From the archive: This episode was originally recorded and published in 2021. Our interviews on Entrepreneurs On Fire are meant to be evergreen, and we do our best to confirm that all offers and URL’s in these archive episodes are still relevant.
Jessica Yarmey is the CEO of KickHouse – a modern kickboxing franchise. Before starting this entrepreneurial endeavor, she spent over 20 years promoting and protecting top global fitness brands.
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3 Value Bombs
1) Find the right people you want to march with.
2) In a franchise system, you are part of a network. Everybody is working together to get through this crazy time.
3) Know that you’re partnered with a bunch of other entrepreneurs pursuing the same goal.
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Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: Investing in a Franchise During the Pandemic with Jessica Yarmey.
[1:27] – Jessica shares something she believes about being successful that most people don’t agree with.
- In order to become successful, you need to be all in. That means you have to dedicate your heart, soul, and hours to your business. You need to love what you’re doing so that it won’t be painful to draw a line between work and life.
[4:35] – Why Jessica built a brick-and-mortar business during the pandemic.
- Jessica is not risk-taker by nature. She’s calculated and intentional with everything that she does.
- There’s so much fear in the world right now – especially in brick-and-mortar businesses.
[7:20] – What has been the hardest part of this contrarian move from the beginning?
- Everything this year feels like it’s swimming in the opposite direction.
- The hardest part of it is believing when others won’t.
- The comments didn’t drive people away. Instead, it inspired people to double-down and recommit to the path they’re already on.
[9:07] – The lessons Jessica learned during the pandemic.
- She won’t be able to pursue this contrarian move and pull it off during the pandemic if she didn’t have partners around her that believed and saw the opportunity.
- It is difficult to take on a contrarian stance on your own, being a solopreneur.
- If you are a solopreneur, find good partners to compliment your skillset and fill in holes
[15:37] – Why would someone invest in a franchise amidst a pandemic?
- Franchise sales are increasing because of the desire to build something entrepreneurial, but to also have the support system and not be out there alone.
- In a franchise system, you are part of a network. Everybody is working together to get through this crazy time.
[17:47] – What makes a good or a bad candidate for a franchisee opportunity?
- There’s no background that’s a template for a good franchisee. It’s all about the entrepreneurial mindset.
- Know that you’re partnered with a bunch of other entrepreneurs pursuing the same goal.
[20:31] – Key questions to ask if you are interested in owning a franchise.
- How are you helping your franchise owners navigate through this pandemic?
- How many locations have closed during COVID-19? This question will tell you about the organization’s operation and priorities.
- During normal times, confirm other franchise owners’ typical questions around their net promoter score.
[23:34] – Jessica’s key takeaway.
- Find the right people you want to march with.
[24:36] – Jessica’s call to action for Fire Nation!
- The KickHouse – Franchise opportunity for Fire Nation! Get 10% off the initial franchise fee!
What's shaken Fire Nation. JLD here with an audio master class on a, why invest in a franchise during the pandemic to drop these value bombs. I brought Jessica Yarmey on the mic. She is the CEO of KickHouse, a modern kickboxing franchise. Before starting this entrepreneurial endeavor, she spent over 20 years promoting and protecting top global fitness brands in today for our nation. We talking about doing contrarian things like building a brick and mortar business during the pandemic. I mean, that sounds crazy. What lessons did Jessica learn and why would someone want to invest in a franchise, especially in the midst of a pandemic. And who's actually a good candidate for this and fire nation.
There's so much to learn about business and franchising and operating during a pandemic and control your times in this interview. You must listen. As soon as we get back from thanking our sponsors, if you're feeling like you have no idea where to start on your online course journey, then Thinkific's five-day course challenge is for you. You'll walk away with a complete blueprint for your online course that you'll be ready to put into action. Sign up for this free challenge today at thinkific.com/fire that's T H I N K I F I C.com/fire. What if you could run an e-commerce business with no tech experience or employees and generate 10K or more each month today's sponsor at quantify is doing just that qwantify guarantees your success and revenue with complete end to end training and support apply today at qwantify.com.
0 (1m 34s):
That's Q W A N T I F Y.com. Jessica say what's up to fire nation. And what is something that you believe about becoming successful that most people disagree with?
1 (1m 48s):
What's up Fire Nation. I'm going to be controversial here. I don't believe in work-life balance. I believe in order to become successful, especially in starting a business, like you need to be all in this needs to be heart, soul hours into your business. And for me, that trick is you need to love what you're doing and you need to love it so much that it's not painful to be all in. It's not painful to have no line drawn between work and life. It's Kevin O'Leary from SharkTank.
1 (2m 29s):
He talks about like the intensity of being an entrepreneur. And that's, that's really legit and really every bit of your time and your brain power needs to go into the launch. But this is controversial because like, we don't talk about the grind. It's more politically correct. It's more glamorous to talk about work-life balance and, and talk about a four hour workweek. And especially if we talk to entrepreneurs who have already made it, and we look at their schedules, your days are more balanced once you've already made it. So it's not fair to like make that comparison. But if you're in a startup mode, if you're trying to launch there's work there, like there's a lot of work,
0 (3m 15s):
Jessica, I'm going to break in here because I want to disagree with you. Like I really do, because I know Fire Nation wants to hear that like work-life balance is possible, right from the beginning and yada yada, you can do life and you can do health and you can do business and family and all these different things, but it's not because if you don't commit 100% to this entrepreneurial venture, somebody else in your competitive realm is, and they're going to beat you every time they're going to beat you bad. And they're going to crush you like a little stone under their feet. It's just a reality. Like the reason why entrepreneurs on fire became immediate powerhouse. I outworked every one of my competitors. Nobody was willing to do a daily podcast. I did it for 2000 days in a row. I won period. I worked everybody else.
0 (3m 55s):
That's how it happened. And to your point, Jessica, which I love I now in 2021, which by the way is nine years after I launched. I have a work-life balance now. And, and, and not always though, like right now, I'm an unbelievable heads down book, launch mode. My book comes out March 23rd is my first recently published book. Like I'm all in work-life balance out the window. After that, I'll be able to get back into some work-life balance, but that's because I have to certain levels made it to that degree. So it can, it can come Fire Nation down the road with success after you've already grinded your face off. And as I shared at, during the introduction, this episode is all about why you should be investing in a franchise during a pandemic.
0 (4m 39s):
And I want to start off with a bang, Jessica. I mean, you must get this question a lot. So I just have to start the interview with that's. Why the heck did you decide to build a brick and mortar business during a global pandemic?
1 (4m 53s):
I know it's crazy. I am. I'm not a risk taker by nature. I'm super calculated and intentional with everything that I do. And I've definitely gotten that question. Like, isn't this crazy, isn't this risky to start a fitness concept. And, and, and my immediate answer is, is really that it would have been more risky not to start kickHouse. If you think about it and you look back at the year, we've all just had, there's been so many pieces of our world that have been in flux that have been moving around that have been like shifting under our feet.
1 (5m 38s):
And if the world is shifting and you're staying still, and you're just sitting, waiting for normalcy, you're just waiting for like a return to the way it was. You're you're missing opportunities. You're going to get passed by JLD. I know you're a fan of Warren buffet, and there's so many things that he has said that ring true for this pandemic. But one of his most famous quotes is, is be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful. There's so much fear in the world right now. And especially when it comes to brick and mortar, you know, especially when it comes to fitness and, and brick and mortar, but one of his other quotes that's maybe lesser, lesser known is his risk comes from not knowing what you're, what you're doing.
1 (6m 33s):
And I've been in the fitness space for almost 10 years. Now, this isn't coming out of the blue for me. Like I've been working on this in my mind for a while. Now. Maybe you've been working on your book in your mind for a while now. So this isn't me diving into a brand new industry and trying to run a contrarian play. This is, I have an understanding of this space and this landscape, and really that's what gave me the confidence to, to just dive in and like run this contrarian move.
0 (7m 7s):
I love that quote and foundation. I just want to say it one more time. It would have been more risky not to start. And sometimes you just have to look in the mirror and say that like, listen, I get that. There's never a perfect time to have kids. There's never a perfect time to start a business. There's never a perfect time to do all these different things. And so sometimes it's just more risky not to just say, you know what, I'm going forward. I'm making this happen. And let's just be honest. I mean, Jessica, this was a serious contrarian move. So what would you say was the hardest part about this move from the beginning?
1 (7m 42s):
Oh my gosh. It's, it's always difficult to go against the grain, you know, to swim against the current and literally everything this year has been swimming in the opposite direction. And I guess in, in a lot of ways, everything still is swimming in the opposite direction. And there's definitely still that double-take when people here hear this story, they're like, you're doing what, and there's still studios and clubs that are closing. There's still clubs that are filing for bankruptcy. There's still those getting out of the game and I'm getting into the game, but that's the, that's the contrarian move in a nutshell.
1 (8m 22s):
But that that's been the hardest part is believing when others didn't. And I think a lot of entrepreneurs have that side to their story, a doubter, or maybe multiple doubters are saying, wait, you're doing what you're absolutely crazy to do this. And that comment when it came to them, it didn't, it didn't turn them away from what they were pursuing. If anything, it inspired them to double down and recommit to that path that they were already on. One thing that I love talking about Jessica,
0 (8m 57s):
During entrepreneurs on fire interviews, our biggest takeaways, biggest lessons learned. So going through this process, I mean, very contrarian. I mean, you, again, during a global global pandemic, we're talking brick and mortar. People are fleeing them. People are saying they're never going to recover. They're never, doors are never going to open in certain industries and certain niches and verticals. What lessons did you learn during this process?
1 (9m 21s):
JLD there are daily lessons at this point. I am still learning, but one of the biggest lessons that I learned, I would not have been able to pull this off and pursue this contrarian move and start a company during a pandemic. If, if I didn't have partners around me who also believed and who also saw the opportunity, it, it would be super difficult to, to take on a contrarian stance on your own of being a solo preneur. If you will, I'm an entrepreneur, but I've got a squad around me. And that squad keeps on growing in size at this point, which helps balance out those days.
1 (10m 8s):
When maybe I see everyone swimming in the opposite direction and I get those thoughts, should I really be doing this? Those partners are keeping me centered on, on our mission. So my lesson for you, Fire Nation is find good partners. If you're a solo preneur, make sure you have people in your corner to compliment your skillset and, and fill in holes in your skillset and bounce things off of when times get tough. Or maybe you just need a second opinion, or you need a little, little pep talk and, and JLD, maybe you found this when your wife joined your podcast initiative back way back when, like, it just kind of adds fuel to the fire.
1 (10m 55s):
0 (10m 56s):
When you're all on board and it's like, you are on a ship and you're all heading in one direction. I mean, you're like we have to make this work. Cause we don't make this work. If this ship goes down, everything goes down, everything that's on board, all the luggage, all the cargo or at the same time, like another weird analogy could be like, Hey, we actually landed on a shore. And then we burned the ship. So there was no retreat. There was only one way to go and that was forward. And that's what happened when we came together. And when Kate joined the team back in 2013, you know, just about eight months after I launched and went from me being like, you know, I think I can make this work. And a little bit of a side hustle here at Kate has a great job as an account executive doing her thing. Like life is good. Like we're all happy here. And you know, her paychecks coming in.
0 (11m 36s):
So at the end of the day, if I go up in a ball of flames, like we still have that support. But then Hey, when that goes away, we're like, Hey, we need to do this. This needs to work. And there was just no other alternative Jessica. So you did kind of give me a warning a little bit that you were gonna put me on the spot. There was, that was that it? Yeah. I love that idea
1 (11m 54s):
Of, of burning the boats and just having, you know, what we're all in. And, and it's a lot easier to, to battle and be all in when it's, there's somebody at your side, who's, who's just in it with you. And it just makes that entrepreneurial journey a little bit less lonely and a little bit less daunting.
0 (12m 14s):
And in fact, some of the biggest like venture capital firms and just start up like companies like the Y Combinator is of the world. Like they won't invest in a solo entrepreneur and a solo like person, that's starting a business. They make you go get a partner. They go make you get somebody who's going to challenge you is gonna bring a different skill set. Who's going to make it real. Who's going to be hopefully up when you're down and you'll be to pull them up when, when they're down and vice versa. And they've realized that that's these companies that really succeed have that. They have the partnerships and it's the right partner because you know, there is some truth in that, you know, I like all ships, but not partnerships because, and if you'd get the wrong partner, that's a sure sign for disaster coming down the road.
0 (12m 57s):
But the right one, I mean, that's going to amplify everything on the good side of things and fire nation. We're going to talk about why would someone want to invest in a franchise? And you know, basically what questions should you be asking if you're thinking right now, Hey, this could be an opportunity for me. And so much more when we get back from thanking our sponsors, have you ever considered a running an e-commerce business, but Phil, you don't have the skillset or resources to make it happen. What if I told you that in less than 90 days, you can own a successful e-commerce drop ship website, loaded with top selling niche products that generates consistent income minimum 10K month after month, all this with no product inventory, technical knowledge or employees, to worry about how the Qwantify partner program, the Qwantify partner program allows you to benefit from the years of experience and success with no guesswork in your success in revenue is guaranteed.
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0 (15m 16s):
Sign up for this free challenge today at thinkific.com/fire. I'm one of the featured speakers fire nation. That's T H I N K I F I C.com/fire alright Fire Nation. We're back. And why Jessica, why would somebody want to invest in a franchise? Let alone in the midst of a pandemic?
1 (15m 38s):
The franchising model is just super powerful. I, I got my start in franchising back in 2008, I was working on the burger King business at an ad agency. And you talk about a dive into the deep end of franchising. The Burger King structure is so vast and, and so complex, but when everyone marched in the same direction, it was so powerful. You could feel the energy in the system. You can feel like the mountain moving and with KickHouse, it's a franchise system, but, but more importantly, it's a family with literally everybody collaborating and chipping in to move this mountain to add momentum and, and make this system great.
1 (16m 32s):
We're still, as we're talking, we're still in the middle of a, of a pandemic and franchise sales are increasing because of the desire to build something entrepreneurial, but then also have the support of a system and, and not be out there totally alone. I think it's scary right now. If you're out there all alone in a franchise system, you, you are part of a network. You're part of an owner, family, and my KickHouse owners. Every one of them, they're bringing their best skills to the table and, and contributing to this mission.
1 (17m 16s):
Everybody is truly working together to keep all studios of float, to, to work together, to get through this crazy time.
0 (17m 27s):
I want to talk about specifically who makes a good candidate and why like you've come across people who just aren't fits for specific reasons. You come across people, I'm sure who are doing something. You're like, man, that person would be a great candidate to own a franchise. So let's talk about like specifics, like what makes a good candidate? What makes a bad candidate like it's going to talk through this process of like what you've seen in your journey here. I've worked with hundreds
1 (17m 50s):
Of franchisees at this point with a variety of backgrounds. I have KickHouse franchise owners who are doctors. I have one who's the CTO. I have a police woman who has this KickHouse business on the side. There's, there's no background. That's a template for a good franchisee. For me, it's more of a mindset. Like you need to have an entrepreneurial mindset. Do you also want to put your heart and soul into building something?
1 (18m 31s):
Do you, do you share the vision of what's what's being built? Do you want to be part of a nation of other entrepreneurs really pursuing the same thing? Or do you want to go and build on your own? It's it's really two separate paths. And in the KickHouse network, we're all marching toward a common goal. And there's that partnership piece that we talked about earlier. So you're, you're partnered with a bunch of other entrepreneurs pursuing the same goal. You're not, you're not an entrepreneur out there alone.
1 (19m 13s):
You're not that solopreneur. You're, you're part of a family. And that's really where the momentum comes from in a franchise system.
0 (19m 22s):
So there's a lot that I was taking notes on there for our nation, because it's so important to realize it's more of a mindset. Like, do you share in that vision of that franchise, do you want to join the March towards a common goal that by the way has already begun? Or are you going to on the other side, be like, no, I actually want to start my own Mars. I want to start my own thing. I want to have like complete autonomy from day one. Or do you want again, join that March towards that Tom common goal, that's already begun with a built in, and this is key accountability group because people are there. They're supporting you. You're going to be facing similar challenges. You're going to able to reach out to people who have already faced that challenge because there are four months down the road, eight months down the road, a year down the road. And now you're being part of that accountability group being part of that family.
0 (20m 6s):
Is that something that is of interest to you? If you can find the right franchise that you say I can get on board with that I can, I can share that vision. I want to be part of this March that has already begun. Then, you know, this is the type of mindset you have. Now. Let's say Jessica, that some of our listeners are interested in owning a franchise. What questions should they be asking? Like, what are those key, most important questions to ask
1 (20m 33s):
Most important right now is how are you helping your franchise owners navigate through this pandemic? I mean, that's the huge question today.
0 (20m 43s):
What do you want to hear the response be to that though? Like what would be some good responses that they're getting from these individuals or these franchises?
1 (20m 51s):
Yeah. Like we're working to provide our owners financial relief, whether that's through royalty relief or marketing fund relief or additional marketing dollars being out in the marketplace to try to drum up additional demand for, for the business. We're helping owners navigate the PPP application process. I mean, I love the PPP program, but it is complex again, especially if you're that solo preneur and you don't have a financial understanding or financial background, like you need somebody to really help you dissect, like, how do I apply for this?
1 (21m 36s):
Like, what is this actually, what does this mean? And where's the opportunity to, to help navigate this, this financially. Like what other resources are out on the table? And, you know, I think one of the other important questions right now is just how many studios or locations have closed because of, of COVID-19 that's a hot, that's a hot topic. Even if your business wouldn't be open until after the pandemic. That question is still going to tell you how the organization really operates. It'll tell you how the organization sets like operational priorities, you know, during normal times, we're definitely not in a normal time right now.
1 (22m 26s):
So during normal times, the most important question is, is really asked to other franchise owners. Don't ask me this question, you know, ask, ask another franchise owner. And, and it's the typical net promoter score question. You know, my background is marketing. So I believe in the net promoter score kind of question. How likely are you to recommend this? How likely are you to recommend being part of KickHouse or being part of another franchise that you're looking at? If, if you're exploring, owning a franchise, talk to multiple owners and, and get that net promoter score figured out.
0 (23m 8s):
So let's end our conversation today, Jessica, with a bang, because you've talked about a lot, you shared so much value for people that are considering going down this road. I mean, you know, again, I love that analogy that we've talked about, about marching towards a common goal. That's already begun. Like, is that something that you're like, yeah, that kind of makes sense for me, cause I want to get going on this. I want to like already be going with momentum. What is the key takeaway? What's the one thing that you want to make sure our listeners gets from everything we've talked about here today.
1 (23m 37s):
I think it's all about finding the right people that, that you want to March with, that you do get to the shore. Like you said, JLD, it's like, let's get to the shore and let's burn those boats. But, but who do you want on that Island with you? And, and those are choices you make as an entrepreneur. Those are choices you make. If you're a solo preneur, who's going to be that first person you get on board with you. And, and that's really where you can, you can add fuel to your fire. So, you know, for, for KickHouse owners, I hope they're sitting there thinking like, yeah, absolutely.
1 (24m 17s):
I'm, I'm partnered with the right group. I'm on the right Island and those boats are gone, man, we're doing it.
0 (24m 26s):
Boats are gone. We're making this happen. There is no way but forward. So let us know what's going on in your world right now. Jessica, give us any final call to action that you have for us, any gift, any, anything at all. And then we'll take it
1 (24m 39s):
Absolutely Fire Nation. You know, I'm gonna hook you up. I'm not going to come chat with JLD and just leave you hanging. You can visit the KickHouse.com/fire, and you'll get 10% off your initial franchise fees. So if you've ever thought about starting a franchise business, definitely let's connect and, and let's talk through how that could come to life.
0 (25m 5s):
You're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. You've been hanging out with JY and JLD today. So keep up that heat. And if you head over to EOFire.com type Jessica in the search bar, her show notes page or so up with everything that we talked about here today, best show notes in the biz and Fire Nation. Your call to action, the KickHouse.com/fire, 10% off franchise fees, just to start and guess what if this is the type of ship that you want to be on, or if this is the kind of boats you want burned as you're marching forward into the great beyond, like this is something to check out. So the KickHouse.com/fire and Jessica, thank you for sharing your truth, your knowledge, your value with Fire Nation today, for that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side.
1 (25m 52s):
Thanks so much. JLD Hey,
0 (25m 54s):
Fire Nation today's value bomb content was brought to you by Jessica. And guess what? Successful entrepreneurs they accomplish big goals, huge goals, which is why I created the freedom journal to guide you in accomplishing your number one goal in 100 days. And we're talking step-by-step Fire Nation. So visit the FreedomJournal.com use promo code podcast for a $15 discounts. And thank you for listening to my podcast and I'll catch you there Fire Nation, or I'll catch you on the flip side. If you're feeling like you have no idea where to start on your online course journey, then Thinkific's five day course challenge is for you. You'll walk away with a complete blueprint for your online course that you'll be ready to put into action.
0 (26m 36s):
Sign up for this free challenge today at thinkific.com/fire that's T H I N K I F I C.com/fire. What if you could run an e-commerce business with no tech experience or employees and generate 10K or more each month today's sponsor at Qwantify is doing just that Qwantify guarantees your success and revenue with complete end to end training and support apply today at qwantify.com. That's Q W A N T I F Y.com.
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