Outdoor Lighting Perspectives franchise recruitment

I have never been afraid of the dark – until now.  Growing up with multiple siblings and having more pranks played on me than I can remember, it is surprising that I was never afraid of the dark.  It was only a few days ago when I realized I am now afraid of the dark.  What brought this fear to life?

I picked my daughter up from after-school care and when got home, it was already dark.  We went into the house to begin our evening routine.  A friend of mine called. As I was speaking with her, I walked outside, down the sidewalk to check my mail.  I flipped the light on the stoop before I went down the sidewalk, so I could easily see to get to the mailbox and back.  As I started back up the walkway, I caught a glimpse of something from the corner of my eye.  I quickly looked up to see a man I had never seen before standing before me on the sidewalk. 

He was standing between me and the house – the house where my five year old daughter was waiting for me.  In an instant, panic swept over me.  I began to run through a million scenarios in my mind.  With my friend on the phone, I asked the man “Can I help you?”  He gazed at me for a minute and said “My car broke down up the street, and I was wondering if I could borrow some tools.”  I am not sure if he really was looking at the phone in my hand, as I was looking into the light from the stoop, or if it simply appeared that his eyes were fixed upon it.  I said “I don’t have any tools, but my husband should be home any minute and I am sure he would be happy to help you.” 

After saying this, I walked past the man and into the house.  I could feel his eyes watching me as I walked past.  Cold chills ran over me.  I was so scared.  I went inside, closed and locked the door.  The next ten minutes seemed like an eternity.  When my husband arrived, I asked him if he saw the man outside.  He replied “I didn’t see anyone outside.”  I described what had happened and he said “There are no broken down cars on the street, and no man anywhere to be seen.”

With the economy being what it is, many of the homes in my neighborhood have undergone foreclosure or have been rented.  I am really not sure who is in my neighborhood anymore.  I realize this entire scenario could have been avoided if only the front of my house had been properly illuminated.   I spoke to a professional at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and scheduled a consultation.  Now I don’t have to be afraid of the dark.


Without the risk of failure, many people would likey take more chances in an effort to achieve their personal and business goals. However, unfortunately, eliminating the risk of failing is just not possible.  Failure is a natural part of life.  Everyone fails during their life, sometime many times over. 

However, out of failure comes learning.  Out of failure comes personal growth.  Out of failure comes innovation.  A recent study of large company CEO’s revealed that many had gone through bleak, rough patches in their careers. These leaders didn’t see these experiences as “failures”, rather they saw them as opportunities to learn and get better in their lives and business careers. 

Fear of failure can cause dangerous paralysis – it can lead to inaction and a perpetuation of the status quo.  Feal of failure can lead to inaction which will ensure you don’t achieve the change (for the better) in your life and career.  However, as has been said many times, insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. 

If there are changes you are considering in your career to reach your goals – go for it.  whether it is a new job or investing in a franchise – make it happen.  What do you have to lose except the status quo?  What do you have to lose except the opportunity to reach your goals!

As the leader of a multi-branded outdoor living franchise company, I have a lot of demands on my time – setting the corporate culture, guiding operations, strategic planning, franchise recruiting, franchise relations, shareholder and lender relations, employee issues, and, of course, responsibility for the financial performance of the overall enterprise – all of these activities require regular attention.  Most days, there are simply far more demands on my time than I have time!

This can be frustrating at times.  I’m a perfectionist and want to do it all. However, as a leader, I am learning to force myself to allocate time to the activities that will grow our company.  This takes discipline and constant evaluation of whether my activities and time are focused on the “right things” that will drive the long-term growth of this organization.  It is simply too easy to get consumed by the daily operational and administrative demands of the business.  However, leadership means responsibility – to franchisees, employees, lenders and shareholders.  Leadership also means being accountable.  

I’m working to be accountable to myself each day in an analysis of how I spent the day – did I focus on the right activities that will drive this organization forward over the next 5-10 years?  While the discipline can be hard, it’s not a difficult process.  Just stop before you leave the office and think about how you spent the last 10-12 hours.  If it was not on the right things, then re-set the priorities for tomorrow!  Every day bring a fresh opportunity to get it right.

It is also an exercise in trusting the people around me.  We are fortunate to have an exceptionally strong leadership team.  I trust the team to accomplish the operational priorities and try to stay out of their way to let them achieve great things.  It is also necessary from time to time to hold them accountable to solve issues and challenges without having them “bubble up” to me.  If too many issues reach me, I’m placing a constraint on the long-term growth and development of the organization and our people.

As you assess where you are in achieving your personal, financial and career goals, I urge you to do the same thing I do everyday – challenge yourself by asking if you have focused every hour of everyday on doing the things that will allow you to reach your goals.  If not, make the changes in your daily routine that will allow you to successfully reach your goals!

Recently, as the president of a multi-branded outdoor living franchise company, I had the pleasure of receiving a call from one of our franchise owners.  The franchisee was asking questions about the mechanics of selling his franchise business.  He had recently been approached by an interested party about selling the company.  This franchise owner had been one of the very early adopters of the brand and business model and had built an extremely successful operation in his local market – one that attracted attention of a potential suitor.  I offered some advice for the upcoming negotiations and my ongoing support then I wished him good luck!

A short time later, I received another call from the franchisee indicating that the buyer and seller had reached agreement regarding a transaction.  As a leader of a franchise company, there is nothing more gratifying than seeing our franchise owners create significant equity value and reap the rewards of their hard work!  After all, it is these life goals – wealth creation, income, debt reduction and control over their lifestyle – that led them to invest and start a franchise business in the first place.  It is wonderful to see our franchisees come full circle and reach the finish line!

According to the International Finance Association, franchised businesses continue to grow at a rapid pace. Over 400,000 franchised businesses now employ nearly 10 million people with a payroll of $230 billion. Every year, thousands of individuals choose to get into business ownership via franchising. A franchise offers a path to be in business for yourself, but not by yourself.

Franchises can be a great path for people seeking to start a business, but wanting use a proven concept that has already been tested. A franchise helps to lower the risk of business ownership as other have developed the system and found out what works and what doesn’t.  If you want to be an entrepreneur and build the business from your own ideas, then start a business yourself. If not, consider finding a franchise that is right for you!  I recently wrote an article in Qualified Remodeler magazine about how to select a franchise opportunity that is right for you.  I invite you to check it out in the attached link.

I feel that every once in a while it’s necessary to let the people in internet land really know whats happening at Outdoor Living Brands HQ, here in Richmond Virginia. Getting a feel for the company you are gettting involved with is the key to any good discovery process, and we are no different.

On May 6, the Richmond franchises of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives, Archadeck and Mosquito Squad will host a Grand Opening Event at the company’s headquarters on Emerywood Parkway. The company will present trend information on outdoor living as it relates to outdoor lighting design and installation, the design and build of innovative outdoor rooms and decks and mosquito, flea and tick elimination for outdoor spaces.

The event will serve as a unique networking opportunity for those involved in the outdoor living services industry in the Richmond area. Invitees are encouraged to attend and learn more about the Outdoor Living Brands family of companies and opportunities for building trade alliances.

Comprised of category-leading brands Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad, Outdoor Living Brands operates through more than 150 franchise locations worldwide with a dedication to innovation, high quality standards, customized service and gracious outdoor living. The company was founded in late 2008 by the merger of Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Archadeck. The acquisition of the Mosquito Squad brand soon followed.

In addition to my role as President of Outdoor Living Brands, I am privileged to serve on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Business Society.  This is a group of driven, accomplished business leaders that works to promote VCU’s School of Business in the business community and to increase the involvement of alumni with their university and business school. I attended a Board meeting yesterday morning and it is energizing to see the passion and energy of these business leaders.  I always leave the meeting with great ideas to apply to my franchise businesses – Archadeck, Outdoor Lighting Perspectives and Mosquito Squad. While I was excited to join the Board to give back to the university where I completed my MBA, I find I am getting far more than I receive.  I think that is that has been the case in every time I take the time out of my family life and business life to get involved and give back!

Also, the Rams men’s basketball team just won the CAA basketball tournament and is heading to the NCAA tournament – go Rams!

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