Franchisee Byron Zahm Talks Business and Poetry

Posted on:

April 15, 2021

Meet Tutor Doctor franchisee Byron Zahm from “The Land of Enchantment,” known to most non-residents as New Mexico. “It’s the middle of nowhere, but the sky is always blue and the sun is always warm!” Byron says of his hometown of Albuquerque.

Throughout the years, Byron has worked in B2B sales, management and even embarked on a few entrepreneurial ventures before finding the Tutor Doctor education franchise opportunity. With this wealth of experience, Byron shares some insightful tidbits about his business, what it takes to be successful in the system and what the Tutor Doctor values mean to him.

Tutor Doctor: What originally drew you to the Tutor Doctor brand?
Byron Zahm: The people that make Tutor Doctor. I witnessed their integrity, vision and that
coupled with a successful model that was up for resale was the clincher.

TD: Are those still your motivating factors, or have you discovered some unexpected benefits
to Tutor Doctor franchise ownership?
BZ: My experience is that my initial impressions were right on! I have been continually pleased
by the good people of HQ and fellow “zees” who are committed to delivering a quality service
and thus making a genuine difference in the lives of the people we serve.

TD: What has been your biggest challenge in owning an education franchise?
BZ: Personally, it is facing past failures and risking it all once again. But professionally, there is
so much to learn in this business. I recommend knowing your strength. Use it, excel in it and
surround yourself with a team of experts where you’re not the expert. I think I’m going to
follow my own advice.

TD: What is the most rewarding aspect of owning a Tutor Doctor franchise?
BZ: Having experienced some level of success within the TD system is its own reward, but the
relationships within my local franchise and of the greater TD network is a blessing!

TD: In your opinion, what skills are vital to success for a franchisee in your system? Did your
previous role help you hone those skills?
BZ: I’ve been in sales of one form or another my entire career. Working for myself allows me to
experience another level of responsibility as well as its benefits. But one thing has never
changed, do a little more than the other guy, do it just a little better than they do and
persevere just a little longer and the results will be amazing.

TD: That’s great advice! What other advice to you have for prospective Tutor Doctor
BZ: Trust the system, work the system and contribute to the system with your own unique
contribution. You will be better for it and so will all of us within the system as a whole.

TD: How has business growth looked for you over the years?
BZ: Well, I’m still very much growing my business, so it takes a lot of good old-fashioned work
ethic. I’m not under any illusion that my business will just grow on its own. I work hard, long
and late. I highly value the flexibility I enjoy. Being able to go anywhere and work remotely as
travel is a huge benefit.

TD: How do you embody the Tutor Doctor spirt and values?
BZ: It helps when Tutor Doctor values are my own values.

Understanding. First, I firmly believe most of us are doing the best we can with what we know. None of us do it perfectly, nor do any of us know it all. And this becomes no more apparent than in relationships. The closer those relationships, the more glaring our shortcomings become. Therefore, it is essential to extend grace to others in an empathetic and understanding way.

Curiosity. I find this to be particularly helpful when consulting with client prospects. Listen to them, ask questions about them and feel their need with them—it opens doors to the solutions we have.

Ingenuity. The TD system is a solid framework for which to build our businesses. Being a local “zee” allows me to access so many resources that work and modify it to my local needs. I enjoy taking something the works and making it work for me even more. It may not be perfect but, it’s getter closer all the time.

Ownership. The buck stops here! Man up, we never have to doubt ourselves if we do the right thing. And if we fail in trying, own it and add a little ingenuity the next effort. It may or may not change the result, but it will certainly change me.

Grit. This reminds me of a poem called Plod On. Those are the only words, all that changes is tempo. Plod on, plod on. “Plod on, plod on. Plod on, plod on, plod on, plod on!” I did this when I backpacked from Mexico to Canada. It took nearly 6 months, but I got there.

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