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Success Cornerstone #1: COMMUNITY

Many years ago, when I was looking to make a change in my career I started looking at small business. I didn’t have a good idea of what business to start and everything I read scared me to death. Then, I came upon an article in a magazine on franchising. My life changed that day (and, perhaps, yours too!). What I learned is that franchisees have an 80% chance of success while independent startups have an 80% chance of failure. Now, at the time, I had no idea that my mantra had just become The 80% Shift!, but it had.

Fast forward to 2013. At The Legacy Center we create and offer unique  programs, education and services to help small business owners have a fighting chance at achieving their dreams of entrepreneurial success. This is a simple statement but not a simple solution. There’s a reason that my advisor, Tom, whom you met in my previous post,  told our client to prepare for a 90% chance of failure. But, I’m here to tell you, IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE!

eMyth Revisited

If all business owners, regardless of whether they are affiliated with a franchise or not, would follow some of the basic principles of franchising, they would and do see greater success. And…I’m not the only one to say this. Michael Gerber, in eMyth Revisited talks about the benefits of building on a Franchise Business Format.

This phenomenon is not only seen in franchising though. More lasting success can also be found among small town businesses, close communities such as the Asian and Indian (Persian) communities, multi-generational family owned businesses (after the third generation) and companies that are “incubated”.

Do you see a commonality? Companies that begin under the above circumstances are not alone. They have mentors that have been there, done that. They have peers to share their joys and struggles with. They have a network to rely on, to get referrals from and to refer to.

The first cornerstone of The 80% Shift! is……


      When a new franchisee signs their contract, life as they knew it changes. They are instantly enveloped in an intentional community. Other franchisees step up as mentors and colleagues. The staff has a to-do list ready. The franchisor smiles at having a new family member. With the creation of the Legacy Community in 2006, we began to mimic this concept. No, we’re not all under the same brand umbrella but we are all seeking success in the world of small business.

Community, The Structure of Belonging

      We provide a “structure for belonging” as our good friend, Peter Block, says in his book Community, The Structure of Belonging.  Some of the many benefits of this kind of community are support, never being alone, connection, ideation, identifying and using our collective gifts and much more.

      I encourage you to learn more about Peter and his community philosophies by watching this YouTube video. As you do, think about what gifts and talents you have that could benefit another business owner. How could you BE benefited? I like to think of our mentoring approach as “Lift as you climb”, everyone’s a learner and a teacher!

Over the years we’ve developed some meaningful phrases to express Community:

Alone we are limited; Together we are boundless!

We invite you to join the richness of our community!

And, we do…invite you!


To YOUR success,

Peg Stookey

P.S. Since I posted this a couple days ago I can’t seem to get it out of my mind. I’m wracking my brain to find the names of businesses/owners that we’ve been closely involved with over the last 6 years that have failed. Honestly, I can’t find them. What we have are businesses that, if not wildly successful, are holding on, have evolved into a different business model and are “beginning again” so that they can achieve the success they seek. I credit this to our Community approach. The mastermind groups, the workshops, and the connections all form a base of support for the business owner in trouble. I can think of plenty of folks that were about to go under but didn’t because we picked them up, gave them a new idea, a pat on the back, and an empathetic ear. I think we need to think more about this-don’t you?

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