yeah, and kind of what led to the sale is, you know, many, many years in our business. And I, I had a business partner that I had been working with for many, many years. To be honest, I never really considered selling. I saw myself in that business for the rest of my life. And I, you know, it’s, it’s interesting when you work very closely with someone and I came to the realization through that process that this gentleman that I had been working with my start seeing his life differently and the way he wanted to do things. And I think that that influenced me as well, but, you know, more importantly, mailboxes et cetera, was brand with a lot of international experience been around a long time outside of the United States.

And I felt like there was a good possibility they could, they could bring more value and benefit and opportunity to my franchisees. I thought that by them being a part of even a bigger global hold and we had built that they see better opportunities and strategic advantages. And I’ll tell you, many of the folks that I had put into businesses, some of them are, are some of my dear friends today. So it was way more about, well as much about purpose for me as it was about profit quite frankly. And, and then, you know, as the idea of maybe doing something, selling the business started to kind of percolate a little bit, I started to become a little bit curious about what might be next for me. And this is going to go deep and maybe personal as well. But when you’re a self made founder and you go into business and you bring in a team and you kind of put your flag in the ground and you know, you’re the CEO and you grow it. For me personally, as someone that’s a student of the franchise business, I always kind of wondered what, what kind of metal would I have in a different business in a different industry? What, what kind of CEO am I really? Versus just a guy that grew up, found a business he loved and put his heart and soul into it. So I think that curiosity had a big part in why I made the decision to sell.

And so now rumor has it, you’re not just sipping Mai Tai’s on the beach there but you started this new thing called a full contact franchising. Do you teach football players how to become better linebackers or what do you guys do at full contact? A franchise?

Yeah, no, I’m actually whole contact franchising is a concept that I have kind of evolved with over the years because you know, my analogy of franchising is a full contact sport. Now we know it’s not sport when people invest their life savings in a business and they partner with a franchise or, and you know, both sides are working for a great experience. So it’s kind of a bit of a stretch on the analogy, but the idea is that it’s interdependent and both sides really need each other to be successful in business. And my idea of full contact is all in, in the business open and honest with franchisees facing issues, challenges and opportunities head on in an open, honest and constructive way with your team and your franchisees and building a very healthy, cohesive organization. And so full contact just resonates for me because most franchisors not only struggle with growth, they struggle with managing growth, technology, HR, you know, you know, as it relates to employee retention competition. And I really felt after developing our brand over a multitude of decades and weathering a lot of storms, economic and otherwise, that that was a space that was, that was the calling I kind of talked to you about in the beginning.

So you work with franchise Zores, am I correct?

That is correct.

Okay. Z Z. This Justin, I get one mega point. Wow. I’m tracking with it. Well you have a guy like this on your show, Steve Greenbaum. Sometimes you find yourself thinking about when should I hit the bomb button? When should I pay attention? Can I do both at the same time? Probably. So I’ve been trying to do both until I’ve like mentally have been mentally am ambidextrous you. I mean, how many times? We’re going to have another bomb on the show. A green box. Let me think about this. Let me take, hold on, hold on, hold on. Hold on. It’s Marty green, Brown Arnhold, Marty green Greenbaum. Your brother got to get Marty on this show and to be two bombs. I mean we could, you know what? We just needed to do a Google search of green bombs and just get any random green bomb. We can have your show Z.

I’m going to let you, I’m going to turn the mic over. I’m going to let you now interrogate our guests because we started from the bottom. Now we’re here. Now it’s time for the, for the part of the show. A lot of times Z gets sort of rude and hostile. He gets out the the, a lot of times we have in-person guests. He’ll get up the light bulb, just the one light bulb. Take him to a room. He’ll do the whole good cop, bad cop thing. Or does he ask you that you want anything goes this point. Okay. See you. Bye. I’m going back in the interview just a little bit. Cause clay skips over the juicy parts. He just, you know, he doesn’t want you skipper. He’s a juice skipper. That’s what I do. I have to know what it is. So the character that you did on the show, the seventies motorcycle guy, that is a great, great outfit by the way. Was that really the Judas, get them an old picture of yourself and say, just do me up from the 1970s? Is that what that is? Really?

Yeah. No, actually a great question. The what, what happened was they did, they did actually ask me what you wanted to do and at the time when I thought about it and talked to some of my kids, they said, how about game of Thrones? That would be very cool.

Oh yeah. Cool character. So they paid you to drag it out.

Kind of the motivation for the look. But what happened was when did the first kind of run at the disguise one of the producers kind of looked and said, well, you know what, I think we could kind of mix this up a little bit. Something else you guys don’t know about me is I’m a private pilot. I have several motorcycles. I’ve been riding motorcycles since I was a kid. Scoop, scuba dive. I do a lot of kind of put yourself out there stuff. And I think CVA, I think they found that interesting. So that motorcycle persona kind of evolved out of that game of Thrones look and some of my personal hobbies.

Is that a real tattoo in your right arm or is that a fakey

No, that’s, that’s a real tattoo.

Yeah. W and what is it? Cause you can’t see it in this picture that I have. Is that a, is that says mom or what it,

I’m a Leo and it’s kind of my persona, quite frankly.

Nice. And what was the name? What was the name? I didn’t watch the show, but what was the name that you went under?

You know, believe it or not, I can’t remember the last name, but his name was Brad. And there’s a story about that because one of the best PR firms in franchising is called Fishman public relations. And Brad Fishman, who’s been a friend for 25 years, not only said, Hey, this is something you ought to consider, but also recommended me to undercover Boston. Of course they loved it and that’s how I got there. So I named the character after Brad.

Yup. Perfect. So you actually do a, Brad, that’s another question I had for you. That’s kind of fun. So let’s get back. Let’s get back over to full context. So what is your, what is your goal with full contact? What do you, what do you see it doing and changing the world and helping the world be a better world.

Yeah, thank you. So I see full contact being organization that you know, creates balance and healthy, sustainable, profitable growth and franchise organizations. I know that’s a mouthful, but the idea of balance and the logo that we’re developing is kind of a yin yang. And the idea behind that balance is that, you know, again, you’ve got this franchise or franchisee relationship and it can be tough at times for both sides and the franchisor has some other, some responsibilities like protecting the system and the trademark that kind of create a little bit of imbalance every now and then. So my, my goal behind full contact is to help companies navigate that balance and again, build very profitable, sustainable, successful companies. Franchising is a wonderful business when everyone’s succeeding. If one side or the other is leading in the success, it doesn’t work. So my idea behind full context is really lift companies, lift organizations up, help them really operate better and more effectively and more profitably. And to be honest, I was so buried in immersed in PostNet for the better part of my business career that I really often times put the business for and sometimes before my family. So one of my goals in full contact is to help, you know, young and emerging brands and even established fans recognize that to be great at the business. You gotta be great at taking care of yourself. And your family too.

Absolutely. So if I’m a business owner listening to right now and I’ve got a slick little business, I think, Hmm, I think I want a franchise is at what point in the process should I contact you? Should I wait until I’ve got 10 stores and I’ve got a huge problem and I’m, I’m one of my franchisees wants to throw punch me and I need a call. I need some, I need a, I need a a guy that a jet can fly in and fly me out of there. Quick claiming. At what point in the process should I contact you?

That’s a great question. I would say that, listen, I, I probably would be happy to be a resource to people that are thinking about franchising, but it’s really not. The space I’m in right now, there are a lot of companies and law firms that help people decide that franchising is right for them so that it’s not really the space I am. I have kind of gone after. Not that it’s something I wouldn’t consider for the right brand or the right opportunity. But I would say that if you’re 10 or 200 locations and you either want to focus on growth, strategic and competitive advantages you know, really adding and building value not only for the organization but the people that are a part of it. That’s, that’s really my sweet spot because to your point, what happens is people get into franchising a lot of times with the right notion or the right ideas and they find themselves in a business where, you know, you’ve got 10 or 50 people that have invested either their life savings or leg leverage, you know, leverage some capital from their retirement accounts or whatever it may be that are relying on them to help them succeed.

So, you know, the notion of franchising is really sexy. Oh, I’m going to create 100 or 500 or a thousand of these, the responsibility of doing that properly and effectively. And doing it in a, you know, in kind of a fun and holistic way where you, you’re building success with people [inaudible] because when it goes bad, it goes bad.

Wait a second. You mean there’s, it’s just not all cooped by y’all between a franchise, Zuora and a franchisee. And it’s not just, it’s not just like a love, like a, just a, I mean they’re not just sitting around and, and you know, I give you little songbird. I, my, you got my board shut down here. I haven’t been on board muted. I mean it’s not just, Hey, it’s your franchise or just checking in with you buddy. How’s it going today? It’s so great. It’s record sales again. Hey, cool. I appreciate you for it. From a wound for misusing the one year there was going to be home so much for telling me. Wow. I appreciate you for holding you. You’re one of my favorites by the way. Shit, you’re the best, but I’ve got a lot of favorites so don’t get too caught up on that. All the money I have, I just burn it to heat my house cause I feel guilty. Of course you can buy my lunch again today. There’s not just, that’s not everything that goes on. It seems like that’s the way it be.

First of all, wow. And what I would tell you is that when franchisees are feel valued and included and respected and they’re making money, it goes a lot like that. And I think there’s a lot of mutual respect and mutual appreciation. When the business model is challenged or it’s tough to make money or a com a competitor comes in and challenges the validity of the model or maybe even starts to eat up market share and that relationship can change dramatically. So I, you know what I would say to you is to huge responsibility to franchise. This is, this is not like investing, this is making a decision to be responsible for following through on brand promises, promises to people. And I’m always striving to improve. I guess what I would tell you is franchising is a journey. It’s not a destination. And every time, every time you think you’ve gotten there, the destination moves or you’re not being relevant and competitive.

Okay. Before I kick it back over to clay cause he’s got some hard hitting stuff, we’re going to hit you hard hit you. You did keep that look right. I mean you did keep the long hair and the dark beer. I mean you did. You did keep that right. And when you did go back,

Yeah, yeah. No, but my wife wanted, yeah,

Well there you go. Hey, hang on. It’s biker backer Steve Greenbaum this weekend, if you know what it means Shunda shutting down. We’re going to transition right there. Some bromantic and we just have to do married

Tip for somebody out there. Now I wanna I wanna I mentioned this because we talk about the relationship between franchisors and franchisees and we have time for three quick questions, but I want to share something that happened with Oxi fresh that was not so awesome, but it’s awesome. Now, when John Barnett and I met each other in college at oral Roberts university mailing things was a thing, you know, ma mass mailers. And so when Oxi fresh really took off, you know, J B was using the latest, greatest technology at the time. Z, remember like yellow pages and mass mailers. Oh, I’m old enough. I remember all that. And that was the deal. Like those ValPack blue mailers and yellow pages. It was hot and all of a sudden this thing called Google started being used in a Steve Greenbaum, where were you at the event where J B asked me to come and speak about the national ad fund. Were you at that event that, that annual conference?

I wasn’t.

Oh boy. See he asked me, this is what he said. That’s what he said to me. He said, collitis clevis, my good friends call me cliffs. He says, clevis you need to come in and help me deliver a message. I said, what’s the message? He says, well, we’re going to have to raise, we’re going to have to charge a national ad fund for the first time, which is an extra, I think it was 2% or something. We have to charge all franchisees to cover a search engine optimization, online marketing, digital enhancements, a single sign on. And I’m going, so you want me to speak as the motivational guy to come up and speak after you tell people that you’re raising their fees by 2% or before I go before then that’s an easier sell. Sure. Then after I went after, Oh, so he got up there and talked to people about why he was going to raise the fees and most people were going, are you kidding me?

Serious? No, you could almost sense that the corporate feeling was, and I’m just like hold strong buddy holds firm. He had, he had all these facts going for him and these people were, were a lot of these people were, they built their business based off of mailers, but he was adapting and he’s a little bit ahead of the curve of the average person. But if he waited till everybody had consensus, it wouldn’t have happened. Now Oxi fresh dominates Google search results. A lot of their business comes in from online marketing and it really changed the game. But it can get difficult and thankfully, thankfully in his system it Oxi fresh. I would say the vast majority of the franchisees wanted the change. We’re encouraged by the change needed to change, but there were still people in there who said the internet is never going to catch on.

We can’t make this change. I mean, Al Gore, thank you. But no thanks. Not going to happen. So I mean I have mad respect for guys like you and JB who’ve done very well in the franchising space. We have time for three quick questions, two of which are coming from me and one from dr Z. Steve green. Bob, what questions? What is, what is a book that for the listeners out there who have a lot of questions about the franchising world or just scaling a business, what is a book that you would recommend for all of the listeners?

Yeah, so I would, I would, I would tell you that, you know, talking about digital market, kidding, I think crushing it by Gary Vaynerchuk is probably one of the, one of the best books on succeeding in online marketing and he Colossae what you talked about with JV. So I think crushing, it’s a great book. And then the other start with why with Simon Sinek who I think does a great job of helping people to understand the difference between manipulation and inspiration and businesses and talks about how inspiration is really the right tool for growing a business. I think those are two great books no matter what business you’re in.

Okay. And then my final question that I have, and I’ll let Zee a wrap up the show with him with his file. Hard-Hitting. Always offensive, always across the line. Question here. Your idiosyncrasies entrepreneurs have ado. Sacracies Steve jobs wore the same thing every day. Barack Obama started to wear the same thing every day during his presidency. Eamon Musk is famous for working a hundred hour work weeks. Everybody’s got their own thing. Mark Zuckerberg wears the same thing every day. Sara Blakely likes to wear her own products. Talk to me about this. What is an idiosyncrasy that you have that you believe has allowed you to achieve a success? Maybe, maybe like, maybe a superpower that some might consider to be a East centric, idiosyncrasy.

Yeah. Yeah. I, you know, I don’t think I have anything that interesting. I would tell you probably my three super powers would be attention to detail. Or urgency, which is something, you know, I’m incredibly urgent and passion. I think passion is a superpower

Super. And I hear that from JB all the time that you are a man of passion and if you’re out there and you have a franchise, I’m just telling you and you need someone to kind of coach you to the next level. I’ve known JB. How long have you known JB, by the way? How only of you and John Barnett known each other?

Oh my gosh. Since he started franchising. So this got to be 1314 years, right?

Yeah. I feel like I’ve been hearing about you for a long, long time and you’re busy and I’m busy. I’m busy too. So we met like I think one time we did a handshake up there and in Denver or maybe a couple times, but I hear great things about you all the time and so it’s a real honor to have you on the show. Dr Z. We have time for you to take the show to the next level

Or or to the bottom. I mean, you could go up to the top, but towards the bottom, let’s do both. Like a tornado roller coaster. We’re like a roller coaster. Say what? So. Okay, two hard hitting questions. One, that’s the DJ come. There we go. There’s DJ clay. [inaudible] Clay was for us to know him. Playlists. Where you first, were you happy with the ending of game of Thrones? To be honest.

Yeah I was. I was. I thought it was interesting. I know a lot of people had different opinions about it, but the answer is yes.

You were happy. You were like please, you’re on a scale of one to 10 you’re like a nine, 9.3 I mean

Was, let me just say I was fine with it.

Okay, well fine. Happy are two different things. Here we go. Got it. Okay. The last question. Roller coaster. Roller coaster. You’re going back in time. We’re going back in time with this song. So this question is about going back in time. You could go back a time, say 2025 years that you’re starting posting it. You starting all your business, he’s starting all that business. You’re just getting in the car. You know about the beginning of the ride, shall we say, and you get a chance to sit next to yourself and give yourself advice while you’re on the ride. The roller coasters going up and down and round and around spinning and all that. What would you go back and tell yourself, say 2025 years ago, what would you say to yourself? Sons sailed South. Fill in the blank.

Yeah, I would say sell. Make sure you make more time for yourself, more time for your family. And no matter how much you love this business, if it consumes you to the extent that others sacrifice something, then you gotta make a change.

Z, that was good.

That was good. We hear and we hear that more often than not

We do. We hear this all the time. And I would, I would say if you’re out there today, a little old self-check here on a scale of one to 10 10 being the best, one being the worst rate, your satisfaction right now with your life and the areas of your faith, your family, your finances, your fitness, your friendship and your fun, your faith, family, finances, fitness, friendship, and fun. Because you might be super buff Z. We’ve all met guys who are super blossom, pumped up and you’re like, how’s your son? I don’t know who I sign these, I forgot his name.

We’ve all met people who are financially just super successful. I have so much money that combined and we say, Hey, how’s your daughter doing? And they go, I have a daughter. So we’ve all met people at different sides of the spectrum. We’ve all met people that have so much faith and so little jobs and they’re sitting there on the side of the road giving you life tips and expecting the Lord to get me a job any day. Now they’re at the coffee houses right now, writing poems. Yes, we’re living off of your donation. We’ve all seen, we’re all in balanced in some area. So rate yourself on a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your satisfaction with the areas of your faith, family, finance, fitness, friendship, and fun. And if you have a 10, that’s great. Good job. You’re the winner. If you’re a one, we’ve got some room to improve, but don’t give yourself a seven. Let’s give ourselves some honest assessment about where we can improve. And I can tell you this, one way we can improve this show is we didn’t have Steve Greenbaum on like every day, every day. I mean, every day, every day. It’s the Steve Greenbaum show starring [inaudible], Bob and Bob and every now and then us. Steve, thank you so much for being on the show, man. I really do appreciate it. It’s been a, been a lot of fun. You guys are great.

And now, without any further ed do,

Are you serious about growing your business? Do you want to save yourself a bunch of time, money, and headaches? Well, with this situation requires, is for you to take some massive action. It’s time for you to sign up for the world’s most affordable and effective education for entrepreneurs today at thrive time,

Again, that’s [inaudible] dot com sign up today at [inaudible] dot com I dare you.


Let us know what's going on.

Have a Business Question?

Ask our mentors anything.