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Getting to Know You: Thomas Brinkly, Founder of Top Tier Marketing Academy

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Born in Bellevue, Washington, Thomas Brinkly left public school in the ninth grade to learn the vocation of carpentry.

After graduating from trade school, he joined the US Marine Corps, where he acquired a skill set that has since served him very well in his business career.

In 2017, Thomas Brinkly founded Top Tier Marketing Academy with the mission of providing top-notch training and support in the realms of e-commerce and online marketing. The institution specializes in website construction, marketing tools, social media automation services, and website hosting.

Concerning his private life, Thomas Brinkly has been clean and sober for more than ten years, a fact of which he is extremely proud. He currently lives in the town of Monroe, Washington with family. When he has some spare time, Thomas enjoys meditating, traveling the world, and spending quiet nights at home with his family.

What do you currently do at your company?

I oversee a lot of the operations of the company. I’m the owner, so ultimately I’m responsible for everything, but I have the company split into a few different departments so that tasks can be placed with the right people and handled appropriately.

What was the inspiration behind your business?

At first, I didn’t know that starting an academy was something I wanted to do. I came into the web design and e-commerce industry as a salesperson, and in all honesty, I wasn’t very good at it. I gritted my teeth for a while and tried to make the most of it, but I knew sales wasn’t for me. Eventually I found myself on the customer service side of things. Once I got situated in that new role, I found that my professional passion was helping people. It was that realization which led me to the idea of creating Top Tier Marketing Academy. I love owning a company because I’m able to help my employees achieve what they want in life, as well as make sure that our customers are getting exactly what they paid for.

Tell us one long-term goal in your career

The growth and expansion the academy has experienced over the past two years isn’t something I expected. I went from five or six employees in the early days to almost 150 today. I’m still processing that and figuring out the long-term goals for the business.

In my personal life, I want to be the best husband and father that I can be. I want to love and support my family and give them everything they could ever need or want.

How do you measure success?

For me, a good measure of success is reaching a point where I’ve experienced all sides of all classes. I’ve been extremely poor, I’ve been middle class, and now I’m well-off as a result of owning the company. Success for me was recognizing that throughout those other times in my life—as well as now—money itself wasn’t something that defined what made me successful in life. During the times when I had virtually nothing, I was just as happy as I am now. So, while success can mean a lot of things, to me, one of things it doesn’t mean is my life revolving around money coming in and out of my pocket.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned through the course of your career?

The most valuable lesson that I’ve learned so far is this: The only difference between me and someone not in my position is that I was willing to take a risk. I’m not smarter or better than anybody, but I was willing to try. That counts for a lot in this world.

What advice would you give to others aspiring to succeed in your field?

Be comfortable with failure. When starting a company from scratch, a certain amount of failure is inevitable. It pays great dividends to be at peace with that.

What are some of your favorite things to do outside of work?

At this point in my life, being 35 years old, I just love to be at home. I used to love to travel and I’m fortunate enough to have been able to have seen a lot of the world, but these days, considering I have two kids under two years old, I mainly love being with my family at home.

How would your colleagues describe you?

I think my colleagues would describe me as compassionate, caring, and vulnerable.

How do you maintain a solid work life balance?

I pray and meditate every morning and every night. There are other things I do with my personal time, but when it comes to what helps me achieve work life balance, that’s the nuts and bolts of it.

What is one piece of technology that helps you the most in your daily routine?

I use my phone and my computer all the time, whether it be for communications with co-workers and customers, data analysis, course development, or any number of other tasks. They are invaluable tools when it comes to running the company.

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