My friends, we’re not alone

February 9, 2010

Lasting peace is achieved through the exercise of power, in concert with legitimate authority.

What will be your last contribution?

Roger Hodgson performs it here. Worth the 10:40 watch with some one you trust.

Fool’s Overture from the the 1977 Supertramp album called Even in the Quietest Moments

History recalls how great the fall can be
While everybody’s sleeping, the boat’s put out to sea
Borne on the wings of time
It seemed the answers were so easy to find
“Too late,” the prophets cry
The island’s sinking, let’s take to the sky

Called the man a fool, stripped Him of his pride
Everyone was laughing up until the day He died
And although the wound went deep
Still He’s calling us out of our sleep
My friends, we’re not alone
He waits in silence to lead us all home

So you tell me that you find it hard to grow
Well I know, I know, I know
And you tell me that you’ve many seeds to sow
Well I know, I know, I know

Can you hear what I’m saying
Can you see the parts that I’m playing
“HOLY MAN, ROCKER MAN, COME ON QUEENIE
JOKER MAN, SPIDER MAN, BLUE-EYED MEANIE”
So you found your solution
What will be your last contribution?
“LIVE IT UP, RIP IT UP, WHY SO LAZY?
GIVE IT OUT, DISH IT OUT, LET’S GO CRAZY,YEAH!”



Now here’s a way for you to get clean

January 29, 2010

Awaiting on You All, George Harrison

You don’t need no love in
You don’t need no bed pan
You don’t need a horoscope or a microscope
To see the mess that you’re in
If you open up your heart
You will know what I mean
We’ve been polluted so long
Now here’s a way for you to get clean

By chanting the names of the Lord and you’ll be free
The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see
Chanting the names of the Lord and you’ll be free
The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see

You don’t need no passport
And you don’t need no visa
You don’t need to designate or to emigrate
Before you can see Jesus
If you open up your heart
You’ll see He’s right there
Always was and will be
He’ll relieve you of your cares

By chanting the names of the Lord and you’ll be free
The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see
Chanting the names of the Lord and you’ll be free
The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see

You don’t need no church house
And you don’t need no temple
You don’t need no rosary beads or them books to read
To see that you have fallen
If you open up your heart
You will know what I mean
We’ve been kept down so long
Someone’s thinking that we’re all green

And while the pope owns 51% of General Motors
And the stock exchange is the only thing he’s qualified to quote us
The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see
By chanting the names of the Lord and you’ll be free


Arch Brown (1928-2009), Canadian franchisee

November 18, 2009

One of my former customers passed away on Monday.

Arch Brown was a very special man although I only knew him a bit. A gracious man; someone that knew who he was and where he was supposed to be.

A man of service to others, support for the community and education.

When I was morphing from a struggling lawn care franchisee into whatever the hell I am now, I was told the grocery, auto and Canadian Tire franchisees had a good thing going and that only the CT guys had the brains, guts and compassion enough to hold on.

Arch was always fair with me and our chats on his lawn,  I’ll remember them.

Mr. Barrie. Philanthropist. Father. Retired franchisee.

These are just labels. Arch was the real deal.

Everyone knows where Barrie is: It’s the place you go through to get someplace better. We all should grow where we’re planted because landscape…geography matters. That is,  until your ride shows up.

Chay, friend.


Nazis burned books 70 years ago. Fishy blocks writers/viewers today?

November 16, 2009

DeadFishAustraliadead fish’s reputation washed up on the shores of Australia last week.

Carol Cross is a friend of mine.

She drives me crazy at times with her repetition. But, then again, I irritate people too. 🙂

I allow anyone to post on FranchiseFool. Carol tells me she is still banned from contributing at the FranchiseeFishNet.org.

This is unacceptable to me.

Carol cannot even see The Fish on her computer: that’s right, she’s that blocked. This is wrong on so many levels.

It’s not wrong because she’s my friend: It’s evil because she is  a person. Plus a citizen of the greatest democracy on earth. A veteran’s wife. A former franchisee invest0r.

This is  offensive to anyone that ever believed in the right of free speech, natural justice, military honour, the rule of law, democracy…

If you feel you “have to” block, censor, gag or burn books, you better take another look at your business model.

And, I suggest, the “friends” you have as advisors.

Any industry that can be shown to be fascists by an  little old lady isn’t deserving of any investment, let alone respect.

PS: I was stopped for a day (Nov 12, 2009) as a registered contributor to The Fish last week. I’ve put up with 1,001 cheap shot comments for a full 3 years (459 points) now. I have no fishy, behind-the-scenes telephone calls: I never explain or complain or apologize. I had to post as a Guest and was reinstated for a day.

My offense?  I wrote and posted a very valid post (I think) about economic fascism (Arguments in the Service of Power (subjective truth)) that was clearly addressed to Ray Borradale in Australia. I intentionally hid the Hitler, Goebbels and Mussolini quotes. I wonder when the post will be deleted? Good thing I captured it beforehand.

If anyone else alive or brain-dead took offence to having their behaviour compared to fascists…well..if the show fits…

Then the fish goes ahead and wears it.

That post and and 16 McLuhan quotes were thrown into the fish’s text ghetto: Ranter’s Soapbox, Way Off Topic Posts.  This is where all politically honest objective truth posts are put.

I was reinstated and my posts exist (for now). Some old lady named Carol is still is banned from the fish. I tested the waters, intentionally, one day after Canada’s Remembrance Day. My parents both fought and my Uncle Neil died resisting historical Nazis in WWII. I was not going to be bullied by a Guest troll.

You decide if totalitarianism is alive or dead in franchising today. Who is crooked, misleading and/or tyrants?

Either way, your comments are welcomed.


So long you loser hosers.

November 12, 2009

AustralianFriendNot much time today, I’m afraid.

I’m busy putting my house in order.

I’ve applied for a job in Australia.

When the Holy Franchise Empire collapses:

  • which country will be the last to shatter like a crystal vase? (the Excited States of America)
  • which country will be second last? (Canuckistan)
  • the first?

My peers are setting a banquet here, here, here, here, and (especially) here.

Oh how I will enjoy the bugs…

I always thought an ombuds function would be quickly corrupted by the usual suspects.

Go figure: I was wrong once in my life 😉

Commonwealth means recognizing wealth as a common good, to some degree. My Dad always spoke very well of these people


Franchising is a house

October 23, 2009

CSLewisWikipediaImagine yourself as a living house.

God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to?

The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of — throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.

He intends to come and live in it Himself.

Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, Image


Branding franchisees is a Canadian Family Affair

October 1, 2009

BrandingIdentifying what you own is important.

A permanent mark on ambulatory assets is an important initial goal

However, an unintended consequence over time is the accumulated effects of modern franchising on a society. The extended nuclear family is still the dominant source for advice, support and wisdom to individuals. This goes for small business investing, too.

I think franchising has worn out its welcome at many kitchen tables. Common industry practices have overgrazed the SME investment community.

Let’s take a look at some very conservative assumptions for Canada:

  1. 80,000 franchisees,
  2. 5% exit systems in one year, and
  3. 1/3 of exiting franchisees have what they perceive to be a “negative experience”.

Therefore, over 10 years 13,333 individual have had a sour taste that they attribute to an “unfair” situation ((80,000 x .05 x 10)/3). This doesn’t seem too much of a stray problem, especially when you assume they’re a docile and stupid quadruped (sheeple).

Information Sharing: But assuming franchisees are people, and people are social animals, they tend to communicate with others that they care about. And social media such as Facebook, blogs, YouTube, etc. seem to help enable anonymous warnings. Somewhere I read that every person knows 250 people.

So, maybe, there are +3.3 million that think franchising is dodgy. (13,333 x 250)

Or about 10% of all men, women and children who giving, for free, 24/7, an “anti-franchise” message to their family and friends. Battle stories along with life savings scars. Authentic, nitty-gritty, genuine, hyper-sincere detailed stories. Tangible life stories versus self-serving hyperbole.

No wonder there are so many immigrant family horror stories. In their innocence, they actually believe white crime is punished when it happens in Canada. Discovering a network of snakes in suits hiding in plain sight is the 2nd, much more profound existential trauma.

Teach you Children Well: Franchising is an exceptionally powerful teaching technology: the tuition to learn these lessons about modern commercial standards is not without cost. Dairy and beef producers have different management philosophies and practices.

From my experience, branded families are finding their digital voice and starting to be herd.


Franchising & Folly platform: Own vs. rent an Idea

September 24, 2009

SethGodinThe more I read about Seth Godin, the more I like his approach.

His post today (The platform vs. the eyeballs) is about owning platforms versus renting eyeballs.

Old media was not the same as old branding. Media companies built audiences and then brands rented those audiences.

Suddenly the new media comes along and the rules are different. You’re not renting an audience, you’re building one. You’re not exhibiting at a trade show, you’re starting your own trade show.

If you still ask, “how much traffic is there,” or “what’s the CPM?” you’re not getting it. Are you buying momentary attention or are you investing in a long term asset?

I only invest in what I own.

This is what I have been doing with this blog (FranchiseFool) and WikidFranchise.org.

That there is an element of foolishness in franchising is apparent to everyone in the world except the industry’s elite. Their lack of humour and intensity signals their unreasonableness much more than I could ever do. They’re phoney-baloneys: it’s true. But they prove it themselves to 3rd parties by their rigidity and inability to take a joke.

I would extend Godin’s McDonald’s analysis to all modern business format franchising when he says:

(Compare these examples with McDonald’s, a company that continues to rent eyeballs for a high price and has no real platform to speak of.)

McDonald’s and the industry just don’t get it: faking sincerity won’t work with internet savvy consumers.

Tribes are looking for authentic voices and leaders to solve real problems.


There’s a Darkness on the Edge of Franchising

September 19, 2009

ForestshadowEverything’s that is real has a shadow.

Doesn’t it?

Talking about the dark shouldn’t threaten the very core of the light side.

Should it?

Being cast out/ inside your life is a fearful place. Some realize:

  • others have gone before them,
  • you have new found companions if you choose to see, and
  • the trail inward always appears as a journey.

Shake the cobwebs from your mind.

Wake up from your sleepwalk, regain your footing, and use your new knowledge for the tribe. Take heart and have faith.

It’s just about time.


Human v. Business values: Designing a more profitable slaughter system

August 29, 2009

MoneyBLindThis all makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?

The business goal is to produce as high quality a product, while spending the least amount of money. Very narrow. Very specialized. Only quantifiable benefits or cost enter into the business decisions.

By using knowledge (Dr. Grandin’s animal psychology research), investments in new handling equipment and training pay off to the owners of the meat packing business.

As far as as the businessman sees, the animals lack of suffering not good or bad. It’s simply not relevant. He is blind to anything beyond an income statement.

This is the businessman’s psychology. He is blind to non-cash flow considerations.

Dr. Grandin‘s  unusually high-functioning autistic abilities gives us a 100% honest and sincere view into her specific expertise. How her brilliance is taken and used by business is another matter.

Harvesting life savings can be done in the same way.

Franchise veterans know they’ve through a process for sake of other people’s profit taking. But they lack an understanding of how which is extremely important in human psychology.

All franchise relationships are much more the same than they are different. Some just travel faster along the franchisee restraint conveyor than others. Success or failure is only relevant with franchises purchased today and viewed over a specific time period. You will make money to some degree even if it’s trading dollars in for dollars out. Not the business you had envisioned but, hey, buyer beware. Right?

The rest of the industry bullshit is just used to conceal your beefs.

The systemic design features of the franchising relationship/experience has been hidden until recently.

They reside clearly in the relationship section in WikiFranchise.org.

For those with eyes to see.


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