How it all began...
It all started in a cabin very similar to this one...
The broom that launched a thousand businesses...
16 years ago, I was sweeping my kitchen floor in a little cabin I built in up-state New York.
The broom, with half of its bristles worn away, symbolized just how stuck I truly felt at this point in my life.
I had five children under the age of 7.
I was a college professor of English & Rhetoric, barely making a living.
As I swept the floor, I realized just how intensely something in my life needed to change.
I had always had the entrepreneurial bug in me, but that day with the broom changed my life forever.
I instantly knew that I would not be getting my PhD in medieval philosophy, even though it was a subject near and dear to my heart – financially, I knew that it was dead end.
I got a sheet of paper out and I started brainstorming different ideas for businesses I could start.
First, I considered starting a firewood business. Then, I contemplated opening a contracting and home-remodel business. After that, I wondered if I should be a plumber or a house painter.
I put about 50 different things on that sheet of paper (I wish I still had it today!) – and one of them stuck.
I started taking HTML classes at Elmira College (where I was an adjunct professor) .
After that, I took advanced courses in CSS.
My knowledge of web design grew and I felt ready to take the next step.
Newspaper clipping from The Herald Star, from 2005...
My very first phone book ad for my new company in 2002...
I decided to start a web design business & in 2002, my company was born.
It all started naturally. I built a few websites in the non-profit market for people that I knew.
These were static-html sites. The days before content management systems, like WordPress.
Then, the business kept growing as the demand for websites grew, and I was able to teach on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and design and code on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
We moved back to Steubenville, OH, where my wife and I met. We bought 81 beautiful acres in Ohio and still the demand for websites grew, and I stopped teaching all together in 2009.
These were my freelancing days.
In 2010, I made my first shift away from freelancing towards becoming a digital agency.
Hiking Mt. Naupa...
I hired my first two employees; David Brindle, a very talented designer and Eric Mammolenti, an equally-talented app developer.
I also hired my two oldest daughters to help me manage, load, and style the website content.
This was a time of great growth for the company as we frantically worked on project after project and made more and more money.
In 2015, we broke into the financial planning market with Pinnacle Advisory and Financial Synergies.
It was then that we decided to go after that niche and grow our company vertically in that market.
When I look back on it, the agency that I run now evolved and developed just as it should have. The way most do.
Our business grew 20% that year.
That year, 2015, we also started offering SEO, email marketing, and lead generation services.
We were able to perfect our craft in one short year and got FINSYN on to the front page of a Google search for the most coveted keyword phrase (one that brought the most organic traffic).
It put us on the map as leaders not only in the niche market of financial advisors, but also as leaders in the specialty of organic traffic acquisition.
The next year, 2016, we scaled our business in a new way, by hiring three talented workers from the Philippines. Many of them already had five and ten years of experience in the industry as SEOs, front-end developers, WordPress, content management, and executive assistant tasks.
Our business grew 20% that year.
In 2017, we hired two more workers from the Philippines to fill a bookkeeping position and also another SEO position.
We hired two more workers from the US – a Facebook ads manager and a content writer.
There was no doubt that we were a full-blown agency working on many projects building websites and experiences that generated leads for our clients.
Again, our business grew 20%.
Enjoying a family vacation at Hilton Head Island...
Now, my mission is to help share my success with others...
By the end of that year, I had mastered the art of scaling a business using a remote team and the right talent from the right place for the right position.
Along the way I started two other ecommerce businesses, one being a successful dropship retail outlet.
Now, we are starting yet another company.
We are now offering to lend our talent for your company.
We are able to leverage our connections in the Philippines and hire the best candidates, train them, train you and put them to work for your business.
Our canditates can help you with things like keeping your books, working to get your website on the frontpage of Google, managing your website, helping you keep your calendar, doing market research, managing your email, managing your Facebook and Google ads, sending out emails to your customers, and designing your fliers.
All for a fractional of a cost and at a pay rate that is typically four times higher than they would get paid locally.
My core values
I believe that living my life according to these core values is one of the reasons why I have been successful. The values have come from who I am and how I've worked over the last 15 years.
Faith - Obviously faith is a value that has always been important to me and is foundational to how and why I started the company. We all approach our relationship with God differently. But we are united in knowing that God provides for us. It drives how we do the work and why we do it.
Family - Family is also very important to me and it is why I became an entrepreneur.
125% - The Customer comes first before all else. I have always tried to anticipate what the clients' expectations are and exceed them by 125%. I always over-deliver.
Innovation - I always trying to stay on top of the latest industry best practices for all of the services that I provide.