Debby Dykes: We're catching up, we're catching up
Scott Talley: You're catching up is exactly right. Well Debby has been a franchise owner for a number of years in Texas with Network In Action. How would you - just Debby in your own words - describe what you do?
Debby Dykes: I'm a connector of people.
Scott Talley: I love it.
Debby Dykes: And that's how I introduce myself, I'm a connector of people. You need to know somebody I probably know them. So if I don't know them I'll find them for you.
Scott Talley: A business match maker.
Debby Dykes: Exactly.
Scott Talley: I love it, I love it. So you were in sales training prior to your Network In Action venture. Why did you decide to buy a franchise? What was the impotus?
Debby Dykes: There were a couple of reasons. As a sales trainer I was traveling all over the country - literally in a new airport every week.
Scott Talley: Oh wow, didn't know that.
Debby Dykes: When you know the TSA agents in the Houston airport you know you're traveling too much.
Scott Talley: *Laughs*
Debby Dykes: So that was part of it, and we had moved my parents in with us so I could take care of them. It was not fair to them to have a job where I was gone all the time and say "Hey come live with me"
Scott Talley: Leave them with your husband.
Debby Dykes: I wanted a job, I wanted a job and I'll put it that way. Because I needed something that was flexible and I could come and go as I needed but a job doesn't do that. A job has those restrictions where I cant say "Hey I've gotta go, my mom needs to go to the doctor." or you know "I've gotta take care of this for them". That was just not going to work so in my head I was like "Ok we've gotta find something that's flexible" and I honestly did not know what that was. I started looking around on the internet and talking to people and I had someone mention this franchise that was kind of out of the norm from what I was looking at. Okay I'm open minded and she talked about it and sent me information. This makes way too much sense, I get to talk to people, I get to have the flexibility, it was too good to be true. Just really too good to be true to me. I said okay I'll go listen to - you know I'll go sit in a meeting to see what this is all about becuase in my head it just didn't make sense. People wanting to go see people, wanting to have a good time together, sharing business? Come on. I went to the meeting and it was - I believe it was one of your meetings. When I saw these people they were hugging, they walked in and they couldn't wait to see eachother and they sat down and were having these really fun meaningful conversations. Okay what - okay again this is obviously too good to be true so I went and visited other meetings and every meeting was the same, people wanted to see eachother, they hugged eachother and wanted to be in they same room and were supporting eachother on a personal level, on a professional level, and that was kind of what sealed the deal. The relationship building in there is what I've always been about. You know as a sales trainer I built the relationships with sales people because I wanted to see them succeed, I wanted to see them do well, I wanted to help them, and this was the perfect avenue for me to do just that. I got to help people, I got to meet new people every day, and I just got to build relationships that I still have today. They have turned into - they're still business members in my group, and they're friends. They're just solid, good people, and friends.
Scott Talley: And you certainly got the flexibility of the time you were looking for.
Debby Dykes: Absolutely.
Scott Talley: That's awesome.
Debby Dykes: If I needed to I could run my parent to the doctor, or not.
Scott Talley: Yeah.
Debby Dykes: I could work from home and get everything accomplished and succeed, and a work from home job where you can actually succeed and do well to me is perfect - is ideal.
Scott Talley: That's awesome. I think I know the answer to this but tell me how Network In Action franchise aligns with your "why" in life.
Debby Dykes: The biggest part of it is the ability to give back and to give back I say give back to the members of my group - supporting them in any way/shape that I can and giving back to my community. I am very big on volunteering, I love to volunteer, I love to support people that need me. I just - that's the biggest thing for me being able to connect people in my group and help the community.
Scott Talley: Yeah, there's a lot of franchiseurs who talk about - I saw great clips and they talk about making a difference in the world, I'm like "They're cutting hair" *Laughs*
Debby Dykes: Right. But I feel like I truly am.
Scott Talley: Yeah, you get a chance to do that.
Debby Dykes: Yes.
Scott Talley: That's awesome. What do you believe is changing or sort of the future of networking? You see that term used so loosely, you know someone will have a happy hour and they call it a networking event or they say they're going to chamber meeting for a networking meeting. It's like what do you think the future of networking looks like?
Scott Talley: No, no. So I guess it's a - it's like we're bringing a professionalism to something that's always been sort of run by amatuers or volunteers lets be honest.
Debby Dykes: And we respect their time by not having that weekly meeting. We understand that they have a business that they too need to run.
Scott Talley: Yeah.
Debby Dykes: We want to make it as efficient as possible for them to network with us.
Scott Talley: That makes perfect sense. Tell me - talk to the people out there maybe who never network or who are likely to go at it alone. What is the importance to a business owner of networking? I know you have lots of stories but why do you tell people they should network?
Debby Dykes: You need - a business owner needs partnerships outside of those they already have. Every member brings their own network to a group like this. As you're building a relationship with the people within a group - my group specifically - you're building a relationship with their network as well. You're expanding your network, you're connecting with people who genuinely want to see you succeed. You're not - you're not running this marathon by yourself. You're taking your comrades and your friends and your co-workers and whoever else with you. You've got a team, you got your own sales team with a group like us.
Scott Talley: Yeah, yeah. I know you have a NIA members success story, share one with us that someone experienced out there in the northeast.
Debby Dykes: I have a company within one of my newer groups that does house cleaning, commercial cleaning, what is it? Vinyl fences, pressurewashing of every kind you could possibly imagine. I know him, he lives close to me and someone asked for - through facebook - or through my networking group or excuse me - my neighbourhood group if I could recommend a - someone who just did cleaning in general and I recommended, Rick went out there and did the quote, and got the business, and I continue to refer him because I know the quality of work he provides. In a meeting a not two or three weeks ago he gave me a testimonial about how hes increased his business by over 220% I think he said just because of the - my referring him to business or companies and individuals within the area and he continues to use - explain that to people how much his business has grown and how much he has gained from just being a part of this group.
Scott Talley: That's why I start to chuckle when people you know they look in a room and think that there's no one in there who can help me and I'm like you don't know who they know. But who wouldn't want to grow their business by 220% just having to show up at a 90 minute meeting once a month right?
Debby Dykes: My healthcare or health insurance member in one of my groups gained her entire membership fee back in the first month she was there and it's grown ever since because she keeps making those relationships.
Scott Talley: Wow.
Debby Dykes: She keeps making those connections that help her with the business.
Scott Talley: What would you say to someone that's looking at buying a franchise and stumbles upon Network In Action?
Debby Dykes: I would say due dilligence, however visit a meeting and you'll be surprised at how - what a wonderful group of people you will become, you'll be involved with. It's not a job it's - everyday I wake up and think "Okay, who can I connect with today?". It's fun, you're making the best relationships, you're connecting people who will inevitably succeed as being part of this group. You're rewarded every time you come together with these people. You're rewarded emotionally, you're rewarded physically, you see the happiness on these peoples faces. I walk into one of my meetings and everybody is hugging. They have those relationships that I worked so hard to help them build.
Scott Talley: And it wouldn't have happened without you, I mean you're the glue, you're the - you're the team leader, the tribe builder. You built your tribe and you're keeping it good. Okay I'm gonna ask you three questions on a scale of one to ten, ten being the highest. Where would you say you are in terms in your life of getting back in satisfaction, in the job and career that you have now on a scale of one to ten where is the feeling that you're really doing something valuable?
Debby Dykes: Oh, definitely a ten.
Scott Talley: And it terms of freedom of time to be able to come and go and do what you need to do to grow your business and still enjoy enjoy Debby's life one to ten?
Debby Dykes: Well I probably should say ten but I just immerse myself in this so I feel like I feel like I want to be engaged as much as I can.
Scott Talley: So it doesn't feel like working but you still have freedom to do what you need to do.
Debby Dykes: Absolutely.
Scott Talley: And on a one to ten your ability to be able to make the kind of income you want to make?
Debby Dykes: Definitely a ten.
Scott Talley: Yeah, so you've been at it about three years now?
Debby Dykes: Just passed my fourth.
Scott Talley: Fourth year already? Oh my gosh wow, and you've bought extra franchises, extra groups so you got a lot going on out there. What would you say you would do different if you had to do over again, or is there anything?
Debby Dykes: I think the - my biggest challenge and the only thing I think I would've done differently is build my network of people that I knew a little more aggressively in the beginning. I was new to the area so I didn't know as many people, so I would've been out networking.
Scott Talley: Getting more immersed in the community, yeah.
Debby Dykes: I would be.
Scott Talley: That's a good point because you're a great networker and a lot of your members come from those encounters where you meet them at a networking meeting. It's interesting how you - we have a funny story Debby and I always share where I called her husband Dan at the time and said I'm not sure this is gonna work after we broke the franchise and Dan like every great husband said "You don't know my wife" I'll never forget it, "You don't know my wife, watch this", and what I'm getting at is in some definitions you wouldn't be the proto-typical type-a sales person out there in your face sorta like me and yet you've built this incredible community of members. So what would you say on the sales side of this, it's not really a sales-y kind of thing is it?
Debby Dykes: I don't think it is. I think it's more - I think we're all selling in one aspect or another but its -
Scott Talley: Right.
Debby Dykes: They are engaging because of me and how I present myself and they're joining because of me.
Scott Talley: Yes, that's right.
Debby Dykes: They're joining because of how much I love the group, how much passion I have, and how much I want to see them succeed.
Scott Talley: That's right.
Debby Dykes: They're taking it on faith that I'm gonna do everything I can to help them. I don't feel like I have to sell it because we have such a great service for them - it sells itself.
Scott Talley: Your authenticity comes across and that's what people are looking for in the world, and then once they get in they get to experience it so they join because they think you're really authentic and you're gonna have value, and then when they get in there and they see you adding value and that's why you're having such a great run.
Debby Dykes: That's true.
Scott Talley: All right Debby Dykes, Magnolia, Montgomery, Conroe, Texas soon taking on Huntsville and the world. *Laughs*
Debby Dykes: Yeah, look out!
Scott Talley: South Dallas - hey thank you so much for joining me this morning I appreciate it so much.
Debby Dykes: Well it was my pleasure I always appreciate talking to you.
Scott Talley: Good to see you, love you.
Debby Dykes: Love ya.
Scott Talley: All right, bye bye.