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Let’s hear it for the Dads!

Fathers and franchising are not two topics that are typically put together, but you would be surprised at how many franchisees or people in the franchising industry credit their success to their fathers and families.

As Father’s Day approaches, it is important for us to take time to honor that special person who was always around to give us solid advice and keep us grounded. Dads have long been there to pick us up when we fall, cheer us to the end of a hard game, or help us choose our path in life. So it should come as no surprise that some of the most successful people in franchising credit their fathers or being a father for inspiring them to keep achieving their dreams.

A lot of family businesses start in franchising.

Creating a family legacy through franchising allows you to start a business with a proven system to share with your loved ones without as mush risk involved as starting from scratch. But how about being a franchisee who works his way up to running the whole system? President and CEO of Dwyer Group, Mike Bidwell, did just that. And the love of franchising rubbed off on his family too.

Starting as a Rainbow International franchisee, Mike and his wife worked for years at the grassroots level to grow the business. They added additional concepts and became the first multi-concept franchisee for Dwyer Group too. Then he was recruited to Dwyer Group HQ where he worked his way up to CEO of the entire organization.

With a proven work ethic and an intricate understanding of franchising, he grew within the Dwyer Group system, and eventually his kids became a part of the franchise family as well. When discussing career options with his son not long after Brett Bidwell graduated from The University of Texas at Austin, Mike challenged him to think about what he wanted to do long term. Shortly after deciding he wanted to become a business owner, Brett signed on as a franchisee for Mr. Rooter, one of 12 different Dwyer Group service brands. As a father it can be tough to stand back and watch your children as they learn the same lessons you did, but it can also give you a new perspective on things as well.

Mike Bidwell, CEO of Dwyer Group, and his son Brett Bidwell, franchisee of Mr. Rooter of Greater Austin.

Mike Bidwell, CEO of Dwyer Group, and his son Brett Bidwell, franchisee of Mr. Rooter of Greater Austin.

When asked about the experience of mixing fatherhood and franchising, Mike said it has been both gratifying and worrisome to watch his son navigate the start-up and business building process. “It has brought back a lot of memories, but importantly, as a franchisor, it has really provided me with a renewed appreciation for what our franchisees go through and has given me a unique bonding experience with my son.”

Fatherly advice can be monumental.

Even if our fathers are not in the same business as us, we can still recall how they helped us become the successful person we are today. Mary Kennedy Thompson is a prime example of her father creating a lasting impression and influence on her life starting at a young age. Inspired by his confidence and commanding presence, a young Mary always looked to her father, Marine Col. Jack Kennedy, for reassurance and guidance. From following in his military footsteps to becoming COO of the Dwyer Group, Mary has never once waivered from her father’s advice. Recently profiled for her close relationship with her father in Franchise Times, Mary told the publication, “My dad raised some strong women. My mom told me to dream, and my dad showed me how to reach for the dream.”

Mary Thompson, COO of Dwyer Group, and her father Marine Col. Jack Kennedy.

Mary Thompson, COO of Dwyer Group, and her father Marine Col. Jack Kennedy.

This Father’s Day let us all honor the one person who helped guide us towards becoming the adults we are today. Whether he influenced you to excel in business, to pursue the life you could only dream about, or to inspire you to show the world kindness and confidence, this one is for all the dads out there who just want the best for their kids.

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