A Lesson in Character

Frozen in Fear

The best classroom for learning character is life itself. Unfortunately, we are often too busy to pay all that much attention to it. In those moments we, along with our kids and grandkids, can miss a life-changing, golden moment.

Those opportunities have a short shelf-life.

I can still clearly remember a day when a lesson in outstanding character happened right in from of me. Since I couldn’t get away, I had to attend to it.

Frozen in Fear

I was in a line of cars waiting to merge into traffic from a shopping center parking lot. A woman at the head of the line obviously was fearful and uncertain about getting into the traffic.

She sat frozen in her automobile. Everyone was letting her know about it, too: Honk! Honk! Honk!

I probably was just an instant away from joining that chorus when the driver directly behind her jumped out of his vehicle and stepped into the street. He halted the oncoming motorists, and then motioned for her to get into the traffic safely. Problem solved.

Honestly, getting out of my car and helping her never occurred to me in that moment. I don’t know if his kind, effective gesture was noticed by anyone else, but that scene has been alive in my memory ever since.

A Part of the Solution

That moment could not have taken more than 40 seconds, but it represented a life-long lesson. If I ever encounter a situation like it in the future, I now know how to be a part of the solution instead of one of the herd piling up on the problem.

Unfortunately, I was alone in my car that day. If my son or daughter (or any one of my subsequent grandchildren) had been with me, observing that young man and what he did to solve the problem, it would have been a teachable moment like none other. Oh, I told them about it later, but it wasn’t the same as being there. But I do hope I was able to encourage them to be more mindful of moments just like that one.

But that’s the same message for all of us, isn’t it? For the sake of ourselves and our families, it pays to be more even more mindful of what’s happening in our lives and the role it asks of us. There will always be a place for those choosing to handle frustration with presence, grace and solution-driven insight.

These folks become professors in the Character Classes of Life.

Jim415smPsychologist Dr. James Sutton, is the founder and host of The Changing Behavior Network. This story is from his latest book, Improving a Youngster’s Self-Esteem, revised (available for immediate ebook download). www.DocSpeak.com

Illustration by Sergio Garzon



Five Steps to Build a Successful Franchise


At Just Between Friends we have been celebrating the past few weeks, after Forbes Magazine named us a top five franchise to buy in 2015. This is such a humbling honor for myself, my staff and the lifeblood of our business, the franchisees. Running this company is truly a labor of love. What began in my living room in Tulsa, Okla. in 1997 is now an international company with 150 franchises in the U.S. and Canada. Each franchisee works to build successful consignment events in their community. Collectively, JBF franchises are helping more than 600,000 families buy and sell items and literally “turn clutter into cash”.

Building a franchise system is no easy task and I am often asked for advice by other small business owners interested in franchising. This week I am sharing some of my top tips on what to do when launching a franchise system.

Five Steps to Follow When Starting a Franchise

  1. Secure an experienced franchise attorney: This is by far the most important step. Franchising can be a litigious industry because you are dealing with people’s money and livelihoods. Also I recommend joining the International Franchise Association – full of reputable experts with great resources at your fingertips.
  1. Create a system for training and support(I learned this the hard way) which should include:
    1. Operations Manual
    2. Training program for franchisees
    3. Develop a plan for ongoing support. For example, JBF has an annual conference and regular training webinars, in addition to mentors and smart groups etc.
  1. Decide on your sales model:
    1. Will you have an in-house staff or hire a brokerage firm?
    2. What is your growth model: Domestic, foreign, both?
    3. If it is foreign, in which parts of the world will you focus and why?
  1. Acquire the proper technology to grow and scale your franchise. Examples:
    1. Develop your branding and ensure it is scalable.
    2. Develop your website
    3. POS system
  1. Create a marketing strategy and a guidebook for the following:
    1. Advertising
    2. Public Relations
    3. Social Media – Develop policies and procedures early in your concept as to your social media best practices

For more information on franchising, I also recommend you check out the International Franchise Association’s website.

And if you are interested in Just Between Friends’ franchise opportunity, we are expanding throughout the U.S. and Canada. Click here for more information

For more information on franchising, I also recommend you check out the International Franchise Association’s website.

And if you are interested in Just Between Friends’ franchise opportunity, we are expanding throughout the U.S. and Canada. Click here for more information

– Shannon

Shannon WilburnBy Shannon Wilburn, CEO of Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc. @ShannonWilburn (Twitter and Instagram)

Just Between Friends is actively seeking franchisees throughout the U.S. and Canada. Click here for more information on joining the JBF team.

Staying Organized After a Vacation


Have you noticed when you get home from vacation you somehow bring back more stuff than what you took with you?  I swear we needed an extra suitcase to hold all the brochures our youngest son wanted to bring home so that he could play “Disney World Worker.” Sometimes, even before we go on vacation, […]

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To Franchise or Not to Franchise – Five Key Questions


  This past week is one that I won’t soon forget. It was Friday morning and I was wrapping up projects preparing for a much needed trip to the beach with some girlfriends when I got the message: Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc. was once again on Forbes Magazine’s list of top franchises to […]

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Organizing the Linen Closet


Have noticed that your linens seem to be falling out of your linen closet and there is less space then you remember there being?  If so, let’s start to sort and organize your closet. It’s easy to accumulate a large collection of mismatched sheets and towels with holes in them.  Like everything else in our […]

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10 summer salad recipes to share with your kids


Do you ever get sick of having salad with the same toppings and dressing? It is sometimes hard to get your kids to eat salads (or any sort of vegetables) especially if your salad is made the same way every times. Mix it up with some fun toppings that the kids will love! You can […]

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Healthy Trail Mix Snacks


Everyone loves an on-the-go snack to keep for the car, take to the beach, for a long bike ride or to snack on the plane. Trail mix is a very popular snack, and appears to be healthy- or healthier than alternate chips or cookies. But, be careful because often times, generic trail mixes can be […]

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In Celebration of Dadpreneurs

Ron Caton

JBF Dads Offer Three Tips to Making it Work While Working From Home The number of stay-at-home dads has been steadily increasing for the last five years, topping two million in 2014. And like the “stay-at-home” moms before them, many of these dads also search for ways to make money working from home – many […]

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Bubble Recipes for Kids


Do your kids love bubbles? I was obsessed with bubbles as a kid. I would go through a package of bubbles a day. But, like every kid, I got bored with making little bubbles that would pop right away. Most kids love when they make huge bubbles or a long line of bubbles. Switch it up […]

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Summer Crafts From the Beach

shell wind chimes

It’s summertime and I hope you all get a chance to take the little ones to the beach. The beach is the best place for kids in the summer- they love playing in the water, the sand, finding shells, etc. Take those activities back home with these summer crafts from the beach. There are many different […]

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