Why you need to choose your words wisely

Stop speaking to the pain points of potential franchisees. Use positive psychology instead to help them to visualise success.

Why you need to choose your words wisely

Do you believe that you set up your franchise to ‘fix’ your problems? Many people who choose to franchise have felt time or cash-poor, disillusioned with the corporate world or frustrated with their business’ traditional operating model. Framing the decision to franchise as an escape from less-than-preferable circumstances, rather than a golden opportunity for limitless success, however, is a classic example of negative self-talk.

Here, Cheryl White, founder of the Mercury Franchise School Ltd, invites you to reframe the franchising proposition for yourself and others using positive psychology.

Changing the narrative

Most of us have an internal dialogue. We talk to ourselves – either out loud or in our heads. In positive psychology, this is known as ‘self-talk’. Some of the things we say (‘franchising was my first-choice option’) are positive. Others (‘franchising was my last resort’) are negative.

Self-talk can be something we are aware of, or something that happens subconsciously. It may happen more when we feel anxious or stressed. The stories we tell ourselves undoubtedly influence` our performance, our income, our relationships and our mental health, as well as our outlook on life. Negative self-talk makes our burdens feel heavier and our goals less tangible.

The good news is, once we become aware that we are talking ourselves down, we have an opportunity to challenge unhelpful statements. We can switch out harsh words (‘I had no clue what I was doing’) with kinder self-talk (‘I was open to learning something new’).

Framing your decision to franchise as a positive, conscious choice will impact greatly on the success of your venture. (No one who feels hostage to fate has a head and a heart open to life’s possibilities!)

Rewriting your story

Let us look at your founder’s story. Before you launched your first franchise, some aspects of your life – no doubt – felt challenging or uncomfortable, but franchising was one of many options open to you. You could have found another job, closed your business, started a side hustle or gone backpacking around the world!

The fact is, you chose to establish a franchising business – opening a new world of opportunity… The chance to expand into new territories; increase your market share; grow your client base; make more money; work less hours; and recruit a team of franchisees to nurture and develop. Which story feels more empowering? Which form of self-talk is going to get you out of bed?

Focusing on what was wrong in your life when you started out franchising roots your business in the soil of dissatisfaction. Your franchisees become people you share your life raft with – not fellow passengers on a first-class cruise.

Most dangerous of all, negative self-talk can become the words you speak to others – impacting on your pitch to potential franchisees.

Sharing your story

Accepted marketing wisdom says we need to identify our customers’ pain points and show them how our offering provides a solution. But which sounds more compelling: “I can help you dig an escape tunnel” or “Let us build an empire together!”

When you are setting out your proposition to a potential franchisee, do not let negative self-talk occupy the driving seat. Put the franchise lifestyle forward as their ticket to an exciting future, not as a lifeline you discovered when backed into a corner. The words we speak to ourselves, and others, carry more weight than we imagine. Make them inspiring; make them positive.

Positive self-talk is rife in sports. From Tiger Woods to Michael Jordan, athletes at the top of their game train their brains to visualise success – focusing on their performance on the course, court, track or field.

You can choose your thoughts too, as well as helping your franchisees (potential or existing) to choose theirs. First, recognise negative thoughts and what may have triggered them; then, put those thoughts on trial. Are they true or false? If they are true, most things that we fear are survivable, even if they come to pass. Replace any unhelpful, untruthful thoughts with compassionate self-talk – repeating these steps as needed. This positive psychology practice is the path to a happier, healthier and more successful you.

Cheryl White
Cheryl White