Top 5 Episodes of 2021

This is an episode to review the most popular episodes of the 2021 podcast year. We had some amazing guests this year including the then president of the International Franchise Association, Robert Cresanti, Lisa Zeeveld, the COO/CFO of Belay, Landon Eckles the co-founder of Clean Juice, Steve Olsher – the world’s podcast authority and podcast expert, Tom Sullivan the head of government relations with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Jesse Cole, the owner of the Savannah Bananas professional baseball team… just to name a few!

As we look back on 2021 there were five episodes you all thought were the best for the year. We will provide you with some highlights of the top 5 in a mini-top five countdown starting with number five.  

Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.  

Each of the Top 5 Episodes can be listened to in their entirety by clicking on the links below:


This episode is powered by Big Sky Franchise Team. If you are ready to talk about franchising your business you can schedule your free, no-obligation, franchise consultation online at: or by calling Big Sky Franchise Team at: 855-824-4759.  


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 this is an episode for us to review the most popular episodes of 2021 from this entire year. We had some amazing guests on the year if you’ve been following us all along, including guests like the president of the International Franchise Association, Robert Cresanti, Lisa Zeeveld, the COO and CFO of BELAY, Landon Eckles, the co-founder of Clean Juice, Steve Olsher, the world’s podcast authority, Tom Sullivan, the head of government relations with the US Chamber of Commerce, and if you recall, Jesse Cole, the owner of the Savannah Bananas professional baseball team. These were all phenomenal guests.

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

As we look back, there were five guests or five episodes that you all thought were the best of the year because they had the most downloads for the year, and so we’re going to give you some quick snippets and highlights out of each of the top five and we’re going to start in reverse order, so we’ll start with number five on our list. Before we jump into the first one, just want to wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas. First up on our list is Dr. JJ Peterson, who is the chief of teaching and facilitation with Storybrand, and if you’ve been around me or our company for any amount of time, you’ll know that I love the Storybrand methodology. It was a great honor to have Dr. JJ Peterson as a guest, so here’s an excerpt from his interview, which was episode 67.

Dr. JJ Peterson, Storybrand (01:43):

You are helping your customer win the day, and there’s actually a methodology to this, a formula, really, of how to create a story that invites your customer in to do business with you. Versus trying to sell your products, position yourself as the hero. There’s actually a formula because story is very formulaic and so we teach people that formula. We teach people how stories are built based on ancient, really, going back all the way to Aristotle and Plato, that have been refined over the centuries, over even today in movies, in the movie theater.

Dr. JJ Peterson, Storybrand (02:20):

We teach people how story works, and in it most simple form, if we are going to write a movie, we may need like 30 to 40 points that go into the movie, but for the most simple version of a story, there are really seven elements. There is a character who wants something who encounters a problem who meets a guide who gives them a plan that calls them to action that results in either success or failure. Those are the seven elements of every good story.

Dr. JJ Peterson, Storybrand (02:56):

Just to break it down a little bit, in every movie, a character wants something. Jason Bourne wants to know who he is, right? It’s always very clear what the character wants. The character can’t want 20 things, they have to want one thing, because if Jason Bourne wants to know who he is, open a bakery, do all this other stuff, we’re not interested, so the character needs to know one thing. Then the character encounters a problem that gets in the way of that thing he wants, so he encounters a villain, he encounters an earthquake, something gets in the way that creates a problem. That’s what makes a story really good. If Jason Bourne’s life was easy, it would be a boring story.

Dr. JJ Peterson, Storybrand (03:40):

Then he meets a guide, somebody who already understands who they are. The girl who becomes his girlfriend, he meets her. She knows who she is, tries to ground him in knowing who he is. Then that guide and him develop a plan together to figure it out, what to do. There is a moment they have to be called to action and we know that either they could have a happy ending and he knows who he is, success, or he can basically die, right? He can never find out who he is and dies. There’s happy endings and sad endings.

Dr. JJ Peterson, Storybrand (04:17):

Now, moving that into market, this is a business podcast, so it’s not all about story structure and movies, but if we take those same principles and look at your customer and we identify your customer as the hero of the story, we need to create messaging points on our websites, in our emails, lead generators, everything that invites those customers into a beautiful story that transforms them. At the beginning, before they meet you, they are one way. Maybe they are disorganized. By the time they are done with you, they are organized. They literally transform like a character in a movie, so we need to establish talking points that invite them into that story of transformation, so we need to answer the question, “What is it that our customer wants?” We need to be able to articulate that very clearly.

Dr. JJ Peterson, Storybrand (05:11):

Then we have to be able to articulate, “What are the problems our customers are experiencing?” and those have to be obvious and everywhere in your marketing. The only reason and why somebody is coming to you is because you can solve a problem, so we identify what their problems are, we identify how to position ourself as a guide in their story, and that’s with empathy and authority. We have to understand their problems and have overcome them for other people. Then we have to give them a plan, a very clear plan for how to win the day or how to do business, how to get started. We have to have clear calls to action and we have to cast a vision for what life is like if they act or don’t act. What happens if they don’t buy our product or service? They continue to experience the pain and struggle they did before. What happens if they do? Then they have success, their problems are overcome, and they are able to have a beautiful life.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (06:07):

The fourth most listened episode of 2021 was the interview we had with Dr. Ben Litalien with FranchiseWell, who talked about social franchising. Here’s a little excerpt from that interview. His episode number was episode 72 if you want to go back and listen to the whole thing.

Dr. Ben Litalien, FranchiseWell (06:24):

First of all, I would just say that a social franchise is a nonprofit-owned franchise business. The Goodwill, for example, if they were to put a Subway franchise in one of their retail locations, that would be a social franchise nonprofit-owned franchise business. I have many clients that are nonprofits that own UPS Stores. That’s turned out to be a really good fit for clients that are serving disabled population, for example, who are working with them. They want to work in community. They don’t want to work in a shelter workshop.

Dr. Ben Litalien, FranchiseWell (07:05):

Having a job in a UPS Store, it was so touching. I asked this one adult that I met at one of our first UPS Stores. I said, “What do you like about out working here?” and he said, “When I tell people where I work, they know where I’m talking about,” right? He’s used to working as a custodian in a building at night or something, right? Because the jobs for people with disabilities, I mean, over 10% of the disabled population is unemployed. I mean, it’s huge. But they want to work in community, they want to be part of. He says, “People know when I tell them I work at the UPS Store, they’re like, ‘Oh, that’s cool.'” It gives them a sense of like, “I’m part of this, not on the sideline, and powerful.”

Dr. Ben Litalien, FranchiseWell (07:54):

A social franchise is a nonprofit that owns a franchise business. A social franchising is a nonprofit that scales their business, if you will, or their concept using the franchise model. People don’t really know this or understand it, but Goodwill operates just like McDonald’s. They charge an upfront fee. They charge an ongoing fee based on all the sales at your retail stores. It’s a $3 billion organization with 3000 retail locations. It’s as big as any franchisor on the planet, yet they’re exempt from the FTC rule because the FTC doesn’t consider what they do an ongoing commercial endeavor, and so they don’t have to have a FTC. But they’re doing everything. They’re using the franchise model, just like we’re using it. YWCA, YMCA, there are many nonprofits that scale using the franchise model, we’re just not familiar with it in the franchise community because they’re not using an FDD and not under the FTC purview.

Dr. Ben Litalien, FranchiseWell (09:14):

Fascinating arena. I think with millennials in franchising sector now in record numbers, we are going to see more and more social franchise activity because there are concepts out there now that are coming into the space that are wellness-oriented or health-and-medical-oriented that certainly could fall in that category. I mean, I think we’re just on the front end of seeing some really amazing concepts scale using franchising that are going to have a dramatic impact on society.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (09:52):

The third most listen to episode of the year was with Stephanie Stuckey, who bought and is now restoring the business that was started by her grandfather called Stuckey’s Corp. Here’s a snippet from our interview with Stephanie Stuckey, who’s episode 38, if you’d like to listen to the entire episode again.

Stephanie Stuckey, Stuckey’s Corporation (10:11):

Resilience is how you respond to shocks and stresses. A shock is just what you would think. It’s a sudden, unexpected crisis, like what happened in Texas. That’s a shock. A stress is a longstanding, underlying, often hidden vulnerability in your entire system. A stress would be poverty, lack of capital, lack of economic mobility, things that really can tear at the fabric of your organization. What the resilience lens teaches you to focus on is the stresses because when you experience a shock, which we all will, and you cannot predict the shocks, you just have to accept in business, in life, in government, there will be total crisis that come out of left field that you can’t anticipate, no matter how much strategic planning you do. You can’t anticipate.

Stephanie Stuckey, Stuckey’s Corporation (11:19):

Climate change was a lot of what I worked on. You can’t always anticipate that there’s going to be a severe storm, a hurricane, or tornado. You can’t always anticipate that there’s going to be something like what happened with George Floyd’s death and the Black Lives Matter movement, which was a social crisis. You can’t prepare for that in the traditional sense of knowing, “All right, we’re going to have a race riot on our hands.” What you can do to prepare for these crisis, these shocks, is tackle the underlying stresses. That’s what makes you resilient.

Stephanie Stuckey, Stuckey’s Corporation (11:57):

To put that in a business context, what is the underlying core of what makes a business work? I would say it’s not only the typical business logic of making sure we have cash flow and we have a strong capital foundation of assets, but also human capital and culture. What is your culture? I mean, you know that saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”? It’s about culture. That is a resilient company, that you have a real sense of, “Why am I here? What is our essence?” That’s reflected in what you do. That gives you your energy to keep moving forward.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:41):

Hmm. Wow.

Stephanie Stuckey, Stuckey’s Corporation (12:42):

Does that help?

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:43):

It does, yeah. Wow. You got my mind, my gears turning. I love it. I really appreciate that. That’s a great point. You never know what the shocks are going to happen, right?

Stephanie Stuckey, Stuckey’s Corporation (12:54):


Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (12:54):

You mentioned the snowstorm in Texas, or a global pandemic, or these things that just shock what you’re doing, but focus on the stressors. That’s really, really interesting. That’s a great point. That’s great.

Stephanie Stuckey, Stuckey’s Corporation (13:08):

The pandemic is the absolute obvious example. The pandemic has revealed a lot of the problems we have in this country with our healthcare system, with poverty, with racial inequities, all of that, those are the stresses that if we don’t tackle them as a society, every time we have a shock, we’re going to have a hard time recovering, so as a business owner, what are the stresses that you need to make sure you are addressing so when the inevitable shock happens, you’re going to be okay?

Stephanie Stuckey, Stuckey’s Corporation (13:47):

In the Stuckey’s context, what hurt us in the pandemic, and I know her many businesses, is supply chain, getting access to the product that we needed, and so now, we are trying to be more thoughtful in sourcing our supplies locally, so we’re not as dependent upon a supply chain that can easily break down. We source, and still source some of our products internationally, but there are challenges with that. If you make your own product, it’s obviously a lot easier to deal with those supply chain issues, so just trying to figure out where the stresses that could really impact your business and address them during times when you’re not in crisis mode so when that inevitable happens, you’re prepared.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (14:35):

Now, it’s time for the most popular episode and most downloaded episode of 2021 from our podcast, so let’s do a little drum roll. It is episode 40 with Matt Lavinder, the founder of New Again Houses franchise company, someone I’ve had the good fortune to work alongside with, and work with as a client and watch him and his company grow and expand across the country as they’re building a national house-flipping franchise. Let’s jump into a little snippet from the top most downloaded episode of 2021.

Matt Lavinder, New Again Houses (15:14):

I think people are born either process-oriented or results-oriented. I think there’s advantages of being each, but I think it’s important to know who you are and embrace that. Coaching is a results business. You are measured by your results. One of the frustrating parts about my own experience in coaching is I’m a process person, and so you really invest in the process, and anyone who is coached always knows that a good process doesn’t always end up with results, so yeah, that’s been a consistent part of who I am throughout has always been really focused on process, and so in building this business, the focus is on process, with the idea that if you put in solid processes, it will ultimately lead to success.

Matt Lavinder, New Again Houses (16:26):

I think it’s the long game. It might not be success next month, but when and success does come and it’s built on processes, I think it’s much more sustainable and long-term, rather than building something just for results because I think there’s ways to get short-term results that in the long run aren’t sustainable, so we’ve been really, really focused on processes. The fun part, for me, is building those processes with technology and software. I’m not skilled in building the software. I’m not a coder. I don’t have that expertise, but I have really enjoyed working with the software engineer in implementing and systematizing good processes.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:28):

Interesting. Using that technology or those systems and processes to work for you, right, finding things and figuring out how different pieces all work together?

Matt Lavinder, New Again Houses (17:39):

Yeah. It’s almost like a puzzle, but it has to be user-friendly. It has to be simplistic enough for people to use because one of the things that I’m constantly aware of is that it’s easier to build software than it is to get humans to use it.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (17:59):

Yeah, great point.

Matt Lavinder, New Again Houses (18:04):

Building processes is only half the battle. Getting people to implement them is the harder part.

Tom DuFore, Big Sky Franchise Team (18:12):

Well, that’s the episode today, folks. Please make sure you subscribe to the podcast and give us a review. We have just one more episode left in 2021. It will be a little bit of a different format as well. Wishing you and your families of Merry Christmas, and remember, if you or anyone you know might be ready to franchise their business or take their franchise company to the next level, please connect with us at Thanks for tuning in and we look forward to having you back next week.

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