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Understanding Yourself (wsg Michael McFall) – EP 130

Understanding Yourself | Michael McFall, Co-CEO of Biggby Coffee, joins host Gregg Garrett to discuss the importance of knowing thyself and understanding your purpose in order to leave a legacy. Of course, Mike speaks about his Top 3, which range from Bob Fish, his business partner, who holds him accountable, to his mother, who created a solid foundation in his life, to his YPO forum members and his very successful friend. And you have to hear what he has to say about protecting time to remain productive.

About Michael McFall

Michael McFall’s journey within BIGGBY® COFFEE began in 1997 when he and his business partner, Bob Fish went on the now-infamous walk around Michigan State University’s campus. They were meant to discuss opening a second store with Mike as the manager. A couple of hours later, the walk ended with a handshake on the agreement of becoming equal partners to grow the brand, BIGGBY® COFFEE.

Mike’s story within the company originally kicked off in 1996, at the very first store, when he took a minimum wage job as a barista. He has since held nearly every position in the company, completing an astonishing journey from barista to Co-CEO. Mike’s cowboy-squirrel-like mentality and full array of BIGGBY® experience is what allows him to create authentic relationships with employees and Franchise Owners that are built on genuine understanding, credibility, and respect. Two decades into this remarkable voyage, Mike brings a unique personal experience to the company, having led BIGGBY® COFFEE through survival mode, stability, and aggressive growth.

In August 2019, Mike published the book, Grind, with the single purpose of helping entrepreneurs establish a positive cash-flow business. This book is built on his personal experience with the ups and downs of building a business, and Mike’s “no-bullshit” and conversational approach to entrepreneurialism teaches people how to effectively improve their business. What better example of entrepreneurship could BIGGBY® COFFEE ask for than from one of the leaders who helped build the successful system up to where it is today.

Mike graduated from Kalamazoo College in 1993 where he earned four varsity letters as a member of the golf team and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. He also studied for six months at Fourah Bay College at the University of Sierra Leone where he wrote the life story of Johnny Smythe. Mike participated in the West Island College Class Afloat program in 1988 and sailed halfway around the world on a square-rigged tall ship, visiting 13 countries.

Currently, Mike serves as both a member and Forbes Contributor of Forbes Business Council. He also teaches on the subject of entrepreneurialism in his class ‘Finding Your Venture’ at The University of Michigan Center for Entrepreneurship and is a hockey enthusiast with a Moonshot to one day own the Detroit Red Wings. When Mike is not spearheading BIGGBY® COFFEE’s newest business venture or writing his latest book, he can be found in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with his wife, Elizaveta, and their four children.

Show Highlights

During this episode:

Dissecting the phrase “Know thyself” [1:28]

Welcoming, Michael McFall [6:36]

The history and future of the Franchise Model [8:25]

The “Top Three”

Bob Fish, his business partner who holds him accountable [10:12]

Mike’s mother, who set a solid foundation for his decision making [17:30]

YPO members, which serves as a support group for CEO’s [21:49]

A college friend, and brilliant friend with an incredible career, Michael Soenen [27:30]

The history & purpose of Biggby Coffee [31:59]

You have to hear this…

The role of digital in the stated vision [38:40]

Blocking time for productivity [47:35]

Additional Information

Contact Mike McFall:

Contact Biggby Coffee:

Contact Gregg Garrett:

Contact CGS Advisors:


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