Welcome to the Rialto Marketing podcast. Today's episode is a revenue acceleration series interview where we talk to seven figure B2B professional service firm owners that are actively trying to grow their business and get to the next level. We talk about the good, the bad and the ugly so that you can learn from their experience.

Join Tim Fitzpatrick and Kelly Siegel for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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Harder Than Life

Tim Fitzpatrick
Welcome to the Rialto Marketing Podcast. Today's episode is a revenue acceleration series interview where we talk to seven-figure B2B professional service firm owners that are actively trying to grow their business and get to the next level. We talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly so that you can learn from their experience. Hi, I am Tim Fitzpatrick with Rialto Marketing, where we believe you must remove your revenue roadblocks to accelerate growth and marketing shouldn't be difficult. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. I am super excited to have Kelly Siegel from National Technology Management with me today. Kelly, welcome. Thanks for being here.

Kelly Siegel
Tim, it's a pleasure. I tell you, hearing that starting off as a one man band 25 years ago, seven figure, and with our goals to be eight figure very soon. It's just it was interesting to hear. So thank you for saying that. Sometimes you don't really realize how far you've come. I never read the book The Gap ans the Gain. Yes. We're always looking at what we don't have instead of what we do have. We're a very successful boutique IT company here in Detroit, Michigan that we're trying to be trendsetter. It was good to hear it and pleasure to finally be in front of you and it's an honor. So thank you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. Yeah. Thank you, man. I'm looking forward to digging into it. You've got an interesting background. You're doing a lot. You have a number of different things going on, so can't wait to dig into this. You started to touch on this a little bit, but very quickly, what do you do and how long have you been doing it?

Kelly Siegel
We are what they call a managed service provider. We do the care and feeding of the computers. The simplest and the easiest thing to say is we keep those bad actors out of your business. When you just heard this week and this will air later in a month, but American Express just got exposed, MGM just got ransomware. We, the Shield, you're saying I'm on the opposite. The Shield of a National Technology Management protects you and we keep you safe. So very simple, very easy. We keep you generating revenue and keep the computers out of your way. And we've been doing it for 25, actually, 25 years since 1997. And I've done a little past one project on the side, which is called Harder Than Life, which is we just explain personal development and how I came from overcame terrible upbringing to become, as you call the successful leader of an IT company.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Cool. I love it, man. Well, in 25 years, you've seen a lot of change in IT. I mean, 25 years ago, it was mostly break fix, right?

Kelly Siegel
It was only a break, fix. But I'm dating myself now. I sold many companies their first-ever internet connection. We were selling T1s, 1.54 megabits per second for $2,000 a piece.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I remember T1. I haven't heard T1 in a long time.

Kelly Siegel
You were rich if you had a DS3, which was 45 megs, and that was $25,000. It's we have seen it all. I remember saying to people, to companies like, What is this internet thing? There'll be one day where it's more important than electricity and air, and here we are.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Here's my next question. I'm going to shift my next question just a little bit. Usually I say, What's the most important lesson you've learned in business? But you touched on your upbringing, so you may have something that you want to pull out from there. What's the most important lesson you've learned in life? How's that?

Kelly Siegel
Oh, man, there's so many. We could do a whole podcast. My podcast, Harder Than a Life, talks about this all the time. This is what I would say. There's a hot new thing that people are talking about. It's called EQ. It's emotional intelligence. I believe we should teach this in school, and it's about how you react to the world. You shouldn't react. You should respond accordingly and not react. And all too often we take this personal, so much personal and we think that, Oh, my God, they're out to get me. And it's none of that. Your thoughts are magical lies, and your ego is there to protect you. And most of what you're interpreting is completely wrong. You developed this ego when you were a little kid and you are trying to solve today's problems with yesterday's brain. What I would say to people, I'd like to see them get started in personal development, personal growth, understanding their mind and why they do things and why they say things earlier on in life. Because once you master that, and I did it in reverse like everybody does, I went out and got to be some monetary successful. Then I went, You know what? What's holding me back? It was my stinking think and the six inches between my ears. I set out on a journey to understand why I did everything. When I unpacked a lot of that, I became uber-successful and much more content and peaceful with the man in the mirror, which makes me a better, and I'm going to say this in order, a father, a businessman, a human, a community member. That's what's important. It isn't all about making... The funny thing about it is I lessen the importance of making money and providing value. Guess what happens? I made more money.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Isn't that funny how that works?

Kelly Siegel
Well, the less importance you put on things, what you resist persists. So the less importance you do, it's the marry the process, divorce the outcome. And that's the age old, if you follow the secret, that's literally the secret. Manifest what you want. And if you're nervous about something, you're going to get more of it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I love it.

Kelly Siegel
And then, by the way, you can't see it. I'm going to turn a little bit backwards here. Yeah. Consistency is everything. So you have to believe in invisible progress. So just because you made two phone calls or you did something once and it didn't work, keep at it. I've heard the analogy. You see these birthday parties, they have these pinatas and kids are whack, whack, whack, whack, whack, whack, whack. And finally, a burst open. It wasn't the last whack that did it. It was the cumulative of the hundreds of whacks. And you're not... Everybody says you're an overnight success, but what they don't see is all the work. I cold-called for five years before I hit a lick. I worked from home. I did my meetings at my conference room table, and it was five years of daily grind until I freaking made anything until I made it back to square one of what I was making when I quit working for Corporate America.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. That reminds me, and I love that. Thank you for sharing that because consistency is so important in everything in life. It's no different in marketing. You got to be consistent. I read a book a while ago that really stuck with me called The Slight Edge from Jeff Olson. Have you ever read that?

Kelly Siegel
No.

Tim Fitzpatrick
It's basically very similar principle where he's just like, look, it's the little things that you do each and every day that lead to exponential success or exponential-failure. It's, do we choose to eat the right things every day? You may not feel it immediately, but over time, it's there. So he's like, It's just those little things that are really easy to overlook that man, they make all the difference in the world.

Kelly Siegel
You were about to go down that path too. Another thing too, is if they're watching this, you see, I'm a pretty big guy. I am a big physical fitness buff. I think everybody should work on their health to extend their wellbeing. I think if you do that consistently, you've got 90% of life licked. If you can drag your butt out of bed every single day and get to the gym and not negotiate with yourself, the likelihood is you're going to be successful in other areas of your life. Plus, you're going to be healthier, you're going to look good, you're going to feel good, and you're going to do good. I get a little bit overzealous because I like to train like, Well, there's a backstory. If you read my book Harder Than Life, it talks about it. I was physically and emotionally abused as a child, and I got big and muscular to protect myself, and it just stuck with me. That was a conversation starter. When I step on stage or I walk, the best is when I walk in, I'm an IT guy and I walk into rooms are like, You don't look like an IT guy. I'm really not. I'm just an end-user. That's what makes us special. When your owner is an end-user and understands that we just... It's the Jaws method, just always work, literally. Keep it that simple. We try to keep everything simple and be easy to do business with. They don't want to know the text. Do you want to know why you got compromised? You just want it fixed. Most of my competition are technical guys that also do the work. I let the smart people, I let my brilliant propeller heads do their job- Do that. -do that. I know enough to be dangerous and can I help them? Absolutely. But I let smart people do smart things. We run EOS, and it's all about delegate and elevate. If you ever read 10X is easier than 2X? It's true, man. Do the things that you're good at and keep getting better at them and delegate the things that you're not.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Is there any mantra or something motivational you say to yourself or share with your team when you run up against those roadblocks?

Kelly Siegel
Yeah, we say this all the time. Impossible only describes a degree of difficulty. And I also say, Why say no when yes feels so much better? And then I got one that's a little more crass, but it just... Whenever, because we always feel self doubt. I just look at everybody and say, You guys are bad. I'm not first, man. We're here to help and just always remember you matter. You're here for a reason. Let's shock the world. They get a lot of it in NTM, man. The funniest thing is I'm a hugger. If I walk around and give everybody hugs, if I were in front of you right now, I'd be hugging. I make it weird, man.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That'll make it weird.

Kelly Siegel
-and I love love and I love everybody. Even when they don't love themselves, I just believe if you go up in my bathroom every morning, I shower, I got a plaque on the wall that says, Love everybody and tell the truth. It's just an easy way to live. When you hit everything with love, it makes it a lot simpler.

Harder Than Life

Tim Fitzpatrick
You touched on Harder Than Life, your personal brand. You got your IT business, you got Harder Than Life. What are you doing with the Heart of the Life brand and does it drive business to your IT firm?

Kelly Siegel
It has started to. It's like anything else. We launched the personal brand January 31st of this year. What it's done is I've been in this IT business for so long, everybody knew that I do something in technology, but now they understand. Holy smokes. It's hard to get on LinkedIn or on Instagram or on any of the social media is now and not see my face. What happens is like attracts like, people like positivity and they attract to me. I do get calls for IT. It has really just started to take off. It was not the reason for doing this. This is Harder Than Life brand is for charity. It is literally the majority of the proceeds go to charity. It's our goal to donate $150,000 per year in hopes to get to a million dollars per year, which is very, very aggressive, but we're going to get there. This isn't because I have an ego. This isn't a money maker. Npm does very well. It provides a comfortable living for me. It's just I realize I have this gift of oration. I have this gift of this mind and people like me. So I want to share it and make the world a better place and lift everybody up. The other thing too is I have this amazing knack to not be concerned with what people say and think about me. Because when you are out in front, they say, Misery loves company, but misery hates being alone, and they try to reach out and grab you. That does not affect me at all. It's none of my business what people think about me. And truthfully, I spend a lot of my time talking to the people that are miserable because they're better customers. They're better hard of the life customers because they know that they're not happy. So let me make more people happy. And we do that. We convert one a day. And it's really simple. The mantra is very simple, and it's what you should do in business. It's eliminating toxic behaviors and decisions. And I begin and end it with alcohol and drugs, and then we work our way out from that. Are you going down a scroll hole every day for social media? Some people are addicted to porn. Some people are addicted to reading. If it keeps you from doing what you need to make the world a better place or your goals, it's probably out of whack and in moderation. I believe everything in moderation, including moderation.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I want to pull a couple of things out that you shared. One is because I think a lot of people overlook... If you have a desire to build a personal brand, which you did, man, that's a great thing because if you enjoy doing it, I think there are just so many benefits you're going to experience as you continue to grow your personal brand. And as it continues to grow, you're going to naturally get business at NTM from that. I know you didn't set out to do it that way, but I think it's going to be a natural byproduct. The other thing that you said that you touched on was not caring about what other people think. And I'm going to tie this back to marketing because there are a lot of people that don't do certain marketing things because they are afraid of what people think. And I've talked about this many times before. We all have a little bit of those insecurities, but it's like, Gosh, the faster we can get to this place where we don't care. And that's not to say that we're callous. It just means that we're not afraid to put ourselves out there, because if we do, we're letting somebody else hold all the power. That's not right. So put it out there. There's always going to be haters. I'm going to tell you right now, Kelly, I looked at some of your Instagram stuff before we jumped on. I was reading through because a lot of the stuff you have on Instagram is about health and wellness stuff and you're harder than life. I started reading through some of the responses. Usually, it's not anywhere in the middle. It's on one end or the other of the extreme. People love you or they hate you. Some of the comments, and this happens with everybody, they're just haters. I'm like, God, this person must be so unhappy to have to take the time to write this and post it.

Kelly Siegel
Well, you don't let anybody have... What do they say? You don't let anybody have dirty footsteps in your head. At the end of the day, my mission, our mission, because my NTM family helps me with all this, our mission is bigger than our ego, and it's bigger than anything. I'll tell you what else too. My daughter's watching. My daughter's 14 years old, and her and all her friends watch. I am modeling and inspiring exactly the behavior that I want for my daughter. When she sees people ripping me to shreds and she pointed it out, she said, Dad, your responses are so kind. I respond to most of them. If I can get to them, I do. And I kill them with kindness because they're wanting me to reach... Because that's what they're used to, is negative reactions or some reaction that makes them feel like they matter. Well, I don't do that. I will not wrestle with a pig because they'll get dirty or will get dirty and they'll love it. I will inspire them with lots of positivity the aforementioned love, and some of them like it. Most of them like it. They expect me to defend myself and get in a fight. Listen, if I have to defend myself, then they could be right about something. That's usually the first red flag. That's what I would say to them is, if you're unhappy with because I have a six pack at 47, there's probably something in you that wishes you had a six pack. Let's just call it what it is because nobody doing better than somebody else is going to rip somebody.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, they're not.

Kelly Siegel
I just met a pro bodybuilder that I can't say his name yet because he's going to err on the hard in life conference. He reached out to me and said, Mad respect. This guy's 280 pounds, a beast. He reached out to me and said, Dude, mad respect. That's what winners do. Winners lift up other winners. I have lots of compassion for them, and I have converted several of them. They said, Man, you actually are nice. I expected you to be mean, or here's the best one, I'm sorry for saying that I was having a bad day. Then I respond with, Is there something you'd like to talk about? I do that to the best of my ability. As the followers increase, it's going to be harder and harder and harder, but I'm going to continue to do it. We're creating a forum right now, a portal, a health and wellness, harderthanLife portal, where people can go and get the help that they need, whether it be physical, mental, emotional, whether it be just a pep talk, whether it be our podcast, everything, Harder Than Life will be in there in a launch probably December first with a nominal membership fee so we can meet our aforementioned a million goal for charity. When we do that, it'll be all over social media. I'm not trying to buy an airplane. I have two houses, two boats. It's famous that that went ultra viral where I said I quit drinking alcohol and I got two houses, two boats, two cars and all the friends I could ever have. That's the ultimate cheat code, Tim. I can tell by your skin and your happiness that you don't drink much at all.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, I don't. Not much.

Kelly Siegel
I could just tell. What I tell people is if you're not happy, the first place to look is are you drinking or are you taking any drugs? Drugs nowadays are cannabis, weed, Xanax. If you're doing those two things, you're just you're escaping reality. Let's talk about that and let's eliminate those and let's actually go right straight into the proverbial storm cloud. Once you get through that, you're going to look back and go, That is what I was doing all this for? You're drinking the poison and expecting somebody else to die and it's insanity. You're spending all this time not living. That's not living. I have the contrast because I was one of the funniest partiers you've ever seen. I partied. I still worked out like crazy. I had a great body, I had a successful IT company, but just didn't like the man in the mirror. So I quit. Five years later, here I am living my best life. It's always that contracts like, Oh, drinking isn't a problem. If somebody starts talking to me and defending drinking-.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, it's a problem. -

Kelly Siegel
I already know. It's auto-wack, man. It's auto-wack. That's my little man. I have a dear friend, Steven Scoggins, he just talks about we have a background. Clear your mind, become really good in personal growth, personal development, get emotionally intelligent. Your business, whatever it is, whatever you're doing will increase.

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Standardizing Stack and Offering to Differentiate a Business

Tim Fitzpatrick
I want to shift a little bit. Frankly, this question does... It is relevant to both companies, but the IT industry is super competitive. So is personal development.

Kelly Siegel
So is marketing.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, exactly. What are you doing to differentiate your business? Let's stay on the IT side for the time being and just staying ahead of the competition. How do you approach that?

Kelly Siegel
You know what? The funniest thing in the world is we publish… I share everything we do. It is very simple. We say no more than we say yes, and we pretty much will have a cookie-cutter approach that includes cyber security. We do like, what was it? The Henry Ford approach. You can get any color car you want as long as it's black. You pretty much will have to fit in our scenario. If you push back at all, we can't keep you safe that way. You say, Oh, I don't want to have two-factor authentication. I don't want this scanning thing. I don't want these updates. Then you know what? You're not taking cybersecurity seriously, and we're going to go to the next person because when you get ransomware, then you'll pay any money. It's like health, eating whatever you want and then wondering why you get heart disease and have a heart attack, and then you pay any money to get your health back. We're very preventative, maintenance, proactive. Then on top of it, we do one thing. We are the fastest support company on Earth because we've documented everything. They say 80% of the space shuttle's fuel took to get 300 feet off of the freaking launch pad. We do so much upfront that we get to know everything about their customer and then we redo it all and it's cyber secure, fast, and easy and they never leave and it just works. I share it with everybody. I put it in the book and yet nobody copies us for some reason. It's like personal development. If people don't like change, so they're like, Wait, you're going to come in and change everything? Yeah, and we're going to make it better and you will be secure and you will not have any issues. The people that listen to us literally see efficiencies immediately and they love it, and they can't believe how easy we are to do business with and fast we do things. We measure them to get better and better and better. Fifty % of the time, Tim, when you call into our office, you're going to get your issue resolved right then on the first touch. Fifty % of the time. That's unheard of.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, I want to break this apart a little bit, Kelly, because I think there's a lot of things people are going to overlook here. If I understand you correctly, your tech stack and your offering is pretty standardized. You're not doing a ton of custom stuff. Either you fit the mold or you don't. Did I get that right?

Kelly Siegel
Correct. The stack isn't invasive. It's very simple. It's very easy. We didn't invent the stack. We brought industry leaders and put them together. Everybody will know all of them. There are certain little nuances where we'll say, Okay, you don't really need this, but this would be best. But if you're okay with it, if there's maybe a cost feature, there are certain things where if some companies really want every single thing, so we'll back up the individual PCs. Not everybody needs that. But there are certain parts like we come in with our own firewalls, our own endpoint detection responses, and even if they have their own, we're like, Sorry, because we have ours updated daily for zero-day threats. We have to keep the bad actors. We were ridiculously proactive and preventative. It's so preventative that we actually send out reports because sometimes they don't call us and they wonder why they're spending so much money.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, they're like, Dude, you're not doing anything.

Kelly Siegel
Right. But that's what we want to do. That's what you want to do. If we're doing our job, IT is silent.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, I totally agree with you. You're doing some really cool things to differentiate that a lot of people don't they overlook. The fact that you're standardizing your stack and your offering, so many IT companies, it's like, hey, we can do whatever the hell you want. And because of that, they're reinventing the wheel on every freaking job. And that makes no sense to me. So one of the ways you're differentiating is through your offering, right? People either fit the mold or they don't. And because of that, you say no more often. If you're not going to fit, you're not going to fit.

Kelly Siegel
It's not for the faint of heart, my friend. It's not. Some days you lose deals that we should have never lost, but it's holding ground and having standards and boundaries, which is what we all need in life.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, but you're also, because your stack is standardized and you're making little tweaks here and there, but for the most part, the core is the same. That, my guess is, correct me if I'm wrong, that is one of the main reasons why you are the fastest support company out there.

Kelly Siegel
Oh, yeah, definitely. Then on top of it, we create core processes that everybody is followed by all. No matter who you get as a help desk person or an engineer, everybody follows the same process, has the same path to the quarterback. We're aiming to make it faster. One of our core values is continuous improvement. The bad actors are getting better and better. We heard the MGM breach. They got through LinkedIn. They called and said, Hey, this is Kelly Siegel. He needs his password. They gave it to him. In our world, the funny thing about that is what people don't realize, you cannot protect against that. It's what you have after that. If they were using NTM and they still would have got access, they still would have been ransomware, but we would have shut everything off and basically thrown it all away and restored from our four different levels of backups. By the time that ransomware would have typed their email, we would have had them back up and running.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You're done.

Kelly Siegel
Yeah. We have what they call checkpoints. If they get this far, this is where we restore for. If they get this far, we restore here and here. If all hell breaks loose, we send them to a different data center and have them up and we just restore everything. But they're back up in 15 minutes. They obviously, MGM has some major holes and they're back on the best recovery.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I just want to reiterate this again. One of the ways you're differentiating is through your offer and the service that you provide. Tons of people overlooked that. The other thing you talked about was you're the fastest support company out there. One of the ways you can differentiate is like, how can you save people time or money? That's one of the ways you can differentiate and you are taking advantage of that. Thank you for sharing that. This is-.

Kelly Siegel
I have one more thing. Please do. We also have automated the install process and the quoting process. So when I come to you and we're working on this, and I'm going to let the cat out of the bag, we're working on online ordering of IT, which is unheard of in the business. There's a few people doing it, but we're so confident in our systems that if you just tell us how many computers you have, how many users, we're pretty confident we can hit at about 90% of the time where we can provide the IT for you with you just clicking a button. We are the back end systems to do that ordering. If I were to come into Rialto Marketing, I could have you quoted and ordered and installed faster than anybody's ever had, less than 30 days.

Tim Fitzpatrick
There's another differentiator. You're dropping all kinds of them. This is good. People need to be paying attention.

Kelly Siegel
You better remember why. I'm not an IT guy. I'm an end user. We run this program called EOS, Entrepreneurial Operating System. We put these rocks, these 90-day rocks in place, and then we do these big, hairy, audacious goals at the end of the year. Then we have a one of three and a 10-year target, and we work everything backwards. It's amazing if you just go, I want to commoditize that. I want to do online ordering. Every quarter you do something to get to that. I can have a quote to you while it takes... You're in Denver, I'm in Detroit. I could have a quote to you guys in an hour. Have it approved, the money in my bank and everything ordered before anybody even sets a meeting with you. Literally. We've automated all that behind the scenes because you know what? We're... What are we trying to do? We're trying to eliminate human error. And anytime anything is not automated, there's a chance for somebody, if it's manual, that somebody's going to make a mistake. So we've taken all that out.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love this because with this automated online ordering, you're looking at it. One, you're finding an opportunity, but you're creating something that most people in the space think is not possible. But the end user would actually love it. And there are gaps like that in every single industry. We just need to be open minded enough and open eyes enough to see it.

Kelly Siegel
I just start giggling. You know what? I'm just a disruptor. I disrupt most people. You're talking about marketing. My social media team, specifically the head of the social media team comes in. He's like, Are you okay? I'm like, Yeah, why? And he goes, You took it pretty bad on that last set of Reels. I was like, I know. He's like, It's amazing how you just let it shake off you. But it's again, we're disrupting. We're trying to make... They say you're crazy until you actually do it. Here I'm doing it. You can already tell the difference about your marketing company and everybody else is you ask the tough questions and then if we were to work together, you would say, This is the different trader. Let's go and market this. How many times we've been through marketing companies where we tell them that? Then it's the same-all freaking marketing. The same old freaking marketing. Stuff that they throw out on social media. The same stuff they put on email, the same stuff that they do. It's like, Dude, we are different. Hammer that. You got to do search engine optimization. You got to do keywords and you got to do all this and pay per click. No, you don't have to do all that. We just have to do a freaking highlight or differentiators.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. It Just goes back to strategy, right? The way I think of it is strategy is fuel, and then the marketing tactics, channels, they're all vehicles. So if you pick all these vehicles, but you have no fuel, you can push a vehicle down the road, but it's not going to work long term. So the strategy behind it is super, super important. But it's also so easy for us as business owners to overlook some of these things. I have a client right now who we're doing a deep dive right now to unlock their opportunities. They've had a referral program for a long time, and they've had an initial offer where they give stuff away for a certain period of time. It's two or three months, something like that. Neither one of those things is actively promoted anywhere.

Kelly Siegel
Sounds like us.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Well, look, we all make mistakes like this, but it takes somebody like us to come in and we're not the only people that do this. There's plenty of people that do it. It's just you can't see the forest through the trees when you're sitting in your business, but somebody else comes in from the outside and they're like, Dude, this is really good stuff. Why aren't you actively promoting this?

Kelly Siegel
I just put a post up about this and what you're really saying is the difference between winning and losing is execution.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Absolutely.

Kelly Siegel
That's exactly what this is about. It's execute. I'm a big proponent of outsourcing. That's why I just agreed to come on your podcast. Listen, we've outsourced our marketing for years. We are a big part of outsourcing. We bring in third-party consultants for everything. If you're not doing it, you're missing the boat because, hey, I'm not a marketing genius. I'm an end-user. I'm a business guy and a personal development coach. That's it. I'm not an expert at everything else. So if you're not hiring an outsource specialist in IT and marketing, maybe if you don't have an internal freaking finance department, but HR, we outsource our HR, everything, we are an IT company. That's what we do well. We keep your computer safe and keep you running and keep you doing your revenue generating business. The rest, I don't want to be a part of it. So we outsource them. I'm talking everything we have outsourced.

Outsourcing Marketing

Tim Fitzpatrick
I know one of the things that you shared with me since we're on the outsourcing topic, I know that you are not the only person that has been in this boat, but you outsource some stuff to marketing companies, and some of it did not work out like you wanted it to. What have you learned from those experiences and just taken away from that?

Kelly Siegel
You know, it's funny. I learned that we offer a guarantee at NTM. How the heck do you do that? I would like to see a marketing company put their money where their mouth is. I even talked to the last IT company. I said, I tell you what, or the last marketing company. I said, I tell you what? Why don't we go in to gather a business and we'll pay you a percentage of every deal that you bring in? The first the guy jumped at it was like, Yes, and then thought better of it. He was wise because they didn't make it very long. We give them ample time. The key is you really got to make sure that they are finding your differentiator and then hammering it everywhere. I will tell you this, and this is my instance. If they complain about your sales team, that frustrates me because a really good sales team covers for a marketing team. A really good marketing team needs a sales team, but they don't cover for each other. If you've got bad marketing and the sales guys are just killing it, it covers for it. Just make sure that you're looking and you have a marketing KPI, key progress indicator of this is the amount of leads that are coming in, and this is the thing. Marketing to me is not advertising. It's marketing. For NTM, we want inbound leads. We want... I don't need you to create awareness. We do that already. We did that with the book, we do that with my freaking big persona. We're all over the place. What I need is somebody to say, Hey, I have a problem. Our company is constantly calling our IT company. We need to get somebody in here that's fast and that is responsive or that can freaking partner with us and be proactive and head off these issues. That's the ones we want to find. We got to partner with somebody who understands and doesn't go with what you think you're good at. It's what you actually are good at. All too often the CEO or the C-level people will go, Well, this is what I think. Do we know? I had to do some research to see what our target market was. What was our customer demographic? What does it look like? We identified that literally, multilocation customers that were family-owned and operated were so freaking perfect for us. Now we've evolved in the multilocation customers that are anywhere in the country that just value cybersecurity and service. Notice, nowhere in there is money. We're no more expensive than anybody else, but if they don't value cybersecurity and they don't value service- Not a good fit. -they're going to be a fit for us. We could give it away to them and they wouldn't see the value. Remember, that's another thing. If you give it away for free and it doesn't meet your needs, you paid too much.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I want to pull something out here because I think there's a huge learning lesson for people in this. You touched on, if you're a marketing provider, look, whether it's an agency or a freelancer or whatever it is, if they don't really understand your differentiator and what you're doing, they're going to have a really hard time being successful. One of the challenges that a lot of businesses run into when they outsource to a marketing agency, and this is not across the board, but when you hire a marketing agency, you need to understand what their skill sets are because a lot of marketing agencies offer "strategy", but it's really so that they can sell their services, what they implement.

Kelly Siegel
Which is why- Hold on, can I jump in there for a second? Yes, please do. You guys are five different companies. What we've noticed is they all had their plan and they were just trying to fit your strategy into that plan. That is not going to work. I've done a lot of research on your... That's not what you guys do. You tailor every plan individually to the people, and that's a good company. Because sometimes, I'll use personal help, but sometimes Instagram is a platform, sometimes LinkedIn is a platform, sometimes Facebook is the platform. You need to know who your demographic is. Sometimes it sounds crazy. We just started sending back out actual letters, physical letters, because we saw that they were getting better traction.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, there you go.

Kelly Siegel
If that's it, hey, who cares?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. You hit the nail on the head, Kelly. There is no one size fits all plan. But that's also why I believe your strategy and your plan should be separated from the actual implementation and execution. I think you have a much higher likelihood of success when you approach an agency to do implementation, when you just say, Hey, here's who our ideal clients are. Here's our messaging playbook. We need somebody to do SEO for us or paid ads. When you approach somebody like that, you're then giving them the fuel to be successful. But most agencies, and this is not a knock on agencies, there are so many agencies that do great implementation work, but most of them are not strategic. A lot of them just don't tell you that. Or if they are strategic, they're using strategy to sell implementation.

Kelly Siegel
I expected you fully to say if I came to you and asked you for SEO, the question I would know you would ask me is, Why do you think you need SEO? Because I just got done telling you I'm not in marketing. If I think I need SEO, why? What's the question there? You know how many times I tell people, Hey, they try to come to us for IT, and I'm like, You know, it's just an internet problem. I fix it right then and there. Just go here, no charge. This is all you need to do is just get this device, get a second internet, plug it in, and they're like, Oh, why didn't my IT company say that? I don't know. I don't know.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I can't say it.

Kelly Siegel
Remember the little kid, the tractor-trailer gets stuck under the bridge. Everybody's trying to figure out what to do. A little five-year-old goes, Let the air out of the tires.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah.

Kelly Siegel
It's like, What happened to you, Paul, man?

Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, the answers are right in front of our face. This is awesome, man. I really enjoyed chatting with you. What's next, man? What are your plans for the future?

Kelly Siegel
What's next? We have big, hairy, audacious goals at NTM. Our next goal is to be 30% increase next year. We're going to do it through hard work and grit. I've actually grown as a person and pulled myself out of the sales. I am the inspirational leader and the face of the company now where I was doing all the sales. I've hired a sales team, as uncomfortable as that is for me, to release control. If you take nothing out of this, release control, surrender and really manifest what you want, but take daily steps to get to what you want and you will be successful and don't give up. It's not a three-day, it's not a 30-day, it's not a 90-day. You just keep going because the night is as dark as just before dawn. What's next is... Then we're launching the aforementioned portal probably December first, Harder Than Life. You'll be all things, health and wellness. Just sign some deals with some major, major people. I'm excited to let people know. Then next year, we revamped the Heart of the Life podcast because there were so many people wanted to be on it. We overbooked and we were just all over the board. I can't believe that people still want to come on it because it seems like how you do anything is how you do everything. It seems like we don't have our crap together because some days I do release on Tuesdays and then I do Tuesdays and Thursdays. We got it all ironed out for 2024. We're booked through April and we're going to do it right and we're going to provide value. We're going to just make the world a better place. When you work with NTM, you're probably going to get a freaking motivational speech from me, and I'm going to find out all about you as a person. I like that. It's relationships, man. I want to know how I can help you personally because we're going to do a lot of work in our life, but we got to get some living in there.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Knowing what you know now, anything you would do differently?

Kelly Siegel
Well, two things. I would probably redefine the nature of my association with alcohol a lot sooner. I also would have stopped fighting the fight of my parents. My parents did the best that they could. I would have forgave them a lot sooner and stopped dealing with the chip on my shoulder and started living life. I waited until 43 to really grab the horns and run. And I wasted some years, man. I had a lot of fun. I mean, it's in the book. I did The Hangover Two in Thailand about 10 years before The Hangover 2 was released. I had a lot of fun, but it was short term fun. So I would have liked to have started to make my impact a little sooner. And other than that, man, life has been good to me. And if you look backwards, it lines up for you. Every single time you think that you have bad luck or something bad happened, it is lining you up for something good. And if you look backwards, you're back in a thousand. So just hit everything with faith over fear, positivity fixes everything, negativity fixes nothing. So I would have started this journey a lot earlier. And then a business thing, if you're not running some business platform, start today. Eos is the one we use. I tried to do it ten years ago and we tried to tailor it to ourselves. Oh, I'll take this piece. I'll take that piece, and hence. We hired somebody, followed it to a T. And since we've been doing it, we just passed two years, we've increased 30% business, and it just gives you such visibility and it gives you the blueprint of what you need to attack. And there's nothing that's a surprise. Nothing. We know all of our issues for 2024 already and what we're going to attack. Business platform, business coach, personal coach, health and wellness. It starts with simple things: working out, meditating, journaling, less toxins, as little of alcohol as possible, and then how good can you handle life, Tim?

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Well, Kelly, your energy is contagious. Thank you for taking the time. Where can people learn more about you?

Kelly Siegel
Well, we're going to send you the harderthanlife.com. We also, if you have IT questions, ransomware questions, it's trust, NTM, as a national technologymanagement.com. But Harder Than Life has a link. You can reach out to me anytime. We give a lot of free advice, no-cost advice because I hate bad actors. I hate people getting ransomware and getting attacked. I don't like negativity, and I hate crooks and criminals.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. We will make sure both those links are in the show notes. We'll also put in, look, Entrepreneurial Operating System, Traction is the book. Go check it out. Super good book. You also touched on 10X is better than 2X. That is a fantastic book. You also touched on The Gap and The Gain. Those are three freaking winners.

Kelly Siegel
Let's take 10 seconds to talk about that 10X is easier than 2X. Basically, it's the Pareto principle, the 80-20 rule in inverse. 80% of our freaking problems are caused by 20% of issues. The reverse is there. 20% of our customers are giving us 80% of our profit. They want you to examine that and flip that around. If you spend 80% of your time or 20% of your time on getting 80% of your profits, that's what you want to maximize. It is the simplest and easiest thing in the world, but yet what do we do? We spend 80% of our time on the 20% of our customers that are giving us a problem. This is where it gets weird. They say, Fire them. Get rid of them all because you'll replace that. That's the law of attraction. You'll end up creating a vacuum and creating more profitable customers in here. But it takes... That's what takes the backbone. Because you're getting rid of 20% of your customers. You're like... But those 20%, we have the numbers to prove it. 20% of our customers cause 80% of our trouble tickets. Another thing, what you measure gets better. That's really what this is all about. Guys, this has been fantastic. If there's anything, I'm on every social media you could... I answer my DMs. It's kelly.siegel, K-E-L-L-Y s-i-e-g-e-l.71 on all socials. I'm on LinkedIn. If you message me and say you saw me on this, I will 100% respond to you. If anything I can do, we offer free scans. We don't offer them, but I'll offer them if you do this network assessments. They just tell you where your vulnerabilities are. Hey, if you reach out, we'll send you a book...

Tim Fitzpatrick
Part of the night.

Kelly Siegel
We talk a lot about EOS in this book because it really did change my life. It allowed me to launch this personal brand because it freed me up as a CEO, as an owner, as a founder to chase my dreams. I was an absolute married to my business, working like a dog. I was everywhere doing everything. Now I'm here, it's four o'clock in the afternoon here in Michigan, and I'm on a podcast with you.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love it. Well, Kelly, thank you so much for taking the time. I really appreciate it. Those of you that are watching, listening, I appreciate you as well. You can always connect with us over at rialtomarketing.com. If you want to know which of the nine revenue roadblocks are slowing down your growth, you can figure that out at revenueroadblockscorecard.com. So till next time, take care of Kelly. Thank you so much, man. I appreciate it.

Kelly Siegel
My pleasure. Thank you. 


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