In this episode, Rick and Matt break down how to use Kanter’s Law when setting business expectations and they apply it to franchising.  

“Kanter’s law states that everything looks infinitely harder when you are in the middle.”

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a professor at the Harvard Law School 

When buying a franchise, you’ll be very excited about the idea of starting a new project in the beginning. On the other end, you might have a plan of a great exit strategy, which is a goal all entrepreneurs desire. However, there will be lots of lumps and bumps in the middle. There will be lots of hard work. At some point, you may even feel like giving up. 

When you look at Kanter’s law in a fitness business or any other business, you must prepare for the hard part in the middle. If you want to do anything meaningful in life and business, it pays to be prepared for the hard part in the middle. 

Looking through the lens of franchising, when you first buy into a franchise, it is exciting. Everyone loves the excitement of starting a new business and you might have a goal of the end result. Maybe you want to sell the business in 15 years. The hard part is somewhere in between there’s going to be a lot of lumps and bumps. So the middle typically includes challenges between the start and the end. You heard the phrase “two steps forward, one step back”. When it gets difficult, push yourself to not give up and remember the excitement and passion that got you into the business in the first place. 

In life, it is the same way. Let’s say you want to lose weight. You start out excited with a new exercise program and change some habits like eating healthier. Then you see changes occurring. You’ve also got this vision of what you’re going to feel and look like when you reach your goal. Between the excitement of getting started and reaching your goal, there’s a lot of stuff that’s going to happen in between. You may go on vacation, you may reach a plateau, or you may not eat right for a week, causing your progress to slow or reverse. It is not always smooth sailing in a linear progression, but you can expect peaks and valleys. 

We work with franchisees to prepare them for the peaks and valleys of opening and operating an Alloy business. In the beginning we get you through the build out process, presales, and grand opening. Then you stabilize the clientele over the next few months and get everybody into their time slots. You also adjust emotionally to becoming an entrepreneur and the risk that you’re taking along with working really hard for a window of time. So we try to smooth out most of the peaks and valleys for you and prepare you by setting business expectations with you. We’ve done it a million times, but it’s just nice for a franchise partner to talk about these things for us to realign expectations. 

As an entrepreneur, embrace the middle because when you look back on it, the middle part will be the best part. Everybody loves an exciting beginning and a happy ending, but if you can learn to appreciate the work that happens in the middle, you’re in a good place. Realize and prepare yourself for the hard work that you’re going to have to do to be successful,and if you expect it to be lumpy at times, then you’re going to be much better prepared to survive whatever that is.

Tune in to learn more skills to make you successful in the fitness industry and as an owner. 

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Key Takeaways

  • What is Kanter’s law (02:27)
  • Applying the Kanter’s law in fitness franchising (03:43)
  • Steeling for the difficult middle part of a project (06:29)
  • It’s not a linear progression from start to finish (08:50)
  • How to embrace the middle (14:52)


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Podcast 143


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