What it takes to succeed (Not money!)
In all of my years in franchising and the greater business world, I’ve been witness to one remarkable truth: Success in life is not dictated by money.
Someone who shares that perspective is Robert Tunmire, the Executive Vice President at Dwyer Group. Robert leads one of the most successful franchise sales teams in all of franchising. The track record for the creation and/or acquisition and expansion of service brands at Dwyer Group has earned the admiration of many organizations across the country and around the world. If Dwyer Group has demonstrated one thing well, it is the ability to grow and support multiple service brands.
Recently, Robert celebrated his 41st anniversary in the business [6 years with Don Dwyer, Sr. in a company called Guarantee System, and 35 years after that when Don took sole ownership, called it Rainbow and created The Dwyer Group]. So it was a timely occasion to reflect not only on Robert’s enormous personal and professional success, but also the incredible success of Dwyer Group over the decades.
He was just a kid with a dream
Robert was just a kid when he met Don Dwyer, Sr. He was instantly embraced by my father as another son. Don taught him the ropes of the business, which at that time centered on growing the Rainbow franchise – our very first service brand.
Robert will be the first one to tell you that he wasn’t a good student in school. But what he lacked in the classroom was far overshadowed by his passion for business.
“I think back on how crazy it was, what I did,” he says. “I started working for Don as a helper in June of 1975. I was 16 ½. I became a tech that summer. And I was in the DE program at school. I worked half a day and I went to school half a day. “
However, being a passionate businessman in-the-making, Robert saw that the real opportunity meant being more than a technician. He needed to be a business owner! So he went to Don and said that he wanted to buy a franchise.
Don told him that it wouldn’t even be legal. He wasn’t even 18-years old. But he agreed to sell Robert the Lubbock franchise for Guarantee for $8,000 and he told Robert, “Give me two thousand dollars down.”
Luckily, Robert had two other people who understood this kid and his dream. And he went to his mom and dad.
Don Dwyer, Robert Tunmire and Robert’s parents made a business dream come true.
“The faith and trust they had in me was incredible,” Robert says. “They put up their car and furniture as collateral, went to the Heart of Texas Credit Union in Waco and got a $4,000 loan. Then mom went to school with me in October of 1975 and signed me out of school.”
Dreaming is about doing
Robert was just 17 years old when he loaded his van and drove to Lubbock.
Robert was determined to succeed.
“By no stretch of the imagination does that make sense,” he says now. “I was scared to death. I can remember driving to Lubbock thinking, ‘What have I just done?’ But I knew what to do. I wasn’t going to fail. I owed my mom and dad $4,000 and I owed Don $6,000.”
Robert said he had as much determination as he had fear. And determination won the day.
When he got to Lubbock, it never occurred to him that nobody rents apartments to a 17-year-old boy. So after a few stops, he finally lied about his age so he could have a place to live.
Then he focused on running his business. And he found success.
From financial stress to financial strength
Robert not only learned the business from the ground up. He has since built many businesses from the ground up as a member of the corporate team at Dwyer Group. Today, more than 41 years since that kid got his start, he looks at all of the service brands that Dwyer Group has started or acquired and then expanded through franchise development.
“When I came back to Waco in 1981, when we started Rainbow, there were five support people and Don teaching me to sell franchises. That was it. Today we have 60 people and 6 VPs just for Dwyer Group Franchise Sales,” Robert says.
In 2016, Dwyer Group has a goal to open 322 new units across 10 brands. And things are on track to continue setting records for growth.
“But here’s where it hasn’t changed,” Robert says. “In doing this for 41 years, the thing that has not changed at all is that it’s not the amount of money that someone has when they start a franchise – a lot or a little, smart or uneducated, with great or fair credit scores. Those things do not determine their success.
“What has not changed at all is that it’s what’s inside that matters. What’s their drive? What’s their commitment to their own personal success? What are their goals? That is what is going to determine their success.” It worked for the kid with the dream, and it continues to work for others.
Dwyer Group now has more than 2,600 franchise owners in 11 countries around the world who account for more than $1.3 billion in annual systemwide sales. For more about Dwyer Group franchise opportunities visit HERE.