Some people are born with a mission. When you are given the name Freedom, it is not too difficult to imagine that a child might grow up to serve his country. Maj. Freedom Carlson served 18 years in the U.S. Marine Corps. An AV-8B Harrier pilot and flight instructor, Carlson flew missions from amphibious aircraft carriers with Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU). These days, Freedom Carlson still flies, now for Southwest Airlines, and he’s added a new assignment to his long list of achievements – entrepreneur. In May, Carlson became the owner of an Elements Massage® studio in Westminster, Colo., and is using the lessons he learned in the military to bring leadership, discipline and vision to his new studio.
What led Freedom to franchising and Elements Massage®?
As a commercial airline pilot, Freedom had money in the bank, but just didn’t know how to make it grow. He wasn’t excited about the idea of being an employee for the rest of his life and wanted a backup plan. His search started online, and franchising appeared. As it turned out, franchising seemed like the way to go for him; he didn’t need an MBA, he just needed capital and a great system to follow.
How did he hear about Elements Massage®?
Freedom worked with a business consultant who helped him to determine the type of business that was best suited for him. He was initially shown fitness, hair and mechanical franchise opportunities, but none of them felt right. Freedom knew that he didn’t want to be reliant on inventory and costs of goods sold for the ultimate success of his business. He quickly realized that not all franchises are created equal. Some allow you to produce the same volume from a single location that multiple units with other models would generate.
Why Elements Massage®?
The Elements Massage validation process is what sold Freedom. Freedom knew that if the validation and education process was this smooth, it must be indicative of the way the franchise is run. He felt confident at that point that Elements could support him through business ownership, even though he didn’t know anything about it or massage. He also loved that the Elements methodology of massage positioned it as not just a luxury, but therapeutic and part of a healthy lifestyle. He found the financial model simple and could visualize himself in an Elements Massage®.
Where are you in the process, and how has it been?
Freedom opened his studio a short seven months after his Franchise Agreement was signed.* Freedom has said that the process has been a great learning experience and with the support of the Elements real estate department, quite smooth.
How much involvement will he have in the studio?
Freedom has kept his full time job as a pilot and will hire a manager to run the day to day operations. He plans to be very involved early on so he can learn the ins and outs of the business, but will quickly transition out and let the manager do her job.