President and CEO of PME 360, Business Growth Consultant, Internet Marketer, SEO Fanatic, Entrepreneur, Hard Worker, and Family Guy.
Ever since I was 14 years old, I have been in business. Not all of them have been successful businesses, but regardless, I've been cultivating my business knowledge for 16 plus years. My passion has always centered around taking my business ideas and testing them in the real world.
When I was 15, I started working in my family remodeling and home building business. But I was also pretty good at baseball and went to college to pursue my dream of playing in the big leagues (my father saved all the messages from the scouts that use to call). Unfortunately, a gruesome ankle injury ended that dream pretty fast. I wanted to apply the drive and determination I had in sports to my business pursuits, so I went back to working in the family business; this time, I dove in head first!
I devoured all the information I could get my hands on related to remodeling, marketing, business, sales, finance, growing a business, and the internet. I was learning and doing a ton and working really long hours. I was quickly finding that it was hard to fill all the roles our company needed with the few people we had. Doing it all myself was leading to burn out.
Not to mention that at the time, very few local businesses had websites and the cost to get one professionally done was astronomical. So I took that on as well and learned everything I could about internet marketing, building a website, conversion, and search engine optimization.
I understood really quickly the power that search engines were going to have on local businesses as leads started to come in. First it was one per week, than it was 3-5 per week and some weeks we were getting several leads per day. It was awesome and the quality of the leads were as good as the referrals we were getting. We were landing $50k, $150k, $300k, and even our first million dollar deal from an internet lead!
We were rolling and were achieving real success, but I was young and I wanted more. I wanted to own my own destiny and started looking at developing a subdivision.
A Major Failure Leads to Future Success and How a Terrible Business Deal Changed My Life Forever
No great entrepreneur has achieved great success without great failure. I have failed, succeed, failed again, and succeeded. It's not from your success that you learn the most; it's from your failures. You learn the fastest from those ideas, clients, and business deals that didn't work out. The key is to not repeat your mistakes and have the ability to leap 2 steps forward each time you're knocked 1 step back. That's what I've been able to do and it's what I teach my clients to do as well.
While working in my family's remodeling business, we were really starting to put it together as I mentioned above. We had developed a unique selling proposition, a unique guarantee, online marketing was driving our growth, and with an awesome reputation combined with consistent lead flow, we were doing really well.
I had just built my first house for my new wife and I to live in, I was making lots of money, taking great vacations (when we had the time), bought my first car, and the momentum was rolling. I had the nicest house on the block at 24 years old and was on my way......until our lives changed course forever.
I was convinced that I could quickly make more money by developing land, building homes and then selling. The real estate market was solid and I was introduced to a real estate developer in our area that seemed like just the guy to take us to the promised land.
Without going into to much detail (I will someday explain everything that happened), we were taken for a ride. I look back and cringe at all the mistakes I made with the deal. It quickly turned into a nightmare and we were in serious trouble. The stress it brought on my family, especially my father, was something I would never want to see happen to anyone. It was brutal, but we survived by making tough decisions and focusing on the things we could control.
I started working two jobs along with continuing to run the business. I sold insulation, started an Ebay business (at one point I did $20k in one day on Ebay), dabbled in real estate, and did what I could to survive while the business could no longer afford to pay salaries to my father and I, and we worked at climbing out of the real estate mess we had gotten into. In hindsight, if I had just stayed focused on the remodeling business, we would have been fine, but when you are in the middle of that much stress you don't think as clearly.
I Start a New Business and My Wife Quits Her Job to Take Care of Our Newborn Son...All in the Same Month!
I continued to pursue my knowledge in the world of internet marketing and web design and was completely burnt out by all that I was doing in the real estate/insulation/remodeling/home building/and Ebay world. I needed a change and saw the enormous potential of helping other small businesses generate leads online.
But I don't do anything half way, which is something you'll quickly learn about me. I ended up scraping together some funds with an equity loan against my house and put the rest on my credit cards to buy an existing internet marketing agency. I took a huge calculated risk to do what I felt was necessary to survive, and with my wife being one of the smartest people I know, and having graduated with a Marketing BA at Simmons, I already had the beginnings of a great team.
I didn't know the first thing about running an agency and this was an entirely different business than what I had been running. I needed to learn fast to survive and purchased the business a month after my wife quit her job and we had our first child. Talk about pressure, that was its peak!
Realizing that I needed to build a quality team around me to grow beyond myself and my wife, I found some awesome people who were as hungry as I was to change the lives of small business owners and remodeling companies. That started with hiring my brother in law, Ron Rodi. He took the lead in bringing in new clients in Chicago. We had production running in Portland, ME although most of our clients were in the Windy City. Without Ron's expertise we probably wouldn't have made it, and we already had too many responsibilities for one or even two people. The same could be said for Bryan, Pat, and Katharine (more recent team members), who are some of the smartest people I know and I'm so grateful that I found and hired them first at PME 360! I couldn't do what I do without them.
We lived frugally that first year and there were times when we were not going to be able to pay the mortgage unless we landed another client. Guess what? Every time we needed something big to happen, it did. Effort is an amazing thing and if you stick with it and apply consistent effort you will succeed. I tend to apply more than just consistent effort though, and that's why I feel that I have quickly become one of the countries top consultants in the remodeling and home building industry. I'm not bragging here, but the amount of time I have invested allows me some room to boast a little bit!
Within 12 months, we were profitable and I was able to take a salary, quit everything else I was doing, and focus on growing our internet marketing agency, PME 360. Running an internet marketing agency has undeniably been the hardest thing I have ever done, and you just read about the time where I was working like 10 jobs! It's hard, damn hard, but I love helping my clients achieve real success in their business.
Despite Hundreds of Websites and a Complete Domination of Local Search....Most Gurus Still Have Never Heard of Me!
Somewhere between then and now, we have built and managed hundreds of websites
and marketing campaigns online. My team and I have developed some of the best local marketing software on the planet. We generate traffic and help businesses grow in some of the most insanely competitive markets in the world.
And most important to me, I have an awesome family (thanks Mom and Dad!), 2 kids, and a great wife who supports my tireless work ethic and the ups and downs of running a rapidly growing company and consulting business.
I have consulted with a lot of businesses, including Fortune 50, 100, and 500 companies. However, being the somewhat introverted and private person that I am, this is not what I like to do. Big companies aren't easy to deal with and it takes forever for them to make a decision. They typically want blood from your first born before they'll hire you, and that is not something I am interested in donating. I want to work with SMB's because if I help you generate an additional $1,000,000.00 this year, I have changed your life directly. If I do that for a large franchise it goes almost completely unnoticed and unappreciated.
The big gurus don't know me because I haven't had the time to schmooze with them and kiss their feet just to do a small joint venture deal. I won't do it. If they want me, they can come get me and I would certainly listen, but right now, I don't need them. I'm also not much for public speaking but I'm working on that. For years, no one outside of my clients even knew I existed. I quietly and "sneakily" built a small empire and dominated local search results online for local businesses and continue to do so today. But that is about to change...
The Word is Out! The "Unfair Advantage" Every Remodeling Business Desires to Have
One of my favorite clients said it best recently..."I’m extremely busy. To that end you have meant so much to ReVisions that I’d be happy to talk to any of your prospective customers to discuss my experience. That said… they better not have an area code from Ohio! I can’t afford to have my competition on your program." - Ted
I hate self promoting but I need to say this because I truly believe it and so do my clients.
I am that "unfair advantage" every remodeling business is looking for to crush the competition. I solve extremely complicated marketing problems for remodeling businesses and I help them grow no matter what the economy is doing. I would have loved to have the tutelage of someone like me when I was trying to figure out all the complexities of marketing and growing a remodeling business, especially trying to sort through the ridiculousness that has become online marketing.
I really do enjoy working with every single client I have, and the ones I didn't enjoy collaborating with are no longer clients. I hate losing clients, and I take it very personally. That will never change. However, sometimes you have to fire clients who are grinders and just plain NOT nice human beings. Success in business is certainly about getting financial results, but developing mutually beneficial relationships is also very important to me. What I do works 100% of the time and it really comes down to how well I work and jell with my clients.
To give you an example, last year, I walked from a client who was with me for 2 years and was paying over $10,000/month for seo/organic marketing alone. He was abusive and belligerent, and no amount of money is worth that abuse. The results we got were absolutely incredible, but some people you never can make happy, which is another lesson I want to share at some point. We quickly replaced him with one of his competitors and we keep on going. Grinders beware! You need not contact me as I can sniff you out from a mile away now! Luckily for my clients, I've thoroughly absorbed this lesson and I can help business spot these types of bad clients as well.
I'll be working on giving my blog readers everything I can through new content, videos, podcasts and more. I'll also be helping a select few clients crush it in their businesses. I don't have time for networking and I rarely have time for forums so you probably won't see me in either capacity.
The BIG secret is.....not everyone should become a client. Be selective, be hard to get, ask the right questions, charge a premium, and quickly get more freedom and more money in your life. Help the right people and avoid the ones that will make your life miserable. I bet you could all name the top 5 worst clients you have had but would probably struggle remembering the top 5 clients you had.
That's me with the PME 360 Team powering through some new local search strategies
You also won't see me rubbing elbows with celebrities or the top gurus in the industry. Again, that just isn't me. I like my privacy, I don't desire to be famous, and I certainly don't want to take some corny picture with someone I don't even know just so I can put it on my blog or the PME 360 site. I know a few celebrities, athletes, and industry gurus that would be happy to send me a testimonial, but they aren't a client and that isn't what matters to me or the people I help. You will also never see a picture of me bragging about my sports cars, houses, or the vacations I take. I will leave that for the other guys even though at 32, I pretty much have everything that was on my dream board from 15 years ago. I'm still contemplating purchasing my first vacation home in the White Mountains, but that too will come.
I continue to advance my knowledge and skills and most would consider me one of the leading local search and organic/seo marketing experts in the world with unique knowledge and experience in the remodeling and home improvement industry.
So Where Do We Go From Here?
You know a lot about me now and that is really only 1/20th of the story.
Here are some additional resources you can use to learn more about how to grow your remodeling and home improvement business.
Newsletter - You can learn more by reading my blog and subscribing to my newsletter "Remodel Your Business and Grow!".
My Book - In Q3 of this year, my book will be released and ready for purchase. Pre-Register for a Free Copy (first 100 people will get a free copy of the book)
"Reputation Marketing Guide for Local Business: How to Power Growth For Your Local Business by Getting a Reputation Online"
Contact Me - For a limited time, I am offering a Free Marketing Strategy Session + Free Local Search Audit. Click here to learn more.