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Focusing on the Details to Make BIG Happen: Richard Paek and Allied Lube

Case Story

Richard Paek opened his first Jiffy Lube in Chino, California, in 1992.

He bought the business for $310,000 after selling his printing business with $100,000 down. He was a young entrepreneur in his 20s and hungry to make his dreams come true no matter what it took.

With a hands-on approach, Richard’s business, Allied Lube, grew. By 2008, he had purchased 115 stores as a franchisee and began to dabble in real estate development projects.

Then, it all came crashing down like everything else in 2008.

Richard calls the time before the crash the orange Lamborghini days.

“I was driving around in an orange Lamborghini,” Richard explains. “There’s nothing wrong with orange Lamborghinis, but it represented that period of my life. I wasn’t paying attention to my business. Everything was easy, and I was just careless.”

If Richard had been focused on his company, he would have known that his team, along with his stores, needed his leadership.

Then, by 2009, he was “minus $50M” net worth all due to the real estate market crash. At first, Richard says he retained a bankruptcy law firm to help him sort things out before deciding to fire them and work with his creditors on his own. By directly working with his creditors he was able to avoid bankruptcy.

By 2010, he was down to 68 stores but refused to give up. Richard had succeeded in his early years by being on the ground and hands-on. It was time to get to know his business again.

He began to look at performance. If someone wasn’t delivering, he parted ways. During this time, Richard solidified his relationship with his VP of Operations, Bob Seidmeyer. Bob had started with a lube store as a tech right after high school and was store manager when Allied Lube acquired his location. Bob had extensive knowledge of what it would take to build an Allied Lube location from the ground up and make it thrive.

Together, Richard and Bob focused on the fundamentals. In 2010, Richard and Bob, together with district managers, would go from store to store checking schedules. Along the way, if they uncovered inefficiencies and personnel issues, they got to the bottom of them. Then, they revamped the bonus structure and focused on marketing. By ensuring each location was “fundamentally strong and sound,” Richard and Bob began to rebuild Allied Lube store by store with the buy-in of fully invested district managers.

Sheldon Harris and Richard Paek in conversation at the 2022 Make BIG Happen Summit.

In 2015, Richard met the Founder of CEO Coaching International, Mark Moses, at the gym in California. Mark told Richard to get in touch if he needed a coach. When Richard finally decided it was time to get help on his Allied Lube comeback in 2017, he contacted Coach Sheldon Harris, an expert in franchising.

Admittedly, Richard says, “I’m not the best day-to-day manager. I say that to my teams because it’s true. It’s why I stood out to Sheldon and Mark.”

Sheldon was exactly the kind of third-partner support, sounding board, and advisor Richard needed to add structure to his efforts and activate the amazing people he had surrounded himself with to get Allied Lube to the next level.

Using the TTI, an assessment used to uncover human personality and potential and predict team chemistry, Richard and Bob were able to build even more capable teams as they continued to grow.

Working with his coach, Richard began perfecting processes to keep his leadership team aligned and working toward the same outcomes.

(From left to right): Richard Paek, Mark Moses, and Rick Stern.

Though day-to-day management wasn’t Richard’s strong suit, he started using his on-the-ground efforts more wisely, adopting weekly sessions with his leadership team to discuss and review progress on initiatives and determine who might need help to keep forward progress. In quarterly and annual planning sessions, the team tracked progress and made plans to continue growing wisely.

Though Richard ultimately wanted to exit, together with his coach, he kept laser-focused on growth, but not at the expense of quality. Though they could have opened hundreds of more stores, Richard and Bob ensured each location was operating at its peak before tackling more locations. They wanted to make sure Allied never faced another moment like it did in 2008.

Year after year, the Jiffy Lube system recognized the Allied Lube team for operational excellence. Then, in 2022, 14 years after the crash and the end of Richard’s “orange Lamborghini” years, the team was rewarded for their hard work with a massive exit. A subsidiary of Shell acquired Allied. With his team by his side, Richard had grown to 125 stores in four states, was doing $120M trailing 12-month sales, and and $17M EBITDA with zero debt.

The reward was what Richard had always dreamed of and came true because of hard work, discipline, and the structure his coach brought to the table.

“We built Allied to own forever,” Richard explains. “It was built to basically run as long as possible, but you have to have options. If I had wanted to sell and counted on that, I don’t think we would’ve gotten the price we did. We were built to grow. I didn’t have to sell and forced myself to not rely on that sale. I continued looking at building the team right up to the closing date. That was the key.”



  • Richard Paek’s business came crashing down in 2008.
  • In an effort to rebuild, he focused on building the best team he could and getting back to basics by going store-to-store to ensure operational excellence.
  • When Richard began working with CEO Coaching International, his coach helped him level up his team and structure his planning activities to keep growing Allied Lube.
  • By keeping laser-focused on operational excellence with the help of his coach, Richard was rewarded with a massive exit in 2022.
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Case Story

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