Carrie Salone has been a McDonald’s owner/operator since 2003, but not without obstacles. Read on to find out how she attained her dream.
What inspires you to show up at work every day?
The staff and the people who have been dedicated employees for over 12 years. They have devoted their time to this brand and love their work. I know my business and life could not be the same if they were not apart of it. Their dedication to provide customer service to our consumers while dealing with their day-to-day life challenges is amazing. There is an old saying, “Behind every successful man is a strong woman.” I would say, “Behind every successful business are strong employees.”
How did you determine your career path?
I worked in the public health [field] with the Centers for Disease Control for 20 years [after earning a] master’s in public health from Morehouse School of Medicine. I retired from the CDC to build generational wealth for my two daughters. I chose McDonald’s because they were the brand that had that principle in place; a next generation program within the owner operator system, inspiring the owner’s generational legacy to grow businesses. There are owners within the McDonald where in which parents and grandparents were owners. My goal is to have a legacy for Alleah and Ayana that they may inherit something for their children.
My 20 year history in public health and disease control is where I got my people skills from and being able to relate to ALL walks of life. HEALTH is PEOPLE. Everything I learned became a training ground for me as an entrepreneur today.
Describe skill sets that are essential to future business leader and innovators.
Understanding the financial aspects of the business and how to navigate through the changing environments within the business; i.e., health care, insurance.
Knowing the basic things to start a financial portfolio.
Being rich does not make you wealthy – Wealth Brings
Be an employer of a diverse group of people and develop your people skills daily to improve your business.
Describe the innovative methods you apply to your business and life.
It is very simple. My personal testimony is I applied for McDonald’s 5 times. My first application was in 1998. I did not acquire a franchise until 2003.
The fact was I was not ready or prepared and I am so grateful that it took me five times to get it right.
That is where I acquired my four personal brand principles I use in my life and business. I refer to as my key ring.
It’s a blessing to be a blessing. “Being the inspiration for others is a reward in itself.”
How do you set goals and evaluate your success?
Life planning is as important as Financial Planning. We have to take stock of where we are and where we’d like to be in the future. It comprises of evaluating priorities and understanding the sacrifices that we are willing to make in order to attain our goals, as well as identifying the challenges that are preventing growth and committing to remove obstacles. Somewhere in that journey we have to prioritize, the real wealth that life brings to offer. At the end of the day, will it have mattered that I lived?
Names three books that changed how you saw life that you would recommend to others?
The Science of Success, Charles Koch
The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears
Drive (A Whole New Mind) by Daniel Pink
Describe why lifelong learning is important to you.
Being a “student” of my business keeps me in a humble learning mode to develop myself in aspects to grow and learn and make life long lessons a personal encyclopedia as I move forwarding in achieving my future goals.
What are the three most important factors of being a successful woman?
Success for me is feeling like you made a difference. If you ask, what you want to be remember for? I want to be remembered for having made a difference in individual people’s lives and in the community.
Get out of your comfort zone. I tell my staff all the time, you have to get out of your comfort zone. Its only when you get out of your comfort zone that you are attuned to learning new things.
Think like a business owner. Treat the companies like your “own “and be confident in the “brand.” I am very confident in McDonald’s. It has built the statue of me as women in business. I have McDonald’s ketchup in my blood and I strive on that every day as I allow this brand to develop me into a business women.
Many women already live a complex life with so many things to juggle and want their lives to be rich and successful on all fronts- a fulfilling work life and personal life, friends, hobbies, and non-profit work. There are so many options and “stuff” asking for attention that it is challenging to make sure choices match our bigger priorities and that we don’t plan as if there are 48 hours in a day.
Being a single parent, woman of God, business owner, employer, mentor, friend and sister. I use the concept of “balance” and “blend” my priorities. I host activities monthly with close friends — running 5K, picnics, jazz concerts — and invite all friends and family as a blending of fellowship and fun. There is just not enough room for everything and everybody.
Technology plays what role in your daily life?
Social media has been instrumental in me engaging in my day-to-day connects with my consumers.
If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
Love everyone in spite of his or her differences and or experiences
Who or what motivates you and why?
Being a true woman of God motivates me. My faith is my daily flag. It has afforded me to thread thru trials, tribulation and triumphs. My faith is built on God’s word and being transparent about who I am and how God principles is the floor mat of my life and business that I plant my foot on daily.
I feel I was created for the next generation. My passion is mentoring girls and young ladies. I have created a culture among my daughters that they will precede me in their accomplishment and goals. My oldest daughter (19) created her own nonprofit My Mothers Legacy Inc. in memory of my mother.
My mother, Leila Johnson, motivated me to walk in her foot steps of courage, character and integrity. She was a trailblazer in her community for service, outreach, mentoring and faith.
What are the dos and don’ts for young women in business?
Do not try and do this by yourself. Form a team of “smart counsel.” Get mentoring and coaching. Try to meet and network with people who excel in what they do. Establish a support system that renders results.
How do you successfully grow from business failure?
Learn from your mistakes and rely of those who have made those same mistakes and overcame them to become a story of failure to success.
Name your three most successful female role models and why.
My mother, Leila Johnson (see above statement)
Madame CJ Walker; the first African American woman in business
Despite their unique backgrounds, they have one thing in common: business leadership