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conventional thinking

Jennifer (yes, that's her real name) and I were discussing the Smith's School of English franchise system the other night over Mexican and she was finding it fascinating (the enchilada, I mean).

So, Jenny (that's her real nickname, too) says to me, "You're building English School franchises? That's so unconventional to my way of thinking. I mean, it's like everyone either works for the big brand-name schools or scratches up privates wherever they can. You know, I've taught English here for a few years and it still surprises me that language is a real commodity. It's still hard for me to even imagine selling it. I mean, I really hate the school I'm working for — it's a real slave ship; they rip the students off with the huge initial down payment and I get paid a pittance. But the idea of a 'franchised English School'? It's just, so, so unconventional. You really need to address that issue for all your advertising to have the compelling impact you want in order to get more interested prospective franchisees calling up and then joining the team."

I listened carefully to her observations and said, "Uh, huh."

Jens (ditto, above) continued, "I mean, I know that everywhere in the world, for anyone who wants to start and run their own business, for anyone with an entrepreneurial bent, for anyone who wants to make a better life for themselves, goodness, for anyone who wants to make more money, a well-run franchise is the safest and surest path to success. I learned that in business school."

I nodded, "Uh, huh."

"And compared to trying to put all the screwy parts of a new business together and making it run all on your own, with all the inherent risks and fears, not to mention all the possible things that could go wrong; well, getting into an excellent franchise will always be the easiest and kindest way to make a go of it and still be able to sleep well at night."

"Uh, huh."

Jenny went on, "I mean, even to my ultra-conventional way of thinking, it's obvious that a Smith's School of English franchise, as unconventional as it initially may seem, is really the most conventional way a foreigner can make some seriously big money here in Japan."

"Uh, huh."

"If you can get THAT message out to the foreign community and get them talking about it, I'm sure you'll be hearing from more people that really want to make a change for the best in their lives. A lot more people."

"Uh, huh."

"You should do it," she concluded.

I smiled as I picked up the check, and said, "Thanks, Jens. You've said it better than I ever could. Dinner's on me. Let's take a walk and get some ice cream."