Author: CPaffinity
Category: Feature

MIKE MORRISON: Locked Up Lynchburg

Title: Small Business Owner
Rookie Year: 2009
Turf: Huntsville, ON
Current Home: Lynchburg, VA
Education: Liberty University

Love where you work, and the rest will follow.

As a kid, Mike loved travelling up to Muskoka, a beautiful lake district in Ontario. Once he got a bit older, an old friend approached him to start painting for his College Pro franchise in the place he loved most. Mike got to work with his friends, be on the lake all summer, and earn some cash to pay for school. As he says, “we were crushing jobs, working hard and having fun”. Despite having a great experience, Mike was nervous to start his own franchise. After some convincing, he signed on to the unknown of running his own business. “It was super scary, but there was the potential for huge rewards. I wanted to succeed, and it ended up changing my life. It improved the way I approach situations, and the way I view my own capabilities. College Pro really stretched me as a person. It changed how I work and how I think. Those two years as a franchisee really impacted me”. It got to a point where Mike stopped caring about the money, and went full speed on providing excellent customer service, earning him customer appreciation awards.

The camaraderie is what Mike remembers most.

Manager weekend is great, but what Mike really loved was being able to call upon any of his peers to learn and adjust his skills. “The bonding and growing and grieving and stressing all together was my favourite part. Being an athlete, you love being a part of the team. Any time I could help a teammate out, I felt good, and College Pro gave me my teammates to support me”. The support also came from Mike’s general managers, who pushed him harder than he ever thought he could be pushed.

The skills that he learned

Mike’s number one takeaway was learning how to deal with a high stress situation. “Sometimes at night I would realize I had no painting for my painters the next day. Instead of stressing me out, it turned me around and helped me push harder to knock on doors and call customers. I think that’s a pretty transferable skill.”

Athlete. Escape Room Artist. Business Owner.

For many years, Mike was the assistant athletic director at Liberty University, and coached hockey at the school. He also opened up a side business with two of his friends; an escape room. He credits opening his own small business to College Pro, learning the critical skills for operations as a franchisee.

Men’s D2 hockey plays against New York University in the ACHA National Championships on March 19, 2017. (Photo by Leah Seavers)

Interesting Tidbits

Mike is a sports-aholic: travelling beach volleyball player, hockey enthusiast, water sports fanatic

Mike is also a foodie, he loves trying new foods and restaurants

He loves to travel with his wife, and is always thinking about his next trip




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