Women in Franchising: How the Landscaping is Changing


It’s no secret that corporate businesses are dominated by men. A recent CNNMoney analysis indicates that of all S&P 500 CEO jobs, only 5 percent are held by women. A similar study described by Catalyst shows that women made up just 20 percent of board seats of fortune 500 companies. The good news is, this trend is shifting in the world of franchising. Women now either own or co-own 41 percent of all franchises in the United States. The reasons for this are complex, stemming from cultural shifts in traditional gender roles, general consumer experience, and the overall importance of diversity of thought. Women are changing the game.


Challenging Traditional Gender Roles


Just like other cultural phenomena, gender roles shift naturally over time; they’re affected by politics, environment, and social values. Over the course of the last century, female roles in western society have evolved rapidly. While there have been significant growing pains, women now hold business positions that have historically eluded them. However, work/life balance is still incredibly important to women, as it’s essential for overall well-being. According to Franchise Times, 54 percent of female franchisees say that their overall work-life is balanced or very balanced. When compared with corporate jobs, there is often less mandatory travel time, and hours are more flexible.


In fact, franchising is often overall a more dependable career option than, say, starting a business. Franchises have proven track records of success, follow established business models and regulations, and have the general support of the company. This may, at first glance, seem like a relatively risk-averse approach to business; after all, signing on to a stable company model appears to be a safe bet. However, a more appropriate phrasing would be risk mitigation. Compared to men, women are more adept at mitigating risk in favor of larger, potentially more advantageous risks. In a sense, women make inclusive and calculated decisions that support the bigger picture.


Women and the Consumer Experience


Women make up a significant portion of franchise consumers. Consumer experience gives women intimate knowledge of what products and services they prefer, what marketing strategies are successful, and how business models work for them. Sexism often plays a significant role—business models that are traditionally male dominated, like those in the automotive industry, can deter female consumers and leave them frustrated. If a woman has a poor experience at a franchise that provides a service that is essential to her lifestyle, she has motive to either take her business elsewhere, or become a change agent in the industry.


Though more women are getting into franchising than ever before, there are still logistical hurdles. For example, women continue to have difficulty obtaining adequate franchise funding, with female franchisees seeing a loan average of $568,475 compared to $729,093 for men. In terms of research, it’s hard to say whether these numbers reflect sexism in the loan industry, or if they indicate that women have historically pursued business ventures that require less capital than men. Whatever the case may be, this trend is rapidly changing. Loans to female franchisers showed an increase of 22.5 percent between 2013 and 2017, while those for males only increased 5.7 percent


One theory is that female franchisees are addressing the lack of family-friendly environments in companies. Brian Scudamore, Founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK? reports that, “female-lead franchises are…disproportionately more successful than the men. Part of their strength is that they can relate to our customers—who are primarily women.” When a franchise owner and a customer share a lived experience, the customer is better served. Using their experience as consumers, women are able to accurately provide access to certain services, increasing foot traffic to their business. For example, when consumers who require childcare services have their needs met, they are likely to return. This is not to say that men can’t address the same issues; it’s merely indicative that the traditional female roles of the past can have significant, progressive influence on female roles in the future.


What Women Bring to the Table


Women bring a diversity of thought to the table. In general, women are more open to sharing ideas and collaboration than their male counterparts, giving way to innovation and new business practices. Women are similarly unafraid to ask questions, an inclusive practice that allows them to bring new voices and expertise to their franchise. According to Courtney Sinelli, Executive Vice President of Which Which Superior Sandwiches, women “look at their business from various angles,” considering “how decisions affect all areas of their business.” Similarly, Shelly Sun from the International Franchising Association believes that women “tend to be better managers, leaders, and inspirers of talent,” making their employees “feel cared for.” This wholistic approach is paving the way for women to change the landscape of franchising, making it more diverse and accessible to consumers.



Haley is from Gilbert, Arizona. She loves reading and writing just about anything under the sun. In her spare time, you can find her exploring outdoors or sippin’ on a craft brew.  



End the Year Happier, Healthier & Wealthier With These Simple Lifestyle Changes

End The Year Happier, Healthier & Wealthier With These Simple Lifestyle Changes


No matter how good we’re doing in our lives, we can always stand to improve them. How many times have you told yourself that starting tomorrow, or starting next year, you’ll finally stick to your resolutions and turn your life around? Change starts now and it starts with you. The important thing is knowing where to start from. There are simple yet life-changing decisions you can make and stick to regardless of your busy schedule. These changes are bound to improve the three aspects of life which suffer most in today’s world- health, happiness, and wealth.


Save some cash



Saving money is always a good idea and a fail-proof way to more wealth. You don’t need to change your habits entirely to do it, though. For example, you can change the way you use transportation. Instead of taking your car or the bus, cycle to where you need to go.


This way you’ll be saving a lot of money on gas and car maintenance (and bus tickets) while keeping fit and healthy. Additionally, you can put the money you’d spend on fuel in a jar or an envelope. Don’t touch it for a few months and see how the money piled up. Now you can afford something nice for yourself or use it for an unexpected fee without stressing.


Appreciate what you have



Perhaps the most efficient way to happiness is by changing your outlook on life. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have and what you want, look at what makes you happy in your life. Remember that at some prior point, you wanted everything you have now.


Greed and a negative attitude are what pulls us down and keep us from being happy. Stop yourself every time you have a negative thought about your life. It’s helpful to keep a diary of nice things that happened to you during the day so that you can read it when you’re feeling down.


Get enough sleep



A full night of sleep is essential for your happiness and health. Even though we live in a busy world and have a lot on our plates, it’s important to prioritize sleep. Think of it this way, you’ll achieve nothing if you’re not well-rested and thereby happy.


A regular sleep cycle improves your productivity and leaves you more time to do the things you love in the long run. It’s even a good idea to take a half hour nap daily. This way you’ll be setting some time for yourself and be able to finish the rest of your daily duties more quickly.


Watch your diet



Watching your diet doesn’t need to imply some drastic changes. It’s enough to stack up on healthy snacks and cut the sugar out of your life as much as you can. Sugar makes you sleepier and slowly kills your willpower, so it’s good to avoid it.


Healthy alternatives will rid your body of toxins you’ve ingested through unhealthy food. This will make you not only healthier, but happier, more energetic, and more positive.


Find an exercise you enjoy


Most of us only start working out because we have to. Since there is no actual joy in exercising, it’s hard to stay motivated and stick to the routine, hence why we fail most of the time. This can be solved pretty easily by finding an exercise you actually enjoy.


There are plenty to choose from, and you’ll surely find the right fit for you after some experimentation. To stay energized and motivated, combine the exercise with a proper diet. If you’re new to exercise, you should use fast digesting post workout protein which will help you kick-start the recovery process and continue exercising regularly.


Drink more water


This is a very simple way to keep your body healthy and vital. Water is good for all aspects of your being, and you can never have enough of it. It cleanses you internally and leaves your skin soft and radiant. What’s more, you’ll have more energy and will be much healthier.


There are plenty of apps which can help remind you to stay hydrated if you don’t have the habit of drinking water regularly. Another idea is to spice up your drink with some fresh mint or lemon. These two ingredients will keep you refreshed and on your toes.




All in all, you don’t need to make major changes to improve your life overall. Small steps are okay and they lead to the big improvements. The important thing is that you stick to these little decisions and make time for them in your busy schedule. Consistency has always been the key to success. It also helps with maintaining high levels of motivation. That means that you’ll be the best version of you in no time.



Stella is an art historian, entrepreneur, conscious consumer and a proud mother. She can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of home improvement/DIY projects.When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book.



How to Tell if Your Side Hustle is Killing Your Career

How to Tell If Your Side Hustle is Killing your Career


We all remember those times when we daydreamed about the bright future ahead of us and the glamorous career paths we might take. Sooner or later however, reality manages to “hit” us all. Stability often takes the place of ambition and our dreams are put on hold to make way for the sustainable and comfortable.


For some of us, letting go of our dreams is simply out of the question. Personally, all my childhood I dreamed of being a famous pop star like Rihanna or Jessie J. Still, I can’t let go of my dream to sing my songs in front of a big crowd, though my musical orientations have changed over the years. For some of us, the ideas are persistent.


The mind of an entrepreneur never stops to think of how something can be improved upon. There are so many problems to solve and exciting ways to solve them. These ideas kick around in our heads until they become to hard to ignore.


Now, full-time jobs are somewhat of a time commitment. Add kids, outside interests, relationships, the work…and you may find yourself second-guessing the whole side hustle thing.


But hey, you’re not the first one to go through this struggle. There are several ways to handle this situation. One in three people has two or more means of income these days. So, what’s the magic formula for a successful side hustle? It really comes down to discipline, impeccable time management, and perseverance.


However, if you’re spending more time figuring out how to juggle than actually juggling, it may be time to step back and make some adjustments.


Does being a self-starter involve throwing everything away to dive head first into the risky journey of entrepreneurship? Maybe not.


Author of Originals Adam Grant puts it this way. “In every domain, from business and politics to science and art, the people who move the world forward with original ideas are rarely paragons of conviction and commitment. As they question traditions and challenge the status quo, they may appear bold and self-assured on the surface. But peel back the layers, the truth is that they, too, grapple with fear, ambivalence, and self-doubt. And as much as they seem to crave risk, really prefer to avoid it.”  


5 Tips to Blend Your Job and Passion


If you’re having trouble managing your work and side hustle, these tips might help you overcome the challenges and setbacks that are blocking your way to success.


Develop clear objectives


For your side hustle to be successful and your lifestyle to stay intact, you need to establish clear objectives and expectations.


First, decide exactly what you want to achieve with your side hustle. Do you want to create a multinational brand and make millions? Or, are you happy just keeping it small for now…an creative outlet or an exploration into a new interest? How many customers/clients do you expect to have monthly or yearly? When will you finish the startup?


Then, once you have a clear picture of your objectives, think about your present lifestyle. What do you need to improve to reach your goals? What challenges stand in your way?


Great projects are always planned out. Don’t skip the process, otherwise, you might get lost on the path.


Acknowledge and leverage the common skills


When starting a side hustle, it’s tempting to to do something completely different than what you’re doing with your current job, but often times the skills we pick up doing what we love can actually propel us forward in the career we already have.


Finding out your inner strengths is the first step, leveraging them is the second. You should introspect and meditate upon this. Seek to find common ground and leverage it consistently until you reach your goals.


Share your passion with your coworkers


Coworkers can help you refine your vision, verbalize your ideas and allow for valuable feedback.


Another option might be to seek out a coach who can take it one step further and offer solutions to balance your two jobs more harmoniously.


Back up your side hustle with a flawless personal brand


Make sure to represent your passion with a personal brand that reflects your side job in the best possible light. This may call for a social media makeover across all platforms or an online audit to see where and how you’re showing up in the digital world.


Adding credibility is crucial. Reach out for testimonials to add to your website and create consistent and engaging content with your audience.


Challenges and warning signs


Now, let’s take a look at five warning signs that indicate a conflict with your side hustle and career path.



You’re becoming overwhelmed and confused


Becoming overwhelmed and confused because of too many responsibilities and expectations will turn you into an unproductive zombie. I get it. Your side hustle is exciting, and the rewards are even better. You want to work, work, and work until you succeed.


Unfortunately, putting too much pressure and overcrowding your schedule will lead you in the opposite direction, which is failure.


Give yourself some time to figure out how you can achieve optimal efficiency and harmony in your life. Calm your mind and make an informed assessment. Prioritize your current work, but don’t neglect the side hustle. Get back on your feet and keep yourself strong!


Your body can’t cope with the stress


When your mind is crowded, and your schedule is full, your body’s needs might be neglected. Of course, your mind and body are interconnected, so neglecting one of them will negatively affect the other.


Stress is a huge factor. Doing two things at once will bring more stress than you might have expected. In these situations, you need to keep a close eye on your energy, motivation, and physical strength.


If you didn’t know, high levels of stress block the immune system, making you vulnerable to every possible disease. Knowing that, you should treat both your mind and body carefully, giving them everything they need in order to thrive. That is good food, plenty of exercise, introspection, meditation, positive thoughts, and gratefulness.


You are side hustlin’ on the day job


It might sound obvious, but when you’re no longer fully present at work, this can be very damaging to your career success. You keep thinking about how you can make improvements to aspects of your side hustle.


This is the very first sign that problems are about to arise. You’ll no longer be able to do your job as you used to because you’ll be keeping your mind busy with all the things you’re going to do when you get home. This can heavily affect productivity, workflow, and motivation at work.


Your personal life is suffering


There’s a difference between busy and unhealthy workaholism. Balancing your 9-5 job and private life is hard enough. If you’re ducking out of afternoon meetings early to meet an important investor for your biz, that’s one thing. Blowing off a networking opportunity for the 10th time in a row to update some code on your website is another!


It’s also important to remember that a part of our social lives usually involves coworkers and these relationships are important if not as important as our friends outside of work. We spend a huge amount of time with these people and positive relationships with colleagues translate to a positive work experience overall. We need human connection and support to succeed. People are power.


Your work colleagues and managers become suspicious


Sometimes, our greatest passions are not something we feel comfortable sharing with coworkers. When we hide something, but we don’t do it well, negative consequences might arise.  


As Peter Berne, the HR manager at A-writer, advises, “If you put a lot of work on your side hustle, sooner or later, people will start figuring it out. They’ll do so because your performance will drop, your interest will be lower, and your involvement in the company will drop. As you can figure, your boss and several important clients might not be so happy about it.”


Focus on your work and don’t allow your side hustle to intervene. Keep your productivity high and focus on your job like you used to. You are strong enough to be great at your job even if your other “passion” calls for you.




If balancing your side hustle and career becomes a full-time job within itself, it might be time to consider pursuing your passion more seriously, but think carefully before dropping your full-time gig altogether. Perhaps, you’re at a point in your career that could prove crucial to stay committed. Talking to a career coach or someone who’s been through this journey already may be able to help you prioritize and set realistic goals for yourself.



Audrey is a passionate blogger and marketer at  college-paper.org. Her areas of interests are very wide, but mostly she writes about content marketing and innovative business technologies.  Her aim is to engage people to self-growth and staying motivated.



Do Your Goals Align With What You Want Out of Life?

Do Your Goals Align With What You Want Out of Life?


We all have goals, both personal and professional. Many of us even have similar goals such as finding a partner, starting a family,  purchasing a house or making a shift in our careers. But it’s all too easy to find yourself working towards goals that don’t align with what you really want out of life. Often, it’s because you’re thinking not about what you want but about what your partners, parents or peers expect or what you think they would approve of. Other times, you end up working towards a goal that isn’t right for you, such as a career path that doesn’t suit you, and you may not even realize it until you find yourself in an untenable situation.


So, how can you make sure that your goals actually line up with what you want out of life? You’ll need to spend some time getting to know yourself, if you haven’t already, and employ some careful thinking about what excites and challenges you and where you want to be in one, three, five or 10 years. Each goal you set should move you toward that place, whether it be personally or professionally.


Know Yourself


One reason many people find it difficult to set goals that align with what they want out of life is that they don’t know themselves as well as they think they do. Put some thought into who you are – crystallize your values, beliefs, temperament, interests, strengths and weaknesses and even your daily biorhythms. The better you know yourself, the better equipped you’ll be to set goals that can bring you more of the happiness and fulfillment you crave.


A big part of this is thinking about what excites and challenges you. For example, let’s say you’re interested in revamping your career and want to set some professional goals for yourself. You need to know what kind of work really interests you because that’s the work you’re going to be motivated to pursue and able to enjoy over the long term. If you enjoy traveling to exotic locales, spending time outdoors, and digging deep into history, perhaps you’d be happy as an archeologist – but probably not so happy as an accountant.


Once you know what kind of work makes you excited to wake up and get started in the morning, you’ll be able to take steps toward making that career happen. Perhaps you’ve had some experience in the business world and feel inspired to become a better leader, so you decide to enroll in an online MBA program. This goal aligns well with what you want out of life: to grow as a leader.


Envision the Future


When you think about who and where you want to be in few years, what comes to mind? If you don’t know where you’re going, you could end up anywhere, so sitting down and visualizing the future you want for yourself is crucial to setting goals that will contribute to your happiness.


Think about what you want to achieve over the next decade of your life. Who do you want to be in 10 years’ time? Where do you want to be professionally in a decade? Once you’re able to visualize that, write down 50 goals that you have for yourself for that period of time. Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to try to accomplish all of them; you’re a human being, not a goal-achieving machine. What you should instead do is split that list up into four types of goals: those to achieve within the next year, those to achieve within the next three years, those to achieve within the next five years and those to achieve within the next 10 years.


Now that you have divided the list, prioritize the goals in each category. Think about the four most important goals for the next year, the next three years and so on. At the end of this process, you should have 16 important goals for the next 10 years, and you will be able to start thinking about how you’ll approach each goal. Break each goal into shorter tasks and give yourself deadlines for accomplishing them. Hold yourself accountable to your goals to find success.


Setting goals that align with what you want out of life is one of the best ways to find real, lasting happiness. Know who you are, what excites you and where you want to go in your personal and professional life, and figuring out how to get there will be the easy part.


Tiffany is a leader in content, she prides herself in her ability to create and provide high quality content that audiences find valuable. She also enjoys connecting with other bloggers and collaborating for exclusive content in various niches. With many years of experience, Tiffany has found herself more passionate than ever to continue developing content and relationship across multiple platforms and audiences.



How to Overcome the Fear of Networking

How to Overcome the Fear of Networking


Do you remember your first professional conference? If you’re like most of us, you do …because the experience was downright terrifying. Even if you consider yourself a bit of a social butterfly, it’s difficult to walk up to a stranger, in a room filled with strangers, and strike up a conversation.


Want to know what’s worse? You have to talk about yourself. Ugh.


Many professional women have trouble touting the benefits of their service for fear of sounding too “pitchy.” So then, we end up taking it to the extreme and inadvertently downplaying our jobs. Networking mission not accomplished. You just connected with a bunch of powerful people who now think your service is “no big deal.”


On the other hand, some women get so nervous about networking that they end up chugging a glass or two of wine before bragging about their accolades to anyone who will listen. And we all know that’s all kinds of detrimental. So, let’s move past alcoholism and towards making mutually beneficial connections.


Networking is so scary for us because of the pressure to make a good impression. But here’s the thing: It doesn’t have to be so scary. With a combination of good technique and practice, you can get over your fear of networking once and for all.


Here are a few tips you can put into practice today.


Perfect your elevator pitch


What do you say when someone asks what you do? If you’ve ever fumbled around to explain your service, you need to work on your elevator pitch. If people don’t understand your service when you’re done, you need to work on your elevator pitch.


An elevator pitch is a short and sweet description of what you do and what you can offer. It’s important to blend the two, so your contacts can start picturing how they might use your service.


Most importantly, your elevator pitch should answer the questions of who you are, what you do, and why people should care. The last one may also include what makes your service stand apart from the rest.


Think realistically about the outcome


When we shy away from networking, it’s usually the pressure that gets us. What if the person is rude and thinks your service is stupid? If we’re being honest, that’s a fear most of us have (or something similar), but it’s almost completely irrational.


Think about it objectively. What are the actual chances that you start talking to someone and they rudely tell you (in so many words) that you and your service are the pits. Not very likely, right? As long as you are kind and respectful, most people will return the favor.


At worst, they might find an excuse to end the conversation. Can you handle that?


Remember that it’s about relationships


So what happens when someone clearly isn’t interested in what you have to offer? Some people will tell you that it’s a numbers game and you just need to keep pitching. There is some truth in that, but don’t forget about the importance of relationships.


Just because someone isn’t interested doesn’t mean they don’t know another person who is. Powerful people have powerful friends, so sometimes, it’s just about the relationship.


Remember that this isn’t a one-way street. Always ask questions about the other person and what they do. See if you have ideas to send business their way. If not, that’s okay too. If you can make an impression, it may turn into a lead somewhere down the line.


Hopefully, these tips have eased your mind a bit and made you feel better about networking. But they’re just the tip of the iceberg. If you think you could benefit from more tips or just want to up your marketing game, check out our upcoming Success Summit. It’s NOTHING like your typical conference, and you’ll walk away with knowledge and experience to help propel your career to the next stratosphere.




Emily is an experienced content writer. She has written about an array of topics, from business, healthcare, and technology to travel, culinary, education and even fashion & lifestyle. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling, training for half marathons, and cooking for her family.




The Gateway to Greatness

The Gateway to Greatness



Can you REIGN in the RAIN? Any queen can LOOK FANCY. The real question is can she smile consistently in the face of adversity, LEAD FAITHFULLY and FIGHT FIERCELY in the furnace of affliction until she kisses the lips of ascension?


“I will do what queens do, I will rule.” -Daenerys Targaryen


As a leader I have to constantly reiterate to my insecurities that I was not called to EASY, I was summoned to EXTRAORDINARY. When I was younger I almost placed my fate in the hands of the state by allowing a standardized test to say I was less than great. YOU’VE GOT TO GO THROUGH, TO GET TO THE NEXT LEVEL! New altitudes are commanding you to soar higher.


“Life is not easy for any of us but what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing at whatever cost must be attained.” -Marie Curie


Four years ago I found myself in a new matrix of greatness when I was abruptly terminated. I am no stranger to challenges and I knew that I was going to have to find out who I had yet to become. I was reintroduced to my divine power and transformed a pink slip into Queenfidence. I would love to tell you that it has been a walk in the royal garden yet the highs have outshined the lows.


How do I continue to tread forward when I’m surrounded by a forest of uncertainty? MY VISION WON’T LET ME VANISH! In the words of Cleopatra the great, “I WILL NOT BE TRIUMPHED OVER!” I was not created to SUCCUMB to fear but designed to SUBDUE my future.


“The first step in gaining fortitude is to ask yourself, “What do I value most? What do I fear losing the most? The brave person values the thing he is pursuing more than the things he is risking.” -Unknown


I’ve created 16 vision boards to navigate through unfamiliar and unchartered territories. If I could capsulize one main jewel I have embraced on this journey is, Do not be afraid of who you are because no one is you and that is your power. Focus on where you are going, not where you have been.


“No amount of security is worth the suffering of a mediocre life chained to a routine that has killed your dreams.” -Maya Mendoza


The voice of brilliance began to advocate for me even when I failed to believe. Faux societal labels serve one goal, to disable your growth. One of my saving graces throughout the years since childhood is understanding that IMAGINATION is the gateway to ELEVATION.


Fight for the fairytale it does exist.” -Joy F.


We house infinite potential in the crevices of our beings. Our innate abilities are often buried under the debris of disappointment, despair and delayed dreams. The mind is a highly sophisticated instrument that will perform magnificently in the face of adversity. In order for us to operate at optimal capacity we must retrain the brain to reign exponentially.


“If you have the courage to begin, you have the courage to succeed.” -David Viscott


I am always seeking to find the open door where there are only walls. In tech a gateway is defined as a network node that connects two networks using different protocols together. A bridge is used to join two similar types of networks. A gateway uses two dissimilar networks. This is how I interpret it for real life: adversity + opportunity = the perfect partners to produce uncommon feats. Adversity holds the key to limitless possibilities but you must open your eyes and seize.


“Do you want to know who you are? Don’t ask, ACT. Action will delineate and define you.” -Thomas Jefferson


A gateway also means a tall and wide entrance which you have to go through to get to another place. It would be quite refreshing if we could swim through cool waters to DESTINY but the reality is, fire awaits.


“What is courage? Courage does not always roar, sometimes it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.” -Unknown


Use your voice even if it shakes, the future is at stake. Your brilliance is unquestionable, co-sign your own purpose, power and potential.


“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” -Nora Ephron



Kristie Kennedy, owner of Queenfidence Image Consulting, LLC empowers timid female executives with confidence and clarity keys to FIND their voice, FREE their voice and look FAB*YOU*LOUS exercising their voice. She is skilled in four areas of peak performance: mindset mastery, massive momentum, magnetic messaging and potential maximization. Kristie has a passion for igniting leaders who have reached an internal plateau with limitless possibilities. She is a certified impact coach who provides insightful and inspiring leadership development training. Her life is a testament that you can shift from mediocrity to magnificence one bold action step at a time. www.queenfidence.com








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