Are You Creating or Extracting Value—Andy McDowell, Founder, Generate Your Value

Happy Thanksgiving week! We are so thankful for you, our listeners, for being with us each and every week. Thank you for your continued support. 

Our episode today is fitting to have our guest today talk about value. And we talk about creating value and extracting value. Which one are you doing more? This is a great interview if you are looking to apply some easy to understand ideas to help you create more value for your customers, your employees, and those you care about.


Andy McDowell is an engineer by trade and a creative by nature. He is the founder of the entrepreneurial and small business coaching and consulting firm, Generate Your Value, and is the co-host of The Generate Your Value Podcast. 

Andy spent 22 years with the Boeing Company, where he always felt more like a life coach than a boss. In 2002, he began his journey into entrepreneurship within a corporation when he was asked to develop an Airspace Design Consulting business from scratch that would serve the global government market. Andy has a Bachelor’s Degree from Georgia Tech in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s Degree in Computer Information Systems from Georgia State. Naturally, his aviation work took him around the world and enabled him to work on high-profile projects – such as preparing the Beijing and Sochi Airports for their respective Olympic Games.

Andy would love to have a conversation with you about how he might be able to use his strategic skills developed from his years with the Boeing Company to Generate Your Value in your personal and professional life. He has a keen sense for applying business concepts into life coaching, and life coaching concepts into business.


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Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:00):

Welcome to the Multiply Your Success podcast, where each week we help growth minded entrepreneurs and franchise leaders take the next step in their expansion journey. I’m your host, Tom DuFore, CEO of Big Sky Franchise team, and as we open today, I’d just like to say happy Thanksgiving week. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families. I hope you have a wonderful celebration. And for those of you who don’t know, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the year, and it’s just because I have so much to be thankful and grateful for. And I’m especially thankful for you, our listeners, for being with us each and every week. Thank you for your continued support. And I thought that our episode today would be fitting to have our guest who talks about value. And during our conversation we talk about creating value and extracting value. And which one are you doing more?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (00:53):

This is a great interview, and if you’re looking to apply some easy to understand ideas to help you create more value for your customers, your employees, and for those you care about, this is the episode for you. Our guest today is Andy McDowell and he is an engineer by trade and a creative by nature. He’s the Founder of the Entrepreneurial and Small Business Coaching and Consulting firm, Generate Your Value, and he is the co-host of the Generate Your Value podcast. Prior to starting this company, Andy spent 22 years with the Boeing Company and helped prepare the Beijing and Sochi airports for their respective Olympic games. So let’s go ahead and jump right into the middle of my interview with Andy McDowell.

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (01:36):

So value comes in all kinds of different shapes, sizes, and colors is what I say, right? So there’s physical value, emotional value, financial value, relationship value. I mean, we could sit here for half an hour, talk about all the different shape sizes that value comes in. And so Generate Your Value comes from two standpoints. One, do you recognize it comes in all different shapes, sizes, and colors? And are you being cognizant of that in your life as well as in your business, from that perspective? And then what are you doing to ensure that you are generating value?

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (02:20):

Are you being introspective? Do you understand your strengths and weaknesses? How much does creativity play into your life? All these things have to come together in an effort to generate value. So value can either be generated or extracted. And in an exchange, somebody’s generating it and the other person’s extracting that value for use in their own life or in their business. So are you always extracting in life, in a business? Or are you also generating and therefore contributing, hopefully in a positive way to your life, to those your in a relationship with within your business, particularly if you’re an owner or a leader from that perspective. So I pick that term as sort of a high level general term that people can use to look at their life or look at their business if they’re a business owner and say, how am I contributing in a positive way to those that surround myself, either in life or in business with? Because that’s when joy, happiness, and success shows up for you.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (03:44):

So it makes me wonder about creating value, certainly generating, as you use that term, generating or extracting. So our audience tends to be, they’re very successful entrepreneurs or business leaders. They’re at the point of growth, they’re franchising their business, they’re growing, oftentimes through franchising as our specialty. So for someone that’s looking at this from that perspective of that successful business owner, they have employees, maybe franchisees that are working for them, employees and franchisees that are part of their system. So what might a successful value add look like? Let’s start first, how does the employer or the franchisor create value for their staff and employees? I’d be curious on any thoughts or ideas in that regard.

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (04:41):

Sure. So the franchisee is now your customer and you want to set your customer up for success. And typically franchisees or people buying into a franchise have made that decision in an effort to sort of… I pay this money and I get this business and I just sort of unfold it, unpack it, so to speak. And it’s a proven business model. So at that point it’s just, how do I get the community around me in my area to understand I’m in business and I’m here with a product and service that’s ready to go? So as a franchisor, how can you set your franchisee up for success? You’ve got this business model that works. Now what tools, what training, what items of value can you bring to your franchisee that makes it extremely easy to be successful quickly from that perspective? And I think that’s how you can generate the most value is, you’ve already proven it in a business model, otherwise I don’t think you’d be wanting to franchise your business.

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (06:03):

But now how is it you can replicate that in somebody who’s exchanging money to you, that you’ve got a product with all different shapes and sizes of value that we just talked about, that’s going to make them be successful as quickly as possible? Because that’s why they’re buying into your business model, is because of the ease and quickness with which they can get going, up and running the business. It could be, somebody only has just enough money to buy your franchise, but not a lot of capital after that. So they want to be up and running and getting sales as quickly as possible. And that’s part of the attractiveness of that model, I think. I’ve never been a franchise owner, but I’d have to imagine that’s what is the attractiveness as opposed to somebody who’s got deep pockets and just wants to do their own thing.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:55):

Sure. Well, and what about looking at it from the other vantage point as a franchisee, certainly that is going to generate a certain amount of financial value to a franchisor, just through royalty collections and so on. But I imagine here the value you’re talking about is more than just money that’s associated with this. So I’d like for you to maybe share some ideas about how the franchisee in a system can be providing value to the franchisor or the franchise system at large.

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (07:34):

So a lot of it’s going to be feedback. So we’re talking about franchisee to the franchisor?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (07:41):


Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (07:42):

Yeah, so I’ve got this business, I’ve unpacked it and so forth, but they’re the ones that are engaging with the end customer. So what kind of feedback, what kind of communication flow can you have to the franchisor about what is working and what is not working? What are the things that the franchisor can adjust, or change, or add to their portfolio for the franchisee that’s going to help make that business successful? Because the franchisor wants as many franchises as possible, that’s what’s going to make them successful. But if word of mouth starts going out there that this is a bad decision to get into this franchise because you’re not offering the things that helps make them successful, then that’s going to be a concern for the growth of the franchise. So I think that’s the best thing the franchisee can do is give feedback about what customers are saying as well as their own experiences and trying to get the business set up. That allows the franchisor to hopefully have continuous improvement about how they’re doing things and how they’re rolling out their franchisees as they grow.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (08:57):

Great. Well thank you for sharing that by the way. And let’s talk a little bit about just what led you to this idea of starting your consulting company, specializing in this idea of value creation?

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (09:17):

So I did 22 years with the Boeing company in leadership. And one of my favorite things to do, got me out of bed in the morning, was helping people to grow, whether they were direct reports or part of my team or other people throughout the Boeing organization. I had a great experience with an executive coach within Boeing that did wonders for me and my leadership. And so I got to see that model. I applied it to mentoring other people within Boeing, and I had a goal of 30 years for the company. It got cut short because of the 737 max crisis. I got laid off with thousands of other employees. So instead of doing it part-time, which was the original plan after 30 years, I decided, okay lets go full-time with this. I’ve got some years still ahead of me where the body works and the mind still works and so forth. Let’s go do this full time.

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (10:26):

So that’s the drive, if you will, for me. Generate Your Value and value creation, I don’t think it’s talked enough about out in business. A lot of it’s about spreadsheets and money and cash flow and the financial statements and so forth. But one of the things I kept telling my team at Boeing is, don’t worry about the money. Worry about the customer and the value that we’re bringing to our customers and the money will come. Don’t worry about that piece. Let’s focus on the quality of our service. Are we truly listening to the customer and providing a service that they’re going to tell their friends, who’s going to tell two friends so to speak about what we’re doing and offering?

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (11:16):

And I was on the government side, in the government marketplace. And because value comes in, as we said before, different shapes and sizes and colors, I don’t think people pay attention to those things. It’s about the functionality. It’s about the physical things possibly, that they get overlooked where you could be really growing your business or you’re paying pensions to all the different ways that value can be created and captured in the marketplace. And that’s why I went after that with my business.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (11:57):

Great. Well Andy, this would be a great time for us to just make a little transition in the show where we ask every guest the same four questions before we go. And the first one is just about a miss or two you’ve had in your journey, in your career, and something you learned from it.

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (12:18):

Before I even got into entrepreneurship, when I came out of Georgia Tech, I got a job with a retailer. And it was in the inventory area because that’s where the computer system was. They needed help with the computer piece. And I got fired from that job. It was not a great feeling, nobody likes to be fired. A lot of it had to do with communication from the leadership wasn’t great. I could have made adjustments and so forth had I have gotten the feedback, but learned a big lesson.

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (13:02):

I went to grad school from there, and then started my entrepreneurial journeys after grad school. But learned a lesson on how to… I fell off the horse to pick myself up and dust myself off and go, okay, what did I learn from that and what lessons did I learn? How can I apply that to my life to how I approach business and get finding work and job and so forth and so on. I’m 59 years old, I’ve learned in life to don’t see them as failures, but see them as challenges and opportunities for growth, and keep improving and keep improving. And that was my starting point for that learning in growth in life was, you’re not a bad person because you got fired. Learn it as a lesson, apply those lessons to your life and keep growing, keep going.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:08):

Yeah, thank you. And how about a make or two, you’ve had a great career, anything that you’d like to share that stands out?

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (14:20):

I’ve had a great career, traveled around the world. I’ve met some amazing people. But I would say that the biggest was having a growth mindset and a servant leadership style. But fault me if you will, I picked two of them. I don’t know if I’m allowed to pick two of them.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:44):


Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (14:44):

But it’s that combination of those two elements to say, I’m not a perfect leader. I’m going to be humble and admit my mistakes, but I’m going to learn from it. I will promise you one thing, I will learn from it and do better. From that perspective and making my team number one and always being concerned about setting them up for success. What do you need? Those conversations behind closed doors to say, what do you need? Do you need training? Do I need to be a better leader? Do I need to communicate more? What do I have within my power, either personally or through my authority and my title, do I have that you need in order for you to be successful? That’s my number one concern and the conversation I want to have with you every day.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (15:36):

Well, thank you. And how about a multiplier? We get such a great response and variety of responses for this question. Have you used a multiplier to grow yourself personally, professionally, as you’ve developed over the years?

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (15:54):

I would say flexibility. I can’t tell you, I had a 30 minute commute when I was at Boeing from home to work, and I would use that 30 minutes to think about my day. Obviously I had my schedule and my calendar of tasks, or meetings that I had during the day was put my thoughts together about, okay, with the free time now, meeting time I had, what am I going to do with it? What do I want to accomplish during the day?

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (16:29):

I would say maybe 10% of my 22 plus years with Boeing did those days actually materialize what my thoughts were on the commute on the way in, particularly as a leader. And so you have to have flexibility and some patience, say it’s not going to happen that way. I can have the best laid plans, but things are going to come up during the day and what’s your attitude going to be about that? And can you be present in the moment and say, okay, my team needs me here, or my boss needs something from me here, or whatever it may be. Flexibility is a big tool to use to get you through the day and still accomplish a lot of things. If you go in with the hard minded mindset of saying, no, this is my schedule and I’m sticking to it, the heck with you, then you got a big hill to climb.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:32):

Great. Well and Andy, the final question we like to ask every guest before they go is, what does success mean to you?

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (17:39):

Well, success for me, the way I define it is living my why out loud every day. But there’s several parts to that, right? First, you got to have the introspection to understand what your why is in life and how you’re going to be in this world. And then having dedication to that so that you’re always looking at yourself and saying, am I living that out loud? Am I being this way in everything that I’m doing?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:07):

Perfect. Well Andy, as we bring this to a close, is there anything you were maybe hoping to share or get across that you haven’t had to yet that you’d like to share with the audience before we go?

Andy McDowell, Generate Your Value (18:17):

Yeah. Another big topic I like to talk about is love and fear. It’s a common element, maybe small, maybe big in decisions that you’re making in life. But try and understand where love and fear plays in the decision that you’re making. And do your best to always choose love.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:35):

Andy, thank you so much for a fantastic interview and let’s go ahead and jump into today’s three key takeaways. So takeaway number one is that value comes in all types of forms, including physical, emotional, financial, and many others. And it’s important for you to recognize that value does come in all of those different forms. Takeaway number two is to understand and know whether or not you are generating or extracting more value. Which side do you end up on? Are you in the middle? Are you on generating or extracting? Think about that and how that may impact the relationships you have with those in your life. Takeaway number three, specific to franchising, we talked about how a franchisee can add value to the franchise system through feedback. So as the franchisor, something you may want to do is interact with your franchisees to find out what are the customers saying in their local communities? Gathering that feedback and maybe implementing some of those suggestions and changes that you gather. And now it’s time for today’s win win.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (19:45):

So today’s win win comes from when Andy talked about the focus of worrying about the value that you’re giving to your customers, instead of the money that you make. And I would say that you could apply that to worrying about the value you’re creating or giving to your customers, to your employees, to your loved ones and friends, and worry less instead of worrying about the money you make. And I think that’s a great win. And I thought Andy summarized it so well at the very end. It was the last thing he said on our interview when he said, “Try to understand where love and fear play into the decision that you’re making and do your best to choose love.”

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (20:38):

Thought that’s a great way to end our interview for today. That’s the episode today, folks. Happy Thanksgiving, so glad you were here. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. And remember, if you or anyone might be ready to franchise your business or take their company to the next level, please connect with us at Thanks for tuning in, enjoy your Thanksgiving week, and we look forward to having you back after the holiday.

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