Matt Miller is a former air force pilot (T-38s and C-5s for the avgeeks like me out there) and former advertising executive who is Founder and CEO of School Spirit Vending. He started a passive ‘on the side’ business to help schools raise money through vending machines and grew it into an empire with 110 machines himself and over 100 franchisees.

Matt started the business with a used gumball machine he bought off eBay. Now he helps franchisees place vending machines in schools that dispense school-branded stickers and mascot stickers. They help raise school spirit and generate income for the school as well. On 25 October 2016 it will be 9 years since matt placed that first machine in his first school. Now Matt’s in 36 states in the US and is expanding into Canada early next year.

matt millerSchool Spirit Vending started as a licensing and distributorship model before Matt turned it into a franchise.

Matt hired a coach, Aran Walker, who spent an hour with him each week expanding his knowledge, holding him accountable, challenging him and pushing him outside of his comfort zone. Matt realised he needed a coach because, “The speed of a group is determined by the speed of the leader.”

Matt recommends following Seth Godin’s blog [so do I – I read it every day! M.] and Dave Ramsay and his EntreLeadership program.

Typically School Spirit Vending franchisees have 20-30 machines per franchisee. Matt believes in a culture of not ‘pushing’ people but letting them go at their own pace. Franchisees typically put in less than two days a month to service and stock their machines.

Podcasting is something Matt uses in an unusual way – he communicates to his franchisees through a podcast. Most people are deluged with emails and blog posts, so he puts out a private podcast just for SSV franchisees, where he can shine a light on successful franchisees, impart knowledge and best practice, and give tips to franchisees. Well done on a great use of podcasting Matt!!

The worst moment in business came for Matt when, in advertising, the leadership raised the sales quotas by 90%. He was struggling to pay bills and even got turned down for a payday loan. But – Matt knew that these circumstances weren’t a reflection of who he was. He made it a MUST to get out of the hole he was in, and tried a bunch of strategies until he found the vending business, and now he has 110 machines!

Matt recommends Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast [Listen to Matt’s episode with Pat about School Spirit Vending here], and Eventual Millionaire by Jamie Tardy. He also recommends The 12-week Year and Essentialism – a book about cutting down to the essentials in your life.

For industry information Matt relies on the IFA and his franchise attorney.

Matt’s piece of advice for business owners is find your passion and get busy putting in your 10,000 hours – there’s no shortcuts, only hard work that will get you to where you want to go.

Matt has offered a copy of his ebook to you for FREE – visit to instantly download your copy of, “Live Your Dreams: The Top 10 Reasons Why You Need To Start A Vending Business”

Reach out to Matt at