Patience, Hard Work, and Chicken!
Self-improvement, empowering others, and being patient are some of the key tennets of being an entrepreneur, and Ben Prine is a local entrepreneur who believes this and strives to apply this to his business. He is a member of the Highland’s Economic Partnership Steering Committee and owns a Chick-Fil-A franchise location right here in Cookeville, Tennessee. At age 14 his first job was at a local Chick-Fil-A in Knoxville. His boss there, Eddie Halliday, owner of three locations in the Knoxville area, inspired him all through high school and college by making a positive impact on his employees and the community while owning his own business. Early into college he decided that being a franchise owner was right for him because of this and his love for Chick-Fil-A, what it stands for, and the opportunities it provides.
From there Ben worked to put in the time required to be a worthy applicant for owning a franchise. He went to the west coast where he worked for the corporate side of Chick-Fil-A, going between Arizona and California doing grand openings and proving himself as a reliable employee. After two and a half years of this he found the opportunity to apply for the Cookeville location back here in his home state of Tennessee, and he got the job in June of 2007.
When talking about success Ben is of the mindset that you can always improve your current situation. This attitude comes from his firsthand experience of working his way up to franchise owner and turning his location into the profitable business it is now. He believes in the principle of continuous improvement when it comes to his business and having a positive impact on the community. He strongly advocates that your goals should always be changing for the better as you work on improving yourself.
As far as having a mentor goes, Ben names Eddie Halliday as the most influential person in his life regarding the process of finding his chosen career path. This, he says, is because of the way Eddie lived his life and the positive influence he had on those who worked for him. Ben now has the same sort of vision for his franchise, and he hopes to be a good influence and an inspiration to his own employees just as Eddie was to him.
The way Ben runs his business is by empowering all of his employees to be the best they can be. He focuses on his leadership team, sharing his vision for the location with them, helping them to implement it, and letting them have the freedom to run with it in new and creative ways. An emphasis on the entrepreneurial spirit gives his business a firm foundation to create successful employees and community members.
His most important advice for potential entrepreneur’s and anyone looking to advance their career in any way is to chase after your vision with everything you've got. This path will not be easy, there will be a lot of road blocks, but even in the beginning when profitability eludes your business, pushing through is the best course of action. Looking towards the future and staying patient and passionate is the path to self improvement and eventual success.
Ben hopes his influence can make Cookeville a better place that eats more chicken!