Education: Indiana University Bloomington
Rookie Year: 2006
Turf: Bloomington, Indiana
Current Home: San Francisco, California
Who is Sam Yudes?
Sam Yudes is a partner at Glass and Marker, a full service digital creative agency that specializes in video. The company is in its’ eighth year and has made over a thousand videos since opening! They’ve created videos for companies like Target, Capital One and so many more. But before all that, he was a longtime franchisee, field advisor and general manager with College Pro.
How did he get there?
“My journey to Glass and Marker was a winding one.” Sam said. He spent a number of years at College Pro, climbing the ladder and being given more and more responsibility. Job site manager for one year, franchisee for five, and two years as a general manager. Then in 2013, Sam decided it was time to take a leap!
“I had been with College Pro for so long and had such a great experience. But I was ready to do other things with my career and my life.” The next part of Sam’s journey began when he and a friend from university decided to start a new business in San Francisco in investment banking. “It was a combination of wanting to get out to the west coast, wanting to do something new," Sam said.
"Having success at College Pro enabled me to take that jump.”
“I moved out, kind of on a whim!” He immediately began studying to pass the exams necessary to become a licensed investment banker. After that, they started their new company: Growth Technology Partners. They found a niche market for investment banking and had great success.
There was a slow down in 2016 in the market, and around the same time Sam met the two owners of Glass and Marker. He sat down with them to discuss his background, and they asked if he’d join on to provide some leadership coaching on a part-time basis. “This was fully because of my background at College Pro, actually.” Sam said about the opportunity. He started out working with them 20 hours a month, but quickly realized it wasn’t nearly enough time. Over time they realized they could use someone to help run the business, with Sam’s leadership and business expertise, he was the perfect fit. Sam’s been with Glass and Marker for just under three years.
Before all of that, Sam was a freshman, studying music, at Indiana University Bloomington. He wasn’t yet sure what he wanted to do professionally, but he was looking for a full-time summer job where he could make good money to pay for his education. His friend had recruited him to join on with College Pro as a painter and job site manager, to work with franchisee Matt Fields.
Side note about Matt Fields: Matt went on to become a very successful entrepreneur, he created the popular clothing company Dope Couture!
His College Pro Experience
“First year as a Franchisee was tumultuous.” Sam said. They were new in the area, College Pro franchises had been dormant for years, and they were working hard to bring them back to life. “I definitely spent a good amount of time on roofs and ladders myself, year one.” Sam said with a laugh. All apart of making it through your first franchise year. Sam said his first year was average, but it gave him the drive to do more his following year.
“After year one I had this feeling like, ‘oh, I can definitely crush this.’”
And he did. He attributes some of this confidence to the time when the Midwest Vice President drove from Chicago to Bloomington to sit down and talk. “It instilled a lot of confidence,” Sam said. The VP told Sam that he was going to be the next platinum franchise owner.
“He was telling me, ‘I know you don’t know it yet, but you’re going to be the person who hits platinum.’” Sam thought to himself, ‘this is the coolest thing ever.’
Over the next four years Sam had a meteoric rise, he went from running a $70,000 franchise to a $225,000 franchise. What kept him coming back was his drive to increase success, and his love for building the College Pro brand in his town. “Eventually it became that anybody who wants to have their house painted in the town would feel crazy not to go with College Pro.” Sam said.
The skills and lessons learned along the way at College Pro have made a big difference in getting Sam to where he is today.
“All of the people that I know from College Pro, not one of them looks back and is not grateful for everything they learned and the experience they had. I would say if you aspire to be a successful professional of any kind, there are fundamental skills that you learn in College Pro just by nature of having the level of responsibility that College Pro is willing to give you, that will carry you forward in your adult life.”
Join in on the conversation with Lyndsay Armstrong when you subscribe to College Pro Community .