People who tend to find the greatest success in life are the ones who don’t shy away from new challenges, responsibilities, or opportunities, regardless of what they might be.
For new TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Franchisee Jake Whitt, he fits this description perfectly – in fact, he’s made it a personal point to never say to no to new responsibility since he started with the TWO MEN AND A TRUCK brand more than a decade ago. This started right from the beginning, as Whitt found himself at a crossroads and needing something new professionally.
“Prior to starting at TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, I was a member of The Business Professionals of America all throughout high school, and this helped lead me to a management position at a retail store soon after,” Whitt said. “During the recession in 2008, this store went out of business, and I was forced to find a new occupation. Work was tough to come by at this time, but I was able to find an opening at the new TWO MEN AND A TRUCK location which was opening in Elmhurst, Illinois in November of 2009. Soon after, I was making my first moves in February of 2010.”
The rest, as they say, was history. Working under former TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Franchisee Paul Brown, Whitt continued taking on new responsibilities and working his way up through the ranks at all of Brown’s franchises before finding himself in a management role.
After nearly 12 years of hard work, dedication, and helping move these franchises forward, Whitt reached his professional dream when Brown sold him the Wheaton, Orland Park, and Chicago Midway, Illinois franchises recently.
“I felt I have been given great opportunities throughout my career with TWO MEN AND A TRUCK, and I’m not one to say no to more responsibility,” Whitt said. “I was lucky enough to have a great mentor in my predecessor Paul [Brown]. He molded me into the businessman I am today, and I intend to use what I’ve learned from him and others within the system to continue the growth at the franchise I now own. It’s relationships like that – plus other relationships I’ve made throughout the brand – that made this such an exciting opportunity.”
These relationships and mentorships have also gone a long way in helping Whitt prepare both personally and professionally for this major transition, something he greatly appreciates.
“I feel that Paul did a phenomenal job of preparing me for these transfers from management to owner,” Whitt said. “One thing I’ve learned is that I need to be comfortable in knowing no process is ever complete in this business because things are always changing. I’ve learned the importance of asking questions to my staff members, and I’ve learned the importance of encouraging change within our staff. You must be open for new ideas, but firm in policy.”
While business ownership will be new for Whitt personally, he will be taking over franchises with an already established reputation and customer base.
There are many goals Whitt is interested in completing now that he’s taken over – everything from culture to sales and career growth for employees – but one main objective will always be top of mind for Whitt.
“Total growth,” Whitt said. “By that, I mean molding a team which can handle growth on every front. That’s always the main goal.”
It’s an exciting time for Whitt as he begins this new journey, and he’s ready to dive in headfirst.. It may not been on his radar in November of 2009 when he first heard of the job opening he would end up taking, but the hard work and dedication he has put in since then has rewarded him in a big way.
“Throughout my growth within the company over the last 12 years, I have constantly been able to speak with other franchise managers and franchisees to assist with my own personal growth,” Whitt said. “TWO MEN AND A TRUCK has been incredibly inclusive to all employees at all stages of their careers, me included. I would tell anyone who is interested in opening their own franchise that it can be a very fruitful investment for you, both personally and financially.”
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