Profile of Professional Success & Personal Fulfillment
(First in a Series of At Least 2 Articles)
Statistics are no way to start an article … unless to pave the way for a breathtaking two decades of community service … coupled with exceptional business victories. So, let’s start with today and then backtrack to where the marriage of doing well by doing good started with Midas of Richmond (MOR).
Overnight Success … After 22 Years in Business
Mark and his wife Patty own Midas of Richmond (MOR). Mark was recruited straight out of college by Midas corporate. Over the next 14 years, Mark excelled at each stage of his career and earned senior executive accountability for the acquisition and maintenance of Midas franchises in North America and Western Europe.
With that responsibility came an annual commitment to 200 days travel. The life of a road warrior took its toll in occupational burnout and lifestyle stress. That said, Mark seeks solutions rather than suffering status quo. His solution … successfully negotiated to buy the Midas Richmond market to develop franchises in the RVA region.
Over the ensuing 3 years, MOR grew steadily. Doing Good in community service was not yet part of the business plan.
Then, in the aftermath of the horror of 9/11, Mark went to Virginia Blood Services (now absorbed by American Red Cross) to give blood. He was both amazed and distressed! Hundreds of donors were streaming in … while increasing numbers were being turned away for lack of staff and facilities to service those willing to fill a desperate need for blood and plasma.
That triggered Smith’s idea to sponsor a blood donor drive at his franchise locations. His plan: Every donor would get a free oil change. It proved successful, attracting about 30 percent more donors than the average VBS drive. The enhanced payoff to the Central Virginia community … MOR donated the $41 value of each free oil change to VBS.
Doing Well … Doing Good Scenario: You donated blood at MOR. You enjoy a free oil change. Your decision results in a cash contribution to Red Cross. MOR now your go-to resource for all your automotive needs.
As evidence of the long-term success of this effort, earlier this year MOR was honored as the resource that delivered over 25,000 units of blood made available to those in need. MOR is in the process of outfitting space at its Scott’s Addition location to be totally dedicated as an American Red Cross blood donor center. Gratified with “paying it forward” to the community, Mark undertook a similar approach in support of Feedmore. Free oil change coupons were promoted and freely distributed to nonprofits and schools as “inventory” to be resold to raise money for Feedmore. Take a look at the Stats & Standings above to gauge the continuing impact of that initiative.
A Google search will present you with more detail of the significant positive effects MOR has generated and continues to exhibit in Greater Richmond RVA. Also, be sure to visit the MOR website, Facebook and Mark Smith’s LinkedIn profile.
The Currency of Doing Good
While injecting blood, money, notoriety and solicitations for others to be involved in community quality of life issues … Smith has created the largest volume Midas franchise in the system, worldwide. But the metric he uses to gauge that growth, he expresses as the “currency of good”. Whatever the Doing Good stats reflected above, Mark wants to perpetually see significant year-on-year increases to each of the causes he now champions … and those that will surely follow.
Smith firmly believes if your heart doesn’t own an issue, your head never will. That’s embodied in his being totally invested in the causes he supports and the good they do for the RVA region.
Mark’s mindset for what he does is complex … his execution is straightforward.
MOR was born from one question, “What If?” … a franchise auto shop could reimagine community investment.
Mark is often asked by business owners for guidance in developing Doing Good projects. He’s happy to help, but only with the acceptance by those seeking his assistance that it is an undertaking that must be addressed as a process, not an event. Without that level of commitment, Mark’s unwilling to invest his valuable time.
Your Next Steps
MOR is an exceptional business model for doing well by doing good. To initiate your program is a do-it-yourself project. Your payoff … a positive influence on consumer behavior, competitive differentiation for your product/service offerings … and most of all a positive impact on the non-commercial causes you choose to serve.
Google around today and seek evidence of the success of others plus “how-to” guidance to move forward.
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