I live an attitude of gratitude. I am truly grateful for all of it. Of course, there are plenty of people who have “more” and that’s fine with me, but it doesn’t stop me from being happy or grateful for what I have. I enjoy my life. I want others to enjoy theirs. I am competitive with myself but not with others. I learn from my competitors, as any good business leader does, but I do not focus on them. Instead, I keep my eye on the prize, on what I want to accomplish, and on the goals I have set to achieve. I do not take action based on fear of losing something, or having to be “better” or have “more” than someone else. I strive to do better against my own measurements of my accomplishments. My dad taught me many years ago that ‘when you compete with others, you become bitter but when you compete with yourself, you become better.’
I had the pleasure to interview Alesia Visconti. Alesia is the CEO of FranServe, Inc., the world’s largest franchise consulting & expansion organization, as well as CEO & Publisher of Franchise Dictionary Magazine. Visconti has over 20 years of C-level experience bolstering organizational development and realizing peak performance levels for both domestic and international companies in the service industry. As the driving force behind FranServe and Franchise Dictionary Magazine, she never loses sight of her mission to help others achieve their dreams of business ownership through franchising, and lives by her motto, “work hard, play hard, help others, repeat.”
Thank you so much for doing this with us Alesia! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path and to where you are today?
Ihave always had a ‘calling’ to help others. Early in my career I was a Life Coach and Career Transition Coach, and I greatly enjoyed working with people in transition, helping them to find their “career bliss.” I also never got used to hearing “you can’t do that” in business, and early on became a business owner, growing organizations both domestically and internationally. Several years ago, I was introduced to the franchise space, and I plunged in with gusto! With the decline of employment opportunities in corporate America, the franchise space was a perfect fit for further pursuing my desire to help others design a future that worked for them! Today I am the CEO of FranServe Inc., the world’s largest franchise consulting and expansion organization.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I think the story of how I became the CEO of FranServe, Inc. is incredibly unique. Often, people hear opportunity knocking but let the ‘noise’ in their head prevent them from moving forward. I believe I am where I am today because I am always open to opportunities, I assess and process things quickly, and seize opportunities that align with my goals and values. I joined FranServe as a Franchise Consultant, knowing a lot about business but nothing about franchising or consulting. But I loved the idea of helping people become business owners. Within 18 months, I had the opportunity to be the president of the company, and six months after that, the CEO. The former CEO had retired and, due to my career experience as a successful C-level executive and business leader, coupled with being a top franchise consultant, I was approached to acquire FranServe, Inc., which I agreed to in record time! Now I get to say I am a product of my own company.
Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?
Making mistakes is part of learning and part of growth. I tend to think that if you aren’t making any mistakes, you aren’t trying enough new ideas. One mistake that stands out: partnering with someone who did not see business growth as I did. Having different styles and diversity in thinking is a GREAT asset in business, but when you have two people at the helm of a ship and one wants to sail out into the ocean and the other wants to continually stay docked, the riff is bound to frustrate everyone.
What advice would you give to other leaders about how to create a fantastic work culture and work life?
Grow into it. You have to manage your expectations of what you can do, and what you can’t. Delegation is critical to any leader, and I frequently mentor people to turn more things over to others. Empowering a team by allowing them to manage and execute projects shows them you trust and value them. Too many leaders think this is perceived as laziness on their part, but it really is the opposite. What it really looks like is you not trusting your team to make decisions and/or carry out responsibilities without you. Not delegating sends a poor message to your team. It also handcuffs you to jobs you shouldn’t be doing, preventing you from assuming tasks that can grow the business.
Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview. In my work, I focus on how one can thrive in three areas, body, mind, and heart. I’d like to flesh this out with you. You are a very busy leader with a demanding schedule. Can you share with our readers two self-care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.
Unless I am traveling, I cook almost every night for dinner. I make simple, healthy, easy meals. My repertoire consists of about 14 solid meals that I simply rotate every two weeks. Extra bonus: keeping things simple makes grocery shopping effortless, too!
I eat breakfast every morning. I do not think about whether I am hungry or not, it’s just part of getting my day started, like showering or brushing my teeth. It’s usually a simple start with fruit and fiber.
Can you share with us two routines that you use to help your mind thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)
I don’t do negativity and drama. It’s that simple. Negativity and drama are all around us, and we can either let it impact our thoughts, feelings, and behavior, or we can make a conscious decision to keep our boundaries in place. While we all need to be based in reality and understand that situations occur, plans go awry, and disappointments can’t always be avoided, we can decide whom we allow into our inner circles, the people in whom we confide, and what feedback we’ll listen to and own as constructive.
I read, all the time, and on a variety of subject matters. The act of reading is informative, entertaining, and distracting (in a positive way). It’s almost a form of mindfulness because you are very present when you are reading something engaging.
Finally, can you share with us two routines that use to help your heart, your emotional or spiritual life to thrive? (Kindly share a story or example for each.)
I live an attitude of gratitude. I am truly grateful for all of it. Of course, there are plenty of people who have “more” and that’s fine with me, but it doesn’t stop me from being happy or grateful for what I have. I enjoy my life. I want others to enjoy theirs.
I am competitive with myself but not with others. I learn from my competitors, as any good business leader does, but I do not focus on them. Instead, I keep my eye on the prize, on what I want to accomplish, and on the goals I have set to achieve. I do not take action based on fear of losing something, or having to be “better” or have “more” than someone else. I strive to do better against my own measurements of my accomplishments. My dad taught me many years ago that ‘when you compete with others, you become bitter but when you compete with yourself, you become better.’
When life is very busy, and you cannot stick with your ideal routine, are there any wellness practices, rituals, products or services for your mind, body, or soul that you absolutely cannot live without?
Quiet time. I need downtime to recharge. I am “on” a lot — meetings, decisions that steer the company, networking events, speaking engagements, etc. I need alone time to simply sit and be silent.
All of us have great days and days that are not as great. On days when you feel like a rockstar what do you do? What does that day look like, and what did you do to get there?
I believe staying fairly even-keeled is one of the most important things one can do in business. So, of course, on rockstar days, I feel excited and share that with the team. But I will limit the celebrations and overexcited feelings and not let it consume me the entire day. To quote Babe Ruth, “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s game.” So, by all means, take that celebration victory lap, but then re-center and get back to business.
In contrast, on days when you feel down, what do you do?
Like any person, when I am down, I feel it. However, I know that ‘this too shall pass’ and, just as with tempering my emotions on rockstar days, I know that staying in a very negative space will only make me feel worse. So, I vent, express my disappointment to a trusted circle, and refocus on the long-term prize. Sometimes, if I feel very overwhelmed by something going awry, I will watch Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot video on YouTube and that puts many things in perspective!
Do you have a story about the weirdest, most bizarre or most humorous wellness experience, treatment, practice, or practitioner that you’ve ever partaken in? If you do, we’d love to hear it.
I like to experience different things. I’ve participated in Full Moon Drum Circles and group prayer chants. A more common, but vital experience for me is monthly massages. The release of tension combined with being mindful of the physical sensation is almost a form of meditation for me.
You’re a high achieving business leader, and you also have family and loved ones that may require a different side of you at home. How do you leave the executive at the door, and be the most loving caretaker at home?
I am very silly around my family and close friends. That is a side that most people in business never truly see. Being silly allows me to step away from the CEO role and deeper into my personal core.
Is there a particular practitioner, expert, book, podcast or resource that made a significant impact on you and helped you to thrive? Can you share a story about that with us?
We learn from everyone! I do follow the principles of Simon Sinek and Gary Vaynerchuk. I think both contribute a fresh perspective on thinking. That all said, some my greatest influences are the principles of Walt Disney. Walt was an ordinary man with extraordinary vision, and I think his passion and tenacity are why we know his name. The man stood in an orange grove and could “see” the greatest amusement park in his head, then he was able to communicate his vision with such passion and conviction that he gained a plethora of supporters.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Be Bold with Kindness
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Your vibe attracts your tribe” is one of my favorites. It makes us all mindful that our own actions shape our lives and influence the people around us. It is a reminder that we are all connected.
What are the best way our readers can follow you on social media?
LinkedIn is the best for me. https://www.linkedin.com/in/alesiavisconti/