Dave Lukas Chats with Jeff Dudan
219: Discernment, How Jeff Dudan Built a Massive Business with Over 200 Locations One Decision at a Time
This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Jeff Dudan. Where to start with Jeff? Jeff is the founder of a massive franchise, Advantaclean which he started in 1994, built it to over 240 locations in 37 states and exited just last year. He then went on to start Dudan Partners, a company that partners with clients to help them start new franchise businesses, grow existing ones, and invest in potential opportunities.
He is also a former D1 college football player, was featured on CBS’s Undercover Boss, a Forbes Contributor, speaker, consultant, and tireless advocate and supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
And if that wasn’t enough, he went out and wrote a best-seller called Discernment, The Business Athlete’s Regimen for A Great Life Through Better Decisions and this is the major area I want to focus with him today – how our daily decisions as entrepreneurs make such an impact on us, not only now, but for our future. So, let’s jump in.
Jeff has always been a Misfit. He grew up in Chicago and was a great athlete. He originally was basketball star, but found football and loved it. He walked on at University of Northern Iowa, but was a terrible student and after 1 year, could not make the grades. He went to a Junior College, got his grades up and went to play ball at Appalachian State.
When he got there, he realized that he was interested in learning and there was a path for him. He started a painting business painting student housing to pay for college and by the time he graduated, it was doing so well, he didn’t need a job. Then, in 1992, a friend from south Florida called and asked if he would come down and work with a restoration company to help get things rebuilt.
He originally thought it would be 3 weeks, but it ended up being 3 years. He cut his teeth in the restoration business and ended partnered with a few others to create the business that would become Advantaclean in 1994. Over the next 10 years, they built out the business with locations across the south. Along the way, Jeff bought his partners.
It was in 2005 that he was coming back from being on the road for Hurricane Katrina and drove through the night to make it to his son’s football game and had a realization that he could not continue being away and doing things like he was.
He realized that “Our true values are what we tolerate and must have.” He knew that building this business further would require him to be constantly on the road, so he decided to franchise. In 2005-2008, he sold all of the locations he currently owned as franchises and then in 2009, they launched to market and built it to over 200 locations in 37 states. Then in 2018, he sold the business in its entirety.
What are your values now in business and life?
Define Discernment and explain why it is so important to understand…
Is there a process for how to make good decisions that consistently work?
At the 18 min mark, Jeff talks discusses how he learned to understand the power of his mind and how to shape his thoughts.
How do we know we are making a good decision and are on the right track?
Any daily habits people can practice to make the best decisions?
What is advice your can give a 1st time franchise to help them be successful?
Advice for someone thinking about franchising their business?
What are the most important things you learned in your sports career that translated well to entrepreneurship?
Anything else to share?
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