How To Stand Out & Differentiate In A Crowded Market

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 Al Alper for this week’s episode of The Rialto Marketing Podcast!

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How To Stand Out & Differentiate In A Crowded Market

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 if you want to accelerate revenue growth. Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. Super excited to have Al Alper with me from Cyberguard 360. Al, welcome and thanks for being here.

Al Alper
Appreciate you having me.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, it's going to be a fun conversation. Before we jump into the meat of it, I want to ask you a few rapid fire questions if you're ready to jump in with both feet.

Al Alper
Fire at will.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Okay. Very quickly, what do you do? How long have you been doing it?

Al Alper
I've got two businesses. One I run on a day to day basis. The other one that I own, somebody else runs. So Absolutely Logics, my MSP that's been around since '91. Got back into it in the early '20s and then grew that, and that now runs on its own. Cyberguard, I've been doing since really 2017 when we started building the platform and we went into market in 2019. It's been a long time. I'll just put it that way. Long before this gray. How's that? Someone gave me this gray.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Okay. Now that you've been doing this long enough to get gray, what is the most important lesson that you would say you've learned in running a business?

Al Alper
Focus on your numbers. You got to focus on your numbers. Otherwise, you're flying by the seat of your pants.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's a really good one. I would add to that, focus on the right numbers. Some people focus on the wrong numbers.

Al Alper
I agree with that 100 %.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, you got to know the numbers. The numbers will help you make better data driven decisions, right?

Al Alper
Well, they tell a story. They tell a story about customer happiness and customer unhappiness, team member happiness and unhappiness, opportunities that are in front of you that you didn't realize were in front of you. I can wax poetic for an hour just on this topic alone. It's unbelievable how pregnant those numbers are with information. It's staggering, frankly. It took me a long time to learn that, by the way.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. It's not something that comes to most of us overnight and quickly. So that's a great piece of advice. Now, the other thing that I always like to ask people is, you've been in business long enough, there's going to be ups and downs. Is there any mantra or motivational thing that you tell yourself or share with your team to help push through those times?

Al Alper
You may not like this answer, but...

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's okay.

Al Alper
So part of my story includes... I've been on my own since I'm 15, just so you know. I believe that I'm the person that decides how my day ends. I'm in charge of my destiny. When anybody says, Well, don't you worry about that. I'm the guy that makes that decision. I decide how I wake up in the morning and how I go to bed at night. And people will say, Well, what if this happens? I said, I still decide what I do with that. Ultimately, everything is my decision. I can't control you from putting something in my way. I can just decide what I do with what you put in my way. I said this exact thing to somebody just earlier this week, as a matter of fact, who had reached out and said, How do you plow through these things? I'm the guy that ultimately makes the decision. I've got to be able to decide on the fly, in the moment, and be willing to live with that outcome, regardless. And don't look back and say, shit, I made a mistake.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's all good. You're going.

Al Alper
To get rid of that later. You're going to make mistakes. Leaders make mistakes, but you cannot sacrifice the good for the best. You have to do as much good as you possibly can. If you're always waiting to do the best,

Tim Fitzpatrick
But one of the biggest things that you were talking about there in answering that question was just like, it's not about what happens to us, it's about how we respond to it.

Al Alper
Correct. That's it. That's it.

Seeing an Opportunity When There's a Gap

Tim Fitzpatrick
I love that. That was a great way to answer that question. I really enjoyed it. Let's talk a little bit about Cyberguard. You had mentioned with absolute logic, you started it in '91. You got started with Cyber Guard really in 2017. I think you were working on some stuff behind the scenes prior to that. But what motivated you to start another business?

Al Alper
There's an old saying, chance favors the prepared mind, if you've ever heard of that saying before. And so Cyberguard is technically my sixth business, and I've exited some of them okay and some of them really well. What I've always found is if you're in the right place at the right time, things set themselves up to be taken advantage of, not in a negative way whatsoever. And being cognizant, being observant that there's an opportunity is absolutely key. Because I can't tell you how many times things are staring friends of mine in the face that they just don't see. Not because they're not smart, they're smart as heck. But to them, they're just not making the connection that there's an opportunity there. So that was a long way of getting to the point where I had gotten back into absolute logic after closing down a prior business. I was looking to stand up a security and compliance space, a practice inside of absolute logic, the MSP. As I was building up my stack, I identified a hole in the vendor landscape that required filling for me to bring to market what my solution was going to look like. At the time, I had a relationship with a development company. I didn't have a relationship, I had another business. Me and a development company formed another company to develop product projects, to build web based projects and products for the SMB space. And so I approached that sister company, I said, listen, I need a platform to do these things in the security and compliance space. They built it. I launched it in absolute logic at the end of 2016. By the middle of 2017, I had added over a million dollars in brand new revenue, brand new clients, brand new revenue to logic. And all my MSP colleagues were saying to me, How the hell did you do that? Either you're full of nonsense or you've got some magic. Both possible, by the way. I showed them my stack and I showed them the platform. And to a colleague, they said, I want that platform. So I went back to Steve and I said, Steve, I think we have an opportunity to do something in the channel. This is missing. They all want it. Why don't we rip this platform out, rebuild it from the ground up and throw it at the channel and see if we can't make a go of it, which is what we did. We launched the platform itself on July 1, 2019. And we have been on a tail would be an understatement. We were profitable in less than a year, and we've been growing like gangbusters ever since. So it's been a great ride. It's been really a great ride.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Well, and this goes back to what you were touching on earlier, just being able to see opportunities. This was an opportunity. There was a gap. You're positioned really well because you have an MSP. Your MSP is the testing ground. It's like, Is this working? Is it not?

Al Alper
It's funny you say that actually, because every single thing we put in Cyberguard first gets tested in absolute logic. I still own that business. I don't run it. I run Cyberguard, but we don't put anything in Cyber Guard that hasn't first been put to work in logic. So we first make sure that engineers can use it without many problems, that management can get data out of it without problems, that customers are interested, that my salespeople can sell it, and that it's making it money. And if it checks those boxes, it goes right in the platform. If it doesn't, we either go back and tweak it or go back to the drawing board. And I can't tell you how many things we've dismissed because it didn't pass a couple of those hurdles. And we said, Okay, that's just not going to work.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I think you have a huge advantage. Not everybody is in that position where... I don't know. I think sometimes vendors... I just remember when I was in distribution, we had manufacturers that would come in and ask us all these questions, like, What do we need in our next product? And most of the time, they'd come in and ask all these questions, and then they'd never implement any of it in the product. It's like, What the hell did you sit here and talk to us for? Seriously, we just gave you all this good information and then none of it gets implemented. With you, you have the company and you can battle test it before any of that stuff even goes out.

Al Alper
Well, a lot of the ideas come from the MSP, though. We need to do something. Nobody's doing it the way we want it done, why don't we build it? I've had people say, Well, we don't have the money to do that. I didn't have the money. When we first built it, Cyberguard has cost me millions and millions and millions of dollars. I didn't have that. But one of the other things, a lesson I learned very early in my life is money should never be the reason you don't do something, ever. Again, I've been living on my own since I was 15. I have been broker than people living on the streets. I slept in my car for a while, that's how. But money is never a reason not to do something. You can find a way, and this is coming from a guy who found a way. I didn't have a million dollars to throw in a platform. I found a partner who was willing to sweat equity and with my sweat equity and that sweat equity together, and now we're Cyberguard. It's not like I threw a million dollars at this day one. It's like we literally blood, sweat and tears it until we can start to piece together some revenue. Okay, now we can reinvest it. Now we can... It's a slog, but anything worth doing is worth doing and sweating for.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That's an awesome piece of advice. I know in real estate, they always talk about like, if you find a deal, the money will come. So don't worry about the money. Same thing here. Instead of a property, it's the idea, it's the concept. If it's a strong enough concept, you'll be able to find the support you need to make it happen.

Al Alper
Absolutely.

Tim Fitzpatrick
And you've done that.

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How To Stand Out & Differentiate In A Crowded Market

Tim Fitzpatrick
I want to switch gears and I want to talk about marketing a little bit. I'm a marketer, so we got to talk about marketing.

Al Alper
Yes, dear.

Tim Fitzpatrick
But one of the things that you brought up in the pre interview, and this is a super common roadblock for people, is just one of the challenges with marketing is just standing out from the noise. There's competition, there's so much information out there. What are some of the things that you guys have done to try to solve that?

Al Alper
That is a great question. There's a couple of things. It really answers the question, how do you get heard above the noise? Because one of the things that we suffer from in both the MSP space and the vendor space... So where I'm going with that is it's true in every industry.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yes, it is.

Al Alper
So whether you're an MSP or a vendor or a CPA or a marketer, you pick your poison, how do you get heard above the noise and how do you stand out? First and foremost is you should narrow your niche or niche, depending on who you're talking to, as much as possible and become the expert in that niche or niche. Because you can claim an expert status that somebody else can't claim. One of the things that I failed miserably at was that early on in the MSP part of my life because I feared losing a single opportunity. The problem with the shotgun approach like that is you lose so many opportunities because you're not the one. You're not different. There's nothing that stands you out from anybody else. When we started getting real traction, when we started focusing on a very narrow set of verticals and said, we are going to learn this space really well and learn it so well that we can claim the banner of authority over everybody else. So one of the things that our MSP does is we are a security and compliance MSP, and nobody does what we do. In spite of a lot of copycats out there, our ability to walk into... Let's put it this way. We have associations that pay us to speak to their members. That's almost unheard of, by the way. You typically sponsor an association and they let you stand up and talk to an audience and you pay them tens of thousands to do that. But because we become known as the experts, and it doesn't happen overnight, but because we become known to be the experts in the space, excuse me, we're sought after. And that creates an amazing amplification effect. When someone says... We literally get inbound calls on a routine basis, and I'm not finding myself on the back, where we had another MSP call us about two weeks ago so that we could do the compliance work for their client who's an attorney. Because one of the other things MSPs found out from us and absolute logic is, we won't try to sell IT services if you bring us in, but we will make them compliant and or secure. If you don't do security or if you don't do compliance, we'll do that. And we'll do that either white labeled for you, or we'll do that as a partner for you. So this gentleman who brought... And he's given us other deals in the past. That's not to say it's his first, but that's not unusual. MSP's reach out to us because they've got clients who need compliance or need someone who's an expert in cybersecurity, and they call us because we become known as that. So first and foremost, build a client avatar. I'm sure you've heard this a million times. Build a client avatar and you need the D. And I've got a client avatar model that you probably have one too, Tim, but if you don't, I'm happy to send it to you. You can give it to anybody who wants it. Learn your customer better than they know themselves. So you can anticipate their needs, read the magazines they read, go to the events they go to, affiliate with the associations they affiliate to, learn to speak their language. Because one of the other things I've learned is if you speak to somebody with the same colloquialisms and the same vernacular as they do, they automatically affiliate to you than somebody else. And that's all part and parcel of standing out and being heard. The other thing is that I've written a best selling book. I've been on the cover of magazines. I've been on the Jumbotron in Times Square. I've spoken to audience of international CEOs. Some of that I paid for, but that doesn't cheapen it, nor does anybody necessarily know it. Being on the Jumbotron in Times Square, that's on the cover of our shock and awe box. So when somebody gets our shock and awe box, like, oh, my God, you're on the Jumbotron. Nobody asked for references. Nobody wants to... And the price we charge, they don't blink at it because they expect somebody or a company that is an authority or the company that stands out enough to be on the Jumbotron or having written a best seller book or being on the cover of magazine must be that good and worth it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. Jeez, I thought you said you weren't a marketer. You just knocked that question out of the park. Usually, I add things. I'm just going to pull some things out and highlight them because there was a lot of really good information in there. You talked about specializing or I say niching, nich. So I'm going to keep with that. But specializing, being great and getting known for one thing, focusing on specific vertical, you could certainly do. There's multiple ways to do this to help you rise above the noise. But those are two great examples. You talked about messaging. Again, this goes to any industry, but because I'm talking to you, well, let's just use the MSP space. You go to five different MSP websites and pull off their logo nine times out of 10, you have no idea who the heck they are because they all say the same thing. When we say the same thing, we all look the same. That's why we then start to run into pricing issues like I'm competing on price because, yeah, guess what? It's a bottle of Coke that's sitting on the shelf and one person is trying to charge a dollar and the other person is trying to charge two and the other person's trying to charge three. What the hell are we going to buy? It's a bottle of Coke. I'm going to buy it for a dollar. Now, I want to dig into one other thing here because some people may not know what you were talking about when you were talking about your shock and awe box. With your shock and awe box, this shock and awe box, for people that don't know, is something that is typically sent out... It sounds like you're... Are you sending it out in the sales process or right in the onboarding process?

Al Alper
No, the sales process. It arrives about a day before our first meeting.

Tim Fitzpatrick
So.

Al Alper
If I'm going to have a meeting with a prospect, that arrives, that shock and awe box. As a matter of fact, you go ahead and talk. I can bring my art in if you'd like to see it.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, cool. Let's do it.

Al Alper
Let's do it while you do

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, so I'll talk about it. So with the shock and awe box, in most cases, people are sending them out like hours in the sales process. It is a great way to just stand out from the competition. It's called shock and awe because you want to shock and awe people, right? Oh, my gosh. I haven't even worked with these people and look at the stuff that they sent me. It makes you stand out from the competition because most people don't do it. How much is your shock and awe box costing you?

Al Alper
Let me tell you what I put in it so you understand. I want to give this some context because there's lots of ways to build a shock and awe box. When we were building it on the cheap, when I say on the cheap, I mean sub three dollars, sub four dollars. So when we were doing that, I got my vendors to give me their chotchkeys. So I filled it with vendor churchies, socks from Sofos, footballs from male protector. So things to give away, which people love. So that consumed the lion's share of what filled it up, which cost me nothing because vendors always give you charge fees for free. And then it had our Ten Commandments. Not why us, but our Ten Commandments, our promises, our service delivery promises. We will always be on time. We will guarantee our price, blah, blah, blah. We printed on a scroll like paper that cost me about eight cents. I'm giving you some numbers behind that. And then we had our... It wasn't the problem. It was our top 10 reasons to do business with absolute logic. And they were, quote, testimonials. So it was a picture and a quote, testimonial. A picture and I just alternate left and right pictures. And so really, the only thing in there from us were two pieces of paper, and everything else was filled with vendor collateral.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Got it.

Al Alper
Today, it gets filled with my book. It gets filled with a picture of me, the magazine that I'm on the cover of. It gets filled with a video disk of my speaking engagement. The cover of the shock and awe box has me. And he's going to bring one in in a moment. I'll tell these things to you. He's going to have me on the Jumbotron. So it's got a lot more collateral that cost me a lot more money. But I'm also going after... We go after 10, 15, 20,000 dollars a month clients. The ROI on that is, even if I have breakage, the ROI on that is still considerably higher. Thank you. I appreciate that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, which goes into because the lifetime value of one of your clients is so high, you can afford to put more in that box. But.

Al Alper
That's the shock and awe box. You can see the picture of the Jumbotron there. I mean, it's nothing fancy. Paclane is where we get it from, PACKLANE. It opens up nicely. I'm just showing it to you because that's it. And our logo and then it gets filled up with stuff. And these days it gets my Amazon best selling book. It gets me on the cover of a magazine. It's more expensive, understand, to do those things. But again, you can be sub three or four dollars per shock and all box by simply filling it up with vendors you use and their church keys and then a couple of pieces of paper of your own. The box would be the most expensive thing you use in that. And it costs like a dollar and change for the box.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Nowadays, it'll cost you more to ship it.

Al Alper
That's true.

Tim Fitzpatrick
That is awesome. And one of the things you touched on that I think is easy for people to skip is because you're doing that, it eliminates some of the hesitance that people have. It immediately establishes credibility. You're not getting people asking for references, which by the way, most of the time you give people references. You go let a customer know and the people never reach out to them anyways. So it's a complete waste of time. So you're eliminating almost all of that right up front.

Al Alper
Absolutely. As of right now, there's very little price resistance, very little. I say very little as almost none. When we sit down for a meeting, it's highly unusual that we won't close that book of business. But we're also selective.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You're generating very high quality leads, and then the rest of the process is just making it much easier for you.

Al Alper
Because remember, they've never met you before. So what they know about you is what they've seen or heard. And then how you present yourself is their first touch point in what should be a long relationship. And you want to put your best foot forward. It's factually how you should do it, how your whole relationship should always last. You should be as giving throughout the relationship as you are when you're giving them a shopping all box.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah, that should never stop.

Al Alper
It's true.

Tim Fitzpatrick
We've all been through that process where they did great up until they closed the sale. And then once they closed the sale, it was like, I closed the sale, I'm done. And the service, you're like, What the hell just happened here? They don't care about me now at all. I'm a customer and they just don't care.

Al Alper
It's funny because I was speaking at an event about two weeks ago, and I was speaking on exactly this topic. Most MSPs, they stop giving after they've closed their sale. And they treat their clients with neglect. It's not intentional, understand. They're just busy MSPs. But in the mind of your customer, think about if someone comes over that wants to paint your house. You need a house painter? They show up on time. They've got great samples. Look at all the people who love me. That's you as an MSP walking in. Then it takes you two weeks to get a quote. You had to call them three times. What's your impression of that painting contractor? I'm going somewhere else. This is exactly how your customer... That painting contractor neglected you. That's exactly how your customer feels when they're waiting for the proposal on that replacement machine. When you said a project will be finished in three weeks and you're on month number three. And I can give you a... Believe me, I'm a guy that did this. So I'm speaking from history that I just learned that when you treat people in a way that makes them feel neglected, they're going to look for somebody else. And that's when a company like me comes along and then makes them feel a woman fuzzy, and I'm an authority in everybody, and now we'll get that business.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I think the other mindset shift that needs to happen is people fall into that trap when they look at the funnel and the customer journey, stopping at that buy phase. In reality, you still have the... I look at it as an hourglass. John Janes over at duct tape marketing talks about the marketing hourglass as the customer journey. And in the bottom of that customer journey is repeat and refer. So many people, when you look at it just like a funnel, you're missing the whole bottom part of that. When you provide a lousy customer experience after the sale, you're losing repeat and referral business, which is huge. It's much cheaper to get repeat and referral business than it is to try and generate a new lead.

Al Alper
That's a great image, the hourglass. I've never heard that before, frankly. I think is a brilliant image.

Tim Fitzpatrick
We all know an hourglass, right? When he talks about it, at the top, you have know, like, trust, try, and then in the middle is buy, and then the bottom half is repeat and refer.

Al Alper
Right. That's brilliant. I'm stealing that, by the way.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Please do. Please do. Please do. And give John Jan's credit over at duct tape marketing because he's the guy that came up with it. Absolutely. I want to talk about a couple of other things before we part ways here today.

Growing a Business in a Short Amount of Time

Tim Fitzpatrick

You mentioned this cyberguard has grown really fast and you've reached market leading status in several categories in a short period of time. What do you think has been the driver of that? What's allowed you to be able to get to that place that fast?

Al Alper
Honestly, I think it's my lineage. Not me. It's basically being an MSP and an MSP, I understand all their pain points. I live the pain points on the MSP side of my life. So I know what we like and don't like about vendors. I know what we like and don't like about products. I know what we're looking for in terms of the gaps in the vendor landscape. And so at least to the extent in my limited windshield. One of our claims to fame is as a vendor, we have no contracts and no minimums. Every MSP hates a contract, and they hate a contract because to them, customers come and go, and you don't want to get locked into a four or $500 a month invoice because you ramped up for the customers and now you lost one of the big ones and now you're obligated for three more years. So that's an example of understanding. It comes back to what I said before, your client avatar. I know my avatar frequently better than they know themselves because I've lived it. That was an easier learning curve for me. And so we bring things to market that as an MSP, I want and need, which by definition means my colleagues like me want and need. And I have the unique advantage of having absolute logic as a feature dish to try it out. Is it making? Is it the engineers able to use it? Are my sales team able to sell it? And are our customers willing to pay for it? And if the answer to all that is yes, MSPs will like it, too.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Yeah. I want to, again, pull out a few things here because it's easy to overlook this. One of my mentors said, Companies that just understand their ideal clients better grow faster. And that's exactly what's happened with Cyberguard. You are your ideal customer, so you know exactly what those pain points are and how to solve them. The other thing that you touched on here is knowing what they hate about dealing with vendors and creating policies, building those things into your business like no contract, no minimum, immediately creates competitive advantage for you.

Al Alper
A thousand %, yeah. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to cut you off.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, it's okay. When we create a strong competitive advantage, you become the logical choice. It's not, I have these multiple choices. It's like, no, this is the choice because of some of those competitive advantages that you've put in. We're talking about a lot of what I like to think of as marketing strategy. It's very fundamental stuff, but it's stuff that so many people overlook because there's information overload with marketing and there's so many different channels and we feel like, Oh, my gosh. I've got to just immediately get out and take action. When we just jump in without really having strategy behind it and the foundation in place, we end up wasting a ton of time and energy on marketing that's just not going to work. With Cyberguard, you've got those fundamentals in place, which I think is why you're growing so fast.

Al Alper
I think we're, as I said early on, know your customer. I have the distinct advantage of being my customer, and so I know my customer. But particularly people who are going to listen to this, it's not expensive to know your customer. It's just time consuming. You just have to be willing to invest the time. So I talked about earlier knowing my customer in the MSP. I literally went to trade shows that my ideal customer went to so I could learn what they bought, what they liked, what vendors were. So I could understand their mindset. It takes time. It doesn't happen overnight. And it's not something you can buy, by the way, because it has to become something that you just know. I know financial services clients better than they know themselves. I know what they need, I know how fast they need it. I know what auditors ask for. I just know these things, not because I'm the smartest guy on the planet. I'm certainly not. But because I invest an incredible amount of time learning what they do for a living and what burdens them in doing what they do for a living. And how can I solve that pain point? And we solve it and we do well.

In Conclusion

Tim Fitzpatrick
What's next? Where's the focus for Cyberguard in 2023?

Al Alper
I can't let out too much of the secret sauce. Our organic growth rate is already amazing. But we've got some new product launches coming online these next 3, 6, 12 and 18 months that are going to be game changer, not just for us, but for the MSPs. Things that I believe we should be able to reduce their monthly spend by several hundred dollars consolidating under our platform. It's going to be.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Another competitive advantage.

Al Alper
Well, again, I look at what we're using, I'm like, I could build that. We're going to build it. We've got some things coming out that are really interesting. Some of it is out there already in other vendors, but some of it is brand new. That's really interesting. That's going to both help them help their clients be more secure, but also help them sell more. One of the things we launched late last year as an example of... One of my commitments last year was I committed to investing as much in enablement as I did in development. And for those of you that don't know what that means is creating material that helps our partners sell more. That's partner enablement. So we did that last year. We launched two different magazines last year. One magazine that comes out quarterly that they can claim as their own and brand as their own and send out to their customers, which we have partners that do that now. And another one that we actually published that they can put themselves on the cover of. So they can have celebrity, instant celebrity as a differentiator in the market. These are the kinds of things that we do because I believe the best way to be successful is if you help your partners be successful, giving them the tools they need to secure their clients at a better price point, at a more efficient price point, and helping them to also sell it in market, which is why I made that commitment and why we're doing more of that this year on both of them. So we've got some really exciting things happening this year. I think that if we had this call next year, you'd be amazed at what we brought to market and what we've done.

Tim Fitzpatrick
I can't wait to see what comes down the pipe. Last thing I want to ask you, knowing what you know now, is there anything you do differently?

Al Alper
I don't know if you're going to like this answer.

Tim Fitzpatrick
You already said that before.

Al Alper
The answer is no. It's not because I haven't made mistakes. God, I have made a million of them. But here's my philosophy. Remember I told you there's a philosophy I said earlier, like I'm in charge of my destiny. I'm the ultimate decider of how I go to bed at night, no matter what happens to me during the day. I look in the eyes of my team, the eyes of my children, the eyes of my wife, my customer, and the mirror, and I couldn't be happier today. And I also believe that if you change something, you change everything. I call it voodoo panels for anybody who watches the Wonderful Life. When Jimmy Stewart put his finger and his hand in his pocket and his daughter's rose petals were still there because he'd come back from... If you know the movie, you know what I'm talking about. But I believe if you change anything about yesterday, every tomorrow has changed. And therefore, that person in the mirror is not the same person that you're looking at now. And I'm just very happy with everything. Are there mistakes? Are there things I could do? But absolutely, this is not perfection I'm talking about. But I'm really just so thankful for all we have, personally, professionally, socially. I wouldn't change a damn thing. I don't want any different. I don't know if that answers your question.

Tim Fitzpatrick
No, you did. You did. As you were answering it, I'm thinking of these movies where people are trying to go back in time and change things, and every time they change something in the past, it impacts the present that they're in. That's what I was thinking as you were answering that question. I think it's a good answer. It reminds me of a quote, and I can't even remember how it said, but basically, everything that's happened to us up to this point has brought us to this place. Where we are right now is where we are supposed to be.

Al Alper
I should tell you, we are the sum of the events of our life.

Tim Fitzpatrick
There we go.

Al Alper
And if you want tomorrow to be different, add a different piece of the pie to the equation. That's it. It's just really that simple.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Al, where can people learn more about you?

Al Alper
Website, cyberguard360.com. I'm on LinkedIn, Al_alper on LinkedIn. My email address is aalper@cyberguard360.com. My admin weeds out my emails, but I will respond. I'm happy to talk to anybody. I love this space and I love helping MSPs grow. And if I can do any small part to do that, I'd love to do that.

Tim Fitzpatrick
Awesome. I appreciate it. I've enjoyed this conversation. You dropped a ton of value. I know people will really enjoy it. So thank you for taking the time out. For those of you that are watching, listening, appreciate you . We've been talking all about growth, revenue acceleration. If you want to grow quickly and accelerate growth, you have to remove your revenue roadblocks. If you want to know which of the nine roadblocks are slowing down your growth, head on over to revenueroadblockscorecard.com. You can also always connect with us over at rialtomarketing.com as well. Thank you again for watching, listening. Appreciate you. Until next time, take care.


Connect With Al Alper


Links From The Episode

  • Cyberguard360

About the author, Tim Fitzpatrick

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