High Concept

Several franchise operations specialize in sub sandwiches. Only one specializes in the subconscious.

That company is Positive Changes Hypnosis. And if CEO Patrick Porter has his way, the Virginia Beach, Va., business will be wielding the power of suggestion coast to coast, with 500 franchisees in five years. Positive Changes already has 18 franchisees in Canada and 84 centers across the United States that distribute its products (books, tapes, CDs, and the like). The company targets people who want to quit smoking or improve their sales technique, or who are too many pounds overweight or too many strokes over par.

The son of a hypnotist, Porter has been putting people to sleep since he was 18. But you don't have to be a hypnotist to run a Positive Changes franchise, he explains. Swinging watches and spinning concentric circles are out. Rather, hypnosis is induced with a light-and-sound device that is a variation on a pain-control machine used by medical clinics. "It alters your brain-wave activity to the point where you're almost asleep," says Porter. "The machine allows us to provide the one component that would be hard to get without a competent hypnotist."


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