Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated

July 17, 2010

And then all hell broke loose.

Number 144 on the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

I Wanna be Sedated, Ramones, 1978

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin’ to do and no where to go-o-oh I wanna be sedated
Just get me to the airport put me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane
I can’t control my fingers I can’t control my brain
Oh no no no no no

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go….
Just put me in a wheelchair, get me on a plane
Hurry hurry hurry before I go insane
I can’t control my fingers I can’t control my brain
Oh no no no no no

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go I wanna be sedated
Nothin’ to do and no where to go-o-o I wanna be sedated
Just put me in a wheelchair get me to the show
Hurry hurry hurry before I go loco
I can’t control my fingers I can’t control my toes
Oh no no no no no

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go…
Just put me in a wheelchair…

Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated
Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated
Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated
Ba-ba-bamp-ba ba-ba-ba-bamp-ba I wanna be sedated

It’s a wonderful, wonderful opera, except that it hurts.

May 30, 2010

Life hurts like hell at times.

Campbell explains the high incidence of psychotic episodes in franchising.

Others say it’s because of a lack of sunlight in Canada.

This is the threat to our lives. We all face it. We all operate in our society in relation to a system. Now is the system going to eat you up and relieve you of your humanity or are you going to be able to use the system to human purposes? … If the person doesn’t listen to the demands of his own spiritual and heart life and insists on a certain program, you’re going to have a schizophrenic crack-up. The person has put himself off center. He has aligned himself with a programmatic life and it’s not the one the body’s interested in at all. And the world’s full of people who have stopped listening to themselves.

Joseph Campbell 1904-1987

The internet shocks and confounds water-based stakeholders

May 23, 2010

Modern franchising (franchisors, bar, franchisees, IndFAs) has evolved as if the industry were a plumbing/water system.

It was for many years:

  1. tangible, physical/one-dimensional, hierarchical, overt
  2. local/national largely, measurable, (hub:spoke structure, based on economics of scarcity/ignorance),
  3. highly controlled ($: valves, fittings, pipes, containers; can be patched),
  4. has inputs, use/abuse and disposal elements,
  5. externalizes waste via gatekeeper attorneys,
  6. launders and sanitizes industry reputations based on “new and improved” brand BS,
  7. utilized shame-humiliation to muffle dissent,
  8. burned off waste human life savings to reduce odor, and
  9. dogmatism largely unseen/unknowable outside of the royal priesthood (subterranean, veil of secrecy, culturally taken-for-granted: figure-ground problem).

However, with the start of something called “The Internet‘ and a proper issue indexing system, the industry environment has become much more like electricity or a gaseous/liquid and solid states:

  1. invisible, highly mobile, de-centralized, informal,
  2. it can leap or arc, volatilizes: solid right to gas),
  3. several dimension, pressures and forms (volts/amps),
  4. primarily transnational/international, (web structure, based on economics of abundance/knowledge),
  5. wild/unstable, cumulative, compressable, and
  6. much, much faster (travels at the speed of light/life).

As an internet activist, I am bi-/multi-lingual, which is a very Canadian thing. I  understand water, solid and air nations of franchising. I surf among and between the dying and newly born on a daily basis.

Old school stakeholders cling to their old ways:

wondering why more of the same-old solutions doesn’t work anymore.

“If we only had some more legal referrals” or “a better franchise law”, they all cry.

Trust in franchising? What a concept

April 23, 2010

Two people I trust in franchising.

I need to check in with the second next month although everyone has their role to play.

Resulted in the Arthur Wishart Act (Franchise Disclosure), 2000. Thanks to Bob Runciman who has gone onto his just reward.

BTW: This may be cryptic, but it is not unnecessarily so.

Some information requires care in transmitting and must be done in person. Words can hurt but iIf you don’t understand, that’s okay.

Trusting yourself enough to choose who to trust is 99% of the solution.

Budget $100,000s to renovate your deadbeat system

April 17, 2010

It takes million of $ to construct a system.

Contrary to popular franchisee perception, starting, growing and making a system profitable is a high risk and high investment proposition. It can take years and years, is fraught with many dangers and the returns (although they can be very substantial) are not guaranteed at all. Way too many me-too concepts and the quality of some industry players practitioners, well,…

Seven figures to start, six to change.

Hundreds of thousands $ within 2 years if alive (ie. equity established, sustainable, re-sale control, gain control of you gross margins).

Significantly less if just want it dead.

Dinosaur managers need to die for franchising to live

March 20, 2010

It’s called creative destruction. Look it up, if you want.

I am not one of those weak-spirited, sappy Americans who want to be liked by all the people around them. I don’t care if people hate my guts; I assume most of them do. The important question is whether they are in a position to do anything about it. My affections, being concentrated over a few people, are not spread all over Hell in a vile attempt to placate sulky, worthless shits.

William S. Burroughs

6 CEOs apologizing on YouTube: Are franchise executives known for their Sincerity?

September 17, 2009

CrocodileTearsattention digital has an excellent post called 6 CEO apologies on YouTube.

Of the 6 distribution channels:

  • 2 are immediately identified as all-franchised (Domino’s and KFC),
  • 3 seem to 100% corporate (jetBlue, United Airlines and Mattel), and
  • 1 has both significant franchised and non-franchised (independent contractor and/or employee:employer relationships): Maple Leaf Foods.

I can only really speak directly about the risks and benefits of a corporation outsourcing the crucial food safety aspects of their product distribution.

It seems to me that CEOs and their Boards reap the benefits of a franchised distribution network (lower costs) but somehow want to avoid accepting responsibility for the risks of their business decisions. Treating franchisees as a cost to be driven to zero is a very, very short-sighted approach, in my opinion.

Workplace harassment and a franchisee “death by 1,000 small cuts” attitude can degenerate into a toxic environment, property damage, verbal and physical violence and much, much worse. All families have limits and there is no .

I have no doubt they are personally genuinely sorry for these events. They are sincere, absolutely.

But only time will tell whether they are sincere enough to work with (instead of against) reasoned, well-documented franchisee health and safety concerns. The history of modern franchising generally shows that franchise executives will always scapegoat rather than deal fairly.

  1. Did the executive  “know or should have reasonably been expected to know” of a certain risk?

Crocodile tears or false or insincere displays of emotion and blaming others only goes so far and predatory corporate cultures seldom change.

Have mercy on those CEOs who are judged a phoney-baloney in the face of an aroused group of franchisee families.

Is there anything worse than economic poverty?

August 21, 2009

HappyPoorPeopleOkay, let’s just say you lose it all.

All the money is gone and every relationship seems to out of alignment.

Stuff happens.

You used to be able to but you can’t:

  1. pay your mortgage,
  2. pay for your kids education,
  3. maybe pay for health care coverage, and
  4. consume what you used to be able to.

What do you do now or more precisely How much worse can it get?

That is a very good question and one that you might want to consider any time.

Let’s take an inventory. I have my:

  1. marriage (25 years in 2009),
  2. great relationships with my children,
  3. a challenging, raucous, and ever-vigilant extended family,
  4. a small group of intimate friends and a large group of brothers,
  5. sustainable physical, mental and spiritual health,
  6. exceptional education and life experiences,
  7. an improving capacity to financially support my family, and
  8. work that has deep, profoundly gratifying returns to me.

When I look around, I’m a very lucky guy.

And when I look at the list now, those assets were there before, during and are certainly there after the tempest. I just forgot about them for awhile, that’s all. It’s easy to take for granted these gifts.

I went through a fire and became hardened. I have the feeling of moving along a path, very much alone but with some very sharp companions, just there in the thicket, out of sight. A weird idea, I know.

To me, yes, there’s lots of things worse than economic poverty.

franchise Prose and Poetry: Two means to a dignified end

June 8, 2009

HeartMindWhat kind of gibberish is that fool Stewart spouting-off now?

I appreciate that I use language in a different way than many industry observers.

I do that to break through the incessant, mind-numbing static in franchising. Buy, buy, buy, buy…seems to be the only message grinded out.

I’d like to thank Paul Steinberg over at Blue MauMau for drawing people’s attention toward this last year.

In business, everyone is accustomed to a literal, fact-based means of communication. That style is called prose. It is “head-based”, logical.

prose n 1 the ordinary form of the written or spoken language 2 a passage of prose, esp. for translation into a foreign language 3 a dull or commonplace speech, writing, etc…

Sometimes I move away and write in a form of poetry. Poetry is “heart-based”.

poetry n 1a the expression or embodiment of beautiful or elevated thought, imagination or feeling in language and a form adapted to stir the imagination and the emotions

Let’s repeat that: …in a language and a form adapted to stir the imagination…

  • This is precisely what I am trying to do.

Prose  works through logic, 1+1=2. Poetry through emotion, both base (anger, fear, revenge) and higher order (justice, freedom, fraternity, longing). Both routes are valid but poetry is the much less common one. Poetry can be written to strum the reader’s heartstrings.

My experience is that franchisees have their imagination drummed out of them very quickly. Sometimes, just like a cult, they are so busy, busy, busy that they have no time for reflection and become incapable of helping themselves. Someone who is helpless has zero de facto rights because they have been socialized into passivity.

I use poetry and the related arts (see why I reference YouTube music videos?) to try to invoke imagination which starts to heal the learned helplessness that I see so many franchisees and their families suffering from.

Poetry and prose are different means to the same end: improved individual freedom as a product of triggering an internal imaginative response.

Franchisees can only be free if they, in their gut, when they resolve to:

  1. refuse to be degraded by any one anymore AND
  2. refuse to degrade anyone else (including your “Enemy”) in their quest for dignity.

You can do 1. in your head an pay lip-service. That challenge (in every aspect of your life) is 2.: raising yourself up by not pushing someone else down.

These are the laws, universally applied somehow.

Would franchisors behave differently if they thought any moment they could be on YouTube?

May 27, 2009

I think so.BigbrotherWould the threats stop (slow down) if they were posted on a weblog devoted to watching your franchisor? Would they be more likely to lose their careers if a little digital birdy was recording and archiving all of their behavior?


  1. Franchisors threaten franchisees because they can get away with it.
  2. Franchisors will continue to do it because it is an effective strategy when franchisees are disorganized.
  3. Predators will remain predators because they do not bear the full cost of their behavior.
  4. Nothing will change until franchisees demand a change in behavior.
  5. Technology can now accurately and inexpensively assign a more accurate behavior reputation.

Would it create disorder which is the first step toward a new order? ‘ think so.

The technology is here ( weblogs, YouTube, broadcast emails, podcasts, etc.).

Right now. And it’s virtually free. publishes emails, threatening letters, franchisee’s stories (a narrative telling who, what when, where: all anonymously), etc. and sorts them by tradename.

You don’t need a majority of people: You only need one passionate, committed person per system.

And let everyone else in every other country make up their own minds: Are these the type of people I would want to be in bed with?

Every Breath You Take, The Police from their final album Synchronicity and the concept itself maybe.

Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take
I’ll be watching you

Every single day
Every word you say
Every game you play
Every night you stay
Ill be watching you

Oh, can’t you see
You belong to me
How my poor heart aches
With every step you take

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you

Since you’ve gone I been lost without a trace
I dream at night I can only see your face
I look around but it’s you I can’t replace
I feel so cold and I long for your embrace
I keep crying baby, baby, please…

Oh, can’t you see
You belong to me?
How my poor heart aches
With every breath you take

Every move you make
Every vow you break
Every smile you fake
Every claim you stake
I’ll be watching you

The track was written during the collapse of Sting’s marriage to Frances Tomelty; the lyrics are the words of a sinister, controlling character, who is watching “every breath you take / every move you make”.“

I woke up in the middle of the night with that line in my head, sat down at the piano and had written it in half an hour. The tune itself is generic, an aggregate of hundreds of others, but the words are interesting. It sounds like a comforting love song. I didn’t realise at the time how sinister it is. I think I was thinking of Big Brother, surveillance and control. – Sting


%d bloggers like this: