Tim Fitzpatrick | Thriving in a Family Business and Transitioning To Entrepreneurship and Marketing

John Corcoran 11:39

cash intensive and you have to put the money up front, right. So that’s a model

Tim Fitzpatrick 11:43

distributor. Yeah, that would have been, that would have been a roadblock for us. But when we combined forces, we were able to do it. Got it. Got it. And so it started there. And then we’re like, gosh, we we actually there’s, there’s power in numbers here, we need to actually start joining forces. And so the individual distributors in each market, we formed another company, which was avid. And that allowed us to start to approach manufacturers, like Panasonic, like Samsung probably wouldn’t have even talked to us as an individual. Just you approaching

John Corcoran 12:18

them in order to warehouse their materials or supplies. Yeah, mentors

Tim Fitzpatrick 12:24

represent and sell their stuff. And so, um,

John Corcoran 12:28

so not just warehousing, but but selling also.

Tim Fitzpatrick 12:31

Correct. Got it. So selling all their stuff. We the market we were in was very fractured lots of really small dealers, they didn’t advertise, they they had, you know, commercial locations. So they, a manufacturer could not effectively call on that could only really only be effectively service through distribution. And so we allowed that we were able to go to them and say, Hey, we can give you nationwide access into this market tomorrow.

John Corcoran 13:02

Could because of the Reach interesting. And that’s the same argument in rationale behind why we as a company, have been talking with other smaller podcast production companies, combining forces as well. I’m curious, though, for you. The What was it like combining forces with all these different, you know, independent people that were used to being independent? And making one company, you know, who had decision making? It sounds like kind of there could be leadership by committee, which doesn’t always work out? Well, like how did you manage all that the management of the company, the leadership?

Tim Fitzpatrick 13:42

Yeah, that is a really good question. So the way it was structured, we each had our own individual distribution companies, in our respective geographic locations, you know, Northern California, Southern California, North Pacific Northwest Rocky Mountains, when we formed avid avid was actually formed as an LLC, and each of the individual distributor partners, were members of the LLC. And there was your right on the show, you’re going down the right path, when there was there was a management committee was formed for members that were part of the Management Committee. And, you know, I’m not going to tell you it was it was perfect. It wasn’t there were times where I think things were a little bit challenging here and there. But we, they were the ones that kind of drove things, but then there was constant communication to all the other members as to what was going on. We met on a quarterly basis. If I remember correctly, it’s been a while now, but regularly throughout the year, we would all get together, talk about what was going on what’s going on in our businesses. And that’s another area where it kind of acted. Not only were we did we have a company that we’re building, but it was really it was a mastermind of other people that were doing the exact same thing. We were

John Corcoran 15:00

There’s real benefit to that, because you’ve got all those different brains people experiencing similar types of challenges and work exactly. Yeah.

Tim Fitzpatrick 15:07

You know, and some people had already had those problems. So it wasn’t, you know, they helped us solve those problems quicker, and get to where we want to go faster. So there was just, there was a ton of leverage. And there was a ton of collaboration and sharing to help us all be better. Well, this

John Corcoran 15:29

makes total sense from, you know, math major to consumer electronics, to warehousing Logistics and Distribution to a marketing firm after that. So how did you go from this from the warehouse and facility operations with Avid to your own marketing firm?

Tim Fitzpatrick 15:51

So the short story is, we were acquired in 2005. So the company that acquired us bought all 12 distribution companies, and avid the holding company as well. And we all got rolled up, I had a three year contract with the company that bought us. And then after that, I actually I decided to move that’s when I moved from Northern California to the Denver Metro area. I was still working for the company that bought us at that time. And this is 2008. We all know what happened in 2008 2009 timeframe, we got bought by a public company. So in early 2009, I got laid off, like they close 30% of the branch locations that we had across the country. And I was like, Oh, God, well, I’m hoping, you know, what am I going to do now? And so I took a little bit of time off, and I decided to get into residential real estate, I’d always been interested in real estate, I’m like, Yes, this will be a good way to learn it. And so I started door knocking houses that were in foreclosure. I mean, that was a huge opportunity in that market at that point. And May was the plan

John Corcoran 16:59

to try and buy properties in foreclosure for less expensive, fix them up and sell them

Tim Fitzpatrick 17:04

know what I was gonna I was a realtor at that point. So I was actually trying to get short sales and listings. Yeah, I was trying to get listings, get the bank to approve a sale for less than what it was worth.

John Corcoran 17:16

Which I did a bit of that when I was practicing law back then. That was no easy task. Oh, man,

Tim Fitzpatrick 17:21

it was, you know what, I learned a ton. I was putting myself outside my comfort zone every damn day. Like I had never knocked on a door in my entire life.

John Corcoran 17:30

Knocking on doors of people, the properties are in foreclosure. Yeah, that is really hard. Because oftentimes there’s a sob story behind it. They lost their job, you know, you know, a lot of times the last thing people do is at least back then was not pay their mortgage. Yeah, what I found a lot of times people people would would pay everything else hold on to making that mortgage payment on time. And then unfortunately, these big banks didn’t reward them for that loyalty at all that backfired on them.

Tim Fitzpatrick 17:58

No. So it was, it was an interesting time. But I just I wasn’t enjoying it. Like I, you know, I mentioned to you, when I was in distribution, I felt like I didn’t work. I just, I loved it. And I just, I just went and did that every day. With real estate, for me, it was not like that. And I got to a place where I was just I was waking up not just Sunday night, like every day going, oh my god, I have got to do this again. And so at that point, I was like, I gotta shift gears, because this is not it. And that’s when I started to get involved in marketing. Which, you know, has been, I’m not going to tell you that’s been a straight path either. Marketing is so broad, it really took me a while to hone in on where am i where my skills are, what I really enjoyed doing and what I want to continue to do. So it took me a while to go down that path. But that’s, you know, that’s where I’m at today, helping people with their, their marketing efforts and helping them accelerate growth

John Corcoran 18:57

in work selling. We’re recording this in May of 2023. And one of the hot topics these days is AI chat, GBT, everyone’s been talking about it. What are your thoughts on how that’s gonna affect the world of marketing?

Tim Fitzpatrick 19:11

Yeah, take out the take out the crystal ball. It is got it’s evolving and changing so rapidly. Right now, it’s, I think it’s just it’s important to keep an eye on where things are going. It’s definitely going to it’s going to change a lot of industries, marketing, where I see most of the things happening with marketing right now are, you know, using it to create the basic, you know, foundations of content. You know, I don’t think it’s at the place where you can rely on it to like, just do everything. I’m sure lazy people will do that. But I think the quality is not going to be where it needs to be. But I think it’s a tool that we can use to make our jobs more efficient and more effective. If so, you know we’re using it for that we’re we actually have some some strategy projects coming up, or we’re going to test it and start to use it just to gather basic data and basic information. I think for that it’s going to help us gather a lot of information much faster. And then we just need to validate and prove it. Is it right? Are there things that we’re missing? Or, you know, hey, are there other things that we need to search for, to to add to this, but I think there’s so many opportunities for it, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens because I, I can see some of the some of the more tactical sides of marketing, where there are entry level people doing that work. Now. I think at some point AI could take a lot of that over. You know, so I think there are going to be some jobs that are going to disappear. But I think there’s going to be other opportunities that are created because of that.

John Corcoran 21:02

That’s what frequently happens, right? You know, new tech, new technology comes along, everyone’s afraid that it’s going to take away jobs, but oftentimes, it ends up creating a whole new industry that we didn’t even anticipate.

Tim Fitzpatrick 21:13

Yes, yeah. So you know, it’s who knows where it’s gonna go, but it’s, um, it’s pretty, it’s pretty powerful. If you start playing with it, there’s man, there’s a lot of information that it can do you know, that can poll so for sure.

John Corcoran 21:29

Yeah. And if right now, it seems like summarizing a lot of content is one area it can it can be really helpful. Researching and gathering collating information, is another one. I’m curious, though, I want to ask about you mentioned that relationships are so important, with Ivan with building that company, and the previous company, when you worked with your father. When you started in the marketing world, did you have previous relationships that you leveraged? In that new business? Or was it like kind of starting off completely fresh new industry? Without a lot of expertise? And and if so, how did you do that? 

Tim Fitzpatrick 22:09

Yeah, it was a, I was starting from square one. So I what helped me there is finding, finding people that were where I wanted to be, you know, or resources that were out there. So for example, John Jantsch has been with Duct Tape Marketing. Yeah. Has been John’s great and small business marketing for years. Yeah. I mean, his role

John Corcoran 22:41

Were you certified Duct Tape Marketing person at one point? 

Tim Fitzpatrick 22:44

Yeah, yeah, I still am. You know, so I’m part of his Duct Tape Marketing consultant network. Connecting with people like him, allowed me to help my learning curve speed up significantly. And it helped me leverage a lot of the resources that they already had, you know, now, do I do everything the way that they do? No, I don’t. But a lot of the fundamental fundamentals that he talks about the methodologies really have made sense to me. And so as I’ve continued to kind of refine my approach to marketing and how I help people, where I need help in those areas, I find the people that are really doing cool stuff there. And I just, I take that and I use it, and I leverage it.

John Corcoran 23:37

Yeah, John is great. I’ve had him on the podcast, I think two separate times and did a dinner that he came to once in Santa Barbara a few years back. So it was great connecting with them face to face. just such a great genuine guy. Yeah. I think he also lives for part time in Colorado, doesn’t he?

Tim Fitzpatrick 23:53

He actually lives in Colorado full time now. Okay, cool.

John Corcoran 23:57

Yeah. Cool. Yeah. Great guy. Well, this has been a lot of fun. And where can people go to learn more about you, Tim?

Tim Fitzpatrick 24:05

You know, the best place John is to head on over to rialtomarketing.com which is our AI a LTO marketing.com The other thing I always make available to people is over at revenueroadblockscorecard.com So we you know, I help people remove their revenue roadblocks if if they want to discover which of the nine revenue roadblocks is slowing down their growth. They can do that over at revenueroadblocksscorecard.com

John Corcoran 24:30

Excellent. And definitely check out also the Rialto Marketing Podcast. You’ve done over 230 episodes. You were kind enough to have me as a guest on the show. Really cool. That’s you are in the top 1% with over 200 episodes. So nice work.

Tim Fitzpatrick 24:45

Thank you, John. I appreciate it. 

John Corcoran 24:46

Hi, Tim. Thanks so much.

Chad Franzen 24:51

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