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The Movie “The Founder” Has a Few Lessons For Practice Owners

Adding ‘The Founder’ to My Fav Biz Movie Repertoire

You’ve heard about them in my podcast episodes, the movies and stories about people who took a mere idea ad tuned it into something “yooge” that inspire me and provide me with precious motivation, ideas and impetus to move forward with angst! The likes of “Moneyball”, “Jobs”, “The Social Network”, “42” have comprised my A-List of inspirationals, to which has been inducted “The Founder’ story of Ray Kroc played by Michael Keaton, star or many of my most favorite motion pictures. In fact, when I heard he was playing lead, it was a slam dunk I would see it no matter what.

But then, there is WHY I found it to be inspirational.

Ray Kroc being portrayed as a “jerk” (to put it nicely), was not why I was inspired by the story

There are many sides to every story, even when stories are based on fact, however loosely. And, where controversy surrounds the subject, such as behaviors and basic scruples, it can be difficult to write without slant. Fortunately, I have an uncanny ability to set aside slant and even facts presented (which may be true but are sometimes incomplete), and look to the story being told for useful components, something that will inspire of benefit me. Was I influenced by some of the awkward and “jerkish” conduct by Jesse Eisenberg in his portrayal of Mark Zuckerburg in “The Social Network” movie depicting the Facebook inception story? No. He was portrayed that way and he may or may not have been. No matter the real facts, the story of an idea turned into a global phenomenon, even discounting the money involved, is a useful story. Such is the case with the McDonald’s story depicted by “The Founder” and what we can all glean from the story.

Every sales man, practice or business owner and even “idea people” should see this movie!

The movie revealed Ray Kroc, a “milkshake machine salesman” with his own company, to be a dismal failure, selling to a demographic who was disinterested in upgrade of their equipment. From opening scene, the movie was spewing lessons about verticals and demographics as well as how a sales pitch and fast talk never sells a product no matter how “slick” the salesman seems to be. In fact, top salesmen who are labelled slick are very misunderstood and those so labelling them are blatently-poor observers. There is some other, less obvious quality that is getting the sales made, merely obscured by the flashy and slick talk and mannerisms of such a professional. Understanding people is always key.

Sales scripting never works. Reading, understanding and communicating with people does!

I have been in the chiropractic marketing, screenings and talks game for over 22 years and I have never scripted my way to a single close. I would doubt any telemarketer or sales person has either. It is debatable. In the movie, Ray Kroc goes to the ends of the earth to find franchisers, all of whom violate the key rules to successful franchising, the primary rule of which is consistency. Investment men proved unacceptable as franchise owners as they took limited responsibility and remote management positions, allowing for changes to be made to the model and increase their bottom line. Stumbling upon an, ironically, Jewish bible salesman, he found a man who was putting food on the table for his family. This opened the door to an entire market of successful franchisees who would succeed in the McDonald’s model =, making it a family-run business.

One word: Persistence!

Just as I talked about for 30-40 minutes in Episode 17 of Will Work 4 Patients, “When Nothing Seems to Work…” persistence is the common denominator of the successful, and the key difference between those who make their goals a reality and those who give up. Finding difficulty at home, with partners and even capital, Ray yet stayed focused on his ultimate goal of going national (and ultimately global) with the McDonald’s brand, a goal he did bring to fruition. Again this is not a commentary, nor a commendation of the methods used or the moral character of those involved. It was strictly vision and innovation all the way. Mark Zuckerberg did this with Facebook, insisting it makes no money until they figured out what it even was or what need it would fulfill. He is now one of the richest men in the world.

Practice owners, see this movie…

My ultimate recommendation is that you see the movie and look past the drams=a to see what lessons you can learn to expand. Gossip and criticism are not valuable practice-groing tools, unless you are a critic. (Which wouldn’t be a half bad idea for us to be critics of medicine or pharma – but just try to find an audience who will listen!) The point is to glean what you can from the story. Define your vision and keep putting it out there in front of you, seeing it; believing it; knowing it will happen. Then, by all means possible, (and with a little moral fiber aling the way) promote, it, nurture it, live it, build it. And, if you doesn’t seem to work out, retool and even restart. Never give up on it, even if the naysayers are starting to seem convincing. Check out Michael Keaton in his portrayal of Ray Kroc and let me know what you learned and can use. I’d like to hear.