JoBen and Amanda Barkey, Soccer Shots Oahu
Published May 16, 2024

Building an Intentional Culture in Your Franchise Business

Get a preview of what you can expect from JoBen Barkey’s session at the FBR Summit 2024 

JoBen Barkey, visionary leader and Soccer Shots Oahu franchisee, has made it his mission to positively impact the lives of children beyond the game of soccer and beyond his local community. He’ll be joining us for a special session at the FBR Summit 2024 in Denver this fall to share the enriching work he and his wife Amanda do to help youth in developing countries escape cyclical poverty and oppression through his franchise business, and how they structured their organization to fuel their passion and the impact it has had on employee engagement and retention.

JoBen and his wife Amanda were previously recognized with the FBR Franchise Rock Star Award for giving back to the community. They donate 50 percent of their profits to sponsor thousands of children and numerous international projects, including 15 soccer academies in Africa and South America, and building an artificial turf soccer complex in Peru where JoBen grew up.

Their organization has covered cancer treatments for a widow with four children and no health insurance, funerals of eight children killed in civil war conflicts, and covered the costs of getting a family out of Ukraine and their immigration to Canada.

In Cameroon specifically, they have paid for the education of two teen refugees and fully financed the startup of three family owned and run small businesses, in addition to one in Peru. And they aren’t done yet!

Hear from some of the people in Cameroon impacted by the Barkeys:


We did a special Q&A with the Barkeys to learn more about their experiences with franchising and how it has enabled them to pursue their passions and create a culture of giving back across their organization. Here are some of the highlights.

Why Giving Back Is So Important

JoBen grew up in a third world country surrounded by opportunities to give back. It was ingrained in his DNA that life can be very different and much more difficult outside of the US and Canada. We intentionally built our organization as a giving organization, committed to donating 50 percent of our profits to sponsor thousands of children and many projects internationally.

Parents who sign their children up for our Soccer Shots soccer classes may not have any idea what our organization does or how those dollars are being used to better the lives of others, but the truly inspiring part for us is that every single employee who works for us does know and understands exactly that service to others is why we are in business. We, and each of our employees, are all aligned and rowing hard in the same direction. Our culture beats our strategy every single time.

Advice for Anyone Considering Franchise Ownership 

Our advice is the same we would give to anyone considering going into business with someone else. Some of the most important and often overlooked questions you need to be asking are value-related questions. The “What”’ and the “How” can be figured out along the way, but if your “Why” isn’t aligned then it’s going to be challenging to find long term success in a franchise system.

A successful franchise is a system full of franchisees who see themselves as partners with a larger organization, working to mutually benefit each other. If your values are in contrast with the values of the franchisor, then the partnership will face significant challenges and likely struggle to find long-term success.

The 4 T’s of Giving: Building an Intentional Culture That Guides and Inspires Your Business, Your Team, and Your Life

Hear directly from JoBen Barkey at the FBR Summit this fall in Denver to learn how to inspire franchisees to create an intentional culture within their own businesses, develop meaningful core values to guide their organizations, and improve recruitment, retention, and employee satisfaction.

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Challenges of Business Ownership

If we could start over again, we would build our company within the framework of an operating system from day one. The best decision we made was reading the book Traction a few years into running the business, and immediately starting the journey towards implementing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) into our business.

It changed everything in our business and in our personal lives for the better. It gave us accountability and measurables to track that were predictive instead of reactive. It allowed us to expand confidently by duplicating our early success.

It also gave us freedom in the form of more ownership of our time, opportunities to pursue other passions, and we finally began to be fairly compensated. It made such an impact on us, that Amanda is now actually a Professional EOS Implementer, helping other business owners experience the same freedom we now experience.

Creating a Positive Organizational Culture

Our proudest achievements have been the ability to attract really great people to our organization, who stay working for us for many years in an industry that can experience high turnover. We love the culture we have built and the fruits of an intentional and uncompromising pursuit of organizational alignment from the founders to the newest hires.

Coping with Challenging Times

We learned that in the most challenging times kindness and compassion can go a long way toward living out our core values, and that we could positively impact every single person we connected with even if they initially came to us in a negative way.

We learned that people sometimes choose to express fear and anxiety through anger, because it’s an emotion they understand. We really leaned into our core values and just kept delivering kindness and compassion over and over again, reinforcing what we already knew—that our culture would be more valuable than any survival strategy we could come up with.

What Makes Franchising Special

The community. Without a doubt one of the greatest gifts to our life was gaining the community of Soccer Shots owners as peers and as friends. Some of them have become my closest and best friends over the years.

One of my closest friends, Corey Collins, who also owns a Soccer Shots franchise, ran an Ironman and we flew to Houston solely to cheer him on and support him in that massive accomplishment. It’s these friendships that were an unexpected bonus to joining this franchise system, but they and many others have richly contributed to our lives.

Meet JoBen and Amanda Barkey at the FBR Summit this fall and learn how to incorporate their 4 T’s of giving—Time, Talent, Talk, Treasure—into your own system to build an intentional culture.

Watch the Barkey’s adoption story and follow them on YouTube for more inspiration on giving back.

The ONLY Event Designed Just for Franchise Operations Teams

FBR Summit DENVERHow can you make an immediate and lasting impact on your franchisees’ success? Find out at the FBR Summit, October 22-24 in Denver, CO. The Summit is an intensive, event created just for franchise operations leaders and their teams that directly support franchisees. Don’t miss it!



About the Author: Ali Forman

As the Marketing Director, Ali’s role is to educate franchise companies about and inspire them to participate in FBR’s research in order to grow and improve their brands. Ali's previous experience includes senior marketing communications roles in the employee benefits, data privacy, and publishing sectors. She lives in Maine with her husband and two sons.
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