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29: Street Smarts make Millions with Podiatrist Tyson Franklin

Tyson Franklin - Business Breakthrough POdcast
From stolen merchandise to a podiatry franchise, Tyson takes us on a ride that is as informative as it is compelling. In this episode you get to listen to a true business genius, who can turn anything into a profitable enterprise. We hear about Tyson’s incredible business journey starting when he was just 12 and working as a “fence” in Elementary School to building his own Podiatry empire across Australia, and then cutting it down to one location to be even more profitable. The wisdom in this episode will give you immediate tangible business growth, as well as make you laugh.


My Guest: Tyson Franklin

Tyson E. Franklin graduated from the Queensland Institute of Technology, Brisbane, Australia in 1988 with a passion for business and marketing. Strangely he didn’t study business or marketing at QUT, instead he studied podiatry, however the following year he did enroll in a business degree at Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus.

Since then he has opened, sold, taken over and relocated well over 20 podiatry businesses throughout Queensland, and at one stage ran multiple podiatry and footwear businesses 1800km apart, proving great systems must come first and then a great business will follow.


Pivotal Moments:

  • Opened his first business at age 12 as an “agent” selling stolen merchandise.
  • Naturally artistic, had thoughts of becoming an art teacher, but was dissuaded by his brother (then a dental student) to go into healthcare because there was no money in teaching.
  • Went to podiatry school at the Queensland Institute of Technology, Brisbane, where he maximized his artistic talent creating insoles.
  • Got 100% on a business plan assignment in his senior year, something which had never before happened in the history of the University.
  • Graduated podiatry school on 17th December 1988 and enrolled in a business degree at Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus.
  • Worked in an abattoir killing chicken, pigs and cows while looking for a job in podiatry.
  • Didn’t find a job that paid enough so opened his own business in January 1989.
  • Ran his business according to his university business plan (that was marked by a professor who knew business theory but had never run a real business). The plan worked okay, but was not particularly successful.
  • Was forced off work for over two years due to health issues, and lost his business but was saved financially by an insurance broker who had previously harassed him into taking out coverage.
  • Moved with his wife to Cairns (East Coast Australia) where there was only one podiatry clinic. Opened his own clinic and doubled his business success without changing anything else.
  • Opened up another clinic 600 miles away to test his business plan. When that suceeded, Tyson opened more clinics around the country. He also started a franchise, but realized that franchising healthcare wouldn’t work because each specialist has their own methods, skills and passions.
  • A phonecall from his 6 year old daughter asking why he was never home made his realize his true aspiration of spending time at home with those he loved the most.
  • Sold all his clinics besides the clinic in Cairns. Went into coaching, podcasting and began to write his books.
  • Sold his Cairns clinic to a podiatry franchise for a nice figure.


The Advice:

Someone will always discourage you when you are starting out, but they can be wrong. Never let one person stop you from following your dream.

When you open a new business, you don’t need to go all in. Retaining your day job until your business takes off fully gives you more security, and freedom to build business without grabbing mediocre opportunities out of desperation for cash.

Take every opportunity you get to learn another skill because you never know when you can use it.

Six steps to real business expansion plans:
1. Write down what you earned last year.
2. Write down what you want to earn this year.
3. Write down all the things you need to do differently so that you can make that goal happen.
4. Now write a zero on the figure you want to earn.
5. Write down how are you going to make that happen.
6. If it seems impossible, imagine that if every person you ever loved in your life will be killed if you don’t reach that goal. Is it now possible?

Tyson increased his fees by 20-30% and the only person who was uncomfortable was himself. When you price yourself higher, you upgrade your brand and the people you attract will be different.

You don’t need to offer full service for everything you go into. Look at the products and services that you provide and find out which ones earn you the most money. Focus only on those things.

Before Tyson opened his new clinic in Cairns he went into every coffee shop and introduced himself and his soon-opening business. This created a huge buzz and his clinic’s grand opening was featured in newspapers and the local radio. He was booked out before he opened his doors.



Tyson was so fascinating and gave us so many amazing insights and truths that we did not get time for his struggle. But, he gave us so many of his previous struggles that we can all learn from.



“People with integrity, expect to be believed. If not, let time prove them right.”


Resources and Links:

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About the author, Estie Rand

I love turning ideas into money, and helping others do the same. I help small business owners with everything from marketing to fiscal management, business plans to staffing, database architecture to work/life balance coaching and I love it all! What do you need help with today?

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