Kelly Roddy talks about his career in retail and the transition into franchising.
My first job was working on a farm, baling hay.
I got interested in business as a young kid. I was in the retail business selling groceries and then general merchandise. I just love finding great products and merchandising them to sell.
I used to work for Walmart, and I worked my way up into different positions and management. I then left the retail world to go to Scholastic, which is the world’s largest publisher, then I went to Schlotzsky’s, a fast casual sandwich shop based in Austin, Texas, where I worked as president of the company.
I didn’t know there was such a thing as franchising growing up, and then I met a friend who was a franchisee. I understood franchising a little bit from that, and the first time I worked in franchising was as the president of a company.
I think one of the toughest challenges about franchising is that there are a lot of choices now. There are literally thousands of different types of franchises to choose from.
General good advice to live by is to just set big goals for yourself or write them down and look at them every day.
The thing I love most about my job is building something. I think we do a great job of putting together strategies around how to build great brands and how to improve unit-level economics.
The hardest part of my job is that there are always outside influences. Commodity prices go up, food goes up, there can be supply chain issues. You never know what’s coming around the corner. You just have to be ready for anything.
I have a lot of good friends that are also CEOs of restaurant franchise companies. It’s so good to call and get advice from them!
The funniest thing that ever happened to me at work was when I told a manager that we needed someone to cover the garden area of a shop, meaning to have someone ‘covering’, or working at, the register. But I came in the next day, and it had a tarp covering on it.
I think my professional strength is that I help others to see all the possibilities. I have a vision, and I try to paint a picture of what it is and help people understand that vision and get them excited about it.
I would have gotten involved with private equity and franchising earlier in my career. It’s an opportunity for so many people to create wealth and generate success.
When I first meet people and they learn I run a business, they assume I’m a chef or that I know a lot about food. I love food, but I’m no chef.
I think multitasking is overrated. I feel like if you’re a good multitasker that means you just do a whole lot of things really averagely. I think you should set priorities, pick the most important ones and do them very well.
From his morning activities to his wind-down routine, we take a sneak peek behind Kelly’s busy schedule.
I don’t have a set time for waking up in the morning. It honestly depends on the time of year, so I wake up when it starts to get light, on average it’s about 6.00 am to 6.30 am every morning.
The first thing I do in the morning is get my coffee, and my girlfriend and I typically meditate and set our intention for the day.
I have a no-technology rule in the morning. I might glance to make sure there are no notifications from my kids, but I don’t look at my phone, I don’t do emails or anything technical.
I don’t care much about breakfast. I think dinner is the most important meal of the day.
I typically set my weeks out in advance so that I know the entire month. I don’t believe in working on everything all the time.
My business is my passion so I’m always traveling. I’ve learned how to work wherever I am.
The workday goes as long as the workday needs to go. I typically do my exercise in the morning so after work, we either cook a big meal or do some sort of fun activity.
I set my meetings up usually weeks in advance, and then I follow that schedule so that there’s time for other things that come up.
Get to know…
From Kelly’s favorite food to where he would love to live more than anywhere else, we get to know the man running WOWorks.
My least favorite chore is washing clothes. I hate it, I wish they would automatically be clean.
I think my guilty pleasure is traveling, staying in nice places and doing unique experiences.
The thing I value the most in a friend is having a shared sense of morals and values.
My idea of success is being able to grow a business that allows others to achieve their goals.
I listen to a lot of alternative rock; I like music from the 90s.
I love the film Master and Commander. It’s set in the Galápagos, it’s beautiful, and the music is good.
I love Mexican food, especially fajitas.
The most adventurous thing I’ve done is learning to be a pilot.
The place I’d love to live most is Italy. The people seem to be focused on enjoying life and eating good food.
If I could choose any superpower it would be time travel. I love history and would love to go back and see what people were thinking and talking about.
If I wasn’t doing my current job, my dream job would be to be an astronaut.
I would love to be able to speak every language and to play the piano.