Joel Stewart on The Military Millionaire Podcast

Episode 121 | Joel Stewart | Military Millionaire Podcast

Joel Stewart on The Military Millionaire Podcast

00:00 - 05:00

What's up military millionaires. I am here with Joel Stewart as our guest today and of course Alex fleece as the co host, as always.

And so Joel is a Navy veteran who did time as an engineer, he's got an MBA, he's got a, I don't know what an FPGA, too many certifications, you get a lot of stuff written over here. Certified franchise consultant is the one that I personally think is really cool, but also a franchise navigator international speaker, and he's the CEO of the veteran franchise initiative.

So Joel is somebody who I've been following around a little bit on the vetrepreneur Facebook group and some other Facebook groups here and there, where he's always answering questions about people who are looking to get into franchises or buying a business or really anything kind of in that space. And I find that very interesting, because it's just a very unique spot that not a lot of people take advantage of. And so I wanted to get him on here and talk and he was kind enough to send me a copy of his book value equation, which I am working through, and I thought it was really cool. So yeah, anyway, so all that came together. And now we get to have a conversation with him about franchising and getting out of that employment prison that some people find themselves into.


Welcome to the military millionaire podcast where we teach service members, veterans and their families how to build wealth through personal finance, entrepreneurship and real estate investing.

I'm your host, David Pere, and together with my co host, Alex Felice. We're here to be your no BS guys along the most important mission you'll ever embark on your finances.

Roger, Vic one, Oscar Mike.


This is gonna be a lot of fun. Joel, welcome to the show.


Thanks for having me.


Yeah, absolutely.

Why don't you give us a little bit of your backstory to the guest?


Yeah, I can, I can give it a shot. It's a little bit of a long story. So I'll try to try to move through it quickly. Because it does. It provides the foundation for everything I'm doing now, motivationally wise, so.

So I was in the military in the Navy, and I got sick with something that was random. So I did well, before that I got my degree in mechanical engineering. And then I joined the civil engineer Corps.

So I was down in Gulfport. I was overseeing reconstruction after Katrina of the different Navy facilities there, we were putting in like 360 million and government construction a year. So it was pretty crazy, my organization was OICC Katrina officer in charge of construction, we had like a $2 billion budget. So we built a lot of facilities.

But anyway, near the end of my time there, I got really sick. And when I say really sick, I got diagnoses, like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, which is pots, my heart rate, when I would stand up would go up to like, 160, within a minute, just from standing. So it was a bunch of really random garbage. And it was bad.

I mean, when I when I, when you're talking about chronic fatigue syndrome, my wife had to start driving me around because my arms, I couldn't hold him on the steering wheel. I couldn't chew a sandwich really at one point because my jaw was pretty bad.

So that I got medically retired, and it took five years before I worked through that, and started coming out on the other side. And when I started coming out the other side, the milestone I hit was when I sat while I was able to sit up in a chair for an hour. I know that may seem kind of silly, but that was a milestone for me. And I said, Hey, if I can sit in a chair for an hour, I can start trying to fight for my life back. And this is an epiphany I wish I would have had earlier and I have it in my book. But the focus is if you're focusing on all the things you can't do, you're missing out and all the things you can do. And that is a big focus of mine. And if anybody walks away from anything from this, that's that's what I would say is if you're looking to break out of career prison, if you're looking to break out of being stuck or feeling like your life's on a treadmill, you're not going anywhere. You have to start focusing on what you can do and not on what you can't.

For five years. I mean, yeah, I couldn't have set up but there's other stuff I could have been doing. But anyway, I hit that milestone, and I decided to go back to school for my MBA. And that was its own struggle. I mean, it was I couldn't drive it was still difficult, and I gotta have my secret clients so far back and almost be late. I would drive there and the classes were three hours I could set up for an hour but not three hours. So I'd have to swallow my pride and like lay down in the back of the classroom or out in the hallway, intermittently, you know, but I did what I had to do, and I got through it and I got my MBA and actually did really well it's probably because I wasn't hafting I couldn't do much but work on school so I ended up with like a 4.0 GPA.

05:00 - 10:00

But I got through it and it was tough. And when I got out, I was doing what a lot of people do. And I was focusing on what's the next thing that makes sense.

So I worked in construction, I worked on construction management, you know, I got a degree in or I got an MBA, I got an engineering degree, and my MBAs concentration with real estate and my family had a real estate brokerage.

So I said, I'm going to start a commercial real estate company. So I did. And then my first listing had a potential business for sale. So I went into business brokerage as well. So I started working towards my CCIEM, I started working towards my CBI, which is a certified business intermediary business broker.

And, but I wasn't really making choices because it made sense. It wasn't making choices, because it's what I wanted to do, or I was passionate about it. And when I was at the International Business Brokers Association, National Conference in Dallas, 2017, I think it was, might have been 2016. The year starts to blur together now.

I was co sponsored by IFPG, which is the international franchise professionals group and they had franchises lining the hall. And this is my first, my first introduction to franchising really beyond that, I knew what most people knew about franchising, you know, there's food, McDonald's, you know, a chick fil a.

And immediately sparked a passion in me to do something professionally that I'd never done before. Because I felt trapped. You know, I was getting my engineering degree. And I realized halfway through my engineering degree, I didn't want to be an engineer, I had to do all these working co Ops, all the engineers I met were miserable. They're all working 80 hours a week. And I remember sitting there one day staring out the window or breakroom saying, am I really going to work my whole life so that other people can make more money than me off my labor.

And so that's why I decided to go into the Navy, I wanted to do something different. And in the Navy, I think it was a, okay. You know, from military standards, I was, you know, average, probably I wasn't probably wasn't great. I wasn't terrible.

But it wasn't something I was really passionate about either because I'm just I'm, honestly, I'm just kind of a nice person. And in the areas where I was, you know, I almost got failed out of OCS because I was told I didn't have a lie in spirit. And my drill instructor had to break that. So I just felt out of place. And now when I wanted commercial real estate and business brokerage, it just wasn't passionate about it.

But here I was looking at these different franchises and realize that with a franchise, you can take your soft skills, you can take everything you've learned, you can take all of your foundational elements of your life, and you can apply them to something completely different. You could be going down one road for 20 years of your life, take all of those skills you've built and apply them into a franchise. And completely switching what you're doing is something that you love and that you're passionate about, without any of your previous experience going to waste. And that's what sparked a passion in me, it was realizing it helped people break out of career prison. And the book that I wrote, the value equation actually builds off of that, because when I was explaining to people, you know, people would always tell me, Oh, you don't need a franchise, you can start your own business like, well, not everybody wants to try to fight for five or 10 years to try to build a successful business so they could start out with a franchise.

So I was trying to put together you know, here's the here's how, or here's the people that are optimal for franchising that can help them break out a career prison. But there's a lot of people where franchising isn't the right solution. And I wanted to help those people as well. And so that was, I had several different inspirations that kind of coalesced into this book. But that was really the primary one. I wanted to reach out to people and help people in more ways than just just connecting them with the right franchise, because I know that a franchise isn't for everybody.

So that's kind of my background. And another thing on my book, ironically, is I originally started writing a different book called defeating disability through entrepreneurship, or using entrepreneurship. Because I wanted to, I was able to basically what I said, focusing on what I can do, not what I can, I was able to use entrepreneurship to try to break out of my disability. And I wanted to help people do the same thing. But as I was reading the book, I realized there are so many things that people need to know before they can even start to apply the concepts I want to talk about.

So the value equation was actually a prequel to a book I still plan to write in the future about defeating disability using entrepreneurship. So that's just kind of a side note.

Anyway, that's the backstory. You asked for it, so.


You said you didn't really like business brokerage, but you really like franchise brokering.

What's the difference? To me? They see most of the same. What's the difference to you?

10:00 - 15:00


Yeah, franchising is kind of a sub niche of big business brokerage. But here's the difference, in a business brokerage or selling and A franchise consulting business, at least in my opinion, you're connecting.

So I would have to go out and try to tell people like, Here is why you should list your business with me, here's what I think your business is worth. And I have to go out to buyers and say, You need to buy this business, it's the right fit. And I have to try to sell both sides, I've got to try to make sure nobody's getting screwed. And there's this constant feeling. And this was in commercial real estate as well. It's what I hated the most about it, it was this constant feeling that I needed to be doing more, because anyone that's in real estate can tell you, there's always something more you could be doing for your clients, you could be trying to get out there and promote it a different way or, and, and, but if you actually did everything you could possibly do for each client, you would never have enough time to service any more than maybe one client. Right?

So I always felt like I wasn't doing enough and that I was failing in some way, with business brokerage, or with franchise consulting. I'm just a value added member of the team. So like, I'm like a W two headhunter, where, you know, they try to connect someone who's looking for a job with a job, and then the job pays them for connecting them, not the person. And so it's the same way, I try to connect with someone who wants to start a franchise or is thinking about franchising with a franchise that fits their skills and their budget and all those things.

And if I'm successful, the franchise pays me not the person that I'm helping. So it's like, I can help people break out a career prison and someone else pays me to do it. So that's what I'm passionate about. I'm not selling, I'm not trying to say, Hey, this is why I deserve that 10% commission instead of eight. All I'm saying is, hey, this looks like a good fit. Let's connect you guys. And if it is a good fit, and I'm able to help them, then someone else pays me for helping them. I love it.


So, I worked quite a bit with franchises, as I said before the show in an underwriting so I kind of I'm certainly not a little you do, but I saw a lot of those kind of connections come about because well, they'd happen to wait, sometimes somebody would just buy a plot of land or a building and then be like what franchise is right for me.

And sometimes you know, it's a little more packaged in that where you find a franchise first. And then like, Hey, you need this kind of building and land. And we see some interesting, interesting setups. But I think franchises are really good.

From my perspective, like you said, if you want to go out there and start your own business, you need your own intellectual property, 90, then figure out how to run a business 90 to figure out how to sell it, market it and then you have to compete for your new market share essentially, franchise, especially for people who are new, it's a really good way to get would you say is that you can use all your soft skills, you don't have to learn how to start a business like that's so right. So I love that. And I love that you found a way to kind of find that that person, the right person to find the right franchise for them.


Yeah, so a couple of things touched on, I could expound on, one as you talked about people how they would get real estate and then say what franchise fits here. And that is probably one of the first things I realized was a great marriage when I first got into franchising coming from the commercial real estate realm.

Because in commercial real estate, the value of a building is the value of the tenant in the building, and the risk of that tenant. So if you if you get a piece of commercial real estate, and you're and you're charging rent, and you try to sell that, if you've got a low risk tenant, and you've got a long lease, and it's the perhaps you know, triple net, which means the lease includes you know, your insurance and your taxes and that kind of stuff. You can sell that building for a lot of money that the way that they value, it is called a cap rate. And that's a percentage where if you divide your annual income by that percentage, you get the value of the building.

And I was blown away once I saw that I was you know, when I was going for my CCIM I was getting the magazines and stuff. I read about the Starbucks that sold for a 4% cap rate, which is just absolutely absurd.

So like say you've got a $100,000 building? Well, if you are $100,000 annual rent coming in from Starbucks, well, if you divide that by .04, that number is quite high. I don't have the calculator in front of me back in my engineering days, I'd be able to spit it off top my head, but I'm not as fast as I used to be.

So and but it's not every franchise is going to have that kind of rich risk factor. But if you can get a 6% or 5% cap rate, and in some areas, even 7% amazing. You know, from nothing because a vacant piece of commercial real estate that's not not producing any money or land that you build a building on. That is like the cheapest commercial real estate you're ever going to get. And when you put a low risk thing in there, you could turn an investment of like 200,000 plus maybe another 150,000 for the franchise into a million dollar building.

So there's, there's just so much potential there. And in leveraging commercial real estate with a franchise business and that's why there'd be people doing it. I don't really care what goes on here. I just want to be low risk. Because once I get the business up and running, I'm gonna flip the commercial real estate, I'm gonna sell the franchise business, I'm gonna walk away with a mountain of cash.

15:00 - 20:00


So yeah, so that was one of the things I wanted to touch on. But then what was the other one? Risk! So yeah, so I guess there's two main main groups that a franchise is really good for. One is somebody that is wanting to transition out of the employment sector into business, you can leverage those soft skills, but you often you get something that's lower risk, you're saying with the SBA, they would look at them as much lower risk, because sometimes a franchise is, is in hundreds or 1000s of markets around the world, they've tested this thing in multiple markets, they've, they've gotten feedback from all those markets, and they just keep strengthening their system more and more. And you're also outsourcing innovation, you're outsourcing branding, you're outsourcing a lot of the marketing, your product placement, your value proposition, all that stuff is already figured out, it can take you years and years.

One of the things I like to say is buying a franchise like buying time, because it can take you years to build a business to the level that you can start out with with a franchise. But if you're a highly entrepreneurial person, you might not be happy using someone else's system, you got to build your own, you're not going to be happy and quality, life's important.

So someone transitioning out of employment is ideal, especially if they've never had a business before they show them the ropes, it's lower risk, it's easier to get a startup loan.

The other person is someone that wants to build an empire franchises by designer modular, there's multiple ways you can do it, you can start with a multi unit pack and build from there where you're opening maybe three units, you can do an area development deal where you're, you know, agreeing to open you know, 10 or 20 units over 10 years, something like that.

And then there's a master franchise system where you can buy the rights to a territory, open one, and then actually be the franchises representative in that area and sub-sell to other franchisees. And then you get a portion of the royalties push portion, the franchise fees when they close.

So for Empire builders, franchises are modular, you can incrementally add on to them, and you can go, you know, wide with a single franchise or deep with a single franchise, you can go wide and start multiple franchise lines. So, you know, it's uh, there's lots of ways to build empire building using franchises because of how modular.


That's really cool.

So, man yeah, I didn't know about the master franchise, like where you could become, that’s cool.


The biggest money to be made in franchising is master franchising, but it's also the most expensive. So, you know, it's, if it's a newer franchise system that's maybe got less than 100 units, you can probably get a master franchise affordably. But if it's a bigger system that's got a couple 100 units, or 1000 units or more, I mean, that master franchise license is going to cost you probably upwards of seven figures. But the potential one is, is the long term potential is very high.


It sounds like you're combining a franchise with an MLM right now.


No, no, no, I actually have a section in my book on MLM’s.


I read that and I like that.


Yeah, do you like that?


You were kind about it.


I was, because I know a lot of people in MLM’s. And, and I've dabbled in a few myself over the years. I think the first one that I was in in my college days was ACM, they had these that they were ahead of their time, to be honest. But they had, they had these video phones that you could put in your house. So you could call each other on video phone, and this was back in like 2003.

But the issue was like the issue with me, as they just said, customer service customer, we have this great customer service, great customer service, then I convince my family and friends so like, you know, my grandma's up in Maine, you know, we're gonna have these video telephones, we can call each other and but the customer service every single one of my failing or is complaining that they couldn't get the thing to work and this, but then once you lose faith for me, if I don't believe in what I'm selling, I can't sell it. So that was the end of that.

And then more recently at the military influencers conference last year, I ran into one that had CBD oils, and they let me have a free sample. And I helped my back pain so much that I actually joined that one, but I haven't actually sold it. I have no people underneath me, I don't actually promote it. I just use the products, I get it like a $10 cheaper member, and they don't have a high upfront thing.

So I'm technically part of that, but I don't sell it at all.


I mean, it's like going into my facebook group telling everybody that they're gonna give free licensing classes for Prime America, which happens to be the one that I've seen three of this week, I've blocked.


So to give people an overview of what I say in my book is that for MLM’s it's got to be something you're going to use. It's got to be product based. It's got to be something that you're going to use, it's got to be something that's priced affordably.

So if you're not, if it's way overpriced, you're gonna kill yourself trying to convince everybody that it's worth the extra price. And then it's got to have a reward system that doesn't force you to buy extra stuff you don't need. That's the overview of MLM’s. And that's the downfalls.

20:00 - 25:00


Most of them have a reward system. I don't want to go into it so yeah, but most of them have a reward system that requires you to keep buying more products and you would actually ever use yourself. And so if you can't sell them, you're stuck with these increasing mountains of stockpiles, sometimes 1000s is terrible.

Anyway, I don't want to talk too much about MLM’s here. No, franchising is not an MLM.


So I was gonna ask, and I know this is a loaded question. It's not a loaded question. I know there's not an answer for this.

But with franchises, right, there's a million options you can be hands on, you can be hands off, like chick fil a requires you to run the shop, you can't just buy a chick fil a and then sit by the sidelines, like you, you are the manager.

And there's and there's some of those, you know, there's much more hands on much more hands off, there's, there's food, there's I foods, probably the one people think of the most, but there's all kinds of there's, you know, auto shops and where there's all kinds of freight.

So I guess my question to you would be, you know, going into 2021. Do you have fit? Like, I would imagine you have favorites? Like what do you think are some of the better franchises for people? Or what are some of the perhaps better niches? What do you think might go might be a good opportunity going forward? Or maybe what should you look for as a structure? I know, that's sipan. That sounds way more vague than I want it to. But I think you know where I'm going.


I see where you're going.

First structure, if you're not, at the point where you want to start empire building, don't even worry about the area development deal.

I mean, if you've got a fair amount of money stacked away, you could do a three pack where you open three locations. But area development and master franchising generally build up some cash reserves already, and you're looking to, you know, amp it up to the next level. But the maybe a three pack or just or just doing a single franchise location is the ideal for most people, especially people that don't have huge cash reserves.

Because with the SBA, I mean, there are SBA products out there right now, where for 10% down, you can get an SBA loan and franchises may require you to have more liquid capital than that, but if you needed 300,000, you could theoretically get a $300,000 loan with 30 grand.

But that doesn't, that doesn't mean that 30 grands all you're gonna need that the franchises have different requirements.

So getting past that what you're asking about is what do I recommend going into 2021?

So one thing I would say is Be very careful about food franchises right now. When most people think about franchising, they think about food, but food is like 10%, maybe of the franchise universe. You've got everything from pest control to home remodeling. I've got one that does home staging for real estate.

Property management I've got a pool maintenance company that's got over 320 something locations around the country. Pool cleaning, yeah, and almost anything that you can think of. There's a franchise model. I think the only big vacancy in the franchise world is in manufacturing, I don't see a lot besides maybe sign companies, a lot of franchise signing companies that manufacture signs. And I know that there's one in the commercial chemical cleaning market, but very few franchises in the manufacturing space.

So that said going into 2021 food I'm not huge on until we figure until we get through the next round of lockdowns, you don't want, food franchises, intrinsically, are actually one of the most expensive types of franchise you can get into. When it comes to the health code when it comes to the kitchens, the vents, the renovations, it's just very expensive. And right now it is just really risky, your business could get shut down or you could be stuck at 25% capacity.

People are relying on takeout food. And so when you go to take out you're thinking about the food you already know you're not thinking about generally experimenting with a new place downtown, because you don't have that established name recognition yet.

So I would say I would say hold off on food for now. And I would say the same for fitness. Fitness locations are again being targeted heavily and COVID things. There's a lot that can be done online. But then again, now you're trying to build a customer base off of online and there are so many online coaches online that you're competing against the whole internet, when you try to start your fitness location just online.

So there's a lot of great fitness brands I love. I would say stay away from that right now. A lot of great food brands I love I would say stay away from now the ones that I think are big, commercial cleaning has always been a somewhat growing market. You know, the bigger everything gets. I think American customers have pretty strict requirements when it comes to how clean they like to see spaces.

25:00 - 30:00


So commercial cleaning, especially now, a lot of businesses have added sanitation to their, their list of stuff because that just just by offering a sanitation service, you become a, what do they call them? The indispensable businesses or a...




Essentials, yes. Indispensable.

So a lot of businesses have added that. So I would say the cleaning sector, I think is growing. And that's not going to slow down.

I think the HVC sector because a lot of a lot of renovations are happening.

HVDC has always been big for heating, cooling. That's always been important. But right now, people are needing to revamp their systems to try to do COVID, install the sanitation things in their pipelines or change the way the airflow goes.

So I would say over the next year or so I expect that to increase one of the big ones and that this is something I'm huge on right now. Is in home senior care. So I work with a lot, there's a ton of franchises in that space. Because it's a growing segment, it's been growing for a while. And I don't think it's peaked yet with the baby boomers, but faith in nursing home facilities has plummeted. Like how many of you would put your elderly grandmother in a nursing home right now, there's been some situations up here in the northeast where you've lost a half or a third of the population of a nursing facility because of COVID. Like it's just been wiping them out.

So like, like in that even Governor's forcing, you know, COVID positive patients in the nursing homes. I think the nursing home industry has suffered a blow that's going to take a long time to recover from. So you've got this confluence of factors where you've got a growing industry, and people in general like to stay at home as long as possible when they're starting to age out. And then you've also got this, this other service provider for that same industry that now people are in mass or losing faith in. And I think that that's going to put a lot of demand on the nursing facilities or in home nursing care.


So in Real Estate, this is really popular. I know a lot of people who do what they do is they buy a four or five, fourPlex home. And they convert it to a six bed, home healthcare. And then I have a couple guys in Las Vegas, they got a four, they got a couple of fourplexes and the husband's a nurse.

And so they buy this fourPlex as a commercial, I think they bought us a residential loan, actually, and they have six beds in there, and they get the insurance money and they take care of it. And that's very popular right now. So home health care I agree with it's very, very popular. It says a lot of the citizens listed. You know, there's an aging population, and people don't like the situation with the nursing homes. So there's a little bit of a democratization of people being able to take care of the elderly, instead of bulking up into these big nursing homes.


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Yeah, well then there's a lot of options in the franchise space. So like there's one that I work with that specializes in dementia care. There's another one I work with that specializes in living care, like 90% of their clients require living care and they have nurses that live there.

I've got another one that's like the generalist that works with people that have surgery that you know, assign a nurse for two weeks here and there and also work with the elderly. You know, I've got a lot of different specialties in the eldercare space.

So at that point, it's just kind of like thinking about what you're passionate about and what you want to focus on. And in going that direction but yeah, so I think the eldercare and is big. Yet another area that I think is big. Is anything home services related.

30:00 - 35:00


So people are using their homes more than they probably ever have in their lives, they're stuck in their homes or trapped there. So if you haven't been up keeping your home or up keeping your yard or spending much time there, you know, if you're gone 80 hours a week, who cares if you have a nice patio to relax on, you know, who cares on nicer home offices so there's I work with a bunch of franchises that do like really rapid bathroom or kitchen renovations, they say one to three days, they'll go and like revamp your whole kitchen or revamp your whole bathroom. I've got other ones that focus on like super decorative concrete, you know, patios, flooring, stuff like that, architect, they do like really ornate deck scenarios, pest control allows people to use their yards I'm going to winter, but if you're getting into pest control over the winter is actually when you want to buy a pest control franchise, which is because of the lead time, because it's gonna take some time for you to get through training.

If you're in a certification state, you may need to find someone to partner with you until you get certified to use a certification, but you can work on a lot of those requirements over the winter. And then your marketing for the summer is going to start early spring, even in late winter.

So right about now is when people if they wanted to start something in Pest Control would want to start looking at it. But yeah, anything that allows people to use their home more, or to renovate their home or, you know, be able to use their yards, I think that all of that is going to see a huge increase, because not only are people spending more time, they're kind of trapped there. But they might also start to like spending time there, more people are going to start working from home. After this thing ends, I think a lot of people aren't going to be going back to their offices every day, businesses are going to realize they can save money by closing down the office three days a week or whatever. And working from home three times a week.

You know, even after this is over, I see people using their homes more often. Just because it's they've gotten used to it now. So I'm big on all those. I'm big on senior care, and big on commercial cleaning. Those are probably, you know, the areas I would focus on at the moment


Alright Joe, we have guests, we have listeners who um, you know, various different backgrounds, a lot of them are in real estate, but not all of them. A lot of them are still in and getting out. And they're thinking, Well, what a lot of entrepreneurs think, which is I don't want to work for somebody else, but I don't know what the heck to do with my time.

So franchise, in my opinion, and sounds like your opinion, too, is a really good option for a lot of people who, especially if you're like, Look, I don't want to start all this whole thing from scratch. I kind of want to even use it as a jumping off point. Let me do five years of franchise work. Let me get, you know, some business acumen.

So a guy who or a lady who's listening that says franchise thinks sounds good, maybe I don't know what franchise I want. But I want to know more about what it takes.

So can you give me a quick list of like, how much money do I need? What kind of credit do I need? What kind of background skills are really effective? efficient? And then who did I talk to? Where is the good place to start?


Sure, yeah.

So for money, it all depends what you want to get into. So I've got some franchises that are very inexpensive, where you might only need 20,000 and inexpensive. So in franchising, the skills of what's a lot of money is different than in some other ones. but there are somewhere you might only need 20,000 to get started. And then there's somewhere you might need 500,000 to get started, I work with several 100 I would say if you've got 50 grand in cash, there's probably a fair number of franchises you could look through. And and so that when you're looking at franchise qualifications, most franchises have certain things that you have to clear to qualify. So they've got to the main two are net worth and liquid capital.

So net worth is like if you were to just kind of arbitrarily throw all of your assets in a big old pile. What does that come up to, you know, arbitrarily say, you know, my house is probably worth about this much. That's it 60 grand in equity in the house, you know, retirement accounts, I've got some stuff, maybe some equity in my cars, maybe some other stocks, bonds, whatever, take everything put in a big pile, and that's that's a net worth.

I think if you have 250,000 in net worth, you're probably going to hit the requirement for about 75% of the franchises I work with. If you have over 100,000 you probably meet the criteria for about a third of the franchise, I work with and I work with around 600 franchises, that's still a fair number.

And then the liquid capital number. If you've got over 100,000 then you probably 75% of the franchises I work with would take a look at you. You know 50,000 again, maybe a third and and if you have less than that I've got a handful of options. Not a whole lot. If you've got you know 20, 30,000.

35:00 - 40:00


So that's kind of the way that the requirements are from the franchise side. So this is the franchise puts these benchmarks out there to just kind of say just just weed people out and say if you've got this much, and they have different reasons, not having enough capital is the number one reason businesses fail. And so a lot of times franchises will put up an arbitrary number and say, I just want to know that you have this much. Other times the net worth requirement is tied to the potential investment so that they know that you have enough collateral to get a loan. So they have different reasons for that.

Going back to a veteran that is, you know, a thinking or military active person that thinks about getting into a franchise, I actually put someone in a franchise, this summer. Spalding Deacon, it's a biohazard remediation franchise.

And they contacted us or we got in contact, and they said, I'm on terminal leave, I've got two months, and I want to be starting something. I want to be in my own business at the end of two months. So just just going. And I said, All right, let's see what we can do.

And I think I missed the end of his terminal leave by about a week, but he's super happy about it. He got into it, and he's just hard charging there. So it's, it's one of those things where, you know, you figure out what you want to do, and you go for it.

But for active duty and veterans. I do, actually, you'd mentioned the beginning that I'm the CEO of the veteran franchise initiative. So I just want to talk for two seconds about what that's about it if that's all right.

So the veteran franchise initiative is something that I just started this summer. And we have a pilot right now going on down in Fort Hood. And what it is I'm trying to match investors with veterans that want to start a franchise business. And the way that our initial one worked is we have a veteran guy bring in 60% of these estimated startup funds, and then an investment group bringing in 40% of the funds. And, we partnered together to get him in a franchise business. And that's one of the things where I you know, that you want to say now, like, I connect them, and I get paid by the franchise, and it's good with the veteran franchise initiative actually credit my commission to the franchise, so actually, I don't get paid for it, I get a small amount of equity instead. And that, and then I bring in a bunch of other investors that want to bring up the extra.

So our goal is to find veterans that want to own at least 50, they don't want to throw away at least 51%, we want it to be their business, the investors want to be passive.

So I'm looking for if people are interested in maybe helping a veteran get into a franchise business in the future, I'd love to talk with you.

But there's one, there's a new, even newer event than the summer where I'm working with a couple nonprofits down by Fort Hood right now. And we've just finished putting together a transition program for active duty military that want to go through an entrepreneurship track that ends with them owning their own franchise business.

And the way it's set up is again, I'm still you know, I'm accruing, you know, a portfolio investors I want, I want to put between 5 and 20,000 into each individual franchise, not looking for, you know, pots of money. But so basically, the investment group buys the franchise, the veteran uses the skill bridge program for their last six months of active duty, and they get to go and actually do the first six months of getting this franchise off the ground. While they're still active duty, then they transition over to the there's an apprenticeship program through the Department of Labor, where if you meet certain training requirements, which are nonprofits are going to be taken care of a combination of the nonprofit training plus the franchise training. And you can utilize your GI Bill housing allowance benefits to help supplement your income while you get your business off the ground. And then we sell incrementally over four years up to 60% of the business to that franchisee. And one of the things that nonprofits are going to be working on is the nonprofit's gonna be working on getting donors. Not only are they going to be running the training, but they're gonna be working on getting contributions so that they can either give grants to the franchise, the veterans for the first 15 or 30% of the ownership or giving them low interest loans. So at the end of four years they own 60% of that business that they help start up.

And, and this from what I hear is going to be you know, the first of its kind program that takes a veteran gives them a guaranteed job when they get out managing a business. And on the investment side, if they're not a good fit for the business. By the end of that skill, bridge time, we could bring in somebody else, you know, or if they don't want to do it, they could sell back any business.

There's lots of ways that if they don't want them to feel trapped, like I said, I don't want them to feel like they're in career prison with this business they're starting up. So there's lots of ways that they could get out of it or, or even sell it back to somebody else and go start another business through the program. Like we're super flexible with that.

40:00 - 45:00


But we're just starting this now and I am super excited about the potential of it. So I just wanted to get that out there for people that might want to start a franchise as they get out, we're in the pilot phases of that, of all of this. Or if you're somebody that might want to potentially invest in the future, and a specific veteran with a specific franchise in a specific location, just let me know. And when the time comes, and we have that, I'll reach out to you and let you know what the opportunity is.

But I want to talk about that. Because not only are things a great fit for veterans, actually, let me let me go back and talk about one of the things. When I first got into franchise consulting, the first thing I did was I started talking to just dozens of franchises and I said, Who is your ideal franchisee? 90% said, My ideal franchisee is military veterans. Because when you think about what it is, every time a veteran or military person goes through a duty station, they're given us their standard operating procedures, they're set, they're told, if you do X, Y, and Z, you're going to be successful here, right? That's what a franchise is, you're just replicating a system that's already in place, you're given a manual and saying if you do X, Y, and Z, you're going to be successful here. And that's what they do. And franchises almost almost across the board, tell me that veterans are their most successful, most profitable franchisees. And that's what, you know, not only am I a veteran myself, but that's what geared me towards working mostly in the veteran space. I don't even advertise really, to non veterans except for my international work.

So I've done multiple conferences and events for US embassies and American Chamber of Commerce's in the Middle East. Oman, Bahrain, I've got one for America, Kuwait, that we're in the planning phases of right now for March.

So besides my international work, I don't even really market to non veterans in the US, because franchises tell me they want veterans, so I'm trying to figure out how to give them veterans. And I think it's a good fit for the veterans to so I love Win Win scenarios. Sorry, I'm rambling a little bit here.


No, it's all good. So, man, there's a lot to unpack there. But I like it. And I mean, that makes sense. So actually, I hear that frequently in different I would say markets, like family offices, investors. You know, I know a couple people who have done it. I mean, it seems that across the board, veterans are generally appreciated in the financial space, which is, which is good, right? So.

And that's kind of why we wanted to bring you on and one of the talk franchises and kind of just show what's out there, right. And I'm personally going to be well, soon, assuming everything gets signed off, as I've been told it will, doing the skill bridge program here in a few months. So I think that that's a great opportunity, especially being able to combine that with a lot of really cool stuff going on there.

So I have a couple questions that I always ask every guest as we get closer to wrapping up the show. The first one is just if, E one, E two, you know, an 18 year old kid walked up to you and was just asked for life advice? What would be like the one thing that you feel like you would have to tell them? Is that your key to succeeding?


Um, wow, I feel like I have to pick between two, can I give two?




The first is what I said already, is to focus on what you can do not on what you can't, focus on what you can't do is just the way that people end up never going anywhere in life, there's always reasons you can't do things. So that's the first I'm just going to repeat.

The second and this is something I talked about in my book is that you need to treat each step of your life. Like it's the foundation of your life, because it is the foundation that you're sitting on right now. And you think of all of your skills, all of your talents, or lack thereof, that's the result of all of your previous choices, all of your previous steps have culminated and where you're sitting right now. And by extension of that, every step you take in the future is going to be a new foundation, the rest of your life is going to be built off that next step.

And so if you don't think about it like that, if you don't think, wow, I need to actually start planning my steps. I need to think about where I want to be and backtrack out how I'm going to get there and start making proactive steps to build a progressively stronger and stronger foundation for my life. You know, that's how you are, that's how you end up in those situations where you're just trapped not going anywhere. You feel like nothing's happening, or no opportunities to put on themselves. And everyone else is just lucky, right? Everyone's just lucky this person just, you know, they just randomly got lucky. It's not luck. You know, it's planning. It's courage. There's a lot of things to talk about in my book, you know, and in my book I talked about, you know, all the different factors that feed into that take home check. At the end of the day, I talked about building skills. I talked about how those skills fit into different jobs and how you can have an ideal fit and a bad fit. I talked about profit share being an employee versus being a business owner or a franchise business owner. And how if you work 10 hours extra a week, is it really worth it, you know, if you're only taking home 20% of that market value you're creating.

45:00 - 50:00


I talked about perceived value and how controlling how others perceive you controls your potential, you know, bias and how that plays out in the workplace and how you can set that bias to be positive through first impressions. And how courage plays the biggest role and all of that just having the courage to step out and take, take those things and how, how to be courageous, how to break things down into steps and set goals.

All of these things feed into that check that you look at at the end of the week, or month, or whatever it is. And you know, and it's all crucial, and you're taking that next step.

So looking at your life as a series of steps is a series of foundations. And each step being critically important to the rest of your life, I think is the boil it down, one of the biggest takeaways I'd like to give.


I like it.

Alright, the next question I asked is resources. Obviously we're going to plug your book in a minute, but what is one resource? Actually, I would ask, I don't know. Is there a good book that you recommend whether for anybody looking to get started in franchising, or like about franchising? I don't, I've never read anything on franchising.


To be honest, I haven't read books on franchising either I prefer to, I don't like in general, I don't like just hearing what other people have to say, I like finding out.

So instead of reading books on franchising, I've just talked with hundreds of franchise ORS and grilled them and talked to lots of different franchisees and grilled them. I just did, I could write my own book and all the research I've done, but I haven't. I haven't read a whole lot, a whole lot of books, and I've read articles and kind of new stuff to keep track of how things are trending and progressing.

I think I think that a very important book that people should read is called the E myth. I read that in my MBA program, it's a very short read. It basically talks about how they try to break people into three basic categories. They break people into technicians, managers, and entrepreneurs, or visionaries would be the another version of saying entrepreneurs, visionaries, and you got the people that are really good at doing something you have other people that are really good at managing organizations, you have the the visionary people, and people are generally not good at multiple things.

Sometimes they might be you know, they'll have a primary, a secondary, and then when they're really terrible at. And sometimes they're just all in one category. Like me, I am 100% visionary. Like, I'm an okay technician, I'm an okay manager, but I'm not great.

But when it comes to like, planning things out, figuring out the vision, you know, the forward stuff, that's my niche. And that book helped me realize what that is. And what they say is, and in your life, when you're trying to tackle endeavors, if you know what you are, you know, you need to supplement the other ones you need to hire for them.

So if you're not a good technician, you need to find somebody that's going to be that technician, partner with somebody, if you're not a good manager, you got to find someone for that role. Or if you're not good at visionary planning, so you're a really good technician, because a lot of a lot of technicians try to go into business, but they have no management skills. They don't have visionary planning skills, they're just really good at whatever it is they do. And then they fight or struggle and usually fail. Because they really need those other two components, and they just don't have it.

They think I'm really good at, you know, this specific job set. And, and so I think that books, pretty important for anybody trying to plan out their life, especially if they want to get into entrepreneurship. And of course, I think I think my book would be really great for people that


Well, why don't you tell us the title and where to find it? And where can people get a hold of you?


Yeah, so. So the book is titled The Value Equation, my background is engineering. And so of course, I have to write a book about an equation, right. But there is a little bit of math, I know some people get scared of math, there is a teeny bit in there, not a lot. And honestly, if you were to just gloss over the math parts, you'd still get 99% of what I have to say.

So, but the equation is, and this is kind of what my tagline is, is what equals money. Right? So and I'm not talking about it. And so my book is focused on generating revenue through your life looking at your life as an entrepreneurial pursuit. And that is, you know, that's if you never own a business, even if you're a lifelong employee, which is a completely valid career path.

What is it that feeds into that check? You need to look at your life like it's your business, your life is your business, whether you start a business, whether you never start a business, your life is your business, and how do you maximize that business?

So I did, I just like glossed over everything there. But what equals money, what equals that pay? So I started out talking about skills and and how skills are the process primary beginning of the equation, your skill set the optimal paint the optimal amount anyone's willing to pay you, then you've got, and I talked about all the different ways you can develop skills, all the different ways you might not even think of that are actually skill building.

50:00 - 55:28

Then we talked about fit factors. So if you got a fortune 500 CEO, and he gets a job as a cashier, he is not fit for that job, he can work it, he can spend his hours in it, but it's not a great fit for a skill set.

So I talked about different ways that you can get into jobs that will maximize your skills. And it's kind of funny, and this is something that people might not realize I actually am a proponent of people trying to get jobs that are under qualified for. And not that people lie to try to get those under qualified jobs, but that they are ambitious. And they show that ambition, and jobs hire them based on their energy, and the fact that they're go getters, because if you can get a job you're under qualified for, you're gonna get paid the most for your skill set, you're going to learn the most skills. So if you can do a job you're under qualified for, you're qualified, so you don't have the skills to fill it. Which means if you're hired for the job is going to teach you those. And that's something I'm big on my book is strategic employment, don't just work to work. If you're working just to pay the bills, you are wasting that work experience. Every job you take should be skill based, what skill do I need to keep my life going forward. And if you're not learning new skills, it's probably not a great job to stay in.

And you know, some people have to get a job just to pay the bills. But while they're doing that, they should be focusing on starting a side business or looking for another job already, where they're going to learn skills, because if you're in, it's the ultimate definition of a dead end job is one where you don't learn any new skills, you just go to work, you put in the hours you get the paycheck. That is the definition of a dead end job.

Then I talk about profit share.


Oh, give the people a reason to buy the book, don't tell them the whole thing.


Oh, sorry. We’re passionate about it. I'm sorry.


I understand. You’re gonna talk of yourself out of sale.


Oh, well, I can gloss over what's in the book. But I go into details on it, I have case studies where I apply it.

Here's why you want to buy it, if you feel stuck, if you feel trapped, if you feel you're on the hamster wheel. Or if you are, like say when I got to the military and I went through that time, I had to reinvent my career from scratch, if that's where you are, or if you know somebody there, you know, I sent it to my brother to read. And he's like, Wow, my 15 year old, my 15 year old son would benefit from this.

People that are in that are about to get out of high school or college that are looking at trying to plan out their life. Because you know, the ultimate of it, the ultimate theme of it is looking at your life like an entrepreneurial pursuit, and starting to plan out where you want to go and backtracking that so anybody that's at a point in their life, where they would benefit from trying to get a change in mindset and saying, You know what, I really do need to plan it. Because the whole book is designed to spark inspiration for people to say, you know what, I resonate with this. And I can apply this in a way that's unique to my life.


Where can people buy it?


Amazon, I'm going to have it up on Amazon, it's going to be softcover. And at the time of this recording, it's not on Amazon, but within the next week before thanksgiving, I expect it to be there.

So it's going to be on Amazon, softcover, or ebook. And, and for people that read it and want to give me some feedback, here's an extra bonus for you. I have a website, And if you want to leave us feedback, testimonial, or just tell us how terrible it is. I am putting together another book, it's not ready yet, I'm expecting within the next two months. But I'm putting together an E book called The complete life Reference Guide and bringing in experts from every aspect of what I would consider life to come in and give us their input. And it's going to be a reference format, there's going to be hundreds of topics covered. And we're gonna offer that for free. And we just want your feedback on the book so that we can make it better or just tell people how great you think it is.

So that's going to be there for you. And I hope you check it out.


Right on.

Well, Joel, we really appreciate you joining us this morning.


If you want to contact me, is my franchise website. And you can email me check out my websites and on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can find me @JoelStewartMBA.


We will of course tag all of that in the show notes.

Awesome. Yeah, that'll be in the show notes. And so we really appreciate it one of us has to put on a uniform and go to work so I'm gonna have to run out the door here in a minute but I really appreciate you joining us and I will be sure to share all of this when it goes live. Thank you very much.


Thank you for having me.


Thank you so much.


Thank you for listening to another episode about my journey From military to millionaire. If you liked it be sure to visit to subscribe to future podcasts. While you're there, we'd love for you to rate the show. Give us a review on iTunes. Now get out there and take action.

Joel Stewart Quote about Focusing on what you can do

Episode: 121

Joel Stewart

Join your hosts David Pere and Alex Felice as they sit down and talk about their guest, Joel Stewart’s inspiring milestone towards his business in franchise consulting; a venture in his life that no matter how different from his background – he considers his passion and success.

Joel is an MBA and is the CEO of the International Franchise Marketplace (IFM) and of newly, The Veteran Franchise Initiative, which he had just started this summer. Joel is an acknowledged lead in franchising and connecting investors with veterans who are planning to get into business and entrepreneurship.

In this episode, Joel opens the experience with severe illness during military service and a seated moment that he considers as a turning point in his life. He shares how pursuing a master’s degree, discovering new fields, and entering entrepreneurship geared him to break down the barriers of disability – no matter how grueling.

About Joel Stewart:

Joel Stewart founded the International Franchise Marketplace in 2019 to provide franchise education and marketing throughout the Middle East and Southeast Asia. This is accomplished through American Chamber of Commerce and Embassy coordinated events and conferences.

After several successful international events, Joel decided to roll his operation in the United States, Integrity Commercial, under the International Franchise Marketplace as well. Now IFM is creating value for franchise focused businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs around the world through free consultations and value-added referrals.

If you are a franchisor, a potential franchisor, an investor looking to use franchising as a vehicle, or an entrepreneur looking to strike out on your own, contact us today and see how the International Franchise Marketplace can help!

Outline of the episode:

  • [03:18] An epiphany during recovery: “If you're focusing on all the things you can't do, you're missing out on all the things you can do.”
  • [9:24] The difference between business brokerage and franchise consulting.
  • [11:48] Why people need to look into franchising more.
  • [12:38] The values in commercial real estate.
  • [19:11] On MLM – From the book of The Value of Equation.
  • [23:06] The different franchising niches of 2021: The good and bad.
  • [34:50] A little bit about The Veteran Franchise Initiative.
  • [41:30] A general advice to anyone who wants to chase their own success.
  • [43:38] On perceived value and controlling your potential – From the book of The Value of Equation.
  • [45:24] A book recommendation to read for people getting into entrepreneurship.
  • [47:47] The Value of Equation: Your life is your business; what does equal to money?
  • [49:08] On hiring underqualified candidates; what employers need to look into when hiring; on strategic employment, and the need for every job to be skill-based.
  • [50:12] Defining what a dead-end job is.

Advice to an 18-20-year old:

Focus on what you CAN do!

Recommended resource(s):

The E-Myth Revisited


Mastermind Group Email:






The Value of Equation by Joel Stewart:


E myth by Michael E. Gerber:


Follow our journey:






Real Estate Investing Course:

Recommended books and tools:

Become an investor:





My name is David Pere, I am an active duty Marine, and have realized that service members and the working class use the phrase “I don't get paid enough” entirely too often. The reality is that most often our financial situation is self-inflicted. After having success with real estate investing, I started From Military to Millionaire to teach personal finance and real estate investing to service members and the working class. As a result, I have helped many of my readers increase their savings gap, and increase their chances of achieving financial freedom! – Click here to SUBSCRIBE: to the channel for more awesome videos!


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