Going for Gold: Olympian Lessons Inspire Franchising Success
ANY LAB TEST NOW™ CEO Clarissa Bradstock makes her franchisees her number one priority every day. Under her leadership, the direct access lab testing company has grown to 169 locations in 30 states and is among the fastest growing franchises in the health care industry. Clarissa says she could not have done it without the lessons she’s learned by watching the Olympian in her house, her husband, Roald Bradstock.
“Roald is a record-setting javelin thrower who made it to the Summer Olympics twice and even competed in the Olympic Trials when he was 50,” she said. “His focus on tuning his craft is amazing to watch. He will throw a javelin dozens and dozens of times in one day, just to find the perfect range of motion; it’s all very inspiring.”
Roald is not only an athlete. He’s an artist, too. He was invited by the International Olympic Committee to live in the Olympic Village in PyeongChang, South Korea, to paint murals with the non-artist athletes. This is another accomplishment — requiring great patience and focus — that Clarissa learns from.
Clarissa puts a laser focus on Any Lab Test Now franchisee satisfaction, and that pushed the company to the top of its game. “We have added two dozen new locations since 2013. This happened by focusing on the franchisees needs as well as unit level economics,” Clarissa said.
Like most former Olympians, Roald is still in pretty good shape. Just like his days on the Great Britain Olympic team, he goes to the gym daily. He continues to challenge himself. Just last year, a few months before his 55th birthday, he leg-pressed more than fifteen hundred pounds! “His dedication to his physical training is amazing. He sets a goal, trains and goes for it,” says his wife.
Clarissa started training to be a CEO very early in life. She managed to earn her first Vice-President title just a few years out of college. Clarissa now has decades of experience evaluating business models, culture and financial plans. She’s also a former stand-up comedian who frequently reflects on her time on stage while serving as CEO.
“My training as a stand-up really changed the way I look at public speaking,” she said. “Successfully presenting four minutes of content changes the whole way you present yourself and gives you a whole new level of confidence. You've proved to yourself you can be creative on your own and do so naturally.”
As a child, Roald was diagnosed with spina bifida and his parents would not allow him to play contact sports, so he started swimming, weightlifting and javelin throwing. His commitment to his sport landed him on England’s Olympic team in 1984 and 1988. “When Roald suffered an injury, he did not let it slow him down,” Clarissa explained. “He pushed through it and just six years ago, he became the oldest medalist at England’s Olympic Trials and he even set a world age record.”
Committed to her craft, Clarissa plays a big role in the franchising community. She’s a mentor with the International Franchise Association and encourages women in the franchise business to network with others in the field. “It can feel isolating at times when you own a franchise,” she said. “Giving back, meeting others who are facing the same challenges can be eye-opening. I am committed to helping others fully understand and navigate the world of franchising; by doing so, I feel like I am helping to build the next generation.”