When someone has a career in the same industry for over 30 years, they are worth a closer look! This is a person who has stamina, passion, and a whole-lotta wisdom to share!
Let me introduce you to Phyllis Pieri - a franchising expert who helps people start, build, and buy franchises. But there is so much more to this story than just business (there always is!) -- Phyllis knows exactly where this passion comes from, and much of it was instilled in her at a very young age.
Phyllis also has a big heart for helping more women start their own businesses (using the franchise model), for as you'll read below, her story took her down the path of single momhood and owning her own business is something that saved her during a difficult time!
Inside our Community, we've watched Phyllis show up on message over again -- there's no question she knows what she's talking about and the passion she carries for her work is palpable.
These are the people we love spotlighting on our blog!
APRIL: Let's start with a little introduction. Tell everyone a bit more about you & share a piece of your journey.
PHYLLIS: I am a franchise consultant and have spent the majority of my career in the franchise industry. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family, one grandfather owned San Jose Can, a canary he sold to Hunts Brothers and the other one was a cattleman in Bakersfield, CA. So it was natural for me at 10 years old to decide to sell lemonade from our house on the golf course to raise money for a stained glass window for my church. I was successful in my endeavor and the small stained glass was designed and installed at our Episcopal Church in San Jose, CA.
I have done it all, been a franchise owner, sold franchises and helped companies turn their business into a franchise. For the last 20 years I have been helping match great people with successful proven franchise brands so they can have a piece of the American Dream of Business Ownership.
My life changed when I got divorced with two children, my daughter was three and had some disabilities and my son was seven. I had been a business owner for the past 14 years and I had to make a decision of what to do next. I was being judged by my typing skills and I didn’t have a college degree and no clue what kind of job I wanted. I was a hard worker and treated the two jobs I got as if I was the owner, I didn’t know how to do it any other way. However, I needed something that would give me flexibility so I could be available for my children, especially my daughter.
Sales has been my gift and that is what I have done most of my life, trying different direct sales but always going back to franchising. People always ask me, why franchising and I have given that question a lot of thought. Today I realize I love franchising because I have worked as an independent contractor for the corporate headquarters representing several different companies - today over 350 of them. This has given me the opportunity to meet the CEO’s, learn about their culture and to see the hard work, support and caring that the franchise companies have for their owners. I don’t believe that people realize that the only way a franchise company can be successful is if the franchisees are successful. So the franchise company has a vested interest in their success.
Today I am on a mission to open people’s eyes to considering a business model that comes with a proven system, training, complete marketing plan, coaching and a built in community that could have you up and operating in less than 90 days. They say it takes a business owner about 3 years to build a business from scratch to become a profitable business. Which one sounds better to you?
APRIL: How has 'storytelling' influenced you and/or your business?
PHYLLIS: April has taught me to leave out all the details and focus on the examples and stories that people can relate to. Stories create pictures in people's minds and make more of an impact.
APRIL: What does being a LIGHTbeamer mean to you?
PHYLLIS: Lightbeamers has been a thoughtful caring community that I have enjoyed over the years. April has so many gifts that she shares and I am so grateful that I have had the privilege to be coached by. She is always offering great insight and tools to help us grow and stretch.
APRIL: What have you learned or discovered the most about storytelling and your story?
PHYLLIS: We all have stories, that is what makes us who we are. Learning to pay attention to my stories and to use them in my business has been very powerful. Stories tell pictures and help people remember things. I have learned that when I tell stories about other clients it gives me more credibility and I believe it creates more trust with my clients.
APRIL: What's been the hardest part about learning how to share your story?
PHYLLIS: How to cut out the stuff that isn't important. When I first began my storytelling I would first think that no one needed to hear my story, then I went the other extreme and told too much. Today I work on paying attention to the important lessons I have learned and share those parts of my story good or bad. Oh that happy balance is always a challenge.
APRIL: What is one piece of advice you'd give to another woman about using her voice and sharing her story?
PHYLLIS: Own your story, it is all yours. You are a human being have a human experience. We have been put on this earth to discover our purpose. Your stories are painting the road to what you purpose is.
APRIL: What do you love most about your work?
PHYLLIS: I love the fact that I get to learn about my client's journey so I can get to know them and then I get to coach them into making an educated decision about the franchise they are looking for that will satisfy their personal and professional goals.
APRIL: What are you busy creating now?
PHYLLIS: I am starting to develop my own franchise, The SusieQ House. I have a beautiful daughter who has Executive Function Disorder - some people call it the hidden disability. To look at her, you would not know that she was different but when you get to know her you can see that she is. People like my daughter have a hard time finding employment that will enable them to live independently because they can't make enough money. My daughter has always interviewed well and people love her spirit but when she can't perform the job they don't know what to do with her. The other issue is they hate being alone, they don't want to admit that but I can assure you they don't. It is hard for them to make friends because they are different. The beautiful thing about these amazing people is they accept and understand each other. What I am going to build is a SusieQ House Franchise. This will be a group home for people with this disorder and other disorders too who can have their own one bedroom/studio apartment but have a common area where they can hang out, play games, watch movies and have community.
APRIL: How do you relax after a busy week?
PHYLLIS: Binge on Netflix or Prime. It seems to be the best way for me to turn my motor off.
APRIL: What kind of things do you like doing outside of work?
PHYLLIS: I have two dachshunds that I love and I really enjoy my garden. I live alone these days so I would have told you cooking but I don't do much of that anymore!
I also like to do service work; I am a firm believer in giving back.
APRIL: How have you benefited the most by being a member of our VIP Membership, The Visibility Accelerator?
PHYLLIS: Oh in so many ways. I have learned so much and being a VIP has helped me build up my confidence, improve my skills and open my mind to the fact that anything is possible.
APRIL: What sort of special achievements or accolades are you most proud of?
International Published Author:
- The Gift of the Universe through Women who Lead
- Disrupt Your Now
- Article in The Franchise Journal - Featured in
- A Magazine for Entrepreneurs and Business professionals Your Success, Growing towards a great 2022.
President of Daybreakers Networking Group in Mission Viejo, CA.
Member of Mission Viejo Chamber of Commerce
Certified Franchise Executive CFE
Certified Coach Practitioner CCP
Top Sales Awards for Sir Speedy Printing
Top 10 at Franchoice
Top 10 at MatchPoint
Top 10 at FCC
APRIL: What are the best channels for others to follow you?
Phyllis is a member of the Visibility Accelerator -- my VIP membership that helps ramp up your Visibility, uplevel your Online game, and really master the Art of Storytelling to build an engaged audience. To find out more and join the Visibility Accelerator, click here.