brp-041- matt miller

Better Relationship Podcast Episode #041

Successful Franchising w/ Matt Miller 

Show Notes: (by R. Pumphrey)

Matt Miller, of School Spirit Vending, started his franchise as a part time business and grew it by creating success for others. Matt has also equipped his kids for lifetime success by engaging them in his business from a young age. Matt shares his journey from success in the military and corporate world to hitting rock-bottom financially, what that meant for his family and how it inspired his exploding business, School Spirit Vending.

Today, Matt has achieved financial freedom through helping other grow a successful franchising business. Most importantly, this allows him to work with his children and teach them valuable skills they can carry into their adult lives.  Matt carries his commitment to success into his marriage with wife, Amy, and today, they are thriving because they worked through the difficult times together.

Matt’s Bio

  • Matt is the founder of School Spirit Vending, an innovative business that supports education.
  • Matt spent the first 9 years of his career as an Air Force pilot before entering the private sector.
  • After retiring from the military, he became a top performer in the corporate world.
  • Although he was successful, he always had the desire to be his own boss.
  • A quick conversation with a friend started his 10-year quest to financial independence and business success.
  • Matt’s company now is 8 ½ years old and has raised more than $3 million for education


Matt’s Journey to Entrepreneurship

  • In his first year in advertising, he was #2 in the company out of 700+ employees.
  • Matt’s boss didn’t like his quick rise to the top so the next year she increased his quota by 96%.
  • He went from being a hero to a zero overnight and it cost his family dearly in expected income.
  • Matt had to figure out how to make up that loss and did several things on the side.
  • Matt realized his side ventures were just more jobs and he wasn’t having any fun.
  • Inspired by ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’, his goal was to find something that was passive income.
  • Through a friend in church, Matt found out about the gumball vending business.
  • He studied vending in his spare time and bought a used machine via Ebay.
  • Matt grew the business pretty quickly, but hit a revenue loss during the 2008 recession.
  • At the same time, he had several kids selling fundraiser items in his neighborhood.
  • He wasn’t comfortable with kids being out alone and knocking on strangers’ doors.
  • Matt decided to tie vending into fundraising, which would benefit him, the schools, and the kids.


Multi-Generational Business Development

  • Matt and his wife Amy have been homeschooling all 3 of their children from the very beginning.
  • One of Matt’s goals has been to give his kids the opportunity to really find their gifts.
  • When he started the business, Matt realized graphic design would be essential but expensive.
  • He bought an iMac and Zane traded yard work for graphic design instruction from a neighbor.
  • Zane learned the Adobe Suite and, at just 19, has worked with clients all over the country.
  • Sarah is a more naturally gifted artist and also does graphics work.
  • Matt and Amy gave their children ‘adult’ responsibilities earlier than most parents do.
  • At 13, each child is responsible for making money for things they want, such as special events.
  • He feels his purpose in life is to prepare them to be out on their own.
  • Matt’s goal was for his children to develop skills they could use to support themselves as adults.
  • He didn’t want them to be dependent on working for someone else to survive.
  • There are times that he gets ‘push back’ but he wants them to learn the value of money and work.


Challenges of Being an Entre-Spouse

  • One of the hardest things Matt and Amy have had to navigate is him being a Type A ‘do-er’.
  • God definitely put them together for a reason because she’s the opposite. What energizes Matt stresses Amy out.
  • There’s often a fine line between keeping her involved and not going too deep.
  • Amy supports Matt by running the household and managing the kids’ educations.
  • The best decision Matt ever made was hiring a life and business coach about 18 months ago.
  • At first, Amy was kind of floored, especially when she found out how much it cost. But, she now appreciates it because she started seeing such positive changes in Matt.
  • Amy was really impressed when the coach started getting Matt to concentrate on his marriage.
  • Matt’s coach helped him realize that whenever Amy’s at home, she can’t really rest and relax. So, Matt arranges for them to take short trips, even if just to a local hotel or event for a weekend.

Advice for Struggling Entre-Spouses

  • When he first started this journey, Matt’s family was in a financial bind that took years to fix.
  • His role was to be the visionary. Amy was patient and willing to give him that space.
  • There were definitely some rough periods but divorce has never been in their vocabulary.
  • Matt and Amy made a commitment for life and the only choice they had was to work through it.
  • It’s not always comfortable but as long as you can have a ‘short memory’, you can make it.
  • Today, Matt and Amy are reaping the benefits of their commitment to the marriage and the business.

Helping Others Achieve Success in Franchising

  • At the outset, Matt was able to put this business together in just a couple of days per month.
  • Many people are looking to develop more financial security without sacrificing their career.
  • Matt teaches busy professionals how to add SSV to their plate on a part-time basis.
  • Over time, he shows them how it can eventually amount to something significant.
  • About a 1/3 of his team who now do SSV fulltime, started as professionals with day jobs.
  • Matt knows that the power of passive income can be hard for some people to understand.
  • So many people want to be entrepreneurs but don’t know how to add it to their list of commitments.
  • Today, Matt helps people around the globe make that jump to success in their own lives through successful franchising.

Where You Can Find Matt

Susie’s website:

Susie’s book: