Xavier Manson is part of the Frankie’s owner group. He is an equity partner alongside Anthony McBride and Geoff Manson, his father. The business was established over 5 years ago when the trio were inspired by the growth of the Melbourne breakfast and brunch scene, and wanted to make their mark in Gippsland.
Xavier brings a fresh, yet no-nonsense approach to entrepreneurship and business. We sat down with him to find out more about his story.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I was brought up in an entrepreneurial household. My dad had an extensive background in the finance and food industries, having been involved in the Hungry Jacks Group as a franchisee. At one point he was one of Australia’s biggest franchisees, with 13 stores across Victoria. It was in my home life that the notion of business mindset and sense really set in, and my siblings and I all grew up witnessing and embodying some common entrepreneurial traits — dedication, hard work, and the will to succeed. We have all since applied these ingrained qualities in different ways and in different working environments.
I obtained a Bachelor of Commerce with a Masters in Finance. My first job out of University was in China, working for an investment banking company. It was here that I developed a deeper knowledge of business, and when I made the return trip to Melbourne, dad was looking to do his own thing within the food industry, so we joined forces. We used his experience in the industry and my background in finance, coupled with analytical thinking, and applied it in a cafe setting. We wanted to build a cafe atmosphere using a fast food approach to systems and procedures which would create consistency in our products and service. It was here where Frankie’s was born.
Do you consider yourself entrepreneurial?
I would never call myself an entrepreneur, only because I feel as though the true sense of the term has been lost in the realm of social media and all things digital. While there are some incredible founders and business owners today, there are also so many people calling themselves entrepreneurs without having walked their walk. I feel as though this has tainted what an entrepreneur used to be, and the term has subsequently lost its weight and value. In many ways, I’m not that outgoing person who’s the face of a brand. We like to let our business speak for itself though our people and its systems. I would like to think that one day we will get back to a point where the term “entrepreneur” means something great.
What do you think makes an entrepreneur successful?
Mindset is the one thing which will set you apart from the rest. I believe that success is 90% delivery and 10% ideas. If you don’t have the mindset which allows you to deliver your values and ideas, you just end up being someone with a great idea, but are unable to do anything with it.
The other traits which make an entrepreneur successful is their unwillingness to quit, their work ethic, and their resilience. Success as a business owner requires you to stick at it, and work through the hurdles as they appear.
What’s one myth about entrepreneurship that you think should be busted?
One of the biggest myths that needs to be busted is that entrepreneurship is glamorous. It’s far from it. I believe the myths surrounding this stems from social media — the glitz and glamour is what gets likes, but behind these images are the hundreds of failures, and the hard work and grit for months and years before these people see success. People need to have an understanding of the level at which you need to sacrifice almost everything to succeed, and that is far from glamorous.
What’s been the best thing about your adventure so far?
The best thing about my journey so far has been developing my relationship with my dad. He sacrificed a lot to look after our family through his career, and I never really knew him growing up. Working together has given us time to get to know each other on a new level, and being in business together has allowed me to empathise and better understand the sacrifices that were made to succeed. It’s been a really humbling experience.
Have you had any failures along the way where you’ve learned a valuable lesson?
I wouldn’t say I’ve experienced any big failures along the way. I have been fortunate enough to have been surrounded by some incredibly successful people who have shared their experiences with me. I’ve learnt valuable lessons from them which has meant I could avoid some of the pitfalls that can come with business.
My greatest lessons though have been around working with people. I am in an industry where people are our biggest assets, and I’m constantly learning more about dealing with multiple personalities and overcoming conflicts to achieve outcomes that allow everyone to be content and work toward common goals.
What advice would you give to someone considering entrepreneurship and self-employment?
My advice would be to educate yourself and be fully aware of what you’re about to get into. Entrepreneurship is never what it appears on the surface or on a social media feed.
It is incredibly liberating when you achieve success and can stand on your own two feet, feeling excitement for the future. This reason alone is why people become self employed. However, we are all our harshest critics, so don’t forget to stand back and feel proud of what you’ve achieved so far, wherever you are on your journey.